Monday, October 17, 2005


Lonely books meme

It's been a week or so since I've blogged about that LibraryThing, and you'd think I'd've run out of things to blog about it by now. No such luck!

I was over at Phantom Scribbler, and she and Julie and a few others started chatting about books in their Library Thing collection that nobody else owns, and how listing these lonely books might make a good meme. A meme AND Library Thing? I'm all over that.

Here's five of my lonely books, ones that nobody else has listed in their collections, that I'd recommend to anyone:

1. Solomon Gursky Was Here, Mordechai Richler. I think anything by Mordechai Richler is worth reading. Richler is one of the kings of Canadian literature, and although this isn't my favourite of his, I'm still surprised nobody else has it in their collection.

2. An Acre of Time, Phil Jenkins. This one, on the other hand, I'm not terribly surprised is obscure, but it's one of my favourite books of all time. It's the geological, sociological, historical and political history of an acre of abandoned field, about two kilometres away from the Parliament Buildings in downtown Ottawa. One of the most unique books I've ever read.

3. The Moons of Jupiter, Alice Munro. Alice Munro is my favourite author ever. Another titan of Canadian literature, she captures with uncanny ability the moments that we string together to make sense of our lives.

4. Nightwatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe, Terrence Dickenson. My favourite practical astronomy and star-gazing guide. Also conveniently Canadian, and by a (relatively) local author.

5. The Dixon Cornbelt League, and Other Baseball Stories, W.P. Kinsella. Might as well make this an all-Canadian list. Kinsella wrote the book on which the movie Field of Dreams was based. If you like baseball, or short stories, or quirky characters, or iconic stories about life in the small towns of Canada's Prairies, you'll love Kinsella's work. W.P. Kinsella and Mordechai Richler are opposite ends of the same spectrum - one urban and one rural, one French and one English, one abraisive and hard to read, the other comforting as meatloaf and mashed potatoes on a cold winter day.