Saturday, October 18, 2014

Jeff Somers

Jeff Somers was born in Jersey City, New Jersey and regrets nothing. His books include the Avery Cates series of novels published by Orbit Books. He sold his first novel at age 16 to a tiny publisher in California which quickly went out of business and has spent the last two decades assuring potential publishers that this was a coincidence. Somers publishes a zine called The Inner Swine and has also published a few dozen short stories; his story “Ringing the Changes” was selected for Best American Mystery Stories 2006, edited by Scott Turow and his story “Sift, Almost Invisible, Through” appeared in the anthology Crimes by Moonlight, published by Berkley Hardcover and edited by Charlaine Harris.

Somers's new book is We Are Not Good People.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. His reply:
I’m typically reading more than one book at a time. Books are planted around the place like Easter eggs – one in the office, one in the bathroom, etc. – because my memory is non-functional. I’m like Frosty the Snowman, I walk into a room and blink stupidly, smile, and shout “Happy Birthday!” So books need to be pre-seeded everywhere, or I forget to get them and end up reading a page a year. And because I have the attention span of a small child and weak, fawn-like arms that make carrying physical books any distance difficult, I keep one eBook on my phone at all times so I’ll have something to read on the bus or in my parole officer’s waiting room without having to carry a heavy physical book with me.

Currently, I’m only reading two books at once, though:

Night Film, Marisha Pessl. I’ve been reading this book on my phone for about 75 years now, which is not because the book isn’t really interesting and entertaining – it is, albeit overstuffed with ITALICS! ITALICS EVERYWHERE FOR COMPLETELY INAPPROPRIATE EMPHASIS IN THE MIDDLE OF SENTENCES THAT DON’T NEED IT! - but because I only read it when I’m outside the house and moving about, and since I never leave the house (or put on pants) it’s slow going. It’s a creepy story with some multimedia elements that feel a bit tacked-on, but so far I remain intrigued.

The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt. The paper on this hardcover is so creamy and above my station I feel like a trespasser every time I open it up. My wife often seeks to expand my horizons beyond the pulp and swill I normally read, and insisted I had to read this one, because Pulitzer. And it’s good! Albeit not, I don’t think, great. Too much dithering around; you could cut a third of every section without loss.
Visit Jeff Somers's website.

My Book, The Movie: Chum.

The Page 69 Test: Chum.

The Page 69 Test: We Are Not Good People.

My Book, The Movie: We Are Not Good People.

--Marshal Zeringue