Stumped for blog entries today and not wanting to turn to you folks to tell me what to write, I simply turned to my colleagues and made them do some of the heavy lifting for me! Every so often, someone will ask, “If you could have represented any book in the world, what would it have been?” And I always answer TWILIGHT. Because COME ON! That book made roughly a trillion dollars. It’s a silly answer, though, as it’s likely much more interesting to choose books that we would have loved to represent not only because they made a bunch of money. Here’s what we came up with.
Michael went for Ann Dee Ellis’ realistic YA novel THIS IS WHAT I DID citing it as “an amazing example of both voice and storytelling.” Unrelated: in looking the book up, I laughed out loud when I saw that the final line of the Booklist review, where they usually tell people whether or not the book is worthwhile, is instead a warning: “Caution: there’s a slang term for scrotum on page 1.”
Stephanie went with Garth Stein’s major bestseller THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN. When asked why, she replied, “Besides the fact that it made a bajillion dollars?” Fair question. It also is, “beautifully written, compelling, and accessible.”
Miriam chose Ann Patchett’s stunning novel BEL CANTO because she notes that besides being a “gorgeous writer,” Patchett always comes off as a sweet person. She then went on to name an author whose work she loves but thought might be super difficult to work with. I won’t name names. But it sounds like Shmonanthan Shmanzen.
It was Joshua Ferris’s THEN WE CAME TO THE END for Lauren. She notes that, “Joshua Ferris’s voice and sensibility are very much in the spirit of the sort of accessible literary novels that I tend to go for on a personal and professional level.”
Me? I’ll pick two. It’s my entry after all. On the YA side, I’ll choose Stephen Chbosky’s THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER because it made me cry, it’s a true life story (which I’d love to find more of), and it’s the sort of novel you can imagine really being a life-changer for teens who read it. On the adult side, I’ll pick Gillian Flynn’s DARK PLACES because it’s a super-dark thriller with some really twisted stuff going on, and I can really get behind some bleak, bleak stuff.
Rachel also picked a book that made her cry: Ian McEwan’s ATONEMENT was the first book to make her sob uncontrollably. I will personally note that I don’t understand why the universe loved this book. I file Ian McEwan among those people whose work everyone but me loves, leaving me feeling a little dazed and confused by my own apathy. (See also: Spielberg)
Jane picked an altogether different type of weeper: THE EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES by Siddhartha Mukherjee, a stunning “biography of cancer” that could have been dull or difficult or simply too dark to read if it weren’t for Mukherjee’s incredible compassion.
What about you, dear readers? Let’s say you could slap your name on some already published book and claim it as your own? What would you have chosen to write?