The shelves in my Paris apartment are home to what any objective observer would, I believe, judge to be a rather odd collection of books: A forty-three volume set of the complete works of Marx and Engels in German, one copy each of every edition and translation of every book I have ever published [some seventy or so volumes in all], a nine-volume paperback set of the works of Kant in German together with twenty or thirty secondary works on the philosophy of Kant, thirty old somewhat tattered and much underlined works of medieval and French history in French, a vast collection of Paris maps and guide books, and perhaps seventy schlock spy, action, and detective novels which latter, taken together, have little or no redeeming social value. I can say with confidence that I have read every one of the schlock novels and all of the original English language versions of the books by me, and I have actually, over a lifetime, read all of the French language history. Beyond that, things are a bit spotty.
In the airport while waiting for the flight to London on June 16th, I bought a Frederick Forsyth page turner, which I started on the plane and finished here in Paris. That was followed by several more schlock novels picked up at Abbey books, a little second-hand English language bookshop behind Eglise St Severin. After that I read the good book [as I think of it] recommended by my sister, and commented on a few days ago on this blog.
Somewhat at loose ends for diversionary reading, I shelled out twenty dollars at Shakespeare and Co. for the second J. K. Rowling detective novel published under her momentary pseudonym Robert Galbraith. The Rowling book was marvelous. Everyone knows the story of the trouble she had finding a publisher for the first Harry Potter book -- eight houses turned it down before Rowling's second agent sent it to Bloomsbury. In The Silkworm, the novel I read last week, Rowling settles accounts in spectacular and gory fashion with the world of authors, agents, and publishers. Rowling is a wonderfully accomplished writer, and I recommend the book to you whole-heartedly.
But that was then. What now? Well, a former renter left a copy of the first of the Jack Reacher series by Lee Childs, Killing Floor. Inasmuch as I had already read three or four Jack Reacher pot boilers, I grabbed it and am now about halfway through its 524 pages. Reacher, for those of you who have not yet sunk this low, is described as a 6'5" former military policeman. In the recent film version, he is played by Scientology cultist Tom Cruise, who tops out at 5'6". I think the Head of Casting may have been dyslexic.