It’s Raining Books

Sarah Lyall

Sarah Lyall, London correspondent to the New York Times, looking super-cool and New Yorky, following the completion of her "lively chronicle" of British life.

If someone would have told me 10 years ago that in 10 years I would have a job where I just got to stand around and talk to people about books, I would have slapped the smug “look at me, I know the future” look off their face and accused them of telling an outrageous lie.  It comes as a surprise to no one but myself that I am the one in need of slapping.  Meanwhile, the Fall Book Monsoon has begun here at the Mercantile.  I subscribe to the theory that the varieties of the literary experience reflect the variety of readers out there, so here are a few that caught my eye.  American Wife, by local wunderkind Curtis Sittenfeld is in.  Sittenfeld’s third details the tumultuous rise of a registered Democrat and school librarian to her role as the wife of a Republican President in his second and controversial term.  Fans of Marilynne Robinson and Gilead will delight in Home, which “takes place concurrently in the same Iowa town, this time in the household of Reverend Robert Boughton, (John) Ames closest friend.”  Acolytes of Stuart M. Kaminsky’s Inspector Rostnikov mysteries can line up for People Who Wait in Darkness.  Fans of the genre might also note the arrival of the latest DI Charlie Resnick novel, Cold in Hand by John Harvey.  Also of note: Dear American Airlines by New York Times Cocktail columnist Jonathan Miles, a slim novel in the form of a fifty-three-year-old failed poet turned translator’s 180 page rant against an airlinein response to the cancellation of his flight to his estranged daughter’s wedding.  Talk about tapping into common experience.   Another guaranteed conversation-starter of a novel: David Carr’s The Night of the Gun begs the question whether it is better to just say no or to just say yes for a while so that later, when you are also a successful New York Times reporter, you have a bunch of tawdry drug use and stuff to put in your memoir.  And finally, the book that now holds the coveted title of “Most Memorable, and Snarky, if Kind of Corny Title”, displacing previous title holders Fear and Yoga in New Jersey and No, I don’t Want to Join a Book Group! comes The Anglo Files: A Field Guide to the British, wherein Sarah Lyall a–you’re not gonna believe this: reporter for the New York Times–chronicles the sometimes freakish, often reserved antics of those bizarre islanders across the sea.   And many, many others have arrived in a veritable deluge literature.    -Ed Scripsi

Published in: on September 4, 2008 at 5:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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