San Marco Books and More Wins Competition To Bring Best-Selling Author To Jacksonville

May 14, 2019

A local bookstore has won a national competition that will bring a best-selling author to Jacksonville.

Shops had a month to design a display interpreting the book A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles and then post photos to social media.

San Marco Books and More owner Desiree Bailey took up the challenge, along with First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross book club moderator Stacey Goldring.

They created a display that publisher Penguin-Random-House chose as one of three winners.

Bailey said the novel by Towles is about a gentleman sentenced to a life of house arrest in Moscow's Metropol Hotel. 

“I made a key fob for the hotel and I think that's what grabbed the author's attention right away.  Because, once I posted that when I started the project, he had commented on it. And a lot of people have been talking about the key fobs.”

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We’re so thrilled to announce the three winners of the #AGentlemanInMoscowDisplayContest! Bookstores from all over the country entered in the display contest, posting their most creative and thoughtful displays to celebrate the Gentleman coming into paperback. After a careful (and difficult!) selection process, we are so excited to show off the three winning displays: @sanmarcobooks, @bookshopwestportal, and @inkwoodnj. Each bookstore has won the grand prize— a visit from @amortowles this fall! Thanks to all the participating stores and thanks for all of you, for celebrating with us here at Penguin Books!

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May 13, 2019 at 9:08am PDT

Towles will visit the San Marco Bookstore and More in San Marco Square sometime this fall for a celebration with fans of the book.

Michelle Corum can be reached at, 904-358-6308 or on Twitter at @MCorumonME.