>What birthday gift do you buy for the man who has too many books, especially when that man is you? More books, of course. Although I feel a moratorium coming on . . .

I took the day off and headed over to Charlottesville. I had something I needed to exchange at the UVA Bookstore, which naturally led to additional purchases (The End of Faith by Sam Harris whose Letter to a Christian Nation I read this weekend and enjoyed; The Sunset Limited by Cormac McCarthy, his “novel in dramatic form” that I’ve been eyeing; The Echo Maker by Richard Powers; and two journals I haven’t read before: Witness and Quarterly West). That was fun and I enjoy being on campus, although this trip I made it no further than the bookstore. Then it was off to Barnes & Noble to spend the coupon I had. First I asked them to order Richard Lewis’s The Killing Sea, a YA novel about the 2004 Tsunami. And then I couldn’t resist Thomas Pynchon’s Against the Day, which is getting good notices. It’s over 1000 pages, though, so I wonder when I’ll actually read it ….

If not books, then wine. I next stopped at Foods of All Nations, a popular upscale store in Charlottesville’s west end and picked up a nice bottle (Frog’s Leap Zinfandel) that I’ll probably open this weekend.

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