Summer Reading — Mysteries in Translation

Summer Reading — Mysteries in Translation

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The Patience of the Spider

I’ve come late to mysteries, but this is the summer I seem to have discovered them, in particular, mysteries in translation. It’s partially because Chuck buys a lot of books at yard sales and discovered these two guys — one of the things we have in common is houses full of books. We’re both also really happy not to turn the TV on in the evenings, and to read books. It’s been lovely, especially since I feel like I’m still sort of in recovery, and that I’m rebuilding my stores of energy for whatever is going to come next.

So of the new authors I’ve found, I’m really kind of addicted to these Camilleri mysteries. They’re both really well written, and really well translated — witty and sometimes dark, with great food, and a deeply flawed main character. Plus they’re short. I read fast, and I can get usually get through one in an evening, or perhaps two — which is sort of too bad, since I like them, and I’m running through them more quickly than I’d like to be. I bought a bunch of them for Chuck for his birthday (a sort of selfish present since I read most of them while he was finishing up this last construction job). I just found a new one at the library this afternoon, which made me enormously happy.

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Voices: A Reykjavik Thriller

I’ve also been reading this Icelandic writer, who I think of as “the Icelandic guy who’s name starts with I” — again, a main character with big flaws, but a good heart, surrounded by an interesting cast of secondary characters. I think part of what I like is the travelogue aspect as well — did you know that in Iceland, smoked lamb’s tongue is a holiday delicacy? I know! Neither did I, but I’m glad that I do now. The Camilleri has some of the same appeal — there’s a lot of good food, and Sicilian atmosphere — which might seem outwardly more appealing than Iceland, but actually, I find both equally appealing. So far I’ve read three of these, and just got a copy of Jar City, which is on the top of the stack.

So readers, what’s your guilty reading pleasure? What do you read when you need a good read?

2 thoughts on “Summer Reading — Mysteries in Translation

  1. My guilty pleasures are books written by Montanans–Mildred Walker, Norman Maclean, Rick Bass, Debra Magpie Earling, Annick Smith, Mary Clearman Blew, Tom Groneberg. I’ve just finished Fools Crow by James Welch. Why it never received a Pulitzer is a mystery to me.

  2. Sue Miller, Marge Piercy, Joanne Harris…
    I can read and re-read them to my heart’s content but if a new book is published then I am in heaven

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