A few years ago, Jonathan Franzen, the literary curmudgeon said he didn’t like it when fiction writers participate in the PR game. Here’s what he said:
Intro, let’s go: For 2015, I’m recapping what I read, watched, wrote and listened to and whatever else. This isn’t a favorites or best, it’s just what happened to me in the cultural landscape. Music and podcasts are first, then what I watched. Now, reading. Next will be writing.
Every year, I believe I’ll read more books. And every year, I read about the same number. Below are 19 completed books. My wife told me she read 48, and that doesn’t include the books she thought of as “junk.” I like to think I “forgot” about some books, that I didn’t remember to add them to this ongoing list, but I’m not sure. So maybe I read 22 instead of 19?
I lost interest in several books after 5o or 100 pages. Those take up time. So does writing a new novel. So does writing a blog. (Excuses, yes!)
This year, I made an effort to read what was on my shelf. I went on a library fast. I broke that sometime in late October to pick up some of the new books, which you’ll see in the skimmed list.
Hey, 10:04 is the new book by Ben Lerner and it’s one of my favorites of 2014.
(Anyone who follow me knows I’ve written and tweeted about it a lot…).
The book alternates between truth and fiction, interspersing Ben Lerner’s life with the narrator’s life (also named Ben Lerner) and then another narrator who emerges within a reprinted fiction story.
You climbed out of your Y2K bunker and got hooked up with a broadband connection for the first time. You were typing ‘TTYL’ into Instant Messenger and building up your mp3 collection with Napster. But guess what? It was a pretty good year for books.
Just check out these 10 books.
[Read more…] about Um, 2000 Was A Pretty Good Year For Books? These 10 Show Why.
Some people didn’t like this post. It was about semi-autobiographical novels and how I just wanted people to pick a side. Fiction or memoir.
But what I didn’t mean is that your characters shouldn’t possess some element of you, something that you’re passionate about. Fictional stories should be you, but different. You to the 1000th integer or whatever.
Look at The Simpsons. Many of the original characters were inspired by Matt Groening’s own family, but they’re not his family.
Interview Magazine hooked up the writers David Shapiro and Emily Gould to talk about their new books. Take a look at this exchange about memoirs: