Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Visit to a Bookshop

This past Sunday I had the good fortune to visit a wonderful book shop, Common Good Books, owned by Garrison Keillor. I wish I could tell you why I hadn't been there before, but I cannot. In any case, I walked down to this basement shop and feasted my eyes on the books, ignoring the freshly baked bread sitting on a table outside the shop. "Would you like to try our bread?" a voice said. "Yes, please." I replied and turned around. I suddenly realized that I recognized this man, Jeff Hertzberg. I read an article about him and him co-author Zoe Francois who have just published a book entitled Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. "I'm on the list at the library for your book" I told him and he laughed. Naturally, I had to buy a copy and have it signed 'To Tara'. What fun. I happened to look on Amazon last night to read the reviews of the book and not only are they wonderful, but this book has sold out and Amazon won't be shipping until it's been reprinted. Obviously, a wonderful success for these nice people.

The book looks wonderful and if you're interested in their method do go to their website. Jeff told me there are reviews posted there that include recipes.

My husband who suggested I go to this bookshop soon arrived - we were meant to go for dinner - naturally I told him 'I hope you don't think I'm leaving now, that I've arrived at this wonderful shop.' It's really a lovely place, full of familiar titles, but also unfamiliar ones, to me the primary reason for shopping at independent stores. I also purchased The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson which is about the 1854 London cholera epidemic. Another book the caught my eye was Golden Legacy, about the history of Golden Books and is full of wonderful illustrations.

As I was checking out, I noticed a card entitled 'Ode: On the First Anniversary' by G.K.

I leave you with a bit of it:

A bookstore is for people who love books and need to touch them, open them, browse for awhile,

And find some common good --- that's why we read.


Nan said...

Oh, lucky, lucky you. How I wish I had been there. I love what he wrote, I love the bread story, and I love it that the man has a bookstore. Oh, to be in Minnesota.

LisaMM said...

That sounds like a lovely bookstore. I wish we had a place like that in our area. Sounds like you were in the right place at the right time, meeting the author and having some bread.. Lucky!!

Hey, I tagged you for a meme, if you have time:

heather (errantdreams) said...

How wonderful! I'll have to add the bread book to my Amazon wishlist!

Iliana said...

This sounds like such a fun day! I am going to look for that book everywhere - my husband complains all the time about missing the bread from Germany. This may be the solution :)

Tara said...

Nan, you would have loved it. Minnesota does have its good points...along with its bad - there are not too many places where 11 degrees is declared 'mild' on the news and I agree with them!

LisaMM, it was a complete surprise which made it all the more wonderful. Your meme looks like fun, I'll do it soon.

Heather, I'd love to read your review of it!

Iliana, I hope you find the book soon(I forgot to mention it, but the authors are local which is why there are some books left here.) I'm really excited to try the recipes when I don't feel so overwhelmed with things to do. January seems like a good month for homemade bread!

Jeff Hertzberg said...


It's Jeff, one of the authors of "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day." I'm so glad you enjoyed our little event at Common Good Books. It was great talking with you, and everyone else who turned out for it. The bookstore tells us it was a very successful afternoon for them (and us).
It's so kind of you to give feedback like this-- that's been the most satisfying thing about doing the book. More than the third printing (I mean it).

Jeff Hertzberg

Danielle said...

I wish I could make bread--I've always thought that was so cool! How lucky to meet the authors, and that bookshop sounds great!

Tara said...

Hi Jeff, it's so nice for you to leave a note for me here! I'm looking forward to baking my first "five minute" loaf and wish you continued success.

Danielle, I used to bake bread years ago but it takes so long I stopped. I can't wait to try this new method.

Cornflower said...

That sounds like the perfect bookshop, and to add a little bread on the side - well, I wish I'd been there!

Carrie K said...

Yum, fresh baked bread. What time should I be there? ;)

I caught Steven Johnson speaking about The Ghost Map on BookTV when it came out and grrr! I just realized it's still in my TBR pile.

Wow, impressive list of books there!