Monday, June 17, 2013

The Week of Gaiman

I have to tell you that this next week is going to be memorable, dubbed (by me, at least), "The Week of Gaiman"  Tomorrow morning (6/18/13), at 9am, Neil Gaiman's latest book for adults, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, goes on sale at Tattered Cover.  With that purchase will come a ticket for the signing line for the following Tuesday (June 25, 2013, get details HERE) because Neil Gaiman is coming to the Historic Lodo Tattered Cover.  The lines are likely to be long, but Gaiman's fans are able to amuse themselves.  It's going to be hot and crowded at the signing, and it will take no small amount of time, but anyone with those tickets won't care because it's for Neil Gaiman.

For a long time, I didn't understand the fuss about Gaiman.  I lead a rarefied life that has crossed the path of many, many, many authors, so I don't really see "stars", I see people.  I'm really not much of a "fangirl" for anybody or anything.  Well, except for books and reading--I'm all in when it comes to those two things.  And THAT's why I have now fallen for Neil Gaiman, thanks mainly to Facebook for opening his world more clearly to me; this man is a tireless warrior for creativity in words or other forms, a strong believer in books and their power, and for all of those who DO create and DO read and DO connect to the universe in a creative manner.  He's outspoken, fearless and very, very smart about so many cultural things.  Not to mention crazy talented in a many, many, many ways. 

So I started to read his books.  Because I'm the blogger, I started out with this new one, The Ocean at the End of the Lane (a perk of blogging is getting early reader's editions).  It's an adult book, told mostly through the little boy version of the older man who is narrating this book.  There is mystery, fantastic monsters, death and profound friendship involved in the tale.  It's just enough to the fantasy side of things to make it difficult for me, at times, to figure out what was happening, at least not completely.  I lean a bit more to the literal sorts of things.  But whether I completely understood it or not, I was hopelessly and happily, (and a tiny tich of terrified), throughout this book.  It's a short book, but it tells a huge tale.  I pretty much read it in one long, delicious swallow. 

Then I watched Gaiman, on YouTube, doing his funny and poignant commencement speech (watch it HERE),  The speech was sheer brilliance as far as I am concerned, and I was happy to find out that a book was created of it, called Make Good Art.  That will become a very cherished book in my library.  It's colorful and lovely and worth giving to anyone anywhere.  It's inspiring and real, and I think everyone needs a copy.  I really, really do.

And then I got a early reader copy of Gaiman's upcoming children's book Fortunately, The Milk, which is coming September 19, 2013.  It's is about a father and his difficulties getting milk for his children's morning cereal.  There's plenty of adventure and a great deal of hilarity and just plain fun filled nonsense to keep anyone entertained (and plenty of good art in it as well).  The publisher sets the age range from 3-7 grades, but I have to say that I am a significant multiple older than those ages and I LOVED it.  So mark your calendar for this one.

So I am ready for The Week of Gaiman.  In fact, I'm very much looking forward to it all.  He is much beloved by my co-workers as well, so we all feel the magical tingle.  We will all be working extra hard, and we'll be tired.  But it will be such a wonderful kind of tired, I don't think any of us will give it much thought.  It's events like this that make a bookseller love their job instead of just liking it.  I mean, really, how many jobs can say they bring magic, humor and good art to their customers?

~ Jackie

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