Fourth fest

By Elizabeth Kiem

The Fourth of July always reeks of spent firecrackers and one-day-only bedding sales. The American dream may be to celebrate independence at the beach, but the checkout line at a major department store is a close second.
Hats off to Lexington bookseller Anna-Lisa Fitzgerald, not only for offering patriotic consumers the chance to save lots of money on something truly worthwhile, but also for dragging the French into our nation-defining quest for bargains.
From July 4 to 14 (Bastille Day, that is), the Best Seller Bookstore in Lexington is declaring a “Revolutionary Sale.” It’s a nice tie-in for a town already brushed history (most of it Civil, less of it Revolutionary, virtually none of it French). While the locals are unlikely to be storming the barricades to get in, it’s certainly one helluva clearance.
Over 1,500 books throughout the store are being knocked down to half price, and Fitzgerald stresses “these are good books… it’s not like a sidewalk sale.” Despite the inherent capitalism of brisk commerce, the French can at least take comfort in knowing the masses are being offered hardbacks and new releases– no remainders or damaged copies. And while there’s no promise of rivers of wine (or blood), there is a very nice coffee bar on the premises.
On the penultimate day of the Revolution, local writer Chris Gavaler will be on hand to sign copies of his first book, Pretend I’m Not Here, a murder mystery limning the story of the chaperone of a couple of TV dating-game winners.
That’s the reading and writing… but what about the bluegrass, you ask. In addition to making room for new fall titles, Fitzgerald is clearing space for her growing music inventory by such local performers as Mike Seeger, Leslie Tucker, James Leva, and Rooster Ruley. If you like your folk music live, head over to Lexington’s acclaimed Theatre at Lime Kiln for one of the last three showings of  Fair and Tender Ladies, an adaptation of the novel by the queen of Appalachian oral history, Lee Smith.
So skip the new mattress and matching towels and hop across Afton Mountain for your Fourth of July spending spree– Liberty and Fraternity, and the fireworks are easy to come by, too.

The Best Seller is located at 29 W. Nelson St. in Lexington. 540-463-4647. Revolutionary Sale runs July 4-14. Signing by Chris Gavaler on July 13 from 1-3 pm. Theater at Lime Kiln is located off Borden Road near Bell Road in Lexington. Last three performances of Fair and Tender Ladies run Thursday, June 27, through Saturday, June 29 at 8pm. For tickets, call the box office at 540- 463-3074 or e-mail