Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Plum Lovin' the Mystery of Romance

Day 21 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project.

Kim is reading the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, as the books come out in paperback. Kim points out that these are a combination of mystery and chick lit, and maybe she will tell us more about why she enjoys this series!

We get a lot of requests for Evanovich at the bookstore. We don't carry romances, but we do have mysteries, lots of them, contemporary and vintage, hardback and paperback, and Evanovich is now at Babbitt's, or in and out quickly, in the mystery section, or sometimes on the little New Arrivals in Fiction shelf right by the front door.

Or, for something completely different, you can read Thomas Hardy. Will it be Return of the Native or Jude the Obscure? A man was asking for our recommendations yesterday, but our sales manager who is also a Hardy scholar is not there on Mondays, so I said I thought Jane Smiley recommended Jude the Obscure, but I was wrong. What I was misremembering, from 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel, was indeed crucial, but it was this: "When critics greeted Jude the Obscure with scathing rejection, Thomas Hardy shut down his novelist persona completely and went on as a poet, but in a different and more robust vein than he had written in as a novelist." So, in search of excitement in reading, we might turn to robust poetry.

I read a lot of Hardy when I was younger, so young that I cannot remember much, except for Tess of the d'Urbervilles, also read in school, and made into movies. Oddly, this brings me back to chick lit and its robust women of self-determination, sort of the opposite of the Tess plot and the fate of loving and generous women who dared to have sex when Hardy was writing novels. Sigh...

3 comments:

aka Simone said...

I read the Stephanie Plum books because (1) they were recommended to me by a hip college student a few years ago, (2) I got the first 8 of them as a set in paperback at Goodwill for $4.00, and (3) I started reading them and couldn't stop laughing. There is also wonderful women's-fantasy-kind-of-sexual-tension in them. But what made me read more than the first one, honestly, was the humor. It's delightful, laugh-out-loud, snorting in public kind of humor.

Kathleen said...

I love snorting in public! It's why Sandra Bullock is one of my favorite actresses!

She probably doesn't snort in the current Academy Award-nominated performance, though, does she...?

Susan said...

I've read all of them--I think! I got hooked on the Stephanie Plum series back when they came out...Early 90s perhaps? I have laughed out loud at every single one of them. The characters are wonderfully strange. I like this kind of thing. The books are great fun and an easy read--perfect for those times when one is in the mood for a little brain candy.