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Re: What Have You Read Lately? (2024 Edition)

Started by apl68, January 03, 2024, 06:35:02 AM

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Just snagged a copy of The Girl with all the Gifts from our local library, thanks to movie thread. I also got Kingsolver's Flight Behavior.


Just finished Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible. I have a hold on Flight Behavior.


Quote from: RatGuy on February 29, 2024, 09:39:30 AMJust snagged a copy of The Girl with all the Gifts from our local library, thanks to movie thread.

Oh! That one's  great fun.
I know it's a genus.


Parnassus on Wheels and The Haunted Bookshop, by Christopher Morley.  These two early (1910s) books by the prolific Morley are what he's best remembered for.  Parnassus on Wheels is a kind of humorous romance about two bibliophiles and the horse-drawn mobile bookstore of the title.  Great fun to read, and it captures a lot of the appeal of bibliophilia.  Lots of allusions to classic authors--many of whom, like Kipling, were still contemporary or nearly so at the time.

The Haunted Bookshop is a sequel in which the protagonists of the first tale have traded up to a bricks-and-mortar location in New York.  Not as charming, due to an odd, melodramatic spy plot (set in the immediate aftermath of the Armistice of 1918), the bibliophile schtick getting laid on a little too heavy, and some drearily predictable efforts at philosophizing.  Still amusing in places, and boasts lots of loving descriptions of that bookstore.  Which has probably been serving as an aspirational goal for bookstore owners and would-be owners ever since. 

Both items are still in print, often in one volume.  Author Anne Patchett started an independent bookstore called Parnassus Books in Nashville some years ago.  They even tried running a mobile branch called Parnassus on Wheels that you can find pictures of online.

I read them as part of a big omnibus volume of Morley's work published long ago, when he was still a living author.  I found this last year on vacation, at a place in Galena, IL called Peace of the Past.  It's one of those antique stores that has enough books to qualify as a bookstore in its own right.  I loved browsing there and finding this and other things, and snagging a couple of their bookmarks.  Being able to order whatever you want online is great and all, but may we always have bricks-and-mortar bookstores to browse!
If any will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever will lose his life for my sake will find it.
For how does a man profit if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul?