Friday, August 27, 2021

Avery Bishop

Avery Bishop is the pseudonym for a USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen novels including the newly released One Year Gone.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. Bishop's reply:
Like many writers, I'm often reading several books at the same time, and I often like to read in many different genres. Usually I'm reading a book on my Kindle, an ebook on my phone, a hardcover or paperback, and listening to an audiobook when I'm driving or shopping or walking the dog.

On my Kindle: Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry. A short novel, not even 45,000 words, but it's dark and gritty and has a lyrical quality to its prose. I'm currently halfway through and really enjoying it.

On my phone: The Cipher by Isabella Maldonado. A thriller about an FBI agent who got away from a serial killer when she was just a girl, and now the killer is back and targeting her. I'm only a few chapters in and so far I'm enjoying it. (Usually the books I read on my phone lean toward the thriller end of the spectrum: fast-paced with short chapters that I can leave for a few days and jump back in at any time.)

Hardcover: The Push by Ashley Audrain. I just started this one but am already loving it. The prose is tight and smooth and compulsive. I'm a huge fan of second person POV (see A Prayer for the Dying by Stewart O'Nan), and this novel uses it well, though it's more the narrator utilizing it as she speaks to her ex-husband as opposed to the second-person narration by the protagonist.

Paperback: Unclean Jobs For Women and Girls: Stories by Alissa Nutting. I love short story collections but often take my time with them, reading a story here and there as opposed to consuming a collection within a few days. Nutting's stories are quirky and dark and very entertaining.

Audiobook: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling, read by Jim Dale. I've been slowly moving through the whole Harry Potter series. For a time I'd taken a break and am now trying to finish. The books are fun, of course, but I'm finding this one to be a bit bloated. However, an audiobook narrator can make or break the entire experience, and fortunately Jim Dale is an amazing narrator so I'm happy to be along for the ride.

As an aside, I'm trying to read more translated works, especially thrillers. A few weeks ago I read Heatwave by Victor Jestin. It's billed as a novel but it's only 25,000 words long. Still, it holds quite a punch, and the writing is great. In terms of the story, the 17-year-old narrator is on vacation with his family and one night he comes across another boy his age who's asphyxiated by the ropes on a swingset. The narrator, feeling culpability for some reason, decides to hide the body, and as you can imagine, things spiral out of control from there. (It's no surprise it's being compared to Albert Camus's The Stranger.)

A few other translated works on my TBR pile include Central Park by Guillaume Musso, Confessions by Kanae Minato, and The Others by Sarah Blau.
Visit Avery Bishop's website.

Q&A with Avery Bishop.

--Marshal Zeringue