Margaret told yesterday me that in her reading group anyone can choose the books. And these are the books she wants: Bel Canto, Gould’s Book of Fish, Tulip Fever, Birds Without Wings, The Commandant (Text Classic version by Jessica Anderson) and Still Alice (the one about Alzheimer’s) and also Mrs Jordan’s Profession by Claire Tomelin. And that should do for now!! She said that often the members of the reading group are not even reading the same book, hahaha.
I do not often see anyone as happy as Margaret is when she lists off the books she needs. And her husband looks on with approval and carries all the books out for her. Sometimes he finds one for himself, usually something about the Second World War.
Margaret sends books to her children who live overseas and observes that they never seem to get the point of the stories she sends them. But she is delighted. Her husband is delighted too.
“I would like to have your sureness. I am waiting for love, the core of a woman’s life.”
Jenny came over the road to lend to me her copy of A Parrot in a Pepper Tree, the funniest thing she has read in ages. She said that Writers’ Week was Divine and she bought ‘that thing on Keating, the one by Kerry O’Brien and I’m telling you it is an absolute tome ! It’s a winter read, can’t wait till the winter, just the thing and I’ll lend you when I’m done! But before that I’m doing the Gillard. ‘
John told me that he is wanting to collect volumes of myths and legends, tales of all countries because he cannot complete his work without them. He said he knows what he must read, his work tells him, his heart tells him, it is his passion. He also told me that his tobacco has been poisoned and it is the tobacco companies that are doing it.
He asked for a copy of Marion Woodman’s The Owl Was a Baker’s Daughter. This is a Jungian study of the repressed feminine and also vital for his studies.
“I would like to have your sureness. I am waiting for love, the core of a woman’s life.” Don’t wait for it,” I said. “Create a world, your world.”
A new customer told me that the books that had the biggest impact on his life were Jean Auel’s The Earth’s Children series. He felt that the author had devoted her entire life to the researching and writing of the series and that this was an incredible life achievement. He said that he had a friend in France that once held up some road works there because he thought he recognised some ancient symbols etched into a cliff face that they were excavating. This friend became hysterical and demanded that all work immediately stop and it did! He insisted that these might be runes of some kind, but, well, anyway they weren’t runes, they were marks made by the bucket on the road excavator. But, the thing is that I totally get this, I imagine all the time that I’m seeing evidence of the Cro-Magnon humans, all thanks to Jean Auel. I always wonder what sort of person she is and how good it would feel to have written all these books…’
“I would like to have your sureness. I am waiting for love, the core of a woman’s life.” Don’t wait for it,” I said. “Create a world, your world. Alone. Stand alone.”
To find some fragment of something that makes you so happy that you cannot stop talking about it, is a great thing. Any small fragment of something that is dear to you (for whatever reason) gives buoyancy. But the visitors here at my book shop, who tell me their stories of what they love, do not seem to realise how their happiness quietly radiates.
“I would like to have your sureness. I am waiting for love, the core of a woman’s life.” Don’t wait for it,” I said. “Create a world, your world. Alone. Stand alone. And then love will come to you, then it comes to you.”
The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934