Fight the Stupids! (and support independent bookshops)

I have just finished listened to a fascinating interview with Timur Vermes on BBC Radio 4's Frontrow programme (the heaven of getting Radio 4 wherever you are!) His book, Look Who's Back , a satirical novel in which Adolf Hitler returns and is stunned by the modern world, is definitely one I will be reading. One of the interesting points which arose from the interview was that his publisher had suggested that the language of the book was too complex and that it should be simplified. The gist of Mr Vermes's response was: there are some jokes in there but why shouldn't readers have to work to get to them?

New Orleans is particularly rich in independent book sellers and the slogan of one, Maple Street Book Store is "Fight the Stupids!" In a world filled with reality television which reduces our humanity and creates caricatures which convey of the worst of the human condition, it is wonderful to know that there are people fighting against the tide of ignorance!

If you are in New Orleans, take advantage of the independent book shops before they vanish. They are a haven, staffed by people who live to read and offer a carefully curated collection of books. The evening talks give the opportunity to listen to and meet authors who would otherwise might be in accessible. I heard a gripping talk by Richard Campanella on his book Bourbon Street which taught me more about the history of this multi-layered city than I would ever have gleaned from guidebooks.

Fight the Stupids!

Maple Street Bookshop, New Orleans

Octavia Books, New Orleans

Garden District Bookshop, New Orleans

Heywood Hill, London - my favourite place in London!

Kitchen Witch Cookery Books - an Aladdin's cave (and try spice mixes made by the incredible Philipe)


  1. Interesting and engaging, thanks for sharing, i enjoyed reading your post.

  2. Thank you very much for your encouragement. Independent bookshops really do add a richness to our lives!


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