Oct 31, 2010

Book Swap - October

After the crepes, first up was the artist Dawn Csutorus from Melbourne, Australia.

Dawn loves color and space (hence her choice of The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelord) citing Monet and Van Gogh as influences earlier on, and now Rothko, as well as Taoism, saying her paintings are "meditations."

Dawn also donated Bill Bryson's Down Under to represent where she's from.

Next up was the writer and TV producer Barrie Brett from New York.

Barrie brought her inspirational book Moments of Being, which is about finding your own moment, "a pivotal moment that transformed a life."

With the same idea in mind Barrie also brought along Thornton Wilder's The Bridge of San Luis Rey, a book she has loved since she was a child,  about five people on a bridge at the same moment.

Barrie also donated Rupert Wright's Notes from the Languedoc.

The Australian artist, also from Melbourne, Mia Rappel, was next.

Goatperson and other Tales by Michael Leunig was Mia's first book. She calls Leunig an "Australian treasure, a cartoonist who's really a poet, gentle and tender."

The book about where she's from is Mirka Mora's My life: Wicked But Virtuous. Mia's family came from Europe to Australia, as did Mora's, a Romanian Jew from France, or as Mia puts it "she brought Europe to Australia, the old country to a young land."

Then came Irish writer and calligrapher Karen Powell.

Karen gave us the book about where she's from first, Arthur's Round, by Patrick Guinness, a descendant of Arthur Guinness, the founder of Guinness breweries. Guinness "was first brewed in my village in 1755 and we're still hoping for a tap!"

The book that inspires Karen is Brendan Behan's The Complete Plays, "The Hostage" being her favorite. Karen loves Behan not only because he "made human choices" but because "he gets people."

The American poet Nancy Collins-Warner donated her books next.

Finding Chief Kamiaki: The Life and Legacy of a Northwest Patriot  is "about the place I was raised in the Palouse, an Indian word for 'the place', a very feminine, fertile land."

The book Nancy donated  that inspires her was W.S. Merwin's The Shadow of Sirius. She calls Merwin "a master of the essential."

Next up was the English writer Maxine Backus from Zurich.

Maxine donated The Metaphysical Poets edited by Helen Gardner as she loves the "switch of register of the poems." Maxine also donated two of her own collections of poems "Zurich Observed" and "To Learn to Pleasure Yourself."

Last up was the New York writer Sarah Deming.

The "transgressive" book about where she's from is by New York writer Jonathan Ames: What's Not to Love: The Adventures of a Mildly Perverted Young Writer.

The book that inspires Sarah is Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words by the Serbian writer Milorad Pavić who just died last year. Sarah says the book is "magical" and probably "the favorite book I've ever read."

Thanks again to everyone for all the great books!

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