I began this post on a train midway between Boston and Philadelphia, midway through my first book tour. Lots of good and fun things happening since A Reader's Book of Days (see purchase links to the right) was published on November 4: enough that I've been too busy to check my Amazon rank every hour (just as well) and too busy to post an update here, until now.
First, the thing I've most been looking forward to sharing is now shareable: my homemade book video, "How A Reader's Book of Days Was Made," shot on location in my basement, living room, dining room, and son Peter's room, as well as Elliott Bay Books, Open Books, the University of Washington library, and the Seattle Central Library:
I've been showing the video at each of my stops, but we were only able to post it live on Tuesday, when we found the right (public domain!) soundtrack. I have to confess I had way too much fun shooting it--I recommend the activity for any author stewing in that in-between time after the book is finished but before it's out in the stores. All the books in the video, by the way, are included somehow in the RBD, but of course they are just a small fraction of the riches within...
I've had events large, small, and mid-sized so far in Seattle, Bellingham, New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia, and I'm on my way to D.C., L.A., Portland, and back home to Seattle. Here are some of the nice reactions to the book (and to the New York event!) so far:
- Mary Norris (longtime New Yorker copyeditor) at the magazine's Page-Turner blog on the "thrilling" Literary Jeopardy! night I hosted at McNally Jackson Books in Manhattan. Do I really have "something hawklike about the eyes"?
- Elizabeth Taylor's "Editor's Choice" in the Chicago Tribune: "It's a treasure hunt between book covers — and my new favorite gift book."
- Kate Tuttle in the Boston Globe: "Terrifically fun" and "one of those essential household objects."
- Rachel Arons put it at the top of the list of the November Books to Watch Out For, again on the New Yorker's Page-Turner, alongside with some pretty fabulous names: Hilton Als, Flannery O'Connor, Robert Stone.
And a few places have been nice enough to run excerpts, either chronological or thematic, from the pages of the RBD:
- Slate ran five days in full, starting with pub date: Nov. 4 (Montag the fireman first asked "Didn't firemen prevent fires rather than stoke them up and keep them burning?" in Fahrenheit 451), Nov. 5 (Nick Guest dances with Margaret Thatcher to "Get Off of My Cloud" in The Line of Beauty), Nov. 6 (Lemuel Gulliver wakes up bound to the ground), Nov. 7 (Robert Phelps confesses to James Salter that he should have become a cat burglar instead of a freelance writer), Nov. 8 (Adam Smith gives up his professorship to become the tutor to a teen)
- HuffPost posted eleven stories from the book about writers and their day jobs (Defoe extracting perfume, by spatula, from civet cats, Trollope catching a mail thief, Harper Lee quitting her airline ticket agent job thanks to a Christmas gift of a year of writing)
- My old pals at Omnivoracious posted a dozen literary hoaxes and put-ons (Clifford Irving pretending he met Howard Hughes in Mexico when he was really trysting with his mistress, the 300-lb illiterate inmate James Frey didn't make cry by reading him War and Peace)
I expect I'll be doing some more tour posting here, if I can grab a moment. In the meantime, I'm reading Trollope for the first time (!) in my spare moments: The Eustace Diamonds. It's delicious.