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The Abject Literator, A Literary Cahier

Expect Nothing

Just as the summer vagueness descends, a time in which the outlines of the Litchfield hills in the distance smudge into the blue/grey of the sky and the dog lays, his tongue wetly protruding, upon the hot brick of the patio, along comes a book to shake me out my doldrums.

Now, in the brief time I have been posting here, I have been all about the books that I have personally reviewed at The New York Journal of Books.

Today, however, I want to let you know about a book that a friend beautifully reviewed in the NYJB–a book that is quickly becoming the bestseller for the summer of 2011.

Just as we all have songs that we connect in our memories with specific summers, I think that we all have books as well.  Some we read on the beach–hot sand, sun headaches and fat paperbacks make for a pleasing remembrance.  Others are those that we come upon on vacation, in a used bookstore usually, and that smell of dust and closed-in places.  Books with crumpled covers and fat spines.

The first of these in my life was Watership Down, a book that I read while our family pushed onward, ever onward in our old Buick.  I got seasick reading that book but could not put it down.  Who knew?–rabbits.

So many others since, books that defy logic (Jacqueline Suzann, inexplicably), books from childhood that come back again every few years (Isaac Isimov’s Foundation books, all Ray Bradbury), and the books that show up along the way (Tales of the City chief among these).

This year’s book is Go the Fuck to Sleep.  It is the perfect parody of the perfect children’s book with the perfect title.  Anyone who has struggled with a child, any child–your own or someone else’s–knows the reason for the book, the plot, and the need for the title to be exactly what it is and to be stated exactly as it has been stated.  This is a book of pure humor, a book that understands, a book that forgives us our trespasses and kisses us on the forehead at night.

So take a moment away from the heat and away from discouraging the tornadoes by sprinkling cinnamon around the outside of your house and give this review a read.  If you like it, get the book and lull yourself to sleep with it, while your children scream in the night.

Note:  Special thanks to my friend (and editor) Lisa Rojany Buccieri for her funny, pointed review.


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