Day 91 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project. Gus has been reading The Victoria Vanishes: a Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery in the series by Christopher Fowler, because someone in Babbitt's, probably Jo, recommended it. "It's a scream!" said Gus, who also really enjoyed "the smarmy look on the author's face" in his photo on the book jacket. I don't know if it's the same photo as on Fowler's author page at Amazon, and I probably don't fully know what "smarmy" means, but the guy looks really satisfied with his success.
These books sound hilarious, just the thing if you love mystery and comedy. The only mystery I have read since my Nancy Drew days was The Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey, also recommended by someone formerly at Babbitt's, Julie--about the mystery of Richard III--so maybe I should try some Christopher Fowler. (And, of course, the Stieg Larsson, waiting on the shelf.)
Almost all of us at Babbitt's are soon to be formerly, as it's a tough time for independent bookstores, as we all know. We were noticing, though, that people are buying $4 hardbacks out the wazoo, as that is still a great deal. (I don't really know what a "wazoo" is, either, but I vaguely recall an actual conversation about its likely offensive connotations--sorry!--and its inoffensive resemblance to a kazoo.) Hmm, a comedy/mystery occurs to me: The Personnel Vanishes, set in a bookstore. Employees keep mysteriously dying, so the boss doesn't have to fire them. Or set fire to them. The plot quickens. Subtitle: Up in Smoke, or Out the Wazoo.
I have too much fun in life.
Gus also loved Just Kids, Patti Smith's memoir, just out in January. I should read it to find out how to transform myself, as one review says, "from a poet to a rock star," or at least to the girl singer in my imaginary band, Midlife Crisis.
I have too much fun in my head.
Really, I should read this, as I have always wanted to know more about Patti Smith's romance with playwright Sam Shepard, and I have seen the astonishing and controversial photography of her first lover and dear friend Robert Mapplethorpe. The book is also a tribute to him.
So maybe if it comes in to Babbitt's, before I go out (the wazoo), I will!
On the Street…Via Fogazzaro, Milan
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