Legacy Books

I have been meaning to write about the new, independently-owned bookstore where I went to hear Kathleen Kent speak and get her book The HERetic’s Daughter autographed. Legacy Books (www.legacybooksonline.com) is the non-chain bookstore located at The Shops at Legacy (Dallas Parkway and Legacy Drive in Plano) next to the Williams-Sonoma at Home store. When they first opened in late October/early November, I went to check out what an independent bookstore was all about since Dallas doesn’t seem to have any bookstores except the national chains and Half-Price Books. What I found was a huge store that was going to celebrate the grand opening the next week. In celebration, they were going to be having a slew of authors coming in for talks and book signings.

The store is large, comfortable, and different from the chains. On the first level fiction, bargain books, a café, a demo kitchen, magazines, and a huge kid’s section are located. The second level is a small mezzanine and contains mystery and romance books. The third level is non-fiction and has a separate room for huge art books to be spread out on ottomans and has another separate area for authors to discuss their works and room for an audience. Legacy Books will never be one of those disorganized musty, dusty Shakespeare and Company type of stores—it’s too sleek and modern and there were many attentive and pleasant workers wandering the floors.

When I arrived early to hear Ms. Kent speak about the Salem witch trials and her book, Sam Wyly was there talking about his latest book entitled 1,000 and an Idea: Entrepreneur to Billionaire. Mr. Wyly is a Dallas resident who founded such diverse companies as Bonanza Steakhouse, Green Mountain Energy, and Michael’s Stores. As I approached he was doing his best Ross Perot imitation. Apparently, he and Mr. Perot worked together at IBM before they both left to start their own companies. Mr. Wyly was very charming and interesting to listen to and he wrapped up his talk and signed books for friends and fans.

Ms. Kent was supposed to begin her talk promptly at 7 pm but an announcement was made that she would speak approximately 25 minutes later. I took the opportunity to leave my close-to-the-front seat to go put some purchases in my car and special order a book called Murder in Montparnasse by Howard Engel. This book is another mystery with Hemingway as a character (with a fictional name). I was not gone for more than 10 minutes and I had missed Ms. Kent’s introduction and she was already speaking. I was miffed at Legacy Books and marched back to my good seat to listen.

Ms. Kent’s talk made up for Legacy Books’ announcement faux pas. She spent about 25 minutes talking about Salem and the witch trials, her ancestors, and her research. She then took questions from the audience and there were quite a few very good questions as the witch trials are an interesting part of early American history. She then signed books and spoke to anyone who still had questions. The next book Ms. Kent is working on is about Martha Carrier’s husband, Tom. Martha was the ancestor of Ms. Kent’s who was hung for being a witch. The new book entitled The Giant of Edgehill is about Tom’s life before coming to America and sounds fascinating. Tom Carrier was approximately 7 feet tall and lived to be 109 years old. Apparently, he was involved in some historical events in England and Ireland before emigrating to America.

The only other issue I have with Legacy Books is that they never have called or gotten in touch via email to say that my special order book was in. I even communicated with them via their website to inquire about my special order and still have not received a response. I am going to hear another Dallas author speak soon (Ben Fountain) and will probably find Murder in Montparnasse on the shelf. I will attribute this experience to first week problems but probably will not special order from Legacy Books again. Dallas does need an independent book store and I will be frequenting Legacy Books in the future, especially to hear a variety of authors speak.

  4 comments for “Legacy Books

  1. December 5, 2008 at 9:25 PM

    I like your art and literature links. Are you also an artist, or just an avid reader and art lover?
    Ever been to the art galleries of New York or San Francisco?
    National Gallery in Washington? There’s a fabulous Vermeer there…

    Thanks for the link, by the way.

  2. December 5, 2008 at 10:05 PM

    Thanks for the nice comment, Ed. No, I am not an artist but I like to write. I haven’t written anything of substance, but I think that I could write something interesting if I applied myself. However, work gets in the way. As you can see, I haven’t updated my blog in a while and it’s because I am very busy at work and don’t feel like writing later in the day after I have been so busy at work. Also, it would probably help if I bought a pc for home–I hate having to deal with virus protection, etc., so I don’t even have a pc or laptop. Very lazy of me. I go to the library a lot! So then I end up reading more than writing. I am a voracious reader. I did enjoy your recent posting on article structure!

    I was going to go to New York in December 2001 but then 9/11 happened. Instead I went to Vegas and stayed at New York, New York! I would absolutely love to go to New York and London and see the museums and everything else. I want to go to Elaine’s!! However, I have been to Paris many times, the South of France, Rome, Florence, Venice, and have spent lots of time in D.C. My favorites there are the Phillips Collection and the Corcoran and Hirshorn. I love the National Gallery as well. I have seen some awesome traveling exhibits there.

    Also, the arts in Dallas are really starting to come into their own. I will have to blog about that soon. And the Kimball in Ft. Worth always has great exhibitions.

    I haven’t made it to SF, either. I decided to start going to more places in the US that I haven’t been to instead of focusing on Europe. There are so many choices!!

    Take care, Denise

  3. December 21, 2008 at 9:16 PM

    >>>I decided to start going to more places in the US that I haven’t been to instead of focusing on Europe. There are so many choices!!<<<

    There are a lot of choices.

    Just a quick note to say I love your Christmas Wish List. So many good books, so little time of course.

    I just listened to a audio compilation of Hemingway short stories read by Stacy Keach. It was excellent. (I listen to books while I commute.)

    Enjoy the holidays.

  4. December 28, 2008 at 10:45 PM

    Well, I finally made it back to Legacy Books and I went directly to the Mystery section, looked alphabetically for “Engel” and found my special order book! Thankfully no one else had picked it up in the 7 weeks since I had ordered it!

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