"Amazon is a hornet's nest, a can of worms, a poisoned chalice. Most of us authors are looking at least once a day. It's like prayers, you do it before you go to bed."

You said it, sister!

That's Isabel Wolff, author of THE TRIALS OF TIFFANY TROTT, in a British newspaper story about -- gasp! -- authors writing their own five-star reviews on amazon.com.

Jane Green (Mr. Maybe, Jemima J), also 'fesses up. "I did it because I could not bear the abuse, the vitriol of the reviews from other people. As a novice author I took criticism more to heart and became deeply wounded by these reviews."

Oh, do I feel her pain.

But I've never written my own review. I've been sorely tempted, and I am not above inveighing friends, acquaintances, and random strangers passing on the street to write good reviews to counteract the crappy ones, but I've never dipped to the level of self-love.

What I have done is quit looking. Back in April, when the paperback came out, I just went cold turkey. I went from checking my ranking every time I was near a computer and doing Google searches to find out everything that everyone everywhere was saying about the book, and getting all morose and teary about bad reviews to just saying, "Hey, you know what? This isn't good for me, and it doesn't make me feel good, and I'm quitting." How's that for evidence of mental health? Impressive, yes?

Anyhow, more on the Lipman front. My Mom wrote to remind me that, in the throes of my must-get-quote-from-Elinor-Lipman obsession, I convinced her book club to read THE INN AT LAKE DEVINE. To no avail!