When I ask a publisher for a book, I always intend to write about it soon, and/or interview its author. And sometimes I do; authors from John Sayles to Joshua Phillips have given me the opportunity write about and promote their books. The moment that book comes in the mail is still exciting for the girl my elementary-school peers called “Dictionary.”
But I have so many that didn’t make it into my writing. My fatigue issues, clashing with editors’ preferences, have given me the excuse to leave others behind: my apologies to Adam Hochschild and my sensei Dale Maharidge still burn in my throat. That stops now.
The image above is of two books released in time for this year’s Pride, both well reviewed by others and by writers I respect. But I still need to write about them, if only for WP and Medium, as the COVID pandemic usurps public-health talk while AIDS still takes prisoners. I’m swearing right now to write it before October.
Then there are the books that intersperse with mine, and are suddenly au courant with the Afghanistan meltdown: Unconventional Combat, a meditation on veterans’ antiwar organizing (yeah, “my subject!”) and The United States of War by David Vine, whose work on military bases has transformed everyone’s understanding. Vine’s book was even edited by UC Press’ Naomi Schneider, who first midwifed Ain’t Marching after Columbia. And I told the editorial team that I’d review both for the Democratic Socialist mag I help edit on a volunteer basis. So what’s my excuse?
Here’s where I usually whine about my walking difficulties, and my depression from book sales that haven’t been what anyone hoped. But literally the least I can do is help these other books make their way. This post is a promise that I’ll find a way to do that as the anniversary of September 11th threatens to consume us all.