Publicists want to focus the attention, and monetize the coverage. But if publicists were smart, they’d ask us to post this stuff three months BEFORE pub, because book blogs function best as places where the conversations starts–don’t you think? I feel like we (book bloggers) drive interest, not book sales–particularly because many of our readers (agents, editors, writers, booksellers, etc.) can get a galley (for free) of anything they want simply by asking the publisher.
I am partial to stories set in the 1980’s NYC, having spent some time there as a kid. I seem to have rose colored memoires of those years, especially the downtown art scene, and sleeping on the floor of an artist’s loft on 17th street when I was in grade school. The fine folks at Ecco sent a galley of Ten Thousand Saints my way, and I was immediately sucked into this coming of age story.
It’s easy to believe in ghosts if you are one. Both of my parents, towards the end of their lives, told me that they felt like ghosts. Now that’s a fine thing for an adult child to hear. And if you’re a reader of literature, then you’re the ghost. Think about it. You’re a disembodied presence within the story. You’re aware of everything that’s going on but you are unable to affect anything.
Evan S. Connell has appeared in public only once as a writer, at a Barnes & Noble on Union Square, where he agreed to sign copies of his novel Deus Lo Volt! Chronicle of the Crusades. When he saw a poster with his name and image, he refused to enter the bookstore. The poster was removed. He sat at the very back of the store and signed copies of his book.
During Fall 2009, Jason Rice spilled a lot of digital ink on a little collection of stories by Steven Amsterdam – Things We Didn’t See Coming. Ever the tastemaker, JR wrote a fine series of posts recognizing Amsterdam’s fine writing. Now you can see all the subsequent kudos earned by this collection at Indiebound, not to mention buying a newly released paperback copy from your favorite indie store.
At turns hilarious, unsettling, and improbably sweet, Veselka’s debut is, above all, a highly engaging, and totally unique experience, which will have you re-reading passages and dog-earing pages. But best of all, in the end, Zazen is that rare novel which dares to be hopeful in the face of despair, and succeeds.