8.12.2006

I though of y'all when I read this

How, the naturalist begins to understand, after years of study. He records the when and where and which of the birds of passage, beasts of the field. Those are the very questions that system is poised to answer. But why will never be solved by system. No number of small corpses, dissected, tagged, and preserved, will ever begin to answer why.

Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile
by Verlyn Klinkenborg (Knopf: 2006)




This is a small, elegant, amazing book.
Every writer should read it.

15 comments:

dink said...

I took you up on a previous "every writer should read this" and purchased Twyla Tharp's book "The Creative Habit" which was amazing and concretely HELPFUL and came for me at just the right time--I'll definitely be taking you up on this new "every writer should read"

And I thank you from the bottom of my self-doubt (where all creativity goes to die) for the recommendation of the Twyla Tharp book.

Brady Westwater said...

Everything Verlyn Klinkenborg writes is transcendent. He is the best columinst in the New York Times and every one of his books is a minor masterpiece.

Ryan Field said...

If it'll help with "that" and "which" I'm riding amazon right now.

nice anonymous said...

Well, I figured it would be good. Seeing his byline in the Times always gives me a feeling of pleasure & "What have we here?"

Talia Mana said...

Have you thought about becoming an amazon affiliate?

i notice you often link to amazon to help people find books but i don't think you are an affiliate??? that means you get a commission every time someone clicks the link and buys the book

let's face it 1 million hits. you've got a huge passive income stream potential... and an enviable "platform". makes me want to drown in a gin bath

snark on.

plcul said...

I hope Miss Snark does not become an Amazon affiliate. Conflict of interest in recommending "must-read" books. When you sell books, every book becomes a "must read." When you do not sell books, only those that you truly recommend make the list.

archer said...

He sounds like Annie Dillard. I am going to spend money on him right away.

Kanani said...

It's that WHY that keeps me writing.

John said...

From what I can determine, the book isn't out until January 2007, which for me raises possible questions of conflict of interest here. Why is Miss Snark involved pre-release? Is this a book she's agenting, or a colleague is agenting? Is there some other connection? If so, it's in her interest to hype the book, as she or a crony will get a piece of the action. 15% is more than you get as an Amazon affiliate. Would Miss Snark be willing to say she has no business reason to plug this book?

Anonymous said...

Hey John, how'd you figure that one? It's been out since February according to Amazon.

Miss Snark said...

Well John, so glad to see you think so well of me.

The book was published last winter.
If you google the title and the author you'll find 16,600 hits that say that.

What kind of research did YOU do that you missed that?

Joshilyn Jackson said...

John ---

Even if the book had NOT yet been released, it wouldn't mean anything NEFARIOUS. I have a metric ton of ARCs and bound galleys I have picked up at book expos and trade shows and from the authors who are asking me for a blurb. Miss Snark goes to trade shows, and I am sure she gets galleys because authors want HER client roster to give THEM blurbs. The free books, read before they come out, are a MAJOR perk of working in this industry...

It makes me sad that your FIRST conclusion is that Miss Snark is being UNDERHANDED and out to pluck commission from each of our pockets. Good Grief. I think that level of suspicion must be exhausting and depressing. It's a world view that makes the mom in me want to tell you that sometimes the other guy isn't out to rip you off. Sometimes the other guy just wants to recommend a book he/she thinks might be helpful.

Alex said...

The silly boy was looking at the paperback release date.

Brady Westwater said...

I notice that "John" has discontinued the link to his profile....

Hildie Block said...

As a writing prof and leader of writing workshops, I've always said that Verlyn Klinkenborg is probably the most skilled of writers (I point to Making Hay, typically). His writing is technically perfect. So it comes as no surprise that Miss Snark likes his newest.

On the other hand, I point to ZZ Packer and her collection Drinking Coffee Elsewhere as the apex of what the short story is supposed to be in our current market. Brownies is a perfect short story.