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Old Songs in a New Cafe

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Waller, whose The Bridges of Madison County has been on PW's bestseller list since August 1992, offers 19 essays about love, life and death, written between 1983 and 1989. (July)

In a slow musical drawl, author Waller reads his own collection of essays that were written before he became famous for his novels, The Bridges of Madison County (Audio Reviews, LJ 2/1/93) and Slow Waltz in Cedar Bend (Audio Reviews, LJ 6/15/94). While growing up in a small town in Iowa, Waller became a basketball champion and learned the skills of billiards in an old, smoky pool hall. His essays reflect the lessons learned and the pain, guilt, joy, and gentle humor of an introspective man. Waller muses on turning 50 and catalogs the bittersweet aches of cleaning up the debris of a daughter's childhood. He wonders at the loneliness of the last dusty sea sparrow. His gentle, rolling words and quiet reading, interspersed with a few chords from a guitar, harken back to simpler times and the pleasures of small-town life. Strongly recommended for all popular collections.-Susan B. Lamphier, Somerville P.L., Mass.

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