aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,
aprilhenry
aprilhenry

How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read

The New York Times says that How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read is a surprise bestseller in France, with negotiations going on for the book to show up in America.

His suggestions include:
- Build on elements you do know about, like the book’s cover, reviews and other public reaction to it, and gossip about the author. [Full disclosure: Think how easy it would be to apply these prinicpals to The Higher Power of Lucky.]
- Change the subject.
- Admit not knowing a particular book while suggesting knowledge of the “collective library” into which the book fits.

Meeting a book’s author can be particularly tricky. Here, Mr. Bayard said there was no need to display knowledge of the book, since the author already has his own ideas about it. Rather, he said, the answer is “to speak well of it without entering into details.” Indeed, all the author needs to hear is that “one has loved what he has written.”

While I don't have to do these things with modern books, I do admit that for anything written before 1983, I'm a bit sketchy. I've never read Silas Mariner, Tess of d'Ubervilles, or even (gasp!) To Kill a Mockingbird. (Full disclosure: I did set out to read it to my 11 yo, but kid found it boring, and it has been abandoned for The Amazing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl.)



site stats

Subscribe with
JacketFlap's
Children's
Publishing
Blog Reader
Tags: faking it
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 6 comments