QUESTION: How much attention do you pay to the back cover of a book you are thinking about buying

Do you place any reliance on author blurbs – on comparisons to other books – on quotes from reviews?

OK – so I am really ticked because I bought a book based on an author comment that it was similar to a book I really loved. Well – it was nothing like that book and I was really annoyed.

Now this is all my own fault because the person making that comment/recommendation is an author I won’t read so why – you might ask – would I pay any attention to his recommendations. Good question.

But I still wonder if I am the only one so susceptible or if you all have better sense and actually sit and read a chapter before you whip out the credit card.


Lots of newspapers, radio shows, etc, put out their summer reading lists but a book you really enjoy reading may not be the best book for a discussion. So I am always interested when the Indie book store group puts out its list of books especially recommended for reading group discussions. And I was particularly pleased because #1 on their list is a book I really liked – Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger. Check out the website for all the lists – separated into several categories to help you decide what kind of reading you want to do.

Catching up on what’s been read this summer

Haven’t been posting about reading but doesn’t mean reading hasn’t happened.  

Here are some of last month’s highlights

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra – about the impact of the war in Chechen – not a light read but a good one

The Devil’s Dream by Lee Smith – story of a musical family from the hills of appalachia to a modern day country/western star – none of them behaved well

The Prophet by Michael Koryta – Really thought this was excellent – about two brothers in a small town trying to deal with the guilt over their sister’s murder years ago – lots of football and religion

Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan -enjoyed this story of a very bright but unusual 15 year old who is dealing with losing her beloved sister to a husband and trying to understand love

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams -funny story of a typical Adams situation – time travel and saving the world is included.

The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbol – unusual plot for a thriller

Close to Home by Peter Robinson -a DCI Banks – bones of a friend of his who disappeared 30 years before are found and he gets involved in the case while Annie is dealing with the disappearance of another 15 old boy.




Flavorwire thinks they have 20 books (non-fiction) that will.  Check out the list and if you read one, let me know if your IQ jumped.

I think I’ll try Perfectly Miserable by Sarah Payne Stuart.  Read her book about Robert Lowell several years ago and enjoyed it – My First Cousin Once Removed and The Year Roger Wasn’t Well (a not well  disguised book about WGBH)


On Tuesday, May 13 we will finally be hosting Dina Keratsis with her book CAKE.

On June 3 we will be hosting two new authors – Elisabeth Elo whose mystery North of Boston has gotten raves – including two reviews in the GLOBE – and Holly Robinson who has several titles – the most recent being Beach Plum Island.  Holly tells me that she and Elisabeth have appeared together before and had a great time so I think it will be a delightful evening – and what’s better than finding new authors?



DINA                                  ELISABETH                                              HOLLY

this is today’s rant

I am not sure what the rationale is but quite frequently when a book is coming out in paperback, all the copies of the hardcover are pulled from bookstores.  I assume they think no one will buy the hardcover when paper is available – which might be true.  But here’s the rant – they pull the hardcovers BEFORE they publish the paperback – sometimes weeks before so effectively the book is only available as an E-book for quite some time.  It was especially noticeable this week when local mystery writer Hank Phillippi Ryan won the Agatha for her book The Wrong Girl.  The Agatha is a fairly prestigious fan award and you would normally expect a sales bump BUT they have pulled the hardcovers and the paperback won’t be out until July.

OK – I’m done.