BookTowne is still at the top of my list of places to soak in the written word, and Rita Maggio remains the most delightful small business proprietor one is likely to find. The store is small enough that when there’s something new it never escapes my eye. Though I made the trip over to use a gift certificate that Miriam had given me for our 40th, what’s new was a little table of freebies that contained the prize of this visit.
A sign on the table invited visitors to take a book from among the collection of “Advance Uncorrected Proofs – Not For Sale”. All Rita asked is that we share our thoughts with her, and the one I browsed in the store was a gem. Given its premise I thought The Family, authored by David Laskin would make for good Yom Kippur reading. It proved to be that, and so much more. The book is not due out until October 15, and I would encourage you to order a copy. Laskin is a gifted writer, and his factual recounting of his family’s fragmentation encased in the backdrop of the holocaust reads more like a novel than history. His great aunt was Itel Rosenthal, known to the rest of the world as Ida. You may have never heard of Ida Rosenthal before, but you know of her work.