First of all, I’m heading to Salt Lake City, Utah for the fourth Winter Institute bright and early tomorrow morning. The ABA (American Booksellers Association) began this conference four years ago as a chance for booksellers to meet each other and to learn without the chaos of Book Expo. I’m pretty excited to be going, even if I have to get up at 4:30am for my flight. The most important question of course is what books will I bring with me to read? Here’s what I’m bringing:
- The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Rief Larsen
- My Abandonment by Peter Rock
- The Girl who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
I’m torn right now because I’m in the middle of Lilith’s Brood by Octavia Butler (see sidebar) and really enjoying it. Her work is so dark! And I have to complain about the cover, which makes it look like a romance novel. The reawakening of the human race by an alien race after humans annihilated themselves is not exactly a romance.
Second, I disagree with Michiko Kakutani’s review of T.C. Boyle’s new book The Women in the Times today. She calls it dreary, a “small, cheesy paint-by-numbers soap opera”. I can’t say that I liked all of the characters in the book (yes, I know they’re based on real people but they’re still characters in a novel) but I didn’t find it either of those things. Also, why is she reviewing it now? It’s got a strict on sale date of February 10th! That’s very annoying for booksellers who have to field all the requests from customers for a book they can’t sell yet.
And finally, John Updike?! What? I’m shocked. I wasn’t aware that he had lung cancer. I don’t know what to say.