Sunday, December 30, 2018

A Long Series of Such Titles Pt. 3

Here we are, at the end of the year.  And here I am at the end of my reading list for the year.  Part 1 and Part 2 can be found in the attached links.  Let's finish this year up with some books!

The Enola Holmes Series: The Case of the Missing Marquess, The Case of the Left-Handed Lady, The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets, The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan, The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline & The Case of the Gypsy Goodbye – Nancy Springer
Wow, I didn't realize that I'd read this entire series this year.  These are such fun books that I find myself recommending them to anyone who will listen!  Plenty of my fifth graders have fallen in love with this series as well this year.  And I'm hoping that the upcoming film is true to the books.

I am not overly interested in Arthur Conan Doyle's life, but this year I made it a point to read a little bit more about the man who made Sherlockiana possible. 

Memories and Adventures – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
This is a cornerstone text of a Sherlockian library, so I felt it important to make it through this book.  If I hadn't done it on audio, I'm not sure I could have done it.  For me, this book is like high school geometry: I'm glad I did it, but I wouldn't choose to do it again.

On Conan Doyle: Or the Whole Art of Storytelling – Michael Dirda
This book was a whole other thing.  Dirda's biography was brisk and spent much more time focused on Sherlock Holmes and his role in Doyle's life.  If I am going to recommend a Doyle biography to someone, Dirda's book is definitely my choice.

Speaking of Michael Dirda, he heads up this next small section: books that aren't Sherlockian, but have enough Sherlockian content to consider.

Browsings: A Year of Reading, Collecting and Living with Books – Michael Dirda
Noted bookman, Michael Dirda has collected numerous articles on his life in the book world.  A member of the Baker Street Irregulars, and author of what one blogger has called his choice for Arthur Conan Doyle biographies, you can expect some great Sherlockian content in these pages.  And if you're reading this blog, chances are you're interested in books, so the rest of the book should be right up your alley, too.

Revenge of the Nerd: The Singular Adventures of the Man Who Would be Booger – Curtis Armstrong
Yeah, a book with the word "Booger" in its title.  If you only know Curtis Armstrong as the gross guy from the Revenge of the Nerds movies, there's a lot more in this book for you to discover.  He's obviously a Sherlockian, joining his first scion when he was still in elementary school, and he has some great stories and thoughts on Sherlockians and our hobby scattered throughout.  I recommend doing this on audio, as it is narrated by Armstrong.  It's almost like hanging out and getting to hear some great Hollywood stories straight from the Booger's mouth.

Baker Street Reveries: Sherlockian Writings 2006-2016 – Leslie Klinger
I love everything Leslie Klinger puts out.  I've only read his Sherlockian stuff so far, but I got his new collection of 1920's crime fiction for Christmas just because his writing and editing projects are so well done.  So often, Klinger is obscured by his topic of study (Dracula, H.P. Lovecraft, authors taking on other seminal creations, etc.), but in this collection of essays, it's just the man and his thoughts on Sherlock Holmes.  A great book.

Sherlock Holmes for Dummies – Steve Doyle & David Crowder
Remember the For Dummies series that seemed to be everywhere a decade or so ago?  Those books were wildly popular for a reason.  Their quick and easy format is a fun way to learn (or relearn) some of the important points about Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Victorian London.

East Wind Coming: A Sherlock Holmes Study Book – Yuichi Hirayama & John Hall
This book really reminded me of "Dear Starrett, Dear Briggs."  Two Sherlockians question and discuss important points of Sherlockian lore and scholarship.  It was nice to hear what Sherlockians in another part of the world have to say about this interest that we all share.

Sherlock Holmes by Gas Lamp: Highlights from the First Four Decades of the Baker Street Journal – Philip Shreffler
I've talked in other posts about how much I enjoy reading the early scholarship of Sherlockiana.  And this book delivers in spades.  Some of the most important writings of our hobby are collected in this book, and even though I've heard a lot of it referenced and discussed before I read this book, I was nice to have the actual source material in front of me.  Definitely an important book to have.

Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: A Textbook of Friendship – Christopher Morley
This is a strange book.  Christopher Morley is great, and I love a lot of stuff he's done, but this book was essentially some canonical stories reprinted with only a handful of original material added.  The discussion questions were interesting, but as someone who makes discussion questions for a living, I was a little more critical of this book than the average reader probably would be.

Sherlock Holmes: The Reification of Hans Gerber – George Mann
This is an audio production put out by Big Finish with a full cast.  If you enjoy radio dramas or scripted podcasts, this is right up your alley.  Big Finish has a line of Sherlock Holmes audio dramas, and I found this one to be a fun time.  I will be dipping back into their catalog soon.

Sherlock Holmes is Like: Sixty Comparisons for an Incomparable Character – Christopher Redmond
Disclaimer: I have an essay in this book, but don't let that turn you off.  As a contributor, I got to see the table of contents before it was available to the public, and Chris Redmond has another great collection on his hands here.  From Robin Hood to Lucy from the Peanuts comics, there are so many great comparisons here, you never know what you're going to get next.

Holmes and Watson – June Thompson
This was a book that had been on my TBR list for a long time and I'm glad I finally got to it.  We've all read Sherlockian research that reads like a dusty old textbook, but that is not the case here.  Thompson's background in fiction lends itself well here and her narrative style makes the analysis flow.

Well, that's it for 2018, unless I somehow squeeze one more book in before midnight.  Up next on my Sherlockian reading will be Bill Mason's new book: A Holmes by Any Other Name.  And I might read one or two other Sherlockian books next year as well.

Happy New Year!

1 comment:

  1. I picked up a copy of Sherlock Holmes for Dummies at my used bookshop a few weeks back, and my daughter insisted that I must have bought it by accident. :D