Pub Date

“I remember one year my friend Carpenter and I had books out on the same day. We talked about it all summer. We each had modest expectations. I had modest expectations for his book; he had modest expectations for mine . . . Finally the big day arrived and I woke up happy, embarrassed in advance by all the praise and attention that would be forthcoming. I made coffee and practiced digging my toe in the dirt . . . Then I waited for the phone to ring. The phone did not know its part. It sat there silent as death with a head cold. By noon the noise of it not ringing began to wear badly on my nerves. Luckily, though, by noon it was time for the first beer of the day. I sat by the phone like a loyal dog, waiting for it to ring. Finally, finally it rang at four. I picked up the phone and heard Carpenter laughing hysterically, like some serial killer, and then I became hysterical, and eventually we both had to be sedated.” 
(c) Anne LamottI usually post this excerpt from Bird by Bird on my website on pub (publication) date. Yes, it’s a little disingenuous. Several people have wished me a happy pub date on Facebook and, like my friend/wardrobe interventionist Lizzie Skurnick, I consider FB greetings sweet and lovely. (David Plotz does not agree.) I was on the Diane Rehm Show and the Marc Steiner show yesterday, WJZ this morning; I have a joint interview with Alafair Burkeat 1 p.m. (Inside joke for Alafair: I have a phoner in a couple of minutes. It’s an interview, on the telephone. With a major media outlet. I’ll probably do it on my iPhone.)

It's all in the lard

I think there are two more interviews scheduled for this week alone. There have been a lot of reviews. As I joked on Facebook, they are not unlike the reviews for Treme: Lots of love, some conditional love, one hater (so far), comparisons to previous work, and I’ll-tell-you-when-you’re-a-genius-missy. It’s all good. In this day and age, it’s an honor to be reviewed at all, so let’s give a shout-out to Sharyn Rosenblum, publicist extraordinaire.I am going to single out one, not because it’s the biggest rave, but because it was sent to me by someone I barely know, who certainly didn’t know I was having a bad day. To my correspondent: Such kindness will be rewarded.

Plus, there was the pizza party, which I am going to declare an unqualified success. My only regret? I didn’t get to taste the Most Dangerous Pizza, which has Nutella and figs.
Years ago, I compared touring to something called The Naked Dance, a delightfully unselfconscious jig performed by a child for whom I babysat. Except adults are never unselfconscious, alas. Sixteen novels, one novella and a book of short stories later, I’m not impervious to reviews, but I’ve gained a lot of perspective, especially in the past year. It’s a gorgeous day in Baltimore. We have terrific house guests in Jon and Ruth Jordan. (How terrific? Jon fixed a leak in the shower and Ruth wants to cook dinner, but I’m insisting that we go to a restaurant after tonight’s signing.) Like Candide, first I will cultivate my garden, then I’m going to enjoy the day. And order the boots that Lizzie told me to order. Turns out that I have a royalty check from Akashic Books that will cover the boots and leave me enough money to treat the Jordans to lunch!
Today’s give-away is the beautiful Esskay tin pictured above because — coming to this blog is like finding out how the sausage is made. Did I promise the cap, too?

It's no Kangol, but Mr. L covets the cap

Turns out Mr. Lippman is awfully keen to keep it. Say anything you want in the comments, but I’ll kick it off with a question: What do you think about the boots? No, seriously — what’s everyone reading? Tell the truth!

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70 thoughts on “Pub Date

  1. I am reading “Learn Me Gooder” by John Pearson while I wait for your book to arrive.
    The Most Dangerous Pizza was delicious! Anything with Nutella is bound ot be delicious! I would like house guests like yours. Mine just seem to eat all my food and leave empty soda cand on my bookcases.

  2. I love your books and am eager to read the latest. I especially love knowing right where the places are. I’m becoming obsessed with the Laura Lippman books and LOVE the Tess Monaghan series. Please write more of these!!!!!!!! I want to see how she copes with motherhood and a career.

  3. Just starting The Woodcutter, a stand alone by Reginal Hill. He’s one of my favorite Brit writers. This one sounds especially dark and ominous. After reading a cozy, I need some noir!

  4. I want to hear more about the pizza with figs and nutella! And also the boots. I just finished the latest installment of Song of Fire and Ice. I love the series, honestly I do, but I am beginning to think that too many pages are devoted to too little happening to way too many people. I’m now rereading, as I do nearly every year, the Fionnavar Tapestry, a brilliant high fantasy trilogy by Guy Gavriel Kay. Lyrical prose, outstanding characterization, perfect story lines, and, like most of his novels, it both breaks my heart and exalts my spirit every time I read it.

  5. I am moments away from going to the bookstore to buy your latest. It is as exciting to me as new music Tuesdays were when I was younger (new Duran Duran? Yay!). Everything on my ridiculously towering reading stack will be pushed aside and I will read this new book far too quickly and be sad when it’s done.
    Currently, though, I am reading the Film Club by David Gilmour. The best thing I’ve read all summer is Manhunt: the 12 Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer by James L. Swanson. I’m foisting it on everyone I know because I want to discuss Boston Corbett with them.

  6. I’m neutral on boots in general (my legs are too short to wear them without looking even stumpier than I look when I’m not wearing boots… unless it’s -10, and then I don’t care what they look like), but if they make you happy, then I’m happy!

  7. The boots are fantastic. Frye boots tend to run big, FYI.

    I just finished The Help. On one hand I enjoyed it, but on the other I can see where it’s problematic with a capital “P.”

  8. The book that I’m reading is Mariah Stewart’s third in the Mercy series. She’s not Laura Lippman, but I can see a lot of similarities in the writing. :) I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of your new book. I’ve hounded the post office enough that they’ll be happy when it arrives, too. BTW Boots are good.

  9. How many stable boys will it take to get those boots off after you dismount from your stallion? ;-)

    I think it’s okay to let Mr. Lippman keep the hat.

  10. I just finished The Paradise Prophecy by Robert Browne. Now i’m gonna start Cornelia Read’s A Field of Darkness.

    Love the boots! ;-)

  11. Here I am, flooding your comments. I forgot to talk about what I’m reading. I finished The Magicians and I have not hated a book so much since I read Little Altars Everywhere. I finished all 5 Fire and Ice books, and I hope I live long enough to read the proposed 7. I’m also reading George R.R. Martin’s short story compendiums (Sandkings is still the single scariest story I’ve ever read, and I read it in the original form, when it came out in Omni magazine). I was in awe of Room. I’m enjoying Stever Brewer’s The Big Wink, his medical marijuana caper. Next up- something by that Lippman woman. I like her stuff.

    • Kathi,
      Be more concerned about whether George lives long enough to finish the series! :-)

      I think I still have my 1979 issue of Omni in which Sandkings was published; truly an inspired and frightening piece of writing! Gotta love GRRM!

      -John.

  12. Love the boots. Of course. I am reading two manuscripts for clients and in between sneaking bits of BLOOD by KJ Wignall. Hoping to pick up a copy of THE MOST DANGEROUS THING at Politics & Prose over the weekend (a very fast trip).

  13. Reading “In a Strange City”, “Atlas Shrugged”, “I’m Feeling Lucky”. Loving Tess and her adventures, please continue her stories. Thank you for your work.

  14. Currently reading The Sixth Man by David Baldacci and Anything for Billy by Larry McMurtry. Looking forward to reading your latest. I so enjoy the Tess Monaghan series and all their oh-so-familiar Baltimore references. I really miss Esskay; when I worked in East Baltimore (many years ago), we ordered weekly direct from the factory. Huge cuts of beef, boxes of bacon and sausage, and wonderful hams. Your sausage can and hat really sparked some tasty memories. My mom had a can just like that for years! As for the boots, go for it! Partial to black ones with a nice chucky heel and western syling myself.

  15. So nice to share in this special day, can almost taste the Charm City pizza. I look forward to your rise on the List and expect to see you on the Craig Ferguson show. Guess we should all tweet him to remind him to invite you.

    Best book of the summer is “State of Wonder” by Ann Patchett, a middle-aged lady (slightly nerdy) scientist, in love, US and Africa, friendship, big Pharma, trying to find out how her colleague died, a mystery in the end, so layered and beautiful. Jen Wiener has a good beach book, “Then came you”, also re-read “the Help” on Kindle, which wasn’t as gratifying as holding it but lent it out. I am waiting for Labor Day vacation to enjoy you and Alafair Burke (I had to keep them in the trunk to resist!)

    I may have said this before, but Sundays haven’t been the same since the Green Raincoat serial ended. I hope some smart NYTimes editor feels the same way and invites you back for a second go.

  16. I’m reading Case Histories by Kate Atkinson and My Life with the Saints by James Martin, SJ. Nothing like the clash of good and evil!

  17. I’ve been checking out all those free and almost free Kindle books. Right now I’m reading “The 7 Ancient Keys to Happiness - a 90 day guide to Achieving Inner Bliss.” This is Day 1, so I can’t tell you how it’s working. One of the best deals has got to be the LL “Hardly Knew Her” story collection. On Amazon it’s 99 cents per story, or 99 cents for the whole collection. I chose the collection. All great reads.

  18. When the bookstore owner arrived yesterday and saw me waiting for her, she asked me, “What, are you related to Laura Lippman?” I told her “in the best way possible way- hometown roots.”
    Reading Jeffrey Deaver’s Bond novel Carte Blanche - interesting perspective for all of us baby boomers who read Ian Fleming. Also have new Linwood Barclay The Accident. Have you read him and can you tell that, like you, his background is journalism?

  19. I’ve been eyeing 2 pairs of Frye’s myself: one short and brown, the other longer and gray. No royalty check since I’m unpubbed, but I may cave and get one. Or maybe both. I’ve been looking forward to yesterday for months and can’t wait til this weekend when I’ll have time to dive into and finish The Most Dangerous Thing. BTW: What may be the best pizza in New York: The sopresseta pizza at Eataly, which my husband and I have nicknamed Heaven. There’s a long wait, but I expect real heaven’s like that, too.

  20. I’m reading or rather listening to on my iPhone, A Discovery of Witches. It’s good and bad. I like the character’s discovery of her past and her struggle to harness her powers; sometimes the romance gets, in my opinion and probably mine alone, a little too much airtime.

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