National Black Book Festival


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Black Kindle - Road trips can be dangerous & the Asylum is back

Kat, the original manager who hired me at the Asylum contacted me for a job.  I referred her to a friend who works in the Hotel business.  My friend tells me that many hotels are looking for staff to work in the evenings to mornings.  It's been hard to find people to take that schedule.  Since Kat has no job, she has been looking since she was fired in October of last year, my friend pulled some strings for her and got her a job.  She never called back.  That was two weeks ago.

Yesterday I get a text from Kat asking me how am I doing. I didn't bother to respond.  What for?  Yesterday evening I happen to run into her husband, ex-hubby or whatever working at the same store but at another location.  Kat had managed to get him a job with the company and he moved up the ladder in the last year and is now a manger. We talked for a few minutes and he informed me that she was still looking for a job and that their daughter is still causing problems at home.  He had kicked the daughter out of the house many times, but her mother let's her come back over and over again.  I tell him about my friend's help and he tells me he knows about it and told her to take the job, but a few days later her car broke down and they don't have a car. 

Why didn't she call my friend or me and let us know? He did not know and was not aware that she did not call to tell us. That is the third time I found a job for one of the Asylum members and they never returned my call or took the job.  I'm getting pissed at them now, but I will continue to pray for them and keep on helping them as much as I can.  It just drives me crazy.  

Let's move on.  On my road trip last week, I got half a hour from my destination before an 18 wheeler pulled in front of me and smacked a small rock on my windshield.  No problem, it's a small crack and I will take care of it when I return home. Half an hour later, that crack started to spread up and over to the driver side of the window.  I got to Clemson, SC, pulled over to the Starbucks and checked the yellow pages.  I have an old flip phone, so looking for auto glass places was not easy and begging someone with an iPhone was not going to get me far nor help.  

The cashier in Starbucks had a yellow pages.  I did not think there were still yellow pages around, but at the rest stops along 95 north, they have installed phone booths. Can you believe it and they work.  I know, I tired it out for fun.

Found Glass Doctor in Greenville, SC.  They were so very professional and nice to me.  Within 2 hours, I had a brand new windshield and no payments from me since my insurance took care of it. Tommy and I then drove around Greenville and had a great time eating and window shopping.  Man, in the last few years Greenville has move up with more businesses, homes, apartments and becoming the new Atlanta.  That's the place I've been hanging out to help those three women I met a few months ago to open their bookstore. Just be careful out there on the road.  Those trucks can cause some havoc.

Well, on to my next road trip in a week or so.  I am truly getting to love these trips.  The number of people and connections I have made in the book industry is amazing. Wow!!!! This has been more than fun, this is becoming a big part of my life. I seriously will have to have a long talk with myself on retiring.  So much I could do if I was retired. So much!!

THE STORIED LIFE OF A. J. FIKRY: A NOVEL - GABRIELLE ZEVIN - $9.48 - - - On my of my road trip, I picked this book up because it had a story about a bookstore owner, which I hope one day to become. Never heard of the author, but I will always give a author and book a try. There is only a few words to say about this book - 

I LOVE IT!!! I LOVE I!!!! and I LOVE IT!!!! more

A. J. Fikry is a lonely (his wife died two years earlier), snappish and cantankerous bookstore owner of Island Books in Alice Island. Sales has hit a slump and one of the most expensive book in his store, Tamerlane by Edgar Allan Poe, has been stolen.  He has given up on the store, the people in the small community and the love of the books in his store and his heart.  His books are how he has lived his life.  His life experiences, relationships with bookstores, books and, in some cases if he really likes their work, authors, is really what I'm sorta made of.  A life where when you read a book, you either lived it or what to live it. You talk, walk, breath, sing your day based upon the book you just finished reading or remember reading years ago.  

It becomes a part of your memory where when you run into someone or something, you refer it to a book that had an impact on your life and that's how A. J. Fikry lived his life. Life just sucks for A.J. and I truly understand why, but one day out of the blue, a small package arrives at his store, a over the top and eccentric publication press sales women comes calling, and a chief of police who did not read much, until he was forced, not really forced, just wanted to keep an eye on A.J., became a savior and friend.  Each word, each saying, each sub-story brings you closer to a book and another book and another. Inter wind into each character, especially A.J., is life at a bookstore or life in and out of a book.  You will laugh, cry, become pissed and will love bookstores, especially independent book stores, over and over again.  I literally cried when I finished this book, not because of something bad or good that happened in the book, but because I wanted to read more about each of the characters and see their lives unfold into the future.

If you love or even like small independent bookstores, buy this from your local bookstore. 

A. J. made me feel so happy with my love of books, so very happy. 

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry: A Novel

This book reminds me of 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Novel The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Novel and The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat by Edward Kelsey MooreThe Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat

Now my problem is finding another book to read.  It's so hard to find another book to read after you read such a damn good book with simple and great writing.  It's so ding dong hard.