Looking backwards and forwards at American novels
On last week's episode of the The Readers podcast, Simon Savidge and I discussed American novels. It was fun discussing AmLit with my British co-host. During the discussion, Simon had the brilliant idea that each of us come up with a list of 10 novels that represent our countries. Being a big fan of BritLit, I can't wait to see his list, and may I just say, I have had a blast coming with my own top ten for the U.S. We haven't recorded the episode yet but it should air on Tuesday, October 22nd. The only thing I will say about my list is that it doesn't have all the usual suspects on it. No group of august scholars would come up with these ten titles.
Bloggers go a huntin'
The other Simon, Simon Thomas, made his inaugural visit to the U.S. this week to hang out with his best pal Lorna who moved to DC recently. Sadly, all of the amazing free attractions in DC were closed because of the government shutdown, but happily he had lots of time to go book stores. Yesterday Simon and Teresa from Shelf Love piled in the car and made our way to northwestern Virginia to go huntin' for books.
Our first stop was to a library book sale in near Winchester where the selection was pretty good and the prices couldn't be beat (mass PBs were 50 cents, trade PBs a dollar, and HCs a dollar). It might not have been worth the hour and half drive from DC but it also gave us a chance to check out three used book shops in the area. Simon, being wary of his ever expanding luggage was quite restrained while Teresa and I didn't really try to hold back. You can see her stack here.
|I couldn't resist the cover. And only $2 for a hardcover.|
|Have no idea if this is any good, but that is Maine through the window.|
|I enjoyed the Tales of City series back in the day, but I couldn't resist this cover.|
I love the illustration by Gregg Kulick.
and his first Dairy Queen...
Simon had some sort of Blizzard. Regular readers might recall that I am a huge fan of the DQ. As such I can never decide between the simplicity of a plain vanilla cone or something more elaborate. So when all was said and done I ended up having a small vanilla cone, a small Oreo Blizzard (but I had them add two scoops of chocolate that they use for dipping cones which gets all hard and crunchy when cold--it makes it like a chocolate covered Oreo Blizzard), and then finding Teresa's strawberry sundae irresistible, I went back up to the counter and got myself a small strawberry sundae. Yum.
Whilst the three of us were out and about Simon T. said something about a novella reading weekend. Since the discussion topics were coming fast and furious from all of us, I didn't have a chance to follow up but from what I understand, sometimes Simon will spend a weekend reading nothing but novellas. I think he does it occasionally to try and put a dent in his TBR. When he mentioned this I vaguely recalled some sort of novella challenge from a few years ago. Looking back at my blog from November 2009 I participated in a November novella challenge hosted by Bibliofreak J.T. Oldfield. (When I try and follow the link to Oldfield's blog now it takes me to a spam site.)
In any event, this got me to thinking I might want to do a novella read in the near future. I'm in the mood to do it now, but I figure that wouldn't be fair to my friend Roz who is currently in a race with me to get to 100 books this year. I think I may be in the lead, but reading a bunch of 150-page novella's may not endear me to her. So do I wait until one of us reaches 100? Do I wait until the new year? Although I like the sound of Novella November, I also like the idea of starting 2014 by knocking out 20 books in short order.
Or maybe the urge to read novellas will pass.