Nina Mansfield’s Nightstand
Nina Mansfield is an author, playwright and teacher currently living in Greenwich, Connecticut. Nina’s debut novel, a young adult mystery entitled Swimming Alone (Fire & Ice YA), is narrated by a snarky fifteen-year old whose new friend goes missing. In honor of its publication, Nina shares the books on her nightstand.
I’ve always had more books than I can handle, on my nightstand, in my house, and in my life. I rarely stick to reading (or writing) one genre. If I’ve just read a play, I might pick up a young adult thriller. After a dense Russian classic, I’ll often dive into some nonfiction. My nightstand has about ten or twelve books piled on it. But I’ll just share a few.
I am currently reading City of Silver by Annamaria Alfieri. I was drawn to this book because it takes place in 17th century Peru; a few years ago I traveled to Peru on an adventure vacation with my husband. Also, one of these days I plan to write a historical mystery, so I have quite a few on my “To Read” list. I have found myself totally sucked into the world of lies, deceit and murder that Alfieri has created.
I’m also currently enjoying a collection of poetry entitled Small Consolations by Gary Glauber, a friend and colleague of mine. Glauber’s poetry speaks volumes about contemporary life. It is poignant, witty and moving.
About twenty years ago I bought The Complete Illustrated Strand Sherlock Holmes by Sir Author Conan Doyle when I visited the Sherlock Holmes Museum in London. I had, of course, read many of the stories, but a few years ago I decided to read them all in order. Whenever I am in between books, I read a story or two.
Recently, I picked up a copy of New Jersey Noir, a short story collection edited by Joyce Carol Oats. I had read the first selection—a fabulously dark piece by S.A. Solomon—in preparation for moderating a short story panel at Deadly Ink 2015. After reading Solomon’s story, I decided I needed to buy the book.
Sometimes, I am in the mood for a little non-fiction. Last year I went through a phase when I could only read books about cartography and geography, not subjects that I am usually drawn to. When I get in the mood for some nonfiction again, I’ve got A Time Traveler’s Guide to Elizabethan England by Ian Mortimer waiting for me. I love Shakespeare (both reading and seeing his plays), and I am fascinated by what life was like during his time. And I’ve had an idea for writing something set in Elizabethan England. So who knows, maybe it will turn out to be the first stages of research for that historical mystery I plan to write.
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