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Gems from the 2nd Floor

13/12/2013

I found a couple of gems on the 2nd floor at Centrepointe. While they are non fiction they could sneak down to the fiction shelves and feel right at home.
Better than fiction is a lonely planet publication featuring fiction authors who describe some of their travel adventures.  It's a marvelous way to sample an author and a little insight into who they are when they aren't telling tales.  One of my favorites from the table of contents is Alexander McCall Smith, author of over 80 books. On his bucket list is Bolivia because it is a land locked country with a navy.  You do have to wonder about that.   Mr. Smith has been to  Mobile, Alabama, a name he finds poetic. Apparently Mobile historically has more ghosts than most other town. Turns out the streets are shaded by a canopy of oak trees and  we all know  ghosts like shade!
Also on his list is Casablanca- say no more- who wouldn't like  a place that has old Mercedes taxis?

Thirty two authors in all, travels from Antarctica to South Africa, some funny some inspiring, they all share gifts gathered along the way.

Literary critic John Freeman has written How to Read a Novelist featuring conversations with 56 authors; Doris Lessing, Margaret Atwood, John Irving and Michael Ondaatje to name a few . As with Better than fiction this book gives us a little insight into novelists and their inspirations.
Publishers Weekly has this to say
In an insightful preface, Freeman describes the allure of the biographical sketch: we read about our favorite writers because we want to understand how a disembodied, imaginative world emerges from the body of the artist.