Riding the Wave: November 2003

A veritable tsunami of books has swept into the store; a tidal wave that threatened to overwhelm our little craft. Rising up sputtering and gasping, I blinked away the water and discovered great treasures: gorgeous art books, biographies, current fiction and classics--many in extra fine condition.

It is a pleasure to work at the edge of this river of books, to dip in my little pail and catch a bit of what flows by. Once in a while, amazed at the great wealth crammed into our two little rooms, I'm tempted to lock the door and just read for a week or a month or a year. But the blessing is received to be passed on--a sacred trust. Besides, comparing notes at river's edge is over half the fun.

PRAYING THE NAME OF JESUS by Robert V. Dodd is a sweet little book that bobbed to the surface one afternoon ($3.50). A single evening's read, this book is a reminder that the Holy Spirit whispers the Name within continually. It will get the juices running again if praying without ceasing has...um...ceased.

Anne ordered two copies of SOME WILDFLOWER IN MY HEART to give away. Then she did it again. I read the first couple of pages. Interesting! The third time she ordered this novel by Jamie Langston Turner, I got one for myself. Before I'd finished reading it, I'd thought of two people to give it to. The protagonist is a woman who suffered abuse within a church context and slammed shut the inner door. Her heart is slowly thawed by a coworkers attention. What makes this book extra fun is that the view point character, who escaped into reading, makes continual references to current and classic literature. A reader's delight. ($12.99 New)

Sunnie is hard at work making Gift Baskets out of books and various tidbits. This is one of those brilliant ideas that makes me wish we had about six more rooms for grand projects, book sections, clever displays, storage, working space, offices, counseling, classes, speakers and prayer. However, assuming the piles of stuff last seen strewn all over the back table actually get organized into baskets, we'll have some interesting gifts for $10 to $20. (We also have gift certificates.)

A British adventure to the early part of the last century began by Thea suggesting I'd enjoy PG Wodehouse. I wandered by the library and typed in PD Woodhouse. They didn't have any. Computers are so picky! A turkey and avocado sandwich lured me away from endlessly typing in combinations of letters. Some weeks later I stepped into a used bookstore and found CARRY ON JEEVES, wonderfully witty stories of upper crust English life with an inestimable Butler.
I also found Julia Cameron's WALKING IN THIS WORLD; The Practical Art of Creativity. This is far better than the previous two books of hers that I'd read since I taught the ARTIST'S WAY class in 1998. The spirituality wasn't nearly so up-chucky. In fact, WALKING IN THIS WORLD was so much more grounded that I may lead a class with it next summer. All I need is a Butler. Apply within.

A nice copy of E. Nesbit's THE STORY OF THE AMULET popped out of a box. Since I was cavorting through the early 1900s and had never read Nesbit, I hopped in. The story reads a bit like the Narnia books, though without the strong Christian analogy. Four proper English children have jolly good adventures jumping in and out of exotic times and places. ($7)

Speaking of exotic times and place, the mission books I mentioned last time (many of which are still in our $1 pile) inspired Brian to suggest AT PLAY IN THE FIELDS OF THE LORD, a thriller set in South America. It follows a missionary/mercenary clash and is purported not to be for those with weak stomachs, although superbly written. ($14 new)
AT PLAY is on my soon-to-be-read stack along with THE MADONNA MURDERS, a new mystery that revolves around the famous Icon of Kazan. I met the author Pamela Cranston, when she was celebrating at a friend's Baptism in Oakland. She has joined the great Anglican murder mystery tradition, creating a detective who is a theology professor in Berkley. Good to continue SOME traditions in these perilous times.

The fish that got away story this month is a first edition we sold to a book collector for $6. I looked it up that night to discover it was worth between 4 and 25 THOUSAND dollars. This is the sort of thing that happens in tsunami season. Meanwhile, we have a first edition of Michner's THE SOURCE in near fine condition. If anyone wants to offer big money...or even medium money...okay-a little money...for it, we'll be happy to make the trade.

Our Local Authors Night this month is with Phylis Moore. She wrote HE GATHERS YOUR TEARS; Words of Comfort for a Widow's Heart. Phylis will share on "Handling the Holidays" at 7:15, Tuesday, November 18. (No, NOT 7:15 in the MORNING!) Come and join the discussion.
We all enjoyed talking with Fr. Mel Webber on addictions last month. In December, on the third Tuesday , we'll have a Christmas party instead of an Author's Night. If you come you can have a free fish...I mean book.

"The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but progress." -Joseph Joubert, essayist (1754-1824)

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