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Murray Browne
Decatur, Georgia
Writer, Bookseller
Interests: Down & Outbound: A Mass Transit Satire (2016), The Book Shopper: A Life in Review (2009), Understanding Search Engines (1999), Destination: Books (a popup book shop)
Recent Activity
As an amateur vermi-composter – who has been raising worms for his own personal consumption for several years (that doesn’t sound quite right), I have recently been inspired to take my worm works operation to a new level. Heretofore I have been content with a simple, blue plastic tub, drilled... Continue reading
Posted 1 hour ago at The Book Shopper
In keeping with our motto, "For the Adventurous" here's a list of some of the books we'll be bringing to the Carter Center's Freedom Farmer's Market on Saturday morning, May 1st. We specialize in gardening & sustainability, travel, and books about books. This is a fine opportunity to exercise those... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2021 at Destination: Books
“A travel writer knows that a reader isn’t interested in tourism” – Jorge Carrión Though I am starting to give serious thought (like the statuesque Dante) about traveling outside the tri-county area, I remain for the time being tethered to home. Undeterred, I recently finished reading two short books that... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2021 at The Book Shopper
Because it is well known that books and water do not mix and considering the probability of heavy rains on Saturday April 24th, Destination: Books has moved its next pop-up book stall event at the Carter Center Freedom Farmer's Market to Saturday morning, May 1st. For the story of what... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2021 at Destination: Books
A couple of years ago when visiting Berlin where my older daughter lives, she told me about community garden known as Prinzessinnengarten or Princess Garden. In 2009, a community garden was started in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin, reclaimed from an industrial, wasteland area that had been unused and abused... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2021 at Destination: Books
Bull Ring at Ronda, Spain I don't consider myself a big fan of Ernest Hemingway, but I've probably read a half-a-dozen of his books, and learned plenty watching the new Ken Burns' series, especially about bullfighting (e.g., the proper placement of hands to emulate horns). But Burns didn't have room... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2021 at The Book Shopper
After a year hiatus my book pop-up Destination: Books will be at the Freedom Farmer's Market at the Carter Center here in Atlanta on Saturday morning, March 27, 2021. My longtime partner Denise and I did this once last year just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and it was fun... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2021 at The Book Shopper
After a year hiatus Destination: Books returns to the Freedom Farmer's Market at the Carter Center this Saturday morning, March 27, 2021. Our inventory will include many titles about gardening and sustainability. And as space permits, we'll have books on other topics as well. For a preliminary list, visit the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2021 at Destination: Books
For the last several weeks I have been reading two books from the 1930s. The first is George S. Schuyler’s Black No More (1931). Isabell Wilkerson recommended it in one of those “By the Book” columns in the New York Times Book Review. She mentioned that the book was a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2021 at The Book Shopper
As the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus surpasses the half a million mark, comparisons to the those who died during the American Civil War are sure to follow. Over 625,000 Union and Confederate soldiers perished in the war along with an estimated 50,000 civilians, approximately 2 % of the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2021 at The Book Shopper
After a pandemic-related hiatus Destination: Books has resumed operations at its online store at Alibris. Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2021 at Destination: Books
Reading Rick Atkinson’s The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777 (2018) struck me in many ways. First, how extraordinarily little I knew about the military campaigns of the Revolutionary War*. Second, this war though small in terms of the size of the military engagements, was... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2021 at The Book Shopper
Once in a while I will write a longer essay that doesn't fit The Book Shopper format, which is surprising because our editorial policy can be a little loosey-goosey at times. These alternative lengthier works often end up at the Tropics of Meta (ToM). Using their words, ToM "offers a... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2021 at The Book Shopper
Before "the old year slips away, lamented by no one*," a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the death of Charles Dickens is in order. My memory of Dickens goes back to my school days in the 5th grade when I was assigned the Victorian novelist as part of the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 26, 2020 at The Book Shopper
Because of the latest surge of the COVID-19 cases, Destination: Books has put its Alibris online store on "vacation" hold indefinitely. In the meantime if you have any questions, contact Murray Browne at murray.browne905 (AT) Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2020 at Destination: Books
Unlike many book lists that enumerate the best books published during the year, The Book Shopper blog can boast that even though none of the books on our list were published in 2020, at least all the selections have been read cover to cover, and gleaned from a list of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2020 at The Book Shopper
Over at Destination: Books the companion-other-side-of-the-counter blog to The Book Shopper, I recently posted an article about "les bouquinistes" the Paris book vendors who have been selling reading material in book stalls along the Seine River since the Middle Ages. The pandemic has crippled their business because of the lack... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2020 at The Book Shopper
As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, (enough of the Super Spreader events already!) the Destination: Books business plan of venturing out into the world of popup books stalls remains on hold for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, I must be content to put more books online at the Destination:... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2020 at Destination: Books
While reading Vladimir Nabokov’s 1953 humorous novel Pnin about the teaching life of a Russian émigré in a fictitious small New England college town, this line stood out among the many noteworthy passages: “With the help of the janitor, he (Pnin) screwed on the side of a desk (in his... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2020 at The Book Shopper
This is the final posting to the Down & Outbound blog. For you few, the very few subscriber/friends you won't notice much change in the volume of your inbox since I've only been averaging a posting a month (for over four years). There are several reasons to end it permanently:... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2020 at Down & Outbound: The Hub
This passage comes from Timothy Snyder's On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century (2017): The hero of a David Lodge novel says that you don't know, when you make love for the last time, that you are making love for the last time. Voting is like that. Some of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2020 at The Book Shopper
Though your garden plot might be winding down for the season (like mine at the community garden plot), this could be the time to catch up on your sustainability reading or reliving some of the joys of gardening. Destination Books has several new books at its Alibris online store for... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2020 at Destination: Books
To motivate myself to write more essays, I recently finished Brian Dillon’s Essayism: On Form, Feeling and Nonfiction (2017). As a long-time subscriber to Cabinet magazine, I am familiar with Dillon’s byline as an editor of the quarterly, which sadly is ending its gorgeous print version and going strictly online.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2020 at The Book Shopper
"...there was no end to stupidity, and nothing so dangerous." W.G. Sebald, The Emigrants (1992) Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2020 at The Book Shopper
By coincidence last week, I stumbled on to a movie and a book where trains play a prominent role in the storyline. They even share an educational component: Wim Wenders, The American Friend. Wenders directed this 1977 German-French film starring Dennis Hopper and a young Bruno Ganz the late, great... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2020 at Down & Outbound: The Hub