Hot Vacation Reads From Santa Fe

We're visiting bookstores around the country this month to find out what people are picking for their summer reads. Guest host Linda Wertheimer talks with Francoise Paheau, owner of Garcia Street Books, about what her customers are reading this summer.

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, host: So it is really summer now. It's very hot in most of the country. We're thinking about vacation trips or it may be stay-at-home vacations. And we're thinking about books. Not the sort of eat-your-spinach books that we need to read in the cold dark months; but summer sorts of books.

So this month, we'll visit bookstores in four places people like to visit, places all across the country to find out to find out what people are reading when they can read whatever they want.

Today we speak with Francoise Paheau. She is the owner of Garcia Street Books and she joins us from her store in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Thanks for being with us.

FRANCOISE PAHEAU: Thank you for having me, Linda.

WERTHEIMER: Now, you don't sound like you're from Santa Fe.

PAHEAU: No, I'm not from Santa Fe. I was born in Belgium.

WERTHEIMER: And how is business this summer?

PAHEAU: Business has been slowed down a little bit because of the forest fires. But it's picking up greatly.

WERTHEIMER: Oh, that's good.

PAHEAU: Yes.

WERTHEIMER: Now is there one particular book that you're kind of having trouble keeping in stock, that is just running out of the store?

PAHEAU: Yes, "Cutting For Stone" by Abraham Verghese, "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett, and for the regional books "Empire of the Summer Moon" by S.C. Gwynne.

WERTHEIMER: What is that one? That's one I haven't heard of.

PAHEAU: It's one on the Comanche Empire in the 17 and 1800s.

WERTHEIMER: Do you recommend that to your customers? Or are people actually coming in looking for it?

PAHEAU: They come and look for it, to the point that I have bought it myself.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

WERTHEIMER: And did it surprise you? Did you not expect that to be a big summer book?

PAHEAU: No, I was expecting more paperback fiction, rather than nonfiction.

WERTHEIMER: So if you were going to name a Southwestern book that is a hot book for you this summer, what would it be?

PAHEAU: "To Hell on a Fast Horse: The Untold Story of Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett"...

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

PAHEAU: ...by Mark Lee Gardner. And, of course, "Randy Lopez Goes Home" by Rudolfo Anaya, who's a local author.

WERTHEIMER: Alan Cheuse reviewed that book on our air - "Randy Lopez Goes Home" - about a man who makes his fortune in the Anglo world and then returns to his home village in New Mexico. Alan Cheuse called it a kind of a "Pilgrim's Progress."

PAHEAU: It's flying off the shelves, even though it's hardback.

WERTHEIMER: What's the cookbook that's hot this summer? I'm from New Mexico, so I'm...

PAHEAU: Oh, you are?

WERTHEIMER: ...partial to the food.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

PAHEAU: Any cookbook that's about chili peppers and...

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

PAHEAU: ...the New Mexico style of cooking. We have some great restaurants here that have their own cookbooks. And people go eat there and then they come here to buy the book.

WERTHEIMER: Francoise Paheau, she spoke with us from Garcia Street Books in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Thank you very much for joining us.

PAHEAU: Thank you very much, Linda.

WERTHEIMER: Next week, we'll check in with another bookstore.

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