Friday, October 31, 2008


So, the book tour is over. I made a mad dash through Seattle, hitting the University Bookstore, in town, and Village Books in Bellingham, Washington over the weekend. Then I flew east, where I hit Phoenix Books in Vermont, and finally St. Michael's College. At the Seattle Store, I totally packed the house with Kenyon friends, and relatives (and Kenyon friends' friends, and relatives' friends and relatives). In Bellingham, a big, random crew of avid book readers showed up. Groups of avid book readers scare me, because they ask deep questions, and take books really seriously. I'm always afraid they're going to say something like, "We've seen David Halberstam speak here many times--and you, sir, are no David Halberstam!" But serious book readers are also known to like a good Dick Cheney joke--so I threw a couple out to them in Bellingham, and that seemed to warm them up to me.

The Phoenix Books stop was filled with familiar faces--largely because I begged nearly all of them to come. It was the perfect place for the final bookstore stop on the tour. It's owned by Mike DeSanto--the northeast's Chi Running guru. I still don't know what the heck Chi Running is, but apparently Mike does.

Then finally, I gave a talk at St. Mike's College, "Your Fries Give Me Gas." Packed auditorium. Expectations were high. One of the student organizers said to me before the event, "Now, you're going to talk about all of the corporate greenwashing that's going on, and really get into stuff on the environment, right?" This took me by surprise, because I was thinking I'd just crack a couple of Dick Cheney jokes (which students also like) and get the hell out of there. So I changed the tone of my talk into an environmental one. The only problem is that I don't know much about the environment. I only know a bit about the people, places, and subjects I researched for Greasy Rider. Hopefully that sufficed for them. Sadly, no cute blond co-eds threw themselves at my feet afterward--as I had kind of hoped--so I'm not sure if I was all that inspiring.