Marshall Brook’s memoir-in-essays, Paperback Island arrived at Biblioklept World Headquarters today. Brooks’s book snagged me into an hour of reading I hadn’t planned on doing, even from the preface (I usually skim or skip prefaces, but Brooks’s hooked me—he opens at Tuli Kupferberg’s funeral and then talks about reading a book that required him to actually stay in the author’s apartment). There’s an opening memoir about an adolescent friendship that revolves around books; this essay could easily tread into schmaltz but instead intrigues and foregrounds what comes next. The following essay, “Sid,” is about Sidney Bernard’s book This Way to the Apocalypse, which I now want to read.
This is followed by a piece on Tuli Kupferberg, whose funeral seems to serve as a galvanizing force throughout the essays. Anyway, I kept reading, and this is obviously not a review, just an enthusiastic entry on the blog, a sort of, yes, this is a beautiful, perhaps melancholy, but beautiful book, a book about books, writers, libraries…full review to come.