It’s a fine convention, I suppose.
Problem with this convention is obvious, it destroys the greatest pleasure of the holiday season: Receiving gifts. Make no mistake about it. I want something from you. And I plan to get it.
Dwight, because we live within a stone’s throw of each other, you should easily be able to tell me what to read next, using your short-range telepathic powers. Stocking’s open.
D.G. Myers, I’m a little frightened by your “hair-trigger combativeness,” but I know that beneath your agonistic shell, you’re a big softy of a scholar. I just know it. From you, I want two titles of F. Prose other than Blue Angels. It’s already under the tree.
A.J., dude, your brand of social constructivism may be whacked, but I still enjoy your blog, in spite of that bit on C. McCarthy. What should I read next? Please, don’t say Irigary or Lacan or Kristeva.
Steven, I’m sorry our collaboration on O’Connor has stalled. But because you’ve already done so much for me, i.e., helping me double my readership from four to eight people, I only want one more thing from you. Any title of your choice.
Amelia, with such a cool name like Apostrophe, I have very high expectations of you. I’m all ears and greedy fingers.
Nicole, anyone who gets her Clarel on is a pilgrim worthy of attention. Plus, you’re from Chicago! My favorite city! I can’t wait to see what you get me.
Colleen, my Canadian muse. I’m at a loss for words. Listen, I know cyber-crushes have a whiff of impropriety about them, but I totally forgive you for it. Since I caged The Leopard yesterday, you’ll have to scare up new quarry.
Richard, I figure if you can lead a caravan of memories, you can certainly give me a title or two as stocking stuffers. Gracias.
Fiona, Australian + art teacher + Ph.D. in poetry = all-around awesomeness. So make your gift title count!
Kerry, long live Contempt! You got it. I saw it. And Interpolations got dressed in one hell of a snappy suit. What will you give me?
Mr. Stahl, I’m uncomfortable calling you Levi. I don’t know why. From you I don’t want a book title. I want something even better. Your gift for syntactically perfect first sentences. Really, they’re amazing.
Kevin oder KfC, first thank you for the advice in the beginning. It helped narrow my focus. But enough about you. Let’s talk about me. So long as you and I know the origin of K2D2, all’s right in the world. No need to wrap it, just tell me what to read next.
Matt, you’re a good reader and a fine writer and I dig the fact that we’re both unsaintly spawn of DePaul. But what you don’t know is that my wife gazes at your FB profile pic. Uncomfortable. Give me a Philip K. Dick title please. Or the real deal. It’s the least you can do.
Frances, we have something in common that no one can touch: a thorough-going appreciation for the splendors of back lighting. No need to put a bow on your gift idea. I’ll take it unwrapped.
Trevor, well, seeing as how your my brother from another literary mother, it’s otiose for you to give me anything. Damn, you.
Anthony, a professional in London is uniquely suited to give a gift to a professional in the Bay Area. So long as it’s not Ulysses. Since you’re already on vacation, I’ll randomly choose a Coetzee book. Thanks!
Tony, I’m told that going from one child to two is like going from having a life to not having one. You’ve done it. My wife and I will do it, too. Soon. What should I read when I despair of time?
Sue, you’ve already given me Mansfield Park. Instead of saying thank you, I’m ready for another little-read Austen title, or one of your unsung Australian heroes.
Wuthers, you have nothing to worry about. Your secret is safe with me. Ssshh. Really, it is. Anonymity has its pleasures. But it’s nothing compared to giving a personalized book recommendation. Fire away!
Now when I open my comments section on Christmas morning, I had better scream like a manic, wild-eyed kiddo, jacked on sleeplessness and too much sugar.