Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just open your current read to a random page and share a few sentences. Be careful not to include spoilers!
Forgive me, friends! I am having too much fun with Rules of Civility not to quote from it for a second week in a row – and twice today. (See last week’s teaser here.) It was too hard to get it down to even these three teasers, I could have done more…
First for today, a bookstore-lover’s teaser.
…I stepped into a used bookshop a few doors from the salon. The shop was aptly named Calypso’s. It was a little sunlit storefront with narrow aisles and crooked shelves and a shuffling proprietor who looked like he’d been marooned on MacDougal Street for 50 years. He returned my greeting reluctantly and gestured at the books with an annoyed wave as if to say, “Peruse, if you must.” I picked an aisle at random and walked far enough into it that I would be out of his line of sight. The shelves held highfalutin books with broken spines and ragged covers – the usual second-hand bohemian fare. In this aisle there were biographies, letters and other works of historical nonfiction. At first it seemed as if they had been stuffed on the shelves willy-nilly, since neither the authors nor the subjects appeared to be in alphabetical order. Until I realized that they had been shelved chronologically. Of course they had!
Author Amor Towles has graciously shared still more about Calypso’s on the “Baedeker” section of his website. Hover over #8 to read about this little real-life bookstore, including references to a few of my favorite literary figures. Not to mention the allusions built into the Calypso’s name, and Towles’s used of the verb “marooned”…
And nextly, how about a little linguistic confusion:
In front of me, a broad-shouldered man with the twang of an oil-producing state was trying to communicate with the maitre d’, an impeccably groomed Chinaman in a tuxedo. Though both men could travel the normal distance from their accents to the neutral ear of the educated New Yorker, they were finding the distance between their respective homelands difficult to traverse.
I love this image (not to mention the coy use of “oil-producing state”).
Review coming soon, but as you can see, I’m smitten.