bookin’ at big sleep…
February 8, 2011 § 17 Comments
Let someone who loves you read something you’ve written. No, really. Are you gonna get an honest opinion? No,probably not. But you will get encouragement and likely some sort of praise. And sometimes, that’s all you need to keep the writing going.
You gotta love niche and boutigue retail, better than their bigbox brothers. Come on, it’s true.
Sure, it’s great to grab a book at Target when you are there anyway, doing your “conglomeration errands,” picking up dog food, cosmetics, long underwear and a greeting card because really, you don’t want to shop all over hell’s half acre getting all those things. And maybe you’ll just pick up something for yourself, like a book, if you need one and the budget is of the same mind.
However, every bookaholic knows that when really “booking,” that is, looking for a good or great read, an actual dedicated bookstore trumps Wallyword, and any of the big etceteras.
Thus on Euclid Ave in St. Louis’ Central West End neighborhood where there are many treasures, from food to frippery, an indie bookstore breathes.
Big Sleep Books has one room inside, one rectangular room and sometimes in the far corner, the shopkeeper’s friend or family or maybe an author can be seen sitting at a small round table, maybe eating. And the storekeeper is totally in tune with his books and talks with each customer, calls you “dude” and “friend” and other little appellations that you just don’t mind because it’s part of his book atmosphere, part of his sphere, overall.
One of the great things about this store is that you know you’re among mysteries, thrillers or suspense. That’s it. No wondering what mood you’re in, what you might feel like reading. Your choices, your genres are narrowed, and you know that or you wouldn’t even be in there to begin with.
I went the first time with HM; he was picking up an Ian Rankin novel. He stumbled across him ages ago while traveling and decided to zone in. So I was with him and looked around at the bookshelves, all of which were a bit foreign to me cuz those genres were not, at thtat time, my thing. The shopkeeper asked me what I liked – time period, location, etc. I told him. He zeroed in, and handed me the first in Victoria Thompson’s GasLight Series – Murder on Astor Place. I was hooked. Not “deep” or literary, but good mysteries starring highborn midwife Sarah Brandt and Irish detective Frank Malloy in turn-of-the-century NYC. Good enough for me. So good that eight books later, I’m looking forward to her next one.
As I was paying for my Leduc mystery at the BIG SLEEP the other day, I noticed WINTER’S BONE sitting there on the counter. The shopkeep noticed me noticing and said “It’s a great book. Very American. And the movie is good. It should win something.”
Let’s see if he calls it right. He knows his books. Inside out. Maybe the movie awards, too, but we know how mercurial those Academys can be.
BOOK RECOMMENDATION: Leduc’s MURDER IN THE MARAIS. And so while waiting for Thomson’s next book to hit the stands on June 1, I am plunging into the Aimee Leduc series by Cara Black which was recommended by Jeanie. For her book reviews, go to her “book” site, here.
Tagged: aimee leduc, authors, book reviews, Books, bookstores, Cara Black, central west end, detective, investigator, libraries, literature, modern novel, mystery, St Louis, suspense, Victoria Thompson