I Love to Read

There are a lot of books I love, and I'll list a few as time goes on. Here are some your Chronicler recommends. (I might write reviews for The Chronicler's Tales later, but these books are ones I love.) I often link to amazon.com because it's a great source to research as well as buy books. I have found so many out-of-print titles there that my head spins.

Obsession, by Gloria Vanderbilt.This is a very, very erotic sexual fantasy, I'm not sure whether it's more for men or women! It is very graphic, and although short, I couldn't read it in one sitting. I had to stop and rest every now and then and try to catch my breath! Ms. Vanderbilt also recorded the audio version, which is wonderful (Ms. Vanderbilt was an actress, so it's no surprising that she draws you in).

I had the privilege of working with Ms. Vanderbilt on It Seemed Important at the Time, a memoir. Ms. Vanderbilt was an amazing writer. Her writing is very visual (after all, her artwork is incredibly powerful), and not one word of hers is ever extraneous or wasted. She was one of the classiest women I have ever met, and my mother was so thrilled when she received an autographed copy of this book. Ms. Vanderbilt also sent Mom a collection of gifts for, I think, Mom's 90th birthday. Mom talked about those presents for years and was the envy of her aquasize class because of them.

I love mysteries, and have read through Dorothy Sayer, Ngaio Marsh, Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, P. D. James (The Lighthouse is magnificent), to name only a smattering. I'm always looking for new authors to inhale, and hope I never stopped enjoying these books. I also admit to liking J. D. Robb's Eve Dallas books, and the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich (Mom and her friend Marty couldn't stop laughing at Grandma's antics, and would read those passages aloud to each other and roar).

One of the best mysteries I've every read, and perhaps one of the best books of any kind, is The Old Wine Shades, a Richard Jury novel by Martha Grimes. I'm not loaning this one out, but keeping it to read again and again. The following book, Dust, continues where this one leaves off. But this one is just so wonderfully constructed, and I often recollect parts of it.

Another really intriguing book is The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey. She uses her detective to re-examine the history of Richard III and his reputation as the killer of his two nephews (I appeared in Shakespeare’s play in Boomerang’s production in Central Park as the Duchess of York, Richard’s mom, so I was very interested in the history retold). (I was led to the book by Martha Grimes.)

I've had the pleasure of working with a number of writers over the years, and the books by the columnists at The New York Times are all wonderful (I could name-drop and tell you the ones that acknowledge me, but I think I'll hold off for a while).

But I will mention one very special book by a Times writer, Brent Staples. I had the opportunity to work with him on Parallel Time: Growing Up in Black and White, an insightful and moving memoir. I recommend it to anyone who wants to be inspired by laughter, love, tragedy and the unending quest for learning and education. In 2019, Brent won a Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing, and it was one that was so very, very much deserved (he should have had one years ago!).