Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Book Worms, Not Viruses

Today I joined the online IndieBound book community of readers and independent booksellers nationwide. These are the readers I count on every month to choose new books through their IndieNext lists. I have long trusted their literary taste, much more than the myriad bestseller lists that only count blockbusters and (gasp!) celebrity books.

If there were ever an anthology called Celebrity Wisdom it would be as thin as the new iPad. What do celebrities, in their rarefied, “royal We” world know that can really help us in our daily lives? I am much more interested in the subtle and nuanced worlds that books offer us as portals. Alternate realities.

The IndieNext list for February includes my new memoir, I Want to Be Left Behind. It also includes an anthology of Best European Fiction 2010 with short stories from 30 countries, the new Louise Erdrich novel, Shadow Tag, and an intriguing novel set in the eighteenth century, The Book of Fires

I am truly grateful to independent booksellers for choosing my work, but also for offering me ten years of recommendations. American Booksellers Association calls the Indie Next list “the heart and soul of passionate bookselling.” Joining the IndieNext community, searching out other readers with whom to share my love of all things literary, is like being part of a vast online Book Club. We are Book Worms burrowing into online literary nooks and crannies. No viruses here, just good books.

My own local and much beloved indie bookstores are Elliot Bay and Third Place Books. Elliot Bay is moving this spring from its revered corner in historic Pioneer Square to hip-hopping Capital Hill. Rumor has it the new site will be just as inviting but also a real destination. Their fabulous in-house cafĂ© is traveling up the hill with them. Hallelujah! And Third Place Books, with its spacious shelves, is my other favorite bookstore in Seattle. I’ll be reading at both bookstores this week: Thursday, February 4 at 7 p.m. at Elliot Bay and Saturday, February 6 at 6:30 p.m. at Third Place Books.

So the online community can actually venture out from our Web and meet in real time, real place. Real people. Real books. See you there!

You can download the IndieNext List for February here. And you buy my book here.

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