This one was close to my heart because it took place in my cozy neighborhood independent bookstore. Much has been written about the sudden death of the owner, Debi Echlin, just two months ago, and she truly was a remarkable woman. Local Author (of one of my favorite books of last year, The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green) Josh Braff
has said she was an “upbeat sparkplug of a lady,” and I have happy memories of Debi helping me find just the right books for my Reader Daughter. So when I read that night, from the LM Anthology, it was for Debi, as she had been just like a mother to so many. Literary Mama could have been her own title.
New owner Kathleen Caldwell had featured the Literary Mama Anthology and a promotion for the reading in the storefront’s window, right next to Deborah Tannen’s new book and Po Bronson’s latest. The small store was packed that evening. As Ericka Lutz had put it — when discussing the order in which the seven of us would read — we started with humor, ended with sex, and had all the heavy stuff in the middle. (Jennifer Eyre White added: just like a good date.)
Storeowner Kathleen found it “really is possible to create an enormous community in a small space” and you could feel it that night. That’s what a reading can bring about. If there’s one in your area, go for the camaraderie, and we’ll let you know the when and where right here.