Sorry for the silence around here. My buying season kicked off last week. Even the snow storm on Monday didn’t deter reps from coming to my office. I’m a buying machine. In the meanwhile, I’ve read two wonderful books and am working on a pretty good but informative book right now (look at the sidebar to see what it is).
I had mentioned in a previous post that I was reading The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, a debut novel by David Wroblewski. I finished it last week. You’ll be hearing a lot about this book I guarantee. It’s a bestseller for sure and if not, I don’t deserve my job. It’s a tremendous, emotional, gripping debut. The story of a boy and the dogs that his family raises on a farm in Wisconsin does not sound like my cup of tea normally. I’m not a dog person—I like dogs, but not an enthusiast. I like all animals—but I found myself pulled into this book. I can’t believe I’m admitting this on the internet, but I even cried. Last night, I had the good fortune to meet the author at a lovely dinner which the publisher put together to introduce a few authors to booksellers. Gil Adamson, author of another incredible debut called The Outlander, also flew down from Toronto to meet us all. i found both authors charming and I can’t wait to see what sort of reactions their books get when the finally hit the shelves.
The other book I read since then was Wilkie Collin’s The Woman in White.Â First serialized in 1859-1860, it’s considered to be among the first mystery novels. It took a while to get through, mainly because of the older edition I was reading, which seemed to be printed on thin bible paper with minuscule text. It’s a great read. To use a Briticism, I found it smashing.
Now I’m about two thirds of the way through David Kamp’s The US of Arugula.Â It’s the “behind the scenes” story of the American food revolution after WWII. I’m finding it informative, but the gossipy tone can be a bit much sometimes. After this, I’m not sure what I’ll read next. I’m tempted to read Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonson Falcones, an “international phenomenon” due out in April. It’s set in 14th century Barcelona around the building of a cathedral. I started a beginner’s Spanish class last night, so this might be just the thing.
Cathedral of the Sea’s not. The thing’s play wherein you catch the conscience of the king. Hamlet is quite a rollicker! Gertrude is really the play in my opinion.
Since you liked The Woman in White, you might really enjoy Collins’s later book The Moonstone (more specifically in the mystery genre). I think in some ways it’s smarter, and it’s also shorter!
Delurking to say I really enjoy reading your blog, especially posts such as this, which make me miss being a rep. I repped for St. Martin’s Press et. al. from ’93 to ’00 in the upper midwest (IA, NE, MN, WI, oh my). At this time of year, everything I pulled out of my trunk, from catalogs to ARCs, was frozen solid, radiating cold.
I love your enthusiasm and professionalism for the book and for independent booksellers. Keep fighting the good fight!
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i heard about the story of edgar swatelle but i leave in algeria and i cant take
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