Copyright © Louise Bostock 2007-2013. Please give credit where credit is due.

Friday, 11 January 2008

Book delivery

Three degrees at 8:30am. Its raining bleakly and the clouds have gotten themselves tangled up in the treetops. The lake has assumed a steely grey aspect not unlike the North Sea (but without the 100-foot waves and the container shipping).

But I’m not down.

Today a parcel of new books has arrived. The arrival of a parcel of books always generates much excitement in this kitchen. Tea is made, a parcel knife is located and we all go “ooh” and “aah” when the bubble wrap comes out.
We peruse the cover of each book carefully – the blurb, the author biography, the list of ‘Other books by this author’, and most excitingly, the quotes splashed all over the place describing the story, praising the author and generally saying “buy me”.

Today’s delivery is a mixed bag. Some of the books purport to be “Literature” with a capital “L”, worthy of the most serious of readings – emphatically not at eleven at night “’twixt sleep and wake”. And possibly also worthy of being taught on some ex-poly literature course to spotty students, even though they’re always “’twixt sleep and wake”.

The rest? Well, let’s face it, I’m a lover of trash just as much as the next girl, and trash is about as much as I can manage at eleven at night, after 12 hours with two half-pint loons followed by four hours with a bottle of burgundy and the washing up.

Looking at this varied collection of books, it struck me that publishers surely use review quotes not only to persuade you to buy the book but also to say something about whether the book is Literature or just A Damn Good Read (not that the two are mutually exclusive, I hasten to say). Can you tell which of these books falls into which category just from the quotes? ...

Book 1
“The intelligent reader’s answer to XXX (famous book).” Independent

Book 2
“Breathtakingly inventive”. David Mitchell (should I know who he is?)

Book 3
“Intelligent, unusual, and absorbing…” Scotsman

Book 4
Err – I can’t find a review quote anywhere in the book…at all.

And…which of these books would you read first? If you give me an answer soon, I’ll stay off the burgundy and go to bed early whether you choose the trash or not.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Any book that needs the word intelligent on its cover is obviously not (intelligent)

Anonymous said...

read the trash

Anonymous said...

David Mitchell

http://www.contemporarywriters.com/authors/?p=auth03A30M451712634910

Louise said...

I'm reading the trash and will report anon.

Shardy said...

So it isn't just me who relishes a book delivery??

Sarah, Stresa

Louise said...

Absolutely! The English bookshop in Milan is beyond my reach right now (the city + the sprogs strikes terror in my heart), and so I've turned into a complete books-by-post junkie. What would I do without Amazon? You too?

Shardy said...

Oh Amazon is great - just got my latest parcel after New Year. We hardly ever venture into Milan unless we absolutely have to so Amazon it is. Love your blog by the way - you have such a way with words!

Louise said...

Thanks! I'm really glad you like it. Writing this keeps me sane and encourages me to see the funny side of things, even when the kids have kept us up all night, one of the cats has taken a pee in the freshly-washed laundry and the chickens have taken a walk in the woods and won't come home...

How's Stresa?

Friday, 11 January 2008

Book delivery

Three degrees at 8:30am. Its raining bleakly and the clouds have gotten themselves tangled up in the treetops. The lake has assumed a steely grey aspect not unlike the North Sea (but without the 100-foot waves and the container shipping).

But I’m not down.

Today a parcel of new books has arrived. The arrival of a parcel of books always generates much excitement in this kitchen. Tea is made, a parcel knife is located and we all go “ooh” and “aah” when the bubble wrap comes out.
We peruse the cover of each book carefully – the blurb, the author biography, the list of ‘Other books by this author’, and most excitingly, the quotes splashed all over the place describing the story, praising the author and generally saying “buy me”.

Today’s delivery is a mixed bag. Some of the books purport to be “Literature” with a capital “L”, worthy of the most serious of readings – emphatically not at eleven at night “’twixt sleep and wake”. And possibly also worthy of being taught on some ex-poly literature course to spotty students, even though they’re always “’twixt sleep and wake”.

The rest? Well, let’s face it, I’m a lover of trash just as much as the next girl, and trash is about as much as I can manage at eleven at night, after 12 hours with two half-pint loons followed by four hours with a bottle of burgundy and the washing up.

Looking at this varied collection of books, it struck me that publishers surely use review quotes not only to persuade you to buy the book but also to say something about whether the book is Literature or just A Damn Good Read (not that the two are mutually exclusive, I hasten to say). Can you tell which of these books falls into which category just from the quotes? ...

Book 1
“The intelligent reader’s answer to XXX (famous book).” Independent

Book 2
“Breathtakingly inventive”. David Mitchell (should I know who he is?)

Book 3
“Intelligent, unusual, and absorbing…” Scotsman

Book 4
Err – I can’t find a review quote anywhere in the book…at all.

And…which of these books would you read first? If you give me an answer soon, I’ll stay off the burgundy and go to bed early whether you choose the trash or not.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Any book that needs the word intelligent on its cover is obviously not (intelligent)

Anonymous said...

read the trash

Anonymous said...

David Mitchell

http://www.contemporarywriters.com/authors/?p=auth03A30M451712634910

Louise said...

I'm reading the trash and will report anon.

Shardy said...

So it isn't just me who relishes a book delivery??

Sarah, Stresa

Louise said...

Absolutely! The English bookshop in Milan is beyond my reach right now (the city + the sprogs strikes terror in my heart), and so I've turned into a complete books-by-post junkie. What would I do without Amazon? You too?

Shardy said...

Oh Amazon is great - just got my latest parcel after New Year. We hardly ever venture into Milan unless we absolutely have to so Amazon it is. Love your blog by the way - you have such a way with words!

Louise said...

Thanks! I'm really glad you like it. Writing this keeps me sane and encourages me to see the funny side of things, even when the kids have kept us up all night, one of the cats has taken a pee in the freshly-washed laundry and the chickens have taken a walk in the woods and won't come home...

How's Stresa?