One of the best parts of a book tour is visiting with good friends. The Portland book event was fantastic–full house, great food and beer, and what I thought was a pretty challenging (at least for me) conversation with my buddy John Larison. Huge thanks to Leila and crew at Patagonia Portland, and all the friends and readers who showed up on a stormy night. Portlanders are not deterred by a little wind and rain!
The pictures here, as you can see, are not from the reading. In all the chaos, I somehow forgot to even snap a single shot. Perhaps these are more interesting, anyway. I spent the day of the reading on a North Coast river with Kate, Crump and Annie hanging out in the pouring rain, watching the river rise, and hooking a fish or two along the way. Then I had to white knuckle it through 50 kt winds, falling trees and Portland traffic to make it to the event on time.
Afterward, our crew shambled around Portland, eventually finding awesome late-night drinks and Vietnamese food at Luc Lac. Lots of fish and book talk, and then Larison and I stayed up most of the night with, yes, more fish and book talk. But when I closed my eyes to sleep, the picture below is what floated through my head. Huge thanks to JL and KT for making the time and being there. Love you guys.
Well, here it is: The new, paperback second edition of Closer to the Ground. This version is completely redesigned, with new cover, lots of photos, recipes, and yes, a lower price. After more hours than I can count spent searching through family photo files, working with the design team, and fixing a few things from the original text, I can hardly believe it’s available–and two weeks ahead of schedule. Amazing.
We also made a little book “trailer” video for it, which you can watch HERE.
I’m really excited about how both the book and the video turned out. Hope you like ’em.
I will be at Kinokuniya Bookstore in the Seattle International District this coming Saturday, June 20th, at 2:00pm. Come check it out if you can–it’s a great excuse to hang in the I.D., forage up some great dim sum, and then listen to me talk about and read from Closer to the Ground. Did I mention that a signed copy of of Closer to the Ground makes a great Father’s Day gift? Okay, my publisher made me add that last bit…
One of the really fun parts of Closer to the Ground being selected for Timberland Regional Library’s community reads program was the music. TRL commissioned the Bushwick Book Club to write some original music “inspired by” the book. I have to admit, I was skeptical at first–it’s kind of a weird thought to have something you’ve written turned into music–but then, at the first event in Tumwater, Geoff, Moe, Wes and Aimee took the stage and played their songs. Great musicians, fun songs, and lots of toe-tapping going on. If you haven’t already, click on the songs in the player above to hear what they came up with.
My favorite part of their performance was when the musicians talked through the process of writing the songs. Each band member read a short piece of the book, then actually demonstrated how they came up with the music by playing their instruments. When the second song came up, the band even got the normally reserved book audience to sing along.
Too much fun! The music brought more life to a book event than I ever imagined possible, and I found myself tapping my toes and singing along, too. Thanks, Bushwick Book Club. I hope we can work together in the future.
I’m honored that the Timberland Regional Library system has selected Closer to the Ground for it’s 2014 Timberland Reads Together community reading program. TRL’s main branch is in Olympia, WA, but they also have 27 branches covering five counties across Southwest Washington. From what I hear, they put on a fantastic community book program. For the announcement and information, click HERE.
To kick the whole thing off, I will be in several different TRL branches to read from and talk about the book during the first week of October. They’re also going to have the Bushwick Book Club of Seattle writing and performing original music “inspired by” Closer to the Ground (No joke…these guys are serious!) along with various other events, discussions and programming. I will update this once the dates, times and locations are squared away.
So…if you live in Mason, Thurston, Lewis, Pacific or Grays Harbor counties, or happen to be nearby in early October, come on out to one of the TRL events. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.