Beyond Galveston, bookshops were sparse on my travels I must admit but I did find one on Grand Cayman which held the joy of a couple more titles by Ernest J.Gaines, Of Love and Dust and In My Father's House both of which look eminently readable.Jonathan Yardley of Washington Post to the rescue "Gaines knows how to tell a story...with humour, a strong sense of drama and a compassionate understanding of people who find themselves in opposing posotions".Indeed he does and the fairly langorous Deep South pace of these may well be just the ticket as life speeds up again here.
Never one to shirk a Borders opportunity, and with four hours to kill at George Bush International Airport Houston...I wonder if we may start honouring our premiers in this way here in the UK, Tony Blair International? Nah, let's stick with Liverpool John Lennon.It was a long haul across to Terminal E but all worth it to breath in the air of U.S. bookshelves and a browse through some new titles.Plus fascinating to see how the U.S.market publishes some of our U.K. authors and as always I have to say I much prefer a U.S. paperback edition to a U.K.one.Floppy and friendly and stay open at the page with no spine cracking necessary.
I went round the shelves four times and also stopped to look at the Sony e readers.
Though I'm a confirmed book in the hand person I'm not ruling these out and they do look like a neat way to carry eighty books around with you.Page sized screen with a nice choice of leather holders.I've done all the reading for the Long Barn First Novel Prize judging this year on my laptop and by the end I was getting quite used to it.
New technology, I didn't even ask the price or the book downloading availability but it's all bound to shake down into something accessible eventually and I'll probably go there.
I was pleased to see another Per Petterson on the shelves In the Wake. Apparently this one will "hold me in its hypnotic thrall" and I believe it will. Out Stealing Horses had me entranced, there is something to Per Petterson's writing and translation by Anne Born that creates a special atmosphere around you as you read.
The Last Nightingale by Anthony Flacco, a thriller set in the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake was bought on blurb and cover alone and would have been my plane home reading had it not been for the subtle allure of When the Astors Owned New York: Blue Bloods and Grand Hotels in a Gilded Age by Justin Kaplan.
Having just spent a week being waited on hand and foot in the most opulent of surroundings it seemed fitting to see how the idle rich managed it on a daily basis a century ago.This was sufficiently good to keep me reading on long into the night (or was it day?) and thus forgetting that it is nigh on impossible to sleep comfortably on a plane.