Wednesday, April 04, 2007


An Alphabetical Life, Wendy Werris, Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2006, 281 pp

Another memoir. Another book about books. Werris started out as a bookseller at Pickwick Bookshop in Hollywood, CA; a store which was later bought by B Dalton and is now gone. She worked at a couple other LA stores and then became a publisher's rep.

Along with her triumphs and trials in the book business, she weaves the story of her personal demons and how she dealt with those. I was captivated by the book business story and learned more than I ever knew about the relationships between publishers and bookstores. That is an area not written about very often.

I was under whelmed by her personal story. Perhaps I have read too many memoirs lately. Her writing style struck me as odd: a combination of good energy, an abundance of cliches and Werris' zany point of view. And isn't there some way to write about encounters with famous people without sounding like blatant namedropping?

Overall a worthwhile read and especially for her insights on the alarming trends in publishing and book selling today.

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