Aug 29, 2012
In this episode we talk about the physical size of books and books in which the author does something for a year then writes about it. We also recommend The Devil in Silver by Victor LaValle and The Double Game by Dan Fesperman
Why do some books have a smaller trim size (actual dimensions rather than page count/length) than others? Are books at that size more "thoughtful" than larger books? We discuss the smaller format hardcover size, which may have begun its modern incarnation with Bridges of Madison County. What are your thoughts on smaller books? Are they easier to hold and read? Do they convey a different feeling than their larger brethren?
The arrival of Erin McHugh's wonderful new book One Good Deed, in which she did something nice, every day for a year, prompted us to consider other books in which someone did something for a full year. One that Ann listened to on audio earlier this year was A.J. Jacobs' Drop Dead Healthy in which the author spent a year trying different diets and workout regimes (and Jacobs is a master at doing things for a year, just look at his earlier books). For me, the one that I most want to read is Howards End is on the Landing by Susan Hill, in which the author, for one year, read nothing but books that she already owned, many that she had forgotten she had. Looking to the future, we know the trend will continue with The Perfect Score Project by Debbie Stier, in which she took every SAT test offered in her area last year, trying out different test prep methods. How about all of you? What would you do for a year and then write about?
I'm currently reading and loving The Devil in Silver by Victor LaValle. It's the story of Pepper, a man unjustly imprisoned in New Hyde mental hospital, where the patients are hunted by the Devil himself. Ann recommends The Double Game by Dan Fesperman, a tale set in the world of spy novelists and espionage agents, and a book that comes with a reading of more than 200 of the best spy novels ever written.