This is the second book in the Mesopotamian trilogy, following The Witch of Babylon. In this book, the hero of the story, John Madison, buys a rare ItThis is the second book in the Mesopotamian trilogy, following The Witch of Babylon. In this book, the hero of the story, John Madison, buys a rare Italian book of fairy tales at auction on behalf of a collector. Shortly afterward, however, the book is stolen from him, and the rest of the book is pretty much devoted to his efforts to recover the book.
While this seems like a good premise, and many mysterious happenings abound; people coming back to life after being dead 400 years, necromancy, ancient spirits etc., I could never really get into the book. And it was not because you obviously have to suspend disbelief entirely, you have to do that with many books, and that has never been a problem for me. To be perfectly honest, I really found the book fairly boring, and at times couldn't wait for it to be over. I think the main reason is that the writing style just never grabbed me. I like books to flow and this one just never did for me. However, I did finish it, and it wasn't really a complete loss, so I will read book three, having read the first two, just to see what happens.
absolutely beautiful book with full page photos of some of the amazing libraries in the world...public and university...there aren't any private libraabsolutely beautiful book with full page photos of some of the amazing libraries in the world...public and university...there aren't any private libraries unfortunately. there is also a beautiful preface of an essay by umberto eco. if you love books, you have to see these photos. I would recommend getting it out of your local library as it would be very expensive to buy....more
this is a really wonderful book...84 authors telling the story of their favorite independant bookstore. it was really uplifting to find out that therethis is a really wonderful book...84 authors telling the story of their favorite independant bookstore. it was really uplifting to find out that there are so many independant bookstores, many in relatively small towns, flourishing...when there seems to be so much doom and gloom around the book industry.
what was even better were the stories of how their local bookstore made so much difference to the success of many of these authors, by holding author events and handselling their books to everybody they could. even john grisham had a hard time peddling his first novel, and now that he's world famous, the only bookstores he signs books at are the five that helped him in the beginning.
at first i was kind of miffed that all the stores are in the usa, with none from canada, and then i thought, wait, we hardly have any up here. i live about an hour away from vancouver, supposedly a world class city, with a metropolitan population of close to 3 million, and there is not one really good independant bookstore selling new books. not one!! it's damn pathetic. all we have are chapters, the canadian version of barnes & noble. in this book there is one town of 34,000 people that has 2 flourishing bookstores. so i am pretty well forced to buy most of my books online, whareas if there was a good independant bookstore i would definitely drive there and pay more for my books to support a local business, just like all the customers of all the stores in this book, because they are all having to compete with the dreaded amazon, and their cut-rate prices and free delivery.
there is quite a lot of talk about e-books in this book, and while they are not going to go away, i was just reading the other day that e-book sales are down from the year before, and are only 16% of all book sales, so 84% of book sales are still "real" paper based books, which again is very heartening.
so anyway, if you love books and you're on goodreads, so duh...you should definitely read this book. it will make your day...it sure made mine.
i forgot to mention, most of the articles are 3 or 4 pages long, so you won't even get bored....more
the bookshop at 10 curzon street is the heywood hill bookshop in london, which amazingly enough is still in business, and has been at the same locatiothe bookshop at 10 curzon street is the heywood hill bookshop in london, which amazingly enough is still in business, and has been at the same location for over 70 years. they have a website, if you're interested in looking them up.
nancy mitford is, of course, a famous author and all around personality (one of the famous mitford sisters), and what i didn't know, is that she worked at this bookshop from 1942-1945 during the second world war. after which, she moved to paris.
the letters in this book range from 1952 until nancy's untimely (and quite awful) death in 1973. all the letters are between nancy and heywood hill, the original owner of the bookstore, during the years that he owned it, and also after his subsequent retirement. they make for a fascinating insight into the times, and are filled with news, gossip and details of the various books that nancy wrote during those years. recommended for all book lovers, and of course, people who like reading letters.
as an aside, nyrb classics has been re-issuing all of nancy's non-fiction biographical works, on such figures as voltaire and the sun king....more