In my personal library sit three books written by people I have known.
The oldest is “Tall Tales From The Sage of Cane Hill,” written by the late Leland Fox. It’s a collection of articles Leland had written about the “good old days” and the people and places from which I came. I’ve read a couple but not the whole book. The book was published in 1971 so I’ve had 44 years to finish it. I’ll get around to it.
Next is a book written by one of my many former managing editors. It’s a true crime story that relies heavily on old newspaper accounts. If you’ve ever read old newspaper accounts you’ll understand why I didn’t get very far with it. I’ll get around to it.
Finally, there’s “Brushing the Teeth of Elvis’ Monkey,” a collection of newspaper columns by Chris Bentley. Chris and I worked together at the copy desk for a year at the News-Leader. I actually finished that book. Mainly because it’s a collection of short columns and they were all pretty entertaining. And it was a short book.
So when my friend and former Journal employee Susan Sagarra announced that she had written a book, I figured I’d buy a copy — since I support my friends in their creative endeavors — and I’d promote it on the blog — because that’s one of our mission’s here — and I’d go to her book launch party — because there would be free snacks — then I’d put it on the shelf next to Leland’s book.
I mean, I’m not gonna read it. It’s a novel. It’s one big long story with no pictures. I’m not in college anymore, I don’t have to read stuff like that. Besides, I’ve got Netflix now. I don’t have time for books.
But before I could get to the bookstore my wife went out and bought it ahead of me. Fine. Save me some money. But then she started reading it and wouldn’t put it down and didn’t come to bed until she was finished. Normally when Laurie doesn’t come to bed it’s due to someone snoring.
“You should read this.”
“Yeah. I’ll get around to it.”
“Right. You don’t read anything.”
“I read all the time. Do you know how many articles I have to plow through every day because my friends have posted links to them on Facebook? Did you know some kid was sent to jail for taking a clock to school? Do you know how many articles I had to read about that? And apparently some people don’t like the St. Louis Cardinals. Can you believe it?”
“Read something worthwhile for a change.”
I put the book on my bedside table where it sat for the past – what, three months? Did I mention we have Netflix now? They have an entire section devoted to anime. And have you seen the remake of “Old Boy?” Not as good as the original.
There’s a book review coming — I swear it
So Saturday morning I’m trying to get the laptop to work but it’s slow. Laurie’s in the office trying to pay bills but can’t because the computer is too slow. The TV is acting up too. Great. Our U-Verse is acting up.
No TV. No Internet. What am I going to do now? Go outside? Sure it’s a beautiful late-summer day, but what would I do? Walk?
Susan’s book calls to me.
Fine. At least I can say I gave it a shot.
Meghan Murphy’s heels clicked on the cobblestones as she walked down Main Street.
Oh God. How many more pages is this? Two-hundred sixteen? How many pages is the first chapter? Reaches for the remote. Why won’t the television work???
I plow ahead. Eventually I get in the groove. It’s been a while. Once the story kicks into gear I’m along for the ride. Wait. What just happened? SUSAN!!!
I watch a lot of movies. It’s hard for a story to surprise me. Halfway through the story Susan pulls the rug right out from under me. Good show. I’m kinda pissed off about it, but still, good show.
While I didn’t read it all in one sitting — I can’t sit still very long — I did get through it over the weekend, which is a major accomplishment for me, I assure you. Turned out it was well worth the time.
“Cracks in the Cobblestone” is a murder mystery with a hint of the supernatural. It covers several decades. Some colorful characters. I really like Detective Harrison Parker — he could be the next Columbo.
I won’t give away the plot — you’ll have to buy the book for that (You’re welcome, Susan).
Susan E. Sagarra will be signing copies of “Cracks in the Cobblestone” from 1-4 p.m. Saturday at Main Street Books, 307 S. Main St., St. Charles. Catch her interview on STL LIVE here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtv6m3QtL_M