First up, is the current book I'm reading, From Holmes to Sherlock by Mattias Bostrom. Now, if you're reading this blog, you probably follow some Sherlockian news, so you've probably heard of this book, if you don't already own it yourself.
That's because this book is important.
I am about a half of the way through it, but can already see how this book will become a new cornerstone of Sherlockian research. I would imagine people who read William Baring-Gould's Annotated Sherlock Holmes felt the same way when it came out. What Mattias Bostrom has done in his new book is absolutely phenomenal. He has taken years of research and stories and combined them into a single volume, adding a lot of information that was new to me along the way.
This book covers everything from Arthur Conan Doyle's life all the way up to the BBC Sherlock and everything in between. Like I said, I'm about halfway through, and Conan Doyle has died by this point (sorry if that's a spoiler), and Bostrom is taking the reader through the formation of the Baker Street Irregulars, Sherlock Holmes' beginnings in radio, and the Conan Doyle family events at the time. This isn't just a Conan Doyle biography or a retrospective of Holmes in entertainment or a history of us fans of the Great Detective. It's all that and more. Every Sherlockian should own this book.
On a different note, I spent Saturday travelling across the Mississippi River from my home in Illinois to visit a handful of St. Louis bookstores in hopes of getting them to carry The Criminal Mastermind of Baker Street. Time will tell if my sojourn will pay off financially, but it totally paid off in a different way.
One of the bookstores I visited was The Book House. Now, I usually only shop at my local independent, Afterwords Books in Edwardsville (It's great, you should totally check it out!), but The Book House is a great used bookstore. Sliding ladders, stacks of books in front of shelves of books, and a whole section dedicated to just Sherlock Holmes! I was treated to discussions with two employees there, one of whom was reading A Study in Scarlet for the first time. I felt obliged to warn him about the jarring sensation he'll feel when he gets to the Mormon part.
So often in life we tread the same path, no matter how good of a path it might be. While Afterwords will always be MY bookstore, The Book House has earned itself the designation of a store worth visiting, also. If I hadn't made it a point to search out different bookstores, I never would've known about this delightful place. It makes me wonder, as Sherlockians, what are we missing out there because we want to keep treading the same path?