‘Another Book I’m Not Gonna Read’ (2014)

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Granted, it’s hard to come up with truly original ideas. But just to spit out one cliche after another–gimme a break.

Another Book I’m Not Gonna Read

There’s a whole herd of publicists out there, pushing books that were probably much better off not written. I ought to know: they all email me, asking for reviews.

Here we have “the Church” concealing all these great secrets from the distant past that would allow us to create an earthly paradise, if only we could know them. But as Lord Orth once said, if those ancient people really were that great and wise, why isn’t their civilization here anymore?

‘Another Red-Hot Sex Book for Me not to Review’ (2015)

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I don’t know what publicists must think of me. They’re always inviting me to review books that might give you a disease if you handled them. Here’s one from three years ago.


I bring it up again because its formula seems to foreshadow the #MeToo movement, delivering a weird mixed message of unbridled sexual acting-out with the most severe consequences if anyone complains. Talk about a divided heart!

Pornography has been with us for thousands of years, but it doesn’t come in a plain brown wrapper anymore.

A Book to Make Me Wake Up Screaming

Those publicists just can’t stop barking up the wrong tree.

I have been invited to review a book “set against the mysterious and sexy backdrop of Southern Cuba”–actually, she lost me right there–that “follows the young Thalia Vandergruen as she searches for her true identity with the help of trusted clairvoyant Sofi…”

Stop already. Have you ever known anyone actually named “Thalia”? I haven’t. And what’s with “Sofi”? That’s not how you spell Sophia, or Sophie. And she’s a clairvoyant. Uncle! Uncle!

But wait, there’s more. If you think those are silly names, Thalia meets this guy named “Yahriel–” (You should see how my spell check is reacting to these names. You’d think Joe Collidge wrote this.)

Stop, I can’t take any more. And this by a supposedly best-selling author. I checked: she’s a real person. I’m not giving her name because I prefer not to hurt her feelings. And anyhow the issue is not her, or her particular book, but the kind of drivel that keeps oozing out of our publishing industry. This example is pitched especially to women, in the category “women’s fiction.” But I will not have that said about women.

“What sets it apart,” concludes the publicist, “is the author’s signature smart bent and social conscience.” Great merciful heavens–does that mean what I think it means? The poor defenseless reader! I can’t think of anything good to say about “social conscience” in fiction.

I’m always looking for books to read and review, but this will not be one of them.

Review This? You Gotta Be Kiddin’

I’m always getting emails from publicists inviting me to review their clients’ books. I have no idea why they pick on me. What would ever make them think I was interested? Like, they know enough to know that I do book reviews, but have no idea what kind of books I review.

The invitation I got today was for a horror called Remembrance of Blue Roses by one Yorker Keith, who learned how to write novels in college. It seems to be about a menage-a-trois among three goofs, a guy named Mark and a married couple named Hans and Yukari. Hans and Yukari? Oh, please.

They meet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and go on to share first friendship, then sex and obsession, along with classical music, opera (oh please again), and art. They never go to wrestling matches. These shared passions are “illuminating the lives of these international civil servants at the United Nations headquarters…”

Who’s out there saying “Uncle! Uncle!”

Eventually Mark’s ex-wife and ex-fiancee show up and there’s a menage-a-cinq or something, and it ends in a tragedy, although the only tragedy I can see here is that the UN is still standing at the end of the book.

What in the world made the publicist think I would ever want to read such a thing? Why would anybody? A bunch of arty-farty citizens of the world experimenting with assorted fornications… oh, feh. And it’s almost lunchtime, too.

Now They’re Sliming ‘A Christmas Carol’

Water pollution is bad; but easier to control than spiritual pollution.

So the Perky Publicist has invited me to read a new book. I will not mention the title or the author. It is a book that takes Charles Dickens’ beloved classic, A Christmas Carol, and dunks it in “transgender” poison.

The author used to be a man. Each and every cell in his body is still male, with an XY chromosome, but now we’re supposed to accept him as “a woman” or else be branded haters and homophobes. The fact that he is not a woman is irrelevant. Facts always are, these days.

As Dickens wrote it, A Christmas Carol is a story of repentance and redemption. Scrooge learns to see his sins for what they are, he is heartily sorry for them, and the sovereign grace of God turns his life around, and saves it.

But in this happening-now book, “Christmas” is all about sin not being sin anymore. You don’t have to repent because it’s not a sin, after all, and Jesus Christ does not have to redeem you because the Bible was wrong all along about certain types of behavior being abhorrent to God. The book “breaks through boundaries of traditional Christmas stories by including a transgender character” and “encourages families to accept those members who may be ‘different.'”

It asks us to affirm sinners in their sin, denying that it’s sin and rejecting the authority of Scripture.

Christ went to an awful lot of trouble for nothing, didn’t He?

Let me tell you what scares me. It’s the thought that God will simply run out of patience with us, wash His hands of us, turn His back on us, and not intervene as we drown ourselves in our own filthiness. But God is not a man, that He should lie, and God will keep His promises. Somehow He will redeem and regenerate us.

In spite of transgender Christmas stories.