Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Add a new great book to your gotta read it pile: A Romantic Education by Patricia Hampl, a poet from St. Paul and the U of Minn. This memoir / travel book is at times lyrical, often insightful and moving, and, overall, lovely and fun to read. It's an account of growing up in the twin cities and later touring the still communist dominated eastern European land of her paternal ancestors. The copy I am reading now, which you may not buy, is a mid-nineties reprint with an updated afterword appended. I just started it today and won't finish until next week, what with vacuuming the store, putting back books you knock over, making coffee, eating hotdogs, and talking to all the interesting wanna-be customers who come in, look around, and leave, saying, invariably, "I'll be back when I have more time." Maybe next time they'll make the store their ultimate destination, so that they then can say to the dentist, instead of me, "I'll be back when I have more time." As if.

I will look for more copies of this fine book and put them in the window even if it takes a year. Don't be in a hurry. Pick up something else to read in the meantime. For example there's a new pile of Bloomsbury Group books that all came in at once last week- that's Virginia Woolf and her social / literary set; Lytton Strachey, the Gills, some of the Pre Raphaelites whom they knew, art critics, and much more, but I am not in the store as I write this and will not risk mis-spellings and historical errors, so you'll have to see for yourself, when you have more time, of course.

Read the want list below to see the rest of the great things that should be available in the store if only I could pry them out of somebody's library.

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