Wednesday, January 11, 2017

More on Clinton Kelly's (ticketed) visit to Boswell on Saturday, January 14, 7 pm.

Before we get started, here's the ticket link to our event on Saturday.

I have this surreal feeling whenever we book someone for an event at Boswell that I never expected to be hosting. If you ever said to me ten years ago that one day Clinton Kelly of What Not to Wear and The Chew would be visiting, I probably would have laughed hysterically. For one thing, I would have told you I'm not hosting anyone - I'm buying books for Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops and I'm afraid of speaking in front of a crowd of more than 10. I did in fact occasionally host events at Schwartz, but my specialty was for groups of...10. And I wouldn't know what The Chew was.

Reading Mr. Kelly's new book of essays, I Hate Everyone, Except You, I'm guessing he also would have been surprised at the turn his life has taken. He started out in the world of magazine publishing, just before the fashion journalist turned into the newest breed of celebrity. His first job in front of the camera was for a QVC spinoff shot in Astoria, Queens (which we used to go to regularly, but our only stop was Uncle George's Greek restaurant, which was a favorite of my father). And like many career paths, his was filled with a number of twists and turns. Often it seems like it was fate that got him to the next rung of the ladder of success, but of course it also takes drive and talent, and for the path he chose, charisma too.

What fun this book is! Like Kelly, I grew up Long Island (well, Queens, but I could and did walk over the border). I also had the desperate desire to go to glamorous amusement parks, and when I first went, I went with my parents, also like Kelly. Once we got to the park, I became frightened of all but the gentlest of rides. It wasn't until my twenties when something snapped in me and I became rollercoaster obsessed. But perhaps part of my 20-something obsession with amusement parks was my interest in counting couples in matching outfits. They were mostly male-female couples but sometimes three or four women would attend the park dressed alike. Many of the outfits looked like shorty pajamas, or baseball uniforms that were emblazened with the names of football teams. When people discuss late eighties and early nineties fashion, you rarely see mention of matching shorty pajama style leisurewear, but believe me kiddies, it really happened.

After a number of years in fashion judgment, Kelly moved to cooking and crafts. But whatever he's talking about, he has a delightful sense of humor, and that all comes back in I Hate Everything, Except You. This new collection of autobiographical pieces touches on his blended family upbringing on Long Island, singleton New York adventures, life with his always understanding husband Damon, and of course a little small screen gossip. There are a few fictional pieces (featuring characters named Clayton and Chetley) and while some details can be a little racy, I know you can handle them.

Here's the table of contents:
Kamikaze (a trip to Action Park)
Brilliant Ideas (Trying for a job at Marie Claire)
Auditions, The Universe, and Other Whatnot (that fateful day)
Memorizing Porn (the dialogue is underrated)
Turd in the Punchbowl (Paula Deen's jellied chicken wings)
Freakin’ Fabulous, the Sitcom (What Not to Wear)
The Switch (how he met Damon Bayles)
Clinton for President (medicinal marijuana)
You Young, Me Restless (a Miami story)
Textbook Penis (stranger than fiction)
Stockholm Syndrome (Clinton and Damon go to Stockholm)
The Way it Went (a shopping channel story)
I’m Waiting (waiter stories)
Your a Psychopath (a little hate mail, and the misspelling is on purpose)
Salad Days (competitive salading)
Rich and Famous (giving a commencement address)

Tickets are $26 and include admission to the event and a copy of I Hate Everyone, Except You. On the night of the event only, an $18 Boswell gift card is available in lieu of the book. Kelly will personalize your book, will sign books brought from home, and will pose for photos. You can also order by phone by calling (800) 838-3006. It's event #2716017.

If you haven't been to one of our ticketed events, don't worry! There's a decent amount of street parking, and a parking garage across the street. The top floor is priced like the surface lot it replaced. There's a surface lot about two blocks north of us When you enter the store, you'll get a line letter that is like your ticket to let you back in if you leave. And if you come early, there are four places to eat within a block of us--Pizza Man, Cafe Hollander, Bel Air, and Henrys.

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