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What I'm Reading: Alexandrey Ripley

The author of “Scarlett” enjoys “Night Train to Memphis,” “A Critic’s Notebook,” and “Climbing Roses”

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There are two books that I ran out and paid for the other day because I couldn’t wait for the publishers to send them to me. One is Elizabeth Peters’ Night Train to Memphis. She is one of my favorite writers, wonderfully funny with great plots. The hero is an elegant, titled Englishman and a thief of rare jewels and artifacts. I’d love to be a rare-jewel thief, although in a way I am, since I made enough money with Scarlett to buy a few. In nonfiction, to improve my mind, I’m reading Irving Howe’s A Critic’s Notebook. It takes you back to a time when critics thought they were supposed to talk about the book and not themselves. I’m also reading a gardening book, Climbing Roses, by Christopher Warner.