Thursday, July 02, 2015

George Kelley's Bookshelf

What books are currently on your nightstand?

I’m slowly reading my way through Joseph Epstein’s A Literary Education. Epstein is one of my favorite essayists.  I also have Sixteen Short Novels edited by Wilfrid Sheed which presents works by John O’Hara, Edith Wharton, John Steinbeck, Thomas Mann, Anton Chekhov, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Albert Camus, William Faulkner, Joseph Conrad, Henry James, Willa Cather, Philip Roth, Brian Moore, and of course, Wilfrid Sheed.  And The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft.

Who are your favorite writers?
Henry James and Anthony Trollope.  My favorite science fiction writer is Jack Vance.  My favorite fantasy writer is Michael Moorcock.  My favorite short story writer is Alice Munro.

What genres do you especially enjoy reading?  And which do you avoid?
I tend to alternate between mysteries and science fiction/fantasy.  I avoid serial killer novels (I think that genre has been played out) and romance novels.  I read an occasional western.  I’m a huge fan of caper novels.

What books might we be surprised to find on your bookshelves?
Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, Tom Swift, Rick Brant, and Ken Holt, all mystery series I read in my childhood.

You’ve contributed over 325 book reviews to Patti’s Friday’s Forgotten Books.  Who do you consider writers we should be reading?
Leigh Brackett and C. L. Moore.  Leigh Brackett wrote mysteries and science fiction and she ending up writing screenplays for movies like The Big Sleep, Rio Bravo, and The Long Goodbye.  C. L. Moore was a gifted short story writer.  Her best work can be found in Northwest of Earth.

What contemporary writer will cause you to drop everything and read their new book?
In science fiction, it’s Matthew Hughes who channels Jack Vance.  In mysteries, it’s C. J. Sansom whose new Shardlake novel, Lamentation, just arrived from Amazon.  In literary fiction, it’s Alice Munro and Francine Prose.

You’re hosting a literary dinner party.  Which three writers would you invite?
That’s easy: Patti Abbott, Megan Abbott, and Jane Austen.

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16 comments:

Deb said...

That's some bookshelf, George!

Great answers!

Bill Crider said...

Great photo, George, and interesting answers.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Love the picture, George.

Jeff M.

Margot Kinberg said...

I love the fact that you have so many excellent classic authors there.

George Kelley said...

Deb, I tried to send Patti an eye-catching photo. I have dozens of bookshelves full of books in my basement.

George Kelley said...

Bill, I read a lot of diverse stuff. And, more good books get delivered by UPS every day! It's hard to keep up with my reading!

George Kelley said...

Jeff, I forget where I got that skull but it has come in handy over the years.

George Kelley said...

Margot, I love good writing no matter when it was written. Library Book Sales provide a constant source of great classic books for a pittance. I just picked up a volume of THE NORTON ANTHOLOGY OF LITERATURE for a quarter! That's over 2000 pages of great writing!

pattinase (abbott) said...

The basement could be titled BOY GONE WILD. It's like every great dream you ever had.

George Kelley said...

Patti, I sometimes get lost in the basement among the bookshelves. Diane has to send a Search Party down there to find me.

pattinase (abbott) said...

You probably should start thinking about an annex.

George Kelley said...

Patti, I'm actually busy packing boxes with books for a donation to SUNY at Buffalo in August. I need more shelf space...and a tax deduction.

Charles Gramlich said...

I've still got a lot of the series I read as a kid as well, The Black Stallion, the three investigators

George Kelley said...

Charles, I read THE BLACK STALLION series and have several of the THREE INVESTIGATORS series, too. Great stuff!

R.K. Robinson said...

Good one, George. I'd sure love to visit that basement sometime.

George Kelley said...

Rick, you would be amazed.