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Come on down

Hello from a plane somewhere between Minneapolis and San Francisco!

I’ve been trying to write this post for a couple of days now, on trains and planes and more trains and planes, but then I wind up staring out the window or admiring the spectacularly bedazzled manicure job on the woman next to me or reading an entire Us Weekly over someone’s shoulder before passing out and suddenly coming to three hours later in a new city. Today, I will persevere! I will only read half of an Us Weekly over someone’s shoulder.

I’m eight days into nearly two consecutive weeks on the road for Delancey. It’s hard to explain what it’s like to be on book tour, even now that I’ve been lucky enough to do this three(!) times, but I think it’s fair to say that, for me, there’s no more heady experience. That really is the word: heady. To get to meet so many of you, to meet your moms and spouses and hear your stories and shake your hands, to look out on your kind faces while I’m reading, to see so many great independent bookstores, to make Vietnamese noodle salad with Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs and the gang of beauties at Food52, to share a billing with the great Francis Lam, to stay up too late, to see friends old and new and sleep on the most comfortable air mattress in the world and yes that is actually a thing that exists, to eat as many sour gummies as I want, to get a massage in Oklahoma City while an instrumental version of Guns n’ Roses’s “November Rain” (!!) plays on the massage therapist’s iPod – this is what I do it all for. Thank you.

It was the richest, craziest icing on the cake to learn yesterday afternoon that Delancey had made it onto the New York Times bestseller list. THANK YOU. AHHHHHHH

I listen to a lot of music and podcasts when I travel alone, and this time, I’ve finally taken my friend Ben’s advice and downloaded some episodes of WTF with Marc Maron. I highly recommend his interview with Lena Dunham in particular. I also re-listened to the Spilled Milk episodes on grilled cheese and popcorn, and even though I’ve heard the jokes and it’s totally dumb and embarrassing to listen to your own podcast, I laughed so hard that the woman next to me thought I was sobbing. I have also discovered that, when you’re on a train, speeding along a coastline or a forest or anywhere, what you should listen to is Fleet Foxes. And in the depths of my iPhone, I found a song that I hadn’t listened to for years, “The Golden State,” as sung by Eddie Vedder and Corin Tucker, and just when I didn’t think anything could make me more feeling-full and grateful for the events of the past week, it did.

I’m heading to Santa Cruz later this afternoon, and I’ll be reading at Bookshop Santa Cruz at 7:30 tonight. Come on down. And if you can’t make it, here’s where else I’ll be in the coming week:

Pleasanton, CA
Friday, May 16 at 12:00 pm
Towne Center Books, "Read It and Eat"
555 Main Street
Tickets are $32 and include lunch and a copy of DELANCEY. Reservations required.

San Francisco, CA
Saturday, May 17 at 12:30 pm
Book Passage
1 Ferry Building, #42

Mission Viejo, CA
Sunday, May 18, beginning at 10:00 am
Books Are Better Shared
Norman Murray Community Center
Tickets are $25. Registration required.

Seattle, WA
Thursday, May 22 at 6:30 pm
Book Larder
4252 Fremont Avenue North

And there are a lot more events after that, but please click on over here for the full listing.

Oh, and of course, you can find Delancey at Apple iBookstore, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, University Book Store, Books-A-Million, Powell’s, or an independent bookstore in your town.



Our people

I’m typing this post from my cousin’s kitchen table in Oakland, California, where June and I are visiting for a family baby shower and have stayed long enough to eat four slices of red velvet cake, get stuck twice in rush hour traffic on I-80, and sniff every single rose in Rockridge while out walking the neighborhood at 6:49 in the morning, killing time before the rest of the family wakes up. We fly home tomorrow, and then, on Tuesday, I leap into that heady, unnerving thing called Publication Day, otherwise known The Day Your Copy of Delancey Will Finally Ship, If You Pre-Ordered It, or, The Day You Can Find It In Your Local Bookstore, If You Didn’t. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah!

Maybe it’s all the sugar in that red velvet cake, but I can’t stop thinking about the spring of 2009, five years ago, about where I was and what was going on and how I felt when my first book came out. I didn’t know yet that we would open a restaurant - or I didn’t believe that we would, anyway. I didn’t know yet that we would have a child. I didn’t know anyone in these photographs.  Not! A! One!

And in that relatively small expanse of time, they’ve become some of our closest friends, our colleagues, our vacation collaborators, our co-conspirators in pancake breakfasts on Tuesday mornings, our people.

I was telling someone the other day that writing Delancey was something that I needed to do, that it helped me to understand the decisions that Brandon and I had made, and that the effort of trying to tell our story to someone else - to you - had helped me to understand the story for myself. But I think the best part of writing it was actually this: that I got a chance to recognize the friends, family members, and neighbors who helped us build the restaurant, and the cooks, servers, hosts, dishwashers, and bartenders, everyone who works alongside us in it. It’s their restaurant as much as ours.

I should stop now, before I get too sappy.

I hope to pop back in here before I hit the road, but in case I don’t make it: see you out there!  I can’t wait.

P.S. Oh and hey, if you can’t come to a reading/signing, you can still get a signed copy of Delancey (or, for that matter, A Homemade Life). University Book Store in Seattle will send you a signed, personalized copy of the book, AND they’ll ship for free in the US for all orders over $20 (and they’ll ship internationally, too). Hop over here for more information.

P.P.S. Brian Eno on the power of singing. Just because I love it. (Thanks, Lecia!)