I have been looking for a copy of Hannah Arendt’s book Origins of Totalitarianism for two weeks now. It seems like it would be a timely read and I enjoyed and admired her book Eichmann in Jerusalem about the trial of the notorious architect of the Holocaust. (I highly recommend it, by the way.)
I’m a big fan of brick-and-mortor bookstores, so I was determined to find a copy of Origins of Totalitarianism in a real store. It’s an old book, I reasoned, I should be able to get a used copy somewhere.
Okay, it was just an excuse to go visit a lot of bookstores, I admit it.
But, nope. No copies. Not at Half Price Books, not at Copperfield’s, not at The Napa Book Mine. There was one, but it was in hardcover. I want a paperback that I can carry around with me to impress the other cafe goers while we all sip lattes and type up reviews for our blogs.
No. I’m going to a workshop at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco this weekend. I’ll go to City Lights books afterwards. They’re sure to have a copy. They have a whole section of books dedicated to “The Resistance.” They’re sure to have a copy of Hannah Arendt’s Origins of Totalitarianism.
So, yesterday, after the workshop ended at 12:30, C.J. and I walked over Nob Hill, through Chinatown to North Beach where the famed City Lights is located. Along the way we stopped for some wonderful Dim Sum. If you’ve never had Dim Sum, you should put it on your list of things to do before you die. Dim Sum is a type of Chinese food usually made for special occasions. Most Dim Sum are dumplings of one kind or another, small bites of food, pork or shrimp, in little buns. The servers come out of the kitchen pushing little cards full of Dim Sum plates. You select the ones you want whenever they come by and pay by the plate at the end. In Chinatown the best Dim Sum places are down little alleys in basement rooms.
The Dim Sum was delicious but City Lights Books did not have anymore copies of Hannah Arendt’s Origins of Totalitarianism. So, I’m going to order a copy at my local bookstore, Bookshop Benicia.
I did find a three-in-one edition of Don Carpenter’s Hollywood novels which will probably be much more entertaining reading than Hannah Arendt.