Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bermuda book report

This blog has been silent for the past week and a half because Mark and I took a short vacation to Bermuda -- the first major non-conference-related trip we've taken in four years. Bermuda had pretty much everything we expected: warm temperatures, good food, beautiful beaches...

Colorful houses...

Gorgeous sunsets...

And, of course, a few bookstores here and there.

Directly above is the Bermuda Book Store, on the corner of Front and Queen Streets in downtown Hamilton, and fortunately a short walk from our hotel. Note the mopeds out front (one of the primary modes of transportation). Bermuda isn't exactly a book-hunter's paradise, as the bookstores are pretty small, and there are few bargains to be had. Everything's imported, and American titles that normally sell for $7.99 in the States were marked up to $10 or more.

On the other hand, since Bermuda's a British overseas territory, the shops stock a nice mix of British and American titles. I took advantage of this by doing some shopping, buying the latest historicals (paperbacks) by Kate Tremayne, E.V. Thompson, and Janet Woods. I also bought a giant trade pb of Mary Gentle's Ilario for my airplane reading home. To my disappointment, I couldn't find any British hardcovers at all, probably due to the price.

The Bermuda Book Store is about the size of an airport bookstore. Rather larger was The Bookmart, a couple of blocks away on Front Street, which was more the size of a mall Waldenbooks. We visited a couple of other shops out at the Dockyards and in St. George, but both were on the small side.

To the left is a newspaper clipping of author Terry Tucker doing a signing of Woman Into Wolf, a historical novel about Queen Isabella (you can guess which one) at the Bookmart on July 14, 1968. I only know this because I own a signed copy, and Tucker had written in the date. The purchaser had apparently cut out the related newspaper piece and included it in the book. Sometime in the intervening forty years, that copy made it to an online British bookseller, from whom I bought it several years ago. According to the "about the author" blurb, Terry Tucker, born on the Isle of Wight, married a Bermudian and made the island her permanent home, after which she spent her days writing local books on "every aspect of Bermuda life." As well as historical novels about English queens.

I probably should have made Woman Into Wolf my airplane reading on the trip down, to complete the book's journey back to its home, but I didn't think of it at the time.


  1. Beautiful pictures! (I have a copy of Woman Into Wolf myself--love the cover).

  2. Wow! How nice! I'm going to the Bahamas in a few weeks, but I'm doubtful of finding a bookstore. I'm planning to take very few (and light) clothes so I can pack enough books to read without running out of reading material. What all did you take with you to read?

  3. Thanks!

    I've never been to the Bahamas. I always underestimate how much reading material to bring, probably because I don't expect to get stuck at the airport with flight delays, but that happened again this time. On the trip down I read a galley of Sally Gunning's Bound (still need to write up the review) and bought Ilario on my first day there. Should have brought more books along.

    What are you taking with you?

  4. Wow, what a neat story! And I love the cover of the older book! Funny looking for book stores..I do that and fabric and yarn stores.

  5. I'm planning on packing in the suitcase some Dick Frances and David Baldacci paperbacks - light (in weight and mental concentration) and if my luggage is lost, or I need to leave them behind because of buying stuff, I can leave them without regret. In my carry-on I'll probably take one or two non-fiction hardcovers and one fiction. I haven't figured out what yet. Perhaps Georgette Heyer for the fiction...)

  6. Anonymous12:31 PM

    Does anyone know Terry's maiden name and birthdate?

    John Doull, Bookseller
    Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

  7. Hi John, I've looked around and wasn't able to find that information. You might try asking the Bermuda National Library,, to see if they have any details on her background.