The Aardvark Blog
Oh Boy not what I expected 2020 to bring
Oh Boy not what I expected 2020 to bring
Well we had such high hopes for 2020 and a truly wonderful programme of events and it is with tremendous sadness that I have to announce that we are closing the bookshop and café to physical customers from today (21st of March). It is crazy that yesterday turned out to be our last day of opening for an indefinite period and I wasn't even here to see it ( out on a mad book buying raid to ensure that we have good stocks to keep us going over the next few months).
Still the good news is that Ethel and Arthur aren't going anywhere and we will be here to fulfill your book or digital media buying requirements - we just can't do it in person. Selling books in the age of Corona Virus is so much less poetic than the Marquezian Cholera version - even worse than the film which as I remember was truly terrible - discussion point do only bad books make good films?
And we have so many books - the shop and warehouse are groaning at the seems - and lots of time to actually look through what we have got and properly organize it. Some kind of paradise when you think about it.
Yet notwithstanding the strange context for this blog I am determined that in future I am not going to talk about our weird death-star-like antagonist from now in what I write. I have - as you will know if you have ever visited the shop - opinions on everything, but the fact is that I am not an epidemiologist, or a public health official or a computer modeller and therefore my opinions on this subject are essentially about as much use as wings underwater or icecream in space. Therefore I am going to restrict my comments to what I do know about - books, music, art, culture generally and wine.
On the subject of books I am currently reading the latest Donna Leon 'Trace Elements' and whilst I am a 100 pages in and very little has happened I am enjoying the ride. Brunetti seems older, more emotional, thin-skinned and his relationship with Grifoni is intriguing. The last few novels by Leon have been amongst the best in the series ( no small achievement given that this latest book is her 29th in the series). I feel that they are getting bleaker but perhaps that is just a sign of the times or of my mood.
Before that I had coincidentally read two other very different books on Italy. Martin Cruz Smith's last but one novel 'The Venetian Girl' is a marvellous reminder of what a great writer he is. This is not high literature but the character's are well drawn, the plot sufficiently labyrinthine to keep one engaged and the settings - the Venetian Lagoon and Salo during the end of the war - both beautiful and compelling. Before that I read 'Saving Italy' Robert Edsel's follow up to his book on the Monuments men this time concentrating on the war in Italy. it contains a raft of material I didn't know - particularly about the negotiations between German generals and the American pre-cursor of the CIA to end the war in Italy. Also brings home all that was lost and the many pictures that have never been found.
Finally this week's New Yorker magazine brings news of a new documentary entitled 'The Booksellers'. Who would have thought that collectors and booksellers could make a good subject for a documentary ( well yes any-one who has ever been into a bookshop). I simply cannot wait to see this film, but then again I am going to have to I guess.
So don't be downhearted for us we have plenty to do here and truly no shortage of reading material. If you yourself need more beautiful art books, or CD's or even coffee, why not call or email us to see if we can help.
Until the next time ....
Published by Aardvark Books Ltd on
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