Thursday, May 12, 2011

Joy for Beginners by Erica Bauermeister

First, a couple of notes from Shelf Awareness:

This makes me sad, as I have always wanted built-in bookshelves, and still do!

You know those built-in bookshelves you've always dreamed of having in
your house or apartment? Apparently there fewer people like you than
there used to be. Crain's Chicago Business
reported that "with sales of e-book titles surpassing those of
paper-and-ink volumes, homeowners are moving on."

Re/Max broker associate Lynn Fairfield said clients are drywalling over
bookcases to make room for flat-screen televisions: "When I show houses,
I never see books lined up on shelves anymore. If there are shelves,
they're usually filled with sports trophies or photos or knickknacks."

This is just bizarre, looking at hair of famous literary figures a hundred-plus years later, (and pieces of Shelley's skull...creepy!)

"History's Most Distinguished Literary Hair"
Flavorwire noted that in preparing for the New York Public Library's
centennial exhibition, library curators found "some unexpected bounty in
the stacks, a lock of Frankenstein creator Mary Shelley's hair. Macabre
as it seems, bestowing locks of hair on friends, family members, and
lovers was common practice in the 19th century, and locks of hair from
many renowned writers accompany the NYPL's vast collections of
manuscripts, notebooks, and letters."

I had the great good fortune to read Erica Bauermeisters first book "The School of Essential Ingredients" which was a marvelous work, engrossing and enriching, and now I've been able to read her latest book "Joy for Beginners" which is equally wonderful, full of rich characters and the challenges they take on during a year in which they've dared a friend just recovering from cancer to take a white water rafting trip in the Grand Canyon. As usual, Bauermeister's prose is gold, rich and sensuous and satisfying, and after meeting and chatting with the author, I can say that she's just as lovely as her books. I highly recommend them both, but note that you won't be able to nab a copy of Joy For Beginners until June 9. By then, we might actually have some sunshine for you to read by!

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