Monday, August 29, 2011

Pleasant Surprises and a Couple Books

Life doesn't get much sweeter than this! Emily dropped by to visit a week or so ago...after graduating from Yale with her MFA, and before moving to NYC to begin her acting career in earnest. I quickly called Terri and her about ET's visit. She rushed over. And, to make things even better, she brought Jose, the world's most wonderful dog.
It didn't end there, though. No siree. Brendo was in town for a baby shower, and she stopped in. So, there they are...Brendo, Emily, Jose and Terri. I can't tell you want we talked about, but I know we laughed, and were happy.

Every week I receive a computer update on what's happening in the world of independent book selling. The picture is grim. At least 50% of these updates include news of an indie closing. The reasons range from economic, to retirement, to just plain tired. When I read these sad reports, I am humbled, and reminded that, in addition to loyal customers, LaDeDa is still here after fifteen years because of employees like the three you see above. I won't bore you with economic details of book selling as opposed to selling gifty items such as plush duckies in bonnets, but the margins are lighter, and those of us who work here do so for reasons that can hardly be considered financial.

I am fortunate in so many respects. I know that. Working with good people, good friends and good books is a comforting combination, and makes every day better than the day before. OK, I have to stop this...I may be blowing my cover as a twisted, hard-a#*, no-good, cranky, cold -blooded curmudgeon.

***This is Trixie. She stops by from time to time with her buddy, Wayne. Trixie comes in and heads right to my office where she knows the treats are stored. No time to stop and say hello. After her treat, she wanders behind the desk, and leans up against me for a nice, long belly rub. Wayne, who knows something about fascinating detail...generally settles in for a long chat. Trixie explores, greets customers, and eventually sprawls out for a bit of a snooze. It seems that everyone has a dog that likes me more than my own dog does, but that's another story!

What am I reading? Well, this weekend's book was far better than the last one. A Secret Kept is by the author of Sarah's Key, a powerful account a young girl's attempt to save her brother from the Nazi's in France. That book, too, focuses on a paralyzing secret, so it appears as if De Rosnay has a theme going.

This new book deals with a taboo family issue that resurfaces after a near fatal car crash following two siblings' visit to their childhood home.

Other than the annoying French phrases sprinkled throughout, and a tiny bit of melodrama...this is good stuff.

I am also reading The Road, by Cormac McCarthy. It is grim, but so beautifully written. A father and son are doing their best to stay alive in a world that has been devastated by some sort of catastrophe. Their lives are in danger every moment, and yet they hang on to the hope that they will reach a safe oasis. I think that won't happen. I know I am supposed to come away with some grand thought about strength, and resilience in the face of overwhelming devastation. How would I function - I suppose that is what I am to ponder but all I can come with so far is anger that Cormac McCarthy is antagonizing me, and others in my book group, with his agnostic philosophy, and making us all sad.

But, one reason I enjoy our book group so much is that I always come away with a variety of perspectives on the book we have chosen to read. We'll see what happens with this one.


Next Monday, relax.

Tear up that to-do list.

Don't work.

Enjoy the day.

Thanks for stopping by.