By the Book: Candid conversation with owner of River’s End Bookstore

You know who you are. The one who slinks away into the book aisle of the grocery store just in case they have one that might look good. Or the one who can justify getting a Barnes and Noble membership because you spend so much there that the 10 percent you save will more than pay for the fee. I feel you. I am one of you.

Here’s to books, the cheapest vacation you can buy. Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.

Mindy Ostrow, former assistant director at Tyler Art Gallery, museum studies/art history professor at Oswego State and owner of the Riverside Bookstore in downtown Oswego kindly took the time to tell me about the book that struck a chord within her.
Among the numerous books Ostrow has been acquainted with, above all she would recommend ‘‘The Story of Edgar Sawtelle’’ by David Wroblewski. David Wroblewski’s ‘‘The Story of Edgar Sawtelle’’ explores the silent world of the novel’s protagonist, Edgar Sawtelle. Edgar lives in Wisconsin during the middle of the 20th century.

Born mute, Edgar is a teenager who seems to prefer the language of dogs to the words of the adults around him. From his earliest memories, his favorite job on the farm was to name the new puppies that were born there. He chooses names randomly from a dictionary. As he grows older, his connection with the dogs becomes more profound. He helps to train them through sign language.

Ostrow explains the novel is extremely ‘‘engaging,’’ which makes you want to keep turning the page. She explains that the author, Wroblewski, is originally a computer software engineer who’s been working on this particular novel since the mid 1990s.

‘This book has the capacity through the author’s words to paint a true depiction of this boy’s love and connection with the dogs,’’ Ostrow said.
In addition to this novel, Ostrow recommends “Unbroken,” by Laura Hillenbrand, “The Art Forger” by B.A. Shapiro, “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt. She also recommended “The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, “Only Time Will Tell” (entire The Clifton Chronicles Series) by Jeffrey Archer, and of course Karen Joy Fowler’s “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves.”