February 20, 2009
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Friday Again

I was too hard on Friday. I was pretty hard on poor Emma, too. A correspondent took me to task. What I didn’t make clear, I think, is that I really did enjoy Friday. It’s not Heinlein’s fault that he wrote it in 1982. You can’t blame the book for not knowing that AIDS was about to happen, or that 25 years later the commune would look a bit different.

Do all webloggers received lucid 4,000 word literary essays as a matter of course?

Why was I so hard on these books? Maybe I’m a grump. It’s tax season, and Tinderbox 4.6 has grown and ramified and I’ve been working too late.

Maybe it’s because I know Heinlein and Austen aren’t about to send me email. I do hear from writers, and sometimes from their editors. And perhaps from their sisters and their cousins, too. In any case, I try to write honestly but carefully here: honestly because these notes are chiefly for myself, and carefully because you never know who is listening, or when they’ll be on your doorstep.

Late last year, I took all the book notes from this weblog, 2001-2008, to see what I could learn from them. Here’s the word cloud:

always american art author back before being best better between big business century characters david delightful down early end every everything far fascinating few find fine first found fun good got great history important indeed interesting job john know less life little long look lot made make makes mystery name need never nice novel off often once own people place point quite read reading real really right same second sense series set short simply since small something sometimes stories story things think time volume want war why without wonderful work world writer writing written wrong yet young

Face it: this is a portrait of a happy reader. OK: I don’t have the old newspaper critic’s duty to tell you how to avoid wasting your time. Your time is your own problem. But, mostly, I read a lot of good books.