However, this year I have mysteriously regained interest, even though life is even MORE in the way this time, if that's possible. But I am still attracted to the challenge.
So I am hereby presenting my Deal Me In reading list for 2017. This time around, I am taking a leaf from Jay's book to help create my reading list. Last year he arranged his Deal Me In list to include only stories with an Indiana connection, in honor of that state's bicentennial. Well, 2017 is Mississippi's bicentennial year, and while I am not a native, I have lived here for 23 years so that should count for something, I suppose. And while I am not industrious enough to devote my entire deck of cards/stories to the state, I think I should dedicate at least one or two of the suits to stories by Mississippi authors, or stories with a Mississippi flavor or setting. If there's one enduring heritage of the state, it is its literary heritage. The other suits will have a bit of creativity in them as well, perhaps.Some of the stories were chosen because I was already familiar with the writer's other work, and some of the stories were chosen on the basis of their irresistible titles.
So, the four suits for this year's reading are assigned as follows:
Spades: Stephen King old and new (chosen from his anthologies Night Shift [old] and The Bazaar of Bad Dreams [new])
Diamonds: science fiction and fantasy (chosen from Masterpieces of Fantasy and Wonder, edited by David Hartwell; and Twenty-First Century Science Fiction, edited by David Hartwell and Patrick Nielsen Hayden)
Hearts: stories by Mississippi authors (various sources)
Clubs: mystery/detective stories set in Mississippi (chosen from Mississippi Noir, edited by Tom Franklin)
And here are the stories:
Ace: "The Boogeyman" (Week 8)
2: "Jerusalem's Lot"
3: "Gray Matter"
4: "The Lawnmower Man"
5: "Children of the Corn" (Week 10)
6: "Quitters, Inc."
7: "The Ledge"
8: "Batman and Robin Have an Altercation"
9: "Mister Yummy"
10: "Cookie Jar"
Jack: "The Little Green God of Agony" (Week 1)
Queen: "Morality" (Week 5)
King: "The Bone Church"
Ace: "Prince Bull" by Charles Dickens (Week 2)
2: "The Triumph of Vice" by W.S. Gilbert (Week 7)
3: "Darkness Box" by Ursula K. LeGuin
4: "On the Downhill Side" by Harlan Ellison
5: "Lila the Werewolf" by Peter S. Beagle (Week 4)
6: "A Proper Santa Claus" by Anne McCaffrey (Week 3)
7: "The Calculus Plague" by Marissa Lingen
8: "Evil Robot Monkey" by Mary Robinette Kowal
9: "The Education of Junior Number 12" by Madeline Ashby
10: "Chicken Little" by Cory Doctorow
Jack: "Escape to Other Worlds with Science Fiction" by Jo Walton
Queen: "How to Become a Mars Overlord" by Catherynne M. Valente
King: "Bread and Bombs" by M. Rickert (Week 6)
Ace: "The Tall Men" by William Faulkner
2: "Why I Live at the P.O." by Eudora Welty
3: "One-Man Band" by Lewis Nordan
4: "On the Hill" by Elizabeth Spencer
5: "Man of All Work" by Richard Wright
6: "Garter Snake" by Donna Tartt
7: "The Apprentice" by Larry Brown
8: "Charity" by Richard Ford
9: "I Just Love Carrie Lee" by Ellen Douglas
10: "A Southern Landscape" by Elizabeth Spencer
Jack: "Uncle High Lonesome" by Barry Hannah
Queen: "Circe" by Eudora Welty
King: "Mountain Victory" by William Faulkner
Clubs (mystery/detective set in Mississippi):
Ace: "Losing Her Religion" by RaShell R. Smith-Spears
2: "Oxford Girl" by Megan Abbott
3: "Most Things Haven't Worked Out" by William Boyle (Week 9)
4: "Cheap Suitcase and a New Town" by Chris Offutt
5: "God's Gonna Trouble the Water" by Dominiqua Dickey
6: "Moonface" by Andrew Paul
7: "Pit Stop" by John M. Floyd
8: "Hero" by Michael Farris Smith
9: "Jerry Lewis" by Jack Pendarvis
10: "My Dear, My One True Love" by Lee Durkee
Jack: "Boy and Girl Games Like Coupling" by Jaime Paige
Queen: "Combustible" by Ace Atkins
King: "Uphill" by Mary Miller
I hope my lists intrigue you, and I hope I get through the entire list this year!