I don’t think I’ll have a nicer time, as an author, than I’ve had in the last few weeks.
For starters, one morning Entertainment Weekly selected Dreamland as among the year’s 10 best books (“like a David Simon TV Show gone cosmic”). That afternoon, Bloomberg Business ran a piece with Princeton Prof. Angus Deaton, Nobel Prize winner for economics, recommending the book as his favorite of the year.
Both ends of the culture endorsing a book on the same day – I don’t think that’s happened before.
I appreciated that because when I began this book I thought I was writing a drug-crime story. Midway through, I realized the book was really about where we are as a country, about what happens when, as a culture, we shred community, export our jobs, build isolation and call it suburbs, claw at government and forgive the private sector its trespasses, and exalt consumption and seek pleasure and call them happiness.
Heroin is simply the embodiment of values we’ve fostered for 35 years. Isolation is its natural habitat. Doesn’t have to be that way. The antidote to heroin isn’t naloxone; it’s community.
Anyway … I thought I’d write to suggest my book to those of you looking for Christmas presents.
I know, it’s hucksterism. But the rules for authors these days are:
1) Write like hell; 2) Rewrite always; 3) Read a lot; 4) Talk to lots of different people; 5) Pay attention; and 6) Always be branding, marketing and promoting yourself because if you don’t, no one else will.
So, given No. 6, I’ll just quietly let you know that, in addition to EW and Bloomberg, in the last few weeks Dreamland was selected in “Best Books of the Year” lists by … Amazon.com, Slate.com, the WSJ, Seattle Times, Boston Globe, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Audible.
(In the two weeks after posting this, Buzzfeed, Daily Beast, Texas Observer, and the Guardian also added Dreamland to their Books of the Year lists. My thanks to each of them.)
Drug Czar Michael Botticelli named it his favorite book of the year – that was nice of him. So did the governor of Kentucky, Matt Bevin. Nice of the governor to do that, too.
You can see links to all this at my website.
Okay, so that’s done. Please have a happy holiday season, walk a lot, and take care of yourself and others you love.