There are certain books I gaze at from afar, knowing I would love to read them but knowing, too, that I probably won’t because my list is overly long and I’m becoming more and more aware of how little time there seems to be in a day. One book I know I won’t get to is Curiosity by Alberto Manguel, recently reviewed in the New York Review of Books by Robert Pogue Harrison. Mr. Harrison wasn’t altogether positive about the book (though he didn’t pan it either). Two things tempted me to override the lukewarm review and have a go at it.
One was the photo of Manguel that accompanied the article. He is sitting in his library in the southwest of France. There are floor to ceiling books, a rich-looking carpet, a hat on a hook by the door (in case he might like to take a walk at the end of a chapter), a glowing lamp, a table piled with just the right things…it’s a room I could spend hours in.
The second thing that drew me was a quote from the book itself. Manguel recalls being told that when a beekeeper dies, the bees must be told of his passing. “Since then I’ve wished,” Manguel observes, “that when I die someone will do the same for me, and tell my books that I will not come back.” I could spend time with a writer who thinks such things.
But reluctantly I pull myself back from the edge, say a silent thank you to the New York Review of Books for the quote, and open Denis Johnson’s Train Dreams.
Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge, Author
Biography | View
- Just Fine They Way They Are (Calkins Creek, March 1, 2011)
- The Brave Escape of Edith Wharton (Clarion Books, 2010)
- Thank You Very Much, Captain Ericsson! (Holiday House, 2005; Berndtsdotter Books, 2012)
- When Esther Morris Headed West (Holiday House, 2001)
- The Legend of Strap Buckner (Holiday House, 2001)
- Wicked Jack (Holiday House, 1995)
Speaker / Presenter
Connie is an experienced speaker and presenter who enjoys sharing her passion for writing and her experience as a writer with readers and writers of all ages. She has presented to students, community, civic and professional organizations, writing groups, library audiences, and seniors – wherever book lovers gather!
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