Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What is Julia Keller reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Julia Keller, author of Summer of the Dead (Bell Elkins Series #3).

Her entry begins:
It’s a sickness. Really, it is. I can’t seem to read only one book at a time. I well know how philandering spouses feel: What’s right in front of me just can’t measure up to what’s across the room, batting its eyelashes and giving me a lascivious, come-hither glance. I’ve tried, but I simply can’t be a one-book woman.

Spying the motley stack of reading matter that follows me from room to room—almost of its own volition, I swear—friends often ask, “How do you decide which book to read at which time?” I have no rational answer. I am guided by some mysterious, ineffable force that wills the hand toward one book and not another, and later, toward yet another. My religious-minded friends often attest to hearing a “still, small voice within” that directs their moral choices; I hear it, too, only the voice says, “No, you chucklehead! Not the mystery right now—the Tennyson biography!”

And speaking of Tennyson biographies, I’m reading a dandy: Tennyson (1993) by Peter Levi. It’s not new, but I so love the late Levi’s voice as he undertakes the daunting task of writing about an oft-written-about writer: “I think having written this book that I do now understand this great poet,” he says in the introduction. “The long series of problems solved has left him much clearer, and yet...[read on]
About Summer of the Dead, from the publisher:
High summer in Acker's Gap, West Virginia—but no one's enjoying the rugged natural landscape. Not while a killer stalks the small town and its hard-luck inhabitants. County prosecutor Bell Elkins and Sheriff Nick Fogelsong are stymied by a murderer who seems to come and go like smoke on the mountain. At the same time, Bell must deal with the return from prison of her sister, Shirley—who, like Bell, carries the indelible scars of a savage past.

In Summer of the Dead, the third Julia Keller mystery chronicling the journey of Bell Elkins and her return to her Appalachian hometown, we also meet Lindy Crabtree—a coal miner's daughter with dark secrets of her own, secrets that threaten to explode into even more violence.

Acker's Gap is a place of loveliness and brutality, of isolation and fierce attachments—a place where the dead rub shoulders with the living, and demand their due.
Learn more about the book and author at Julia Keller's website.

Writers Read: Julia Keller (September 2012).

Writers Read: Julia Keller (September 2013).

Writers Read: Julia Keller.

--Marshal Zeringue