For the first time in the eight year (!) history of Literary Vice I am planning to take a holiday from posting (just for the months of July and August). Emphasis on planning. I may still insist on writing a couple of reviews.
But! I don’t – at all – want to leave you without reviews to read. So. This is my call for guest authors. I’d love for *you* to write a review in your own style, in your own voice, of whatever it is that you like to read. Who knows. Maybe we’ll make having guest authors a thing.
- You are willing to write an original review;
- You are not marketing a book in writing your review;
- Reviews need to be submitted by June 28 so that I can prepare a scheduled release date for the post.
Questions you might have:
- Length of review is entirely up to you (most of my posts fall somewhere between 500-750 words);
- You can review something I’ve reviewed in the past and dis/agree with my reading of it (in fact I think a review disagreeing would be fun);
- You can review any genre (given my propensity to only review fiction it might be nice to have some non-fiction reviews. That’s a lie. Who would that be nice for?!);
- You can review something you think I should read and make the argument for why I should read it;
- No compensation. Just glory.
Other things you want to know? Questions or concerns? Send me a message at email@example.com or however you best like to get in touch with me.
Please let me know by June 11 if you’re interested in writing a review, so that if no one is interested I can do a scramble to figure out what to do instead. Please don’t leave me to scramble. I am not well coordinated and scrambling will likely lead to a bashed up knee or something.
Yours in reading,
Karan Mahajan’s The Association of Small Bombs was on the New York Times list for the best books of 2016. I went through the list and requested books at the library, most of the list had a wait list dozens, or hundreds, deep. Not so for The Association of Small Bombs. It was on the shelf at my preferred location. Maybe because I was requesting books the same day the list came out? Or maybe because readers are silly and thought they wouldn’t like a book about terrorism in India? Whatever the case: be me and get yourself to the front of the line to read this one. It’s terrific. Continue reading
I’ve only ever posted book reviews or book talk here, so I recognize I’m breaking with expectations. But I’m using this as a shameless platform to plug the new blog project I’ve started (not to fear, Literary Vice continues without interruptions – I’m neck deep in A Brief History of Seven Killings which is (no spoiler) not at all brief).
The new blog is Pregnant Pause for stories about being not-pregnant. You can read more about the project (and some of our first stories) (and find out how to contribute) on the site, but here’s a teaser: Continue reading
So I was taking a quick look at my blog stats and I’ve reviewed a little under 350 books (yay me) between December 2009 and September 2016. The tag cluster suggest (accurately) that I read a lot of Canadian literature and almost exclusively novels. No surprises there.
Then I got to wondering about the distribution in my reading across gender and racial lines in authorship. I did a quick count of the first 150 books reviewed (in years 2009-2011 roughly – 100 books in 2011, so there’s that). Knowing, of course, that these aren’t precise, I was not surprised to learn that the vast majority of the novels I read are written by white people (about 80%) (I say I wasn’t surprised, which isn’t the same as not being troubled). I was surprised to find this period suggests I read a majority of male authors (about 65%). And without doing a deep dive into the biographies of authors I’d guess that these authors likewise fall into the dominant identity categories across the board.
Given that I’ve spent time in my posts opining on the value of reading for offering readers new perspectives and that my literary training came from an institution proud of its effort to expose and counter canons, I’d say I have a healthy heap of hypocrisy in my reading habits.
I’m not sure yet what to do with these observations. Putting it out to you – dear readers – how do you (or do you?) work to ensure breadth in your reading habits? Am I assigning unwarranted value to diversity in authorship (when perhaps I’d be better to consider my genre range? or something else?)? Is it time for me to embark on another reading project (akin to 10-10-12) that encourages me to read outside my canon?