27 September 2014

Bookish Things: Authors (David Mitchell) and Monsters (Minotaur) and Food (smoked chocolate cake), OH MY

Hannah is ready to host the MONSTER party!   
So it's been another busy week at the bookstore.  My coworker, Hannah, hosted some pretty kick-ass YA events, we had a Monster Party complete with a blood fountain, AND I got to spend some quality time with author David Mitchell.  NBD.  All in a day's work!
The blood fountain
My coworker, Chrysler (about whom, more anon when she does a guest blog post later this week), and I drove from western Massachusetts to Cambridge to meet David Mitchell and get some books signed.  And by "some," I mean more than thirty cartons of books, of which each carton weighed more than 25 pounds.  You see, his new novel, The Bone Clocks, is the September selection of our store's signed First Editions Club. Usually we prefer for the author to come to the store to sign books  (for obvious reasons), but if the mountain won't go to Muhammad, Muhammad must go to the mountain, and so we made the trek across the state to spend an hour or two in David Mitchell's company.*
David Mitchell, doing his hand thing in my book
with RH rep, Ron Koltnow, standing up in back
I'm delighted to report that David Mitchell is perfectly lovely and soft spoken and gracious and intelligent and I could probably go on, but I won't.  It's always gratifying when an author in whom we've invested so much time and energy turns out not to be asshole.  The only way the day could have been better is if the B&B where we were getting the books signed had a little modern convenience I like to a handicapped ramp.  Because you know what?  There were stairs up (and later, down) which we had to schlep the 800+ pounds of books.  Extra rounds of thanks go to Ron, who did nearly all of the schlepping back down at the end.

L-R: Chrysler, woman from the B&B, David Mitchell, me
 After all of that schlepping, and in order to avoid getting stuck in the worst of rush hour, Chrysler and I grabbed a cocktail and a little food at a place called Alden and Harlow.  I love tapas bars, and we shared four small plates, plus dessert, between us.  The food was more or less good, but there was one standout dish: pistachio crusted halloumi, with roasted cherry tomatoes and warm bread.

The dessert was more interesting than delicious, at least for me: smoked chocolate bread pudding with salted vanilla ice cream.  I think somebody was a tad heavy-handed with the liquid smoke.  A little less of it, and it would have improved it tremendously.  Chrysler said it reminded her a little bit of eating a burnt S'more.

On the way home, we had a fun discussion about human impulses and the exploration of our Slytherin sides.  And books.  Always the books.

Here then, in parting, I share a photo of my David Mitchell books.  It's not at all excessive to have an advance reading copy of the US edition, paperback and hardcover copies of the UK edition, and regular AND slipcased copy of the US edition.  Anybody who says otherwise simply must be jealous.

This is the "hand thing" I was referring to
in that other photo, above
Not pictured: my regular and slipcased copies
 of the US edition. Still, not at all excessive.

My blog will be a bit quieter than usual in the upcoming weeks, as I have trips to make to Providence, RI, for a New England Independent Booksellers Association, and to Memphis, TN, for some important  trip planning, and I have author introductions to perform (Lauren Oliver tonight and Katy Simpson Smith in two nights' time), and ghost photo booths to plan, and book reviews to write, and, generally, miles to go before I sleep.  But my friend and coworker, Chrysler, will be stepping in to write a guest blog post soon and I will be back when I can.

Hope y'all are having a good weekend.  Let me know what bookish things you've been up to!

*This is not, I hasten to add, because Mr Mitchell thought that coming to South Hadley was beneath him. But with his busy international tour, his publisher couldn't work out a way to get him to us, and we decided that we couldn't do without his book.

17 comments:

  1. Did David Mtichell do the "hand thing" in every book? If so I'm impressed ! It's so disappointing when you get a signed copy of a book and the squiggle could have been done by any two year old who happened to be passing with a pen.
    You sure are busy! (but in a good way)

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    1. No, not the hand thing in every book. He signed the 330 copies for our members with just his signature, and then he did something special for Chrysler's, Ron's, and my copies.

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  2. Eek! I gathered it was a lot of books but didn't reckon on there being 330 copies! Lucky you to have such a special memento.

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    1. Yeah, we had around 30 cartons of books. About 800 pounds' worth!

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  3. I am pretty sure having all of those different editions just shows your devotion. It's not weird at all.

    The Monster Party looks so fun. I must remember to check out our local bookstores and see what fun things they have coming up!

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    1. Devotion, yeah! I like that. Obviously I'm just showing my devotion.

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  4. Emily, your life seems so awesomely glamorous. Even with the hauling of 800+ lbs of books around. :)

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    1. It's about 90% labor, 10% glamour, but I still love this job. :)

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  5. Your devotion is very admirable...and...there is NO SUCH THING as too many copies, in any form, of a special book. Words to live by!!

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  6. "smoked chocolate bread pudding with salted vanilla ice cream"

    WANT IT WANT IT NOW

    Still unsure about whether Imma read this though. It seems good but it also seems like not my usual thing? I don't knowwww.

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    1. You can have all of the smoked chocolate part, but I will need to get in on the salted vanilla ice cream action.

      Not sure that this is the book for you.

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  7. Look at the blood fountain! And the smoked chocolate bread pudding/burned s'more thing which I still really want.

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    1. BLOOD FOUNTAIN! We even melted a little raspberry sherbet into it for a little opacity. 'Cause fruit punch was obviously not blood-like enough.

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    2. Good, I like your commitment to making the blood fountain be realistic (while still delicious).

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  8. I hope you'll be sharing your review of the Mitchell book when you come back; hard to tell from the NY Times review of The Bone Clocks what to think.

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    1. Actually, I reviewed it a few weeks ago. The review I link to is mine. ;)

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Please, sir, may I have some more? (Comments, that is!)