It seems there are rules on many book blogs – do’s and don’ts. Mine are simple. I read – anything and everything.
Use – your local library. I began a few years back after a hiatus and I simply love the online request page. the hold notifications and it’s all FREE. As much as I would love to do it – I cannot buy every book I like. This is a perfect solution. A library card is like a charge cared with no bill, no limit and no effort. I use the LAPL (Los Angeles) and the COLA (Los Angeles County). I love Goodreads.
Amazon is a money-saving way to buy books. I buy many hard to find books on their site. But Amazon is not the only online source of books. Go online and Google “Books” and you will find zillions. Shop at local, small booksellers. Support them. Book Soup in West Hollywood is our best and most well established shop near me. Signings, every kind of book and a long time favorite on Sunset Strip. Arcana for art books in the Culver City Helms Bakery location is art books and they are well-informed about their inventory. I have been a long time fan of theirs. I buy books at thrift stores. Some are on the cheap, others have more pretensions, but we have many in L.A. and I love them. Book sales at libraries and yard sales and book fairs are wonderful. I have a habit of buying books for local friends and this makes the shopping even better. And book sales have children’s books a gogo. Some I buy for friend’s kids; others I buy for the illustrations and sometimes it is hard to decide who stays and who goes.
Review copies. I consider them gifts from authors and publishers. I have requested some, but I do not automatically expect them. Because I am not an E/reader, I prefer ARC’s and galleys; paperback, hardcover – no preference there . And occasionally I will ask for one – usually I contact the author first. Sending review copies costs money so I am very specific (see below) about the subjects I like. I do not promise anything in return . If the books is really a dog – and they do exist – I dig for its virtues and inform the PR person or the author why I cannot praise it. Usually it is about bad editing or writing style. Surprisingly this has not happened often. I directed my concerns to the authors and tried to discuss it. I suggest this. And I did what I could and we all were happy.
Here is the dreaded genre list:
India. Fiction, non-fiction and especially Bombay. And especially pre-Partition.This extends to authors who are Indo-another country. emigres, second/third generation or relocated out of India. India
Crime. And lately I have been reading foreign crime writers and seeing new views of the same old problems. Finnish, Israeli, Saudi, India, Australia, NZ, the Scandanoirs. Noir in general and I do love Paris and London. The usual suspects in America thriller writing; the gory details do not bother me. I am quite in love with Peter Corris – the best Aussie crime writer ever and his character, Cliff Hardy. I love Cliff.
Magic Realism. It began with 100 Years of Solitude in the early 80’s and then I read many, many more South American writers. Gregory Rabassas was the best translator (RIP) and I covered the continent. It was no stretch to become besotted with India years later. Blame Sir Salman – anyone fatwaed is the guy for me. I LOVED Midnight’s Children, but even more I ADORED The Moor’s Last Sigh (and many more that I’ll discuss betimes). I have a 500+ Indian only library at home. My first entry into Bombay was Thrity Umrigar – Bombay Time was the title and she never stops being a brilliant storyteller, a pen pal and a favorite. (I love Parsi writers.) And Gina Nahai – – the wonderful, local and much treasured writer of Iranian novels that simply are perfect and make me laugh out loud – I know her friends and relations by proximity in Los Angeles. She is a genius of her subject. The entire geographic area she covers has much in common with people I know well.Non-Fiction. Too many subjects to mention now. Genetics, cats, Food history, Religion, especially Judaism, history, geography, science + tech. Want more? Ask.
Happy to receive any review copies . But…if I like something – I will absolutely mention it no matter what.
And that’s enough. Just finished The Golden House by Sir Salman and am approaching my comments with much thought. Gobsmacked.