About This Blog

Don't get me wrong. It's not that I'm not on board with the whole ebook thing. I enjoy books in all their formats. But there is nothing quite like a bookstore with its neatly arranged shelves of books and artfully created displays of new arrivals, best sellers, and suggested reading. I especially enjoy discovering small, independent bookstores and have made it my mission to visit and report back on as many of these gems as I can. That is my focus, but there is really nothing that is off limits as long as it is about books or reading. Hope you enjoy my blog and come back often.

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Winner In My Book

McLean & Eakin Booksellers
307 E. Lake Street
Petosky, MI 49770

They don't call Michigan a water wonderland for nothing. The state is home to more than 11,000 inland lakes and is the only state to border four of the five Great Lakes giving it over 3,000 miles of fresh water coastline, more than any other state. Stand anywhere in my beautiful home state, and you will not be farther than 85 miles from one of the Great Lakes.* I bristle when I hear people refer to my state as "fly-over country" as though living here were some sort of penance. Such people have obviously never been to Petoskey, an enchanting small town gracing the shore of Lake Michigan's Little Traverse Bay. Beyond its natural beauty, the area has the distinction of being home to Windemere, the Hemingway family cottage on nearby Walloon Lake. Yes, that Hemingway! Petoskey's distinguished literary connection does not end there. Not long ago, best-selling author, Ann Patchett (Bel Canto, State of Wonder), made a reluctant trip to the town and fell in love with it. Read her article for the New York Times, in which Patchett discusses a book tour which took her to the area, specifically to McLean & Eakin, a marvelous bookstore that I recently had the good fortune to visit as well.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

And then there's this:

Hats off to this creative library. This is very cool. Nothing more to say. Just watch.


Thanks to my friend, Bob Galovich, for sharing this.

Monday, June 17, 2013

More Book Art

Check out this article in the New York Times called Discarded Books, Recovered Nostalgia. If you're part of my generation, it may provide you with a nostalgic moment as it did me. If you're part of the younger set, just enjoy these beautiful photos of old, discarded school library books. If you happen to be a librarian, well, enough said.

More of photographer Kerry Mansfield's work appears here: Kerry Mansfield. Her book photos are part of the portfolio titled, expired.

As part of a self-indulgent moment of nostalgia, I thought I would throw in a few pictures (decidedly not artistic, but special to me) of the high school library where I spent 10 amazing years as a librarian. Oh, the memories!

"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need."     -Cicero

Monday, June 10, 2013

So many books . . .

Recently my dear friend Bethany gave me a lovely bookmark that features a list of must-read books. Well, that got me thinking, and I decided to make my own personal list of "read-before-I-die" books. I now have a long-term bookstore shopping list, and I will post updates of my progress.

This is an evolving list, so I am looking for suggestions. If you have some titles that you think should be  on my list, please leave a comment with your ideas.

My list so far:

War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
Crime and Punishment, Dostoyevsky
A Farewell To Arms, Hemingway
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers
Animal Farm, George Orwell (I know, I know. I should have read this one long ago.)
Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner
A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
Diary of Anne Frank
The Giver, Lois Lowry
Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Triple Bonus

One of my favorite bookstores, one of my favorite books, and one of my favorite authors all at once. It doesn't get any better than that. 

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you will surely remember that the Book Nook & Java Shop in Montague, Michigan, is a favorite of mine. (See previous post.) I fell in love with the store the first time I visited in 2011, so much so that I went back a month later to attend the store's book club and have been periodically making the hour-and-a-half drive ever since.

As it happens, a recent book club selection turned out to be one of my favorite books, Okay For Now, by one of my favorite authors, Gary Schmidt. I was thrilled to learn that Gary would visit the Book Nook to personally talk about the book. Young adult novels, Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, Trouble, and The Wednesday Wars are a few of Gary's award-winning titles, and I have enjoyed them all. But my current favorite Gary Schmidt book, indeed one of my favorite books in general, is Okay For Now. It was a joy to see Gary in person talking about and reading from the novel. He is every bit as engaging as are his books.