I took a box of books to trade in at my local used bookstore on Saturday. I was hoping to find a short history of Mexico City, or maybe some travel writing about Mexico City, but I didn’t find anything like that, although I rarely look through the history section or travel writing section when I browse there so was perhaps a bit overwhelmed. .
I did come across a book published by something called Rosicrucian Press in the 1930s–W.S. Cerve’s Lemuria: The Lost Continent of the Pacific. Lost Lemuria hangs over a few Pynchon novels (and is touched on in Charles Portis masterful and zany Masters of Atlantis)—so of course I picked up Cerve’s book. Chapters include “The First Races of Man in America,” “Mysterious Forces in the Universe,” and “Present Day Mystic Lemurians in California.” There are also diagrams, charts, and maps, like this one:
This bookstore, Chamblin’s Bookmine, also featured a display of books removed from classrooms and school libraries in our city as a result of the current Florida Governor’s efforts to suppress critical thinking, whitewash American history, and generally turn Florida’s soul into a puddle of tepid piss. University of North Florida English Professor Laura Heffernan documented the display in the following tweet (notice a common thread?):
Today I stopped by Chamblin’s second, downtown location, Chamblin’s Uptown, mostly because I was dropping my daughter off at a birthday party about five minutes away. I go there only a few times a year, so it was nice to browse for a spare hour.
I snapped up two Stanley Elkins, The Magic Kingdon and The Living End, in Janet Halverson-designed editions that match my copy of Elkin’s The Dick Gibson Show. I listened to an audiobook of The Living End this summer and loved it–it made me want to get into more Elkin.
Going from the Es to the Fs, I spotted a nice used copy of Ann Goldstein’s translation of The Lost Daughter. I’ve been wanting to read it for a while, but picked it out for my wife to read first (I don’t think she really likes reading Valeria Luiselli’s Lost Children Archive, which I gave her a few weeks ago. And now that I type this out, I see that I may have picked a weird substitute).
I also snagged a pristine used copy of Richard McGuire’s graphic novel Here. I checked it out from the library a few years ago when new copies seemed prohibitively expensive.
At the checkout I picked up a pamphlet describing strategies for undoing the book banning here in Jacksonville (and Florida in general). This whole fucking thing has had me so mad and sad, and I have friends who are checking out of Florida, but I feel like we shouldn’t have to cede territory to these dull monsters—and it feels good to see other people who feel the same.
A succinct summary from the pamphlet: