Friday, February 04, 2011

It's All About Causality

There's a schedule change coming my way at the end of this month, and it's shaking up the shape of my world. I'll have evenings free, which translates to a need of things to do in the evening. I've literally never had a job that's left me with free time before 7PM. This felt like a problem until I looked at our February author events, and was reminded how awesome, varied, and (often) free our events are.

Since I like to assume that my tastes are universal, or maybe just need to make myself accessible to stalkers, I'm going to tell you about the events I'm most jazzed about. And mind you, this is the jazziest I've felt about events. While there is a steady stream of awesomeness coming down the pipeline, sometimes we have a perfect storm situation. Interests dovetail, authors rock the house with Appalachian buffets, and people admit interesting or awkward things (depending on your perspective) during their face time with the author(s). This February is just such a month.

Going in the order of release dates, which actually matches up with their chronological order, we have an event with Jamie Ford at the Bellevue Regional Library on February 3rd. The event with be an installment of the library's Meet the Author series, where he will read a passage from Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, his debut novel, in addition to discussing the work that went into it. For anyone who has already read the book, which, if sales are a fair indicator, would be a lot of you, I don't need to explain why this event is well worth the potential trek over to the Eastside. For the rest of you, Jamie Ford is one of the nicest people you could hope to meet. He is a soft-spoken, down to Earth, and insightful individual that everyone should go see at a reading or literary event of some kind at least once.

The following week, we have Jane McGonigal showing up at our U-District store to discuss Reality is Broken. My love of video games is well-noted, and as you can read in my little questionnaire profile thingy, I love video games as a delivery mechanism for stories. However, another interest is in the way video games alter our thinking. While there is quite a bit that's been written about video games as an industry, this is the first book I've come across to really touch on what I'd call big picture issues in the fields of psychology or neuroscience. It's interesting to think about the way playing video games can shape our consciousness and the way we interpret and respond to our reality. In her book, you'll find scientific evidence supporting the notion that games are good for us. If you'd like to know more about how games can make us happier, more creative, and more resilient, this isn't one to miss.

Last, but certainly not least, we have an in-store event on February 17th with local author Jonathan Evison! I'm very unabashed about my fanboy-ism here, so I don't mind telling you that I totally hero-worship Evison. Which isn't to say that I've built a small altar with pictures, offerings, or burning candles. Instead, it means he's an acquaintance that I've come to admire and respect to the point of thinking he's one of the best people ever. And that's a thought substantiated by my analytical mind. You're unlikely to meet anyone more encouraging, genuine, or charismatic than him.

All of that aside, West of Here is an absolutely outstanding addition to his body of work. In this novel he shows what a truly amazing talent he is by adopting a style that will come as a shock to those who loved/read All About Lulu. It starts off with prose that feels much more in line with the early pioneers of the novel, with a story of life in an untamed land that would make Jack London jealous. Mind you, I don't say that lightly.

Part of me wants to keep this ball rolling, but there's probably enough here for you to consider. However, a short list of the events of March looks like another perfect storm month is en route. Among others, we've got T.C. Boyle (!!!), Adam Corolla, Michael Showalter, Suze Orman (my mom will be front and center), and Michio Kaku.



  1. jonathan evison1:30 PM

    . . . i'm blushing, griffin! thanks for the love!

  2. Anonymous7:54 AM

    As someone who has benefited from this blogger's judgment in the past, I'm going to take a serious look at these books. Too bad I'm so far from Seattle.


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