Monday Miscellany

Gillian Flynn: By the Book

Gone Girl: cover

In this interview with The New York Times, the author of the wildly successful thriller Gone Girl reveals what books she’s currently reading, who is her all-time favorite novelist, what makes a great thriller, and how she’s faring with the self-imposed project of reading every Pulitzer Prize-winning novel in chronological order.

Why We Lie About Our Favorite Books

Author Gabrielle Zevin, whose most recent novel is The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, confesses that she has sometimes lied when asked what her favorite book is. In fact, just about everybody does. (And yes, we all know she’s not lying about this.)

And why do we do this? It’s probably a matter of the image of ourselves that we want to present:

I don’t mind when people “lie” about what they read. I think the lie itself is revealing and the more I consider the matter, I’m not even sure it’s a lie. On some level, I think we want our reading self to represent our best self.

Some books are too cool to be bought

Unable to find a copy of a work by Samuel Beckett, Arifa Akbar discovers that some authors’ books are routinely stolen from bookstore shelves:

There are , famously, certain authors and titles that are prone to getting stolen – William S. Burroughs, Italo Calvino, Raymond Chandler, Jack Kerouac, et al. Terry Pratchett, a refreshing departure from the usual, über-trendy suspects above, has joked about being the most stolen author in Britain. I knew Charles Bukowski always featured highly on America’s most pilfered – but I didn’t know he was a big-hitter here too. Yeah, the women at Waterstones said, there was a time when they couldn’t put him on the shelves. He’d have to be sold behind the counter, like contraband. It sounded outlandish, like something from a Woody Allen film.

. . .

The women at Waterstones didn’t think it had anything to do with price. They reckoned that certain authors were cooler to steal than to buy.

How novel: books about books and the joy of reading

Most avid readers probably have their own list of favorite books about books and reading, but here’s The Irish Times‘s list of 10.