It’s a perfect day, I shouted.

“Today is worth a howl,” neighbor Fred said, and he howled down Sea Street on his way to get a paper at the General Store.

“My daughter wants to stop by and get her Christmas book gifts. When do you leave?” neighbor Jan asked in passing.

Next Wednesday and lots of good memoirs are waiting to be visited on your daughter’s friends, I answered.

Clearly this was a morning born to be spent on the porch.

Gift lists are always fun. Matching a good read (what booksellers know) with a good friend (what book givers know) is the best kind of remembrance-read. This summer’s most sold memoirs are Maria Kalman’s Principles of Uncertainty with which so far two buyers and two browsers have found ties, e.g. the same torn sofa, Pina Bausch; Nigel Barley’s Innocent Anthropologist which apparently appeals to intense graduate students who need a shot of joy; and Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle for locavore-wannabees in search of  inspiration — or maybe just a good guide.

I loved reading about the exhibit featuring interactions of animals and humans that curator Carla Drummond built from the very varied holdings of the Morgan Library. Okay, it’s a stretch, but I remembered my long ago librarian days in a tiny, newly tax-supported library outside Chicago with mostly donated books, making “themed” book displays which sometimes provoked great comments. (Looking through my “Good and Evil” book display, a local priest noted that Morris L. West’s The Devil’s Advocate did not belong, as it was about sanctity, a very different concept.) And now, RB  bookseller days building personalized gift-book lists are not so different. Each has an idea, options, and likeliest best choice.


No more ropes and buoys on a dock nearby; summer is winding down.

Now, as promised, RB summer book sales about sailing included the following:

McKinlay, Jenn. Due or Die (well, the library is in a coastal New England village and includes boat rides)
Wolff, Geoffrey. Hard Way Around (Joshua Slocum biography)
Bergreen, Lawrence. Over the Edge of the World (Magellan‘s round-the-world trip)
Mowat, Farley. Bay of Spirits
Mowat, Claire. Outport People
O’Hanlon, Redmund. Trawler
Horwitz, Tony. Voyage Long and Strange
Norman, Howard. The Bird Artist
Carson, Rachel. Under the Sea Wind (evokes “special mystery and beauty of shore and open sea“)
Greenlaw, Linda. Seaworthy
Marryat, Frederick. The Phantom Ship
Alexander, Caroline. The Bounty: True Story of Mutiny on Bounty
Henderson, Bruce. Fatal North: Adventure and Survival Aboard the USS Polaris

How I mostly know it’s fall:  The sun comes up later and angles differently through the maple trees up the hill.  The moored sailboats are even fewer.  The school bus picks up the several kids who live on or near Barter’s Point Road. The Monitor heater comes on each night, I’ve worn a sweater the last two days, and my family was here to enjoy the German-American-Seafood Cooking at the Happy Clam, the  (some nights) biker bar next to the bakery behind Roseledge.  Yum.  And the berries are done.  But the sumac is still green or no longer in the ditches, the blue asters are few and the maples I see have no red leaves.  And two nights from now, I will be in Minneapolis, where today it was 90 degrees above.  I’ll leave my sweaters here.

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