02 January 2013

'Tis the Season: My favorite request of 2012

This request from Christmas Eve pretty much took the cake:

A very smart-looking, well-appointed lady (chic overcoat, lots of jewelry, conservative haircut, good handbag) asked:
Can you recommend a book for an aging, leftist hippie who likes Carl Hiaassen?  Oh, and he's really smart.  He's a genius.

Hot. Damn. 

Aside from the fact that on Christmas Eve I was extremely limited in what I could recommend since I couldn't order anything and get it from the warehouse by the time we closed (which was in about 3 hours), what does one recommend in this instance.  Is Carl Hiaassen a hippie?  He doesn't look like a hippie.  Is it the mystery what he likes?  The only things I could come up with that were hippie-ish and genius-ish were John Irving and WP Kinsella.  Would those be good for Carl Hiaassen fans?  Especially aging ones?  What about geniuses?

I was torn between recommending something really snobbish like Naked Lunch (which an aging, leftist, genius, hippie has likely already read), laughing because everyone is a genius (I mean everyone - if granny asks for a book for her 11 year old grandchild, he/she is always an advanced reader, always, and therefore needs Dickens even if the poor kid is trying to suture the Wimpy Kid box set to his/her arm), and just grabbing a whole load of thrillers in the let's-throw-some-things-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks philosophy.


  1. LOL You could recommend anything from Plato to Scott Westerfield with that one.

    1. I know - that was the hardest part. I couldn't decide which way to go (and I had been roped into this by another bookseller who had started helping the woman first and was also totally stumped).