Day 55 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project.
Several of us were traveling over the weekend, and Bob reports that he was sucked into the vortex of a used bookstore:
"The weather in Washington was beautiful on Thursday, so I went for a walk at lunchtime--and was sucked into the vortex of a used book store. My eye was caught by a two-volume biography of Lytton Strachey by Michael Holroyd. Having always been interested in Strachey as a critical writer, and having been intrigued by Emma Thompson's portrayal of Dora Carrington, I picked it up. And, when I saw Gielgud: A Theatrical Life right next to it, I couldn't resist that either. Then, I saw Jack Germond's and Jules Witcover's Blue Smoke & Mirrors--their account of the 1980 presidential campaign, and had to pick it up. (I've long been a fan of both of them, since Jules Witcover's 85 Days: The Last Campaign of Robert Kennedy, and since the first column I read by Jack Germond back in the Washington Star), Seymour Hersch's Dark Side of Camelot and lastly Don DeLillo's Falling Man. I only stopped at six volumes because of how far I had to walk back to the office."
Because I work in one, I am very familiar with the hazards of being sucked into the vortex of used books, and I wish Bob well with his heavy lifting as well as his heavy reading. I am hoping he reports here again when he has time, as his comments are always enlightening. Anna was reading Falling Man earlier in this blog, and I think my dad would like the Gielgud book, as he was reading one Alec Guinness's memoirs, Blessings in Disguise, this summer, so I borrowed and read it, too. Ah, in fact we traded memoirs, as I recall, so, as I had wished recently, he has already read The Tender Bar! And, yes, my mother had found the Guinness book in the vortex of Babbitt's Books.
I will rummage in the vortex to see if we have My Name Escapes Me, another Guinness memoir, built from diary entries, just because I love the title! This seems like one I could dip into on breaks and leave in the store for someone else, which I should, of course, do more often!
Ah! And all this reminds me that I will indeed get to pack books for a week-long vacation in Michigan in July. There is no Internet access in the house but there is in a little cafe down the street, so if my son allows it, I will borrow his laptop to keep up with this blog. If not, I will again hand write the entries and post them later, as I did with this little Easter weekend trip.
And I loved Susan's comment about asking perfect strangers what they are reading, which I do regularly in the vortex of the bookstore, or sometimes when I follow people outside and talk to them on the sidewalk. (Julie, I am not a stalker.) I promise I will ask perfect strangers on the beach this summer what they are reading, especially if they have actual sandy books visible on the towel or sticking up out of the swim bag. And in the Internet cafe. If I am not too shy.
And it's possible that we will get to Virginia sometime this summer, too, Bob! I have an aunt there fixing up a house in Charlottesville, and a handyman artist husband with a volleyball pal in Northern Virginia (a separate country, as I now understand it, the rest of Virginia being a part of The South, which was brought home to me when I handled a Richmond, VA newspaper from the Civil War period listing Jefferson Davis as The President of the United States), and another aunt in Alexandria. If events collide, we might wander the vortex together!