Tuesday, February 4, 2014

In Which a Penguin Made a Surly Bookseller Cry.

I have been on a decidedly bleak reading jag for the longest time, meaning that the books I have been loving lately have featured brutally emotional story lines, or murders out the ears, or combinations of those two things.  Fine for me, but some of my customers shy away from those sorts of things and I do like to have more up my selling sleeve that what they have come to expect from me.

Now this is where I shall explain to you that although ARCs come to the store months and months in advance of their street date, I don't like to read them that far in advance. I prefer to wait until just a month or so before publication, but even more often than that, even after the "real" books are in the store. 

Fresh enthusiasm sells more books. 

Anyway, with those things in mind, I went through the stack of ARCs for March late last week, and came home with one entitled Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening by Carol Wall. 

It's non-fiction. Gardening is its backdrop. The only attributes of a book that would make me less inclined to read it would be a book of laundry tips written by Joel Osteen. 

But there it was. And I just went with it, and I was wholly wrapped up in it. 

And then -- BAM --  just after a very, very emotional Chapter 14 I turn the page and am thrust against my will headlong into Chapter Frickin' 19!    I was frantic. I flipped through the pages and it was just all a big messy printing case of FUBAR from there on.  Hoping against hope, I thumbed through the chapter headings to see if, perhaps, they were all there but just jumbled up, and while I did find some out of place, they are not all there. 

And yes, I know this is an ARC so I then decided that maybe the chapters were just a misprint, but a careful reading of the first lines of a few of them gave me just enough information (damn it) to know that I had missed some very big moments in the lives of Carol Wall and Mister Owita. 

Crushed, I tell you, I am CRUSHED. 

Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening by Carol Wall will be available on March 4, 2014. 

An Amy Einhorn book, published by G.P. Putnam's Son, a member of Penguin Group (USA)

Happy Addendum:  I have received word that a replacement copy is winging its way to me even as I type this, courtesy of the good people at Penguin Group (USA).  Until it arrives later this week I shall sharpen my pencils and dig into some good crossword puzzles.  Thank you, Katie!

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