Book Recommendations: Confessions of a Frustrated Non-Bookseller

As you read my posts about books and about books I recommend, I wonder: do I sound like a bookseller?

I am delighted to report that I love books and love being surrounded by books. I’ve been working on one or two of my own, also!

What brought this topic to mind was walking by a stack of books I was planning on sending Mom. At one point, we even discussed each of them as books I had enjoyed, and I had told her that I would plan on sending them to her.

Before I sent the books off to Mom, I received word that Mom had become very ill very suddenly. We talked a couple of times but she was losing coherence. Within a week she died. It was so sudden. This was just over a year ago.

So, on a bookcase I have a stack of books which I haven’t put away; these are the ones I didn’t send to Mom. I haven’t had the inclination or interest in putting them away.

A friend of mine is working on a novel with a Korean setting and Korean characters. I recommended The Book of Dead Birds by Gayle Brandeis (2003) to her because its main character is a young woman of mixed Korean and American heritage.

The Book of Dead Birds is a fine, award-winning novel. It won “Barbara Kingsolver’s Bellwether Prize, an award in support of a literature of social responsibility.” [Source: book jacket]. It is complex, poignant, and beautiful. Highly recommended. 

I couldn’t find it right away. Turns out, it was in the stack of books I had planned on sending Mom. When we spoke about it a while before she died, Mom hadn’t been enthusiastic about the title. It’s a difficult title, but it has an important bearing on the novel. She told me she would try it because I liked it so much.

I’ve applied and made inquiries at a couple of bookstores here in town. One bookstore had an opening and had received 56 résumés for that position. The person I spoke with told me they didn’t want any more résumés! For three openings with another bookstore, I was interviewed and placed 5th!

So, I continue recommending books while remaining a frustrated non-bookseller.

About Andrew Shattuck McBride

I am a writer, editor, writing coach, and consultant. I work in a variety of genres, including poetry, short stories, and creative non-fiction. I also have a couple of novels simmering on back burners. THANK YOU to Nan Macy of Village Books for taking this photo (June 2011).
This entry was posted in Authors, Books, Notes on the Literary Life. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Book Recommendations: Confessions of a Frustrated Non-Bookseller

  1. I understand Andy!
    Now I feel like a priest…
    Write on!

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