I read a lot every week, and it’s not all in books! Here’s a roundup of some of the best articles I read this week about books, reading, and words.
I’m a bit late with this news, but the shortlist for the Scottish Crime Debut of 2021 has been announced. The winner will be announced during Bloody Scotland, an International Crime Writing Festival in September. As if I needed more books to add to my TBR. Have you read any of these? Tell me everything! (via Bloody Scotland)
I don’t read a ton of science fiction, but I’ve enjoyed a lot of what I’ve read. And I am a big fan of other genre fiction, like mysteries, so I find the snootiness of Ian McEwan (who claims his latest novel is a fiction about science, but not science fiction) insufferable. It’s right up there with people who claim that an excellent mystery or fantasy book “transcends the genre.” No, it’s just an excellent book. (via The Guardian)
This new nonfiction book by Tiya Miles is definitely on my radar. It ticks all the boxes for me — about history, shining a light into the corners that don’t normally get seen in historical works. I’ve recommended it for purchase to my library, but I may have to suck it up and buy this one myself. (via The New York Times)
Do you remember the phenomenon of Marie Kondo, and her KonMari method of de-cluttering your home? For a while there, it seemed like every person I knew was in a frenzy to apply her rules about only keeping possessions that “spark joy” to their lives. Of course, this is the Age of Social Media Outrage when any harmless thing can become a target for some aggrieved group or another, and it didn’t take long for people who called themselves book lovers to lash out. The point of books, readers raged, was not joy as Hannah McGregor puts it in this article that also examines the racial overtones of the criticism directed at Kondo. I have not KonMari’d my possessions, but I am steadily downsizing my collection of physical books (let’s not talk about ebooks right now) and managing to do it without working myself into a lather. What sparks joy for me, it seems, is what’s actually inside the books, not the objects themselves. Your mileage, as always, may vary. (via Electric Lit)
I never got around to watching the first season of the BBC/Amazon adaptation of one of the funniest books I’ve ever read before I canceled Prime, and now word comes that there’s a second season on the way. The good news is that the general storyline hews closely to one that Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett talked about years ago, when they thought they might write a sequel. (via The Guardian)
The first takeaway from this article is that there have been at least 100 cinematic/television portrayals of Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic detective. And some of them go back to the earliest years of the 20th century, amazingly. This list has all the usual suspects—Jeremy Brett, Basil Rathbone,
Benadryl Cabbagepatch Benedict Cumberbatch—but there are many more I’ve never heard of that sound interesting and horrifying in varying measures. The only thing missing is some indication of where these are available for modern viewers, whether streaming or DVD. That information would seem to be, ahem, elementary in a roundup like this. (via Crime Reads)