The forecast does nothing to cool off the hotness of "The Orphan Master's Son"

Weather forecasts are like so many campaign promises - I'll believe it, IF...I see it. Seattle's current forecast began this morning with banner headlines suggesting as much as 14" through tomorrow. The schools promptly freaked out - they started two hours late then sent the kids home two hours early today and have already canceled for tomorrow. I can scarcely imagine how many families are adversely affected by this silly cautiousness. But I'm especially bummed on behalf of the literary folks roiling around this fabulous reader/writer-centric city. There are so many events on the schedule I can hardly choose. Seriously. Case in point - last night featured no less than three very worthy readings for new books served up at the exact same time. The meager remnants of snow and slush on the streets last night still surely thinned out the crowds. I missed the iconic William Gibson and local fave Ryan Boudinot (who I hope to catch at one of the other events he's sure to have upcoming locally). I did, however, choose incredibly well. Adam Johnson read from and discussed his new novel The Orphan Master's Son - set in North Korea, truly daring in what I've just dipped a toe into thus far, filled with the unique observations of someone who actually took the time to travel to that strangest of all strange nations. Nothing against those other writerly studs - I'd bet those events warmed up the crowds aplenty. I will nonetheless offer up a complete swoon in review of Adam Johnson as a fascinating fellow and master of the effortless, off-the-cuff anecdote. Those who ventured into Johnson's reading in the bowels of Elliott Bay Book Company know how lucky they were to have heard his stories. I encourage everyone to check out his new novel - Michiko Kakutani raved in favor of it like she so rarely does. And while I hope the forecast for Seattle continues to be downgraded so I can venture out a few more evenings this week, I'm damn glad to have a hot new book on hand.