Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Salon- A Break and a Fresh Start

I actually got kind of tired of reading this week. I finished From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant, an entertaining read by debut author Alex Gilvarry, and looked at some of the books in my to-read-next pile and felt sort of deflated. So I took a few days off from reading. This month, February, I'm dedicating to review obligations. I have over a dozen to read, only a few of which I'm sure I'll get to, including
  • The Long Song, by Andrea Levy,
  • Varamo, by Cesar Aira,
  • An Ermine in Czernopol, by Gregor von Rezzori,
  • The Mighty Walzer, by Howard Jacobson, and
  • A Man of Parts, by David Lodge.
I've stopped accepting pitches until further notice. I'm just happier when I read books I pick out for myself and the fact that I have to more or less force myself to read review books shows that it's not really what I want to be doing. I want to hear from the publishers and publicists I already know; I'm talking about the random stuff that comes in.  I still get lots of the "I know you're not accepting pitches but you should accept mine" variety, which really puzzle me. If you read my review policy long enough to process that I'm not taking pitches, what do you honestly expect me to say?

Four of the above are books that I specifically requested, and that's different from accepting a pitch. And of course some offers are too good to refuse.

I've rebounded from my reading slump with Andrea Levy's outstanding The Long Song. Now everyone is telling me to read Small Island, her earlier book. Have you read either or both? What do you think? I'm really impressed with her ability to create empathy in the reader for characters whose actions are understandable and awful at the same time. I took this book for review a long time ago; I'm sure the publicist who sent it to me thinks I'm never going to review it. I am! This week most likely!

I hope you're having a great Sunday. I'd love to know what you're reading- or not reading. More Sunday Salon here.