Facebook has gone and declared book nerdism cool with that 100 strong book list going around, a thing that may or may not spoil reading for the rest of us. As the book of proverbs says, Wisdom can be found shouting from all sorts of pedestals and rooftops, presumably even T-shirts. This t-shirt that reads ‘Nothing is fun anymore when everybody likes it’ has got a point. If everybody starts to worship at the altar of books, will all the fun be leeched out of reading?
Also, that Facebook BBC booklist is only a few watery shades away from downright annoying, not to mention insulting and condescending. It insinuates that all the literature that hasn’t made it to the list isn’t worth considering, like a fat cat frat party. What excuse can it possibly have for rocking Kite Runner but no Pratchett or Moliere or Aeschylus or Mc Inerny or Flint, all authors who the world surely loves? What’s with that?
With that out of the way, we can dunk ourselves- upturned noses first- into another rant which is about, (drum-rolls, ululation and all that), authors again. Writers, here’s a little bit of advice from a cheeky rookie that has no business giving it to you:
Dear Irvine Welsh, Do you write in English or what? That must be “what” because English it most definitely isn’t. We resent the fact that you call yourself an “English” writer on all your blurbs and yet ye daint deign tae writ in dae daym langridgte. And no, we don’t recognize the option of leaving you to people who understand Scottish vernacular because you followed us to Uganda and put yourself in bookshops like Fareeds. We dinnae ken ye shite.
Dear Mr Pratchett, Rock on. You’re very witty, creative, etcetera and you’ve got Alzheimer’s which is tragic but in a cool-ish way. I’ve also got to commend you for being even more addictive than facebook. One question though, why do you pack your awesomeness so tightly? I swear one feels like they’re drowning in a sea of treacle or chocking in a gas chamber emitting channel No. 5 after reading more than three of your works, one after the other.
Dear Mr. Sheldon and Ms. Steele, you’ve greatly fortified the Ugandan economy, if the number of your books tightly packed on the shelves of Wandegeya bookshops are anything to go by. You also rocked for many people in their early to mid teens but I think the game is up now. It’s always a good thing to withdraw gracefully so tell your people to quit circulating your works if you want volleys of dirty abuse to stop hitting your books left right and centre. I’ve seen this happen- point blank range.
Dear David Foster Wallace, thank you for the pre-read hysteria of “Oblivion”. It was very enjoyable while it lasted. I will say one thing; you are not aneurysm inducing-ly funny. Review writers really need to find religion and quit lying.
Stephen Fry, what’s up? Thank you for bringing explosions of color into the art of using expletives. Your reserves of creativity, not to mention depravity and blasphemy can’t possibly be matched by anybody who has a care for the destiny of their immortal soul. You win; take the cup, seat, garland, hula-hoop, but the fact remains that every other book you’ve written sucks apart from Hippopotamus, which not only rocks, it boulders!(this is a good joke) “The liar” will make a homophobe of anybody, Paperweight is depressing, etc.
Dear Mr. Bazanye, Kokonyo went out of style in primary four. Write bigger books for Pete’s sake, else somebody will choke the life out of you in frustration.