The problem with asking me about guilty pleasures is that I'm pretty sure every pleasure is a guilty one. Years and years ago, an editor friend who knows how overly serious I am about reading and writing gave me Literary Murder by Batya Gur. The author, who died in 2005, was a well-respected Israeli literary critic. She also wrote a series of mysteries focused on a highly specific community in Jerusalem. Literary Murder is set at Hebrew University, where I'd studied for a year. It was just plain fun to read a book anchored in such familiar surroundings and set in a city that I love.
I've started another Gur. It's called The Saturday Morning Murder, and it's built around Jerusalem's psychoanalytic community. Except this time I'm reading the book in Hebrew. The least I can do to ensure it's not pure pleasure is to brush up on my language skills while I'm at it.
Englander's most recent book is The Ministry of Special Cases.
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