Texas, I was right


Sorry to disappear there! I'm still alive, just wrapping up my honeymoon on Oahu (see above!). Much reading but no blogging has occurred, so I'll be catching up with my back-log when I get back to Portland. Early in the trip, David and I visited my mom's childhood hometown of Kailua, where we walked for miles in the surf, lingered over cocktails at local institution Buzz's Steak & Seafood, and then walked 20 minutes into the town of Kailua, where there's a great little bookstore called Bookends. Looks kind of strip-mall-ish from the outside, but inside is bursting with an interesting selection of new and used volumes. My grandmother had given us some money for book-shopping here, and we had a great time obliging! These are my finds:


Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses, Shirley Jackson's The Lottery and Other Stories in a pretty FSG Classics edition, and Zora Neale Hurston's Seraph on the Suwanee. Two out of three used! The McCarthy is a particularly appealing find: its previous owner was apparently one Frederick Peppun, who seems to have been reading the book for his AP English class (AP is "Advanced Placement," for those readers not familiar with the bureaucracy of American education). Frederick was kind enough to leave Post-it notes throughout the novel, detailing his impressions and questions:


I mean, how considerate, right? Frederick's notes include gems like "The rain could be a metaphor for good & bad things happening"; "Texas, I was right when I thought of Maverick"; and "The style reminds me of Garrison Keillor."

That's one baaaaaad day in Lake Wobegon, my friends. I must have missed the broadcast where Oleg turned to Marge and said, "Listen, shit-for-brains, if it wasn't for this man I wouldnt be here at all. I'd of left your ass back up in that arroyo."

In any case, I'm off for another day of reading on the beach, but soon we'll be back in rainy Portland and I can tell you all about the several books I've finished while here. I'm looking forward to catching up with all your entries, too! Aloha, friends.


  • Congrats on the honeymoon and the lovely vacation and all that but--

    Seriously? Garrison Keillor compared to Cormac McCarthy?

    My head's going to explode.

  • Acck! You lucky thing! A used book full of hilarious post-its! Oh, and a trip to Hawaii... I'm turning green with envy.

  • Sounds like you had a wonderful honeymoon - the location (Hawaii) compares quite favorably with that of my honeymoon (K-Mart)

  • So happy for you and your lovely honeymoon! And the books. And the post it notes. Always so funny to read the annotations of others. In college, had to read Richardson's Clarissa for a required class and was not thrilled about it. So I bought the cheapest copy available at the book store. And it was filled with notes. Written by not the most literary astute person on the collegiate block. Was so bothered after I got over the giggles that I had to go buy another copy. New of course because all the used ones were gone by then. I have real bitterness over Clarissa. And yet I still own the book. :) See you soon, bookish friend. Have the time of your life!

  • So glad that we have had to miss you for such a great reason. Congrats!

    I live at an all-boys school and occasionally save cast off books from the bin. These guys usually don't comment much in the margin, but they've apparently been told that underlining is good. Like their-grade-depends-upon-it kind of good. . . regardless of significance or even good sense. And I'm ridiculous enough to actually erase them all. Certifiable, I know.

  • Wow, Hawaii....and your honeymoon!! Completely understandable that you haven't been at the blog.

    How considerate that this student used post-it's instead of actually writing in the book (which is ok as long as it isn't being re-sold). It's fun to find surprises in used books, such as forgotten bookmarks, newspaper articles relating to the book, etc.

    I wonder if Frederick Peppun attended school in Hawaii, and if he'll come across your blog after googling himself sometime (everyone does it!) :-).

  • Snuck off for a honeymoon to Oahu? Excellent! It sounds like you have been having a great time. Poor Fred, I hope All the Pretty Horses didn't show up on his AP exam. I've listened to the audiotape of the book and like a good Minnesotan I listen to Garrison Keillor's show now and then and well, the good Lutherans of Lake Wobegon would be rather shocked but ever so polite about the mistake ;)

  • How wonderful, honeymooning in Hawaii! Have fun reading with Frederick! :D

  • Amy: I know! So funny.

    Marieke: It was great. And sometimes I turn green with envy that you get to live in Scotland. :-)

  • Jill: Haha, wow, Kmart! Had I known I would have dropped into one of the area locations in your honor & picked up a boogie board or something. :-)

    Frances: Your travails with Clarissa remind me of reading Fanny Burney's Evelina in college - there was a guy in that class who hated the book to the extent that he would do this physical comedy routine where he made it look like the book was leaping out of his hands and throwing itself across the room. My horror vied with my amusement.

  • Sara: Wow, I'm impressed that they underline in pencil, at least. (And really, I'm still stuck on you living at a boys' school...that seems like it would be a pretty intense lifestyle!)

    Valerie: It really is considerate; I've never encountered the post-it-note method of note-taking in books before (must admit I write in mine, but only ones I'm pretty certain of not wanting to re-sell). And that Googling thing occurred to me too...Frederick, if you're reading this, I hope you take the gentle ribbing in the spirit of fun. :-)

  • Stefanie: Ha, yes, they'd probably be too circumspect to mention it at the time, but possibly gossip about it later in a concise way. :-D Living in Minnesota must add another layer of humor to that show. One branch of my family is Norwegian-descended, so I relate to it a little bit on that level.

    Claire: Haha, thanks! I think Fred will be a great companion through McCarthy. :-)

  • OMG, congrats on the honeymoon! Sounds so very lovely!

    The only Hurston novel I've ever read was Their Eyes Were Watching God, unfortunately. I love the title, Seraph on the Suwanee - very lyrical and very promising.

  • I LOVE the post-it's and yes, interesting comparison....Garrison Keiller to Cormac McCarthy. I'll have to think about that a little bit...

  • EL Fay: Thanks, lady! Their Eyes is my favorite Hurston novel thus far, and one of my favorites of all time. I thought Moses, Man of the Mountain was super-interesting from a historical-context perspective, and enjoyed her short stories, but nothing else thus far has equaled Their Eyes Were Watching God. We'll see how Seraph fares - I'm also curious about her autobiography.

    Rebecca: Yes, quite the comparison! I don't know, I suppose they're both fairly down-to-earth...

  • Congratulations! Wow, I missed a lot. Lovely photos--of the sunset, the books, and the post-it notes. I love reading with the ocean right there beside me.

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    link to Wolves 2011 reading list
    link to more disgust bibliography