Lori's Book Nook

Successful browsing

Posted on: June 21, 2006

I live in Penticton, British Columbia. It’s a lovely little city in the sunny Okanagan Valley, on a glacial morraine between 2 lakes — Okanagan and Skaha. We moved here two months ago, and we take possession of our new house in 7 days.

The best thing about this town must be The Book Shop;…an amazing secondhand bookstore that could possibly be the best one I’ve ever been in — and I’ve been in many. Knowledgeable staff, acres of space, active acquisition policy, huge poetry collection,…(you know what’s important). No real competition for an hour’s drive in any direction.

Anyway, I found the book I was planning on looking for yesterday: Slouching Towards Bethlehem, the collection of essays by Joan Didion. Her preface alone was worth the price of admission, the writing is so tight:

“….My only advantage as a reporter is that I am so physically small, so tempermentally unobtrusive, and so neurotically inarticulate that people tend to forget that my presence runs counter to their best interests. And it always does. That is one last thing to remember: writers are always selling somebody out.”

The title of the book comes from Yeats:


by: W. B. Yeats (1865-1939)

      URNING and turning in the widening gyre
      The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
      Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
      Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
      The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
      The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
      The best lack all conviction, while the worst
      Are full of passionate intensity.

      Surely some revelation is at hand;
      Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
      The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
      When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
      Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert
      A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
      A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
      Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
      Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
      The darkness drops again; but now I know
      That twenty centuries of stony sleep
      Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
      And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
      Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
“The Second Coming” is reprinted from Michael Robartes and the Dancer. W.B. Yeats. New York: Macmillan, 1921.

(Source: Poetry Archive)


1 Response to "Successful browsing"

beautiful online information center. greatest work thanks

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Book Discussion Pages

Here on the Book Nook you can discuss: The Fifth Business by Robertson Davies, as well as the next two books in the Deptford Trilogy, The Manticore and World of Wonders, and if that's not enough for you, see what's up on the forums at BookTalk.org!
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