Monday, June 6, 2016

One that got away

One more thing I learned on my summer vacation: an Italian-American bookstore opened in Boston’s North End in October 2015. I AM Books calls itself the first Italian-American bookstore in the United States. It’s a small store, with a sampling of used books (large volumes of Leonardo and Michelangelo were just five dollars each) and shelves devoted to children’s books, cookbooks, history, travel, Italian writers (in Italian and in English translation), and Italian-American writers. I picked up a novel by a writer I’d never heard of: Leonardo Sciascia’s The Day of the Owl (1961). And I recommended that the store look into stocking some Gilbert Sorrentino. (Brooklyn, represent.)

Favorite moment: two teenaged girls were browsing and noticed the music playing in the store: “Was Frank Sinatra Italian?” one of them asked.

Related reading
Gilbert Sorrentino (1929–2006)
Things I learned on my summer vacation, 2016

[New York City’s S. F. Vanni began in 1884, but that was a bookstore for books in Italian.]

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