As a bookseller in northern Michigan, offering both new and used titles, with most of my walk-in trade coming in July and August, I naturally give Michigan books and authors my highest level of attention. But ever since I first began to stock new books, as well, I’ve tried to keep my eyes open to titles that go beyond our state, into areas that fascinate me and will, I hope, attract the attention of my bookstore customers. My own interests are eclectic, and I think that helps me connect to customers with different interests.
In that light, below is a very, very abbreviated sample of books I’ve ordered for stock in the last few weeks. As you can see, they range from Buddhist through outdoor, nature, animals, and travel, to parenting and children’s and illustrated books, with a couple modern classics in the list.
BUDDHIST ANIMAL WISDOM STORIES, by Mark W. McGinnis, illustrated by author (oversized hc with jacket - $19.95)
DRAWN TOGETHER, by Aline & R. Crumb (oversized hc with jacket - $49.95)
I LOVE DIRT! 52 ACTIVITIES TO HELP YOU AND YOUR KIDS DISCOVER THE WONDERS OF NATURE, by Jennifer Ward (pb - $14)
IN THE NIGHT KITCHEN, by Maurice Sendak, illustrated by author (25th anniversary addition, hc with jacket, $17.95)
IT’S OKAY NOT TO SHARE...AND OTHER RENEGADE RULES FOR RAISING COMPETENT AND COMPASSIONATE KIDS, by Heather Shumaker (pb - $15.95)
OWLS, by Marianne Taylor (oversized hc with jacket - $35)
THE PLACES THAT SCARE YOU: A GUIDE TO FEARLESSNESS IN DIFFICULT TIMES, by Pema Chodron (pb - $14)
THE SHEEP BOOK: A HANDBOOK FOR THE MODERN SHEPHERD, Revised and Updated, by Ron Parker (pb - $24.95)
TUVA OR BUST! RICHARD FEYNMAN’S LAST JOURNEY, by Ralph Leighton (pb – $17.95)
WHAT MAKES YOU not A BUDDHIST, by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse (pb - $15.95)
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, by Maurice Sendak, illustrated by author (hc with jacket, $17.95)
WINTER: FIVE WINDOWS ON THE SEASON, by Adam Gopnik (pb - $19.95)
What do you think of my hand-picked inventory? Which would you pick up for a closer look?
Through the year, in every season, you will also find at Dog Ears Books fiction, poetry, cookbooks, and history. We have a strong science section of used books, and equally strong sections in religion and in philosophy. There are fine bindings and first and signed editions for the collector, but the reader who wants a paperback mystery for bathtub or beach won’t be disappointed, either. What we don’t have in stock, I will happily special-order for you.
One new book I could not resist ordering for the holiday season, a book yet to leave the bookstore to find its first real home, is Fair Culture, by Harold Lee Miller. This oversized paperback volume of photographs captures beautifully the quintessential rural Midwest of my childhood, a world that continues to exist.
In August 2005 Harold Lee Miller, a nationally known photographer with offices in Indianapolis and New York, started a series of photographs of 4-H participants at the poultry and rabbit barns of the Indiana State Fair. Over the past few years, Miller expanded his project to include people and activity from fairs held in Jackson, Elkhart, Dubois, Delaware, Washington, Owen, Monroe, Knox, Jay, and Marion counties. The photographs depict people and their horses, sheep, cows, as well as life on the midway and other activities associated with this Hoosier summer pastime.
Did you grow up in the Midwest? Love the world of the county fair? Do you still? It’s all here in these delightful and evocative pages.