Occasionally it will happen that I read an exceptional and completely recommendable book and simply neglect to recommend it. I like to think my reasons are pure, and that gushing with fandom doesn’t make a good post, but in all honesty I’ve purposefully not posted on these books for very specific reasons. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll list my excuses in the hopes you will Identify1 with my honest concerns and uncertainties as a reader and that this will, somehow, lead you to pick up these books.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
– This book has been thoroughly and rightfully praised by the media. What can I add?
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie
– This phenomenal work is being passively censored by the library I work for. I feel ashamed to review it because I didn’t fight hard enough for its inclusion in a recommended list of YA books.
The World’s Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne
– I was interviewed by the author for a job and feel shy to review the book. I will say that I appreciated that the memoir didn’t focus entirely on the author’s life, but explored topics as diverse as libraries, tourette’s, and weight lifting. You learn a lot incidentally while reading this book, like in Salt or Little Brother, or A Tale for the Time Being.
World War Z by Max Brooks
– I got conned by the audiobook version, which advertized something incomprehensible like “full abridged edition “. Why do abridged books always work so hard to hide their abridged-ness? It should be disclaimed in bold, bright letters, “Abridged. I.E This book was hacked up by someone with unidentified motives and credentials. Read at your peril.” So I worry about what I missed by listening to an abridged edition enough to not post about this book, but not enough to find time to read the original.
Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
– Solidly good. Read it if you like English Literature and slow reads. However, I believe I may have read an abridged version of this work as well, because my mother said hers was a hefty 900 pages while mine was a slim, easy volume. Again, concerns over being conned by stealthy abridgement artists.
1. One reason for this compilation post, and any that may follow, is that I am currently struggling not to be defeated by Infinite Jest. I’m four weeks in and barely over 3/5ths done. Identifying is a common theme in AA meetings, which are richly described in both the work proper, and the copious end notes, of Infinite Jest.