I am a sucker for books with cool covers. McSweeney’s books look to me like cupcakes, they make my mouth water with their antiquarian typesetting and indie-comic graphics.

I am a sucker for books whose synopses read either like an entry from someones dream diary, someone who falls asleep with the tv on or like a list of exhibitions from the Museum of Jurassic Technology.

I am a sucker for darkly comic picaresques told by narrators with the same warmly conspiratorial, erudite and conflicted tone as a Humbert Humbert, even if the narrator isn’t a middle-aged emigre but a barely legal, precocious, and fatherless American boy.

I am a sucker for debut novels written by nonagenarians who remind me of all the WWII vets that were in my novel-writing class, who made me hopeful that when I too am wrinkled and stooped, I will also be a pastiche of all the wonderful books of questionable merit that I may have wasted my youth on.

I am a sucker for books built on aphorisms like, “life is shit”, and “you can’t polish a turd” and “If the shit fits…” But maybe most tragic of all I am a sucker for books that seem so promising, like a cupcake or a bowl of really ripe cherries that only end up giving me the shits.