Saturday, July 28, 2012

The current state of books

I subscribe to a weekly New York Times email that tells me what is in the Sunday Books edition with links to read those stories and reviews I find interesting. This July 27th issue is illuminating in what suddenly became a definable way.

For the lazy hot days of Summer all of the book reviewers really want to know one thing: how to write the novel that raises them from obscurity as a reviewer of books to the glamorous career they deserve as a best selling novelist.

Cover story - How to Write, by a best selling novelist you never heard of.

Not good enough? Next essay is How to Write Great.

In the event you still haven't been acclaimed as the greatest living American novelist maybe you should settle for writing what you know - How to Write How-To.

Apply that advice, simplify further and learn from How To Cook a Clam.

There is a further list of reviews of memoirs and self-help books including How To Sharpen a Pencil, which appears to include everything possible in one volume so maybe a new writer should choose something else like How to Fold a Newspaper as that pencil market should be covered.

Just Ride, Radically Practical Advice on Riding Your Bike seems another review in this line of ideas considered by the editors and staff in these sultry summer days.

Add a couple reviews on politics this season and we come to the finale which cannot be topped or parodied: The 6.5 Practices of Moderately Successful Poets.

I kid you not. I can't wait to see what this group of editors stuck in a hot New York City in a declining newspaper will toss off next week.

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