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Monday, September 26, 2011

Something Had To Give

How many books are on your current "want to read" list? Of those books, how many are by authors you've already read? How do you decide whether to return to an author, given the volume of titles available?

In 2010, for the first time in my life, the number of actual book titles on my "want to read" list went down. But, having been exposed to so many wonderful authors new to me over the last 18 months, I can easily replenish that list by either adding titles from back catalogs or paying attention to new releases; what a blast.

Some of the "new" authors I'm sure I'll be re-visiting for years to come are Lloyd Jones (based on reading "Mr. Pip"), Tom Franklin ("Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter"), Amy Bloom ("Away"), Martin Amis ("House of Meetings"), William Boyd ("Brazzaville Beach"). And since my first blog post in mid-March, I've mentioned several other authors whose work has grabbed me in a big way.

I'm now using just one question to help me decide if I'll return to an author: If I'd never read another book by this person, would I return to them based on the strength of this book alone? This question is helping me keep my list manageable and also reminding me to give someone I'd given up on earlier in life (for whatever reason) at least one more chance. Only downside: If I'd never before tried an author and the first book I now read by them doesn't grab me, I'm not returning. Too many books and authors - finite years ahead; something had to give.

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