Thomas Jefferson said he could not live without books. Even in this age of unrelenting distractions, instant communication and a myriad of entertainment choices, book lovers still agree with Jefferson. Books enrich our lives with riveting stories, interesting information, mental trips to other times and lands, and on and on.
My love affair with books began at an early age. As the youngest in a large family, someone was always available to read to me before I could read to myself. As a child, the public library was the main source for books. Out of necessity, this library had to limit the number of books each patron could borrow in one visit. However, since I lived a couple of miles out from town I had access to the bookmobile – a rolling library that has gone the way of telephone party lines and black and white television. It provided me a way to double dip on the book limit.
The love affair has continued with passing the devotion on to my children, grabbing minutes to read during the busiest times, spending hours in bookstores and discussing books with other bibliophiles. You know what I mean if you like to have at least a few books in every room, have on occasion stayed up all night reading a book you couldn’t put down and get antsy if caught waiting somewhere with nothing to read. There are even some of us in a readers’ subset who often read more than one book at a time. Whatever you’re in the mood for, that’s what you pick up and read. A combination of fiction and non-fiction works best.
Recommendations from other readers are always welcome, and that’s what we aim to do with “Book Biz.” These recommendations will come from the owners and managers of Mississippi’s wealth of independent bookstores. They will provide title, author, publisher, price of the book and why they recommend it.
I’ll kick it off with a few books I’ve recently enjoyed and — at the risk of sounding like a renegade reader — advise you not to finish a book you start and don’t like. If it doesn’t capture your interest, I give you permission to put it down. Who knows, you may start the book at another time and love it. It’s happened to me.
Fiction:” The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows; “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford; and, “Little Bee” by Chris Cleave.
Non-fiction: “Summer at Tiffany;” by Marjorie Hart; “A Cook’s Tour” by Anthony Bourdain; and, “The Day the World Came to Town, 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland” by Jim Defede.