Sunday, October 24, 2010

talking nerdy

 Today I got this major bug up my butt that I absolutely had to have a copy of Karen Tei Yamashita's I Hotel to take with me on my trip to Seattle.  So off we go to my local B&N to look for one. While I'm standing there becoming upset because they didn't have even one copy, I struck up a conversation with a man who was considering buying Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest.  He was saying how aside from the Larsson series he'd read one other book from a Scandinavian author & he couldn't remember the title, but then described the story. As it turns out, it was Henning Mankell's Man From Beijing, and so I felt like I had to introduce him to the Wallander series. Then I checked my iphone to see if the Larsson book was coming out in paper any time soon, and I thought we were finished with our little chat.  But no! He told me I couldn't leave because he felt he had to give me something.  This started a long and wonderful discussion of books translated from Spanish to English, and I was so impressed because the first title he gave me was Red April, by Santiago Roncagliolo, and I had just received that book in the mail this week!  Then he went through a long list of authors (Mario Vargas Llosa, Jose Saramago, yada yada) but all of the books he mentioned I'd already read (or they're on my shelf to be read).  But still he said "don't go...I want to give you something."  So finally he comes up with author Laura Restrepo, whose books I'd never read (and which are also NOT carried at the local B&N).  Then it was time to go.
 What a cool conversation! I love when I find someone who shares my tastes in books and also enjoys talking about them, even when it's someone I'd never met before. I may try this again some time!


  1. I haven't heard of Laura Restrepo before, so I look forward to seeing what you make of that books - all the other authors you mention are wonderful, so it looks as though this man had good taste.

    I really enjoyed Red April - I hope you do too :-)

  2. What a wonderful bookstore experience! I had one too at Barnes and Noble in NYC. While waiting to see Patti LuPone, several New Yorkers standing in line with me struck up a conversation about theater and NYC inside places to visit.

  3. I think it shows that there are wonderful connections to make, no matter where you may find yourself. It just takes one person to get things rolling. And what a treat for you, seeing Patti Lupone. I saw her with Mandy Patinkin in the original Evita eons ago, and have loved her ever since.


Say what you will, but at least try to be nice about it.