Shelf Awareness for Friday, October 12, 2018


Delacorte Press: Lady Smoke (Ash Princess #2) by Laura Sebastian

Black Spot Books: Apocalypse Five (Archive of the Fives #1) by Stacey Rourke

Atlantic Monthly Press: Unto Us a Son Is Given by Donna Leon

Gibbs Smith: We know that there's no place like the bookstore - Thank You Booksellers!

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Five Feet Apart by Rachel Lippincott with Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis

News

Harvey's Tales Bookstore Opens in Geneva, Ill.

Harvey's Tales, Geneva, Ill., is celebrating its grand opening with an all-day event tomorrow, October 13, featuring live music, hourly drawings for gift certificates, and a caricaturist.

The store is owned by Roxanne and Chuck Osborne, for whom the bookstore is a second career, the Kane County Chronicle reported. He's taught middle school science for 30 years and she is leaving a commercial construction company after 24 years. As they wrote about themselves on Facebook: "Since reading is one of their passions and independent bookshops naturally foster a community vibe, they knew this would be ideal for their early retirement adventures."

Named after the Osbornes' late Bernese Mountain dog and in a building the Osbornes bought last year, the 2,400-square-feet store is a general independent with adult and children's books, a café, free wi-fi, a community room for meetings and small events, an outdoor patio with seating and a giant wall Scrabble game.

The Osbornes also have an unusual helper as they begin bookselling. "We have a voodoo doll of Jeff Bezos," Chuck Osborne told the Kane County Chronicle.

Harvey's Tales is located at 216 James St., Geneva, Ill.; 630-232-2991.


William Morrow & Company: Beyond the Point by Claire Gibson


Bookselling Without Borders at the EIBF/Frankfurt

From l.: Dylan Brown, Skylight Books, Los Angeles; Lyn Roberts, Square Books, Oxford, Miss.; Adam Sonderberg, Seminary Co-op, Chicago; and ABA CEO Oren Teicher.

At the European and International Booksellers Federation conference yesterday morning at the Frankfurt Book Fair, three Bookselling Without Borders scholarship winners shared insights from their home stores and impressions of the book fair so far. American Booksellers Association CEO Oren Teicher moderated the discussion.

Dylan Brown, bookseller at Skylight Books in Los Angeles, Calif., reported that one of the things Skylight does differently is the amount of leeway that booksellers are given over managing the store's "eccentric online presence" and social media accounts. The genuine, bookseller-driven approach, he said, helps the store bridge the gap between what goes on in the bookstore and the broader online world. Brown said that one of his goals while attending the fair was to do some research into broadening the store's foreign-language selections, and that he was struck by the way the books were emphasized as art objects. He explained: "I think that's one thing that online opportunities can't really get across--how beautiful and majestic a book can actually be at times."

On the subject of what the store is doing to attract younger booksellers, Brown noted that many of the younger staff members at Skylight are artists, writers or musicians on the side. He attributed part of it as probably due to the economic reality of there being a lot of young people looking for work, and another part to the fact that young, working artists "generally seem to have the right mindset for working in a bookstore, especially one that carries as wide variety of titles as we do."

Scholarship winner Lyn Roberts, general manager of Square Books in Oxford, Miss., emphasized the deep connections that the store has built with both the Oxford community and many of the tourists who visit. Square Books-branded T-shirts and tote bags are popular with both groups, and that "helps us keep selling them books." The store hosts some 160 events each year and has run a subscription service since 1992, which she described as a great way of having an "ongoing relationship" with customers anywhere. She recalled an interview with the owner of a vinyl record store in Austin, Tex., called Waterloo, in which the owner said that he was an anachronism and planned on going down with that ship. Roberts said: "And that's how I feel--we're in real books, we're interested in technology... but we try to keep focused on that we're booksellers."

When asked about the notion that the future of retail is entertainment, Roberts noted that entertainment "doesn't necessarily mean somebody presenting something." People often go shopping as entertainment, and in those instances the shop simply needs to provide the merchandise and the right setting. "So I think having a good environment where people can shop and look at books and browse, that has some entertainment value," she said.

Adam Sonderberg, manager of The Seminary Co-op Bookstore in Chicago, Ill., explained that while Seminary Co-op is not an official part of the University of Chicago, it does supply books for the school and is one of the largest academic bookstores in the U.S. Unlike other college stores, he said, Seminary Co-op keeps course titles stocked on the shelves year-round and increases the volume of stock at the start of each quarter. Sonderberg also pointed out that the way the store handles backlist is unusual: compared to most general-interest bookstores, Seminary Co-Op will keep backlist titles on the shelves for an extremely long time--Sonderberg said that just the other day, the store sold a book that had been on the shelf for 13 years. "Obviously from a business perspective, that's absolutely the dumbest thing imaginable," he remarked, but for a store that views itself as a "cultural institution," it makes sense, and staff members will seriously consider reordering that book that didn't sell for years.

Sonderberg reported that he and his colleagues were very interested in creating a professional, career booksellers class, and Seminary Co-op tries to do that through "very aggressive cross-training" and giving staff "myriad opportunities" to get involved with all aspects of the business. "Basically we attract people by doing what we do and putting ourselves out there," he said. "Creating the conditions functions as a magnet." --Alex Mutter

[Editor's note: Bookselling Without Borders is currently running a Kickstarter campaign with some unusual rewards to raise money to expand next year's program.]


Abrams: The Overlook Press Distribution Change


Colo.'s HearthFire Books Moves into Single Storefront

HearthFire Books and Treats in Evergreen, Colo., has consolidated into a single storefront. Previously, HearthFire had leased two adjacent storefronts in the same shopping center, with one devoted to books and the other offering frozen yogurt, coffee and other food and beverage items.

In July, Hearthfire's owner and staff members began gradually moving all of store's inventory into the frozen yogurt side, which is a 2,000-square-foot corner space with a patio and outdoor area. They stayed open for the entire move and were finished by early September.

Assistant manager and marketing director Lauren Delia reported that they have not had to cut down on their book inventory, although during the move the store avoided placing its typical order volume. With the reconfiguration, Delia and her colleagues are looking to emphasize their bestsellers and book club selections and expand their children's section. So far, she said, feedback has been good. "For the most part people are excited," Delia said. "The word I've been hearing is 'cozy.' "

She added that with the two halves of the store in separate storefronts, the frozen yogurt side and the book side had "never really gelled." But now, things feel a lot more cohesive, and she's noticed that customers who may have only stopped by for frozen yogurt in the past are now staying longer and browsing the book section.

HearthFire Books first opened in Evergreen around 20 years ago as Lovin's Bookstore. Current owner Kappy Kling purchased the store in 2010, and about six years ago she bought the frozen yogurt shop next door.


GLOW: St. Martin's Press: The Night Before by Wendy Walker


Oregon's Tsunami Books Celebrates Fundraising Success

Last night, Tsunami Books, Eugene, Ore., celebrated successful fundraising efforts that will allow it to stay at its location for another 10 years, the Register-Guard reported. Owner Scoff Landfield raised more than $300,000 after the store's rent was doubled.

The new and used bookstore celebrated, the newspaper said, with a performance by Four Shillings Short, a husband-and-wife duo who sing Celtic, folk and world music. They have played at the store since 2006.


Ecco Press: What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir in Essays by Damon Young


Great American Read Voting Deadline Nears

The deadline is approaching to cast votes for the country's best-loved novel, and organizers of The Great American Read have released a Top 10 list of the leading candidates thus far. The project's "Grand Finale" episode will air October 23 on PBS stations nationwide to reveal the number one book.

To date, more than 3.8 million votes have been cast. Viewers can vote for their favorite titles each day through October 18 using hashtag voting via Facebook and Twitter, SMS texting with the dedicated book hashtag, and toll-free by phone. All methods can be found here. Entering the final week, the current top 10 books, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Charlotte's Web
  • Chronicles of Narnia series
  • Gone with the Wind
  • Harry Potter series
  • Jane Eyre
  • Little Women
  • Lord of the Rings series
  • Outlander series
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • To Kill a Mockingbird

"Since the series launched in May, millions of book lovers, superfans and literary advocates from across the country have cast their vote in search of America's Best Loved Novel," said Bill Gardner, v-p of programming and development, PBS. "Every title on our top 100 list provides a unique window into our vibrant and diverse national culture, and with a week left until the vote is final, it's still anyone's game! So keep reading, voting and sharing your favorites with us."


Obituary Note: Mary Alice Gorman

Mary Alice Gorman

Mary Alice Gorman, co-founder and longtime owner of Mystery Lovers Bookshop, Oakmont, Pa., died October 9. She was 74.

She and her husband, Richard Goldman, founded the store in 1990 and sold it in 2012. During their ownership, mysteries represented a majority of sales, but Mystery Lovers Bookshop also sold children's, and general fiction and nonfiction titles as well as sidelines, mainly puzzles and games. In 2010, the store won the Raven Award from the Mystery Writers of America

Before opening Mystery Lovers Bookshop, Gorman taught in public schools, had her own consulting business, was executive director of the Pittsburgh ACLU, executive director of the Allegheny County Center for Victims of Violent Crimes and president of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape. She was also a life trustee of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Yesterday, the store, now owned by Tara Goldberg-DeLeo and Kristy Bodnar, wrote in part: "We are beyond heartbroken and our deepest sympathies are with Richard and their family. Her impact to this community through her love and cultivation of the store, her contributions to the literary world, support to so many authors, and her social impact throughout her career will leave an everlasting footprint. Mary Alice will be greatly missed and forever remain an inspiration to us all."

The family suggests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made either to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh or a favorite library.


Notes

Image of the Day: There Will Be No Miracles Here

East City Bookshop in Washington, D.C., hosted Casey Gerald, author of the memoir There Will Be No Miracles Here (Riverhead). He posed with bookstore staffers: (l.-r.) Kelsey Taylor, Cathy Landry, Emilie Sommer, Laurie Gillman, Casey Gerald, Malik Thompson, Destinee Hodge, Jennifer Wood.


Astoria Bookshop's Lexi Beach on Indie Survival

"OK, bookstore loving friends, here is the truth: At a certain point, buying books from the store you love is not going to be enough to keep it open," Lexi Beach, co-owner of Astoria Bookshop in Queens, N.Y., declared to open a Twitter thread on Tuesday. Electric Lit noted that in the thread she "went on to explain that the bigger problem lies in the relationship between capitalism, the commercial real estate market, and the toxic marriage between the two for low-margin businesses like bookstores." You can read the whole thread here. Among the highlights:

  • "My idea is that landlords who rent to locally owned, independent business should get a real estate tax break. My occupancy costs went up 7% year one because of a real estate tax assessment after I opened."
  • "Things are probably different in smaller municipalities. I hear from business owners who have wrangled good lease agreements by becoming friends with their landlords. That's not generally possible in NYC."
  • "My real hope is that municipalities that enjoy having vibrant downtown areas can implement public policy solutions that support small business brick & mortar shops. Letting the real estate industry dictate who can afford to rent a storefront is not sustainable for communities."

Beach told Electric Lit: "I've worked in the book industry for a long time, beginning with a job coordinating author tours at Simon & Schuster, where I was in regular touch with booksellers and events coordinators at bookstores around the country. I've watched the landscape for brick and mortar stores change dramatically, a few times over, since 2003. I've always known that it's not a business you get in to make a ton of money." She added that she didn't fully understand the calculations that go into the bookselling game until opening her business in 2013.

"Has minimum wage gone up? Yes. Does my rent go up regularly? Yes," said Beach. "But I'm part of so many networks of smart people (the American Booksellers Association, Shop Small Astoria, the amazing community of NYC booksellers) who all face overlapping problems. There are solutions to all the questions we have and we'll find them."


Happy 20th Birthday, Third Place Books!

Congratulations to Third Place Books, with three stores in and near Seattle, Wash.! The store is celebrating its 20th anniversary on Saturday, November 3, from 6-9 p.m., at its Lake Forest Park location. The evening will include food, drinks, a variety show (at 7), music by house band the Rejections, and Celebrity Jeopardy with Seattle-area authors and other special guests.

Special congratulations to managing partner Robert Sindelar, who is president of the American Booksellers Association!


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Tucker Carlson on Fox News Sunday

Sunday:
Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace: Tucker Carlson, author of Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution (Free Press, $28, 9781501183669).


Movies: The Lost Daughter

Golden Globe winner Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Honourable Woman, The Deuce) has teamed with Pie Films to acquire film rights to Elena Ferrante's novel The Lost Daughter, Deadline reported. Gyllenhaal will make her debut as a film director, as well as write and produce. Talia Kleinhendler and Osnat Handelsman-Keren of Pie Films are also producing. The three previously partnered on The Kindergarten Teacher. Pie Films' past productions include The Women's Balcony, The Kind Words and The Farewell Party.



Books & Authors

Awards: Astrid Lindgren (Very) Longlist

The 246 candidates from 64 countries who have been nominated for the 2019 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award were made public yesterday at the Frankfurt Book Fair. The five million Swedish kronor (about $555,000) award is given annually to authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and reading promoters "to promote interest in children's and young adult literature." The candidates can be seen here.


PEN Int'l Writer of Courage Recipient Is Waleed Abulkhair

Waleed Abulkhair

Lawyer and human rights activist Waleed Abulkhair has been named this year's recipient of the PEN International Writer of Courage award. The award--given to a writer who has been persecuted for speaking out about their beliefs--was announced by PEN Pinter Prize winner Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Currently serving a 15-year prison sentence, Abulkhair is a founding member of the Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia and has written for local and international media. He has also represented fellow activists and writers; and provided salons for liberal youth to discuss new ideas, after laws around public gatherings were tightened to prevent "unbelief'"and "deviant thought."

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said: "I am proud to share this year's PEN Pinter Prize with activist, lawyer and writer Waleed Abulkhair. Waleed has dedicated his life to holding the Saudi authorities accountable for human rights abuses. He has dedicated his life to speaking out, to supporting the victims of those abuses. Waleed, like Harold Pinter, has shown a lucid dedication to telling his truth. But rather than being lauded for this dedication, Waleed has paid a heavy price--15 years behind bars. I am deeply proud to share this prize with Waleed and I hope that this small act of solidarity will bring him some comfort, and will remind him that his struggle has not been forgotten, nor will it be in vain."


Reading with... Nicole Chung

photo: Erica B. Tappis
Nicole Chung's debut memoir is All You Can Ever Know (Catapult, October 2, 2018). Her essays and articles have appeared in the New York Times, GQ, Longreads, BuzzFeed, Vulture and Hazlitt, among others. She is the editor-in-chief of Catapult magazine and the former managing editor of The Toast. Find her on Twitter @nicole_soojung.
 
On your nightstand now:
 
Vanessa Hua's A River of Stars and Crystal Hana Kim's If You Leave Me. Oh, and I just started genius Liana Finck's graphic memoir, Passing for Human. For weeks I've been working my way through the Emily Wilson translation of The Odyssey, bit by bit, just trying to savor it. (It was my birthday present to myself.)
 
Favorite book when you were a child:
 
Probably E.B. White's The Trumpet of the Swan. I don't know that any scene in literature has made me happier than the one in which Louis the Swan stays at the Ritz.
 
Your top five authors:
 
Oh my god, this is so hard. QUICKLY, off the top of my head, without giving myself any room for the agony of indecision and second-guessing: Octavia Butler! Dorothy L. Sayers! Jesmyn Ward! Celeste Ng! E.B. White! Is that five? I hope I never have to answer this again!
 
Book you've faked reading:
 
Started but did not finish The Master and Margarita; many apologies to my professor. That was 15 years ago, and I still feel a pang of guilt whenever anyone talks about Bulgakov being a genius; I just nod and murmur, "Yeah, Master and Margarita" in what I hope is a sufficiently reverent tone, and pray no one follows up with any questions.
 
Book you're an evangelist for:
 
I've told many, many people they should read Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers. And Min Jin Lee's Pachinko is That Book I Seem to Be Buying for a Whole Lot of People (if we're related and I give it to you as a gift, please act surprised).
 
Book you've bought for the cover:
 
Years ago, I bought the gorgeous red Penguin Drop Caps edition of Pride and Prejudice, even though I already owned three other editions of Pride and Prejudice.
 
Book you hid from your parents:
 
They for sure knew that I read everything I could, and never made me feel like I had to hide or be embarrassed about any of it. I did try--unsuccessfully--to hide my own writing from them. (They eventually found and read it all.)
 
Book that changed your life:
 
Not trying to dodge this question, but I truly believe every book you read and love changes your life somehow. It might start by changing how you experience the world as you read it--you're thinking about it when you're not reading it, you're talking about it with friends, you're reconsidering other stories you've read because of it--and then by the end it'll give you some narrative, or some bit of knowledge, or some question you will incorporate into your life going forward. So many books teach you, stay with you and in staying they change you.
 
Of the books I've read and loved over the past few years, Celeste Ng's Little Fires Everywhere probably affected me most deeply, because I never thought I would see a lifetime's worth of my own questions about adoption explored so masterfully and gorgeously in fiction. It felt strange and affirming in ways I didn't expect, and it also made me so emotional that I have only read it twice, even though I adore it! I am preparing myself, emotionally, for that third read.
 
Favorite line from a book:
 
This is also impossible to answer, but a favorite line would have to be the old standby, "Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract," from A Wrinkle in Time, which is probably the line I'd get tattooed somewhere if the sight of blood (mine; anyone's) did not make my knees go all funny. Every time I read or think of it, it reminds me to think less about limits and what I think I lack, and more in terms of the possible. And it reminds me to lean into my stubbornness and righteous anger. Stay angry, little Meg!
 
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
 
The Lord of the Rings, if I could read it with my dad. It was his favorite book. Now that he's gone, I wish we'd read it together my first time through.

Book Review

Review: The Valley at the Centre of the World

The Valley at the Centre of the World by Malachy Tallack (Canongate, $24 hardcover, 352p., 9781786892300, November 6, 2018)

To many people, Shetland is the end of the world: a cold, isolated archipelago off the northeastern coast of Scotland. But to its residents, many of them tied to the land by generations of family history, it's the center: not of urban activity or modern development, certainly, but of their own particular, quiet lives. In his debut novel, The Valley at the Centre of the World, Scottish writer Malachy Tallack brings Shetland and a handful of its residents to life, tracing their movements on, through and around the titular valley.
 
Tallack (Sixty Degrees North) begins his narrative with Sandy, a young man who settled in the valley with his girlfriend, Emma, but lingers there even after their relationship ends and she moves south. His nearest neighbor and friend is David, Emma's father, a quiet man who carries the history of the valley in his bones. David and his wife, Mary, form the backbone of the tiny community of the valley. Sandy helps David with sheep-shearing and other tasks, learning the ways of crofting and eventually moving into a house of his own. Meanwhile, the cast of characters expands to include Terry, a sometime drunk who lives down the road; Alice, a novelist who moved to the valley after her husband's death; Maggie, the valley's eldest resident; and Liz, Sandy's mum, who appears on his doorstep after many years of sporadic contact. Their lives intertwine partly for reasons of geography, but partly because the valley engenders community: in its spare, rugged landscape, human interaction becomes a necessity.
 
Like many rural communities, the valley is home to a disappearing way of life: small farmers and crofters find it increasingly hard to make a living, and young people are drawn south to the mainland and its opportunities. Tallack chooses not to pontificate or proselytize about the dangers of industry or the threats to small villages. Instead, he paints a loving portrait in miniature of the valley and its inhabitants. Alice attempts a similar task with her latest writing project (which shares its title with Tallack's novel): a detailed natural history of the valley, which (she is finally forced to acknowledge) can never be entirely complete. Most of the characters speak in the local dialect, which is jarring at first, but gradually becomes part of the novel's fabric. The plot tends to meander instead of proceeding in any linear fashion, and though certain points eventually move toward resolution, others simply are. Perhaps that's the most compelling argument for both Shetland and Tallack's rendering of it: they simply are, and in their rich, layered existence lies great beauty. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams
 
Shelf Talker: Scottish writer Malachy Tallack paints a quiet, lyrical portrait of the Shetland Islands in his first novel.

Deeper Understanding

Robert Gray: On the Book Path--Heartland Fall Forum

"Oku means 'within' and 'farthest' or 'dead-end' place; hosomichi means 'path' or 'narrow road.' The no is prepositional. Oku-no-hosomichi: the narrow road within; the narrow way through the interior." --Sam Hamill, in his introduction to Matsuo Bashō's Narrow Road to the Interior

I'm writing this from a hotel room in Denver, where the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association Fall Discovery Show is about to start. But the bookish path I've been on began October 2 when I left the Northeast and headed to Minneapolis for this year's Heartland Fall Forum, the annual gathering of members from the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association and the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association.

This extended westward trek is unusual for me. Normally I would return home between fall trade shows, but scheduling this year made the option less appealing. Now I'm glad it worked out that way because the path has offered unanticipated delights and surprises.

One of my longtime book/life guides has been Bashō, the 17th Century Japanese poet whose travel journals were part of the inspiration for a blog I started in 2004 called Fresh Eyes: A Bookseller's Journal. He wrote: "Nothing's worth noting that is not seen with fresh eyes."

"Poetry & the Heartland Fall Forum," a column I wrote a couple of weeks ago, has turned out to be even more prescient than I anticipated. So I've tried to follow this transitory path with Bashō's fresh eyes, and over the next few weeks I'll share some of what I've seen and heard.

Step onto the book path here:

During HFF's Book Awards Ceremony on the first day, MIBA executive director Carrie Obry and new GLIBA head Larry Law revealed that next year's show will be held at the historic Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. "We would like to take our show on the road," Obry said. "We looked at a lot of different venues throughout the Midwest, and we've decided to take it to this lovely urban environment in the downtown of the city."

Judith Kissner

When Jennifer Wills of Beagle and Wolf Books & Bindery, Park Rapids, Mich., introduced the inaugural Midwest Bookseller of the Year winner, Judith Kissner of Scout & Morgan Books, Cambridge, Minn., she noted that "not only is she a terrific bookseller, playing successful matchmaker between readers and books, and bringing in amazing authors... she's an important part of the collaborations and reforms that are happening in the community."

Accepting her award, Kissner chronicled the path that led to her bookselling life, which included working as a flight attendant: "For 17 years, during layovers throughout North America, I spent countless hours in every shape and size of bookstore, among stacks of the world's best literature. On every layover in every city I made my way to the sanctuaries of rational thought, critical thinking and endless possibility. I stuffed my one or two books and read during every minute of downtime. I didn’t realize it at the time that I was filing away all kinds of information regarding store layouts, aesthetics, quality of books, booksellers who were engaging and welcoming and those who weren't. I was building a business plan of what my store would look like and feel like if I ever had that opportunity.... I have never looked back, and feel so fortunate to have had this wonderful opportunity to be part of the bookselling community."

Kate McCune

Noting that "this work has always really mattered to me and you guys have always really mattered to me," Voice of the Heartland Award winner Kate McCune said, "So many booksellers have really let me live their bookselling lives vicariously by sharing their plans, their stories, their frustrations and their dreams" and emphasized "the bigger work we're all engaged in, which is a life of ideas that on its best days really gives us meaning. And it’s about a generosity of spirit, which is what reading gives us all."

(l. r.): MIBA executive director Carry Obry; award-winning authors Bao Phi, Danez Smith, Margi Preus, Michael Zadoorian, Loren Long, Chloe Benjamin; and GLIBA executive director Larry Law

Chloe Benjamin, author of The Immortalists and winner of the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award for fiction, praised indies: "Again and again you amaze me with your devotion, enthusiasm and ingenuity. No one designs a store window like an independent bookseller.... Before I was ever a writer, I was a reader and before I ever saw one of my own books in an indie bookstore as a customer, I fell in  love with indies as a customer."

The sweetest moment of day one on my 2018 fall bookseller trade show circuit occurred when Danez Smith, MIBA's award winner in the poetry category for Don’t Call Us Dead, expressed heartfelt gratitude to their mother, who was in attendance, by recalling: "I think [she] is the reason I became a writer and reader. She's a writer herself and her torture of making me go to the library and take back library books gave me a lot of time to spend with books, and seeing you always with a book in your hands always made me want to make one to put in your hands." Then, gazing out at a huge room packed with indie booksellers, Smith added: "I just want to thank all of you strange capitalist librarians."

The HFF path--and the poetry--continues next week. --Robert Gray, contributing editor (Column archives available at Fresh Eyes Now)


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