Monday, November 7, 2016

Making a List.....

"This is the time of year when thoughts turn to gift-giving. Could you suggest four books that would be ideal for "x" type of person - you get to define "x", or a book for each of four different types of person…again, your choice of types."

-from Susan

Gee, ask something hard, why don’t you? This is the time lf the year when I write a list of people I love and love to give presents to. Then, I sit and stare at it for weeks. If I didn’t pick something up in mid-summer when visiting a museum shop (always my favorite haunts), I have to start from square one. So let’s see…

Steve, the intellectual in our family, has two history MA’s. He reads whenever he can, has a connoisseur’s taste in dystopian fiction, and is usually two steps ahead of anything I consider. But I don’t think he’s read Galileo’s Dream by Kim Stanley Robinson, an author we both admire greatly. It’s an alternate history novel with a sci fi edge. What if Galileo was chosen by other sentient beings in our solar system, because of his marvelous telescope invention, to visit their habitable moon because they have a problem? For crime fiction writers, it’s a perfect “what if?” question and Stanley does it full justice.

Lonnie, my wonderful daughter-in-law, is a pragmatic woman whose work life is spent in the arcane world of FDA approval projects. But she’s always enjoyed doing physical things. She made little gift bags for the launch of my first novel and, more importantly,  for her wedding. I think she’d enjoy Camille Minichino, writing as Margaret Grace, and Matrimony in Miniature, the latest in her cozy series about making miniature doll houses. 

I’ve already given my sixteen-year old grandson Susan Spann’s wonderful Ninja series,
The latest of which is Claws of the Cat. He’s taken aikido lessons, read anime novels, and watched Japanese superheroes in films, so I decided he was ready for these tales of  a master ninja detective.

I have a number of Francophile friends, one of whom used to have a tour business taking well-heeled Americans to posh French places. I’ll bet, though, she’s never brought her tourists up to the clay rooftops or into the dark alleys of Paris that Cara Black’s private detective, Aimee Leduc, haunts in this long-running series. The latest one, Murder on the Quai, was especially interesting to me because Cara takes the reader back to the tragedies and upheavals of occupied France in World War II as part of the backstory.

Hey, that wasn’t so hard. Thanks.

P.S. If anyone’s looking for ideas for moi, look no further than Terry Shames’ newest Samuel Craddock crime fiction novel, An Unsettling Crime for Samuel Craddock. It’s getting great reviews and since Terry’s just joined the Criminal Minds gang, I need to try and keep up with her.

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