I went through the banker’s boxes that hold most of my personal library, these past few years, picked out a few books that caught my eye, and stacked them on an end table. A few days later, I looked through them, deciding what to read next.
I re-read Francine Prose’s forward to the NYRB edition of A High Wind in Jamaica, then set the book aside, without re-reading it, in favor of Ross MacDonald’s The Instant Enemy -- and A High Wind in Jamaica shows up in the early pages of that book, when Archer notices a copy in the bedroom of a missing teenage girl.
I finished The Instant Enemy a few days later, and picked up the next book in the stack: The Watchman by Robert Crais -- and the author note identifies Crais as a winner of the Ross MacDonald Literary Award.
Signs and portents everywhere. I was beginning to feel like the protagonist of a Paul Auster novel -- and the next book in the stack?
The Brooklyn Follies.