3.23.2006

Booking Through Thursday

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Today's questions were suggested by Christine.


  1. How do you decide to read a book by an author you haven't read before?
    A myriad of ways...on a whim, at the insistence of a friend, by way of a glowing book review, because it is on a subject I find interesting,...and of course, dare I say it, because the cover is pretty. In fact, I really like hearing book recommendations from people since it exposes me to new books that I otherwise wouldn't have known about. I'm not daunted by new authors and am always searching for my next favorite. I'm only daunted by the new vogue that seems to demand all well-written narratives to be heart-wrenchingly, shoot-yourself-in-the-head-afterwards depressing, as if a book is not worthy or edifying without the pain. Am I alone in wanting to read books that are engaging and thought-provoking without the excessive emotional baggage?


  2. What sort of recommendations count most highly in making that decision?
    I tend to be a bit of a book snob, though in an odd way. I just ask that my books be very well written. I guess that is the former literary magazine editor in me. I will happily read what is considered "low" literature (though IMHO they shouldn't be) like mystery and fantasy as long as the writing is good. Therefore, the recommendations that count most highly for me are those from people I know who have similar tastes in reading. Recommendations from the New Yorker and New York Times, as well as author interviews on NPR, also tend to have some influence. In the end, though, all a recommendation does is make me go by the store or library and glance through the book to see if I really want to read it. I've never had a good experience with just reading something at the behest of other --- all of these times I found that I thoroughly disliked the books .

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