I’ve enjoyed License to Pawn: Deals, Steals, and My Life at the Gold & Silver by Rick Harrison, the star of the History show “Pawn Stars.” In some ways it’s a typical tale of perseverance and hard work, but it’s also a charming story of redemption with real flashes of humanity. Rick’s chapters are interspersed with ones written by others in the family-owned Las Vegas pawn shop: the Old Man, his father; Hoss, his son; and Chumlee, Hoss’ childhood friend. Their struggles include the younger two recovering from drug addiction and the Old Man and Rick fighting the local political machine. Yes, it’s a business with some hard rules, as Rick makes clear, but there’s heart there too: tolerating weird repeat customers and taking up a collection from employees to help a broke soldier get back to his base. The book makes you wish you could sit down to dinner with Rick and listen to him tell more fascinating stories.
Ann August is an educator who lives outside Washington, D.C.