Reader's Exchange

Bait and Switch?

I do judge books by their covers and am an easy mark for lush artwork or eye-catching fonts.  When it comes to titles, however, certain standards apply.  Whimsy and creativity are admirable, but the title should pertain to the content and should not be arbitrarily taken out of context from the pages.  Fair's fair.

My title-appropriateness radar recently went on full alert when, well into Amanda Eyre Ward's Love Stories in This Town, a bartender observes, "There are no love stories in this town." 

How does this title not qualify as a bait-and-switch?  You'll have to read Love Stories... for yourself, but I'll just say that the author's conscience may remain clear.  Ward's story collection, potentially a fine choice for readers who normally prefer novels, does have much to say about love and what it asks of us.  As for the "town" part--the locales are varied, from Butte, Montana, to Saudi Arabia, to Austin (where the author resides); each one contributes more than just local flavor to the proceedings.  While Part One stories are standalone episodes without shared characters, the Part Two "Lola Stories" track significant life events for one memorable woman. 

Book groups take note: following the stories you'll find an interview with the author, along with questions and topics for discussion.  Ward's list of favorite short story collections suggests some wonderful future reads.




ceharbert said:

I have this book and am looking forward to reading it. Amanda Eyre Ward will join our book club discussion at the La Frontera Barnes & Noble on Monday, October 19th at 1:00 PM.  Open to the public.  Why not read this or any of her other books (or all) and join us?

# July 24, 2009 4:33 PM
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