The two women you see in the picture above, are me and my oldest friend Annie. We met on our way to kindergarden when we were just five years old and here we are almost fifty years later, (I said almost) and still friends. Whats most surprising about the longevity of our friendship is the miles between us. Annie lives in America and me here in Norway. When I left America over twenty years ago, there was no facebook, twitter or even e-mail! Telephone calls were outrageously expensive and who had time to write letters?
The one condition I gave my husband when we decided to settle down and make Norway our permanent home, was one trip to America each year! Every summer we’d pack up the kiddies and head stateside. We’d stay with my parents and I’d hang out with my three childhood BFF’s Annie, Donna and Ellen. All three of them flew to the Netherlands for my book launch, and Annie flew back to Norway with me afterwards. The picture was taken from my terrace while she was here.
Before leaving to go back home Annie informed me that mine was the second signed memoir she owned. The first was My Life, Bill Clinton’s 2004 autobiography, which sold more than 2,250,000 copies. It’s believed that Clinton was paid 15 million dollars and the book has over one thousand pages! He has also stated that he wrote his whole first draft by hand, filling twenty-two thick notebooks.
The time came for my friend to leave and as I watched her make her way through airport security, I began to miss her already. Why is it always harder to watch people go than to leave yourself?
With an ocean again separating us, it was business as usual on facebook, and on the other side of the world there are now two memoirs standing next to each other on a bookshelf. One written by a former president and the other by an American expatriate.
Here’s hoping some of the luck rubs off.
I love to shop!
Its true, and the things I like to shop most for are shoes, bags (especially Coach), scrapbook supplies and books! (and not necessarily in that order)
Reading is one of my favorite pastimes and I’m always either starting or finishing a book. Because of where I live in Norway, I haven’t always had the best selection of English books to chose from. Thats why whenever we were on vacation and came across a bookstore, my family would moan as I made a beeline to ecstasy. They know me well and therefore had good reason to moan. I’m like a kid in a candy story. It’s always been one of my greatest pleasures to wander through racks of colorful books, feeling and smelling my way through in search of a new gem. Thats right, smelling…who out there doesn’t like the fragrance of a new book?
The only problem is, I was left powerless in deciding which ones to buy and would end up taking all I could carry. Then we’d fly home with books evenly distributed amongst our suitcases. For years my husband accused me of being a book hoarder, and I would again have to explain the importance of not running out of books to read.
While I still feel an actual shop is a book-lover’s treasure trove and a novel in your hand is worth two on your Kindle, we have entered a new age. For Christmas this year my husband gave me an iPad and I must admit, its a handy little device.
I can download any book or magazine I want and now have more room in my suitcases for shoes and bags. I wile away the hours in online bookshops, drinking unimaginable amounts of tea, all in the comfort of my own home. My iPad has literally freed the book shopper with in, and my husband no longer sees how many books I buy.
I will now post the logo of my favorite online bookshop and hyperlink it so you can go directly in and take a look. It’s a warm and inviting space where book lovers from around the world can shop.
The Expat Bookshop was started in late 2011 by Jo Parfitt and the team at Summertime Publishing to showcase books by people living abroad for people living abroad.
Here you can find: anthology, fiction, how to books and memoirs, like my own. You can also get information on how to publish your book, or have it featured in the Expat bookshop.
Go on, check it out…