The Biblioracle

Back to School With the Biblioracle

Class is back in session at campuses across the nation. But for the rest of us who yearn for an assigned reading list, the Biblioracle will recommend your next favorite novel today from 2-3:00 p.m. ET.

WPA Art Project, 1940

I’ve been thinking about books.

“No duh,” you say, you’re the Biblioracle, you should be living and breathing books, which is true, but I also live and breathe Top Chef: Just Desserts, and rec league no-check hockey, and for the moment, U.S. Open tennis, which has been magnificent.

Are there better athletes than tennis players? I can’t imagine them.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about books because Mrs. Biblioracle and I recently moved to a new city, a new home, and all of our (OK, they’re mostly mine) books remain in boxes. I’ve been writing and working without them for a few weeks, and I’m beginning to question whether or not I need them around, physically I mean. Proximally. On the one hand, the new home doesn’t feel like home because I am not surrounded by my books. On the other hand, I have my memories of these books, not just the contents, but the feelings they gave me as I read them, the experience of being joined together. Maybe that’s enough.

I’m also thinking about books because since we last met, I received the first physical copies of my own book, The Funny Man, which will be widely available in just over two weeks. It was a thrill. I got a little misty. I think the illustrator and designer and printer did a great job. It’s one of the few books I have on my shelves in the new home. I look at it often. Some of the finish on the jacket is matte and some is shiny. I like to rub my fingers over the front to feel the different textures.

I’m also wondering if I’m just under the wire in terms of being able to publish a hardcover book, if it’s the last “physical” book that will ever appear with my name on it, even if I’m fortunate enough to go on to publish many more “books.” I have a Kindle with over 200 “books” on it. I recently tried to buy a book I already owned because I didn’t remember it. Amazon was kind enough to remind me.

And that’s when I felt the loss in regards to my collection of books. I went to the boxes, peeled back the flaps and peered down, checking on them, and memories I didn’t know I had returned, but I have no where to put them yet, so they go back into the box where they will wait, patiently, eternally.

You probably know the drill. List the last five books you’ve read in the comments section below, and I’lll recommend your next read. Given how many people tend to participate, the comments section will be open for one hour today, Friday, Sept. 9, 2011, from 2:00-3:00 p.m., Eastern Time. Anyone who gets their request in during that hour, I’ll do my best to give a recommendation. As always, you can reach the Biblioracle at or @biblioracle on Twitter.

Please note: For now, our comment system does not include threading. This means that if the Biblioracle responds to your comment, he’ll do so by directing his comment @yourusername.


TMN contributing writer John Warner’s first novel, The Funny Man was recently published by Soho Press. He teaches at the College of Charleston and is co-color commentator for The Morning News Tournament of Books. More by John Warner

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