Liz and Gianna are two of a dying breed--traveling sales reps for book publishers--who sell books in Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and the Deep South. Since we're constantly on the road hawking books, we must find ways to amuse ourselves. So here we've decided to share our anecdotes, adventures, favorite books, and efforts in making the world (or at least these few states) a more literate place to inhabit.
Michael O'Brien and Tom Waits
In the tradition of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men,
photographer Michael O’Brien with original poetry (yes that’s right) by Tom
Waits is the stunning Hard Ground.
O’Brien’s considerable gift as a photographer has never been
more apparent. In Hard Ground he dares us to look the other way as he
illuminates the lives of the homeless. Tom Waits is the perfect narrator
to these photographs, as he has often been the voice of the voiceless, of the
There is no need to write how much I love this book, how
truly original it is, or to point out its importance. I will let the words and
pictures do that.
Tom Waits's poetry
The Cat's Table
From the author of the Booker Prize-winning The English Patient Michael Ondaatje's newest novel is a wonderful adventure. The Cat's Table tells the coming-of-age story of Michael, a boy traveling on his own from Sri Lanka to England. He's going to join his parents and to attend school, and the majority of the novel chronicles his journey on the ship traveling halfway across the world. (The "cat's table" is the table in the dining hall designated for those people with the lowest status on the ship; if the captain's table is the best, then the first mate's, etc, the cat dines in the corner by the kitchen.) While on board, Michael views the world, makes friends with the other cat's table misfits, and learns to survive on his own.
The Cat's Table is semi-autobiographical, like much of Ondaatje's writing. This book is one of the most heralded of the year, and for good reason. He's a beautiful writer...and he's now a Canadian. I love my Canadians.