Feb 052010

Well, we have made it safely…our books made it safely and all is well. We arrived on Tuesday and had the afternoon to have a wonderful late lunch at House of Nanking. I was lucky, several years ago, to have the person who first recommended it tell me to ignore the menu completely and ask that the chef just send out little things (the functional equiv. of dim sum). They ask how hungry you are (very) and they send out the right amount. We also discovered that they have a newly opened sister restaurant (see below). I also picked up three new books…woohoo.

Wed. Suzanne worked while I, too, worked…however, her work involved phone calls and reports and cogent mental efforts, whereas my work involved going out to North Berkeley and visiting one of the few truly great experiential shops in the US. It is difficult to say how much I

love Serendipity Books, Peter B. and the nature and spirit of the shop. I found a few things and took home something that has hung in the shop as long as I can remember…more on this at some point in the distant future.
We had a very nice dinner Wed. night at Miss Siagon with Brad and Jeniffer (of The Book Shop). The food was good, the company was better. We went back to the hotel (our strange and pleasing little literary themed inn down the road from the hall)…I catalogued for a bit but mostly rested up.
We were at the hall at 8am. I left at about 5pm. To be fair, I kibitzed a fair bit and even did a bit of shopping. Thee booth looks pretty good…amazing what having nice books to show will do for a booth . It is always amazing what comes out of the woodwork at fairs. Strong contingent of UK booksellers, all of whom will head down to LA next weekend. Really just a great group. It is shaping up to be a good show…now we just need humans to come wanting to buy books.
A pretty big group of us (10) all traipsed over to Fang, the recently opened “sister restaurant” to House of Nanking. We were able to do the same thing…that is, ask the chef to bring out surprises for us and he did a remarkable job. All told, about 13 dishes were brought out (including some alternatives for the two vegetarians in the party). The two standouts for me were the “duck bun appetizer” (think peking duck slider…very interesting and wonderfully flavorful) and the “Lettuce Beef” (no lettuce, wickedly good). I had a nice unfiltered sake. We finished with a complimentary little desert and a chinese liqueur that was a lovely, simple finish.
I’ve a few new slips to clip and then to sleep. Show opens at 10am. Come join us if you can.

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