We love to hear what James from Island Books is reading and how he talks about it. In this post from the store’s blog, Message in a Bottle, he reminds us of that perfect period of time before you start a book you’re excited about. You’ve read the reviews and the cover blurbs and it’s “like the first day of summer for a schoolkid, or looking at the pile of shiny presents under the tree on Christmas morning.”
He also talks about how he’s been rejuvenated on this particular title, A Naked Singularity by Sergio De La Pava, after buying a self-published version of the book in 2008. “I’m not sure why I didn’t read it right then,” he writes, “but I know it had something to do with not being able to easily share the book, or the idea of the book, with others. When you’re in the business of selling stories, I think you tend to gravitate toward the ones that are part of a public conversation. If customers ask what you’re reading and the answer is completely unrecognizable, they’re not confident that you’ll be able to understand their own tastes and opinions—they have a hard time judging your judgment, so to speak.”
Now re-released from University of Chicago Press, the novel gets a second life and a much larger audience. James says he’s going to jump in on the group read here.
Jamil at Elliott Bay Book Company says De La Pava belongs alongside novelists “Lethem, Wallace, Murakami, Delillo, Gaddis and Pynchon.” He has a great interview with De La Pava here.