amongst books

amongst books

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Ode to Nicholas Hoare Books on Sussex Street

It's such a wonderful bookstore. I hate to use this word, but I like the "eclectic" choice offered. This is the place where I'll pick up a book of philosophical essays or someone's travel memoirs. It's dangerous for me to go in there. I also noticed that more local and Canadian poetry is beginning to appear on the shelves, making the place even more dangerous.

On a sad note, I heard the other day that the Double Hook bookstore in Montreal is closing. That is bad news. It really was a champion of Canadian lit. I've found difficult-to-find small mags and chapbooks there often in the past. Maybe if we all write in and beg them to stay in business?

I finished a wonderful novel called The Earthquake Bird last night, by a woman named Susanna Jones. It was her first novel and she won an award for it. I'm not surprised. It was brilliant, a murder mystery set in Japan. I'm not into murder mysteries much, but this one was original and exotic. The writing was tight and full of vivid and haunting imagery. Her writing reminded me a bit of Trevanian in books like The Summer of Katya and Shibumi.

"Tejii took a shower. I listened to the water pouring over his body, occasional knocks and clinks as he reached for soap or shampoo, his feet on the floor when he climbed out. I heard the towel rub back and forth across his neck, back, legs. He cleared his throat a couple of times. The plughole gurgled and the bathroom door opened. I looked up at him. Water slipped from his black hair as if it had lost the power to be wet, as if it were droplets of mercury."

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