Books Inside Of Books
Sue Grafton is one of my favorite mystery authors, along with Dick Francis and Robert B. Parker with Josephine Tey rounding out the top four. (these are in no particular order) (and they're all dead, which sucks for them AND me - no more books from these folks for me to read, dang it)
I recently reread Grafton's W IS FOR WASTED. (If I like a book, I will reread it time and time again.) In W, her protagonist mentions reading books by Dick Francis and Robert B. Parker! This happens in other Grafton alphabet mysteries, too - along with mentions of other well-known writers who are not so much my faves. As a reader and a writer, it gives me a warm glow when I see one of my much-loved authors mentioned in somebody else's book, particularly when the protagonist is reading one of those books. Makes me feel that much more connected to the story.
In my own books, I've also mentioned Dick Francis and Robert B. Parker. (It bummed me out to have to cut a scene mentioning Josephine Tey from HEAVENLY MOVES, but I'm sure I'll find a way to slip her into a future story somehow!)
Here's a quote from SHADOW POINT in which the protagonist is examining the books in her dead brother's house. (You should know that her brother was a marine biologist.)
"A low bookcase ran underneath the front windows, with three framed photos and a tiny cactus in a three inch pot on top of it. I went over to check out the books, which were all religious books or learned tomes on crustaceans. Except for a couple of Dick Francis mysteries."
And a quote from HEAVENLY MOVES wherein the protagonist is planning her evening: "When in doubt, bake a potato. And then eat it while rereading a favorite Robert B. Parker mystery."
THE BOOK OF KELL is set in the post-apocalypse and although Kell loves to read, there are limited books available in that shattered world. But throughout the story, we do hear Kell's thoughts on books. (There's a JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH reference that's making me smile just to think of it.) Here are three quotes to give you an idea.
"I hated school. The only good thing about it was all the books the Settlement had in their library--fiction, nonfiction, poetry, reference, technical manuals. Almost a thousand books and I secretly vowed to read them all."
"When you get right down to it, doesn't everybody basically want the same stuff? Food, friendship, love, sex, a roof over your head, a good book to read..."
"How strange to find one's whole life summed up in a dictionary, in words so dry they practically choked me when I said them out loud. I never knew there was a word for people like me. Never knew there were people like me."
Books inside of books! Let's all go read one now.
Or write one.