Several weeks ago I learned that The Wall Street Journal would be adding a book review section. An honest-to-god, pull out section, six pages, devoted only to book reviews. Wow! In this age of dwindling newspaper readership and shrinking--nay, in many cases disappearing--book review sections, what heartening news.
The inaugural "Books" section was in the Saturday/Sunday September 25-26, 2010 edition of the WSJ. As soon as I got to work on Saturday morning I grabbed my copy, fearing that if I didn't snatch it up right away all the crazed book shoppers would buy us out before I had my chance. On my lunch hour I eagerly opened it up.
Now, I had read a number of articles delineating in some detail just what the section would entail: long format pieces focusing on new nonfiction titles, with fewer and much shorter reviews of fiction. And yet, still I was disappointed. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to see any publication--especially a major national one--expanding its books coverage. It was a terrible blow two years ago when the Los Angeles Times all but eliminated their book coverage. But somehow, despite my foreknowledge of the nonfiction focus, I somehow thought there'd be more fiction coverage. I wanted to believe.
There was a nice review of Michael Cunningham's latest, By Nightfall. And a review of a short story collection by Danielle Evans.
And that was it.
1 month ago