The Maltese Falcon
The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett. I love to reread. I often return to Doctorow’s “Ragtime”; Barbara Tuchman’s “Guns of August” — that amazing first paragraph; Capote’s “In Cold Blood”; Steven Millhauser’s “Martin Dressler”; Hemingway’s “In Our Time”; Alice Adams’s “Caroline’s Daughters” (also one of my wife’s favorites); Annie Proulx’s “The Shipping News”; Elmore Leonard’s “LaBrava”; and Richard Ford’s “Independence Day.” But always, always, always I go back to Hammett’s “The Maltese Falcon,” easily my single most favorite novel. And of course there’s “The Night Before Christmas,” which I read aloud to my family every Christmas Eve, though I am prone to modifying the language somewhat, as in “ . . . threw up on the sash.” I know. But, you have to be there. Read the full interview here.