Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Have you missed me?  I feel like I've been absent from this space for ages, when it's only been a week or so.  I have no good excuse, so I won't offer a poor one, but I will hope the fondness idea holds somewhat true in the blogosphere even though I know the opposite is much more likely.
Though I had sworn off McKay Used Books some months ago, the TPR Challenge is going to require some "new" purchases, and I insist upon used whenever possible.  The unfortunate reality is that McKay has such a monopoly on used books in town that to have any chance at getting specific books (as opposed to just browsing for unsuspected treasures), you have to use them.  It's like Wal-Mart in a small town.  Sometimes, you feel optionless.  So, away I went, and though it wasn't a very pleasant experience (again, like Wal-Mart), I did come home with this little stash.  And yes, the Mitchell is unrelated to TPR, but as a recent Man Booker longlist title, I had to bring it home, too.  I did have to buy new my copy of In the American Grain by William Carlos Williams, and I'm thinking of doing the Murakami as an audiobook.  So, I'm getting there.  I will have the first TPR post up later this week - Marilynne Robinson's Gilead.  What a treat!

I also finished this morning  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.  Readers all over the place have been metaphorically thrusting copies of this book at me.  My mother-in-law's copy (that got dropped in the ocean) was the lucky one to actually make its way into my hands, however.  And I enjoyed it.  I did.  I'm not doing a full commentary on the book because it didn't really knock my socks off, but it was fun and enjoyable.  I do find it poses an interesting ethical question: is it primarily a marketing ploy or a natural outgrowth of a writer's interests to write a book about books and readers?  On the one hand, you know it will be a success - it's going to appeal to your readers if you write about reading.  On the other hand, the age-old advice to "write what you know" must include the awareness that a writer knows a thing or two about reading and loving books.  I'm not sure where I sit with this argument, but it is interesting all the same.  What about you?  Have a take on the issue?  Or an opinion on this book?

Finally, I must thank Natalie at Coffee and a Book Chick for the Versatile Blogger Award she passed my way last week.  What a fun idea!  I don't have time to follow the rules today, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to say thanks!


  1. I missed you! :-)

    Interesting question re: books about readers...I haven't read that particular novel, but the books I have read that deal with reading & writing haven't seemed at all like marketing ploys...more like, either manifestations of the author's obsessions (as in John Irving, especially A Widow for One Year) or a way to play with metafictional twists and turns (Paul Auster's New York Trilogy, or Borges) or as a joke about readers losing touch with reality (like Don Quixote, or Rachel Ferguson's The Brontes Went to Woolworth's). I'm a huge fan of books about reading, actually (big surprise!). ;-)

  2. Yay, welcome back! Yes, I've had one of those weeks and felt a little lost that I hadn't posted in 5 days -- weird feeling! :)

    Looks like you got a great haul, albeit with a "Wal-Mart-esque" experience. I'm interested to hear your reviews!