Reading this essay by Michael O’Donnell on the NBCC blog today, I thought to myself, here is someone writing in a more clear way almost exactly what I feel about book review pages. I haven’t had a chance to wade through Steve Wasserman’s lengthy article on the death of book reviews. I’ll try to write some more after I finish reading it.
Who knows when that will be. Work is crazy, what with students coming back to town and our event season getting underway. My job is full of keeping on top of tiny little details. I constantly read reviews to see what the demands might be. I call the publishers to track down shipments or to double check publication dates. I create lists of books for the various rotating displays in the store. I’m in the middle of creating a brand new section for the store. Plus we re-carpeted last week, which meant someone had to stay over night. I was here from ten on Thursday night until 5 am Friday morning. All of this is to say that though I may not be posting a lot these days, I’m still reading, still amongst the books everyday. I’ll tell you one book right now that I loved that I haven’t seen in any of those Best Books of the Fall lists—Yannick Murphy’s Signed, Mata Hari. Who knew a book could make you rethink Mata Hari? The entire time you’re reading, you feel bad for her as she goes back and forth in time telling her story. I know there’s so many good books coming over the next few months—I haven’t seen as rich a season in many years—but read this one too.