Promoting a book is weird. It's a swirling stew, equal parts thrilling, embarrassing, discomfiting, and wonderful. It's prideful and boasty, narcissistic and ego-y. It's one-tracky and tacky. But, listen, it's also important, not only because it represents the culmination of several years of work, but also because without promotion, books languish and die in warehouses and on store shelves.
And, so, Paulette and I have embraced the task before us and are getting out there -- in our hometowns and yours, at venues small, large, and medium-sized, together and apart. And you know what? Talking with people about colorful fruits and vegetables is fun. Super fun. It's even more fun than talking to computer screens, which is so squarely inside my wheelhouse I often get stuck in there and can't find my way out. Book promotion forces me to speak out loud and swallow big gulps of fresh air. It's good.
Above are some scenes from our early spring events and signings.
In the top row, I'm signing books (hello) at the Blossom Hill Certified Farmers' Market, my go-to market here in San Jose. I'm booked at several other local markets this spring and summer, and I couldn't be prouder to sit beside the farmers that grow my family's food. You can see their gorgeous produce in that basket in the upper right.
In the middle row, you'll see the favas I received from Melissa's Produce, a Southern California-based produce distributor that twice provided juicy pixies tangerines for Ripe parties, and shipped me not only those beautiful beans, but also chioggia beets, fresh edamame, kumquats, fennel, and cucumbers for the launch party at my home. I paid them in invisible money, so consider this a DISCLOSURE, FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION. The local produce from my area farmers' markets and the generous donations from the Melissa's crew intermingled on plates and in salad bowls. There was no fussing or fighting. Just fruit, vegetables, accompaniments, and libations all getting along in a riotous mash of color until it disappeared into waiting mouths and bellies.
Also in that row, you'll see the Ripe display at Rizzoli Bookstore in New York City, which hosted a wonderful launch for us in late March. There you will also see Paulette with her daughter Cassidy, a little girl so cute I want to nibble her earlobes every time I see her.
The bottom row of photos showcases squares of blueberry-nutmeg cake I served along with several other dishes from the cookbook -- grilled five-spice pineapple, cucumber-halloumi salad, chocolate-dipped strawberries, tarragon-lime green tea, and radish-olive crostini -- at a party my very dear friends Alison and Julia hosted at Alison's home last weekend. It was such a joy to talk about produce with so many interesting women. To all of you who bought 4, 5, even 6 copies of Ripe at Alison's house, I will nibble your earlobes as soon as I'm done nibbling Cassidy's.
And finally, in the lower right corner, a photo Colin took of me just before my event at Omnivore Books in San Francisco. God, I love that shop. I can't wait to get back there and sink into the walls.
And here's a list of our upcoming appearances, including events next week in Boston, Maine, Philadelphia, and Idaho.
They're all open to the public.
I invite you and your earlobes to come say hello.
One more thing. I read every single comment you left on my Mother's Day post. Every single one. As some of you know, the New York Times even linked to that post. I want to thank you all for sharing your words and thoughts with me. I found myself unable to respond in line, but you moved me deeply, and I am grateful.