These days, picking books is not so simple. While I may have a chorus of books calling to me from the shelves--and I swear, I don't hear voices...not really--they may or may not work for me. The whole dang chorus is a crapshoot.
The trustiest method is the taste-testing method I mentioned in a recent post. I pull the chorus of calling books off the shelves, I taste-test 10 or so pages, and I see what happens. Last week I reported that The Night Guest, by Fiona McFarlane, was the book that passed the taste test. That's true, but it only passed the initial test. It didn't really stick. I didn't want to dig in with my whole face.
This weekend I seem to have found a taste-tested book that's the real deal. A book I want to gobble.
It's hard to pinpoint what "works" in my reading at any given time. Right now it's a completely magical and unknown equation. I just have to try and see. And I sort of get that feeling from this book...a sense of wonder, ambiguity, and wackiness. Maybe that's why it works...it's as nebulous as my own reading moods.
How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky, by Lydia Netzer, had me at page one...this time. I've taste-tested it before to no avail, but for whatever reason, this time it's "the one." The story is odd. Two astronomers whose lives were orchestrated by people and forces beyond their control. One sees the inexplicable around every corner. The other is a staunch pragmatist. The whole time I'm reading, I'm completely involved in the weirdness surrounding these characters, and I can hear Lydia Netzer smirking under her breath from somewhere out there in the ether. There's just no telling what she has in store for me next.
Now, tell me. How are you picking your books? Does your method change depending on mood?
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