Our Bookseller of the Month for January is Cameron Carlson. Each month, we ask a staff member a few questions about their relationship with books, and reading in general. Below are Cameron's responses.
1. What kind of reader are you?
I read everything, mostly nonfiction; history, journals, philosophy, and religious texts. I also enjoy non-American literature and American Noir. I read several books at once. I'm not sure how many I'm currently making my way through but definitely four books seriously.
2. Name three favorite titles that came out in the last three years.
3. What reading experience surprised you recently?
I expected Houellebecq's The Map and the Territory to be sort of nihilistic like Bret Easton Ellis' writing, based on his reputation, but I find it very honest and compassionate. Also, I picked up Patrick White's Voss, which I knew nothing about and was floored by his dense, medical precision with emotional language.
4. What upcoming book are you looking forward to?
The next book that I would buy based on an author's reputation, would be John LeCarre, out of curiosity. I think James Ellroy was undertaking a new series. Also, John Jeremiah Sullivan.
5. If you could spend a day with one living author, who would it be and why?
This is a difficult question for me to answer because I prefer to spend time with people I know well, and having interviewed some authors in the past, know that I am incapable of asking a fascinating, observant, and intelligent question in the moment. So this would have to be like who would I want to hang out with in a bar or in a storm shelter for a couple hours. Jim Harrison or Lydia Davis. Definitely Umberto Eco or James Salter. Joan Did's. Zadie Smith is really beautiful. Really anyone, now that I think about it.
Check out some of Cameron's favorite books on his recommendation page.