When I was a small press book publisher, I was put on the Comp list at Bookforum. Despite not having published a book since 2003 and closing down the company in 2004, I’ve remained on the freebie list. The new issue arrived last week, on the heels of my 0-fer festival (here, here and here).
So, of the 60+ books that got reviewed in this ish, how many of them was I interested in reading about, and possibly buying?
Two: The Philip Johnson Tapes: Interviews by Robert A.M. Stern and Herbie Archives. (Curiously, Dan Nadel’s review of Herbie â€” a comic book about a fat guy who gets superpowers from enchanted lollipops â€” was placed in the nonfiction section of the table of contents.)
I still need to check out William Vollmann’s essay on why Nazi photography is creepy. Or maybe I don’t. And Tom Vanderbilt’s review of books on how the suburbs and the internet are alienating or fragmenting or something seems pretty blatherous. I did have high hopes for this Richard Price interview, but then I discovered that it was a Richard Prince interview.
I’ve been going on lately about my inability to read contemporary books, but I realized that I should check to make sure I’m not full of crap. To that end, I checked through the last 3 years of my list of All The Books I’ve Read, sorted by date of publication, and realized that I am full of crap! Here’s a PDF of 2006-2008, each year sorted by book-date.
I decided to include all books from that year and the previous one as “brand spankin’ new,” arbitrary as that seems.
- 2006: 5 new books (2 novels), 11 overall published this decade, 35 overall
- 2007: 7 new (4 novels & 1 play), 14 from this decade, 31 overall
- 2008: 8 new (6 novels), 13 from this decade, 29 overall
So I guess I have been more susceptible to book-hype lately! Or there were a bunch of good books out last year. Still, maybe I should follow the suggestion of one of my newer readers (hey, Zeke!) and put a ban on any books that are fewer than 3 years old.