Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Berkshires Book Haul

I had a lot of fun last weekend in the Berkshires and as usual my husband and I made our rounds through the local bookstores. Here's what I got and where I got it.

An English translation of Alberto Moravia's The Conformist came from Rodgers Book Barn in Hillsdale, New York. Rodgers Book Barn is on a dirt road in the woods and it's one of those places where you can find just about anything, from recent raves to old rarities, ephemera, vinyl records and more. I read The Conformist in college but I'm interested in giving it another go.

The Tale of Princess Kaguya, by Isao Takahata, came from the complete opposite of Rodgers Book Barn, The Bookloft, a new-book independent bookstore in nearby Great Barrington, Mass. This is a picture-book version of the 2013 Oscar-nominated anime by one of Japan's premiere filmmakers. The movie is luscious and moving, gorgeous, eye-popping and eye-watering. I love the music, mostly by Joe Hisaishi, almost as much as the story and beautiful artwork.

The Silverberg Business, by Robert Freeman Wexler, is an interesting-looking crime novel set in the Old West, published by Small Beer Press of Kelly Link fame, and purchased at The Bookstore in Lenox, Mass. I also bought two books by Annie Ernaux at The Bookstore, Simple Passion and A Woman's Story. I've already read A Woman's Story.

Finally, I got The Lore of the Unicorn by Odell Shepard at Stockbridge Coffee & Tea, which also doubles as a very nicely curated used bookstore. It was originally published in 1930 and reissued by Dell recently. I'm reading it now. It's fun.

We visited two bookstores where we didn't end up buying anything- Yellow House Books and Familiar Trees, just steps from each other in Great Barrington center. Yellow House is a used/rare store and if we'd made it back I would have picked up a copy of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier for funsies. Familiar Trees has a finely curated selection of art books and literary fiction and nonfiction with an emphasis on small presses and lesser known writers. It's fairly new and I think has been there for two or three years. All of the other stores have been around for quite a while- some for as long as I've been visiting the area, which is now over 20 years. Wow! I am old!

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