Monday, April 9, 2012

James Reese

James Reese is the New York Times bestselling author of The Dracula Dossier, The Book of Shadows, The Book of Spirits, and Witchery.

His new book is the YA novel, The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mademoiselle Odile.

Recently I asked Reese about what he was reading. His reply:
What am I reading? Hmm. Let me look at the stack next to my comfy chair. Oh, yeah…

There’s The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan, which I finished two days ago. Decided to explore a few literary takes on “out there” subjects – may get to Colson Whitehead’s Zone One soon, too – and decided to tackle the Duncan after Anne’s Rice’s The Wolf Gift (in keeping with a four-legged theme, I suppose). I loved the originality of the Duncan and eagerly await this summer’s sequel, Talulla Rising. Props, too, to Mr. Duncan for making me laugh out loud at one point, a rare feat while I’m reading. (For those of you so inclined, I’ll tell you it happened with the first line of Chapter 23 – a nod to some classic Gothic lit that was both so in character and so in keeping with the storyline, I really got a kick out it.)

On the egghead side of things, I’m proud to say I’m finally (finally!) just over two hundred pages away from finishing Proust. It’s been a six-month project; and though it’s been tough going at times, I’ve been under its spell for quite a while now, and happily so. True: Not much happens, but it doesn’t happen so beautifully, in prose that is truly spellbinding (the Scott Moncrieff translation for me, merci bien) and this seven-novel novel is reflective of a worldview that is so utterly complete it seems to me every novelist’s duty to give it a go at some point. But yes, it’s a commitment. No argument there. My advice: Commit!

Dipping into Wilde’s Dorian Gray, again. It’ll be my read on a flight to Boston tomorrow.

And picked up The Story of Art, by E.H. Gombrich at the Brooklyn Museum of Art recently. A classic. Clarity in a field – art history – not exactly known for its clarity. The other non-fiction I’m working on now is Babel No More, an investigation of polyglots, or people who somehow manage to learn multiple languages. Fascinating.

Finally, as I’m writing YA and Middle Grade fiction now too, and loving it, I’ve just finished Jane, by April Lindner, which riffs on Jane Eyre and eagerly awaiting Carl Hiassen’s next, Chomp.

That’s it for now, ‘cause if I start to move the stacks of books surrounding my chair I’m afraid they’ll start to fall.
Visit James Reese's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Dracula Dossier.

--Marshal Zeringue