No More Apologies

I’m going to quit apologizing for the silence here. Life gets really busy sometimes and there’s not much you can do. often feel like a slacker because I don’t post something everyday, but I rationalize it by saying that one well-thought-out post is worth more than many hastily written ones. I think this is true.

I’m also in somewhat of a reading slump. I’m still reading a lot, but none of the books have been really great. I read Lulu Meets God and Doubts Him by Danielle Ganek the other day. A fast read, but not meaty enough for me. Now I’m almost through with Jennifer Belle’s Little Stalker, which I picked up for the cool cover. The jacket description makes the book sound light: A thirty-something Manhattan writer in search of a man, blah blah blah, but it’s actually quite a bit more interesting. The protagonist seems truly disturbed. I’m not sure how it’s going to turn out yet, but I’m enjoying it at least.

I still feel like I’m missing something though, a book that I’m truly excited about. A book where if I’m reading it, Mr. Bookdwarf has to wave his hand in front of my face to get my attention. A book that will make me miss my subway stop in the morning on the way to the store. I’m in the middle of buying for the Fall season and there are a ton of good books coming. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen such strong lists from so many publishers. I bought Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, Picador, Holt, and some others yesterday. Now I’ve got a copy of Denis Johnson’s new book Tree of Smoke—it’s huge. I haven’t read Jesus’ Son. Am I missing out? Do I need to read this before embarking on his forthcoming book?

8 thoughts on “No More Apologies

  1. Kelly

    Sorry to hear that you are in a slump! What a bummer, but that happens and I am sure it will pass just as mysteriously as it came about.


  2. Jeff

    About reading Johnson: I think you should read Jesus’ Son but no necessarily as a precursor to reading the new one. JS just happens to be one of the best SS collections ever, in the history of SS collections. Ever.

    I have a copy of the new novel and read the excerpt in the New Yorker and can’t wait to find the time to read it.


  3. ed

    Oh, you’re suffering from reading susceptibility! I hate it when that happens! When in doubt, why not re-read a book that you loved quite a lot? And while I don’t entirely echo Jeff’s hosannas for Jesus’s Son as “one of the best SS collections ever,” I do think that Denis Johnson is a spectacular writer in short story form and would suggest Jesus’s Son, which is very good, or Resuscitation of a Hanged Man as a better introduction to Johnson’s work.


  4. bookdwarf Post author

    Thanks Jeff, for pointing out the open tag. I hate it when I do that.

    I’ll add Jesus’ Son to my TBR pile. And Ed might be right. Perhaps rereading something from the past will help the slump. Now I just have to figure out what to reread. Maybe Jane Eyre or a Murakami.


  5. Amanda

    Seriously, New England White is addictive. I keep tripping on sidewalks because I am trying to read it while walking.


  6. Robert Arnold

    A friend of mine is obsessed with Johnson’s “Already Dead”- has read it many times and is endeavoring to turn it into a screenplay as a weird little hobby. As I respect his judgment on most things, I’m left to assume this is the Johnson book to read. It’s next in my reading pile – after I finish the John Crowley Ægypt tetralogy (half way through the third book!)


  7. mary

    “Reading susceptibility!” I love it! Actually, the buyer here and I feel the same about books we have been reading lately. I can’t really say I’ve read anything fabulous in a while, though I did enjoy A concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers. Wasn’t in love with Chesil Beach and have had to start reading class books (i.e. the dry stuff that while well-written is completely uninspiring.) Honestly, I think the list for the upcoming season and even the spring are looking just OK compared to last year. But that’s the way publishing is, isn’t some years are better than others. It’s up to us to find the gems…


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