Wednesday, January 25, 2006

& more books

I did tell you my shelves were full, right? And that includes the shelves of my mind, as well as the shelves of my store.
So, some more favorites (and, as ever, merely in the order in which they jostle into my memory)

Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (yes, I read more than fiction). Dillard is a Pacific Northwest writer; Pilgrim was her first book and won lots of awards (possibly even the Pulitzer; I'd have to look that up). Exactitude in the Thoreauvian mode.

Also Sally Carrighar's nature books (particularly the one in which she writes of mice singing; she is the only person I have encountered in person or in print that wrote of mice singing--real mice, now--something I had noticed for years and years. Despite our cats we do have mice, lots of mice in season. And they do sing.)

And Barry Lopez (we seem to be on a nature kick today, don't we). Especially the one about ravens; birds that I live with and much like (It says much for The Curse of the Raven Mocker that I liked it despite the fact that ravens in that book are dread critters).

And, yes, Edward Abbey (though he doesn't have a high opinion of librarians and is a sexist curmudgeon)

Ann Patchett. Her novel The Magician's Assistant in particular, though Bel Canto is also good (I haven't read Taft). It is a mark of the niceness of my bookstore clientele that not only do they buy books, but now and then come in and thrust books at me, not for trade, but because they need to share a favorite. My copy of the Magician's Assistant came to me thus, from a guy who walks barefoot summer and winter and loves luminous writing.

Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things. One of the most perfect, and saddest works ever. Roy has become a strong voice for the anti globalism movement, but I wish she had more time for her fiction.

Of course Barbara Kingsolver (she is so popular in my region that another bookstore I visit up north has a list posted in fiction: we might not have copies of Kingsolver, but maybe you'd like.....followed by around 10 other author's names). Poisonwood Bible is much different than her earlier works, and I had trouble getting into it (so much trouble I put it down the first time, thinking "Hey, Peter Matthieson covered this ground better in At Play in the Fields of the Lord). The second time I picked it up I somehow got in stride--and found it every bit as good as my many book loving friends assured me it was.

There are more (Robertson Davies! the droll Robert Benchley--another customer gift, and a selfless one too, because he realized by giving me one of those funny, funny collections of essays he was likely never again to see Benchley on my shelves--because I'd hoard them)...
But I'm supposed to be helping my next customer...onward (he looks like a Ludlum type...yep, off to the intrigue section)


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