Working on a Review

It starts with the backlist, of course. It always does. (Although sometimes I choose to review debut collections or novels and there is no backlist.) With the idea of reviewing Thomas Trofimuk’s new novel, my backlist reading is reduced by one (Waiting for Columbus) and eased by the fact that I own his first two novels. This is just a matter of plucking a couple books from the T-shelves and spending a few hours turning their pages.

But the time saved by convenience is kyboshed when I read the Author’s Note at the end of the new novel. Which introduces me to Paolo Sorrentino and Alessandro Baricco and reminds me of Italo Calvino (and how much I have enjoyed the three books of his I’ve read but, simultaneously, how many years have passed while I’ve been saying that I want to reread them but also read the others I’ve collected since).

All of this makes me nervous and I wonder whether it’s even possible to review this book without spending a year watching films and reading novels. Which is when I find a sweet review of the new book, by Peter Takach, which references Thomas Wharton’s The Logogryph (which I’ve been wanting to read for years, and even more so since reading Icefields, although I haven’t yet gotten to Salamander or the Perilous Realm triology).

So, at last count, I’ve watched 2 films, read 5 books, reread a book, read a review (and then one more because I always appreciate Robert Wiersema’s take on a novel) and filed 2 interlibrary loans.

Next up? Italian lessons. That should get me to a first draft.

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