This has been a week of ups and downs, I’m not gonna lie. Mostly ups, I’m happy to report. My SoCal Punch Parties were a rollicking good time, with honest-to-God stand-up comedians gracing the stage. I was just happy to be their warm-up act. College friend and perpetual genius Tom Franck (seen punching me at right), super-nice and IMDB-as-long-as-my-arm Steve Skrovan and The Dylan Brody (who wears the hell out of a vest) got punchy last night at The York while Knock Knock founder Jen Bilik, stand-up Kevin Garbee, and author Judy Rothman of The Neurotic Parent’s Guide to College Admissions were among those who took the mic on Saturday night at Vidiots Annex and made it their, well, you know. The magical thing about these parties is that when people get up and air their grievance(s), others want to join in. It jogs their memory or lights their ire.
This is a book that brings people together.
Having thrown four Punch Parties now, I’ve seen this happen over and over. People get up and share or they come up to me and let it rip. It’s fantastic. This has happened at trade shows as well. I’ve been to three bookseller conferences—Book Expo America, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association, and the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association—and booksellers and librarians want to join the party as well. From amazon to seedless watermelons, everyone has something they want to punch in the face.
Again, this is a book that brings people together.
And I’m hoping it brings Seattlites together this Friday, as we gather at Queen Anne Books for a final Seattle Punch Party and a goodbye to Queen Anne Books, which is closing its charming doors on October 31. It somehow seems fitting that one of the final events in the store (which hopefully will find a new owner) will focus on airing your grievances. I certainly want to punch the current climate in the face that leads to small business owners having to shutter their bookstores. Online competition, e-books, the shopping habits of the average America, the economy—all these things have been monumental challenges for the local bookshop. When Things I Want to Punch in the Face hit the market, I sought out all the independent bookstores in town and worked to make each event as personal and community-based as a barn-raising or a quilting bee.
But unlike Ma and Pa Ingalls, there are myriad options for a Friday night and just as many avenues for purchasing the book. So it comes down inviting you to a good-old-fashioned barn-burner of an event, one where you can connect over commonalities, laugh, and build community.
Remember, this is a book that brings people together. It’s bringing people together this Friday, October. 26 at 6:30 at Queen Anne Books, right at the top of Queen Anne Hill. Come out and soak the punch-drunk love.