Tuesday 31 October 2017

Morgan, Ann "Reading the World"

Morgan, Ann "Reading the World. Confessions of a Literary Explorer" (aka "The World Between Two Covers: Reading the Globe") - 2015

Last year, I wrote my blogpost "Travel the World Through Books".

I must admit, I have not progressed much, I do try to read about different kinds of countries all the time but a lot of them come just from the "usual suspects". It is in my thoughts all the time and I do choose new books accordingly.

However, here is a lady who managed to read a book from every independent country - 196 of them - in one year. It was so interesting to follow her quest for literature from around the world, on how she wrote to people in small countries and begged them to translate books into English for her. Fantastic! It means she leaves a list for all of us that we can follow and hopefully get there ourselves one day. Look here: A Year of Reading the World.

It doesn't mean I will read exactly the same books as Ann Morgan did, I have read quite a few from different countries already and I might choose some others from other countries where there are more available translations into German, for example.

But the book wasn't just interesting because of my original quest. The author tells us a lot about the world of literature and how we are more or less forced to read from what is made available to us in the language(s) we speak. For example, she mentions a list compiled by French scholar Raymond Querneau who put together an "ideal library". He asked several writers to choose their 100 favourite titles from a list of 3,500 works and in the end he had 60 French books, 9 British/American ones, 6 Germans, 3 Spanish, 1 each Hebrew and Arabic ... I wasn't too surprised. Since I have been a member of an international book club for most of this century (Ha, doesn't that sound like a long time?) and one of our conditions for any book we read is that it must be available in English, I have discovered that more translations are made into German than into English and not just translations from English into German but from many other languages, as well. A fact that the author also talks about when she mentions that non-German fiction makes up more than 50 per cent of Germany's bestsellers. She doesn't even mention a percentage of translated books published in the English language, only that it is a very tiny number. I loved, of course, that she calls my home country "a nation of book lovers".

The author doesn't write reviews about the books in this work but that is not necessary, you can check it out in her blog. But she gives us more, she gives us a background about literature around the world and how we can find our way through it.

So, whether you want to conquer the world by reading it or just would like to enlarge your spectrum of literature, this is a great book to read. It gives you the instigation to read more books that are not in your comfort zone and thereby getting to know the world better, even your own place in it.

One quote I liked and totally agree with
"As readers, we don’t travel. In fact for many of us that’s precisely the point: we open books to experience ideas and places that we don’t have the budget, time or stomach to go through in real life."

Needless to say, I am following her blog in the meantime and am anxious to read her next book, "Beside Myself".

From the back cover:
"In 2012, the world arrived in London for the Olympics .. .and Ann Morgan went out to meet it. She read her way around all the globe’s 196 independent countries (plus one extra), sampling one book from every nation. It wasn't easy. Many languages have next to nothing translated into English; there are tiny, tucked-away places where very little is written down at all; some governments don't like to let works of art leak out to corrupt Westerners.

Her literary adventures shed light on the issues that affect us all: personal, political, national and global. Using her quest as a starting point, this book explores questions such as: What is cultural heritage? How do we define national identity? Is it possible to overcome censorship and propaganda? And how can we celebrate, challenge and change our remarkable world?"

You can find the list here. And these are the books I read.

Afghanistan Khaled Hosseini The Kite Runner; A Thousand Splendid Suns /
Albania Ismail Kadaré The Fall of the Stone City (Darka e Gabuar) /
Australia Markus Zusak The Book Thief /
Bangladesh Tahmima Anam The Good Muslim /
Belarus Svetlana Alexievich Voices from Chernobyl  (Чернобыльская молитва/Černobylskaja molitva) /
Belgium Hergé The Adventures of Tintin / Stefan Brijs The Angel Maker (De engelenmaker) /
Bosnia and Herzegovina Zlata Filipovic Zlata’s Diary  (Zlatin dnevnik: otroštvo v obleganem Sarajevu) / Ivo Andric The Bridge on the Drina (На Дрини Ћуприја or Na Drini Ćuprija) / Saša Stanišić How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone (Wie der Soldat das Grammofon repariert) 
Brazil Paulo Coelho The Almchemist (O Alquimista); Brida (Brida) /
Cameroon Imbolo Mbue Behold the Dreamers
Canada Alice Munro Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Love, Marriage; Runaway / Carol Shields Jane Austen; The Stone Diaries / Michael Ondaatje / Timothy Findley /
Chile Isabel Allende The House of the Spirits (La Casa de los Espíritus) /
China Cao Xuequin Dream of the Red Chamber (红楼梦/Hung lou meng/aka The Story of the Stone) /
Colombia Gabriel García Márquez Love in the Time of Cholera, (El amor en los tiempos del cólera),  One Hundred Years of Solitude,  (Cien años de soledad), The General in His Labyrinth (El general en su laberinto) /
Denmark Peter Høeg Smilla’s Sense of Snow (Frøken Smillas fornemmelse for sne) /
Dominican Republic Alvarez, Julia "In the Time of the Butterflies" - 1994
Egypt Ahdaf Soueif The Map of Love / Naguib Mahfouz / Alaa Al Aswany The Yacoubian Building (عمارة يعقوبيان , Imarat Ya’qubian) /
Estonia Jaan Kross Professor Martens' Departure (Professor Martensi ärasõit
Finland Mika Waltari The Egyptian (Sinuhe Egyptiläinen) /
France Marie NDiaye Rosie Carpe (Rosie Carpe) /
Germany Günter Grass / Heinrich Böll / Jurek Becker Jacob the Liar (Jakob der Lügner) / Jenny Erpenbeck The End of Days (Aller Tage Abend) / Herman Hesse Siddhartha (Siddhartha) / Thomas Mann / Christa Wolf They Divided the Sky (Der geteilte Himmel)
Hungary Imre Kertész Fatelessness (Sorstalanság) /
India Rohinton Mistry Family Matters; A Fine Balance / Amitav Ghosh River of Smoke / Vikram Seth A Suitable Boy /
Indonesia Andrea Hirata The Rainbow Troops (Lasykar Pelangi)
Ireland James Joyce Ulysses /
Israel David Grossman To the End of the Land (אשה בורחת מבשורה/Isha Nimletet Mi'Bshora) / Amos Oz A Tale of Love and Darkness (סיפור על אהבה וחוHשך, Sipur) /
Italy Primo Levi If Not Now, When? (Se non ora, quando) / Roberto Saviano Gomorrah (Gomorra)
Japan Haruki Murakami Kafka on the Shore (海辺のカフカ Umibe no Kafuka) /
Kyrgyzstan Chinghiz Aitmatov Jamilia (Джамиля - Jamilia) /
Lebanon Amin Maalouf Samarkand (Samarcande) / Khalil Gibran The Prophet /
Morocco Benali, Abdelkader Wedding by the Sea (Bruiloft aan zee) /
Netherlands Harry Mulisch The Discovery of Heaven (De Ontdekking van de Hemel) / Tessa de Loo The Twins (De Tweeling) / Kader Abdolah The House of the Mosque (Het huis van de moskee) /
Nigeria Achebe, Chinua Things Fall Apart
Norway Per Petterson Out Stealing Horses (Ut og stjæle hester) / Knut Hamsun /
Peru Mario Vargas Llosa Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter (La tía Julia y el escribidor); The Storyteller (El Hablador) /
Poland Tokarczuk, Olga "Primeval and other Times" (Prawiek i inne czasy)
Portugal José Saramago Blindness (O Ensaio sobre a Cegueira) /
Romania Herta Müller The Appointment (Heute wär ich mir lieber nicht begegnet) / Mircea Eliade "Marriage in Heaven" (Nuntă în cer)
Russia Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich / Leo Tolstoy Anna Karenina
Saudi Arabia Rajaa Alsanea Girls of Riyadh (بنات الرياض‎ Banāt al-Riyāḍ)
Senegal Mariama Bâ So Long a Letter /
South Africa Nelson Mandela The Long Walk to Freedom / Alan Paton Cry, the Beloved Country /
South Korea Han Kang "The Vegetarian" (채식주의자/Ch'angbi) /
Spain Miguel de Cervantes Don Quixote / Carlos Ruiz Zafón The Shadow of the Wind /
Suriname Cynthia Mcleod The Cost of Sugar /
Sweden Henning Mankell / Jonas Jonasson The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared /
Switzerland  Dürrenmatt Der Richter und sein Henker/The Judge and his Hangman / Gottfried Keller / Syria Rafik Schami 
Tanzania Abdulrazak Gurnah Pilgrim's Way 
Trinidad and Tobago VS Naipaul A House for Mr Biswas /
Turkey Orhan Pamuk Snow / Latife Tekin / Elif Safak The Forty Rules of Love / Sabahattin Ali / Yaşar Kemal / Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar The Time Regulation Institute /
United Kingdom Virginia Woolf / Kazuo Ishiguro / JK Rowling /
United States of America Norton Juster The Phantom Tollbooth / Barbara Kingsolver The Poisonwood Bible / Cormac Mccarthy / Eliot Weinberger / Jhumpa Lahiri / Amy Tan /
Zimbabwe Tsitsi Dangarembga Nervous Conditions /

Friday 27 October 2017

Book Quotes of the Week

"Books are a travelling machine! They take you to the past or the future or somewhere in between. They take you to places no passport can take you to, and areas no one knows about." Olivia S. Bassily

"There are certain emotions in your body that not even your best friend can sympathize with, but you will find the right film or the right book, and it will understand you." Björk

"The greatest university of all is a collection of books." Thomas Carlyle

"There is something wonderful about a book. We can pick it up. We can heft it. We can read it. We can set it down. We can think of what we have read. It does something for us. We can share great minds, great actions, and great undertakings in the pages of a book." Gordon B. Hinckley

"We love books because they are the greatest escape. That is because our own minds eye is the purest form of virtual reality." M.R. Mathias

Find more book quotes here.

Wednesday 25 October 2017

Ephron, Nora "Heartburn" - 1983

Ephron, Nora "Heartburn" - 1983

Most of my friends know what a big fan I am of Nora Ephron. I love her movies and I love everything I have read that she has written. Luckily for me, I haven't read everything, yet. One of those still wanted to be read was this novel. I story she made out of her own divorce from her second husband. Only Nora Ephron manages to make a funny story out of that disaster. A husband who leaves his wife for another (married) woman when she is seven months pregnant?!?! What a ... okay, I can't write any of the words I would like to call him on the internet but I think most people will agree and therefore I leave it to your imagination.

But only Nora Ephron would be able to make a comedy out of a tragedy. I had to laugh so much when reading this book even though I still would have loved to kick that husband of hers. The writing makes it extremely life-like, it almost seems like having been written by a woman at the end of her pregnancy without any support at all. But still smart and witty, just like the author.

The novel starts with an introduction where Nora Ephron tells us that her husband was mad at her for having written about it but - as she says - she had written about her life, his life, their life together before, what did he think? That she was all of a sudden taking a vow of silence?

I love Nora Ephron and her stories. I also love Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson. Why have I never seen this movie? I have no idea but I'm sure it's great and I'm going to look for it.

From the back cover:

"Seven months into her pregnancy, Rachel discovers that her husband is in love with another woman. The fact that this woman has a 'neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb' is no consolation. Food sometimes is, though, since Rachel is a cookery writer, and between trying to win Mark back and wishing him dead, she offers us some of her favourite recipes. HEARTBURN is a roller coaster of love, betrayal, loss and - most satisfyingly - revenge. This is Nora Ephron's (screenwriter of WHEN HARRY MET SALLY and SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE) roman à clef: 'I always thought during the pain of the marriage that one day it would make a funny book,' she once said - And it is!"

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Dylan, Bob "Chronicles. Volume One"

Dylan, Bob "Chronicles. Volume One" - 2004

Last year's recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature. I don't need his book to know he totally deserved it but he talks about his life and that is quite interesting.

As I wrote in my post "Nobel Prize for Literature 2016", I look forward to the day where the newest winner of the Prize for Literature is announced and - together with the rest of the world - I was very astonished about last year's announcement. Totally unexpected but well deserved, Bob Dylan received the honour in 2016.

Bob Dylan, the hero of my youth, has written so many brilliant songs with wonderful texts and I could probably go on and write about every single one of his songs whose lyrics I know by heart. But - as this is my book blog, I read his biography instead. The 75-year-old rock legend writes about his life. Or is he? I have read many comments that this is not written by him but that it is mainly a collection of what other people wrote about him.

However, I did enjoy learning about his life. I am not a reader of gossip magazines so I hardly ever know whether my favourite singers or actors are single, married, divorced, gay, have children ... Sometimes I find it out via Wikipedia but that is usually just in combination with a search for one of their films or songs.

Again, I love Bob Dylan's work. His lyrics are as important today as they were sixty years ago. The times were ready to be a-changing back then and it is time they are a-changing again. Let's all listen to his songs and make this a better world.

From the back cover:
"This is the first spellbinding volume of the three-volume memoir of one of the greatest musical legends of all time. In CHRONICLES Volume I, Bob Dylan takes us back to the early 1960s when he arrived in New York to launch his phenomenal career. This is Dylan's story in his own words - a personal view of his motivations, frustrations and remarkable creativity. Publication of CHRONICLES Volume I is a publishing and cultural event of the highest magnitude."

Bob Dylan received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016 "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition" and a Pulitzer Prize for all his works in 2004.

I contribute to this page: Read the Nobels and you can find all my blogs about Nobel Prize winning authors and their books here.

Monday 23 October 2017

Chevalier, Tracy "The Lady and the Unicorn"

Chevalier, Tracy "The Lady and the Unicorn" - 2003

I've read quite a few of Tracy Chevalier's books. This is my fifth and it is all about a painting we hardly know anything about.

My fifth book by this remarkable author. Tracy Chevalier manages to weave history into her novels like nobody else. Even if her characters did not exist, it makes you feel like they did.
In this case, she tells the story of the Unicorn tapestries that were woven sometime in the 16th century . Little is known about them but you can almost imagine that the way Tracy Chevalier tells us is how it all actually happened.

This is the story of real tapestries called "The Lady and the Unicorn", six tapestries, each of them representing one of our five senses, sight (La Vue), sound (L'Ouïe), smell (L'Odorat), touch (Le Toucher), taste (Le Goût)  and a sixth called Mon Seul Désir (My only desire)

But even if you're not interested in history or art at all, this is a nice story about life in the Middle Ages. Or, if you are interested, you can go and see the tapestries in the Musée national du Moyen Âge (former Musée de Cluny) in Paris,

For me, the part that happened in Brussels was the most interesting. I used to live in Brussels and we still visit as often as possible. It is one of the loveliest towns around and you can still see all the guild houses and most of the other parts they are talking about nowadays.

From the back cover:
"It was the commission of a lifetime. Jean Le Viste, a fifteenth-century nobleman close to the King, hires an artist to design six tapestries celebrating his rising status at Court. Nicolas des Innocents overcomes his surprise at being offered this commission when he catches sight of his patron's daughter, Claude. His pursuit of her pulls him into the web of fragile relationships between husband and wife, parents and children, lovers and servants.
It was a revolutionary design.
In Brussels, renowned weaver Georges de la Chapelle takes on the biggest challenge of his career. Never before has he attempted a work that puts so much at stake. Sucked into a world of temptation and seduction, he and his family are consumed by the project and by their dealings with the rogue painter from Paris. The results changed all their lives."

Friday 20 October 2017

Camus, Albert "The First Man"

Camus, Albert "The First Man" (French: Le premier homme) - 1994

Albert Camus is probably my favourite French author and this being an autobiography, I just couldn't reject it. However, this is an unfinished manuscript that was found when the author died in a car crash, hasn't been edited or altered, we get just the raw draft. I am sure this book would have been a lot more enjoyable had the author had the chance to work on it a little longer.

But it is what it is and I am happy this document was found and finally published because it does give us quite an insight into the author's life, especially his youth and also his quest for his father. We get a good idea about the man himself, how his philosophy came to fruition, how his mind works.

On the other hand, his daughter mentions in the introduction that her father might have changed a lot of his thoughts in the book, it might not have been as personal, if he had had the chance to work on it. I would have loved for the author to live a lot longer and write many more stories but at least we get this glimpse of

This was my third book by Camus and it won't be my last, that's for sure.

I read this book in the original French language.

From the back cover:
"The unfinished manuscript of The First Man was discovered in the wreckage of car accident in which Camus died in 1960. Although it was not published for over thirty years, it was an instant bestseller when it finally appeared in 1994. The 'first man' is Jacques Cormery, whose poverty-stricken childhood in Algiers is made bearable by his love for his silent and illiterate mother, and by the teacher who transforms his view of the world. The most autobiographical of Camus's novels, it gives profound insights into his life and the powerful themes underlying his work."

Albert Camus received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957 "for his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times".

I contribute to this page: Read the Nobels and you can find all my blogs about Nobel Prize winning authors and their books here.

Friday 13 October 2017

Book Quotes of the Week

"You can’t enjoy art or books in a hurry." E.A. Bucchianeri

"Reading a great work of literature can truly be likened to having a conversation with a great mind." Jennie Chancey

"Old books, you know well, are books of the world’s youth, and new books are the fruits of its age." Oliver Wendell Holmes

"The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don't tell you what to see." Alexandra K. Trenfor

"If you believe everything you read, you better not read." Japanese proverb

Find more book quotes here.

Wednesday 11 October 2017

Bunyan, John "The Pilgrim's Progress from This World to That Which Is to Come"

Bunyan, John "The Pilgrim's Progress from This World to That Which Is to Come" - 1678

A classic I wanted to read for a while. I generally love classics and usually enjoy them very much. However, I did struggle with this one, it reads more like a play than a novel and I am not the biggest fan of reading plays. At times, I found I had set out the same way as our Pilgrim on a voyage through this book and I wondered whether I'd ever reach salvation, i.e. the end.

I did manage and even though I am happy to have finished it, I think this is a classic that is better left in its time, I'm sure it was a lot more appreciated back then but seems to be a tad outdated now. And I speak from the perspective of a Christian who has read and knows her Bible.

From the back cover:
"In John Bunyan's classic allegory, Christian abandons his family and the City of Destruction and sets off to find salvation. His path is straight but not easy, and he is beset by trials, including the terrible violence of the destructive Apollyon and the Giant Despair, as he pursues his pilgrimage through the Slough of Despond, the Delectable Mountains and Vanity Fair towards the Celestial City. In the second part of the narrative his wife, Christiana, is escorted by Great-Heart through the same difficult terrain. Written with the urgency of persecuted faith and a fiery imagination, The Pilgrim's Progress is a spiritual as well as a literary classic. In his introduction, Roger Pooley discusses Bunyan's life and theology, as well as the text's biblical and historical backdrop, its success and critical history. This edition also includes accompanying seventeenth-century illustrations, a chronology, suggested further reading, notes and an index."

Friday 6 October 2017

Book Quotes of the Week

"If I could always read I should never feel the want of company." Lord Byron

"What we become depends on what we read after all of the professors have finished with us." Thomas Carlyle

"Reading one book is like eating one potato chip." Diane Duane 

"Books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency of life in them to be as active as that soul was whose progeny they are; nay they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them." John Milton

"If you think reading is boring, you're doing it wrong." N.N.
[If anyone can tell me the originator of this quote, I'd be very thankful and would happily include the name.

 Find more book quotes here.

Tuesday 3 October 2017

Rice, Ronald "My Bookstore" - 2012

Rice, Ronald (Ed.) "My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop" - 2012

A book about bookshops. What could be more heaven? I started writing down some of the books mentioned but there were just far too many. There is a list in the back of all the bookshops mentioned (all of them in North America).

I loved following all those authors - some of them known to me, others not, - into their favourite bookstores and compared with the ones I love. Not such a big difference there. We all love shops where the staff knows us, really knows us, and can recommend the latest books they think we will love. And even if I will never be able to visit any of the shops mentioned in the book, I loved looking at them through the eyes of the storytellers.

I also found one of the most beautiful book quotes:
"There are many reasons I love books: for the worlds they show me, for the things they teach me, for the way they feel in my hands or in my satchel, for the way they look decorating my house, for the questions they arouse from my children, for their mystery, for their cold or warm truths, for their lies, for their promise. But mostly I just love being transported to some place outside of my everyday life." Peter Geye

From the back cover:
"In this enthusiastic, heartfelt, and sometimes humorous ode to bookshops and booksellers, 84 known authors pay tribute to the brick-and-mortar stores they love and often call their second homes. In 'My Bookstore' our greatest authors write about the pleasure, guidance, and support that their favorite bookstores and booksellers have given them over the years. The relationship between a writer and his or her local store and staff can last for years or even decades. Often it's the author's local store that supported him during the early days of his career, that continues to introduce and hand-sell her work to new readers, and that serves as the anchor for the community in which he lives and works.'My Bookstore' collects the essays, stories, odes and words of gratitude and praise for stores across the country in 84 pieces written by our most beloved authors. It's a joyful, industry-wide celebration of our bricks-and-mortar stores and a clarion call to readers everywhere at a time when the value and importance of these stores should be shouted from the rooftops.Perfectly charming line drawings by Leif Parsons illustrate each storefront and other distinguishing features of the shops.
Contributing authors and bookstores include:
Fannie Flagg--Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL
Rick Bragg--Alabama Booksmith, Homewood, AL
John Grisham--That Bookstore in Blytheville, Blytheville, AR
Ron Carlson--Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ
Ann Packer--Capitola Book Cafe, Capitola, CA
Isabel Allende--Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA
Mahbod Seraji--Kepler's Books, Menlo Park, CA
Lisa See--Vroman's Bookstore, Pasadena, CA
Meg Waite Clayton--Books Inc., San Francisco, CA
Daniel Handler and Lisa Brown--The Booksmith, San Francisco, CA
Dave Eggers--Green Apple Books, San Francisco, CA
Pico Iyer--Chaucer's Books, Santa Barbara, CA
Laurie R. King--Bookshop, Santa Cruz, CA
Scott Lasser--Explore Booksellers, Aspen, CO
Stephen White--Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO
Kate Niles--Maria's Bookshop, Durango, CO
Ann Haywood Leal--Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT
Florence and Wendell Minor--The Hickory Stick Bookshop, Washington Depot, CT
Rick Atkinson--Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC
Les Standiford--Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL
Robert Macomber--The Muse Book Shop, Deland, FL
David Fulmer--Eagle Eye Book Shop, Decatur, GA
Abraham Verghese--Prairie Lights, Iowa City, IA
Charlie Brandt--Chapter One Bookstore, Ketchum, ID
Luis Alberto Urrea--Anderson's Bookshops, Naperville, IL
Mike Leonard--The Book Stall Chestnut Court, Winnetka, IL
Albert Goldbarth--Watermark Books, Wichita, KS
Wendell Berry--Carmichael's Bookstore, Louisville, KY
Tom Piazza--Octavia Books, New Orleans, LA
Edith Pearlman--Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA
Mameve Medwed--Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA
Henry Louis Gates, Jr.--Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA
Simon Winchester--The Bookloft, Great Barrington, MA
Nancy Thayer--Mitchell's Book Corner, Nantucket, MA
Elin Hilderbrand--Nantucket Bookworks, Nantucket, MA
Jeanne Birdsall--Broadside Bookshop, Northampton, MA
Martha Ackmann--Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA
Ward Just--Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, Vineyard Haven, MA
Ron Currie, Jr.--Longfellow Books, Portland, ME
ancy Shaw--Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI
Katrina Kittle--Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI
Ann Patchett--Mclean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, MI
Louise Erdrich--Magers & Quinn Booksellers, Minneapolis, MN
Peter Geye--Micawber's Books, St. Paul, MN
Kathleen Finneran--Left Bank Books, St. Louis, MO
Barry Moser--Lemuria Books, Jackson, MS
Jack Pendarvis--Square Books, Oxford, MS
Jill McCorkle--Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC
Carrie Ryan--Park Road Books, Charlotte, NC
Laurent Dubois--The Regulator Bookshop, Durham, NC
Lee Smith--Purple Crow Books, Hillsborough, NC
Angela Davis-Gardner--Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh, NC
Ron Rash--City Lights Bookstore, Sylva, NC
Ian Frazier--Watchung Booksellers, Montclair, NJ
Audrey Vernick--Booktowne, Manasquan, NJ
Joan Wickersham--The Toadstool Bookshop, Peterborough, NH
Carmela Ciuraru--Community Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY
Matt Weiland--Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY
Kate Christensen--WORD, Brooklyn, NY
Mick Cochrane--Talking Leaves Books, Buffalo, NY
Caroline Leavitt--McNally Jackson Books, New York, NY
Arthur Nersesian--St. Mark's Bookshop, New York, NY
Francine Prose & Pete Hamill--Strand Bookstore, New York, NY
Jeff Smith--Book Loft German Village, Columbus, OH
Chuck Palahniuk--Powell's Books, Portland, OR
Larry Kane--Chester County Book & Music Company, West Chester, PA
Ann Hood--Island Books, Middletown, RI
Mindy Friddle--Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC
Adam Ross--Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN
Douglas Brinkley--Book People, Austin, TX
Terry Tempest Williams--The King's English Book Shop, Salt Lake City, UT
Howard Frank Mosher--Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, VT
Jon Clinch--Northshire Bookstore, Manchester, VT
Jonathan Evison--Eagle Harbor Book Co., Bainbridge Island, WA
Tom Robbins--Village Books, Bellingham, WA
Timothy Egan--Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA
Stephanie Kallos--Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA
Ivan Doig--University Book Store, Seattle, WA
Lesley Kagen--Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI
Liam Callanan--Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI"

Happy October!

Happy October to all my friends and readers

New Calendar picture with this
beautiful watercolour painting by Frank Koebsch

"Chestnut Alley" 
"Kastanien Allee"

October, the "tenth month" according to the old calendar is probably the nicest of the autumn months. Germany celebrates their day of unity, the Catholic church has their harvest festival, the Canadians get Thanksgiving, lots of nice events to celebrate. Enjoy this month with the beautiful watercolour painting by Frank Koebsch. One of my favourite pictures of the year, I have always loved chestnuts and when they are ripe I am reminded of the nice time I had collecting them with my boys when they were little.

You can find many more wonderful pictures on their website here.