I’m pretty sure I spotted a few mad dogs and Burberry-coated Englishmen as I pulled out onto the
However, once I arrived in
We stood outside, chatting for a while, and then I spotted Becky and ZM, turning the corner the wrong way on
Cam was also the only one I’d never met nor seen photos of, so I really had no idea what she looked like. She was easy enough to spot as she walked in, though, obviously looking for us (and I waved to her, hoping she didn’t turn out not to be
From there, it was down to The Strand (because, of course, we were determined to take poor jet-lagged Charlotte from one end of Broadway to the other. For those of you who don’t know, the pastry shop is at
We all went our separate ways in the bookstore, occasionally crossing paths, as we browsed the “18 miles of books.” I was busy consulting with Bob by cell phone every other minute. I wanted to get him a treat (since he hadn’t been able to come along), and I can’t keep track of which thrillers he has and hasn’t got/read.
A word of warning: don’t go to The Strand with the likes of Hobs. While I was busy looking through Harlan Coben and John Sandford, I bumped into him to discover he had the likes of a huge James Fenimore Cooper biography, Victor Hugo, and The World without Us in his hands. I immediately began to feel I should stop filling up on candy floss and sit down to a good, long meal of duck a l’orange, roast potatoes, and spinach soufflé with a fancy side salad and chocolate mousse for dessert (in fairness to me, I did look for a copy of The Faerie Queene, but I couldn’t find the Penguin edition I want to read).
Eventually, we all met back on the street, signature bright-yellow bags in hands, sharing the contents of said bags like children on Halloween night. At this point, we all realized that all this book shopping had made us very hungry. Macaroni and cheese at Chat ‘n’ Chew sounded like an excellent idea. Make that macaroni and cheese and mimosas. Ahhh!
After food and drink,
We were greeted by a little skeleton as we walked in the door, who, apparently, stands patiently there all day, dressed in his oversized shop t-shirt (wonder what he does at night, when no one’s around). It’s a small shop, but it’s floor to ceiling books, all of a mysterious nature (although I’d quibble a bit with that, as my fellow browsers did. I don’t remember a Mr. Body in either Twilight or Harry Potter). One side houses new books, one old, and the back wall is dedicated to all things Sherlock Holmes. I had a great time browsing the shelves and, of course, feeding my
candy floss book addiction some more.
After that, it was time to call it a day. Hobs and Dorr needed to get home to Muttboy. I still had a long drive ahead of me (for which the skies did a very nice job of opening up, yet again), and I’m sure Becky and
All-in-all, a wonderful day. Wish you’d been there, too. Oh, and for those of you dying to know, my booty for the day:
The Haunted Looking Glass: Ghost Stories Chosen by Edward Gorey. Do I really need to explain this one? Ghost stories by the likes of Algernon Blackwood, L.P. Hartley, and M.R. James? Illustrated by Edward Gorey? How could I go wrong?
Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichel, because I’ve been looking for some good food writing, wasn’t impressed with the one M.F.K. Fisher I found in the cookbook and food section, forgot that The Strand files her under literature as well (until we'd left and Becky informed me she’d found quite a few, but didn’t know which one to get), and I’ve been meaning to read this one for some time.
Secret Prey by John Sandford, for Bob, who discovered Sandford a couple of years ago and loves him (and probably for me one day, too, if I ever get around to discovering him myself).
FROM THE MYSTERIOUS BOOKSHOP
Hag’s Nook by John Dickson Carr, whom I haven’t read in a very long time, but who is a master with puzzles of the “door locked from the inside” sort. This is the first Gideon Fell novel, which I’ve never read.
The Fiend by Margaret Millar, who was Ross Macdonald’s wife. I’ve never read any of her stuff, and this musty old copy (written the year I was born) seemed like a good place to start.
A Question of Blood by Ian Rankin, because I’ve just met Rebus through the detective book discussion group, love him, and want to read more (also want Bob to read him, so I got this one “for him”). This is an author-signed copy in which he scribbled a dead man’s face, so I couldn’t resist.
And that puts me in something like 72-book deficit for 2008 (the year I was supposed to read 3 books I already owned for each one book I bought). Better start reading all those picture books up in the attic before the year ends.