When Hank Hunnicutt, owner of Marble Lions, Kissimeecoochee’s only independent bookstore, agreed to host a book club, he didn’t expect to be at the center of a literary controversy. Tracy Snow, a local college student, pitched the Last Call Book Club, which paired a cocktail with a loosely connected book. Since the book club started two months ago, Tracy has paired Catcher in the Rye with a Whiskey Smash and The Sun Also Rises with a Tequila Sunrise.
However, Tracy has drawn the condemnation from Marble Lions’ customers and members of the Kissimeecoochee First Baptist Church when she paired Nikos Kazantzakis’ The Last Temptation of Christ with a Rusty Nail, a classic cocktail made with Scotch and Drambuie. “One of the reasons I formed the Last Call Book Club was to encourage people to read and discuss books, along with an irreverent cocktail.”
Marianne Snow, Tracy’s mother and President of Angels on Wheels, The South’s only inline skating outreach to lost souls, summed up her daughter’s choice like this: “I think it’s sacrilegious, and I could have sworn we burned that book back in the Bonfire of 1997.”
It’s not the first time Tracy and her mother have clashed. Four years ago, Marianne expressed outrage when Tracy dropped out of The Bible Belters, Kissimeecoochee’s favorite mother-and-daughter gospel group, to form all-girl punk band Toxic Pussy, who had a local hit with “You Had Me at Meow.”
Although Hunnicutt understands the local displeasure of the book club selection, he also knows that it’s an opportunity to engage in a meaningful dialogue about the subject matter. “I’d also like to remind everyone that the Kissimeecoochee Volunteer Fire Department is out-of-town at an arson conference, so let’s not do anything impulsive or rash.”