News from the book-front... - So Many Books...
Sep. 28th, 2006
10:40 pm - News from the book-front...
So, my day started off very well, when I received this wonderful present - hope the image does justice to it! (Accoutrements the company, so I can give credit where it's due.) (Well, for the image and making - not the present-giving.)
Then, I'd to go into town to pick up a few things, including books, so had to look at a few other than the required ones (Older Daughter's and my course texts) - ended up finding a book I'd very much been interested in after reading a good review - Exchange. (Paul Magrs.) What makes this so much fun is it's about a kid (and his grandmother) discovering a used book shop, and my local is called The Exchange. I took it in there to show them - a few copies in the window seem an excellent idea - and there was much excitement. In fact, the person working there said the owner had been talking to someone in a gold mine in Australia (don't ask me - only reporting!), who told him that there was a great bookshop in Dalkey called the Exchange. Nice cover too, but I'll show it when I've finished - so it doesn't take away from Jane in all her glory.
The not so good was noticing as I went past a new releases shelf, a book by someone called John Doyle. Now, this is a very common name in these parts, so I assured myself it probably wasn't the one I'd known, but had to check on the way out. Sure enough. The Awful Boyfriend himself. (Entirely recognisable from photo on book jacket.) This AB being the one who had done a damn good job (and an intentional one) of destroying the tiny shred of self-esteem I had in university, seeing his shiny new hardcover book in the front of Hodges Figgis didn't fill me with great joy. But, admittedly, virtually anyone could make me feel wildly under-accomplished - with reason. And, the final blow to the AB saga is a bit entertaining. This was the Jane Austen loathing, Joyce-worshipping AB (who doubtless only went out with me because of my family literary connections - he also liked Yeats, to mitigate this report of his ludicrous literary tastes somewhat). After he'd given me the lengthy list of things that made me so terrible he'd had to stoop pretty low to go out with me (I dumped him - for very good reason - but let's not let logic get in the way of a good esteem detonation) he took himself off home, and sent me a many-paged letter. This ended with the last line (or thereabouts) from Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - the 'go to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race' bit. Instead of self-exile to France, of course, this was headed 'On the train to Carlow'. (Carlow being a rather provincial market town in the midlands - at the time at least.) Amazing the pretentiousness overdose didn't overwhelm the whole train-carriage. This letter also contained a rather ambigious line about his planning to come after me and how he'd get me. Whether get me back or get me with his handy-dandy carving knife wasn't at all clear. (Neither, as it happens, I'm delighted to say! Never seen him since the day.)
Back to the happy book news, Exchange is very good so far.... And Conor Kostick has a new book out (Saga), though it wasn't in any of the shops I visited today. And I even managed to resist the 3 for 2 on all children's books offer - after seeing JD's book. Impressive, no?