During the last weekend of the existence of Borders, one Borders employee took the opportunity to tell us what booksellers really think.
Do you see anything missing from the list? As a former bookseller, I’d like to enthusiastically cosign the frustration of hearing the following statement: “I’m looking for a book. I don’t know the title or author or what it’s about, but I think the cover is green.”
An anonymous sculptor has been leaving gorgeous carved-book sculptures in Scotland’s libraries, along with little notes of encouragement. Some are left out in the open; others are hidden away and may have sat a long time before being discovered.
We’ve all taken sanctuary in a good book at the end of a hard day, a hard week, a hard month, but do the words on those pages contain actual healing properties? Bibliotherapists at the London-based establishment The School of Life think so, calling the personalized book-list prescriptions they offer “the perfect way for you to discover those amazing but often elusive works of literature that can illuminate and even change your life.” Get yourself some bibliotherapy …
Haruki Murakami’s venerated novel of love and mental illness, Norwegian Wood, has been pulled off a reading list for New Jersey teenagers after a rash of complaints from parents.
The novel, which has inspired obsessive devotion from its fans in Japan and around the world since it was first published in 1987, is set in 1960s Tokyo, and tells of 19-year-old Toru Watanabe’s relationships with two girls: troubled, vulnerable Naoko and impetuous Midori. The best known of Murakami’s novels, it has sold more than 10m copies in Japan and 2.6m in translation.
It was put on the required summer reading list for the 15- and 16-year-old pupils entering the 10th grade at Williamstown High School in New Jersey, with Nic Sheff’s memoir of addiction and recovery, Tweak: Growing up on Methamphetamines, recommended for senior-year students, aged 17 to 18. After “multiple” complaints from parents to the school board, the books have now been removed from the lists.
A bibliophile’s personal library might start out neatly contained on bookshelves—perhaps even organized alphabetically within genre—but soon enough more volumes are wedged willy-nilly above the orderly rows, stacked on the floor, jammed into nooks and crannies around the house, and perched atop the refrigerator.
If this describes your home, you’ll appreciate the seven-story tower of books built by visual pop artist Marta Minujín on a pedestrian plaza in Buenos Aires. Read more …
Get lost in the stacks of a bookstore on the down low in New York’s Upper East Side.
Although there’s no password to get in, Brazenhead Books is the speakeasy of bookstores. The shop, hidden in an undisclosed apartment, is stacked floor to ceiling with volumes by some of the book world’s best known—Arthur Miller and Anton Chekhov, Dorothy Parker and Jack London, Pierre Louys and Anthony Trollope (as well as a bottle or two of Woodford Reserve). But, because the shop is in a residence, it’s not legal and is, therefore, hush-hush. Read more …
Next most donated after Brown were crime writer Ian Rankin, prolific author of the Detective Inspector Rebus series, and Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, who last year became the first non-fiction author to enter the top 10, and has moved up from number eight to number three.
The best seller was Swedish author Stieg Larsson, who penned the Millennium trilogy, who moved up a place from number two, while new entry Sophie Kinsella’s books were the second most sold, illustrating the enduring popularity of chick lit.