ask a book buyer at powell’s

ask-a-book-buyerIn a rare check of my twitter feed this morning (Twitter, I’m just not that into you) I stumbled upon an exciting new resource at one of my favorite Independent Bookstores.  Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon has really led the way in making books available over the internet, and I have long included links to their online storefront on all of my syllabi and course websites to give students an alternative to amazon.  So I’m not surprised they are also making their personalized customer service available online as well.  Check this out!  On their book blog you can submit an email request for reading recommendations based on the latest books you’ve devoured.  Are you a fantasy fanatic who long ago swept through the George R. R. Martin bibliography before anyone had even heard of Game of Thrones?  Do you need the best translation of Dante’s Inferno?  Looking for something atmospheric for that vacation you’re planning?  Ask the book buyers at Powell’s!  For someone with idosyncratic tastes who’s always annoyed at book club, this can be a life saver for me.  Read a brief excerpt here at Two or Three Little Birds and then bookmark the first installment of Ask A Book Buyer

Q: I’m leaving in a few weeks for Italy and Spain, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t have something to read on my downtime over there. Suggestions? – Chelsea

A: For Spain, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. – Gerry

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. It is partially set on the Italian Coast in 1962 during the filming of Cleopatra. It’s a wonderful story and a great vacation book. – Jen

Andrea Camilleri has a great Italian mystery series set in Sicily. The first book in that series is The Shape of Water. And, of course, there’s Donna Leon’s fantastic Venice-set series, starting with Death at La Fenice. – Tom

It’s older but The Club Dumas by Arturo Pérez-Reverte is very atmospheric and set in both Spain and Italy. Just out is Blood and Beauty by Sarah Dunant. It’s good historical fiction about the Borgias. Even though they were Spanish, the family is synonymous with the dark side of the Italian Renaissance. The Vatican doesn’t like to show the Borgia apartments for a good reason. – Kathi

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