Currently reading: Nothing

The title of this post isn’t exactly true. I am still reading Liberty’s Exiles by Maya Jasanoff, but this week I’m in North Carolina visiting family so there’s not much reading time.

Last week I had a surprise read. I was looking for something to read on my Kindle. I like to have a book going on it for reading at bedtime. When I’m between ebooks and don’t know what I want to read next, I’ll often download a free preview and reading one of those is often good enough for a night or two. In the case of My Autobiography of Carson McCullers, I read the free preview, purchased the full digital copy, and stayed up too late reading. I loved it and will post some thoughts later this week.

Today we went to Asheville, NC where I visited Malaprop’s Bookstore & Cafe. Years ago I lived in Charlotte and would often take a drive into the mountains and spend the afternoon browsing there. Malaprop’s is one of my favorite independent bookstores in the country. They’re celebrating their 40th anniversary this year.

Book haul from Malaprop’s

Who can resist a title like White Trash Warlock? Apparently not me. I picked up American Intellectual History because Liberty’s Exiles has made me so much more curious about American history. Jane Austen: A Very Short Introduction is for Austen in August prep. I have purchased a half dozen or more of these Oxford Very Short Introduction series books. They seem like a good idea at the time of purchase but I don’t often follow through on reading them. Time will tell with these two.

Book haul from Downtown Books and News

I also visited a second bookstore in Asheville, Downtown Books and News. I don’t think I have been to this store before. They have used books, vintage, and some rare books as well as new periodicals. Finding Slightly Foxed in the wild was exciting. I’m looking forward to reading essays from these two issues throughout the summer.

As for this first edition of Willa Cather’s Shadows on the Rock with dust jacket — I just couldn’t leave it on the shelf! It’s the twelfth printing of the first edition. The novel was published on August 1, 1931 and this printing was produced in October 1932. R. W. Luther, the book’s first owner, acquired it in December 1932. I also purchased it for the ephemera tucked in the pages. More on this in a future post.


  1. McCullers is fascinating, I remember writing a paper for my undergrad history seminar focusing on her and Tennessee Williams and how they were basically living outlives in a time when so many others weren’t and repression came around and their histories were painted over. Plus she writes some really interesting characters!

    And always love an Austen reference 😀

    • That must have been a fun and also frustrating paper to write. So far I’ve only read The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. I’ve been looking for her novels at used bookstores this week and haven’t found any yet.

      • It was fascinating! I remember being awed by how open they were and how book reviews and theater critics were so blasé about it. The primary resources were fascinating! I rarely see her works in used bookstores either.

  2. I am away in Key West for a family wedding. I finished The Widows by Jess Montgomery and loved it. Now reading The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz. We went to Key West Island Books which has new and used and specializes in local authors. I was the only one walking out empty handed 😂. Glad you are enjoying your trip!!

    • Nice! I really enjoyed The Widows, too, and need to get back to that series. I read the first two so far. I’m curious about The Latecomer — look forward to hearing what you think of it.

  3. Ooh, owner details AND ephemera!! I went away the weekend before last and didn’t get nearly as much reading time as I’d hoped, very disappointing.

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