05 January 2009

Umberto Eco's bookseller

Carmella Washburn is a neighbor of Nancy's mother, Jo, here in Northfield. She and Jo ended up living in Northfield because their daughters lived here. Carmella is an amazing Nebraska native, born in Omaha before the U.S. entered WWI, who still wears red and cheers for the Cornhuskers during football season. She also has wonderful stories about her Italian family and neighbors in Omaha. I send her paper copies of the blog entries because she's still learning about using the web. She does have e-mail down pat.

Some time ago, she sent me this note:

Ken, I appreciate and enjoy your "Reading Blogs." At my present age, I tend to philosophical stories and neglect to appreciate "good stories" written by authors of the Baby Boomer Culture, which I confess is a bit narrow on my part.

Presently I am reading, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana by Umberto Eco (Italian, what else?).

It's the story of a 60ish rare book dealer in Milan who has suffered loss of memory. He can remember the plots of every book he has ever read, but no longer knows his own name. The last sentence on the book jacket says, "A fascinating, abundant new novel -- wide-ranging, nostalgic, and personal."

The book is interestingly illustrated with color photos of the book covers the main character has read throughout his life. If nothing else, you could relate to the pictures in the book.

I am ever impressed by writing talent.

I've started Doig's Prairie Nocturne.

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