WORD on Wednesdays: 28 October 2009

October 28, 2009


2009-10-28 14.24.15

WORD on Wednesday 28 October 2009

Maintaining a berth on the table this week: Lethem (Chronic City), Kalman (The Principles of Uncertainty), Gardam (The Man in the Wooden Hat), Eggers (The Wild Things), Vonnegut (Look at the Birdie), and the Paris Review Interviews, volume 4. And Street Gang, which I finished last week and just loved, aside from a few minor quibbles. If you were raised on Sesame Street, you really should check it out. (We have a number of other great Sesame Street books in too, since it’s the fortieth anniversary of the show this year.)

New: Paul Auster’s Invisible. A couple of us have read it already and loved it. Already selling well. Remake It Home: The Essential Guide to Resourceful Living; I admit I don’t quite understand what this book is all about, but I have a feeling that folks more acquainted with DIY and design principles (aka half our customers) will. Life After Genius by M. Ann Jacoby, because I love the cover and because it sounds delightful. Now The Drum Of War: Walt Whitman and His Brothers in the Civil War, because jeez, how can any book-lovin’ history nerd resist that? Especially because it’s primarily based on their letters. Panic, Michael Lewis’ collection of articles dealing with recent financial history, because I know how much people love to buy depressing books on the weekend. And Eat, Memory: Great Writers at the Table, because food lit is so popular at WORD that it has its own section (unlike sports, philosophy and religion).

Two of the new books are particularly close to my heart. First, All Cakes Considered. Look, I don’t even like cake very much, and I don’t really like baking it, either, because there’s no room for error and I hate following recipes closely. That said, I love this book. We all love this book. It is hilarious, the recipes are easy to follow (and laid out in order of difficulty), and the pictures are so good you will lick them. Melissa Grey, NPR’s Cake Lady, made a new cake every week for a year for her co-workers at NPR, and this cookbook has all the things you like about NPR (interesting factoids, ability to make complex matters understandable) and none of the things you don’t (pledge drives).

Second, Mentors, Muses & Monsters: 30 Writers on the People Who Changed Their Lives. I love hearing these sorts of stories. And just reading one essay from this book will probably sell you on it, so let me present Alexander Chee’s essay on studying under Annie Dillard. So good. Enjoy!


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