Buy the Book is a monthly feature where I share a gift guide inspired by something I've read. It's a little play on "by the book" since all of the gifts come directly from quotes or scenes in the book featured and, you know, since it's all stuff you can buy. I'm including a snippet from the book for each item so you'll know why I picked it!
The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan
"Let me guess," said Mr. Quinlan, getting up and going over to the gramophone.
"'The Very Thought of You,' Al Bowlly?"
Laura smiled. "It was their song."
"Of course. Anthony told me the story."
1. Al Bowlly The Very Thought of You CD ($2) - Anthony and Therese's love story is at the heart of this book, so it seems fitting to include "their song." It's the soundtrack to Laura's plan to fulfill Anthony's personal mission.
This was definitely the job for her. She would chain herself to one of the filing cabinets if necessary to secure it. Fortunately it wasn't. The fact that she had seen The Great Escape and was a fan was apparently enough.
2. The Great Escape Blu-Ray ($24) - Eunice and Bomber bond over his love for this movie, and it's the perfect start to their professional relationship and becomes a shared passion in their lifelong friendship.
Charles Bramwell Brockley was traveling alone and without a ticket on the 14:42 from London Bridge to Brighton. The Huntley & Palmers biscuit tin in which he was traveling teetered precariously on the of the seat as the train juddered to a halt at Haywards Heath.
3. Huntley and Palmers Set of 3 Tins (£15) - This book has such a surprising opening that I actually read it twice to be sure I'd comprehended it correctly. The biscuit tin is one of the most important things Anthony finds!
"Right. Let's look at the clue again -- a pen in a biscuit tin."
"Not just any pen -- Anthony's best, beloved Conway Stewart fountain pen; red-and-black marbled shaft with an eighteen-karat gold nib," Laura added.
"Thank you, Miss Marple, but does that really help our investigation?"
"Well, it was the pen that Anthony used to write his stories."
4. Conway Stewart Dandy Burgundy Ripple Fountain Pen ($390) - The lost items inspire Anthony to write again, and I adored the short stories throughout the book. So, his pen had to be included in my gift guide!
"Perhaps she didn't realize that her story resembled someone else's. Perhaps it was simply an unfortunate coincidence."
It was a no ball.
"Nice try, Ma, but it's called Lady Clatterly's Chauffeur..."
5. Lady Chatterly's Lover by D.H. Lawrence ($17) - Bomber's sister is determined to publish a book... if only she had an original idea. I laughed so much at her different proposals (and at the one that finally sticks).
The little blue enameled clock had stopped again; 11:55 and no ticking. Every day it stopped at the same time.
6. Cartier Antique Enamel Silver Miniature Mantel Clock ($3,300) - There's a bit of a mystery and some hints of magic in this story, and the enamel clock is the perfect example. Why does it stop every day at the same time?
Anthony's fingers traced the edges of the jigsaw piece in the palm of his hand and he wondered whose life it had once been a tiny part of. Or perhaps not so tiny. Perhaps its loss had been disproportionately disastrous to its size, causing tears to flow, tempers to flare, or hearts to break. So it had been with Anthony and the thing he had lost so long ago.
7. The Hay Wain Jigsaw Puzzle (£15) - This is just one of the many things Anthony finds over the years, but I loved the way it caused him to reflect on a lost object's importance in the life of its owner.
She sat down on the wooden bench facing the park and breathed a sigh of contentment. A job well done -- almost. The final item on the wooden slats beside her was a bone china cup and saucer painted with gold and violets.
8. Violets Fine Bone China Cup & Saucer Set of 4 ($106) - This is another found object - and the story of how it was lost caught me totally by surprise! And keep an eye out for this character to reappear later in the book.
She was named after St. Therese of the Roses and so he planted the garden as a gift to her. [...] and when it was all done and they stood close together in the spectral drear of a winter twilight, she kissed him softly on the lips and placed something small and round into his cold-bruised hand. It was a picture of St. Therese of the Roses framed in gold metal and glass in the shape of a medallion.
9. Oval Sterling Silver St. Therese Pendant with Real Flowers ($22) - Anthony's love for Therese was so moving, and it's so heartbreaking that he loses her so early in their romance. It changes the course of his life forever.
"We should buy a souvenir for each of them," she said, holding up the striped bag.
In one of the kiosks on the pier, they found a key ring in the shape of a donut for Douglas.
10. Donut Keychain ($15) - And I had to include something in honor of Douglas, the most darling and protective dog with a deep love for iced buns. Baby Jane was sweet, too, but she didn't compare to Douglas!