February 27, 2013

by jkatejohnston

Dear Max,

I tried to cheer myself up about being so unpopular on Amazon by looking up some Kindle books that I know are good and that I was pretty sure wouldn’t have too many reviews either.  How right I was!

Troilus and Criseyde received two reviews and has an average rating of three (out of five) stars.

Review 1:  ★  “Unreadable.  I understand this is an intriguing tale but, unfortunately, it is written in not a quite understandable form of old English or Welsh. I gave up trying after the first page.

Review 2:  ★★★★★  “Lovely version, original Middle English. Very nice. I wrote my master’s thesis on Troilus and was so happy to find this version on Kindle. Thanks to the volunteers who transcribed it!

And by the way, the one-star reviewer’s Amazon code name is Oracle.  I also see that the 99 cent Kindle version of War and Peace has recieved zero reviews.  I’m sure there are other editions with lots of reviews but I am sticking with this one.  Anyway, I can’t figure out if all this is consoling or depressing.

What holds me back from reviewing my friends’ books on Amazon is wanting to write something really smart and funny and true and also, of course, positive, and it just seems hard and embarrassing.  But really, all you have to do is put five stars and then “Brilliant!” or “I couldn’t put it down!” Reading the book is not required, perhaps not even recommended.

As soon as I get my food book together I’m going on a marketing blitz.  Prepare yourselves for some pretty unseemly solicitations.


Just now I ran into Enzo in the hallway.  He was holding something behind his back, and then he edged off into our room, still holding it behind him, all very top secret, but I could see that it was a framed picture of Kyrianna and him on the beach at Tahoe.  Last night when he woke up and called me, it was under his pillow.


Remember yesterday how Enzo washed his face, brushed his teeth and combed his hair?  Later that morning Teresa texted me at work:

Teresa:  Mr. Maturity insisted on wiping his own butt this morning.

Me:  Wow.  Did you inspect his work?  I think we need a little quality control.

Teresa:  He just finished rubbing his butt in my face and it seemed okay.

Perhaps I should explain that when Enzo gets dressed in the morning, he rubs his bare butt in the face of whichever mom is supervising, usually Teresa.  It started with the mom just sniffing his pajama-butt and then pretending to die.  Then he added rubbing his bare butt in the dead mom’s face.  It’s all very unseemly, and don’t tell Social Services.

But may I just add here, without getting arrested, that I totally adore his naked body.  It’s so alive.


He just brought me a piece of paper with eyeholes cut out and asked me to write “Kyrianna” on it.  “After that I’m going to send it to her.”