Autumn Pick from the LitBlog Co-op

We have now announced the autumn Read This selection for the LitBlog Co-op, and will begin various sorts of posts about it and the four other nominees over the next weeks and months.

I became a member of the group too late to vote last time, so was sort of on the sidelines, but this time around I was not just a voter, but also a nominator, and the book I nominated will be revealed on Monday. I'm not at all averse to the book that was selected, though -- it was, in fact, my second choice, behind my own book.

The LBC is still new, and we're still figuring out ways to make it interesting and worthwhile, so we've changed a lot of what we're doing this round from last round. We're working on scheduling lots of special posts about the selected book, with, we hope, discussions with the author, editor, agent, publicist, and anybody else who is willing to join in, and we're also going to devote a week of discussion to each of the nominated books, which is something I'm pretty excited about, because some of the books are from very small presses, and the extended discussion will give them some deserved attention. (Which is not to say that everyone liked every book. Each book had supporters and detractors. There were two books that I was ... well, less than enthusiastic about.)

So go read about the autumn pick. Powell's Books will be selling it for 30% off, and I recommend picking up a copy, because if you like the sorts of things I write about here at The Mumpsimus, you'll probably like this book quite a bit.


  1. A Viking Books title whose author got written up in the Times recently, is it?

    The Lit Blog Co-op fails again!

  2. I suspect the sorts of people who dislike any such enterprise that does not limit itself to the most obscure of the obscure will, indeed, say exactly that, Nick.

    For my part, I nominated a book from a very small press, because it was a book I enjoyed and had not seen in a bookstore. Everybody else was free to use whatever criteria they thought appropriate both for nominating and voting.

  3. There is a broad excluded middle between the "most obscure of the obscure" (say, something without an ISBN or barcode, sold via the mail) and a Viking release whose author was lauded in the New York Times.

    Say, how about any fiction from an independent press? MacAdam/Cage, Unbridled Books, Serpent's Tail, a university press, a work in translation, you name it.

    And yes, of course people can use any criteria they like, and I, in turn, can razz any final decision I like, especially when -- and this is two in a row now, mind you -- that final decision undermines the reasoning behind creating the Read This! choice in the first place.

    Here's a good guideline to use when attempting to find underappreciated work: if the author actually has a publicist that the Litblog Co-op can interview as part of the festivities, that work should be disqualified.

  4. You're chastising the wrong guy. If you want to complain about the choice, you should do it in the comments to the nomination, because I'm not the one who nominated it, nor did I vote it as my first choice. I'm associated with the group because I think it can bring awareness to books that otherwise would not have as much as they deserve. But there are 20 other people involved.

  5. That would require actually reading the Co-op, which I stopped after their last choice.

    And I wasn't castigating you. I didn't say "Matt Cheney fails again!" I said "The Lit Blog Co-op fails again!"

  6. Sorry if I seem overly sensitive. I agree with you about a lot of it, but I think there's some potential this time, so I'm not ready to proclaim failure yet. We shall see.

  7. I've never heard of Stern or The Angel of Forgetfulness before this posting (call me poorly read), but I'm awfully glad to be pointed to this book. After reading a bit about it, it appears exactly the kind of book that "genre" readers too often overlook because of lack of exposure in the genre community.

    So thanks for blogging about it. And, personally, as a reader with no aspirations of becoming a published writer, I just want to hear about good fiction - regardless of the publisher.


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