"I'll be over when I'm finished my book"

After the less than two weeks speed-up with The Godfather, I was keen not to lose momentum; I needed the next book, and the next author in the song is W. P. Kinsella. No, I hadn't heard of him either, but it turns out his books are mostly about baseball - and this includes Shoeless Joe, the story Hollywood turned into Field of Dreams.

Having just read the book behind one film I hadn't seen, it seemed appropriate to dive straight into another, so after finishing The Godfather in my lunchbreak on Thursday, I went hunting in bookshops after work. Reader's Feast had every seemingly the entire back catalogue of Sophie Kinsella (no relation; indeed, it's not even her real name), but not a whiff of W. P. The same was true at The Hill of Content, even Angus and Robinson. So, in desperation, I tried Borders.

I know, I know; they're a corporate giant, often accused of paying student employees terrible wages and single-handedly destroying the independent booksshop. But I have to say, they don't seem to have managed to do that here in Australia, and the staff I've encountered have been pretty good. In any case, sometimes they're the only place to go to find what I'm after, though you'll often pay way too much for the books they import from the US (I saw the introductory adventure for the latest version of Dungeons & Dragons on sale in Borders here in Melbourne for $65! It has a recommended retail of $29.95 US, originally sold for around the $30 mark in game stores here, and an electronic version is available for free on the Wizards of the Coast web site.)

While I was there, I also found the last book I needed to be set up with all the remaining authors; since it's no longer a mystery to me, I feel I should share the final schedule with you:
  • W. P. Kinsella - Shoeless Joe
  • Margaret Atwood - The Blind Assassin
  • Robertson Davies - Tempest-Tost
  • Michael Ondaatje - The English Patient
  • Doris Lessing - The Cleft
I'm already a good 20 or 30 pages into Shoeless Joe, and despite not knowing a thing about baseball, I'm pretty much loving it. I think the rest of this ride is going to be a real rollercoaster!

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