First, on Saturday November 29th, I visited the Village Bookstore in Pleasantville NY, and helped sell books on Small Business Saturday. This is all because last year, the author Sherman Alexie challenged writers to give a hand to their local bookstores, and so when owners Roy Solomon and Yvonne von Cort invited me, I immediately agreed. What a good time! A great group of writers showed up, including Bob Minzesheimer, Marilyn Johnson, Rob Fleder, Ben Cheever, Joe Wallace, Rinku Bhattacharya, and Ben Lieberman. I sold about a dozen books, including about a half dozen Commander Wills, good enough to earn a prominent spot on the store’s bestseller list:
DIARY OF A WIMPY KID #9: THE LONG HAUL by Jeff Kinney
THE CHILDREN ACT by Ian McEwan
COMMANDER WILL CUSHING by Jamie Malanowski
THE BOYS IN THE BOAT by Daniel James Brown
ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE: A NOVEL by Anthony Doerr
LIVES IN RUINS by Marilyn Johnson
YES PLEASE by Amy Poehler
RUSH REVERE AND THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION by Rush Limbaugh
SMALL VICTORIES by Anne Lamott.
On Friday December 5th, I visited my alma mater, Calvert Hall College High School in Towson MD. Frank Passaro, Chairman of the Social Studies Department and fellow member of the Class of 1971, arranged a whole day for me. I got to speak before two social studies classes, one creative writing class, and the History Club, and got to meet and speak with some very bright young men and with some very dedicated educators. It was great to go back and see all the changes, and to see that much has remained the same. The young men still self-segregate by class in the cafeteria, with freshmen by the windows and seniors at the opposite side, and the lettermen in the corner! I also saw a sight I thought I would never see: a hundred or more teenagers in the cafeteria, not one of whom was looking at a cell phone (the school forbids their use in the school building.)
On Sunday the 7th, the Briarcliff Manor-Scarborough Historical Society and the Briarcliff Library invited me to come talk about Commander Will. A wonderful group of about thirty showed up, and I’m happy to say I was on form and did a good job representing my man Will. Thanks so much to Shelley Glick for helping pull everything together.
(Pictured: Roy Solomon, Bob Minzesheimer, and Ben Lieberman; me at Calvert Hall; photo of me at the Library, courtesy of Gary Cahill.)