Books Received–March 31 (and a question)

Jeff VanderMeer • March 31st, 2008 @ 11:29 am • Book Reviews

The Situation arrived today, and it looks great! Woo-hoo!

Also, Farah Mendlesohn’s Rhetorics of Fantasy–on the same day as The Magic Pickle, which, for some reason, cracks me up. As well as two literary magazines we’ll need to pass on to the third-year guest editor for Best American Fantasy. (To be announced later this week.) I know Farah’s spent a long time on Rhetorics, so I’m going to curb my natural inclination to be wary of the kind of (re-)classification of types of fantasy that seems to be its thesis and just dive right in and report back.

So, that said, it has now been two weeks since I started posting photos of books received. I’d like to continue doing so, in part because it means that every book that comes in gets at least this minimum coverage, but also because people seem to be enjoying it. Am I right or wrong? If most of you just think it’s cluttering up the blog, let me know.


28 Responses to “Books Received–March 31 (and a question)”

  1. Dave Larsen says:

    The piles of books are a high point in the day for me.

  2. Paul Jessup says:

    I love it.

  3. Sir Tessa says:

    I said it before. Books are pretty, so photos of books are pretty.

  4. kellys says:

    “I love it.”


  5. Larry says:

    I love it, especially when I get to compare it to my meager haul. It’s interesting to see which books the publishers target towards reviewers/authors. Sorry for the momentary lapse into vanity. It’s a lunch break thing that’s about to pass.

  6. John Klima says:

    I like it, even though it makes me very jealous…. :D

  7. Alex D M says:

    I like looking at books.

  8. punkrockhockeymom says:

    I love it!!!

  9. Jonathan Wood says:

    It’s an interesting insight into what publishers think you might like. Its especially interesting when they guess wildly wrong.

  10. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Okay–thus far it seems like a consensus. I like doing it, actually, in part because it helps me keep track of all the books.

    Larry–it’s not because I’m an author. It’s because I make about 30% of my income from reviewing for various places.


  11. Jeff VanderMeer says:


    They don’t guess–they send almost everything. It’s a lot easier for them, and they know they can’t really always predict what a reviewer will like. For example, I posted about a funny heroic fantasy series from DAW today:

    I have 3-5 slots to fill a week for Amazon, so I cover a wider variety of stuff than what hits my particular sweet spot (not a slam on the Hines, which I enjoyed very much). The most personal reader is me as fiction writer. The second most personal is me as editor. The third most personal is me as just plain old reader. Those are really three different people. There’s also the fourth reader, yet another person, who informs me on what he thinks Amazon readers in their vast diversity might like.

    Oddly enough, Ron Charles at the Washington Post has now given me three straight books to review that theoretically hit my most personal reader, all three radically different from one another. I think he has ESP.


  12. Paul says:

    I love seeing the book photos, especially since you cover a lot of graphic novels and such. I mean, before today, I didn’t even know there was a book called The Magic Pickle!!

  13. J M McDermott says:

    I’m really glad you liked Jim Hines. He’s als a very cool guy, and does weekly LOLbooks at his livejournal.

  14. GB Steve says:

    I’ve had The Situation for a couple of weeks now, they even sent me two by mistake, I think. I may have accidentally ordered two, I’m not terribly organised. It does look great though and is pretty much next in my in pile.

  15. Terry Weyna says:

    I love the book photos, even though I have difficulty dealing with the particular shade of green they make me turn each time I see them. Anyone have any good makeup tips?

  16. donnie says:

    I finished The Situation yesterday. Wow! It reminded me of The Metamorphosis by Kafka. I had to laugh out loud a few times. Some of the absurd but true situations in work environments. I thought it was hilarious when the main character(I forgot his name) says that once in a while his manager calls him up to her office which is on the fiftieth floor! hahaha. Ridiculous and yet so true. It’s funny I waited months for The Situation to be released and I finished it in a couple hours! haha. Well worth it though. The artwork rocks too!

  17. jeff VanderMeer says:

    Thanks, Donnie!

  18. Joe Sherry says:


    The pictures are definitely a highlight for me. It’s a combination of just enjoying pictures of shiny new books and envy over having shiny new books show up at your doorstep (or wherever they show up)

  19. Seth Merlo says:

    Love the book photos too.

  20. Samuel Tinianow says:

    I spy Redivider! Home of the most hilariously, uproariously bad poem I have ever read!

  21. matt says:

    You should keep posting these photos. They’re like pornography for bibliophiles. I certainly enjoy them myself.

  22. Tania says:

    matt is right – porn for booklovers. The parrot was a nice touch.

  23. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Zee parrot–he shall return.

  24. Nadine says:

    Mmmm. Books. Mmmm…

    (Please don’t stop.)

  25. Becky says:

    What’s the book sitting next the the Magic Pickle book? The art on it looks kind of pleasing.

  26. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    That’s ReDivider, a really cool literary magazine!

  27. Becky says:

    Sweet! I’ll check it out.

  28. Farah says:

    I adore pickles. Like, pavlovian reaction to the word even. No pickle jar is safe in this house. So it seems appropriate

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