Here is what I’ve read over and since Thanksgiving:
Jane Robins’ White Bodies – I like British mysteries because their authors don’t try to make at least one character into an idealized goody-goody person that readers will want to identity with. This novel’s characters are all utterly disgusting and creepy. The novel itself is a total mess. But it’s an enjoyable, mindless read for the holidays, especially if you have a very strong stomach because eww, disgusting perversions of incestuous nature. I won’t read anything by this author again but I had a good time with this one.
Sophie Hannah’s Keep Her Safe – maybe not her best because it’s a standalone but Hannah is a profound person, if a bit given to indulging in a about Americans. A good, intense mystery with its own cast of deeply unlikeable characters.
As for more serious stuff, I read Joseba Zulaika’s brilliant 2006 essay The Dust of ETA. It’s the best, most intelligent and deep thing I have read on ETA so far. The only thing I didn’t like was the epilogue because it was repetitive, reductive, and needlessly weepy. But the analysis of nationalism in the age of post-nation state is superb.
These days I’m all about Basques and murder mysteries. I have no idea where the Basque obsession is coming from. It’s nationalism, I guess. I want to keep talking about it but the Catalan literature is leaving me cold. Which is obviously my limitation and not the Catalonians’.