What I Happen to Be Reading At the Moment

"A thirteen-year-old is a kaleidoscope of different personalities, if not in most ways a mere figment of her own imagination. At that age, what and who you are depends largely on what book you happen to be reading at the moment.”

 

While not 13 anymore, the desire to read almost anything and everything in order to read for fun and for experience is still around. I'm currently working on my PhD in a physical science, but I love to read and books are one of my non-science hobbies.

The Leavenworth Case (Penguin Classics) - Anna Katharine Green The Leavenworth Case has many of the hallmarks of a modern mystery novel (and having just read The Chinese Orange Mystery by Ellery Queen I was surprised by similarities of the initial crime). There's the dramatic murder, the inquest, the evidence leading the lesser detectives and reader down the wrong path. There is also a scene where Mr. Gryce uses classic Poirot tactics to gain the confession from the killer. Except, of course, that Poirot is using the original's. Many of the features in The Leavenworth Case would be downright derivative if published today, but this is one of the novels that set the genre, and that so many others have copied unconsciously in some way, shape, or form. This mystery novel was first published in 1878, and focuses on the violent murder of a New York millionaire. It also introduces the American series detective Ebenezer Gryce, who falls into the major archetypes of 19th century detectives including leaving the narration to another. I was impressed again at how modern 19th century crime novels feel, even when recognizing that these are the works that set the tone for the history of the detective novel. Once again, Penguin made a good choice to reissue classic short stories (see also Penguin Classics edited by Michael Sim) and novels in the crime genre so enthusiasts can see how the first masters of the detective novel influence the works we read today. Also, like with any good crime fiction, this is a downright entertaining and suspenseful piece.

Currently reading

Native Son
Richard Wright
The Great Glass Sea
Josh Weil
The Elder Edda
Anonymous, Andrew Orchard