North Dade/South Broward folks: Check out some bad news for book buyers on Jared Goyette's blog. Looks like the Borders in Aventura will close Oct. 16.
E-readers and the Internet are poised to put an end to places I've always loved - used bookstores. What do I look for at a used bookstore? I'll prowl the fiction and mystery stacks just to see if there's something I managed to miss when it first came out, say, an Ishiguro novel I've neglected, or maybe that one old George Pelecanos crime thriller I haven't read yet.
Robin Benedick browsed some of the remaining used bookstores in Broward and found that the county has fewer than half a dozen secondhand bookstores and that their future is shaky at best. But they cater to loyal customers who aren't quite ready to mess around with a Kindle and don't want to wait in line at the library. Click here to read her story in Sunday's Neighbors section.
If you're in the market to buy books this holiday weekend, check out the Independents Day Sale at Books & Books locations in South Florida.
On Saturday, Sunday and Monday, everything is 20 percent off, excluding event tickets, books on hold, magazines and special orders.
I'll be the first to confess that Randy Wayne White's latest Doc Ford thriller gave me the heebie jeebies (in a good, must-keep-turning- pages way). In Dead Silence, kidnappers snatch a victim - a tough Native American kid named Will Chaser - and bury him alive. They're demanding one hell of a ransom: Fidel Castro's secret files, which have been snatched in turn by the U.S. government.
Anybody who grew up in Florida in the '70s will remember the story of Barbara Jane Mackle, an heiress who was kidnapped and buried and, thank GOD, rescued. They even made a TV movie about it, which I must've seen as a kid because just the words "buried alive" make the hair on the back of my neck stand up.
Anyway, Dead Silence is quite a ride (the kidnapping plot is the main event, but there's plenty more going on here). White, who seems like a hell of a nice guy, is coming here to talk about it Saturday at Books & Books. You can read my interview with him here.
He's not coming to Miami in person, but you can see two-time National Book Award winner Philip Roth talk about his new novel Indignation at 8 p.m. Tuesday via video webcast at Books & Books in the Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave. on the second floor.
The event is being broadcast to select bookstores across the country, and B&B is the only place in Florida you can see it. You can also buy a signed copy of Indignation - his 29th novel, which will be reviewed in The Miami Herald on Sunday - at the store by calling 305-864-4241. Or order online at firstname.lastname@example.org. Do it quick though; supplies are limited.
Roth will be interviewed by author Ben Taylor.
Monday's appearance by the legendary Barbara Taylor Bradford has been postponed, due to the evils of Hurricane Ike. Check out Books & Books website (and this blog, of course!) for information on when she'll be rescheduled.
Bookseller Mitchell Kaplan of Books & Books has turned a new page: He's getting into the movie biz. Along with longtime friend, producer Paula Mazur, Kaplan has optioned the bestselling novel The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows, who finished the book started by her now-deceased aunt Mary Ann Shaffer.
""The book takes place in an exotic location with a situation hardly anyone knows about, the German occupation of the islands. It has these charming figures from the island as characters, and running through it are two stories of strong women,'' Kaplan says.
Optioning a movie is something he's considered for quite awhile with Mazur, who produced the film Nim's Island.
"Paula and I have been talking for years about finding just the right book, and we found it,'' he says.
So now Mazur's shopping the project around L.A. studios...we'll keep you posted if anybody bites.
So nobody got you that book you wanted for the holidays. That happens to me all the time (though one thoughtful friend was kind enough to get me a book about SEC football!). Of course, shopping for a book editor is tricky; without a working knowledge of my library it's a crapshoot at best.
So perhaps we should all go to Books & Books in Coral Gables on New Year's Day. From 11 a.m.-6 p.m. the store is offering its entire inventory at 20 percent off (excluding special orders and books on hold). Free parking and free-flowing champagne make this the perfect shopping experience. Just remember the Gators play at 1, so set your TiVo for that bowl game before you leave.
In keeping with our recent tropical book theme, I'm happy to report that Friday marks the grand opening of the Books & Books Cayman Islands store, with all sorts of bookish festivities planned that you can read about here. What I'm NOT happy to report is that my bosses don't seem to think I need to be there to help Mitchell Kaplan and Co. celebrate this occasion. They seem to want me to work because everyone else at The Miami Herald is scrambling over some little art show or something.
There is also perhaps some concern over whether I would actually spend time at the store covering the event or whether I would track down this beach and fall immediately asleep under one of those palm trees, which I have to admit is a legitimate fear.There could even be rum involved. Still, I wish I could be there to see the new store and wish everybody well.
There's also the problem that this is the end of the budget year and so instead of taking a plane I'd probably have to kayak over to the Caymans, which could be problematic in any number of ways. So I will raise my tropical punch in a salute to B&B and hope I get down there one of these days...