Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Visit to Politics and Prose, a Dinner with Authors of Upcoming Books

It's our first full day of Winter Institute and already I'm feeling excited about books. Everybody's running around telling everyone else what to read. I'm embarrassed because I'm reading a lot of reprints (already confessed) but I can talk up the Hannah Pittard, which many other booksellers have enjoyed.

Last night Jason and I attended a dinner with Grove Atlantic and two authors, Alice LaPlante, who has a novel coming out in July called Turn of Mind, and Francisco Goldman, with a new novel called Say Her Name. Goldman's had some highly touted novels before (and at least one stop in Milwaukee in the Schwartz years) but this one seems to have more bookseller buzz about it. It's based on Goldman's own short-lived marriage to a woman who died while body surfing. Of course I immediately thought of Rafael Yglesias' A Happy Marriage, but honestly, I didn't read either. Before the dinner, both Lanora from Next Chapter and Mark from Politics and Prose told me how much they liked it.

And yes, Sheryl Cotleur of Book Passage has quotes on both advanced copies. Plus she also has a great advance read on Life, on the Line, the new joint memoir by Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas. The Journal Sentinel reported that we're having a ticked event with Achatz on March 13th. Tickets go on sale soon. Check in with Stacie for details. I could be a happy camper just reading Sheryl's recommendations. I'm sure there are folks in Marin who do just that.

Yes, we spent the afternoon visiting Politics and Prose, one of the great bookselling pilgrimages. All of our former DC customers get all excited while talking about the store, and news that partner Carla Cohen passed away in 2010 made national headlines. There was a sadness to be in the store without Carla, but a happiness that the store looked great and bustling. I bought a delicious sandwich in the cafe, a copy of The Three Weissmanns of Westport (coming momentarily in paperback and for some reason, I don't own a copy), and a set of Moleskine green volant notebooks, a discontinued color. Thanks, Mark, for the tour, and I hope you don't mind if I copy an idea or two.

Oh, and I brought along my camera and didn't take any pictures. What's that about?

Tomorrow is lectures, meetings, sales rep presentations, authors, and lots more conversations with booksellers, publishers, and writers. Hey, I don't want to look stupid when you ask me that stumper about a book you just heard about.

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