May is for Memoirs
It’s memoir madness around here at Chez Book Line and Sinker. I’ve got a stack of 12 memoirs* on my nightstand–some read, some waiting to be read, and other waiting for reviews. I’m a huge memoir fan but haven’t ever read this many in a row. I’ll probably need a heavy dose of ‘beach reads’ when I’m done. Luckily, my summer break is right around the corner.
I just finished up Retail Hell, the hilarious account of Freeman Hall’s life working the handbag (NOT purse!!) department at The Big Fancy (aka Nordstrom). Working retail is hellish enough–I spent more than my fair share of time working the register and sales floor–but The Big Fancy ratchets up the horror in a variety of ways. Customer Service is always a top priority, even if it means letting customers make shady returns, behave erratically, and even verbally assault the employees.
And how did dear Freeman get sucked into the dirty underworld of retail hell? “In a word: clothes.”
We all have our addictions. Belgian chocolate. QVC porcelain dolls. Crack cocaine. Mine just happens to involve shirts and pants. Designer shirts and pants. And trendy shoes that look hot with them. No big surprise there. Young gay guy lured to the dark side by fashion. It’s not headline news…
Freeman goes on to describe that after scoring a fake ID, he needed some new threads to impress everyone at the clubs. He discovers the lure that hooks most retail slaves into the ‘fold’–The Employee Discount–and there’s no saving him. Freeman has a way with words and the actions of the customers he describes are almost too impossible to fathom–he had me laughing the whole time. This is a great read for anyone looking to laugh or to have his or her feelings about working retail validated.
I was recently pitched I Suck At Girls, Justin Halpern’s (of Sh*t My Dad Says fame) new book. I downloaded the sample to my iPad and was rolling with laughter from page one. Needless to say, that review is on tap for June.
I’m also working on the memoir of an Indian girl who grew up in a very traditional Indian household. The title of this book slays me: On the Outside Looking Indian. As an adult, Rupinder Gill decides to embark on a year of fulfillment–living out all of the childhood fantasies she was denied by her strict parents. It’s shaping up to be another good read.
In addition to these three, I have the Steve Jobs book (I know, I know, it’s not a memoir), Jen Lancaster’s newest, and a few others that caught my eye. I know that memoirs aren’t the most popular genre out there, but ever since reading Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods a bunch of years ago, I’ve been sold on them. If you’re not a fan, maybe one of my upcoming reviews will sway you!
Okay, so now I want you to dish: Have you ever worked retail? If so, where, and more importantly, how was the discount???
*I also have to biographies in the stack!