My kind sister gave me a Barnes and Noble gift card for Christmas and I have yet to spend it. But, I had another gift card to Barnes and Noble already and that I had fun shopping with on the final day of 2008. I am saving the card from my sis for another few weeks in an effort to spread out the pleasure of getting new books in the mail.

The ones I ordered December 31st arrived on my doorstep the other day. They are:

  • Classics for Pleasure by Michael Dirda. Even though he is not a fan of book bloggers I saw him in person once and he is a person who loves books. I think he does a better service to readers than Harold Bloom does because he is much more open to ideas and has a pleasant personality and can tell a great story.
  • The Lemon Table by Julian Barnes. This is a book of short stories. I have no idea what they are about but I got it because it was deeply discounted and Barnes is one of Litlove’s favorites so chances are it’s good.
  • The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton. I love Botton (or do I say de Botton?) His books have such variety and he has a style that inspires in me enthusiasm for his subject at hand. I’ve always thought that if I were ever a writer I would like to be like him.

Not a big new pile, but enough to satisfy the new book urge for now. I will leave you with the Emerson quote for today from A Year With Emerson. It is a letter of recommendation to the Secretary of State, William H. Seward, on behalf of one Mr. Walt Whitman:

Dear Sir,

Mr. Walt Whitman, of New York, writes me, that he wishes to obtain employment in the public service in Washington, & has made, or is about making some application to yourself.

Permit me to say that he is known to me as a man of strong original genius, combining, with marked eccentricities, great powers and valuable traits of character; a self-relying, large-hearted man, much beloved by his friends; entirely patriotic & benevolent in his theory, tastes, & practice. If his writings are in certain points to criticism, they yet show extraordinary power, and are more deeply American, democratic & in the interests of political liberty, than those of any other poet. He is indeed a child of the people, & their champion.