Maine natives know about the lobster rolls at Red’s Eats in Wiscasset, the crab cakes at King Eider’s Pub in Damariscotta and the fruit pies at Testa’s in Bar Harbor.
But what of the inconspicuous, the out-of-the-way treasures, those places the “locals” rave about — between themselves?
I remember being with a friend, Pete, in San Francisco and we trollied down to Fisherman’s Wharf, looking for a place to eat breakfast. Pete suggested we follow some fishermen. They were easy to pick out and, being “locals,” they’d know the best place to eat. So we did and I’ll never forget the eggs Benedict with crabmeat. Out of this world and I’ve never found it anywhere else, from the West Coast to New Orleans, even in Maine.
The same trick worked in New Orleans when friends Pete and I joined friends Cal and Tim and found a dive-looking hole in the wall whose cuisine equaled that of K-Paul’s.
This all got me to thinking about books and authors.
Think about it. The general public knows about J.K. Rowling, James Patterson, Lee Child, Danielle Steel, Harlan Coben, David Baldacci — all those folks whose books are front-and-center at every BAM! and Barnes and Noble. These authors are akin to the Red’s Eats in Wiscasset, the Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse in Chicago, Top of the Mark in San Francisco. (Well, some may naysay that Patterson is more like McDonald’s or Burger King.)
But what about the lesser-knowns, the authors you enjoy but about whom the masses of English-speaking public is oblivious?
For me, J. Michael Veron — author of The Greatest Player who Never Lived, The Greatest Golf Course That Never Was and others — comes to mind. I love golf and golf course design, and Veron strums all the right chords on that guitar.
Another is George MacDonald, famous in the UK in the 1800s for his Christian novels but mostly lost in time despite his works being resurrected in modern English by Michael Phillips.
And I just stumbled upon Stephanie Landsem, whose prose in The Thief is stunning.
How about you? Can you share your favorite not-quite-famous author or authors?
By the way for fellow golf lovers, check out my e-books, Putting a Little Spin on It: The Design’s the Thing and Putting a Little Spin on It: The Grooming’s the Thing on my website: www.markalanleslie.com.
The books are filled with quotes and stories from such greats as Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Sam Snead, Gene Sarazen, Ben Crenshaw, Pete and Alice Dye, Gary Player and the Joneses (Trent, Bobby and Rees) as well as “lesser-knowns” (to the non-golf industry, that is) like as Tom Fazio, Tom Weiskopf, Ed Seay, Tom Doak, Jay Morrish, Dr. Mike Hurdzan, Dana Fry, Joe Jemsek, Bill Kubly, Jeff Brauer, Steve Smyers, Jan Beljan, Ron Forse and many, many others.