Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
especially welcome to extensive readers

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

What else is on my reading pile this summer

One of the reasons that I love Sara Nelson's book,So Many Books,So Little Time,which chronicles a year of her life thru reading,is the cover art. I know you're not supposed to judge a book by it's cover and all of that but the image of her surrounded by books on all sides is very much like my own bedroom(except for the toy truck;I have a couple of Harley Quinn figures instead) at home.

So Many Books,So Little Time is a fun read and does talk about the dilemmas that many lifelong readers face,such as finding a new book to read right after you've finished a great one,deciding whether or not to check out a hot and over hyped literary flavor of the month and the awkwardness you may feel about reading a book recommended by a good friend and then trying not to tell that person that you really didn't like the book.

I don't know Sara Nelson but something tells me that she would understand my mixed emotions about choosing to read The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. This book has been getting great reviews and blurbs from such big league writers as Richard Russo and Stephen King. Heck,King pretty much writes a love letter to this book that nearly stops short at "We're not worthy!"

Having authors whose works you not only enjoy but respect praise a debut novel is
some rather tempting catnip to put out there for a fiction lover like myself. But since it's getting so much love from all corners,that little nagging voice of doubt starts to speak up-"Yeah,yeah,so what? It's about some kid in the Midwest who can't speak but has this strong bond with dogs so much that he runs off to the woods with them instead of dealing with his father's death which might've been murder,a la Hamlet. Can you say pretentious? I think you can!"

Some of you may notice that The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is being displayed in my Recommended Pop Culture Purchases section of this blog and wonder why. That's because I read the first few pages of the book and told that nagging voice to pack her knives and go home. Like the film There Will Be Blood,Edgar Sawtelle is one of those works of art that lives up to all of the hype and exceeds even those set expectations.

It's a prime example of simple old fashioned story telling,with engaging characters(and yes,that includes the dogs)plus the feel of a sure and steady hand on the narrative wheel that drives the plot along at a good clip. This book is so great that I'm actually forcing myself to read it slowly,in order to make the pleasure last as long as possible.

Another tempting title on my To Be Read list is The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson,which is not out until August. If you were to pitch this book as a Hollywood film(and I'm sure it already has been),a good way to describe it might be "The English Patient meets The Fountain".

A decadent porno actor/producer winds up with severe skin burns after a car crash and the only thing that gets him out of his funk are the visits he receives from a local sculptress who specializes in gargoyles and believes that she has been his lover,via reincarnation,for 700 years. Their mutual attraction to one another is not enough,however,to solve the problems facing them along the way to love and a future together. This should be a real scorcher of a read.

A true test of patience is not rushing to read what appears to be a wonderful new book that folks won't even get to look at until next year. The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker,very much like Edgar Sawtelle, is also getting some good blurbage from authors like Joshilyn Jackson,Sara Gruen and Stephanie Kallos.

The plot centers around Truly Plaice,a woman born to be big,and how her position in life as an outsider both within her family and the small town of Aberdeen leads her to finding her true calling as a herbal healer and slowly but surely building up some inner strength and confidence to change her world for the better. This debut novel is due out in January of '09 and reading groups should put in their pre-orders now,to start their new year of book talk off right,in my opinion. True,I haven't read it yet but some things you just know,sort of a reader's instinct,if you will.

The phase "an embarrassment of riches" really applies to most of my TBR piles. It's hard to choose just one or two,maybe three or four books to read at about the same time. At least I know that I'm not the only one out there who has to flip a coin or go "eenie-meanie-miny-mo" to choose between two books(or two stacks)to read next.
Yep, there's me,Sara Nelson and bunches of other book happy fiends,plus Rory Gilmore to boot. Having some pop culture credence to book love is pretty sweet,indeed:

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