So, I finished The Ogre Downstairs and A Study in Sherlock. This one is a collection of short stories written by various mystery writers that all connect to Sherlock Holmes in some way. I enjoyed the stories, but generally do not like to read short stories. As a genre I love short stories, I loved teaching them. Some of the best short story writers, Hawthorne, Hemingway, Chopin featured in my teaching for years, but for my own personal reading, I prefer something more sustained.
Next I moved to Trains and Lovers by Alexander McCall Smith. I have not yet read anything by him that I did not like and some of them I have loved. This one was a charming story of four people in a railway car from Edinburgh to London. They share stories with each other that are intimate, yet not necessarily revealing of everything. It is a lovely meditation on love, but also the ways that humans can connect if we just allow ourselves to trust in humanity and compassion.
Just now I finished Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher. I had only read one book by Chris Crutcher when I heard him speak at the VA librarian conference in 2011. Afterwards I aquired a number of his books, but this is the first I have read. Now I am hooked. He has worked for years as a child protection specialist which makes me sad. It makes me think that the stories he tells about what some kids go through are probably truer than I would like to know about, but his stories are real and told in clear, strong language so that we as readers know he is not sensationalizing or trying to embellish. I have placed a few more of his books into my boxes to take to DC. I do not want too much time to pass before I read another of his books.