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June 29, 2009

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Cary Wiedman

I think a great time was had by all.
When you started this project at least 12 years ago, we didn't even have the word "blog". How do you view this aspect of your writing? Is it a continuation of the book, in essence? A separate endeavor? Promotion? Labor of love or just labor?

Murray Browne

In response to Cary's questions.

The Book Shopper Blog is a companion to the book, but it is also an outlet for me to comment about the Atlanta/Decatur book scene. I try to think of both readers as I post. I can't create and maintain separate blogs because of time considerations.

Is it promotional? Well, yes I hope it does create interest in the book, but it is also something I think about in my "writing life after book."

Pamela B Thomas

"The Book Shopper" was an excellent read, it felt like Murray was inside my brain in certain parts of the book. The message "The Book Shopper" conveys is important. Reading is serious business, it adds significantly to the quality of life, but it works best approached in a thoughtful but not rigid way. And I think Murray's thoughts are just a bit different, enough to entice any reader into enjoying his book.

Not being a joiner either, my efforts to find great book clubs certainly parallels Murray's. Murray says "a book group works best when it focuses in depth on a particular masterwork." While I have been able to find book groups that concentrated on types of work as opposed to a particular masterwork, I would agree this is a great place to start. The real secret is finding the right people, and there may be many restarts before syncing up with serious readers - who also happen to be nice human beings, LOL. Although I didn't have the wine and cheese book group experience Murray had, I left many a group in frustration also.

I laughed a lot about the description of organizing a library - any book lover would relate for sure. Books in bookcases in every room, organized in a way only the owner can detect. I've never quite found just the right way to organize my library, and now I know I am not alone, LOL.

I own many books about reading books, but I do not own one that is as warm and funny and personal as "The Book Shopper" is. I was a member of the Proust reading group that Murray discusses in his book, and he nailed the experience perfectly. I'm even thinking about reading Thomas Pynchon now. Murray, you've started me thinking in new ways. Wish you still lived in Knoxville, I'd join your Pynchon study group in a minute. (But consider a yahoo group, I'm in some very good ones and wish you'd start a Pynchon one!)

Pamela Thomas

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Books Read in 2020

  • Viet Thanh Nguyen : Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War (2016)
  • Graham Greene: The Ministry of Fear (1943)
  • Zadie Smith: Grand Union: Stories (2020)
  • Thomas Pynchon: Gravity's Rainbow (1973)
  • Steven Weisenberger: The Gravity's Rainbow Companion: Sources and Context for Pynchon's Novel (1983)
  • Paul Chaat Smith: Everything You Know About Indians Is Wrong (2010)
  • Graham Greene: The Third Man (1949) novella
  • Mark Harris: Bang the Drum Slowly (1956)
  • Susan Levenstein, MD: Dottoressa: An American Doctor in Rome (2019)
  • Sam Stephenson: Gene Smith's Sink: A Wide-Angle View (2017)
  • Andrew Roberts: Masters and Commanders: How Four Titans Won the War in the West, 1941-1945 (2008)
  • Lawrence Ritter: The Glory of Their Times (1966)
  • Albert Camus: The Plague (1948)
  • Sam Lipsyte: The Ask: A Novel (2010)
  • Mark Grief: Against Everything: Essays (2016)
  • Viet Thanh Nguyen: The Refugees (2017)
  • Leah Penniman: Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm's Practical Guide to the Liberation of the Land (2018)
  • Norman Macht: Connie Mack and the Early Years of Baseball (2007)
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