Chapter 3 - Top Shelf
I love it when people come into the store. Most readers are friendly sorts of people who enjoy talking about books, learning about books, and reading mass quantities of books. We get people from every walk of life - those who have been readers since they were small, folks who have retired and have recently found the joy of reading, and those who are super busy moms and dads who still manage to squeeze in a book or two during their hectic weeks.
One thing I've noticed is that most people don't look at the top shelf of the bookcase unless they are looking for a specific author. Instead they either keep their focus at eye level or a little below. Sadly, they miss a lot of good books this way. If I am asked to recommend something I will often look on the top shelf first because I am pretty sure those books haven't seen friends in a while! Here are some books at the top of the bookcase in our store today - all tried and true and recommended greatly.
City of Thieves by David Benioff - David Benioff's current claim to fame is as a screenwriter for Game of Thrones but way before that he wrote this short novel inspired by his grandparents and the siege of Leningrad. Two men are arrested for various crimes as the mayor of Leningrad has told them if they go behind enemy lines and get a dozen eggs for his daughter's wedding cake, he will not have them shot. Part adventure, part history, part fantasy but a wonderful read that will appeal to both men and women.
The Talbot Odyssey by Nelson DeMille - If you have never read Nelson DeMille you don't know what you are missing. DeMille has written a large number of books, some stand-alones and some in a series but The Talbot Odyssey is one of his best. For forty years Russia has had a mole in the CIA code named Talbot. In the culmination of his life's work, Talbot is ready to set loose one of the largest attacks on the US the world has ever known.
Helen of Troy by Margaret George - Margaret George writes wonderful historical fiction about people you wished you knew. The Trojan War and the "face that launched a thousand ships" are well documented in Homer's The Iliad, but wouldn't you rather read a dishier version of it? Honestly, you could pick any of Margaret George's top shelf books for an enjoyable winter read.
The Given Day by Dennis Lehane - With such notable works as Mystic River, Shutter Island, and Gone Baby Gone to his name, this book doesn't always get the attention it deserves. A family saga of two families - one black, one white - the book tells the story of how they get swept up by a nation's political unrest immediately after World War I. Even better, it is the first of the Coughlin series, so you have a few more to read if you really like this one.
The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan - At the very back of the store where we have the S and T books, you'll find this very touching book by J. Courtney Sullivan. The bestselling author of Maine followed that by this wonderful book which goes back and forth between Frances Geherty, the ad woman who invented the tagline "A Diamond is Forever", and four marriages and one engagement ring..
Look at the top shelf of your favorite book store and let me know what books you might recommend!