In 2017, David L. Faucheux’s nonfiction book, Across Two Novembers: A Year In The Life Of A Blind Bibliophile, was published. Within the next month or so he is releasing an abridged version of the book. In the following post, David discusses the reasons why.
In order to explain why I abridged my book Across Two Novembers: A Year in the Life of a Blind Bibliophile, I must first explain why I wrote this book. I’ll borrow from the introduction here. I have long wanted to write and publish something, be it a historic novel, a young adult novel, or nonfiction. When, in November 2013, Dr. Katherine Schneider asked me to read and review her just published Occupying Aging, I conquered my usual reservations: Would I be a good reviewer? Would I be able to write something interesting and help her book sales? I dove in and came up with this review, which appeared on goodreads.com:
‘“This book, with its mixture of the quotidian and sublime, stands as an interesting glimpse into the life of one early 21st –century woman. Schneider, a retired psychologist, recounts a year of thoughts and events in this journal. Her ruminations on death, spirituality, dogs, and navigating the landscape of the sighted as a totally blind inhabitant of her Wisconsin college town are enlightening. Touches of humor involving Fran, her Seeing Eye® dog, add a sense of fun.
‘“As someone who is acquainted with Dr. Schneider (we have exchanged emails), I could wish I occupied my forties quite as well as she does her sixties. The proactive attempts to educate about disability issues, the volunteering, and the public speaking are outstanding. Maybe some of her enthusiasm for life will rub off on all her readers.—An excellent vade mecum, a handbook, for handling the uncertainties of retirement.”’
While reading her book and formulating my review, I thought, Oh! I just might be able to write something in this journal–type format. So I jumped in right then, not waiting to begin on the more traditional January 1. I thought that to wait was to postpone indefinitely and fail; to start could mean a chance at a successful resolution. Who says a journal has to run from January 1 to December 31 to be of interest?”
My book turned into a 510–page exploration of that year in my life. I included book reviews, a couple of recipes, and bits from my past audio blog and master booklist covering decades. I concluded with a 47–page bibliography and webliography. I independently published it and promoted it through radio, television, and even through a virtual blog tour. I supplemented these efforts with book ad cards and by reaching out to a radio reading service, WRBH, in New Orleans, which aired the book last March. A WWL reporter was interested. I collected reviews from professional authors and even several Amazon Top 500 reviewers. Sales did not pick up, however, and I knew a major pruning was necessary. Thus I reduced my book from 510 pages to a more manageable 265.
I explain it this way in the Preface to my abridged book, now entitled Selections from Across Two Novembers: A Bibliographic Year. “An Amazon reviewer described my book Across Two Novembers: A Year in the Life of a Blind Bibliophile as reminiscent of that famous diary kept by Samuel Pepys. While surprised and truly flattered, I wondered if subconsciously he was giving me some advice. Pepys wrote a masterful account of nearly a decade in his life. But who reads long nowadays? Hence this abridgement. I hope this glimpse of my year with only the highlights included will give you a taste, yet be as satisfying as the original, unabridged version.” I expect the book to come out in February or March.