The Avid Reader April 2009
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In This Issue:

20th Century Toolsmith and Silverworker

» Odd Jobs

» Staff Review

» On the Site

» Most expensive sales in March

How do people end up with the jobs they have? Regardless of the time we're living in, our careers shape our lives. How we support ourselves and pay our bills influences our interests and conversations, and becomes part of our identity. Clearly, things change since childhood, or we'd all be firefighters, ballerinas and veterinarians. How many of us follow the career path we wanted in primary school when the teacher asked us what we want to be when we grow up?

In a time when how we make our living is on our minds more than ever, this issue of the Avid Reader is dedicated to books about some of the more unusual career choices out there, and the experiences people have with them.

Read more about odd jobs

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2009's Bestselling Signed Books Learn More


The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett
Reviewed by Beth

Oh, I love this book so much. After reading (and adoring) Bel Canto, I wanted to read all the Ann Patchett I could get my hands on, and this is my favorite so far. I read it around the same time as watching the films The Illusionist and The Prestige quite by accident, and found myself steeped in magic. The Magician's Assistant tells the story of Sabine, a Jewish magician's assistant living in Los Angeles, mourning the loss of her magician, who was also her husband (of convenience and affection; he was gay) and her best friend...

Read entire review
The staff sound off on Reading Copy, the AbeBooks Blog Learn More


A Tribute to J.G. Ballard (1930-2009)

J.G. Ballard died at the age of 78. The British author was best known for Crash and Empire of the Sun, a story based on his childhood in a Japanese prison camp. We've put together an article remembering the man and all the books he left behind.

Learn more about J.G. Ballard

Vegetable Gardening for Presidents

The Obamas are digging up a lawn at the White House and planting vegetables. Considering they are a pair of urban lawyers from Chicago, Barack and Michelle are going to need a book about vegetable gardening. We've put together a list of 10 books to get them started on their edible project.

See the list of gardening books

Signed Bestsellers in March
  1. The Vagrants
    Li Yiyun
  2. Fool
    Christopher Moore
  3. The Graveyard Book
    Neil Gaiman
  4. Drood
    Dan Simmons
  5. Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned
    Wells Tower
See The Whole List on the Homepage
Arthur Rackham's Magical Illustrations

Arthur Rackham was an illustrator in the late 19th and early 20th century. His gorgeous, distinctive work can be seen in fairytales, adults books, and more, and is now highly collectible and beloved by adults and children alike.

See Rackham's Illustrations

10 Red-Haired Characters in Fiction

Throughout the ages, red hair has fallen in and out of favor. Culturally, titian locks have been revered and loathed, envied and feared, praised and ridiculed. Check out our list of 10 favorite red-haired characters from literature among whom you'll find gangs, best friends, a cat and a comic strip or two.

See the list

Most Expensive Books Sold in March
  1. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
    Robert Heinlein - $9,730
  2. Early Italian Engraving
    Arthur Hind - $7,500
  3. Album Pintoresco Isla de Cuba
    Pierre Toussaint Frédéric Miahle - $6,752
  4. Pison, das erste Theil
    Leonhard Thurneysser - $6,309
  5. Ulysses
    James Joyce - $6,250
See the Whole List in the Rare Book Room
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