The first book for my year in books is, the Complete Sherlock Holmes, Vol. 1. by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I must admit falling into tedium through this reading. The book begins with the first two novels of Sherlock Holmes, switches to two collections of short stories, and then concludes with another novel. Try as I might, I cannot bring myself to read another detective story at this point. The effort was valiant, however, as I have made it to the middle of the second collection of short stories. Highlights included the "Adventure of the Speckled Band" and A Study in Scarlet. In my opinion (not very scholarly), these are the most readable and interesting of the two. The "Speckled Band" was absolutely horrifying and I do not recommend it for evening reading - I had to wake Drew up so he could comfort me enough to go to sleep. A Study in Scarlet exibits very nicely why Doyle was such a success in his day. It is like a bipolar detective story and I like it! I also enjoy the references to the Mormons which, evidently, led to an apology to them when Doyle came to America on a speaking tour.
Tip for reading story after story of Sherlock Holmes: read it to yourself in an Irish accent - it really throws you off enough to pay attention.
I also must address the current Robert Downey Jr. film about Sherlock. Drew and I went to see this just as I was begining A Study in Scarlet and I found it to be mostly accurate and very enjoyable. It definitely had the flavor of Doyle's Sherlock. I was a little scared that I would only picture Robert Downey Jr. as Holmes and Jude Law as Watson. This was not the case however. I kept picturing Holmes as a cross between Hugh Laurie and Professor Layton...go figure.