Sunday, March 18, 2012
What Are They Reading?
Authors tend to be readers, so it is natural for them to create characters who like to read. It is always interesting to me to read what books the characters are reading in the books I read.
I can't say that ten times fast. But I can start a new, occasional post about what these characters are reading.
Usually, the characters' choice of books reflects the author's tastes or, I like to think, what the author was reading at the time. But sometimes the character's reading material is a clue to the character's personality, or is even a part of the story.
If anyone wants to join in, feel free to leave a comment with a link to your related post. And feel free to use the button. If this catches on, I can pick a day and make it a weekly event.
This inaugural post looks at what the character's in P. D. James's The Black Tower are reading. This is the fifth book in her Adam Dalgliesh series, was published in 1975, and takes place at a private nursing home on the coast of Dorset.
Dalgliesh himself, when he is not solving mysteries as a Commander at New Scotland Yard, is a poet, with several published volumes of his own verse. He is recuperating from a serious illness and heads to the coast determined to retire from the police force. He packs with him several volumes of poetry and a Thomas Hardy novel.
One of the residents at the Toynton Grange home finds a poison pen letter in the book she is reading -- "the latest" by Iris Murdoch. The story takes place in the fall of 1974, so depending on when Dame Iris's books were published, this character was reading either The Black Prince (which won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize) or The Sacred and Profane Love Machine (which won the Whitbread, now Costa, Award). Good choices, both.