Well, Matt and I are taking off for Vegas. We’re staying at the Venetian, we’re seeing “Love”, and I’ve been brushing up on my casino skills.
I’m also excited to go here: http://www.baumanrarebooks.com/about-us/locations/las-vegas-nv.aspx. But seriously — I’d be afraid to breathe in that store. And besides, I might be liable to have a heart-attack if I could hold a first edition, first printing, with an unrestored — perfect condition — dust jacket of The Hobbit. Retailing at the store for only a mere $75,000. *cough cough* They probably don’t let the plebeians near the books. Just to get in the door I’d have to pull out my financial portfolio. Maybe I can win enough money to buy something there. Someone should do the math on whether or not it’s even possible to accrue $75,000 by playing $5 a hand in blackjack.
In honor of our trip, I’ve decided to highlight some books with a Vegas theme.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson — This book is quite the ride. It’s “journalism” at its most drug-fueled. My trip to Vegas will most definitely be tamer than this.
Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich — So, the movie “21” was based on this tale of card-counting. (Not to be confused with the Steve Martin/Queen Latifah laugh-fest of the same name.)
Running Scared by John L. Smith — A biography of Steve Wynn — Vegas mogul — that was pretty hard to find right after it was published because of all of the crazy lawsuits. I think Smith digs pretty deep into Wynn’s life. It’s supposed to be a wild look into all the behind-the-scenes (often illegal) shenanigans (I’ve really been looking for a way to use that word in a blog entry) of running Vegas casinos.
Positively Fifth Street by James McManus — If you’re a poker fan and spend your summer glued to ESPN during the World Series of Poker, then this book is perfect for you. McManus had an advance from Harper’s to write a piece about the World Series and the murder of Ted Binion (the stripper did it!), but instead spent his advance to actually enter the tournament. Da-da-dun. A mix of true-crime with intricate passages about the tournament make for an enjoyable read.
Wanna Get Lucky? by Deborah Coonts — A protagonist called Lucky O’Toole can somehow balance organizing an Adult Film Industry award show AND solve the murder of a woman who winds up falling from the sky during the middle of Treasure Island’s Pirate Show? Here’s the blurb that helped make up my mind to include this book on his list: “Lucky must manage The Babylon’s onslaught of outrageous festivities, solve a murder, struggle to keep her life and libido from spinning out of control, and keep her balance in six inch heels.”
Catnap by Carole Nelson Douglas — Yeah. So. This is a murder-mystery-light book (part of the Midnight Louis series — all set in Vegas) where a hardboiled PI co-investigates all his mysteries with his cat. Did I mention the cat has his own narration? It’s all cliche and all goofy. But fans of this series are PASSIONATE. So, I guess, don’t knock the cat-investigator until you’ve tried it.
There you go! Hope I’ve inspired some Vegas reading. 🙂