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January 20, 2010

Book charm

On an ordinary day, Old Books, Rare Friends: Two Literary Sleuths and Their Shared Passion would have been the most interesting book of any stack I picked up from the library. (I found out about this book from the Louisa May Alcott bio. It has the best cover I have ever seen. And that I am excited about a book with such a cover really does catapult me into a new league of nurd. Fortunately, I’ll keep it to myself and no one will ever know…).

But today was the day I also came home from the library with the gorgeous Bothered by My Green Conscience, the less gorgeous might be stupid but it was sitting on a table so I picked it up Sleep is For the Weak: The best of the mommybloggers, and Sheree Fitch’s book of poetry for adult readers In this house are many women.

And just when you thought books couldn’t be anymore charming, I’ve just joined the league of people who’ve discovered Flavia de Luce. Now reading the Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley, which I have a terrible suspicion might be a literary love letter only for me: literary Harriets, a nod to Harriet the Spy herself (perhaps not on purpose, but still…), references to tea, and to pie, and literary allusions, and libraries to get lost in, plus she has a bike called Gladys. When I used to have a bike called Gladys, pink with a basket when we lived in Japan. Anyway, the connections are uncanny, delightful, and maybe Alan Bradley and I are long-lost somethings. The book is wonderful. I’m zipping through it and will be posting a review in days to come.

8 thoughts on “Book charm”

  1. Franke James says:

    Thanks Clare! Lovely to read your 'gorgeous' description of 'Bothered By My Green Conscience'. Hope you enjoy my visual essays, which tell the true-life stories of our adventures in going green!

    Look forward to your feedback!

    Franke James
    Author & artist

  2. Steven W. Beattie says:

    I read the first few pages of The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (the sequel to Sweetness), and that was more than enough for me. Rot yer teeth, that stuff will.

  3. Kerry says:

    Franke James: thanke you for your book and for the comment! I'm looking forward to reading.

    SWB: You've obviously never had a bicycle called Gladys. And yes, it's teeth-rotting sweets, not substance. A curious book in that most of its appeal is purely referential. I also like a sleuth who is slower at putting pieces together than I am, for once. I suspect I will not be reading the sequel, but I'm enjoying myself entirely in the meantime. Particularly with such sentences as, "Heaven must be a place where the library is open twenty-four hours a day." YES!

  4. patricia says:

    Pay no attention to that Beattie boy, Kerry. I hear he eats cute little bunnies for breakfast. I cannot wait for the sequel to Sweetness. But then, I have a sweet tooth, and I once had a bike named Orville.

    I've had 'Old Books, Rare Friends: Two Literary Sleuths and Their Shared Passion' sitting on my shelf for a few years, and have never cracked it open! Now I must read it.

  5. biblioasis says:

    Ahhh, Kerry … if you liked Stern and Rostenberg, then you and I definitely need to talk. I can hook you up.

  6. Melwyk says:

    I am greatly looking forward to my copy of The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag (despite its candidacy for most unwieldy title, even worse than that Guernsey Book. I love the sweetness of Flavia de Luce's tale – even though I never had a bike with a name, I did come from a family of three sisters with sibling relationshiops uncannily similar to Flavia's…yes, I'm the book loving middle sister 😉

  7. BabelBabe says:

    oh god, and i just said i hated it in today's post comments. why oh why don';t i love it like everyone else? I WANTED to.

  8. Kerry says:

    Perhaps you didn't have a bike called Gladys either??

    Actually, I have a theory about your dislike. Perhaps related to my LOATHING of that Number One Ladies Detective Agency book. Stay tuned…

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