Oh, how I love the Friends of the Library book sale building, The Book Box! Apparently, there are plenty of people in Corydon as odd as I am, or they know people who are as odd as I am, because I’m always finding weird and wonderful books there.
One of my most recent is RUSS & DAUGHTERS: REFLECTIONS AND RECIPES FROM THE HOUSE THAT HERRING BUILT, by Mark Russ Federman. I might or might not have picked up this book otherwise, but, as it happens, I knew about Russ & Daughters Appetizers from another book I got from The Book Box, so I got it.
Russ & Daughters is a store that’s been open and family-run for around 100 years. It’s on the Lower East Side of New York City, and specializes in fish, salads, and candy. The book is a delight, delivering, as promised, reflections and recipes, as well as jokes, photographs, and a little history. The founder, Joel Russ, saw that other store owners changed their store names to So-and-So and Sons as their boys grew and came into the business. He didn’t have any sons, but his daughters helped out, and the customers liked them. So he changed his store’s name to Russ & Daughters, and that’s what it’s been ever since.
The other book is TEPPER ISN’T GOING OUT: A NOVEL, by Calvin Trillin. TEPPER is about the cut-throat activity of finding a parking place in New York City. Tepper finds good parking places, then sits in them, in his car, for as long as the parking meter runs. People looking for a space see him in the car, wait for him to pull into traffic, then impatiently ask him if he isn’t going out. No, he tells them, he isn’t going out.
And where do you think one of his favorite parking places is? Right in front of Russ & Daughters, that’s where. I came to feel very familiar and possessive about Russ & Daughters during the readings of this book: plural because I read it and liked it so much I read it aloud to Mom.
Now someone please talk me out of ordering a gift basket delivered to the wilds of the Midwest!
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Where would you like to have a gift basket delivered from?