What is Sarah Bagby reading?
As majority owner of Watermark Books & Cafe, Sarah never runs out of suggestions of what one must read or give. Just ask her. Sarah casts her reading net wide and deep in search of strong stories and good action. Dipping into literary fiction, mysteries and thrillers, biographies, and more, she's a fount of knowledge on who's who and what's what in the book world. Bring her your gift-giving quandaries for the holidays or other special occasions and watch the magic in action.
Passionate about healthy communities and the state of the publishing industry, Sarah serves on a number of industry boards, including the American Booksellers Association and the Alliance for Main Street Fairness. With the help of all her professional staff of readers, Watermark Books & Cafe does much to bring a vitality to the literary arts in our community.
Here's what Sarah Bagby's reading now. To see what she's read in the recent past, click here.
Richard Price writes immaculate crime novels. He set his lengthy novel Clockers in one square mile of the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where a cop can see an entire world making only right-hand turns. As a writer for HBO’s series “The Wire,” Price immersed himself in the vernacular of cops and drug dealers particular to Baltimore.
Wanting to improve his earning capacity, Price attempted to cash in by writing a fast-paced, plot-driven subpar crime novel under the pseudonym "Harry Brandt." He failed. He couldn’t let himself write anything subpar. Price states, “I knew how to dress down, but I didn’t know how to write down.”
Beginning with the title, The Whites, Price draws on his erudition, paying homage to Moby-Dick. “The Whites” are cases that haunt New York City cops like Ahab’s White Whale.
Third-shift detective Billy Graves and his fellow investigators call themselves "The Wild Geese," and after decades, they've earned the respect of those they've protected and avenged. Each has a personal white whale. As Price describes, "the thug who had committed criminal obscenities on their watch and walked away untouched." The novel opens with the murder of one of those thugs and what ensues is a snap-crackle-pop tale of crimes committed in the dark of night, of investigative police work and of punishment and revenge.
Price’s command of New York City grit, his poetic command of street talk and sardonic cop lingo is as forceful as the pressure cooker tension that builds to an electrifying conclusion. I suspect the pseudonym "Harry Brandt" is not long for this world.
Something completely different from The New Yorker cartoonist--a graphic memoir in which she tells the story of her parents in their final years. It will make you laugh and it will make you cry. It will also comfort those who feeel alone in their fraught but loving relationship with their parents.
With prison populations at unprecedented levels and dozens of inmates falsely accused on death row, this timely book has the driving narrative of a Michael Connelly novel. And like Connelly's books, "Just Mercy" will change the way you see the world.
Due in January, I can't wait to dip in. O'Nan depiction of Fitzgerald's Los Angeles life and waning writing career will take us into the heart and mind of the literary giant.