On a good Saturday when chores are not in the pipeline, I'll head off to the largest new and used book store in Florida, Haslams. It's a five minute drive, right on Central. I browse for an hour or two, sometimes coming away with one or two books. Today, I picked up four- eight if you consider one is a collection.
It's cold and raw down here in the Burg today. They claimed a brief snow flurry in Tampa. Freezing in Florida means your orange juice is now an expensive commodity. Haslam's is my oasis: cats running around, nice people working the store and sometimes, huge bargains on books you rarely even see at Borders or B&N. I'll state my case for Haslam's below, while you're drinking that five dollar glass of juice.
Ross Macdonald- Sleeping Beauty- $9 hardback. I've become a bit obsessed with Macdonald. His books are hard to find around here and only ocassionaly will Haslam's have one. Beyond his storytelling chops, it's also really his sentence structure that keeps you turning the pages. If you haven't read Ross Macdonald, you need to.
James M. Cain- Serenade- $3 paperback. In my opinion, James M. Cain was at his best in Double Indemnity and a close follow up with Postman. This one looks a little different, but Cain is a master I'm always willing to read.
Ace Atkins- Crossroad Blues- $5 paperback. I've only tried to read one other Ace Atkins book. It was White Shadow. I've picked it up and put it down, a half dozen times. For some reason, I want to like his writing. We'll see if this book can lead me down a better path.
Crime Novels: American Noir of the 1950's- $17 hardback. Five novels: The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson. The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith. Pick-Up by Charles Willeford. Down There by David Goodis and The Real Cool Killers by Chester Himes. I was fucking giddy when I found this one. I'll leave it at that.
Total spent- $34
After I bought the books, I went over to a street corner, seafood take-out stand I frequent. It's a funky little establishment. Twelve boiled shrimp and a potato, in spicy garlic butter- $5. Then I went and read some kick ass work by Lee Hughes, David Barber and Michael J. Solender. Now, I'm back home to work on my novel. I've commited to work on it, at least three hours a day. But, I think about it all day.
There you go, a good day in my life. So my friends and enemies, what's a good day in yours?