8 thoughts on “The Write Word Sniffs Out the Best Books

  1. I see an Emperor’s New Clothes Effect going on here. To wit: Are you implying that all those wine tasters are just yanking our chains, and that they miss the substance by focusing on the frivolous externalities?

    Or are you saying that we readers should stay focused on what matters about a book, and dismiss the externalities?

    Or- are you putting forth the theory that odor is really the decoder?

  2. Good lord.

    For a second there I thought you might be spitting some perfectly good Jack Daniels into a baseball cap-shaped bucket.

    But you might be on to something here. Google “book-sniffing” and there are 1,720,000 results!

  3. Rick, the funny thing is that I’ve been getting more into wine lately, and truly enjoy Vaynerchuk’s reviews, where he will say a wine tastes like Silly Putty or underwear, rather than saying it has hints of vanilla and cardamom (though he says stuff like that too). It is fun to try and discern airy notes of something or other in wine, but the over-the-top excess that can take makes an easy target to make fun of as well.

    Of course, since you’re reading on the Kindle, you probably don’t get much of a book’s esters, though if you hold it right against your skull, you might be able to read it’s electromagnetic signature.

  4. Annie, goodness knows, I’d never spit out medicine! You may be amused to know that I made that video at 9am yesterday morning, and that I hadn’t charged my Flip camera in a while. Immediately after I took that shot of me drinking the shot, the camera stopped. Thus, my post-drink comment was lost.

    I had to recharge the dang camera, and drink ANOTHER shot of JD so that there was continuity. (And right after I drank that shot, our cuckoo clock started chiming, which made me stop the camera again.) Who’s the cuckoo?

  5. Really amusing, Tom. I loved how you described The Letters as “A bit brittle…bitchy…” That made me laugh out loud. I hate Jack Kerouac so much! Ever since I was obliged to torture myself with On the Road at university.


  6. Jai, it’s funny about the Kerouac/Ginsberg book, because they continually seem to be trying to one-up one another with literary name-dropping and French expressions. However, they were both quite young (at least in the early part of the correspondence, which is where I am in the book), and I give them some leeway, considering my own egotistical obsessions in my youth.

    But though some of the expression can be tedious, I love a lot of the spirit of On the Road—I didn’t particularly want to read Kerouac, I wanted to BE him when I was in my twenties. I’ve read a lot of his other stuff, and his work is pretty mixed, but there’s some decent stuff in there amidst the mania.

    Of course, when anything is assigned in a class, that can strip soulfulness away…

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