Books, books, books, books, books and ebooks too


I am not the only Carrie Snyder ever to publish a book. In fact, I'm not even the only Carrie A. Snyder ever to publish a book. Another Carrie Snyder published a book entitled Euthanasia and another on Death and Dying. Folks, that's not me. And Carrie A. Snyder published several books on drawing. How to Draw Horses. You Can Draw Funny Animals. Also not me. And, just speculating here, probably not the author of Euthanasia either. I wonder whether people who find us awkwardly listed together on Amazon or Goodreads assume that the Carrie Snyders are all one really weird person? As an aside, I used to spend a lot of time drawing horses. Badly. I probably could have used that book.

I am currently reading Let the Great World Spin, by Colum McCann. Stories to break your heart. They kept me up late last night even though I should have been resting my cold-laden head.

I finished The Tipping Point last week. An excellent marketing book, if only I could figure out how to put the ideas into play. How does one tip? How to tip The Juliet Stories from the somewhat echoing chamber of my circle of friends and family (yes, that's you!) and into the broader world? I thoroughly enjoyed Malcolm Gladwell's chapter on Connectors, Mavens, and Salespeople. I'm pretty sure my eldest is a Maven-in-the-making, and it was comforting to read about the upsides of this personality-type: Albus is the only person I've ever met who pores indiscriminately over any flyer that comes through the door; he also knows exactly what things cost, and if there's a latest new anything, he's onto it. The interesting thing about Salespeople is that they are able to change the moods of those around them. And their own moods are quite unaffected by those around them. This is what is known as charisma. Though I wonder--are you only charismatic if you're an upbeat person? Connectors are people who seem to know everyone. We all know people like that. I'd like to be a connector, but I'm probably not. I'm terrible with names for starters. If I forget your name, please don't be offended; I have a blind spot. I've forgotten names of people I've known for decades and see on a weekly basis. I wish I were exaggerating. This will be torture at book-signings.

I'm also still reading -- dipping into -- the biography of Mordecai Richler. In my defense, it's very thick! And the author, Charles Foran, is definitive in the extreme, leaving no cocktail party or early rejection letter unmentioned. I can see why he would choose this approach, given that he's writing about a very complicated person about whom others had vastly varying and polarized opinions. But it's a lot of detritus. Life is stuffed with minutiae and a writer's life may have even more, given the writer's penchant for writing things down.

Last bookish musing of the morning ... I had an interesting conversation this morning between a friend and a friend-of-a-friend about the shifts in the book industry, and how publishers are exploring the possibilities within digital publishing -- publishing children's books as downloadable apps for your iPhone, for instance, or creating a multimedia experience out of an existing children's book, again downloadable to your phone. What do parents out there think? Would you entertain your child with a book-app, or a book-related game?


News: Confirmed Juliet-related dates

Feb. 25 Launch party at the Starlight in Waterloo, 7:30-9:30
March 7 Harbourfront reading series 7:30
May 16 TYPE books in Toronto with Heather Birrell 6-9

While I'm excited about the anticipated activity, it also gives me pause. Hurray! Readings! is followed quickly by faint queasiness: Gulp! Readings! A reading is like a race: I'm happy when I'm actually doing it, and I'm thrilled to have done it immediately afterward, but the lead-up is crazy-making.

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