Roundabout book review

December 22, 2009

While climbing near Las Vegas, the other B and I happened upon a lovely used bookstore. Of course, since it was Vegas the bookstore was in a strip mall next to Dottie’s Spirits and Gaming. But, whatever. I was impressed to find an independent bookstore in the land of Humvees and Beamers.

I walked into the bookstore with the hope that the dusty shelves would hold our October read (see RevDrLiz’s post here). Although it was not to be, the kind (yet rusty) book peddler was happy to assist me in my search.

It went a little something like this:

“Do you guys happen to have The Arsonist’s Guide to Writers Homes in New England?”

“Arsonist’s Guide? Hmm…” He looked around, scratched his balding head. Then, his eyes lit. “You know, I think we have that. Yep, it’s in home repairs.”

I was touched by his seemingly authentic desire to help, and vaguely intrigued by the assumption that a guide to arson would be in the home repairs section.

“Um…Actually, it’s a novel.”

“Oh.” I sensed chagrin. Obviously, a novel about arson was far less exciting than the prospect of a diminutive arsonist getting her start in his shop. “Well all right then, let’s take a look, shall we?”

While the other B baked in the car, the owner and I waded through piles of Mary Higgins Clark, looked beneath filthy paperbacks (the smutty cover wasn’t the filthy part) and ran our fingers over the ‘new’ fiction section that showcased novels printed when I was prenatal.

It was like a treasure hunt. The Arsonist’s Guide, although only a few years old, could have been in his shop, and the possibility filled him with energy and me with amusement. Sadly, even our combined forces couldn’t find the book in question.

Rather than leave empty-handed, I picked up a different book: A Confederacy of Dunces. I bought it, got a wink and an eye twinkle from the peddler, and left happy. Read the rest of this entry »