The first half of this post targets Lehigh Valley locals, whereas the second half offers a book review. Based on your interests, skim accordingly.
If you are in the vicinity of downtown Easton, Pa., tomorrow for #SmallBusinessSaturday, Book & Puppet Company, the bookstore behind The Easton Book Festival, will be having a sidewalk sale and an Indies First/ Author’s Day, where shoppers can find their holiday book needs and potentially see a local author.
The bookstore has invited author’s to drop in and hang out at their convenience, a way for retailer, creator and customer to interface casually in an increasing remote world.
Angel Ackerman, Darrell Parry and probably Nancy Scott from the Parisian Phoenix crew will attend. Estimated time of arrival should be around 4.
Downtown Easton has waived feeding the meters, so save your quarters.
At the same time that Book & Puppet sent out their email newsletter formalizing the authors for the event, Angel Ackerman posted her review of Andy Laties’ Son of A Rebel Bookseller on Goodreads and Amazon.
Angel has a highly critical eye and was nervous to read Andy’s books. Since she knows Andy as co-owner of Book & Puppet, she hated the idea that she might not like the book. The worst feeling in the world is to tell someone you respect that you did not enjoy something they produced, whether it be a funny tasting pumpkin pie or an artistic work.
Angel’s main criticism: She hates the type. Both on the cover and in the internal book design.
But the book itself? Loved it. Read it in a day. Thanksgiving Day. Yesterday.
Angel gave it a four star review on Goodreads, because she was told that three stars meant a good book, four stars a valuable/great book, and five stars was an outstanding book that everyone on Earth should read. On Amazon, Angel gave it five stars because the standards are lower and the star rating impacts the algorithm. The irony of posting a review to Amazon to promote an independent bookseller. But let’s face it, if publishers want to reach for the money and the audience, we need to have a seat at the Amazon table. Ignoring them does not make them smaller.
Maybe someone will see the review on Amazon and drive to the bookstore. And even if they do order the book on Amazon, the book itself has a message that may demonstrate how small booksellers must compete with the new ways of the world.
Here is the review, Son of a Rebel Bookseller by Andrew Laties and Samuel Laties. Reviewed by Angel Ackerman.
“I’m hard on books. When I write reviews I can acknowledge a good read with a three star review and a classic or worthy of being a classic is a five star.
Andy Laties’ Son of a Rebel Bookstore is structured like a well-designed patchwork quilt. Several clear themes weave together in not-always-apparent-at-first order, a little choppy and disorienting at moments as your brain settles into a routine.
The book— which I want to call Laties’ memoir of fighting for a retail bookseller and defense of creative, free-flowing early childhood education in the cutthroat, capitalistic universe of New York City— is also the chronicle of Andy’s son, Sam, as he struggles to live with mental illness. The snippets of Sam’s writings show what a profound philosopher the young man was.
In fighting for Sam, and in turn using the bookstore to bolster all children, Andy seems to grow into his own grief and regret and find what appears to be a sense of peace, or as much peace as a parent who has dealt with the issues and emotions of having a child with such a complex mind can find.”