Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Great American Book Tour: Week 8, Installment 2

A wonderful sign in the window of Garrison Keillor’s Common Good Books announces, “General Fiction and Non-fiction, Good Poetry, Classics All Sizes, Quality Trash.” Of course, Garrison composed it.
After a great event at the Common Good, on to Milwaukee, for decades the home of the great Harry Schwartz independent bookstores, which, sadly, went out of business several years ago. Noted bibliophile and long-time buyer for Harry Schwartz, Daniel Goldin, now owns and operates Boswell’s Books in a former Schwartz location near Lake Michigan. On the night I visited, he’d invited the senior AP English class from a nearby high school. The students wondered if the elephant in Walking to Gatlinburg was a symbol. Beats me, I said. For all I know, it could be. Afterwards, threading my way through the side streets of Wisconsin’s Lake City, looking for a cheap motel, I found myself missing my early years as a high school teacher. I was saddened, too, by the disappearance of the Harry Schwartz stores, but I knew that Harry would have been delighted with everything Daniel Goldin is doing to provide, with very good books, the city made famous by several very good brews. More later, folks.

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