No, this isn’t an attempt at crafting some sort of post pre-modern hyper-literary memoir or novel. The sky didn’t open when I died, there were no best of times/worst of times, whatever the first line of Dave Eggers’ Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius is? Yeah, this wasn’t it, either.
I just fell down the damn stairs.
I don’t presume to have the sort of internet book-world blog-o-rama infamy (what I affectionately call “hood fame”) that would result in everyone being acutely aware of every move I make or every thought I think (I’m no Sara Nelson or Tao Lin, after all), but the number of folks who’ve come up to me in the past few days asking about my foot after reading the Wordsmiths Books blog post has been, well, kinda astounding.
Again, without actually feeling as though I have any sort of book-world hood-fame, a recap may be in order:
We moved Wordsmiths a block, from the secluded little buttside of the
I promptly screwed myself up, then. Fairly well,in fact. Carrying a box of galleys (damn you, free books! DAMN YOU, PUBLISHING INDUSTRY!) I managed to, for the first and only time in our 8 months inhabiting the deathrap-for-ADD-sufferers (me) that was the Old Post Office, miss a handful of steps leading from the office overhang to the bookfloor. I landed with my left foot curled underneath me, and suddenly found myself crying inadvertently for one of the first times in my life (worry not, mom, you still rank up there with catalysts for that!).
The entire mis-adventure of Russ and His Left Foot can be read, in bite-sized installments, on the Wordsmiths Books blog. That’s not what I’m here for. Reiteration, I mean. Trust me, I’m still bitching about my left foot.
Not to blow apart your dreams of my superhero-ness, but this photo in the AJC was entirely staged:
As you can imagine, the task of watching from the sidelines as folks you work with 12 hours a day pack up and move a bookstore that you’ve placed your entire life’s livelihood on/in can be a bit, um, sleep-inducing (also, nerve-wracking, but watch here how I downplay that to allow for a good laugh at Russ, the gimp, managing to miss the entire arduous task of packing/unpacking a bookstore! As the kids say, LOLZ @ RUSS!). To keep myself awake (actually, to bide the time), I read. A lot.
Here, find 12-word book reviews of what I read to occupy my off-my-feet time:
Proof that, often, graphic novels are better at telling stories than novels.
The Misremembered Man, by Christina McKenna
Using remembered child abuse as a character lynchpin makes your novel crappy.
The Book Of Dahlia, by Elisa Albert
My current staff pick. Dark, biting humor and incredibly acidicly likable characters.
Deer Hunting With Jesus, by Joe Bageant
Finally, my redneck trailer park childhood spent in
My Revolutions, by Hari Kunzru
Wasn’t going to like this, but the writing is taut and tense.
Band Fags!, by Frank Anthony Polito
Best young adult novel I’ve read in ages. Certainly the most authentic.
Me Of Little Faith, by Lewis Black
Lewis Black is brilliant, but spend your pennies on buying the audiobook
(YES, AUDIOBOOK IS ONE WORD. TAKE IT UP WITH RANDOM HOUSE.)
Mortarville, by Grant Bailie
A thoughtful narrative. Read this while my girlfriend shopped the farmer’s market.
Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life, by Bryan Lee O'Malley
Reading this made breaking my foot entirely worthwhile. Splendiferous piece of work.
Writing this has made me realize one thing: the true “crises” in book reviewing? The lack of use of the word “splendiferous”. One day, when I run the NBCC, that’ll change.
“When”, you may ask (go ahead, ask, I’ll wait), “would you find time to concoct a plot to take over the National Book Critics Circle?”
It’s amazing what you find time to do when you’re ordered off your feet (foot) for a week.
Russ Marshalek is the marketing director for Wordsmiths Books. He's also clumsy as hell. As an addendum, in the time between writing this and posting it, he fell again and twisted the same foot in the opposite direction. Fingers crossed that, tomorrow morning, this results in the most well-stretched left foot possible, and not another debilitating injury.