Sunday, September 03, 2006

Mystery novels and stuff

I just finished reading this mystery novel called The Lake of Dead Languages and although I liked the setting and the treatment of water and frozen lake ice as a sort of character in itself, the book as a whole wasn't that great. I hate that. I really wanted to find a new (to me) mystery writer that I like as much as Deborah Crombie but it's tough. The pace was too slow and ponderous in this book, and I guessed the villian not even a quarter of the way through the book. Not that that is the only satisfaction of a mystery, but it just wasn't worth the long wait for the reveal. Mysteries are tricky that way, you want to feel that the author has neither underestimated nor overestimated you as a reader.

I'm going to try another new author now, of a book called Dead Sit Round in A Ring. I think I found these particular books by looking at this great database called NoveList that I have access to through the library. I can't seem to find a general link to it, otherwise I'd put it in here, because it's quite useful. It's really designed more for librarians than general readers, but if you're a bibliphile, you probably would like it. It's just for fiction books, hence the name, and it's kind of like that feature on that says "Customers who bought items like this also bought..." only it's actually based on critical reading instead of sales.

Maybe I should try writing a mystery. I've considered it before. It seems to hard, though, to get everything just right, enough clues but not too many, something deeper than just whodunit...

My essay on working at the library just got published this week in the Minneapolis Observer, but you can't read it online, you have to buy the paper version. I've shared it with a few people at work so far and they liked it very much. S. said she felt exactly how I do when she first started, thrilled to be at work every day. Now she's not as giddy, but she still really likes it. One of the librarians read my essay and said having 26 books out at once is nothing, that she has piles all over her house. So now I'm thinking it's only people who don't work at the library who think 26 is a lot. There is an actual limit of how many items you can have out at one time--100.

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