Sunday, September 28, 2014

Blurb Connections

My most recent post was on Amy Bloom’s new novel, “Lucky Us." Then I picked up two books from the library, books about which I had read good reviews. The first was “Thunderstruck: Stories,” by Elizabeth McCracken. Glancing at the back of the book, as I always do, I saw that it was blurbed by Amy Bloom. The second book I got that day was “Bad Feminist: Essays,” by Roxane Gay. And the first blurb on the back of that book was by – yes, you guessed it – Elizabeth McCracken. A little roundelay of blurbs. Well, we know that many authors blurb each other’s books. I have heard rumors that sometimes it is a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” situation, although I imagine it is not quite that clearly articulated. (Not to imply that this is the case in these particular situations.) Another interpretation, in this case, is that the types of books and authors I read are closely related, so this kind of confluence of blurbs is not surprising. I think both explanations may be at least partially true. It makes me wonder if my reading choices are perhaps too predictable, too constricted. Hmmm. I know that I have pretty strong feelings about what I like and don’t like, but I would like to think that what I like is still quite varied. I’ll watch the back-cover blurbs on the books I read in the upcoming weeks, and see if I see more of this pattern, or if it was just a coincidence.
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