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The People You Meet in Bookstore Heaven

May 21, 2011

Today, while eating breakfast, sipping tea and waiting for our weekly story time, Kai and I noticed the typical Barnes and Noble decor above the cafe. You know what I’m talking about; it’s the big wrap around that features Steinbeck, Orwell, Hemingway, Nabokov, Stein, Dickinson and the like. He asked who the people were. We walked around, pointing out different writers (and one, unnamed guy, painting who we thought looked like Dali, considering the time period of most of the other featured folks displayed).

While I knew all of those mentioned and Kai had not a clue about any of them, I started to think about who I would pick as seriously famous or noteworthy writers. Obviously, some of the (literally) above, like Hemingway and Steinbeck, Orwell and Stein would be included on my personal list but where are Pynchon, Eco, Irving and French? I know the wall paper is a little bit antiquated, at this point, and I’m not sure that so many stores even still feature the display. But still.

And then I thought, well, maybe they were simply trying to make interesting little conversations. Of course that got me thinking. Who would I like to throw into a room together? Well, here are a few I’d interview together, or, maybe just be a fly on the wall for:

Scones and Screams
Poe, McMahon, Winspear, French and Chandler

A Less Than Lucid Lunch
Eggers, Eco, Pynchon, Larsen, Wilde and Vonnegut

I Came I Saw I Wrote
(Caesar dressing on the side)
Irving, Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Ellis

Which Came First: Philosophy or French Toast?
Sartre, Hesse, Thoreau, Emerson and Rushdie

Oh, that’s right, no Austen, Dickens or Bronte for me! I just can not commit myself to understanding why people are drawn to the dusty Victorians. I know that they’re “classics” but they simply don’t hold interest for me. Obviously, I don’t mind popular writers as clear by my lists above but I just can’t dig it. Sorry!

That bit aside, I think I’m fairly well read with a somewhat wide range of interest. I still hold by my favorite dusty folks and likely always will since most of them aren’t around to screw up their reputations any more than they already have.

I guess my one last question is:

Who would you have for lunch?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Amanda permalink
    May 22, 2011 8:58 am

    You’re so funny, Pam! I love your titles!

  2. Meredith permalink
    May 22, 2011 10:00 am

    Very neat list 🙂 I actually would have Jane Austen but just because I am a hopeless romantic. I think your Less than Lucid Lunch would be an interesting party!

  3. May 22, 2011 12:17 pm

    I love this! I think I would have Toni Morrison, Nella Larsen, Junot Diaz, Sherman Alexie, Alice Walker, Melanie Rae Thon, Nnede Okorafor, John Steinbeck, Kyung-Sook Shin, Barbara Kingsolver, Anne Lamott, Eula Biss, Jose Saramago, and probably a few others. I’m getting a warm fuzzy feeling just thinking about this list! 🙂

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