Don’t mind me – I’m just warming up my blogging muscles - such as they are.
I’m not the sort of person who deliberately catalogues what I read in any particular way. It’s more that the vast and growing-ever-more-mountainous-yet accretion of books in my room has a life (and a structure) of it's own. Regarding the first, flatmates have speculated on the leporine breeding habits of the common or garden liber fictionalis (sic[k] - and sorry to any latinists). At least in such close quarters. And doesn't all the noise keep me awake at nights?
But as regards the second, on the Great Paperback Mountain, if you know how to read the topology, patterns emerge... Duly extracted from the third pile of paperbacks in from the left (spines out) at the back on the top shelf of the Bower of Bliss that is my incarnation of A Well-Known-Swedish-Modular-Furniture-Flatpak-Company's birch-effect "Mötesplats"* model I offer for consideration Laurie R. King’s "Mary Russell" series.
Except anything that follows is going to be crap, because whenever I try to explain my adoration for this series, I am woefully ineloquent. I end up talking like this, “They're really, really good. Promise. Seriously. They're soooo goooood. Wait - please don’t read the back cover. It's much better than that, really. You’ll like it. You might love it. Please stop reading the back cover. It's not like that. I promise. Well, okay a little. Yes, it is Sherlock Holmes and yes, he is married. I've just made that sound really weird. But it’s not. Well, okay, he is a lot older than her, but I just sort of channel Sean Connery and it helps. But it's like all about their meeting of minds...
"Wait, wait a sec before you put it down. Please? Yes, that one has Kipling’s Kim in it. But he’s a great character she really makes him her own. Anyhow, they're all sort of inter-textual and each book is like a homage to these classic genres of popular fiction. You know the Gothic mystery, and the Locked Room mystery… And they’re really cool, because she’s a feminist, and there are these ideas about the outsider the observer and how she makes her own place, because she’s half English and half American and Jewish. And she’s a theologian. So she questions everything and doesn't accept the way society would try to limit her. Oh. Okay. Not really your thing. Try this Meg Cabot. A cheerleader has her head chopped off and put in a saucepan.”
But secretly? Secretly, I want to be Mary Russell when I grow up. Just like I want to be Harriet Vane when I grow up. Not for the events or the mysteries or the men in their lives, but for the thoughtful and even (ungrammatically) thinking way they live their lives.
Actually, I owe a huge thank you to Marianne McA who recommended this series to me, and hooked me by way of an extract from the first of the books, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice. I can do no more, it seems. Alas. So don’t pay attention to my witterings – go read the extract.
*(koff) not a the name of the real product - their word means "shop assistant". This word doesn't and I like it better.
Edited to update links. My bad. Thanks Suisan for spotting this.