Friday, May 20, 2011

A One-Time Traveler Hits the Road Again

On Tuesday, May 24th, we're excited to be hosting Vivian Swift, all the way from the Long Island Sound. Swift is the author of a most remarkable book, When Wanderers Cease to Roam: A Travelers Journal of Staying Put, published by Bloomsbury for the amazing price of $20. I say the price is amazing because this is a hardbound book, hand-lettered, and full of the most delightful illustrations and watercolors.

For twenty years, Swift traveled the world. "In between my many years of foreign wanderings I worked as a receptionist, gift shop sales lady, luxury hotel concierge, clothing store manager, book shop clerk, office temp, retail jeweler, horologist, auction house executive, and Faberge expert. I've also worked as an au pair, a chamber maid, a jewelry historian, and in a factory making plastic bottles for bleach." Then one day in her late 30s she decided to see what it was like to stay put for a while, and, on a whim, chose a small village on the Long Island Sound as her landing spot.

She bought real furniture and settled down. And she reflected on her travels. And then she spent ten years writing her stories and creating more than 300 works of art to go along with the stories. And then she got it published. Now she's working on a new book about France, with the working title That Damn France Book. Clearly she has a sense of humor. And a LOT of cats. And more than a few single mittens. Interestingly, Swift was born in Missoula, Montana, so she's got a little Western blood in her.

The book has been described as "a seasonal collage." It is detailed, carefully crafted, whimsical, quirky, thoughtful, entertaining, and beautiful. Nancy Pearl, the uber-librarian from Seattle and author of Book Lust and other books about books, is a huge fan of When Wanderers Cease to Roam. Here's what she wrote about it: "I cannot adequately convey how much I ABSOLUTELY loved [this book]....It's charming, delightful, and captivating....This is a perfect gift for travelers, those with artistic souls, those with a sense of wonder, those who are hug-the-hearths -- in short, nearly everyone on your gift lift."

I couldn't agree more with what Nancy says. Come see for yourself; I bet you'll agree to. And we hope you can join us next Tuesday to hear Vivian Swift talk about traveling. And about staying put. And about creating art. And making books. And who knows what else!

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