You all know that I love the bookstore Micawbers in St. Paul. Despite never having gone there, I regularly give out directions to their store for anyone visiting or from the Twin Cities. Heck, Minnesota. "It's only two hours away from you and definitely worth a weekend getaway." Hans (or well, I think it's Hans) has been listing notable books of the year by subject. His current topic is "Odds and Ends", filled with bookish delights and hard-to-print beauties like Rebecca Solnit's Infinite City and Judith Schalansky's Atlas of Remote Islands, both of which had a pop in our store, and were rather hard to restock. There's also John E.'s pick, Aaaaz to Zzzzzd: The Words of Birds. All I want to do now is have a displace case of this stuff, but I can't decide whether to call it ephemera of potpourri. Solnit's book is still out of stock at wholesalers.
I also wind up sending a lot of people to Skylight Books when they go to Los Angeles. Los Feliz is one of those neighborhoods you don't expect to find out there. My ex-rep Tom said, "It's the closest thing I could find to Chicago in Southern California" and indeed, it's got a Wicker Park-meets-Lakeview vibe. Things are close enough together for some good walking, and unlike say, walking along Sunset, the streets are people scaled. One of my favorite books, Jamesland, was set there. So Emily of Skylight just did a post on her favorite books of 2010 and its an interesting mix the well-known and the eclectic. Oy, I still haven't read Room yet; what's to become of me? Every time someone would open up Anne Carson's Nox I'd get a little nervous, but I wish more people had opened Andrew Moore's Detroit Disassembled (and bought it). Somebody bought it, as it's out of stock at Ingram.
It's a reference within a reference. The Green Apple Core hails Beatrice.com for Oprah not picking a female novelist for her book club since 2004, and a living one since 2002. Interestingly enough, the first time around, the book club read more women than men, but in it's return, it suddenly got "I'm going to teach you a thing or two about books" instead of "Let's read this book together and talk about it." If I say more, I'll get into trouble. Green Apple made a list of ten great books of fiction written by women this year. Look, there's Room again, and also The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, another book on the pile. Aside from listing the ebook prices only (no book prices), which was like fingernails on the blackboard to me, a great list. I can't believe I hadn't been to Green Apple on any of my prior trips to San Francisco. Now that I've been, I don't think I'll ever be within 50 miles of the city without a pilgrimage again.