St. Louis

On Wednesdy, we visited St. Louis for a couple of days, and our last official bookstore reading for some time. The first night, I went to a meeting of the St. Louis Culinary Society, held at the ultra cool home of Julia Usher, a reknowned patisserie chef who is at work on her first book. (In a disclosure moment, I should note that she’s also the chair of the food writing, editing and publishing section of the IACP; I’m her co-chair.) About 20 members showed up to meet and eat a fabulous cassoulet.

We dd our last official independent bookstore reading of this portion of the tour at Left Bank Books. To celebrate, we brought in cheese, wine and chocolates for the crowd of about 35 who had gathered. Among them were the adorabe parents of my best friend, Laura, whose sole appearance in the book is on the phone, yelling at her kids. This did not stop her from buying a dozen copies… The staffers were great, particularly Jeff and Shane, who took part in the evenng. This was among the best readings I’ve done, but then, this far into the tour, I should have my stories down, I know what I’m going to say and I have an answer for every question. My next bookstore appearance will be very different, at the Borders on Columbus Circle in New York on Dec. 11.

Jeff noted that the store has been trying to figure out ways to lure Stephen Colbert to their store. They’ve even had all their employees pose with his life-size stand-up. So, here’s my contribution. (And my favorite picture from the tour!)

The only downside of our trip was that we stayed at the Hyatt in Union Station. The hotel itself is beautiful, a loving restoraton of an impressive place from another, especially true of the lobby. However, the rest of it is a mall, and not a very impressive mall. I don’t think it’s possible to buy any apparel there that isn’t stamped with Budweiser or St. Louis Carinals…
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