Thursday, May 12, 2011

Chuck Palahniuk Does it Again--And the Whole Store Crowds Around Me As The Magic Box is Opened

A couple of days ago, we received a package from Chuck Palahniuk in Portland.  Since we've gotten on this mailing list, it's become a ritual that when I open the box, it definitely shoots to the top of the most interesting thing goin on in the bookstore, particularly on a Wednesday afternoon post Mother's Day during finals. And all the kids are at school.  And everyone's working.  And it's after lunch at Via and Hollander. Et cetera.  Yes, we were quiet.

We'd already received a bonus box, containing Lydia Vunavitch's essay of a competitive swimmer-artist who battles violence, addiction, loss.  Palahniuk loved it, as did several other writers, including Andrei Codrescu, who wrote "This intensely powerful memoir touches depths yet unheard of in contemporary writing. I read it at one sitting and wondered for days after about love, time, and truth."  I think Stacie grabbed it!

So the new box comes, and Jason already knows it's the advance copy of Damned (yes, Palahniuk moved to the fall), since he's buying from rep Jason next week.  And Amie starts reading and she catches that it's sort of a riff on Are You There God? It's Me Margaret.

And then Jason puts on the devilish mask inside. And then the crowds start grabbing at the Halloween candy. And I think, "What if it's poisoned?" Wouldn't that be a clever way to promote a Palahniuk novel? But that thought is fleeting, and I grab a couple of Milky Way Midnights, the really tiny bite-size ones. They used to be called Milky Way Dark.  I'm not sure why the name changed.

In the end, Jason grabbed the galley because he's a really fast reader.  Yes, but admit it, Jason. Greg gives the best quotes.  Our friend Margaret came in a few weeks ago and said to me, where are Greg's new recs? I've already read everything on his shelf. I'm just saying that never happens to me.

I always said to the gang who started the original Schwartz blog, "Don't write about books that aren't coming out for a long time as you're just pushing folks to buy it on Amazon." But hey, we've already got a couple of holds on 1Q84, the new Murakami that is also out in October. And besides, Palahniuk sent us candy.

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