Sorry for the late post today, but I got all caught up in reading the comments from yesterday. Thanks to everyone for what I thought was the best comment thread ever--it was like the best spontaneous book conversation ever, with everyone suggesting titles and bookstores and talking about true crime and, most importantly, largely agreeing that Richard Dawkins needs to be served a large cup of shut the fuck up.* So thank you to everyone for that.
In other news, today I thought I'd announce why I've been reading fiction pretty hardcore for the last couple of years. It's because I've been working on a new book with Nancy Pearl called Now Read This 3: A Guide to Mainstream Fiction. Pearl, also known as the Librarian Action Figure and frequent book commentator on NPR, is the author of the first two volumes in the series, Now Read This (along with assistance from Martha Knappe and Chris Higashi) and Now Read This 2. They're the books (along with the Genreflecting series) on which I modeled The Real Story and The Inside Scoop: we list mainstream fiction titles, provide a summary or annotation for them, and then suggest similar books that readers might also enjoy. It's not quite done yet, and I notice in Amazon that the pub date's been pushed back a little farther than I thought it would be, but we're getting very close to finishing it and I couldn't be happier. How often does one get to work with not only an unparalleled reader (which Nancy Pearl most certainly is) but also a librarian icon? Not very often, and it's been so, so great.
I didn't completely ignore nonfiction along the way--I could never do that--the new Now Read This is going to include lists of nonfiction books that might particularly appeal to fiction readers, and we tried to make both fiction and nonfiction suggestions for most of the novels.
And with this announcement, I hereby end this week of somewhat garish self-promotion. Sadly, I have to finish the week out with some bad news: author Dominick Dunne, himself a true crime writer and brother of author John Gregory Dunne, has died at the age of 83.
*Sorry, Robert, I had to steal your line, it was too good not to use.