Every time I come across a photo on Instagram with books on fire, a part of my soul dies. To be clear, it’s not the same as when I cringe at dogeared pages, cry at tea spilled on a book or broken spines. It goes beyond that. Burning books isn’t simply about what one does with their personal belongings — it’s about the symbolism behind it, the historical and cultural implications, and so much more.
When I first heard of this anthology, Because You Love to Hate Me, I was extremely excited. The idea sounded so enticing and I couldn’t wait to see how the various authors would approach their prompts. With so many great people working on this, I couldn’t wait to be wowed. Needless to say, this belonged to my most anticipated reads of 2017. Sadly, I walked away with mixed feelings.
Food writer travels through Tuscany on a bulldozer — such a bizarre and hilarious image this premise painted. It sounded so ludicrous and I have to admit, it made me think of The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. That set the bar of absurd humour unfairly high but I couldn’t help it. Perhaps it’s a good thing then, that My Italian Bulldozer wasn’t filled with tall tales, even if that slightly disappointed me.
You know the year is coming to an end when the number of book releases also winds down. November is the month that publishers push out the last big titles just in time for Christmas. This years, that includes the highly anticipated Renegades by Marissa Meyer last week and the sequel to The Diabolic, The Empress by S.J. Kincaid the week before. December then becomes really quiet on the publishing front.