Heaven, in a perfect marriage of engineering and New York City.
Why do I have to fight the crowd-pleasers?

Reviewing, Menaging, etc.

Just a little housekeeping at the blog today, as I mainly want to get out a reminder about our Menage next week. We'll start our Book Menage on Monday, March 30, when we discuss George Saunders's essay collection The Braindead Megaphone and Steven Millhauser's story collection Dangerous Laughter (and here's props to Kim, who got the ball rolling a bit early with a lovely review of the Millhauser). Come prepared to be honest with your opinions--remember, we don't hold with any crap library-style "first say something positive about the boo"-type rules here at Citizen Reader.

In other reviewing news, I'm really proud to say that the Best Business Books of 2008 feature that Library Journal allowed me to write is up. (It was a much better year for business books than it was for, well, business.) I've also got an article in the latest Reader's Advisor News published by Libraries Unlimited, about wishing book reviewers would stop summarizing books and start reviewing them--including mentioning when they don't like books for whatever reason. (The rest of the newsletter is more interesting than my article; Rick Roche's article on biographies was a lot of fun for me to read, as I don't read as many biographies as I should.)

Speaking of reviewing, good old Dale Peck (who was once known for his frank reviews, including his review of Rick Moody's Black Veil, which he began with the infamous line "Rick Moody is the worst writer of his generation.") is still out there fighting that battle. I really enjoyed this interview with him (thanks to Bookninja for the link), in which he answers the question:

"Q: What should readers know about the art of book reviewing that they don’t know already?

A: Aside from the fact that 95 per cent of it is either dishonest (or at any rate compromised) and irrelevant? Not much."

I still like Dale Peck, I'll admit it.