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Thursday, November 1, 2012
Introducing: The Backlist Book Club
As someone who reads a lot, friends and family members ask me if I've read (insert name of famous literary success here). Often, the answer is no. How can I, someone who reads so much more than they do, not have read this great book they've read? The list of authors I want to read is ridiculously long (as is the one of authors whose work I've enjoyed and want to read more of). Typically when any of these authors publishes a new book, I start with it.
One of the perks of picking a backlist title is accessibility. These titles may already be on our shelves. These titles shouldn't have a long waiting list at the library. These titles should be easy (and cheap!) to pick up used. I love reading reviews of backlist titles. It's so easy to track down a copy quickly and dig right in.
What does backlist mean?
Backlist refers to the titles that have been published for several years. For the purposes of The Backlist Book Club, I'm loosely defining backlist as anything originally published from 1980 up to 5 years ago. I was born in 1980, and I want to focus on books published during my lifetime, but at least five years ago. I want to take time to read the books I meant to read in high school, college, and the early years after college, when reading wasn't a priority in my life.
How will titles be chosen?
For at least the first two months, I'll be picking the titles. I'm certainly open to suggestions for December! For January, I'll reassess and see how many are participating and may opt to open the selections up to votes.
I'm in! What's our first title?
The Giant's House by Elizabeth McCracken! First published in 1996, The Giant's House is Elizabeth McCracken's first novel. It was a finalist for the 1996 National Book Award. McCracken, a self-described "lapsed librarian," writes about a 26-year-old librarian in 1950's Cape Cod. Over wine one night several months ago, a reading friend whose taste I respect told me I had to read The Giant's House. Several months later, I am, and I hope many of you will join me!
Convinced? Get the book! Order The Giant's House from an independent bookstore, the Book Depository, or Amazon (no Kindle version).
Look for my review in the middle of November and our discussion on Friday, November 30.
Grab the button and share the news. Cheers to reading backlist titles together!
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