Name: Kelly Justice
Bookstore: Fountain Bookstore
Title: Boss Lady
Brief Bio: Kelly bought The Fountain in January 2008 after managing it since 2000 and she has been a professional independent bookseller since 1989.
What books recently rocked my world: 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami: trippy. Oh, and The Casserole Queens Cookbook. I wore a little apron around the store for weeks in celebration of its publication.
Best damn event(s) we’ve hosted: Having Alton Brown sign a kid’s day-old appendectomy scar was pretty special. Listening to Tom Wolfe rap explicit, fake hip-hop lyrics in the church where Robert E. Lee worshiped was surreal.
I have to say my favorite events are with the first time authors. I think they are some of the most exceptional events we do.
Bringing an author into the Fountain Family is an experience many never forget, but most eventually call off the lawyers and we have a good laugh about it.
Most entertaining author(s) we’ve hosted: Recently, Simon VanBooy (Everything Beautiful Began After) left our audience charmed to the point of speechlessness. Jonathan Miles (Dear American Airlines) and Michael Knight (The Typist) are both wickedly funny men and rather dangerous when together. We all have a weak spot for Robert Goolrick (A Reliable Wife) because he is such a warm presenter and we love his books. And, of course, Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races/Shiver) not only makes customers in the store ecstatic, we ship her books all over the world to happy, happy people who love werewolves and kissing. She is always fun to have in the shop just to hang out.
Why our store kicks ass: Anyone who says we don’t kick ass we lock in the bookstore basement until they say we do.
I promise you won’t find this at any other store: A basement full of bodies.
Why I do what I do: People think booksellers are booksellers because they love books, and some are. I love books, but I love people who love books more. I’m a bookseller because the written word is my favorite way to connect with others.
If I weren’t selling books I’d be: A state extension agent specializing in beef cattle nutrition. No, really.
Books that changed my life: 1984—It’s not a perfect book, but I’ve read it at least ten times because it reminds me what it means to be human.
Susie Bright’s first three books—she redefined girl power (well, really woman power) for me and showed me that there is more than one way to be a feminist.
Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman—I reread from it all the time because it reminds me to live in the moment and appreciate the gift of the body.
Andrew Vachss’ Burke series taught me the real definitions of the words “friend” and “family.”
Harlan Ellison’s short fiction I go back to more than any other works, and I don’t understand why more people don’t read him. For a treat, (if you don’t have delicate sensibilities), check out the documentary on his life, Dreams with Sharp Teeth.
Top three authors, living or dead, I’d invite to my dinner party: Oscar Wilde, Anthony Bourdain, and Julia Child. If you can’t have a good time at that party, there’s something seriously wrong with you.
Top three songs on the soundtrack to my life: Can we go back to the book questions again?
My last meal request: I want to cook it myself. And to do that, I have to have my fantasy kitchen. Construction could take quite a long time. I’m registered at Vulcan Ranges, SubZero, Kohler, Mauviel, and Le Creuset. When you’re done shopping for me, let me know.
Tags: 1984, 1Q84, A Reliable Wife, Alton Brown, Andrew Vachss, Anthony Bourdain, Burke, Dear American Airlines, Diane Ackerman, Dreams with Sharp Teeth, Everything Beautiful Began After, Fountain Bookstore, Harlan Ellison, Haruki Murakami, Jonathan Miles, Julia Child, Kelly Justice, Maggie Stiefvater, Michael Knight, Natural History of the Senses, Oscar Wilde, Robert Goolrick, Shiver, Simon VanBooy, Susie Bright, The Casserole Queens Cookbook, The Scorpio Races, The Typist, Tom Wolfe