The Paris Review recently published an article called “Book Shopping With the Best-Read Man in America,” wherein the author went on a book buying binge with book critic/author Michael Dirda. Dirda led the article writer through the overpacked aisles of a local used bookstore, loading down boxes and boxes with obscure sci-fi paperbacks and lovely art books. It sounded like a wonderful way to spend a day, and got me to wonderin’ what writers I would like to go book shopping with:
1. Neil Gaiman– for creepy children’s books, gothically illustrated art tomes, and dark fantasy.
2. Margaret Atwood– for Canadian literature, women authors I’ve never heard of, and books about writing.
3. C. S. Lewis and JRR Tolkien– for theology, and for the hilariously refined catfights that this shopping trip would create.
4. Joseph J. Ellis– for early American history.
5. Gillian Flynn– For whatever she wants to tell me to read, ever in life, forever and ever, amen.
6. China Mieville– because that man’s brain is a dark and confusing wonderland and I must know what he feeds it.
7. Douglas Adams- less for the books he would point me to and more for how he would probably be open to playing hide ‘n seek in the stacks.
8. Mary Roach– for quirky, science-based non-fiction.
9. Kazuo Ishiguro– because I can’t figure out who his influences are or who he is a fan of, and I must know! Because his sentences, they are so great.
10. Dante– the man knows what it takes to be a great tour guide, and he’d certainly fill in some gaps in my history/theology/epic poetry knowledge.
What about you, interwebs? What author would you take on a book shopping trip?