So, I've just started a job at Kepler's, which is an excellent, friendly, well-stocked, and independent (gasp!) bookstore. I spent 40 hours this week learning how to sell, find, and shelve books (something that started to frighten me when I had a dream about looking for a book on the history of economics in Europe. Oh please don't let mundane dreams--even mundane dreams about books--hijack my imagination!). I also discovered the joys of advanced reading copies. I feel immensely gleeful about the three ARCs that I've picked up and (greedily) already dipped into:
Descartes' Bones by Russell Shorto comes out this month and is a "skeletal history of the conflict between faith and reason."
The Seance by John Harwood comes out in February and is a Victorian mystery.
Vanished Smile: The Mysterious Theft of Mona Lisa by R.A. Scotti comes out in April.
They are joining the immense (and slightly embarrassing ) pile of books next to my bed. They all have bookmarks stuck between the pages partway through, and while I'm happily reading them all, the new ones keep appearing.
I went to Samovar last night with Heather and Miguele. We had the most delicious chai, which tasted of real black tea and nose prickling spices rather than mystery powdered something or other, and wonderful little sweets. The bread pudding was my favourite: a creamy golden circle of buttery pastry with a layer of caramelized sugar on the bottom. The tea menu is a tiny piece of delight, with descriptions that blithely use words like "velutinous" and "viridescent" and "vegetal" to describe their oolongs and whites and blacks. The music, however, somehow reminded me of belly dancing and Christmas carols at the same time.