With the publication of Crimes Against My Brother this month, I’m reminded of how little I have read of David Adams Richards’ work, only Nights Below Station Street (and the opening pages of about six other novels). Every time I pick up one of his books, I tell myself that I want to begin at the beginning (hence the  numerous false starts). One of the main draws for me is the idea of recurring characters, and there are apparently links between this new novel and earlier works. So, off the shelf.

May In Stacks

Possibilities and temptations

Speaking of linked works, I have Richard Van Camp’s The Lesser Blessed in my stack. He is one of my MRE authors, and his characters frequently resurface throughout his fiction.

This one is off the shelf not only because I haven’t read anything of his since Godless  but Loyal to Heaven (2012)  but because it fits the “First Book by a Favourite Author” square under the “B” in this year’s Reading Bingo.

Another work of linked stories in my stack is Polly Dugan’s So Much a Part of You. I take chances on short story collections because I stumbled onto Megan Mayhew Bergman’s Birds of a Lesser Paradise a couple of years ago and it made my list of favourites for that reading year.

I haven’t heard of Polly Dugan’s work before either, but I am curious. And some of my favourite books are linked stories (Carrie Snyder’s The Juliet Stories immediately comes to mind).

I’m also keen to read Alexi Zentner’s The Lobster Kings because I thought Touch was remarkable, although one of those reads that leaves me wondering what a second novel from that writer could possibly be like.

I had the same thought about Joshua Ferris, too, that sense of being so struck by voice/story that it seemed impossible to imagine a second novel (and, now, he has written a third).

So, I am intrigued. Megan Abbott’s The Fever sounds a little like Emily Schultz’s The Blondes and Maggie Helwig’s Girls Fall Down. Last year I sat on the porch and read Stephen King’s Joyland and drank lemonade on a warm, bright afternoon, reading from beginning until end. I hope that’s what happens between me and The Fever in the next couple of weeks.

With Shani Mootoo’s new novel in mind, Moving Forward Sideways Like a Crab, I am itching to reread Cereus Blooms of Night.

I first read it in 2004, so it will feel like a fresh read. But how to make time for rereading when there are so many new temptations around just now.

What books are lingering in your stacks these days? Any of these on your reading radar?