Sherlock Holmes month begins at Tip the Wink!
I’ve been in the mood to read Sherlock Holmes for a couple of months, and have been dipping into the canon with The Adventures. After finishing Michael Dirda’s On Conan Doyle I wanted to read more Doyle, so last week I re-read The Hound of the Baskervilles, which I haven’t read in years. Enjoyable as always. That got me to thinking: why not a whole month of Sherlock Holmes? I have enough on hand, between the complete canon and many pastiche novels and story collections and there is a large story collection due to be published late this month.
I followed Hound with When the Song of the Angels is Stilled by A.S. Croyle. It’s not bad, but the author calls it “A Before Watson Novel” and while it is that it’s also mostly a romance novel; too bad unless that’s what the read is looking for. I wasn’t. While dropping some familiar names – such as introducing a fellow named Musgrave – and including a hazy baby-stealing plot, there is much emotional outpouring and little crime-solving or mystery. The book certainly doesn’t read much like traditional Sherlock Holmes.
I’ve now started a short story collection, The Mammoth Book of Sherlock Holmes Abroad edited by Simon Clark, 15 stories of one or both of our favorite pair in foreign lands. Something different, and hopefully fun. I also am continuing to read the canon with The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. I have other pastiche novels and stories here, also available for the month.
There will also be movie watching, we have all of the Granada Television productions with Jeremy Brett as Holmes, which I’ve seen but Barbara has not, and we have the first of Robert Downey’s Holmes movies from Netflix. Also on hand are several older Holmes movies, all of it DVD. Great fun.
Barbara finished The Nature of the Beast, the latest Louise Penny which she liked a lot, but then she always likes Penny’s books. She is now halfway through Bill Bryson’s A Walk In the Woods, which she’s enjoying a lot, and she plans to see the movie in spite of the poor reviews.
Unless something pops up from the library, she then plans to read the ebook thriller, London Underground by Chris Angus.
How about you? Have you read these books or authors? What are you reading?
Nice one. A Holmes month can’t be a bad thing, with one exception (for me – your mileage may vary), the horrible Robert Downey, Jr./Guy Ritchie movie abomination, which I found literally unwatchable.
No new arrivals and I have almost gotten my library book pile down to zero, between the ones I’ve read (and am reading) and the ones I’ve returned unread. First was LET ME TELL YOU, the collection of early and unpublished Shirley Jackson stories and non-fiction pieces. This was OK with a couple only that were worthy of her better stuff. I read two first mysteries that had been highly praised in Deadly Pleasures and generally agreed. First was ICE SHEAR by M. P. Cooley, set in winter in the Mohawk Valley of New York, with former FBI agent (and local cop) June Lyons involved in investigating the death of a Congresswoman’s troubled daughter. The other was a trade paperback original, THE LIFE WE BURY by Allen Eskens. In this one, college student Joe Talbert (with a troubled life of his own) has a writing assignment that has him interviewing – and ultimately investigating the case of – a convicted murderer, Vietnam veteran Carl Iverson. The latter is released from prison to die after serving 30 years for killing his young neighbor, but was he guilty? Eskens does a wonderful job with Joe and the Minnesota setting. His only misstep comes late in the book where Joe acts like the dumbest “Had I But Known” heroine of a bad Gothic novel. The book is definitely worth reading.
I’m reading Jonathan Carroll’s strange and interesting collection, THE PANIC HAND, recommended by Michael Dirda. Also Jonathan Yardley’s SECOND READING, and Susan Beth Pfeffer’s THE DEAD & THE GONE, the sequel to her YA book LIFE AS WE KNEW IT, about the aftermath of an asteroid hitting the Moon and pushing it closer to Earth. This one is set in New York City.
I don’t know if I’ll stick it out the whole month, but I do have lots to read. Good job getting the library list down, Jeff. I’ll see how the Downey movie is, probably tonight. We have no problem turning a movie off if we don’t like it.
ICE SHEAR sounds interesting, maybe if the library has it. The others, not so much but I’m focused on reading the Holmes and TBR.
I like the idea of Sherlock Holmes Month. I’m looking forward to your reports.
And am I the only one who thinks Jeff should start a blog arout his reading?
I agree, Bill, but as he says… Do you have any idea when the MX Holmes collection might show up to Kickstarter contributors?
Searching for a book to read right now.
Try something by Joseph Mitchell.
But if I did a blog I wouldn’t be able to contribute to everyone’s else’s blog.
Like, Bill, I’ll be interested in your selections for HOLMES MONTH. You certainly have a lot of material to pick from. I finished reading some Summer projects (multi-volume series) and I’m back to reading more non-fiction now that I’m back in the classroom (it helps to provide new material for my lectures). TV will eat up some time when the NFL starts this week.
While I read a little non-fiction this year, I can’t keep up with you there. Yes, football takes time, I watch both college and pro, but only a few games. This year I’m trying to cut back a little.
I’ve only read a few of the Holmes stories, though I have a big collection of them here.
They’re fun and worth reading, Charles. I get into the mood for Sherlock Holmes every so often, and I’m in that mood now.
I have the Complete Holmes on the Kindle, as well as some Doyle’s THE LOST WORLD, which I’ve never read.
You might have been happier reading THE LOST WORLD when you were about 12, Jeff. I re-read it about ten years ago and was disappointed with it. It didn’t hold up well.
The Guy Richie “Sherlock Holmes” movie is actually good fun, and I would hope you’ll also be viewing “The Voice of Terror”, “The Scarlet Claw” or “The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes”. As for pastiches, I’m starting “The Thinking Engine” by James Lovegrove, one of the latest of those Holmes novels being printed by Titan books. But, would also recommend the Laurie King novels featuring the Beekeeper’s Apprentice. The first in the series was recently adapted to a radio play that was on BBC4 Extra last July.
Matthew, I’ve seen all of Rathbone’s Holmes movies and have them on the DVD collection cleaned up by UCLA film. It’s going to be fun to watch them again. I even have some of the radio plays. I’ve read several of Titan Press’ books, most recently THE SPIRIT BOX by George Mann. I like Mann’s books a little more than Lovejoy’s, but both are entertaining. THE WILL OF THE DEAD may have been the best.
I’ve read all but the last 2 or 3 of King’s Mary Russell / Holmes books and enjoy them. I may read another this month.
A Walk in the Woods is fun. If she enjoys it, I would recommend The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. It is short, funny, and in the end has references that wouldn’t make near the impact if you hadn’t read A Walk in the Woods.
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