There are many advantages to having locally-owned businesses in the neighborhood, but one advantage that perhaps I don't mention often enough is how delightful it is to strike up a conversation with the shopkeeper. Last fall (this post has been a long time coming) I stopped in to Big Sleep Books with my visiting sisters-in-law.
Robin and Eileen are big mystery aficionados, as am I (provided it isn't too scary), and when I saw Gillian Flynn's best-selling Gone Girl on the counter I asked the girls whether they too had read it. It has to have been one of the most talked about books among people of all ages last summer and fall, and continues to be on best seller lists even now.
Big Sleep's proprietor Ed King added that Flynn's first two books, Screwed and Dark Places, are even better. Ed nailed it when he described the characters in Flynn's novels as "unlikeable people you can't help but like."
"As a matter of fact," Ed continued, "the author grew up in Kansas City (most of Gone Girl is set in Missouri) and her high school English teacher recently stopped in Big Sleep when visiting St. Louis. She pointed to the books and said to her companion, 'Gillian Flynn was in my English class and I had to grade her essays after everyone else's, she was that good, even in high school.'"
Big Sleep Books, 239 N. Euclid, Mon. to Thurs. 11-6, Fri. & Sat. 11-8, Sun. 12-6, (314) 361-6100.
P.S. - Read W Magazine's interesting interview with Gillian Flynn (here). She was writing the screenplay for the movie at the time, and Reese Witherspoon had been cast as the lead character in the film. I imagine we'll be talking about that too.