I was reading Booklist magazine at lunch today because I couldn't find anything nearby that was more interesting, and really, the Sci Fi/Fantasy issue of Booklist was an easy choice for me over Sports Illustrated for Kids or Sew Beautiful or Boating. Huh, I didn't know we still carried Boating. So, reading through a thicket of mild, Booklist praise I quickly found my way to a shiny, hopeful two page spread of "starred", upcoming sci fi/fantasy books. Before long I was knee deep in superlatives. There are like, 11 absolute must reads, just in this genre, apparently coming out in the next month and a half. I cried out "Who is responsible for all this hyperbole?!"
I was alone in the room so no one answered.
This forced me into a reflective mode. I mused and there found my answer. I am responsible for all this hyperbole! I'm addicted. I gotta have it. I crave it! There are hundreds of trillions of books out there! How can I settle on just one (or seven) to take home and find time to read. If I stumble upon two books that seem like they both might be particularly satisfying to me and one of them has three "starred" reviews, while the other only has two "starred" reviews, I am absolutely going with those three stars. But wait, what if the three starred one is merely described as "deeply exhilarating." This sounds tepid compared to the two star's jacket burner of "life changingly beautiful". Plus, Ursula K. LeGuin is very pleased with the two starrer. That should count for something since Ursula K. LeGuin is the greatest Science Fiction writer who ever lived, ever! It's a praise arms race, and to absurdly mix my metaphors the race is to my arms and the praise is the heroin I inject in them. If someone I really trusted would just say that one of these books is ten times more entertaining than anything they've ever read in their life, I might feel like I've really got something worth taking home here. But without that I am full of doubt. And these books are heavy. I am paid to truck books all over the place in the library, but back and forth to my house is just uncompensated labor. I need assurances. I can't just keep reading Jasper Fforde books and The Wee Free Men over and over again. Great as they are though, a zillion times better than almost anything else.
It kind of makes me wonder what they write about in Boating magazine.