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Booktown | Sophie's Books Review
IT'S A PROBLEM of second-hand bookshops
generally and my own in particular. You get tired of
telling yet another customer that they should have
been here last week; not only was the shop tidier
but I had the book they were after too.
I've even considered taking a picture of certain books
next to a copy of the local paper (to prove both the
existence of the book and the date it was last seen alive).
This review was going to be of the new Paul Barry
biography of James Packer, "Who Wants to Be a
Billionaire? The James Packer Story" however, my
tingling bookseller sense tells me that there's a fair
chance the book won't be on the shelf long. The book
only just came out, is somewhat controversial and has
had plenty of coverage in the press. All the same here's
a potted review: Paul Barry knows the Packer dynasty
so well now that the book is remarkably personal
and involving, while at the same time presenting the
Packers as the family from hell and James as the end
result of years of negative behaviour.
As a next choice I considered reviewing "Albert
Speer: His Battle with Truth" by Gita Sereny since this
was rst published more than ten years ago. It is a
meticulously researched biography of Albert Speer, the
Nazi era architect and close con dant to Adolf Hitler.
Sereny doesn't try to blame or exonerate her subject
but instead looks at every side of his character and
actions. The result is biography and history at their best.
However, anything WWII related tends to sell pretty
quickly, so perhaps it's better to look at something else.
There were plenty of choices for review among the
kids' books that have come in lately: the Tashi books are
particularly engaging; the Lockie Leonard books by Tim
Winton are always popular; and it's nice to have some
Emily Rodda books for a change. Still, this being the
school holidays, I shouldn't count on them staying on
the shelves for too long.
So, what is the answer? Perhaps it'd be best just to
say of books in general that, this being a town of many
bookshops, there are a lot of choices out there both old
and new. But it's worth getting in as early as possible so
the bookseller doesn't say "you should have been here
last week". n
Sophie's Books; Shop 12, Highland Arcade, Cnr Bong
Bong & Wingecarribee St, Bowral.
By Sophie Graham; Sophie's Books
As a second-hand
the trouble with
writing a book
review is that
by the time this
goe s to publication
the book will
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