Why I Love Books February Roundup

I always get anxious when writing the word “February.” There are just so many ways it can go wrong. It’s like “Wednesday.” Very confusing. And does anyone really pronounce that first “r”? We should just change it to “Febuary” and call it a day. Well, call it a month.

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1. Shelf Heaven. I have a great and ever-growing number of books. It’s actually become a debilitating book-hoarding problem. They will find my body, ten years hence, buried beneath the hardback collections of Nancy Drew and Happy Hollister novels. However, I have identified the problem while I’m still young, so there may be time to save myself. What? No, I’m not getting rid of my books. I will just fill my house with bookshelves.

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2. Oddballs. At Algonquin we get some strange inquiries, but the AbeBooks Weird Book Room keeps track of bizarre books that actually got published. Things like: The Astronaut’s Cookbook, So You Want To Be A Shaman, and, my personal favorite, Blessed are the Cheesemakers. Any one of these titles would make a great gift–or a terrible gift depending on the recipient’s sense of humor.

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3. Adaptations at the Oscars. Check out the L.A. Times rundown of the books that made the movies that made the cut for Oscar nominations this year.

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4. Blurbs. You gotta take a good blurb where you can get it, but Mike Sacks’ fictional author “Rhon Penny” is aiming high, soliciting a blurb from the elite and illusive Thomas Pynchon. Rhon suggests that Pynchon’s review could read:

“If I had a disease that made me retch every time I read a great sentence, I would never stop vomiting while reading Ron Penny’s latest novel!” [Note the misspelling of “Rhon.” This will get people talking.]

Enjoy.

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5. Tell-Alls. Why do I love books? Because books continue to be the one medium in which any public figure will spill his or her guts, along with everyone else’s secrets, all wrapped up in a shiny dust jacket. And, lucky for me, “the memoir” is in vogue right now. Although, Charlie Sheen is reportedly writing his own–working title: When the Laughter Stops–I think I might skip it.

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6. Catharsis. Writing often functions as a way to express what’s held inside–to voice pain or joy, to share an experience with others. Read this e-mail conversation between Joyce Carol Oates and Meghan O’Rourke: Why We Write About Grief.

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7. Lit Landmarks. Dr. Ruth Richardson found what is believed to be Dickens’ inspiration for Oliver Twist’s poorhouse. I KNOW. The Cleveland Workhouse is scheduled to be demolished, if it cannot be saved by activists and historians. Here is the article on Richardson’s discovery and here is the website where you can help save the literary landmark.

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8. Better Love, Better Heartache. Here’s an essay by Charles Warnke, You Should Date an Illiterate Girl, outlining the pain and suffering of dating a girl who reads. “Don’t date a girl who reads,” he says, because “she insists that her narratives are rich, her supporting cast colorful, and her typeface bold.” It’s brilliant–though also makes a compelling case for illiteracy.

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February, why you gotta be so short?

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Susannah (Blog Intern)


2 Comments On This Post:

March 1, 2011
10:28 am
Kendra says...

LOVED “You Should Date an Illiterate Girl.” Thank you!

March 1, 2011
10:59 am
Susannah says...

Kendra-
I know, I want to marry Charles Warnke immediately.

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