Here’s a QUIZ:
(1) How many graduate degrees do you hold? (Master’s or better to open.)
(a) 2 or more.
(c) 0, but I have a professional degree (MD, JD, MBA, etc.)
(d) 0, but I have a bachelor’s.
(2) Are you otherwise intellectually accomplished?
(a) Heck, yeah. Extreme audodidact. I even know what “autodidact” means. I usually read around or more than a book per week.
(b) I read everything. Around 40 books per year across a lot of categories and non-fiction.
(c) I read deeply in 1 or 2 categories or genres, at least 1 book a month.
(d) I read what’s on the NYT or other bestseller lists but not more than 10 books per year.
(e) I don’t read that much.
(3) Have you voluntarily read or seen something by the following authors? (Choose uppermost letter.)
(a) Don DeLillo, Kip Thorne, Michael Frayn, William Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf, Kurt Vonnegut, Margaret Atwood, Jane Austen, Elaine Pagels, Vladimir Nabokov.
(b) Chuck Palahniuk, Connie Willis, Nancy Kress, Abraham Verghese, William Gibson, Thornton Wilder, Carl Sagan, John Le Carre, Brian Greene, Michio Kaku.
(c) J.K. Rowling, Neil Peart, Ray Bradbury, Phillippa Gregory, E.L. Doctorow, Harlan Ellison, Jeff Lindsey, Daniel Silva, Bharati Mukherjee, Graham Greene.
(d) Orson Scott Card, J.G. Ballard, Arthur Miller, Stephen King, Nora Roberts or J.D. Robb, Mitch Albom, Richard Castle, Kingsley Amis, Lee Child.
(e) None of the above.
(4) My religion:
(a) Atheist, agnostic, Buddhist, or UU.
(b) I don’t like churches because I know too much about them.
(d) Other than Christian religion.
(e) Conservative Christian, believer in angels or signs, or very spiritual or psychic.
(5) In my free time, I most like to:
(a) discover new music that makes me think, experience other kinds of art, explore other lifestyles.
(b) travel, watch the Science, History, or H2 channels, go to live concerts, live performances, lots of different kinds of movies, or dancing.
(c) decorate my house, collect stamps or coins, watch the Food or HGTV Networks, listen to the same music that everyone else was listening to in high school.
(d) play a sport, watch QVC, watch only rom-com or action movies, watch only reality TV shows, bass fish.
(e) watch a lot of sports on TV, Bible study, go to strip clubs, drink or toke myself unconscious.
Here’s the grading scale:
- If you have at least 3 answers that are (a) or (b), you might like RABID.
- If you have 3 or more (e) answers, you definitely won’t like it.
- The (c) and (d) answers were just other stuff that doesn’t correlate one way or the other.
I’m not trying to scare anybody away or be a snot. I didn’t write this to be elitist. (I don’t have to try. It comes naturally.)
More importantly, I have talked with quite a few readers who liked RABID and a few who hated it. I appreciate them all taking their time to read it. The people who “got” RABID and liked it generally are quite intellectually accomplished. They have impressive CVs. They read widely, and they read the hard stuff.
It’s not surprising that people who like RABID tend to read a lot of the same authors that I do.
The people who hated it don’t like their beliefs challenged or they don’t like to think too much.
I don’t want people to read my book and hate it or even to slog through it. So don’t read RABID if you’re not going to like it.
The world is full of books that are right for you. Not only are there more and more books being published now, but they’re more and more available than ever, and classics and backlist and out of print books are now easily available. Our reading choices have expanded at least 1000-fold in the last decade. That’s marvelous! That’s incredible! Go read something you’ll love!
You should read books that speak to you, that resonate with you.
Don’t read books that fit you badly. It’s like wearing too-small underwear or eating food that you don’t like, even if it is supposed to be good for you.
The novel that I’m writing right now, Selling Handcuffs, will be more accessible. It will still challenge you, but it is meant for a wider audience. If you won’t like RABID, I hope that you’ll wait for Selling Handcuffs and try that one. It will probably be out before Christmas.
By the way, those authors on #3? I am not “lumping myself in” with any of those incredible authors, but they’re my major influences. I’m also not denigrating the other authors in answers (c) and (d). I just looked at my bookshelves and randomly assigned names to these answers. I like all of them very well, too.
Thanks for reading,