Monday, November 22, 2010

I'll show you mine if you'll show me yours

By Steve Weddle

Seeing as how I ain't out to impress nobody, I don't mind saying I haven't read everything.

This makes some people jealous. The other day I said I was reading MYSTIC RIVER by Dennis Lehane. A number of pals, including Dave White, twatted, "Holy crap crackers. You're so lucky. Your first time? Wow. So jealous."

Other folks get wacky. I said I'd that I'd started reading LEATHER MAIDEN from Joe R. Lansdale. "Holy crap crackers, Weddle. You've never read Lansdale? You're a suck excuse for a person."

And other people get helpful. I said I'd gotten some Ian Rankin. Folks twatted suggestions of what to read next, what order to do stuff, that sort of thing.

See, the thing is, the world is full of books I haven't read. And authors I haven't read. Sure, I've read a handful of Charlie Huston. I've read stacks of James Lee Burke. But I'd wager the entire freezer bag of cash I was going to hand over to one of my congressmen that I've read more English major books than crime fiction. I know. This makes me a terrible person. Believe me, it ain't the only thing that does that.

Somerset Maugham. Graham Greene. Richard Powers. Hurston. Faulkner. Wright. Mansfield. Joyce. Chopin. And that's not even going back to talking about those really, really dead writers.

The shelves of crime fiction continue to populate themselves with awesomeness. And I'm reading stuff that's not even out yet. From ARCs slipped my way to WIPs emailed and loaded onto the Kindle, I could go the rest of my life without reading another published book from the store.

So when I take a trip to the bookstore, I'm thrilled to find some Ken Bruen I haven't read. And I don't mind saying that SANCTUARY will be my first Bruen. Yeah, I know. I'm a terrible person. Fine.

I've read SHUTTER ISLAND and MYSTIC RIVER by Lehane, and then the dude goes and puts a new book out. I'm so far behind.

But it isn't just the books I haven't read. I'm eager to dive into Laura Lippman's new one after seeing her chat with Craig Ferguson about it.

No, this is about authors I haven't read. Lansdale. Bruen. And so many, many others. I felt bad when I ran off three Charlie Huston books in a row. I thought maybe I should leave him alone for a bit and pick up someone else.

LEATHER MAIDEN by Lansdale is great. Maybe I'll check out the Hap and Leonard books after that. or maybe I'll see what Rankin's Rebus is all about. Or maybe the Lippman. Heck, there's still that Walter Mosley I bought and haven't started.

How about you? Any authors you're dying to start reading? C'mon, don't be embarrassed. I won't tell.


David Cranmer said...

I'm reading Patricia Highsmith (RIPLEY UNDER GROUND) and Jack London (MARTIN EDEN). You're right about ARCs because I have a ton in front of me as well. And I am staying on top of eBooks: TERMINAL DAMAGE and DISCOUNT NOIR.

Jen Forbus said...

The list is long but distinguished. I plan to read my first Mark Billingham, my first Martyn Waites, my first Val McDermid and my first Martin Limon in 2011. I have a slew of ebooks, audiobooks and print books all waiting for me pick them up.

This year was the first time I read Ken Bruen, Charlie Huston, Gar Anthony Haywood and Steve Hamilton. Actually I think I'm close to having read 40 new (to me) authors this year.

Each year is a new year and I'm excited to discover what great new books I discover next year...even if they aren't new to everyone.

Brian Lindenmuth said...

at the end of each year (this will be the third) I always do an "authors new to me" meme where you list on your blog the authors you read for the first time. Hope you guys will participate.

Steve Weddle said...

David, Yeah. Highsmith. She's on my list. My lovely bride and I have PURPLE NOON to watch and I really wanna tackle some of the Ripley books.

Jen, Val McDermid. Yes, there's another one. And 40 new authors in a year? Wow.

Brian, I'm in.

Chris said...

Yeah, my list is long too. I haven't read any Lansdale novels myself, and have a collection of the three Drive-In books on my TBR pile. Same with Charlie Huston, need to get some. Believe it or not, I haven't actually read any James Lee Burke, but have listened to one. Need to rectify that as well. I could go on endlessly.

John McFetridge said...

Okay,if you promise not to tell, I'll admit it - I haven't read Dave White. Something about me reading a lot of PI novels in my twenties and Dave not being alive then.

Hell, I'll go buy one now.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I am in the same situation. I have read almost any literary writer you can mention (except for those post modern crew: Barth, Pynchon, Bartheme) but have never read Rankin, Burke, Huston, Mina. I have read a lot of what was considered classic writes but not a lot of the more pulpy one. I am embarrassed both with my literary friends when they ask what I am reading and my crime friends when I have to admit what I have not.

Robb Cadigan said...

A spontaneous visit to NoirCon 2010 introduced me to a ton of new-to-me writers. I'm now plowing through Seth Harwood (loved "Jack Wakes Up"), Christa Faust ("Money Shot"-holy shit), Duane Swierczynski (cool), and next up is Reed Farrel Coleman. Have never read Ian Rankin, Benjamin Black/John Banville, Henning Mankell, or Per Wahloo & Maj Sjowall. I'm not even sure I've read more than one Hammett. I know, I know. Thank you for letting me get this out. I feel so cleansed.

Bryon Quertermous said...

I've read one book by a lot of people and then never got around to reading the rest. One of the biggies that I finally just corrected was Don Winslow. But that still leaves a whole lot of space. Right now the biggest hole in my reading is Elmore Leonard. I've read a couple, but oddly enough none of the Detroit books. Something about his style has always thrown me.

Jarrett Rush said...

Thanks, Steve. Your list makes me feel better. I'm someone who thinks of myself as a crime/noir writer but the list of writers I haven't read is so much longer than the ones I have. Makes me fell better to know I'm not alone.

Fiona Johnson said...

I haven't read the debut novel by Steve Weddle - hear he's great but his books are hard to come-by as yet...

Steve Weddle said...

Chris -- Good thing about Charlie Huston is that many of his books are online for free reads through his coolness.

John -- Hunh. Sounds like someone I should check out.

Patti -- Yeah. Plenty of good 'literary' books that don't get enough attention, too.

Robb -- After seeing the TV versions here in the states, I grabbed some Henning Mankell to read, too.

BQ -- Ah, Jay just reviewed some Winslow. I need to get to SAVAGES.

Jarrett -- Plenty of authors to go.

STG -- Heh. Thanks.

Unknown said...

Late to the party on this one, Weddle. You're a terrible, terrible person for not having read these greats of pulp fiction.
Kidding (and I hope you know I'm kidding when I give you crap about reading an author(s) the first time.)
I was lucky (or unfortunate, depending on how you look at it) enough to not have television (we actually had two channels that would tune in around six o'clock at night, and one of them was religious channel, so really only one) growing up, so I spent most of my time reading. I'm still the same way as when I was growing up and spend my free time reading even though I have a broad range of media to chose from. Plus I'm a bit on the compulsive side when it comes to authors I like.

Steve Weddle said...

Rawson, What's nice is being able to read a bunch of these at 40 for the first time. I mean, a 153 IQ is a 153 IQ, of course, but there's just some stuff you get at 40 that you don't get at 30. And I'm not talking about a pulled groin from sealing the deck. I mean from reading. Jerk.