I think this will be my last random book rambling before I embark upon A Passage to India. But I just came across a list in a box of old papers: handwritten on a sheet of notebook paper is a list of a couple dozen books I read in my first year that I worked at Borders! I even vaguely recall making this list. It's probably incomplete, but I remember after I'd worked there a while noting that I was reading even more than I had all my life (in which life I had often been known as the friend who reads a lot). So I'm amused to look back now at the books I read when suddenly they were all around me and I was touching them all the time, plus I now got a discount.
High Tide in Tucson Barabara Kingsolver --contains one of the best essays ever, about atomic missile facilities in the middle of nowhere in the U.S.
The Good Earth Pearl S. Buck (a Pulitzer winner!)
Beneath Mulholland: Thoughts on Hollywood and its Ghosts David Thomson --this book gave me about a thousand suggestions for movies to see. I remember making that list too, as I went along reading it
Crime and Punishment Dostoevsky
Girl, Interrupted Susanna Kaysen
Angela's Ashes Frank McCullough --a true gem. a must for everyone, bookseller or not.
Snow Falling on Cedars David Guterson --don't bother
The Cider House Rules John Irving
In Session: The Bond Between Women and Their Therapists Deborah Lott
The Living Annie Dillard -- made me think she should stick to non-fiction. made me think *I* should stick to non-fiction.
Echoes Maeve Binchy
Mrs. Dalloway Virginia Woolf
The Common Reader Virginia Woolf
Chasing Che: A Motorcycle Journey in Search of the Guevara Legend Patrick Symmes
Squandering Aimlessly David Brancaccio
Peyton Place Grace Metalious -- sooo good. I'm not even joking.
The Thorn Birds Colleen McCullough --also sooo good. Still not joking.
To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee -- duh
The Handmaid's Tale Margaret Atwood -- didn't actually love this one, but have loved every word of hers I've read since. Her brilliance is unmatched.
The Communist Manifesto Karl Marx
Utopia Thomas More
The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing Melissa Bank -- before there was chick lit, there was this. Would that the shelves had remained that way. Her outfit on the cover is pefectly indicative of how she kicks ass.
What We Keep Elizabeth Berg -- I'd read everything else of hers before I worked in a bookstore. Berg was my treasure; I shared her with my co-workers and every other customer who walked through the door. Then Oprah discovered her, too!
Open House Elizabeth Berg -- this is the one Oprah discovered.
The Edible Woman Margaret Atwood -- and my co-workers shared treasures with me, too!
Tuesdays With Morrie Mitch Albom -- had to see what all the fuss was about. And now I could do that without committing my hard-earned money! Employee perks!
I'm sure there were others; I recall scratching my head even back when I scrawled this list. But this is pretty representative of what I read that year. My taste has improved since then, but there were some good finds.
Remember last summer when I was on a quest to get rid of my earthly possessions -- even the books? I'm sort of losing that drive...