I love reading books of all kinds, but for the past several years I have limited myself, reading almost exclusively to books that I planned to review for the Register's Commentary pages or that related directly to reasonably current events I was likely to write about, which has meant almost exclusively books with fairly direct relevance to current events. While off with my illnesses, I decided to expand my reading horizons a bit, with mixed results.
I've had a couple of Harry Kemelman's books on my shelf for a while without reading them. He's the creator of the Rabbi detective David Small. I read "Sunday the Rabbi Stayed Home," and found it quite satisfactory. An intriguing and credible murder mystery told within the context of tales of dissension within the congregation. I'm sure I would enjoy all the other Rabbi mysteries. I also read "The Nine Mile Walk," a collection of short stories about Prof. Nicky Welt, a bright prof who solves mysteries as something of an afterthought. I found them clever but not as satisfying as the Rabbi Small book.
I also read "The Schirmer Inheritance" by fabled spy novelist Eric Ambler, and found it altogether satisfying and intriguing. Lots of twists and surprises and a conclusion one didn't necessarily expect.
I also slogged through Henry James's late novel "The Ambassadors," and sad to say it confirmed my incomprehension that many consider him the finest novelist of all time. It certainly explored the psychology of the main character rather thoroughly, it told the story skillfully from his perspective, and it was nice to have characters with some intellectual depth. But in the end one still didn't care all that much about them, and the actions at the climax were insufficiently motivated. I'm not all that tempted to read more.