I've been thinking lately of how I miss having the opportunity to read advanced copies of new books on the market. I read the now ubiquitous Hunger Games as an advanced reader (the original ARC is still on my shelf) and even blogged about it once upon a time.

I still read books in advance of when they come out, but they are now always the books my company publishes. There is a sense of anxiousness about those readings; they are as much to catch unnoticed errors as they are to become familiar with the material.

At one time, I almost considered myself a sort of book consultant, offering a broad literary perspective for uncertain readers. Pointing the way toward as-yet-undiscovered works of fiction (or non-fiction) for those who have not learned the careful art of browsing. It was arrogant, I know, but I was a bookseller. As with so many things, it was always so much easier to choose for others than for myself, and I was often amazed at how many books my friends could read through in a month - or even a year - when I, the book aficionado, could barely make it through a small handful.

Last year was a barren year in my reading for pleasure. Apart from the works I published, I read three books - all young adult novels and all read within two months of each other. I was a certain kind of depressed. I was also stuck in a rut.

I have often wondered why literary fiction is one of the hardest categories of books to sell, assuming that it is my own category of choice. But I did not realize that it has been a very long time since I've read any real literary fiction. I want to write it someday, but I do not read it. And this is odd.

Here are some literary fiction works I would like to read someday soon, books I've been looking at and acknowledging somewhere in the back of my mind that they are "for me." Some old, some new . . . just a few:

The Magicians
City of Thieves
The Blind Assassin
Against the Day



I have run out of free episodes of Castle to watch on Hulu. This is just the sort of day to waste on mindless entertainment, because there was a busy week before, and there will be a busy week after - and I woke up tired and chilly and yearned to curl up under a blanket for the first several hours after waking. Which brings me back to Castle, and why there are no more free episodes to watch, and how that's very frustrating to me. I am thinking about downloading the free one-week trial of Hulu Plus just to finish off the season, but I'd really like to start from the beginning (Hulu doesn't have the first two seasons). So I should just get in my car and go buy a gallon of milk for tomorrow and tidy something so that I can consider the day not a total waste.


Thanks to Emily for sharing this video on Google Reader. I love it! And have discovered a few new fonts I didn't know in the process of brushing up on my alphabet. This is how my children will learn their ABCs; in fontastic good form.

The Alphabet from n9ve on Vimeo.


Book Links

Just a few:

There's been a fiery to-do over recent book list posted by an online magazine of questionable name. The list was 100 Young Adult Books for the Feminist Reader, and it included some very good titles. When some people objected to a few on the list, the objectionable titles were removed and replaced, causing a comment-war of defense and a slew of reactionary blog posts. I started posting several links for you here, but they are all listed over at Bookshelves of Doom, along with a very interesting list of authors who have requested that their books be removed.

So, I was about to pack my bags to head to the Cairo Book Fair (I wish), but it's been canceled. Huh. Didn't see that coming...

Not quite book related, but an interesting development in internet reading habits thanks to the Rise of the App (is anyone else annoyed by that word?).

Every writer should read this, a collection of shorts on why writers write, from such greats as Flannery O'Connor, Joan Didion, and Roberto BolaƱo.
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