Monday, March 2, 2009

When you don't have time...

I like to sit and read for loooong periods of time. I really like to get totally engrossed in a book. But let's face it, sometimes you can't. I also like to read before I go to sleep, which can get a little off the wall when I finish a book before hitting the sack and then feel like I need to start a new book so that I'm actually reading before I go to sleep. I know, I'm weird. 

Anyway, to my point. I have in my stack of books to read this week, the latest Laura Lippman title, Life Sentences. It's a stand alone and I was actually really surprised to see that it was coming out. I mean, Lippman only just released a collection of short stories in October. 

Since I'm super excited about Life Sentences (I love Lippman's stand alones and am going to start the Tess Monaghan series shortly) but can't really post anything since I haven't started it, and since I am super tired but somehow feel as though staying up later (and getting more exhausted) will stretch my ending weekend out just a tad bit more, and therefore wanted to post even though my exhaustion is causing loooong run on rambling sentences like this one, I thought I would use this opportunity to plug Lippman's fabulous collection. Plus, short stories are perfect for short reading (which is what I'm in for since I suspect crashing will come very shortly for me).

Hardly Knew Her is a collection of 17 different tales broken into three sections, with a final novella to end it all. I loved each and every one of the stories and was really not looking forward to finishing the book. I know you sometimes have to be in a certain mood for short stories to appeal. Like I said, I like to sit for long periods of time and I think part of the point of a short story is that even if it only takes five minutes to read, it stays with you long after if the author does their job right. Whether you have five minutes of five hours, though, you'll love Lippman's collection. You can read one and sit and ponder over it, or you can zip along into the next story no problem. Each one is different: some are dark, some are funny, some are strange, all of them are excellent. So, here's my review of Hardly Knew Her, from the BB review archives:

Laura Lippman has long been a favorite of the mystery genre - readers and fellow writers sing her praises alike. Their appreciation is well deserved and this collection of twisted tales is a great place for new readers to familiarize themselves with her talent. Three of the tales feature Baltimore PI Tess Monaghan. There is also a novella, Scratch a Woman, which features a recurring character from “One True Love.” Each story features a strong, manipulative, or even murderous woman. In the title story, “Hardly Knew Her,” a daughter has her revenge against her gambling father. A Mardi Gras reveler gets a little surprise when he follows two girls in “Pony Girl,” and in “Black Eyed Susan” a young boy discovers some of the strange folks drawn to Baltimore’s Preakness. A great collection of darkly humorous and slightly disturbing tales from one of the biggest talents in the genre.

So, if you're looking to get your feet wet with a fantastic author, I suggest you do it with this Hardly Knew Her. Lippman also has a very popular Baltimore PI series as well as four stand alone titles, each of which is great. As an extra bonus, Lippman contributed another of my favorite short story collections, Like a Charm edited by Karin Slaughter, which I talk about here, she also edited and contributed to Baltimore Noir

Ah well, if my post is disjointed, I do apologize. I'm off to take my insomnia pill and read myself before I go to bed. Look for Life Sentences on shelves March 10. I'll be reviewing it for bookbitch.com this week. And, unfortunately for me Lippman's tour does not include the Rocky Mountain area, but it does include quite a few other stops. Check her tour dates here to see if she'll be in your area. 

1 comment:

Vickie said...

Becky: You are not weird. I did that just last night. I finished THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING BOOKS - Ian Sansom and immediately began ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE - Jeaniene Frost even for a few pages before I closed my eyes. I do this each time I finish a book before sleep....just like to start something else..makes me sleep better.... = )