How do you choose the books you read? Is it the characters? Cover art? Setting? I bet it’s the latest offering from your favorite author. The past 9 years I have hosted a mystery book club called “Death & Dessert” at the Denton Public Library. We have been as many as 17 and as few as four. In our book club, we read mysteries. To narrow that down, we choose a type of mystery each month and each person is free to choose whatever book they like that fits into the chosen type. We might read mysteries from Scandinavia one month, and books that feature cooking the next. At each meeting, each member shares a little about the book they chose. In this way, we get exposure to many, many authors, a great benefit for voracious readers always on the lookout for a new favorite.
I am particularly interested in why we read what we do. For instance, mystery readers are drawn to tidy endings. Mystery solved, bad guy caught. Heaven. What happens in between varies wildly. My current obsession is with The Detection Club, an English club made up of mystery writers, established somewhere along 1931. Every so often the Club will write a compilation work created by several of the members. Each book is written according to a unique method, and although the subject is grim, (murder!) the fun that these writers had creating their contributions leaks out around the pages.
I have learned about all the Detection Club members, but my favorites are alas, no longer with us, including Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, and others from those early years. The club persists today however, and are still inviting curious readers to share the fun. The most recent offering is “The Sinking Admiral” edited by current club president, Simon Brett. It is worth noting the very first book the Detection Club published eighty-five years ago was titled “The Floating Admiral” and yes, I have read it.
You can find the Sinking Admiral now at Emily Fowler Central Library. Take a moment to think about the titles you choose. What appeals to you? If you think you would like to hear more about the mysteries of life, consider this your invitation to come visit the Death & Dessert book club the first Thursday of each month at the Fowler library, 7 p.m. We have dessert too, but it’s the books that are delicious.