Now, in the Name that Book in One Note game sometimes we don’t get a whole note to work with. Sometimes we’re given half a note…sometimes a vaguely remembered ghost of a note. Sometimes we do pull off miracles, but other times we happily fling out titles like cherry blossom petals in a spring breeze but it looks like no bouquet will be caught….until….
Here’s the latest. Lovely customer comes in and starts to remember a title a friend told her about…there’s keeper in the title…she thinks it may be called “The Keeper”. Usually when this happens it’s because a newly released title got mentioned in passing, snippet heard on NPR, half-gance at LA Times Book section half-remembered. We know these new releases, that’s our job. So we knew there was no new release called “The Keeper”. The hunt is on! First petal into the breeze: “The Housekeeper and the Professor” by Yoko Ogawa – fairly recent, popular, one of our faves. No, she says…no professor involved. OK, next petal: “My Sister’s Keeper” by Jody Picoult- an older title, but the movie came out in 2009. No? Our enchanting manager, Aida, has just walked in from the back stock room and flings another blossom into the air: “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter” by Kim Edwards. This is less likely, since we are now back a few years, but you never know. No, not that either? Now even a customer jumps in – popping her head out from the children’s corner where she had been browsing, she holds up, imagine this, “Keeper” by Kathi Appelt, a wonderful new pre-teen coming-of-age adventure. No no, not a childrens book. Hmmm. Now we’re into new “usually when this happens” territory, as in usually they have a completely wrong word. Aha! The instant “keeper” got released from its mistaken-identity tangle, it became obvious. Very short title, first word “The…”, recent, popular. I think what you’re looking for might be “The Help“, I said. She looked doubtful as I turned around to pluck it from the shelf. She took one look at it’s sunny yellow cover and said with surprise “Oh, that’s it!”