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Birchbark Blog

The World Without Us by Alan Weisman

Louise Erdrich - Wednesday, July 25, 2007
I plucked this book from the stack of Advanced Readers Copies that flood the store, read the first page, and then read the book straight through exclaiming to anyone who would tolerate me -- listen to this, and this, and this!!!!! This book is a thought experiment (what would the world be like if humans disappeared today, raptured up perhaps). A very simple premise that leads this marvelously straightforward, thoughtful, thorough author into parts of the world I hadn't known existed. As well, he deals with exactly what would go first and last in your house. How long it would take for Manhatten to collapse. On and on. It makes for obsessive reading. This is perhaps my favorite book this year. At once the most harrowing and, oddly, comforting book on the environment that I've read in many years. -- Louise

Reply to Replies and Thank You

Louise Erdrich - Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Dear Book People --

Thank you for the answers -- I'm looking for that Nabokov and understanding you, inhaler. I am wondering if I've got enough brain cells left to memorize The Fall, a perfect book. Or perhaps The Aleph. My father is already memorizing all of Robert Service, and it isn't even 451 time. I am glad someone is taking on Sigrid Undset and Middlemarch. As for Rolo, I know him and I do believe that he'd kick me off the island for a book no matter how long he's had this (invented) crush on me. Still, as he is a terrific writer, I hope that blog readers find his book The Wonder Bull.

Did anybody come to our Harry Potter Party and enjoy it? We worked very hard on the Trivia questions! Did anybody get to Level Three? The whole time, I was in the confessional reading dreams. I was supposed to be Trelawney. When I walked out I was amazed and thrilled at the crowd, including the big snake and the rat. The Morris Dancers were as always phenomenal. The police even came. I am sorry, neighbor who made the nuisance call. We should have told you that several hundred people, including many children dressed as Owls and Death Eaters would be wandering up and down 21st street. It was a marvelous night, for me anyway. Thank you Kenwood Deli, and thank you everyone who came.


It's Fahrenheit 451 --which book are you?

Louise Erdrich - Saturday, July 07, 2007
My first question to those of you who love books is this: which book are you? Say someone burns all of the books, including My Pet Goat, and we are faced with a famous situation. Each of us must memorize your favorite book. For the rest of your life you will painstakingly memorize and then BE this book. This book will exist through you. But your life will be devoted to muttering and remembering every word written between the covers. And also, this book must be important enough for you to die for it. For if during the memorization process this book is discovered in your possession you will be confined in a place known as LITMO. And although we are told over and over how great those confined there have it, people commit what their keepers call "hanging gestures." -- Louise

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