Friday Guilty Pleasure

Friday is “Guilty Pleasure Day” (reading something fun while pretending to work). So, take a little time to check out Tony Horwitz’s blog about his book tour for the just-released A Voyage Long and Strange, on the USA Today site. What a brilliant pairing; a great road trip writer blogging his own book tour. If you really can’t spare the time to look at the whole thing, just read the post about his appearance on a D.C. TV station (but it’s like potato chips, you can’t eat just one).

The book has received a spate of reviews this week. Horwitz, unlike those lying authors who claim they don’t read their reviews, has read them all closely. He notes that while they have all been positive, they are also contradictory. Does this sound like a selection committee meeting?

One reviewer judges me to be politically correct, another insufficiently so. My book is “a romp,” fit for the summer beach bag; or it’s a “disturbing” expose of early America. It’s so readable that “the pace never flags,” unless you believe another reviewer, who thinks “only a true history buff will devote the effort needed to see it through.” Go figure.

Whatever their “quibbles” (as Horwitz says, “I review books, too; you can’t just slobber all over them”), every review makes it clear that the book is fun to read. But it was today’s Salon review that made me put a reserve on the book. Oddly, given all the attention, it’s slipping a bit on the Amazon list, but is still at a very respectable #75 (after debuting at #37 on May 1). Most libraries have just received their copies. Holds are building in some areas.

A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World

by Tony Horwitz

  • Hardcover: $27.50
  • Publisher: Henry Holt (April 29, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0805076034
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805076035
  • Audio CD: Abridged, $31.95
  • Publisher: Random House (April 29, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0739317237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739317235
  • Large Type: $32.95
  • Publisher: Thorndike Press (June 4, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1410405583
  • ISBN-13: 978-1410405586

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