Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Sell it Baby.

This is going to be a quickie. Life is interrupting today. Blech. Stupid Life.

Okay. This question was posed to me: If you had to recommend 5 titles (of books) to SELL to someone what would they be?

Now this is a different question than: What are five books you would recommend? Selling books isn't easy, mostly because you're dealing with a stranger. The easiest thing to do is find out what they have liked in the past. It's also good to try and get some clue about a persons political/social inclination. No sex books for the nuns, 'kay? You also want to do a good job. You want them back. You want them to validate your weird sense of humor and bizarre taste in books. You should aim for something a little off the beaten track. Anyone can pick up books like, The Lovely Bones without a personal recommendation - it was all over the media.

Two books that fit the example of books that I would recommend but wouldn't necessarily sell to a total stranger: Blindness by Jose Saramago and/or The Sparrow by Maria Doria Russell. These are fabulous books. However, they're not for everyone. If you're up for the emotional commitment of either - you should read them. You also should be a little open minded when reading The Sparrow there is some "questionable content" there.

This is a working list but I think these are a few contemporary novels that I would list:

1. The Bone People by Keri Hulme
2. Waiting by Ha Jin
3. The Magician's Assistant
by Ann Patchett
4. Wicked: The Life and times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory MacGuire
5. The Solace of Leaving Early by Haven Kimmel
6. Feast of Love by Charles Baxter
7. American Pastoral by Phillip Roth

Okay, so that's seven. Some may be eliminated after I think about it a bit more.

How about you, which novels would you list?

Off to battle delinquent plumbers, leaky faucets, and dead cars. L-O-V-E.

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Blogger Elisa said...

I'd like you to know that this question kept me from getting much work accomplished this afternoon.

My top 5 to buy:

1. "The New York Trilogy" by Paul Auster, esp. "City of Glass"
2. "The Passion" by Jeanette Winterson, or "Written on the Body" if "The Passion" wasn't in stock
3. "The Eight" by Katherine Neville
4. "Dickens' Fur Coat and Charlotte's Unanswered Letters" by Daniel Pool. Not a work of fiction but a great read.
5. "Louisiana Power & Light" by John Dufresne (love, love, love him)

It isn't the same as my top 5 favorite books of all time, but my favorite contemporary authors are there. What fun this was!

Are you going to the Circles one year anniversary pot luck?

10/20/2004 7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great question!

I loved Wicked and gave it to everyone I knew a few years ago.

I'd add Ahab's Wife: Or, The Star-Gazer: A Novel
by Sena Jeter Naslund and Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis Thomas Jefferson and the Opening of the American West by Stephen Ambrose.

10/23/2004 6:24 PM  
Blogger Bookish Wendy said...

These are great suggestions. You guys are really good at this. I haven't read any of them and will add them to my list. Thanks! Keep them coming!


10/25/2004 10:43 AM  

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