Saturday, August 14, 2010

Another great Bookstore

One of the things I enjoy most while traveling is wandering into new (to me)bookstores. Our trip last week to Vancouver, B.C., was no exception. After an incredible Malaysian meal at Banana Leaf in Kitsilano, we wandered next door to Kidsbooks. It was large and bright and well laid out. And, being Canadian, it had a number of surprises. I think Canadians,for example, are more likely to carry books on unusual subjects written by Brits. (At least, I have never seen some of the following titles in a U.S. bookstore.)

Here's the list of books I found interesting:

Out of Shadows by Jason Wallace. (This & the following are by British writers, set in Africa).

Hacking Timbuktu by Stephen Davies

More Brits, whom I have heard of:

Tanglewreck by Jeanette Winterson

Heroes of the Valley by Jonathan Stroud (author of my beloved Bartimaeus Trilogy)

Two Canadians, who sound fun:

Word Nerd by Susin Nielsen

Neil Flambe and the Marco Polo Murders by Kevin Sylvester

Finally, two Americans who were getting some play in the store displays:

Shooting Kabul by N.H. Senzai

Jack Blank and the Imagine Nation by Matt Myklusch

What is it about these books that made them so compelling to me?

  • Oftentimes, it was the title; Hacking Timbuktu; Shooting Kabul; Word Nerd; Neil Flambe! Me, oh my-oh!!

  • The cover art. If a book's cover was yellow, red or blue and it was facing me on the shelf, my eye was arrested by it. Out of Shadows and Jack Blank are two cases of this.

  • If I was familiar with the author's name. I loved the Bartimaeus trilogy by Stroud, so I was duty bound to pick up this book. As for Winterson, I heard of her in the 80s with such titles as Oranges are Not the Only Fruit and Written on the Body. Tanglewreck also has a great cover. I had to pick it up to see what she was doing as a children's writer.

I guess I'm a contrarian, but I'd much rather find and read some of the above books than the mega-bestsellers who suck up all the air. How do you choose the books you're interested in reading?

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