What We Found in the Sofa will be an upcoming selection of the Junior Library Guild! If, as I was, you’re clueless as to what the Junior Library Guild is, let me save you a Google. It’s a book club with libraries as members. And I’m pleased to see that their website has found gainful employment for the down-on-its-luck Food Pyramid. In 2011 the Food Pyramid was shamefully fired by the USDA after 19 years of faithful service and replaced with a pie chart. The USDA justified its decision by arguing you can’t eat a pyramid, but you can eat a pie. The Pyramid was reduced to subsisting on Food Stamps, which are every bit as inedible as it is. In 2013 the Pyramid found part-time work as a traffic cone, and it is to the Junior Library Guild’s credit that it has rescued the Pyramid, quite literally, from the gutter.
P. W. Kidscast is not the name of the patriarch in a sprawling multi-generational TV mini-series, but rather Publishers Weekly’s online interview series where you can currently listen to the author of What We Found in the Sofa and How It Saved the World say “um” a lot. He also accuses the interviewer of being a nerd. Fortunately, there is no accompanying video - we were sitting in bean-bag chairs in a vacant lot near the Fulton Fish Market - so you can get your ironing done while you listen.
Holy cow! My book has endpapers! Well, okay, every hardcover book has endpapers, they’re what keep the pages of the book attached to the covers, but I mean illustrated endpapers, and that makes them special. Jeremy Holmes has just unveiled his endpapers for What We Found in the Sofa and How It Saved the World. He’s showing them off on Dribbble, the Web Site for People Who Have More Bs Than They Know What to Do With, visiting which is well worth the troubbble. The endpapers look like this:
This is a map of the Pennsylvania town of Cheshire, where the book's three heros live on the wrong side of a huge underground coal-seam fire called Hellsboro that has eaten away most of the town's best real estate. The map is not to scale; it's a much farther walk from Bagshot Road to the ruins of the abandoned chemical factory in Hellsboro's center, and you'd have to be crazy to walk there, across burning hot soil that can crumble, swallow you, and bake you like a potato. The book's heros don't do it until chapter 12. (If they didn't do it, they wouldn't be heros.)
…and leaves your mouth sparkling clean! Unless I’m thinking of something else.
“Refreshingly bonkers” is what Kirkus had to say about What We Found in the Sofa and How It Saved the World. They also said it was droll. I’ve always wanted to write something droll, and I’m surprised by how consistently this blog misses the mark. Unfortunately, the full on-line review doesn’t become accessible to non-subscribers until June 21, when the book's target audience will be out celebrating the solstice by wrapping the laces of their gym sneakers around overhead power lines and they’ll have little or no time for reading literary critiques, but I can reveal that the review goes on to say “there is a realism at the core that readers will respond to,” unless I’m quoting from the review of a different book, which seems entirely possible, since the last word I’d ever expect to see connected to Sofa is “realism.” “Droll” is good, though.
This is possibly the most bizarre illustration that Jeremy Holmes created for What We Found in the Sofa and How It Saved the World. It is certainly in the top five, in a book that lends itself way too easily to bizarre illustration. It is one of those wordless cartoons that visually contains its own punchline, and if only the blogging reviewer who recently said my book contained very little humor (a review to which I seem to have lost the link) had read the illustrated version rather than the pictureless review copy, she might have given the book credit for at least one chuckle.
There are days when I feel like a passenger in this balloon’s basket.
Pictured here on the day he sold What We Found in the Sofa. His mood is cautiously optimistic.