Mad, huge, ginormous props to the beyond kind and generous staff of Books Of Wonder, who spoke gently to me and brought me Tylenol and water as I stood in line at Neil Gaiman’s Saturday Blueberry Girl reading, out of my mind with lower back pain and enochlophobia. That’s the way to treat someone in deep physical and psychic pain! I would have been happy if the Books Of Wonder staff had spoken gently to me and nudged me to the nearest available chair, but since they went above and beyond the call of duty by rounding up painkillers and actually checking back to see how I was doing, I am their slave for life. I encourage you to sign up for voluntary servitude your own bad self by ordering online or ensconcing yourself in their West 18th Street storefront next time you’re in NYC. Their selection of children’s books is…well, the only word I can think of is, wow. Just wow. That’s my kind of Chicken Soup For the Soul!
Mad, huge, ginormous props, too, to Neil Gaiman, whose father passed away on Friday, and who remained signing books until the bitter end despite very obvious fatigue and melancholy, to Charles Vess for his beautiful artwork and his patience with the rude behavior of such Neil Gaiman fans as your author, and to Kimberly Butler for those awesome photos of Neil and for a lovely ten-minute conversation that started when I confessed, unwittingly, that I thought Neil was “so goddamn cute” and evolved into an eye-opening discussion about photojournalism, Gaza, and censorship in the news media. Thank you all. You made me, the weepy woman in the striped stockings, a whole lot less unhappy.