The New Yorker
What do these things have in common? Apparently publishers are just dying to know what we all think of their latest books. And they want us to tell other people about them. And they want to send them to us (gratis) before they're published so we can accomplish those feats!
I've certainly never set out to find a niche for this blog, but since I read a lot, I mention books a lot. And without any particular plan, I've apparently reviewed 30 or more of them here. This may have been Janiece's fault, since, early on, she asked me to review Jeffery Deaver's Location Scout Mysteries from a real-life Location Manager's point of view. I didn't think much of them and I choose to think Mr. Deaver is intimately familiar with my opinion and that's the reason we aren't on speaking terms.
Anyway, since starting this blog, I've babbled about books fairly often. And recently, I did a sorta, kinda review of Lev Grossman's The Magician. (Here, and here.) I liked it and I said so, but you can't exactly call my review in-depth or incisive. I don't even think there's a particularly good blurb in there - not that authors are falling all over themselves to get a Polybloggimous blurb on the dust cover. (I may have to start using the phrase cracking good yarn more often.)
So, you can imagine my delight (and surprise) when I got an email last week saying:
I see that you reviewed Lev Grossman’s THE MAGICIANS in the past and am checking in to see if you’d like a copy of the second book in the series, THE MAGICIAN KING (Viking; On-sale: August 9).
I responded immediately with a sternly worded missive:
How dare you try to foist off new works of fiction on me before anyone else gets a chance to read them! Your unmitigated gall at trying to get me to mention your author's book by providing it to me in such a timely fashion and FOR FREE is the height of mercenariness. I am insulted and offended beyond the ability of mere words to convey at this transparent and avaricious attempt to curry favor with this unsullied publication. Kindly cease and desist with any such offers in the future!
OK, maybe I squeed a little and disobeyed a few laws of nature by responding so quickly in the affirmative that they may have received my address to send the book to before actually asking for it. And then, on Friday evening, this show up.
Why yes; I have begun reading it. And yes; I'll tell you all about it when I've finished. And I swear I won't go easy on it just because they gave it to me...but if the first chapter is any indication, I'm going to enjoy this one as much as I did the first one.
In the meantime, I'll be basking in the glow of being me. And since I know you're all suffering from a case of not being me, I won't rub any salt into you gaping wounds. Oh, damn; I can't help myself:
I feel pretty
Oh so pretty
I feel pretty and witty and gay
And I pity
Any boy who isn't me today
I feel charming
Oh so charming
It's alarming how charming I feel
And so pretty
That I hardly can believe I'm real
Why yes...this is exactly how the reviewers at the NY Times react when books show up for them. I have it on the best authority that there's an entire floor there devoted to gamboling and prancing!