Monday, January 14, 2013

Heads in Beds by Jacob Tomsky

Probably no one is surprised that I brought a lot of books home with me for the holidays, and not just as gifts. Although almost everyone on my list got at least one book. Of course, it's a rare Smith family gathering that doesn't involve at least a few book swaps or heartfelt endorsements. I hadn't intended to share Heads in Beds by Jacob Tomsky with my family, but I left it sitting on an end table, and the next thing I knew both my brother and father had picked it up. My sister and mother were both too busy with their own books.

I was drawn to Heads in Beds for two reasons: I love snarky memoirs, and I have a few of my own horror stories about working in a hotel. My experience only lasted long enough for me to save the money to pay for library school, and the suburban hotel I worked in was far from the luxury destinations of New Orleans or New York that Mr. Tomsky writes of.

Despite my brief time as a hotel employee, and the genera quiet of that hotel, I still have a store of weird stories. Tomsky captures all the stress and insanity that goes on in the staff only areas and behind closed guest room doors with behind the scenes of the hotel's front desk or behind closed guest room doors with wit, charm, and more than a few swears. Scattered throughout are useful tips for hotel guests looking for extra perks, or for those who might just want to make life easier on the staff.

My Dad was particularly struck by the advice on tipping, and has been sharing stories about all the hotels he stayed in during his career. Including the time he and my mom were upgraded to a lakeview suite. I'm glad I was only ever tipped once, with a piece of chocolate, because our location did not have any upgrades that I could offer.

Overall it's funny, informative, and sure to remind you of at least one hotel stay (good or bad).

~Sarah, Adult Services

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