Friday, May 9, 2008

I Love Authors

I can't help it, I just do. Have you ever read a book or an essay and thought, "I know I'd like that person, we're on the same wavelength." Of course, normally you'll never findout, though I've been lucky enough to meet a few I've revered from afar. Elizabeth Berg is probably the one I spent the most time with. What a delight!
Well, I've always felt this way about Sara Nelson, the editor of Publishers' Weekly. Her looks intrigue me and her essays are usually spot on. Imagine my thrill when, while weeding the 001's, I came upon a book written by Ms. Nelson several years ago entitled So Many Books, So Little Time. I snapped it up and it confirms everything I was sure I knew about Sara Nelson. I love her! Of course, she has connections in the publishing world, but still...I now have hope that you can actually write a book about just reading books.
She decided to read a book a week for a year and then write about her experience. Hell, I can do that! Don has started a list of the books I've read this year in an Excel spreadsheet that I can add to as soon as I finish one. He's sure, and I think he's right, that I must read over 100 books a year ( not counting the ones that don't meet the rule of 50 ).

I'm also in the midst of Chris Bohjalian's Before You Know Kindness. I own an autographed copy of the darn thing but I never seemed to get to it so I downloaded it to my mp3. I'm pretty sure my friend Andrea led a book discussion on this one and I wish now that I had thought to ask her how that went. The book has always called to me because of the title and, though right now I think the main characters are an amazingly unlikeable bunch of New Englanders, I'm going to stick with it in hopes that the kindness will manifest itself soon.
The gist of the book is that a pompous, holier than thou, animal rights activist, Spencer McCullough, is accidentally shot by his own pre-teenage daughter with a rifle plagued by a faulty bullet chamber. A hunting rifle that just happened to be locked in Spencer's brother-in-law's trunk. How and why, you might wonder, did Charlotte McCullough get hold of the gun? Will the truth come out if the anti-gun, anti-meat organization (FERAL) that pays Spencer's salary capitalizes on his injuries with a big time lawsuit? Bohjalian, a dream author for book groups, chooses subjects with plenty of gray area (think Midwives) though so far he hasn't cut lawyers much slack.
I'm going to double my exercise routine so I can hang in with this novel and see where it takes me. If I know Bohjalian, he'll dig down beneath the surface of these characters, exposing the goodness beneath. At least, that's my hope.

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