The Detective’s Daughter : Book ’em!


By Kim enjoying spring in Baltimore

I come from a family of readers. Whether it was The Sun, a case file, or a John le Carre
novel, the written word was present in our everyday life. My grandfather carried the sports page folded in the back pocket of his pants. Dad enjoyed pouring over his case notes with us at dinner, while Mom kept her nose firmly planted in the latest mystery she’d borrowed from the Enoch Pratt Library. I remember the first book I picked out on my own. It was at a tiny bookstore near Lexington Street, in the heart of the downtown shopping district. My Mom was buying a present for a friend and agreed to buy one book for me. I chose a collection of fairytales illustrated by Tasha Tudor. I still have it and read the stories to my own children. It was the beginning of imagemy love affair with Tasha Tudor and also became the first entry in what would become my book list obsession.

For more years than I care to count I have kept a notebook with lists of books that I have either read or wish to read. Several list contain many of the same titles. There was a time – before having children – I categorized my list in very specific genres. Mystery headed the column that included cozy, thriller, procedural, super natural and true crime. Even self-help was broken down to numerous categories. Obviously, I needed a lot of help or at the least, something better to occupy my time. Think of all the books I could have read instead of writing their titles on a list!image

The one list I should have worked on, and never did, was that of people who borrowed my books. There are quite a few books I’m sure I will never see again. For the last year I’ve been part of a book club that meets once a month. We’ve read some wonderful stories, many of them I would never have chosen. A few of the books have been on one of my lists and it gives me great satisfaction crossing that title out.

This year I have begun a new journal. It’s really my first official book journal in a fancy notepad and not just some loose leaf paper haphazardly stapled together. I now rate the books I read with stars and leave spaces for comments. I enjoy talking about books and especially enjoy reading blogs such as Dru’s Book Musings. This summer’s goal, at least one of them, is to read the forty books Ramona DeFelice Long recommended on her blog during her forty days of women authors. I am nearly finished reading the nominees for the Agatha Awards to be given at Malice Domestic this year. Two of our own Wickeds, Sherry and Edith, are up for best first novel and best short story.image

I leave you now gentle reader as I head out to my sunny porch to put a dent in yet another book, and I would like to know what kind of lists you keep. Do they serve as inspirations or as yet another chore?

19 Thoughts

  1. Mostly my lists are my daily to-do lists and the shopping list, always resident on the fridge. Especially with the aging brain – if I don’t write it down, either I don’t remember it, or the thought races laps in my head and doesn’t let me concentrate on anything else. If I write it down, I know I don’t have to worry about remembering it any more! And since I’m juggling three series characters, stories, and deadlines, I live by my lists.

  2. I’m with Edith on the to-do list. I can’t function without my first-thing-in-the-morning list, also known as “what I didn’t do yesterday.” I do keep a list of books to buy, but I do it on my cell phone. That way, it will be with me when I am shopping.

    I love your quilted journal cover! Do you sell those at your shop, Kim? And thank you for the shout out. So many wonderful books by women out there. We’d all have to live forever to read them.

    1. Ramona, I spend as much time on writing my lists as I do the actual chore! It’s ridiculous! I have begun snapping photos with my phone of books I want to remember while I am out prowling the bookstores. The book cover in my photo was created by a French woman now living in Baltimore. I met her at a festival, but she is not in the shop…yet.

  3. Yes, the infamous to-do list. Which is never finished–I just carry tasks over to the next list. Sometimes I include ridiculously easy items, like “copy crossword puzzle” just so I can cross something off the list.

    I think the physical act of seeing something on the page helps memory–you can visualize it, in case your brain loses it.

  4. Lists with sticky notes layered on top, the most crucial items pasted to my laptop. I put holds in our library system for any book that looks interesting. It’s like Christmas morning when a book that started out with 900 holds appears. And then the race begins to read it before it’s due for reader #901.

    1. I agree with you Margaret! A month ago I reserved All The Light We Cannot See. I was number 200 on the list. Within two weeks I received my notice. I was very excited to pick up the book, sure it must be excellent since people had read it so quickly. It took me three days to read and now someone else is enjoying it!

      1. Beautifully written book – I wrote out whole sections in long hand just to enjoy fully the way he used words in All The Light We Cannot See.
        Lists, lists, lists – live by them. Different colored post-its lined up on the counter by the coffee pot so I can orient myself first thing in the morning. Gives me satisfaction to toss one of them when I’ve finished a task or job. And they are kind of colorful and cheerful all lined up there in bright colors!

  5. I am so excited to find another Tasha Tudor fan! My children were raised on her books, and now I am working on the new generation. This winter, doing research for the fifth Maine Clambake book, I read all about her famous ancestor, Frederick Tudor, the King of the Ice trade.

  6. To-Do List and grocery list for me too. My books are in my bedroom closet, shelved and categorized in the order to which I intend to read them. Every time I go in there and look up I smile. I have a great app on my phone called Eureka. It’s a basic to-do list app that you can link to your notifications so your Things-To-Do are always at your fingertips. That’s a very pretty journal you have. ( :

    1. More and ore people are using their phones to keep a list. I have enough problems figuring out how to make a call on mine! I do snap photos of books I would like to read when I’m at a bookstore. Like you, I have many books at home I still need to read. So many books, so little time!

  7. Oh my goodness, another Tasha Tudor fan! I adore her stuff, and read her books to my girls when they were growing up. I was just looking at Corgiville Fair a few days ago – the cigar smoking boggarts and gambling would probably give fits to some parents, but I think it is still a hoot.

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