Thursday, June 05, 2008


Long time no post

Ok, this blog has completely degenerated into cute animal pictures. Here's another one:

This darling baby seal was found abandoned on a beach downeast by some old friends of the family, who just sent along this great photo. She was rescued and is growing up in a nearby aquarium/research lab. They think they will be able to release her back into the wild in the future - she was born prematurely, and is oversize, which may be why she was abandoned. My friends named her Sugar. Holy god, what a sweetie-pie. I am such a tree-hugger baby-seal lover, I can hardly stand it.

Meanwhile, back at the bookshop, half the place is empty and that weird echoey noise is present for the first time since I moved in, years ago. The books were such good sound baffles, you see. Perhaps another month, and I'll be completely out of here, it's been slow going. On the home front - I have peas and potatoes and turnips and radishes and carrots showing foliage in the garden, and I'm plowing my way through not only the garden beds, but also the complete works of Robert Louis Stevenson. Every few years I return to him, and this time I'm reading everything I hadn't already read, like Treasure Island, which kept me up well into the evening - I loved its style and flow, it was simply a great book, no contest. Loved it. More soon. A highspeed internet connection is finally coming to our house next week, so I hope to return to more frequent blogging.

I'm glad you'll be back with highspeed soon. Read you then.

Have you finished moving out of the shop? I expect it's one of those the-last-10%-takes-40%-of-the-time things. Good luck with that, the garden, the painting, upcoming October plans, life.

I've thought of you several times while reading In Patagonia. (I thought, for instance, that you'd have loved reading it for the first time as I just did. But then you probably love it every time you reread it.) Needless to say, I loved it.

I've begun Don Quixote. Any opinions from you or anyone else checking in here on translations?

My wife and I had a New York City weekend a month ago- managed to hit the heat wave there. One highlight was a few hours in the Strand Bookstore. I spent most of my time on the top floor in the rare/modern firsts collection and came home with several treasures- Don Marquis's When the Turtle Sings; an A.J. Liebling collection I didn't have; Joe Mitchell's Old Mr. Flood; Siegfried Sassoon's Memoirs of an Infantry Officer; and Mark Helprin's Winter's Tale. The last one, of course, is a direct result of your blog. I also bought, new, Michael Chabon's Maps and Legends, essays on writing and reading in the boundaries of genres. I highly recommend it.

Just wanted to check in.


Jodi - dsl at home, soooo very nice. I now have my internet-selling bookshelves and desk and computer set up, so I'll be back here more regularly.

Dan, how fine to hear you are reading "In Patagonia" - I still have the paperback copy my aunt gave me when I was eleven? twelve? with a note saying it was one of her favorite books. My grandfather has a first U.S. edition which I covet, terribly.

I read "Don Quixote" back in the mid-1990s but I no longer own the translation I read, and I can't remember who made it, sorry! Anyone else have a recommendation?

My good friend Tess spent several years working as a clerk at Strand. Before the owners cleaned it and put in air conditioning. She has tales to tell. Sounds like you found some wonderful books - Joe Mitchell, is there a better essayist? "Joe Gould's Secret" haunts me. I re-read "Winter's Tale" this past winter, it was much finer than I remembered. You have a lot to look forward to.

Thanks for staying in touch -
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