Heads in Beds

I loved hotels and motels when I was a kid. My earliest recollection was the Copper Queen Hotel in Bisbee Arizona when I was about five or six. My parents and I were living in Tucson at the time, and for some reason, we took a trip and ended up at this place. I don’t remember the room where we slept, but I do recall the elevator and coffee shop, both of which fascinated me. 

In high school, I spent a lot of time in motels during speech meets, concert choir tours, and other school-sponsored events. I remember many late nights with the other girls in my room, watching television, talking, and sometimes even having pillow fights. Of course there were the occasional family trips where my parents, younger brother, and I slept in a motel room together, but those stays weren’t nearly as fun, especially since Dad snored.

As an adult, I only sleep in motels twice a year when I attend the WyoPoets annual workshop in April and the Wyoming Writers conference in June. Since I’m no longer a caregiver, I could do more traveling, sleep in more motels. Will see.

I recently finished reading Heads in Beds by Jacob Tomsky. This is a memoir that talks about the author’s years of experience working in luxury hotels in New Orleans and New York, first as a parking valet, then as a front desk agent. Jacob Tomsky offers tips on how to make the best of your hotel stay from getting upgraded to a better room to stealing items from hotel room mini-bars and bathrooms. He also shares how joining a union helped him keep his job when the New York hotel where he was working changed hands and how the union helped him get  his job back when he was fired after being written up for numerous  minor infractions.

According to a blog post where the author was interviewed, he started writing short stories in high school after reading a lot of classic novels. After quitting his job at the hotel in New Orleans, he moved to Paris for six months and then spent another half year in Copenhagen. During that time, he wrote several novels but never tried to publish them. Heads in Beds is his first book.

I downloaded this book from Audible. The recording features Jacob Tomsky reading it, and he does a great job. At the end, there’s a surprise you won’t find in the print edition. If you still want it in that format, there are links on the author’s Website where the book can be ordered from major online retailers. I’ll probably never be able to afford staying in a luxury hotel, but I found the book entertaining. I recommend you read this book before your next stay in a luxury hotel.



Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome and How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

Author: abbiejohnsontaylor

I'm the author of three novels, two poetry collections, and a memoir. My work has appeared in various journals and anthologies. I'm visually impaired and live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my totally blind late husband who was paralyzed by two strokes. Please visit my website at: https://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com

2 thoughts on “Heads in Beds”

  1. Thanks for this review, Abbie. I will read this book as I have to work with hotels to get a room in which I can breathe. My last stay at a Comfort Inn in Blue Ridge GA was not comfortable as the room smelled of air freshener or some kind of chemical fragrance. I had a headache and breathing problems from sleeping there.


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