This past weekend I spent one night at The Deerfield Inn, in Deerfield, Massachusetts, on the way back from the Adirondacks. It’s the sort of place that has well-upholstered chairs and sofas ringing a fireplace in a sitting room whose walls are lined with writing desks and grandfather clocks, and where tea is served for the guests at quarter to five every afternoon. It’s also the sort of place that has shelves full of books for guests to peruse throughout their stay, and though I wasn’t there long enough to make much headway, I did spot these volumes which I’ve added to my “I hope I’ll read them someday list.”
Keeping with my recent scandinavian reading interests (many months behind the rest of the world I’m finally reading Steig Larsson’s trilogy, the only book I saw as many copies of as I did translations of Twilight while riding various foreign metros), Isak Dinesen’s Last Tales, a collection of short stories written just before the Danish author’s death in 1962 was very tempting.
Also of interest, Paul Bowles’ (yes, the husband of Jane Bowles, whose novel Two Serious Ladies I wrote so effusively about a month or two ago) novel The Sheltering Sky,
and Flannery O’Connor’s The Violent Bear It Away. I’m pretty much interested in everything O’Connor. I spotted the massive tome The Habit of Being: the Letters of Flannery O’Connor, in the wonderful Old Harbor Books, an independent bookstore in Sitka, Alaska. I didn’t buy it mainly because I was traveling with a limited amount of luggage—a fact that has saved me from many a purchase over the past year or so. I still really want that one (it’s sitting on a shelf at a bookstore two blocks from here right now. I think it’s only a matter of time) and I’d also like to track down a copy of O’Connor’s Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose, which I read about here, in NPR’s “You Must Read This” section. I don’t know what it is about creative non-fiction, essays, reflections, and “occasional prose” that has me so infatuated right now, but I think I’m a little a bit in love with this elusive, intriguing genre.