A Long Drive for a Local Author

Truth &  Beauty by Ann Patchett


I live in Nashville, TN. Coincidentally, so does Ann Patchett. As a matter of fact, she’s in the process of opening an independent bookstore in the area. So, it made me giggle just a little when I realized that I’d driven 1300 miles this week to my favorite little bookstore in Great Barrington, MA only to buy a book from a local-to-me author.

I did balance it out with a copy of Alphabet Juice by the Berkshires’ own Roy Blount Jr. But I’m thinking the only way I can really even the score is to head back to Nashville and race into Ann’s store the moment it opens for a copy of Moby Dick.

On third thought, I bought my Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edith Wharton novels in Tennessee. While I’m pretty neutral on The Scarlett Letter and honestly can’t recall much about Mr Hawthorne’s other efforts, reading Ethan Frome and not extending my grudge against Ms Wharton to all of Massachussetts was an act of generosity unsurpassed in my lifetime. (I’m still in contact with my high school English teacher, and my consistent expression to her of how much I loathe that story is entering into its third decade.)

Perhaps I should take a page from Berkshire history as inspiration and start my own novel while I’m in these hills.


But then again, when would I manage to find time to read the dozen or so books I added to my already-toppling pile of to-be-reads at home?

Such dilemmas. Good thing I have another 1300 miles to get it all sorted out.

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