Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Saturday at Haslam's

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?


  1. Wish we had shops like that over on the Island, gutted! But chuffed you read my piece up at Clarity of Night. Hope tonight's 3hrs go well on your novel mate.

  2. Even if I don't find what I'm looking for, it's still a great place to walk the aisles.

    Lee, your writing is always well executed and I'll be checking out your blog on a regular basis, to monitor your progress. I particularly like your resolution to post the "good and bad" of your submissions. You've left your ego at the door and I think you'll see it pay off in the near future.

  3. Haslam's sounds like a great place just to "hang out and loiter". Bargain city!

    Thanks for the comment on my contest entry, well out of my "zone" but enjoyed writing it. I wrote two, but went with that one.(I will post the other on my blog, just to see if I went with the right one??)

    Also, thanks for the "plug" and link to my blog. It's really encouraging that my work is being read and appreciated. Top man!

    I'm off to do some reading now ;-). All the best.


  4. Mr Wilkerson of the cold 'burg -- Haslams resonates as a warm spot on a cold day for the kind of browse-carouse that brings some old and new faves back to the homefront.

    Hmmm, and you're certainly browse-carousing some of my fave authors as well - that jolly MJ Solender fellow, the man from Mann himself, Lee Hughes and one I've been discovering lately, David Barber. Trust to see the lot of your writer's minds over AT THE BIJOU ... where the popcorn flows and the OJ is as you like it, chillin'. ~ Absolutely*Kate (now a fan of your life-observations well adventured as well)

  5. I dig your lingo, Kate and thanks for checking me out. I'll be seeing you over at the Bijou!