Thank you to everyone who came to the September readings for How to Get Into Our House and Where We Keep the Money. It's hugely reassuring to look up and see a friendly face in the crowd (yes, I'm using "crowd" loosely, but... technically three's a crowd). I imagine that, like me, most writers started out as obsessive readers eager to escape into another world, shy little bookworms who trembled when a beautiful sentence made steady eye contact with them from across the room.
There are still more book events to come—Portland (Maine), the Bowery in NYC, Richmond, Philadelphia, LA, Portland (Oregon), and Palm Desert—so for those of you interested, here's a hastily designed postcard with dates and locations.
And Now a Confession
One thing I've found myself doing since the book came out a few weeks ago is compulsively checking for new Amazon and Goodreads reviews of my books. I realize, of course, that this is a terrible habit. But it's very hard to break.
Following the principle that it's easier to shift or replace a behavior than it it is to wholly arrest it, I started reading the reviews of other books. I soon noticed that most Amazon book reviews could be classified into of the following four types:
- "The Mansplainer" — Long unsolicited synopsis
- "Calm Down, Mom" — Ecstatic, hyperbolic praise
- "Goldilocks" — Brief but thoughtful consideration
- "Irrelevant" — Unrelated complaints (Ex: "I ordered Moby Dick two weeks ago so WHERE are my goddamn AA batteries??")
This insight led me to search out the classics, curious to see if the pattern held there. (It did). It also led me to a few memorable one-star reviews of some of the great works of literature, which I've shared with you below.