Monday, December 08, 2008

Bookworm Alert

"No more books." That's the Grinch speaking. But our shelves swell pregnant lywith books, so I have not succumbed to Borders 30%-off coupons for TWO WEEKS.

It's like a twelve-step program.

One Christmas Eve I hysterically bought most of Nabokov for an intellectual friend because I didn't have the faintest idea what to give.

"Going to have a dark Christmas?" the bookseller inquired.

Probably, though that wasn't my goal. I plunge into shopping on Christmas Eve out of a pathetic anti-Christmasy gloom to gossip with people who have even worse Christmases than I do (I hope this doesn't get on their nerves). Few clerks have families like Bob Cratchitt's They sit around; they read Advance Reader Copies; they have mood disorders and they lounge under those special lights to fight SAD.

I'm reading bookworm lit this year to prepare for giving gifts to bookworms. Here's a list:

George Orwell's Keep the Aphrodistia Flying (about a gloomy intellectual who works in a used bookshop)

Penelope Fitzgerald's The Bookshop

Nick Hornby's The Polysyallbic Spree (essays)

Christopher Morley's The Haunted Bookshop

Christopher Morley's Parnassus on Wheels

Christopher Morley's Pipefuls (essays and newspaper columns)

Christopher Morley's Shandygaff (essays and newspaper columns)

D. E. Stevenson's Miss Buncle's Book (published by Persephone)

The Western Canon by Harold Bloom

Alex Beam's A Great Idea at the Time: The Rise, Fall, and Curious Afterlife of the Great Books (I can't vouch for this one: it's a history of the Great Books program)

Nabokov's Lectures on Literature

Coetzee's Inner Workings: Literary Essays 2000-2005

Lynne Tillman's Bookstore: The Life and Times of Jeannette Watson and Books & Co.

Helene Hanff's 84 Charing Cross

Helene Hanff's Q's Legacy

On Reading by Andre Kertesz (photographs)

Hallie Ephron's 1001 Books for Every Mood

(And I'm sure there are many more, so let me know, and I'll add them)


Anonymous said...

I am a huge fan of Christopher Morley, and if you haven't read it yet I'd suggest Parnassus On Wheels, to which The Haunted Bookshop is the sequel. I'm also a big fan of Pipefuls and Shandygaff, both collections of his essays/newspaper columns containing much humor and booklove.

Mad Housewife said...

thank you! I'll add these books to my list. And I'll immediately look for Pipefuls and Shandyguff, of which I've never heard.