Yup, I Read Now

Booking Through Thursday

btt2 What words/phrases in a blurb make a book irresistible?


I’d consider any book touted as “surreal” and “hilarious” a godsend. Lately though, I’ve been finding that any time the back cover blurb mentions that a book is in any way comical, I end up feeling gypped. We all have a different understanding of what “funny” is, I realize that, and even when a book is said to be “hilarious” or “hysterical,” I’m not so naïve—or easily deceived by marketing gimmicks—to believe that I’ll be busting a gut as I flip through its pages. But if the book fails to make me crack a smile or even think, “Ah yes, now that sentence was rather humorous” as I adjust my monocle, then I’d say that that back cover blurb failed to deliver on its promise.

What I usually find most useful in selecting books are those little author endorsement quotes. If another writer that I like has said that he/she enjoyed the book then I’ll probably buy it. I know that writers share publishers and publishers ask more established/successful writers to provide these sorts of quotes for up-and-comers, but I doubt anyone would ever cosign something that was horrible.

The thing that I find slightly baffling these days, is the use of Twilight to market classics (something that I’ve brought up before.)



October 14, 2009, 4:32 pm
Filed under: Book Adventures | Tags: , , ,

adventures (red version)Rainy days are bookstore days and so, after a quick stop at Le Wal-Mart to pick up sacks of Peanut M&Ms for my Oct 31. 24-hour Peanut M&M-Binge-O-Rama, that’s exactly where I was yesterday afternoon. The Young Adult Fiction of this particular chain bookstore is a kind of showpiece for the place; it’s right in the middle of everything, no doubt owing to the recent teen vampire craze. Now, I have no beef with the Twilight series or Stephenie Meyer but I will never read any of these books. Morals or principles or standards don’t factor into it. Reading a Stephenie Meyer book is just one of those things that I don’t ever see myself doing, just as I don’t ever see myself running the Boston Marathon or eating a praying mantis. I did see the Twilight film and was mainly unimpressed, but still, I have nothing but the most out-and-out sort of ambivalence when it comes to the franchise. Well, perhaps I should say had nothing but the most out-and-out sort of ambivalence because I saw something yesterday at the bookstore that shook the foundation of my staunch irresoluteness.


Et tu, Austen-e?

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The wild things are coming, Twilight is lampooned, Nick Hornby still rich
bookish blog title

*Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer, the author and illustrator of The Phantom Tollbooth, (which introduced me to words and phrases like “dodecahedron,” “doldrums,” and “awful din”) will re-team for The Odious Ogre, set for a fall 2010 release. Alliteration aficionados, activate ! (<—awful attempt at alliteration).

*Juliet, Naked debuts at #11 on the New York Times Best Sellers List, Nick Hornby = rich(er) man.

*Herta Müeller wins 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature. Is it horrible that I don’t really care? (But I do love those umlauts in her name.)

*Maurice Sendak doc, Tell Them Anything You Want airs October 14 on HBO. I would probably be more excited about this if I wasn’t so totally inundated with all of this Where the Wild Things Are stuff (like these clothes, which are actually kind of cool). I sense some backlash in the very near future. The movie comes out October 16.

*The wunderkinder over at the Harvard Lampoon set to release Twilight parody entitled Nightlight.

*Time Out New York (briefly) interviews John Krasinski of The Office fame about his adaptation of David Foster Wallace’s Brief Interviews with Hideous Men and RZA of Wu-Tang Clan fame about his new book The Tao of Wu.

*San Francisco Litquake is in full effect.