Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I am Hypnotized by Emily Giffin's Purple Jacket...But How Does it Look with Her Shoes?

I've gone on at length about how Little Bee pops off store tables with that magic orange jacket. It got me to thinking about other colors, and how they are treated in book jackets. This is an outgrowth of my interest in colors on clothing. There's nothing more exciting for me than window shopping clothing stores and seeing what colors are popular.

For bookstores, however, it's a sea of red, white, and blue, with a few exceptions. See my previous post of blue versus greenish blue. Today, however, I'm talking about purple. Specifically, I am giving a shout out to Emily Giffin's new novel, Heart of the Matter. It's a simple jacket, but I love the color. For one thing, I have several shirts I could wear while I read this book. There's a very nice gingham at Aala Reed on Brady Street, for example.

Her new novel is about a doctor's wife and a single attorney whose lives cross in a tragedy. Giffin's known for doing characterization well, and though I haven't read it, but Giffin's star keeps rising. (I fear I am the wrong demographic, but that's just like me to ignore these sorts of things). Giffin's current book debuted at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list and at the momentum she's currently experiencing, a #1 debut should not be far behind.

I did think about reading it, but got bogged down in my own event books (blog posts to come). But then I had a fortuitous occurrence where I had a reason to enthuse over that purple and still come up with a cohesive thing to say about Giffin's book that did not solely involve the jacket.

I was sitting at a coffee shop, trying to write up a totally different book that need not be named (Insignificant Others, by Stephen McCauley) and sure enough, the young woman next to me pulls a copy of Heart of the Matter. I don't normally interrupt folks in their reading, but how can I resist?

It turns out that "Deborah" (I let her pick her own alias) is a big fan. She's read all her books and though she's moving pretty quickly through the new one, she's got mixed feelings, as what is she going to do when it's over?

I asked Deborah why she liked Giffin more than many of the other writers she's read. For one thing, Giffin's characters are warmer than many other writers that write in a similar style? Did she have any other recommendations for me? Well, she's also quite fond of Sophie Kinsella. I recommended Marian Keyes--she'd heard of her, but had read nothing. Maybe, just maybe, she'll find another author she likes...

We had a nice conversation about how much we like it when characters show up from other previous books in an author's work. I'm not talking about sequels here, which I'm not so fond of (apologies to all sequel writers), but just a coincidental crossing of lives. If I could only remember the Barbara Pym novel where the heroine overhears a conversation between Wilmot and Piers from A Glass of Blesssings? Alas, I can't.

Did I mention that "Deborah" has seen Emily Giffin in person twice and that she's absolutely wonderful? Giffin (not Deborah) is appearing in Milwaukee at the Barnes & Noble at Mayfair Mall this Friday, May 28th, at 7 PM. I know it's odd that I'm sending people to a competitor, but eh, what the heck. Booksellers are known for doing a lot of things that aren't necessarily in their best interest. Of late, we are apparently making a lot of suggestions for customers' ebooks (also for another post).

Tell Ms. Giffin Daniel sent you. And "Deborah."

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