Books? A Million.

My to-be-read stack is getting out of hand


The Independent runs this feature called "Bedtime Stories" where writers or industry folk talk about the books they're currently reading. You know, the ones sitting on your nightstand? Well, my nightstand is actually a pile of books, and I have another pile sitting on it. And then there's a book precariously balanced on top of that stack.

So, could everyone just, like, stop writing for a year or so?

Seriously, chill.

I really want to read Laura Lippman's new novel, Wilde Lake, which a lot of people are calling her best work yet. A Lippman book is an event because she's emerged from must-read status for mystery fans to must-read status for everyone.

Along those lines, I was just at the Gaithersburg Book Festival as a featured writer (yeah!) and I checked out Allison Leotta's (yeah!) reading and talk about sexual violence (yea…yeah?). It was a damn good presentation, and the result is that Leotta's newest book, The Last Good Girl, is now precariously balanced on that other precariously balanced book. And that was after David Stewart's presentation about The Wilson Deception, which I would’ve bought even if he wasn't my boss.

That's not all. Friends of mine are also putting out books that I'm anxious to read. I recently picked up Sherry Harris and Laura Ellen Scott's latest, Colleen Shogan's new book, and Con Lehane's inaugural book in a new series. And I'd like to read David Swinson's The Second Girl before his book launch at One More Page Books in Arlington, VA, on June 7th (where he’ll be interviewed by Kristopher Zgorski of BOLO Books).

Is that going to happen? Probably not.

Hell, I haven't even read fellow Independent columnist Tara Laskowski's Bystanders yet, and we have lunch together, like, once a month. Oh, and to make matters worse, the local Sisters in Crime chapter released its newest anthology (which usually has an award-winning short story lurking in its pages), Storm Warning. Added to the pile.

People, these are just crime-fiction writers in the DC Metro area. And I’m probably forgetting someone.

I’m a pretty fast reader, but not that fast. You know how you secretly wonder how much money your friends have, or how much love your married friends make, or why Tiffani-Amber Thiessen won’t reply to your tweets because, come on, it’s not like she’s exactly famous anymore? I wonder how everyone has the time to read this much.

I think I have to watch less TV.

This is really sad for me because I’ve watched so much TV that my best memories are confused with my favorite shows. Like, I’m pretty sure I was never in a M*A*S*H unit during the Korean War, but…maybe? Was I lost on an island in the Pacific for an indeterminate time? Did I once eat an endless amount of chocolate off a conveyor belt?

You know what? I can’t do it. This is the golden age of television, dammit. What happens on the off chance that someone dies on “Game of Thrones” this week? See? Too risky. I’m just going to sleep one hour less every day and dedicate that extra time to reading. If I’m tired, I’ll down energy drink after energy drink.

If you don’t see a column from me next month, then either:

  1. My heart exploded because of too much Red Bull.
  2. I’m buried under a pile of books because I just remembered The Soul Standard, the forthcoming book by four writers (including Baltimorean Nik Korpon), and my pile has reached the tipping point. And my wife’s probably not going to save me because of that Tiffani-Amber Thiessen thing.

Speaking of "the tipping point," I need to read that book, too.

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