• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
  • Archives

YOu’re the First, the Last, My Everything



The whole thing about being an agent is discovering a writer or project that excites you so much all you want to do is tell people about it. It’s like New Year’s eve in When Harry Met Sally when Billy Crystal realizes he loves Meg Ryan that he runs through the streets of New York to find Meg Ryan at a party to say “I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”If my heart doesn’t quicken, if I can’t envision how I would pitch, I generally step aside. It may not be the most scientific method, but it’s reliable. I sometimes feel like the fully dressed guy on the beach with the metal detector.

What was the last book you were massively excited about?


18 Responses

  1. Have you recently found a project that made you feel this way? Would be a great way to begin the new year.

    I’m hoping to find a book that makes me get excited in 2017.

  2. I loved The Corn Maiden, but that was a few years back. Bird Box was exciting. Enjoyed Gone Girl or Girl Gone. I was excited over The Goldfinch but I haven’t finished it.

  3. Ditto what first Anonymous said – same thought I had. Have you recently found a writer who gives you goosies?

    Last book I was massively excited about? I’m reading one now that is uniquely different, and very good. ALL THE UGLY AND WONDERFUL THINGS, by Bryn Greenwood. As good as it is, I’m still searching for the sort of book/s that would make me want to re-read it/them in a few years – books like GAP CREEK, COLD MOUNTAIN or THE STORY OF EDGAR SAWTELLE. A coming of age story like BASTARD OUT OF CAROLINA.

  4. Genevieve Cogman’s “Invisible Library” and Lauret Savoy’s “Trace”; I have lost friends (just about) over how much I love Helen Macdonald’s “H is for Hawk”

  5. It’s been a long time since I’ve been excited about a book, if I want to really use the word carefully. I’ve had books that have been revelatory, books that have been secret hidden pleasures. Books that have made me rethink my writing, and books that have made me forget about being in the trade at all and just fall back to that root state, reader.

    Last week’s love was “Mayumi and the Sea of Happiness,” by Jennifer Tsung. This week (though I’m only a third of the way in, I’m already smitten) is Sarah Waters’ “The Paying Guests.” Before that, re-reading “The Queen’s Gambit,” by Walter Tevis. They all go on the keep and re-read shelf.

  6. There’re a few. “10th of December” by George Saunders struck me hard from the first story. An amazing writer. His first novel is due out soon and I have it reserved. I’m excited about it and I haven’t read it yet; Abe Lincoln’s son dies and goes all Buddhist. What’s not to like? “I Want To Show You More” by Jamie Quatro also kept me up reading past my bedtime. “Snow Hunters” by Paul Yoon took me by surprise and provided a glimmer of hope. And “The Dolphin People” by Torsten Krol was a real page turner, although when I returned to re-read passages I wasn’t too sure why I liked it; I think it stands better as a complete work.
    There. Books that got me hot. Ooo la la.

  7. 1. “All The Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr for the beauty
    2. “Olive Kitteridge” by Elizabeth Strout for the emotional build
    3. “Open” by Lisa Moore for the energy

    it’s very hard for me to fall in love with books anymore. sadly, i just read them from a writer’s perspective–check for structure, tone, voice. i hate it but i do it.


  8. Gee, I’m staying close to home: the creative vibes are keeping me quite excited about my short story project and the editing of my manuscript. If one/both get accepted this year, that would be enough.

  9. “What was the last book you were massively excited about?”

    You mean, that I didn’t write myself?

    I don’t think I can do massively excited about a book anymore. That’s the sort of excited where you tell someone, “I just read this book and you gotta read it!” Isn’t it? I’m getting old. I no longer presume to know anyone well enough to tell them I think they should read something simply because I liked it.

    But there must be something, some book I can offer . . .

    . . . massive excitement, we’re looking for massive excitement here, not just run-of-the-mill pleasure and appreciation . . .

    . . . and I’m looking for one that was not a classic or a re-read (and yes, I keep a list) . . .

    … nope … nope … not that one, either . . .

    … okay, probably anything written by Gary Lutz, and I had to go back five years for that. Thing is, like I said, I don’t do massively excited anymore. To find a book I was truly massively excited about, I’d have to go way back (way before I started keeping a list), back fifteen, twenty, twenty-five years or more, back to when the world was young and the mornings were bright, back to Jung’s “Symbols of Transformation,” Paglia’s “Sexual Personae,” and Lish’s “Dear Mr. Capote.”

    And back before that, there were others, but I’ve run out of time (again).

  10. I always mention Kingsolver’s The Lacuna when someone asks for a book that’s thick and juicy. Also, Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple does it for me. Sheer quirk.

  11. Today Will Be Different, Maria Semple. Bought it the day it was released and had finished it by the next day.

  12. A book I read for character research I ended up loving. GHOST BOY by Martin Pistorious (ghost boy) and writer Megan Lloyd Davies. The story is incredible and the writing sublime.
    Finished it in a day and I have’nt done that in years.

  13. Just finished “A Little Life” — and it lived up to the hype. Could not put it down.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: