Oh, how I wish I had gone to The Last Book Sale

I was thinking of going, but, somehow, it didn’t work out, and now, reading Larry McMurtry’s own account in the New York Review of Books of The Last Book Sale at his store Booked Up Inc. in his home town Archer City, Texas, out there northwest of Dallas/Fort Worth and south of Wichita Falls, I realize how much I would have loved to have gone.

300,000 out of McMurtry’s 400,000 books were on sale on that hot recent August weekend. The 200 bidders came from the all over the country, from Oregon, Wisconsin, Tampa, San Francisco, Natchez, Austin, and Magnolia, Arkansas. Most of the books sold, except the fiction, McMurtry, eminent author but also eminent book dealer, writes.

Readers of this blog know how much I like the old book stores, and that I have found many wonderful such stores all around America. But I have never been to Booked Up in Archer City, Texas, and this was the time to go. Or maybe there is a next time?


After Troy Davis, is there still hope?

Troy Davis was executed last night in Georgia.

The question is whether it could be said any better than by Robert Scheer on Truthdig:

”There is something stunningly disgraceful about the company we (USA) keep on this issue…Execution is a means of summarily ending the pursuit of justice rather than advancing it.”

Scheer did not mention that another death sentence was carried out last night, in Texas, against Lawrence Russell Brewer, a white supremacist who killed a black man, James Byrd Jr., in a hideous hate crime in 1998. The execution took place, quietly, without any public protests.

Since 1976, when the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty, 1, 267 people have been executed in the United States. Of all the things about America, this is the hardest for us Europeans to comprehend, and nothing upsets us more.

Still, there might be hope that America will finally turn against the death penalty, as outlined in two recent must-read articles on the death penalty by Andrew Cohen in The Atlantic, and Dahlia Lithwick on Slate.