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My May Night Stand

It's been a long time since I took a picture of my night stand. I decided to take the picture before I went back to my last blog entry to see how much it had changed.


So here we go...from the bottom up...

IN THE WAKE OF THE PLAGUE, The Black Death & The World It Made, by Norman F. Cantor
Every since I watched the movie, "Dangerous Beauty" I've been interested in learning more about the Plague. So I bought the book a couple of months ago, I just haven't been in the mood to read it yet. That's why it has ended up on the bottom.

SALT, A World History, by Mark Kurlansky
I read Salt when it first came out in 2002, so when our Foodies book group was looking for something more about the history of food to discuss, I thought "What can be more basic to food history than salt?" (Plus, I didn't have to work very hard to re-read it.)

BASILICA, The Splendor and the Scandal: Building St. Peter's by R. A. Scotti
Like all booksellers, I've succumbed to the syrene's call to try my hand at writing the next great novel. This book is research.

Philosophy Made Simple by the author of Sixteen Pleasures, which I liked. But I haven't gotten around to this one yet.

So Brave, Young and Handsome by Leif Enger
This was a promotional copy sent to me by the publisher. Once in a while they send me hardcover books that don't have the advance reading copy caution plastered all over them. So if those look interesting I bring them home, even if I don't have to read them because the author is coming to my store.

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen. (Advance reader copy)
This is the follow-up to her NYT bestselling debut, Garden Spells. I loved Garden Spells and am hoping Sugar Queen will be sprinkled with the light touch of everyday magic that made Garden Spells such a hit.

Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix (Advance reader copy)
This is by the author of the Shadow Children series. I'm so enamored with the Fablehaven series, it is really hard for me to get interested in any of the other "next great kid's fantasy" offerings. Haddix is a good solid young reader author. So I'm hoping that this will be the first of another hit series for her. We shall see.

The Groom To Have Been by Saher Alam (Advance reader copy)
Saher is having her release signing in my store in late July. She is an amazing writer and I'm really honored to host her debut. The Groom to Have Been is about a young Indian Muslim man who is facing the choice of a traditional arranged marriage or a love match. with the backdrop of NYC shortly after 9/11. This is a love story inspired by Wharton's "The Age of Innocence"

God's Middle Finger by Richard Grant
My Armchair Travellers book group is reading this for our May selection. It is quite a page turner memoir written by a British journalist who decides to travel the entire 900 mile length of lawless Serra Madre mountains in northern Mexico. The book begins with the account of the end of his trip, with him being chased for sport by a couple of killers who are gorked out on cocaine. Then it goes back and tells the tale of how he got himself into that situation.

The Recipe Writer's Handbook by Barbara Gibbs Ostmann
Someone told me about this book because the author was the food editor for the St. Louis Post Dispatch and lives in the St. Louis area. This is actually a style reference book and is a valuable tool used by many famous cookbook authors. Who knew?!?
I have no intention of becoming a professional recipe writer -- the field is way too crowded already. But, this is a great reference book for recipe READER's too.

Comments (8)


Ooooh, I was just wondering the other day (when I was cruising through B&N) when Sarah Addison Allen's next book was coming out. I'm so jealous you have the ARC.

Deborah responds: Jill, but I've got ARCs coming out my ears. The bookshelves in my office at work overflow. When the come in the mail, I put them out on the employee break room table for staff to grab. But only about one in ten gets taken. Once a year I box them all up and take them to Goodwill.


WOW, Deborah, what a great stack! I listened to Garden Spells in the car driving to Savannah and back and loved it.

Deborah responds: Hi Jan, I love to listen to books in the car. I used to do a lot of driving through the middle of nowhere to get to some of my rural clients. So I read a lot of books on tape.

What a great stack of books! Let me know if there's any Venice info in that Black Plague book, when you get around to that one. I liked the Sixteen Pleasures too, so I want to read that new one.

And that's exciting about your own novel!

Deborah responds: OH, Annie! I wouldn't call it a "new novel". I'd call it a pipe-dream. LOL
There are a few references in the index to Italy & Venice, but not a lot. That may be why I've delayed reading it.
Have you seen Dangerous Beauty or read Margaret Rosenthal's book "The Honest Courtesan" on which the movie is based?

mmm ... foodie books. :) Carb lover that I am, the other day at my favorite used book store I picked up: "Going with the Grain; A Wandering Bread Lover Takes a Bite Out of Life" by Susan Seligson. The front cover blurb is from Norman Mailer! Not sure if that's a recommendation or not ... ;)

Deborah responds: Thanks for that title Colleen, I'm going to see if it is still available to order into the store.

Hi Deborah, yes I saw "Dangerous Beauty" and after that, I bought the book but I haven't read it yet. It's in my stack that is almost as tall as yours, LOL. I found an old guidebook that identifies four churches in Venice as "the plague churches" and that's on my very long "do more research" list. Thanks for checking your book for me and happy weekend!

Deborah responds: Plague churches? Were those the ones with the small square doors that the passed the bodies out after they died?

No, I think they were churches that were specifically built to try to ward off the plague. One of them was San Rocco because he was a "doctor saint" who might have had the plague himself. Need to look into this some more!

Deborah responds: Annie, after you do this research, I hope you post a blog entry about it. I'll be interested to see what you learn.


Hi, I just discovered your blog through Slow Trav and love it!
The Hellenga book is actually part of a loosely-related 4 book series -- besides the 2 you mentioned, be sure to read "The Fall of a Sparrow" and finish with "The Italian Lover" which ties up all the threads. They're all different, but I think you'll love them.

Deborah responds: Thanks! I will put those books on my list for sure.

Deborah, I WILL blog about it after I learn more- thanks!

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