Late one night during the holidays I discovered that Goodreads not only has a “Readers Also Enjoyed” tab but they will connect me to a library directory, which I can use to REQUEST BOOKS BE DELIVERED TO MY OFFICE. This collection of resources has been at my disposal for ages, most likely, but I had finished reading Midnight’s Children and wanted to continue reading books by authors from different cultures. So I started with Salmon Rushdie, and added a few other authors I have loved, and started drilling down into the recommendations, adding indiscriminately to my library request list.
The next work day, I had a stack of books waiting for me.
This is obviously a chaotic way to gather books to read, but not much better than my childhood habit of walking into the local library and choosing the five books with the best covers/titles in the Recommended/New Releases section. (Oh wait. This is ALSO how I choose books to read when I run out of books and have to visit a bookstore on vacation.)
Overall, the world-building of this book was incredible. I felt very connected to the characters, and I was invested in their stories to a degree. Unfortunately, many of the characters were unpleasant to spend time with – which is my main complaint against Franzen as well – and the whole book ended fairly abruptly.
I give it a 3, which isn’t far from the general Goodreads score – perhaps I should refine this book-selection process slightly by incorporating that information.