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Buzz Book Club: Important Artifacts and Personal Property . . . Section One

Hey, Buzz Book Club readers, did you grab a copy of this book yet? I hope so because I'm excited to discuss the first section. I'm still in awe over Leanne Shapton's ability to convey so much through pictures of things and a small note here and there. It's pretty cool.

Here's a recap of how the Book Club goes: Every week I'll suggest chapters to complete by the next post (which, in this case, will go up every Friday in April). In these weekly Book Club posts, I'll posit a few questions to prompt discussion in the comments section.

Of course, you are always welcome to read beyond the weekly chapters, but please don't spoil anything in the comments! After the jump you'll find some questions that struck me as I read this section.

The next section: Read LOT 1113 through LOT 1225 (stop before LOT 1226). We'll chat about this section a week from today, April 17.

To discuss last week's section of Important Artifacts, in which we read from the introduction postcard text from Hal through LOT 1112,


  1. So much of this couple's story is written down on actual paper (physical notebooks with lists, cards, book jackets). It made me realize that in the auction catalog of my life, I'm pretty sure it would be a lot of printouts of emails, I guess! It makes me want to capture more things in physical writing, away from the computer. Did this strike you at all?
  2. Do you find it easy to get pulled into this story based mostly on images? Do you think it is easier or more difficult than just reading a novel?
  3. Of your own belongings, which ones do you think would most vividly tell your own life stories?
  4. Is there a particular artifact in this section that stood out to you as especially poignant? I was a big fan of the engraved cake server.
  5. Speaking of which, whatever a buttertart is, I would like one right now. Anyone else?
Join The Conversation
queen-ellie queen-ellie 8 years
I just ordered my copy. This book looks very interesting.
melaniedennis melaniedennis 8 years
My copy is supposed to arrive on Tuesday and I'm going to catch up with the reading and discussion then.
Linda-McP Linda-McP 8 years
Still waiting on delivery of my copy as well. Can't wait to get started and caught up with the discussion.
jessr1214 jessr1214 8 years
My copy hasnt come in the mail yet but it should any day, then I'll catch up! Cant wait to read this one, it sounds so interesting!
fireyelectra fireyelectra 8 years
1. Doolan and Morris exchange a fair amount of emails, as well, but as to the lists and notes and such I found myself wondering where they corralled and saved all this stuff. I was more interested in tracing Doolan's train of thought when reading her lists and such. 2. Reading the auction catalog is more like reading a graphic novel, where you train yourself to pair together word and image. It's pretty cool that way, like Shapton found a way to make an even more mundane graphic novel than Harvey Pekar's stuff. 4. I was definitely most moved by the cake server in this section. "Bravo, Buttertart" is exactly the kind of sweet, meaningful engraving we all hope our significant other will be attentive enough to notice. In re: three, a similar experience to this in my life was the inscription my husband put on the iPod nano he got me for Christmas: "For those about to rock, we squee you." He claims its just nonsense, but since we call each other Fee and Squee all the time, that inscription is pretty much the sweetest thing he's ever given me.
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