Monday, September 04, 2006

Summer Reading List

We went last week to our timeshare at Massanutten, which is near Harrisonburg, Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley. I did little writing, but lots of reading, playing with Tarot cards, and cooking (I brought a big carton of tomatoes to can that would not wait a week until we returned).

In no particular order, and because it's now Labor Day, here is a list of the books I read during the Summer of 2006 (sorry for not providing links):

Making a Literary Life, by Carolyn See
There Will Never Be Another You, by Carolyn See
Crescent, by Diana Abu-Jabar
The Pillowman (a play), by Martin McDonagh
Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdon, by Rachel Pollack
The Forest of Souls, by Rachel Pollack
The Transmitter to God, by Rhawn Joseph
Metaphors We Live By, by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson
The Moviegoer, by Walker Percy
The Message in the Bottle (essays), by Walker Percy
I'm Not the New Me, by Wendy McClure
Arthur and George, by Julian Barnes
The Hole in the Universe, by K.C. Cole
Dancing in the Flames, by Marion Woodman and Elinor Dickson
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, by Jeanette Winterson
Essential Acker: The Selected Writings of Kathy Acker, ed. Amy Scholder and Dennis Cooper
The Serpent and the Rainbow, by Wade Davis
A Round-Heeled Woman, by Jane Juska (bought it twice by accident, and her new book has just come in the mail)

My favorite part of our yearly trip to Virginia is not viewing the scenery along Skyline Drive, or hiking, but visiting the Green Valley Book Fair. We even pack a lunch and picnic outdoors. We return home with crates of books. We use collapsable wheeled carts so we don't have to suffer shopping baskets with metal handles that dig into your arms.

I learned recently that there is such a thing as "bookstore tourism." So we are not the only loonies out there who go from book sale to book sale and buy more books than we possibly can read.

At a conference recently someone asked me what sites I use to find the lowest prices for new and used books online. Here's my list:

Daedalus (a new one's near me with coffee next door)
eBay - Books (often the cheapest for recent releases)
Powells (great website, why is the store so far away?!)
The Tattered Cover (this big independent bookseller successfully resisted gov't subpoena for customer records, yeah!)
Wonderbook (not far away - Frederick, MD - and it's huge. USA Today thinks it's one of the 10 best used bookstores in the country)

Notice I have not listed Barnes & Noble or Borders. I get emails from them all the time - and I read them. I do visit their stores. And even buy books there. But it's not where I go to find good used books or new ones cheap.

Then there's the download-it-for-free sites, e.g.:
World eBook Fair
Free Classic AudioBooks
Project Gutenberg

Of course every Baltimorian who loves to peruse stacks of used books in search of treasure needs to visit the annual Smith College Book Sale. We take our wheely carts there, too. And wear our comfortable shoes.

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