I’VE discovered that I belong to a book club.
It’s totally unofficial, there are no joining fees, no fines, no rules, it’s brilliant.
Books appear on my desk. Friends turn up with them tucked in their bags or on their car seats.
It seems like my habit (the book one) has become public knowledge. And I’ve been adopted into that big worldwide book club.
People it seems, like to share their reading habits and their finds.
They discover an author they like and they want to share them. Which so far, I have to say is good news. I’ve yet to have a dud. Lucky me.
Can you imagine if someone has gone to the trouble of passing on a book and you have to break that bad news that well, it’s a stinker.
Still. So far I’m on a winning streak.
My colleague Graham turned up a couple of northern gems. He and I started the office fan club for Krister Henriksson in the original Wallander series on BBC TV so we knew we were Henning Mankell devotees. Since then he’s moved to the still chillier climes of Iceland.
Read Arnaldur Indriðason’s novel Jar and you’ll see how many extra blankets you’ll need before you dare read this one in bed.
On to more sunnier climes for my tour of European crime writers, I got a friend interested in Andrea Camilleri’s fictional Sicilian detective Montalbano and he too is now a devoted follower of the BBC4 Saturday night series.
He returned the compliment by giving me a copy of Michele Guittari’s A Death In Tuscany and I’ve since been on murderous outings to all the most beautiful parts of Italy.
My problem of course comes when I venture into a book shop – I’m still faithful to the old pick up and browse style of fiction buying – novel though it might seem.
Well have you tried spitting out authors’ names that you can’t even spell let alone pronounce properly? So how is your Scandinavian, Icelandic or even Italian? Perhaps I need another book. On linguistics.