the best of authors, the worst of books
the best of authors, the worst of books

I spent an unfortunate amount of time in November and December of 2012 reading books that just weren’t great.  They were fine, really good even, but not great.  This list included acclaimed authors and their latest works:  Eric Wilson’s 1 Step Away, Barbara Kingsolver‘s Flight Behavior, Justin Cronin‘s The Passage, Ian McEwen’s Sweet Tooth.  Allow me to repeat, these were good books.  They just weren’t the kind of books that I felt better for having read.

With the caveat that I am not an easily impressed reader; I have extraordinarily high expectations for the boundaries of thought, time and space that a book should cross: I should tell you that I just put filler into my last reading hours of 2012.  Reading should not be an idle occupation, it should provoke one’s mind toward new ideas, new ways of interpreting language and thought.  Right?

Right, so I should have stopped these in the mind and out again by dinnertime escapdes, before they took over my holidays.  Well, I didn’t.  I read them anyway.  And I won’t be sad.  Even for those books in 2012 that I didn’t get to.  The best thing about books is that once they are published, they’re always there (thank you Library of Congress!!).

So, on this blog, you won’t find any Best of 2012 lists.  I’m repudiating that kind of hype.  What you will see is some catch-up reviews.  I will get to those that were missed!  Here’s what you can look forward to:

Behind the Beautiful Forevers, Who Could That Be at This Hour, The Night Swimmers and the Flight of Gemma Hardy for starters.

So, with cheers to more reading, more posting and better instincts:  Here’s to 2013.