The Times asked authors to track what they do in isolation. , creator of the Long Beach they call (whose latest novel is “”), finds comfort in his family’s pecking order, fights insomnia with Headspace and John Le Carré, and binges Thomas Perry books.

Early May

I read ’s “” years ago. For aspiring writers, it’s everything you want to know about writing a crime novel. Tight, finely tuned, paced like the hundred-meter dash, singular characters, a singular voice. The writing is terrific. An embodiment of clear, clean, effective prose.

Presently, I’m binge-reading Perry’s series. Jane is a “guide.” She helps “runners” in jeopardy disappear. Not a new idea, but Perry makes it fresh. Jane is one of the smartest characters in the genre, certainly smarter than IQ.

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