Thursday, April 30, 2009

I was interviewed about the book last night on Marketplace. Click here to red or listen.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Oh, almost forgot: A Brooklyn bookstore is considering hosting an event for me but would like me to invite 75 people! If anybody knows anybody in NYC who might be interested in attending, please send me their names and e-mail addresses!
Sorry I haven't posted anything in a week, but there's not much to report, and my Internet access is spotty. (Right now I'm using the WiFi in a McDonald's, for example.) I'm still in Portland. On Wednesday I will drive down to Philly, fly to Tennessee, and pick up my in-laws' car for the book tour. The first event is at the Kansas City Public Library (Plaza Branch) on May 6 at 6:30 PM. (Click here for the full book tour schedule.) The exciting thing is that C-SPAN will be taping my presentation for their Book TV programming! (I am very nervous!) Another cool thing: This Sunday (May 3), the Kansas City Star will run an excerpt of the book in their Sunday magazine. If you live in or near Kansas City, please save me a copy!

Monday, April 20, 2009

My book received a (mostly) positive review in the Wall Street Journal last weekend. ... A friend and I went to see the Dead (i.e., the Grateful Dead) in Worcester, Mass., on Saturday night. The show was only so-so, but the ambiance was stellar. ... Right now I’m in Portland (Maine, of course), working on the condo a bit and getting ready for the book tour.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


My friend Mitch happened to visit the public library in Granville, Ohio, recently, when he noticed my book was among the library's "Staff Picks." So thanks to Amy in Circulation for the recommendation. But, really, isn't a book best appreciated when it is bought, not borrowed?

Friday, April 10, 2009


My book is mentioned in the new (May) issue of Real Simple. It’s included in the magazine’s monthly “Simple List.” Very cool! ... On their trip, Harry and Bess ate lunch at the Princess Restaurant in Frostburg, Maryland. As I mention in the book, of all the small mom-and-pop businesses that the Trumans patronized on their trip, the Princess is the only one that has survived, more or less intact, in the same family. This week, the Cumberland (Maryland) Times-News ran a very nice article about the restaurant on the occasion of its 70th anniversary. ... My book also includes a little sidebar on UFOs. Well, this week the Los Angeles Times ran a fascinating article about Area 51, the secret military base where crashed UFOs are supposedly stored. ... Thanks to my friend Colin Woodard for giving the book a very nice plug on his blog. (See you in a couple weeks, Colin!) ... Thanks also to Anna for mentioning the book on her blog, “Muse at Highway Speeds.” ... It’s going to be a busy weekend: Allyson has to work, while I have to get ready for the trip home. (The cats have nothing special planned.) Have a great weekend everybody!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Sorry I haven’t posted much the past couple weeks. We’ve been busy with guests, work, planning my trip, etc. I leave for the States next Tuesday to begin my book tour. We’re still trying to line up events, but as of the moment I have 17 scheduled in May alone.

I’ve been watching a lot of coverage of the Abruzzo earthquake on Italian TV. It’s pretty incredible. Some smaller villages have been completely destroyed. Irreplaceable medieval buildings have been reduced to rubble. Not to mention the many lives lost.

Here in Rome we were sleeping when the quake struck early Monday morning. We slept right through it. Since then there have been a few aftershocks during the day that we’ve felt.

I’m still in a daze over my New York Times op-ed last Sunday. A few people have asked me how it came about, and the answer is, I was lucky. An op-ed page editor at the paper read the Publishers Weekly review and sent me an e-mail asking me if I wanted to write the piece. Since then, the book has been mentioned in a couple other blogs, so hopefully the buzz is building!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Big news: I have an op-ed piece in today's New York Times. Click here to read it.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


Some friends are visiting us this week, which is always a good excuse for us to get out and see some of Rome's many sights. On Monday we went to the Vatican Museums. Have to admit that I wasn't blown away by the Sistine Chapel. (Maybe it was the ungodly crowds.) But the Raphael Rooms were most impressive. Above is a small detail from one of the frescoes.