A Book and a Book and a Fish

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?



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “A Book and a Book and a Fish

  1. Jane

    October 16, 2013 at 9:19am

    SO….does one want a delivery basket of champagne and caviar from some famed shop in Russia? (Well, I am imagining that there is such a shoppe.)
    Or….does one just go for Schimpf’s, the candy legend here in town?
    I am salivating thinking about this topic. I am hopeful that a good salivation in the morning is just the thing for one’s digestion, so…thanks for that. 😉

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      October 16, 2013 at 10:48am

      Oh, Jane, not champers and caviar, but Sara did send back a photo from St. Petersburg of a pastry display that STILL has us drooling. And, ever since ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL, one longs for a hamper from Fortnum and Mason. lol

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      October 16, 2013 at 10:49am

      It could very well be. Sometimes people still write their names in the fronts of their books, and I’ve often been pleased to find that I book I picked up for myself was donated by a friend. 🙂

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