Carrie Smith’s Nightstand
Carrie Smith is a publisher and writer living in New York City. Her debut mystery, Silent City, introduces NYPD Detective Claire Codella, who has just won a tough battle with cancer and now has to regain her rightful place on the force. To celebrate its publication, Carrie shares the titles currently sitting on her nightstand.
There’s no pattern (that I can discern) to what’s on my “nightstand” (and full disclosure: I don’t really do much of my reading at night; I mostly listen in the car going to and from work—Manhattan to New Rochelle—or walking in Riverside Park). Because I work all day, I have to make the choice between reading or writing at night and writing usually wins out. But here’s what’s currently on my audio “night stand”:
A Grave Talent, by Laurie R. King, the first Kate Martinelli mystery from several years ago. Kate is a young detective in San Francisco who gets pulled onto a demanding case and has to prove herself. She’s also hiding the fact that she’s a lesbian. I love reading first books of a mystery series to see how a writer brings a new protagonist to life. And this one doesn’t disappoint.
“The Overcoat,” by Nikolai Gogol. The upside of having 17-year-old twins is that they are reading great works of literature for the first time, and I get to rediscover them. My son is in a short story class and he inspired me to read this great work again. Next, I’m moving on to “Bartleby the Scrivener,” by Melville.
The Man Who Wasn’t There: Investigations into the Strange New Science of the Self, by Anil Ananthaswamy. I have always been a big fan of Oliver Sacks’ narrative accounts of patients with strange neurological afflictions. This book describes the neuroscience behind many conditions that affect our perception of self.
Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Actually, I finished this book a month ago, but I’m keeping it on my “nightstand.” It’s a quietly profound, powerful, and elegant book about race.
Winter and Night, by SJ Rozan. This is my favorite Bill Smith and Lydia Chin novel, and I recently read it again. I love Rozan’s characterization of Bill Smith, the tough private eye with a soft heart for his partner Lydia. Bill has a terrible past that he keeps bottled up, but in this book, he comes to terms with it in order to help his nephew come to terms with his present dilemma. It’s a great read from the Edgar Award-winning author.
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