Tag Archives: fiction

Are Books Dead?

Various strands have been floating through the atmosphere of late and consequently through my alleged mind.

The LA Times recently shut down its book review section moving content and three of its now former five book review editors to a features page. I pray the NYTimes Book Review  isn’t next. Some weeks even that grande dame seems a page signature or two shy of permanent anorexia.

BookEnds Literary Agency’s July 16 discussion debated whether or not readers buy fiction in times of economic distress (file that bit of news under It was the worst of times to be a newbie novelist.) Posters to the literary blog The Elegant Variation bat back and forth the merits of leaving print media behind for the web.

So I throw it out to you, dear readers:
• How do you find your way to the books you enjoy reading? Friends’ recommendations? Book reviews? Browsing the shelves at the library? Amazon? Your local indy bookseller or big box?

• Have you changed your book buying habits of late?

• Given up on fiction for more practical books, such as those titled Your Money or Your Shirt — Surviving Today’s Financial Crises? (Although from where I sit, nothing is more practical than facing down the persistent wave of bad news with a terrific escape into someone else’s maelstrom. And I made up the title of that book.)

• The evisceration of book review sections — good for the muse or bad for the muse?  If today’s (to wit yesterday’s) model is destined for the circular file, what model would you propose for the future?

• And last but by no means least — read any good books lately?

PS  Tune in to BoomerCafe.com on Saturday, July 26. Remember those essays I promised you back in May? The ones that should have been published but weren’t? Promise now kept. Enjoy.

Two by Marisa de los Santos

Marisa de los Santos’ novels maybe too sweet and predictible for some readers, but I’ve quite happily escaped into Love Walked In and Belong to Me. Who needs harsh and unsettling all the time?

de los Santos’ characters are charming — Cornelia Brown, a winsome thirty-something hopelessly romantic old-movie buff who’s still trying to find herself; Claire, the young girl who lands unexpectedly in her lap and makes herself at home beneath Cornielia’s serendipitous and fiercely loyal wings; Teo, who, in Love Walked In is so perfect you know he couldn’t be real. But so what? Remember what I said about needing harsh and unsettling all the time? And besides, in Belong to Me Teo’s past catches up with him. Even when all their lives are falling to pieces, you know these three will somehow be put back together again.

I’ve read that Sarah Jessica Parker has been tapped to play Cornelia in a film version of Love Walked In. I just don’t see her in that role. I know she’s tiny (at least in relation to Big and nearly everyone else) but she doesn’t strike me as being able to project Cornelia’s sweet guilelessness. No matter. Kudos to de los Santos for her achievements on all scores.