Shameless Shelf-Promotion

My husband – darling man that he is – loves to send out email announcements featuring good news regarding my books to the school community where he teaches. He always writes something like “Shameless Self-Promotion” in the subject line, so after many years his colleagues know what to expect. I decided that it was high time that I compose a similar missive.

What follows is a list of book recommendations. Full disclosure: these books were all written by people I know – some a little, some a lot; some I’ve shared bottles of wine with, some I’ve only met in cyberspace. Nevertheless, I consider them all good friends, good writers, and good people. They are universally people I respect and admire, and in many cases am completely in awe of. In that sense these folks are my teachers as well.

I have little else to say except this: Go directly to your favorite independent bookseller and buy as many of these books as you can. You won’t regret it.

Abby Carter: The Alchemy of Loss

Anne LeClaire: The Lavender Hour; Listening Below the Noise

Carol Cassella: Oxygen, Healer

Craig English: Anxious to Please

Dave King: The Ha-Ha

Erica Bauermeister: The School of Essential Ingredients, The Leap Year

Garth Stein: Raven Stole the Moon; How Evan Broke his Head and Other Stories; The Art of Racing in the Rain

Heather Barbieri: Snow in August; The Lacemakers of Glenmara

Jamie Ford: The Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Jenna Blum: Those Who Save Us; The Stormchasers

Jennie Shortridge: Riding with the Queen; Eating Heaven; Love and Biology at the Center of the Universe; When She Flew

Jim Lynch: The Highest Tide; Bordersongs

Jonathan Evison: All About Lulu

Kate Ledger: Remedies

Kit Bakke: Miss Alcott’s Email

Leif Enger: Peace Like a River; So Brave, Young, and Handsome

Maria Semple: This One is Mine

Mary Guterson: We Are All Fine Here; Gone to the Dogs

Nancy Pearl: Book Lust; Book Crush

Nassim Assefi: Aria

Phil Jennings: Nam-a-Rama; Goodbye Mexico

Randy Sue Coburn: Owl Island; A Better View of Paradise

Sheri Holman: A Stolen Tongue; The Dress Lodger; The Mammoth Cheese

Stephanie Doyen: The Greatest Man of Cedar Hole

Sue Monk Kidd: The Dance of the Dissident Daughter; The Secret Life of Bees; Traveling with Pomegranates

Susan Rich: Cures Include Travel; The Alchemist’s Kitchen

Timothy Egan: The Worst Hard Time; The Big Burn
I’ve had many friends tell me over the years how thrilling it is to walk into a bookstore, see one of my books on the shelves, and think “I know her!” Believe me: I have the same feeling whenever I see my friends’ books. That thrill never goes away.

Here’s a suggestion for the next time you’re in a bookstore: when it comes to any book you love and want others to take note of, I encourage you to engage in what I call “guerrilla marketing” – this simply involves turning the book face-out. You might have to do a little reshuffling and/or re-shelving of other books in the vicinity, but trust me: you can get away with this. And it’s a great way to nurture your inner-Outlaw.

Happy reading!