Reading too deeply into these things since 1981
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Black Books

Starting this week, it’s the Noiseless Chatter advent calendar: Choose Your Own Advent!

A new post every day(!) from December 1 – December 24. Each one is a writeup of a different novel, covering a grand total of 24, and spanning many different approaches to the material.

Specifically, I think back to a comment longtime reader RaikoLives left here, thanking me for speaking about the experience of reading each book, as opposed to just summarizing plots. I’m taking that approach for Choose Your Own Advent as well. There may be recaps, there may not be, but these pieces will all, in some way, reflect my experience as a reader, as a writer, as a human being whose life has been improved and enriched by an appreciation for literature.

I love books. You…probably know that already, but I always feel as though I don’t write about them enough. This is a chance for me to scratch that itch, and it may help you find something great to read in the new year.

I get asked for reading suggestions often, and I love to respond personally to those whenever I can. But…well…now I can do it on a wider scale, and I really do hope you enjoy it. It’s the biggest series this blog’s had in a while, and I’m excited to share it.

There aren’t many rules, but I did want to set a few so that the posts would be varied and, hopefully, interesting.

Novels only. So no non-fiction, no graphic novels, no short story collections. Sorry, but I had to narrow the criteria somehow, or I’d be here choosing books forever.

Only one title per author. Because otherwise I’d never shut up about Thomas Pynchon.

Approximately 1,000 words each. Those are pretty short posts by this site’s standards, but I think that still gives us a lot of space to find interesting inroads. It’ll add up to around 24,000 words for the feature when all is said and done anyway, so I hope it pleases those who enjoy both bite-sized and meatier reading material.

This is not a “top 24 greatest novels” list or anything; the books covered won’t even necessarily be ones that I like…they’re just ones that I had something to say about. And while you can probably guess a handful of titles that I’ll cover, I know there will be some big surprises as well, as I’m using this series to spotlight some books that I might not otherwise have any opportunity to write about.

Anyway, come back on Thursday, December 1 for the first entry. We’ll get to celebrate the end of one monumentally shitty year by immersing ourselves in my favorite medium.

I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

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