Mary Swanson celebrates her 25th anniversary with The Bookloft (Enterprise, OR) today. “It is a startlingly long time,” she says, “but I’m still having fun and people are are still buying books, so on I go.”
The store is hosting an all-day party with cake, balloons, specials and drawings for giveaways. Among the prizes are Penguin beach read bags with a few “beach read books” included. “I got these last summer but wanted to save them for a promotion during the depths of our long winters up here,” she says.
The Bookloft, which is one thousand square feet and includes a bakery/coffee shop and an art gallery, had been open eleven years when Swanson first heard about it being for sale in a Portland newspaper.
Swanson told The Wallowa County Chieftain that she used to worry a lot more about the future of reading, but has realized something that has brought her comfort. “I decided to do what I do best,” she said. “I sell real books in a real bookstore.”
To celebrate Swanson, we’re reprinting (from her website) her top ten book picks from 2012.
Restoration by Olaf Olafsson
A novel set in Italy during World War II that shows the impact of the war on a small village and its inhabitants. It explores themes of love and loss through the experiences of a woman art restorer and a particular painting whose true history is a mystery.
The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
Three sisters have returned to their parents’ home due to individual crises. What they are forced to face is the fact that our families are chosen by fate and not choice. Yet we are bound to these people for life.
Drowning River by Christobel Kent
A good mystery set in Florence, Italy. Ties between a missing young American art student and an elderly man who has taken his own life are discovered by a disgraced ex-policeman.
Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear
It seems like the latest Maisie Dobbs novel is always on my favorite list! These post-World War II novels are well-plotted and have great characters.
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
Her latest is about a pharmaceutical worker who has disappeared in the jungle of South America. The co-worker who is sent to see what happened becomes deeply involved with the native people to surprising results.
The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin
This wonderful new voice in Pacific Northwest literature tells the tale of a man who lives a solitary life among his trees until two young girls enter his life.
The Dove in the Stone by Alice O. Howell
This thought-provoking book contains so many interesting elements: rambles on the Celtic Isle of Iona, explorations on the feminine aspect of wisdom, ancient symbolism and other ideas about finding the sacred in the commonplace.
From Here You Can’t See Paris by Michael Sanders
Yes, this was pre-travel reading before my big trip this year. Whether you are a Francophile or not, this was a fascinating look at small village life in central France.
Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
A beautiful retelling of the legend of Achilles, told by his beloved companion Patroclus. It shows another side to the warrior Achilles. The author’s blending of the myths of gods and men makes the characters of this well-known story seem fresh and so very human.
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
In her brilliant way, Kingsolver takes a look at global climate change and the divisiveness that plagues our country through an interesting fictional tale.
Thanks to Shelf Awareness for letting us know about Swanson’s anniversary.