It’s that time of year when Reading in Bed pauses and takes a moment to alternately love, hate, and love-to-hate that great American novelist (it’s okay when it’s not capitalized) Jonathan Franzen.
Last year I debuted this feature and it was so much fun. I was drawing on a couple years’ worth of ideas, though, and at the beginning of 2017, I considered leaving it at that: a one-time thing. Do I have that much more to say? Two years out from his last book, the Fran Man is not in the news much lately, and reacting to his media presence is half the fun. Nor do I have any new conspiracy theories, unfortunately.
But then I kind of forced my hand by writing him a letter and letting him know about the whole Franzen in February thing:
So! Here we are. I have a couple ideas up my sleeve, and I hope a couple of you contribute a guest post or two. If you would like to review one of his books, or write anything at all, loving or not, get in touch in the comments. No sign ups or prizes, just good, clean Franzen fun. Here’s what I’m working on:
- The start of a”Complete Works” project with a review of Franzen’s first novel, The Twenty-Seventh City
- A review of Nell Zink’s Nicotine, which pairs nicely with Purity
- Chip Lambert and Charlie Brown: The Influence of Charles Schultz on the works of Jonathan Franzen (sounds academic, right? It’s just going to be Peanuts comic strips and quotes from The Corrections, don’t worry)
- Show and tell: my Franzen collection, from ARCs to signed first editions
In the meantime, check out this wonderful Author Spotlight at new-to-me book blog bibliotaphs, or check out the Franzen in February archives.