Dear Friends

Dear friends,

As I write, it’s 42 days until the publication date of The Beast Is an Animal. I think it’s 42, because I just counted it day by day in my planner with my index finger and that seems scientific. And that also means it’s 43 days until my book launch event at McNally Jackson Books on March 1!* I am very excited about this, and I hope all of you in the New York City area can come. I’m especially excited that the brilliant writer, publisher, and thinker Emily Gould, with whom I worked years ago at Hyperion, is doing me the honor of asking me questions at my event. My greatest fear was that my book event would be boring, and Emily is constitutionally incapable of being boring. If I, on the other hand, break into desperate tap-dancing, please tell me to stop.

This entry is a bit more me, me, me than usual, but them’s the breaks, pals. It had to happen eventually. I’m an AUTHOR. I think you need to forgive me because of the whole 42 days until publication thing. So here’s something: If by any chance you can’t be at the McNally Jackson Books event, you can still order a copy signed and personalized by me, and have it sent directly to you (as long as you do so no later than February 23).

One more me, me, me: Today I leave for Boston, San Francisco, and Seattle to meet a load of booksellers in each town, and I’m really excited. Expect many nerdy-happy, whee-I’m-meeting-booksellers posts on social media. But I also haven’t packed yet. And you’re no help in deciding on outfits, because I’m already going to be on Amtrak by the time you get this. Fine, if it’s really all up to me, I’m going to be dressed comme ça (courtesy Alexander McQueen).

Last, what to read? I have two friends with books just out or coming out soon, and you should buy or borrow and read these books not (only) because the authors are wonderful people, but also because they have meaningful things to say. Will Schwalbe’s Books for Living is on my soon-to-be-read shelf, because I’m confident it’s going to change my life. I attended his book launch event and he said something that has stuck with me ever since: “We can choose to remember people for how they lived, and not for how they died." And another friend, Jeff Giles, has an original, page-turning YA novel coming out on January 31 called The Edge of Everything. He imagines a hell in which the damned become bounty hunters who are sent up-top to collect the incorrigible. The heroine, a young girl named Zoe, encounters both bounty hunters and incorrigibles, and she’s forced to define for herself what justice and mercy mean. It’s terrific. I was lucky enough to read it in advance, and it’s stayed with me.

Happy New Year, dear ones. A year is just a collection of days during which a variety of things happen. Some things will be better than others, and I hope the majority of your days include some joyful things.

* Eagle-eyed social media observers may think: Wait a second, wasn’t the book launch event at McNally Jackson supposed to be February 27? It was, but it changed. And March 1 is better, don’t you think?

Thank you for reading and subscribing.


PS: If you like this newsletter, please tweet about it, post about it on Facebook, forward it to friends, and encourage everyone to subscribe. Also, The Beast Is an Animal is an exceedingly anti-fascist book, so consider it your moral responsibility to preorder a copy. KIDDING!

PPS: I'm kidding only about the moral responsibility part. It really is anti-fascist.

This is the magnificent stamp I will use when signing books. I love it. 

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This is an accurate representation of my demeanor when meeting booksellers. 

Peternelle van