Writers and their bookshops.

20 Dec

As my Christmas break continues, so does my “month-long reading hibernation.” Therefore, when I came across My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop by Ronald Rice, I couldn’t stop smiling. Although I have not had the chance to read the book yet, a novel focused on writers discussing their favorite bookshops seems like such a wonderful read, and I can’t wait to read it sometime during my break from academics. I enjoy discussing my own favorite bookshops, and I think it’s such an amazing idea to give readers a glimpse into the bookish world of their favorite authors. Here is the synopsis of My Bookstore (according to GoodReads.com):

In this enthusiastic, heartfelt, and sometimes humorous ode to bookshops and booksellers, 84 known authors pay tribute to the brick-and-mortar stores they love and often call their second homes. In “My Bookstore” our greatest authors write about the pleasure, guidance, and support that their favorite bookstores and booksellers have given them over the years. The relationship between a writer and his or her local store and staff can last for years or even decades. Often it’s the author’s local store that supported him during the early days of his career, that continues to introduce and hand-sell her work to new readers, and that serves as the anchor for the community in which he lives and works.”My Bookstore “collects the essays, stories, odes and words of gratitude and praise for stores across the country in 84 pieces written by our most beloved authors. It’s a joyful, industry-wide celebration of our bricks-and-mortar stores and a clarion call to readers everywhere at a time when the value and importance of these stores should be shouted from the rooftops.Perfectly charming line drawings by Leif Parsons illustrate each storefront and other distinguishing features of the shops.

Contributing authors and bookstores include:
Fannie Flagg–Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL
Rick Bragg–Alabama Booksmith, Homewood, AL
John Grisham–That Bookstore in Blytheville, Blytheville, AR
Ron Carlson–Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ
Ann Packer–Capitola Book Cafe, Capitola, CA
Isabel Allende–Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA
Mahbod Seraji–Kepler’s Books, Menlo Park, CA
Lisa See–Vroman’s Bookstore, Pasadena, CA
Meg Waite Clayton–Books Inc., San Francisco, CA
Daniel Handler and Lisa Brown–The Booksmith, San Francisco, CA
Dave Eggers–Green Apple Books, San Francisco, CA
Pico Iyer–Chaucer’s Books, Santa Barbara, CA
Laurie R. King–Bookshop, Santa Cruz, CA
Scott Lasser–Explore Booksellers, Aspen, CO
Stephen White–Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO
Kate Niles–Maria’s Bookshop, Durango, CO
Ann Haywood Leal–Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT
Florence and Wendell Minor–The Hickory Stick Bookshop, Washington Depot, CT
Rick Atkinson–Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC
Les Standiford–Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL
Robert Macomber–The Muse Book Shop, Deland, FL
David Fulmer–Eagle Eye Book Shop, Decatur, GA
Abraham Verghese–Prairie Lights, Iowa City, IA
Charlie Brandt–Chapter One Bookstore, Ketchum, ID
Luis Alberto Urrea–Anderson’s Bookshops, Naperville, IL
Mike Leonard–The Book Stall Chestnut Court, Winnetka, IL
Albert Goldbarth–Watermark Books, Wichita, KS
Wendell Berry–Carmichael’s Bookstore, Louisville, KY
Tom Piazza–Octavia Books, New Orleans, LA
Edith Pearlman–Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA
Mameve Medwed–Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA
Henry Louis Gates, Jr.–Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA
Simon Winchester–The Bookloft, Great Barrington, MA
Nancy Thayer–Mitchell’s Book Corner, Nantucket, MA
Elin Hilderbrand–Nantucket Bookworks, Nantucket, MA
Jeanne Birdsall–Broadside Bookshop, Northampton, MA
Martha Ackmann–Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA
Ward Just–Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, Vineyard Haven, MA
Ron Currie, Jr.–Longfellow Books, Portland, ME
ancy Shaw–Nicola’s Books, Ann Arbor, MI
Katrina Kittle–Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI
Ann Patchett–Mclean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, MI
Louise Erdrich–Magers & Quinn Booksellers, Minneapolis, MN
Peter Geye–Micawber’s Books, St. Paul, MN
Kathleen Finneran–Left Bank Books, St. Louis, MO
Barry Moser–Lemuria Books, Jackson, MS
Jack Pendarvis–Square Books, Oxford, MS
Jill McCorkle–Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC
Carrie Ryan–Park Road Books, Charlotte, NC
Laurent Dubois–The Regulator Bookshop, Durham, NC
Lee Smith–Purple Crow Books, Hillsborough, NC
Angela Davis-Gardner–Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh, NC
Ron Rash–City Lights Bookstore, Sylva, NC
Ian Frazier–Watchung Booksellers, Montclair, NJ
Audrey Vernick–Booktowne, Manasquan, NJ
Joan Wickersham–The Toadstool Bookshop, Peterborough, NH
Carmela Ciuraru–Community Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY
Matt Weiland–Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY
Kate Christensen–WORD, Brooklyn, NY
Mick Cochrane–Talking Leaves Books, Buffalo, NY
Caroline Leavitt–McNally Jackson Books, New York, NY
Arthur Nersesian–St. Mark’s Bookshop, New York, NY
Francine Prose & Pete Hamill–Strand Bookstore, New York, NY
Jeff Smith–Book Loft German Village, Columbus, OH
Chuck Palahniuk–Powell’s Books, Portland, OR
Larry Kane–Chester County Book & Music Company, West Chester, PA
Ann Hood–Island Books, Middletown, RI
Mindy Friddle–Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC
Adam Ross–Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN
Douglas Brinkley–Book People, Austin, TX
Terry Tempest Williams–The King’s English Book Shop, Salt Lake City, UT
Howard Frank Mosher–Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, VT
Jon Clinch–Northshire Bookstore, Manchester, VT
Jonathan Evison–Eagle Harbor Book Co., Bainbridge Island, WA
Tom Robbins–Village Books, Bellingham, WA
Timothy Egan–Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA
Stephanie Kallos–Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA
Ivan Doig–University Book Store, Seattle, WA
Lesley Kagen–Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI
Liam Callanan–Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

Though I haven’t read the book yet, I love that the GoodReads synopsis provides readers with the list of contributing authors and bookstores. Since I normally enjoy doing any and everything related to books, I am now determined to keep a Word document of these bookstores on my computer and try to go to as many of them as possible. Since I love traveling so much, I think it would be such a fun adventure to go to the bookshops that seem to be the most interesting (after reading the book, of course). After scanning the list, I can definitely say I haven’t been to any of these bookstores (though I did order Jodi Picoult’s House Rules from Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC before attending one of Jodi’s book signings in March of 2010). Though none of the bookshops sound familiar, I am looking forward to reading about the following writers’ favorite bookshops: Lisa See (author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and Peony in Love), Ann Lamott (author of Bird by Bird), Elin Hilderbrand (author of The Love Season), Ann Patchett (author of Truth & Beauty), and Lesley Kagen (author of Whistling in the Dark).

In my opinion, a novel discussing bookshops that writers love is such a wonderful idea for a book. For writers, as well as all book lovers, bookshops are such a wonderful place to get lost in books and allow ourselves to be completely immersed in a world we love so much. I definitely can’t wait to read this novel! I’ll certainly be reviewing it once I have the chance to read it.

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10 Responses to “Writers and their bookshops.”

  1. photosfromtheloonybin December 20, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

    Ok, now I just HAVE to read tonight. There’s a storm on its way, and I’m going to curl up on the couch with a blanket and a hot chocolate and read until bedtime. Yayyyyyy!!!!!!!

    • ameliaclaire92 December 20, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

      Sounds perfect. What are you reading now? 🙂

      • photosfromtheloonybin December 20, 2012 at 9:48 pm #

        I’m reading Winter of the World by Ken Follett. It’s the 2nd book in the Century Trilogy which follows 5 families from different countries through the wars of the 20th century. I’m really enjoying it :). Have you ever read his book, The Pillars of the Earth? If not, that’s another one to add to your TBR list.

      • ameliaclaire92 December 20, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

        I’ve never read Pillars of the Earth. What’s it about?

      • photosfromtheloonybin December 20, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

        Here’s the short synopsis: “The spellbinding epic set in twelfth-century England, The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of the lives entwined in the building of the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has ever known-and a struggle between good and evil that will turn church against state, and brother against brother.” It’s in my top ten favourite books ever read, and there is a second one that he wrote about ten years later which revolves around the same town but 200 years later. This new series I am reading is really good too, but Pillars of the Earth is still way better.

      • ameliaclaire92 December 20, 2012 at 10:07 pm #

        Hmmm…interesting.

  2. melissacuevas December 21, 2012 at 10:54 am #

    I live in a rural area, my nearest bookstore is at least 50 miles away. The one I prefer, 75 miles away. Oddly enough, I buy most of my reading material in the local thrift store, which has always managed to gift and surprise me with lovely oddities I would not normally even consider. The most recent was a very interesting book about immigrant cooking called 97 Orchard Street, An edible history of five immigrant families in one New York tenement. (Jane Ziegelman)

    • ameliaclaire92 December 22, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

      I actually have found some great reads from random trips to Goodwill. Probably the most recent find I enjoyed was “Sula” by Toni Morrison.

  3. insearchofitall December 22, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    I’ll have to get the book. I got as excited as when I do a quilt shop hop. I collect canvas book bags from book stores I have been to visit. Changing Hands in Mesa, AZ is one of my favorites. I spent 3 days there once, staying in a motel nearby to attend book signings by some of my favorite authors. It was 150 miles each way from my home. They gifted me with a t-shirt after seeing me attend 3 days in a row. There is also a wonderful place to eat 3 meals a day attached to the bookstore call the Wildflower Bread Company. It was a slice of heaven in an otherwise dreary existance. Thanks for the information on the book. Have a wonderful holiday!

    • ameliaclaire92 December 22, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

      Wow, the 3-day book signing sounds amazing! Also, it’s a neat idea to collect canvas bags from bookstores you’ve visited. Though I have never collected anything from bookstores I’ve been to, I have a habit of getting a coffee mug every time I travel to a new place. Since I only started the collection a few years ago, it’s not too varied, but I’m always excited to have the chance to add another mug to my collection. Best of all, since I am a huge coffee drinker, they each get used rather frequently.

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