Thursday, July 15, 2010

Happy St. Swithin's Day!

So in spite of the fact that little of merit and much that could corrupt have appeared on this little blog, my boss actually likes it and misses it. And I live to please. After a 6 month hiatus, therefore, here you go, the return of Liz and Gianna. I, Liz, will still probably be the main source of insanity to appear here, but Gianna promises that occasionally she'll chip in and reveal which hotels have found her lost undergarments most recently.

What has happened in the last half-year, you wonder? For starters, Gianna and I won an award for sale repping which is proof that (almost) no one read this blog. Oh, and I added two states to my sales territory and am now exploring the wonders of Alabama and Louisiana. An aside, this morning I was perusing the various news websites and stumbled on an article ranking the states in order of most to least obese. Four of the five states I represent are in the Top 10, including Mississippi at #1! Woot!! I'm so proud. And don't worry, all those po-boys I've eaten in the 3 1/2 years I've had this job, I'm single-handedly, double-chin-edly, dragging Texas up to the Top 10 as well. So, some new states and roads to travel, with lots of driving and freaky roadside weirdness, such as this guy's interesting bumper decor:

I've perfected the drive-by photo snap:

and I've made snide jokes about this sign, because I really have the sense of humor of a 12 year old:

I've been busy. Heh. Grosse Tete....

Moving on. So, what is St. Swithin's Day and why should you care and what does it have to do with the book industry? Frankly, I don't think St. Swithin's Day has anything at all to do with the book business directly. From what I can tell, St. Swithin was a bishop in England(e) once upon a time who seemed to like the rain and his saintly "miracle" involved cursing the country with potentially nasty weather for 40 consecutive days each year because somebody decided to move his grave.

St. Swithin's Day, though, which happens to be July 15th, is the one day featured in David Nicholls's novel called--what else?--ONE DAY. I love this book. There's so much that could have misfired with it, from its clever conceit to the love plot, and I am a sceptical reader when it comes to clever things...and emotions. But when "clever" meets "engaging, flawed-but-likeable characters" and "cinematic storytelling," that book just might work. Since ONE DAY has burst onto the US bestseller lists as a Vintage Contemporaries paperback original, I guess I'm not the only one who found the magic in this book. So ONE DAY is the story of Dex and Emma, two British types who go on their first date on the night of their college graduation, July 15th, 1988. They don't become a couple that night--they are, after all, leaving school and heading their separate ways--but they do become friends. The novel then goes on to tell the story of their relationship, from friendship to falling out to reconnecting to love, over the course of 20 years. We only glimpse their lives, though, on July 15th of each year. It sounds like it could be super-cheesy, but David Nicholls has a knack for keeping the plot, characters, and one day concept from becoming trite. Dex and Emma are characters you want to know, for whom you root, and while reading ONE DAY I kept thinking, "This book would make a terrific movie." I typically hate romantic comedy-type things, but occasionally the right story produces an exceptional work. Think "When Harry Met Sally," or Nick Hornby's books, but with more soul and fewer hipster references. These characters seem like the people I knew in college, their struggles seem real, and the one day concept keeps the story fresh. And the movie of ONE DAY? It was destined for cinema. Anne Hathaway is set to star. READ THIS BOOK. TELL YOUR FRIENDS TO READ THIS BOOK. I promise it's really, really good.

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