Last night Krista and I went to the bookstore. I spent some time wading through the literature section hoping to find a good book to take to Thailand. Krista pointed out that I have a hard time picking out a book because I want to KNOW before I buy it that it's a good book. And she's right. I don't want to waste my time on okay books. I want it to be a mind-blowingly spectacular book.
One thing I noticed last night in the literature section is how many of the quotes on the jackets referred to various authors as being "brave." I wondered about this. What makes them so brave? That they boldly stride to the computer each morning despite the risk of being electrocuted by the mass of electrical wires snarled up behind it? That they recklessly grab paper and stick it into the printer despite the risk of paper cuts? Wow. That *is* brave.
Let's not cheapen the word by using it to refer to writers who decide not to use punctuation, or who decide to end their novels without a strong resolution. If you're looking for a brave writer, try Irina Ratushinskaya.
Oh, and I did manage to find a book for Thailand. It's Dave Eggers' "What is the What". I trust it will fall somewhere between good and spectacular.