Live From Poulsbo, It’s Saturday Afternoon Live! With Your Host, Jamie Ford!

This year’s “One Book One Community” pick by the Kitsap Regional Library is Hotel On The Corner Of Bitter And Sweet, the bestselling, universally acclaimed debut novel by 1986 South Kitsap High School graduate Jamie Ford.

The library’s programming emphasis on the book and its themes culminates Saturday, Oct. 16, with a visit by Ford himself with the Kitsap reading public at the North Kitsap Auditorium in Poulsbo. The event, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., is free.

I confess that I haven’t yet read the book — it glares accusingly at me from an ever-growing stack of books on my nightstand by authors with Kitsap ties — though I swear I will sometime in the next month (or so). So the reason, as things stand now, that I’m so looking forward to Ford’s visit is this:

The dude is freaking hilarious.

Just from his Facebook statuses (stati?), I could see immediately that this is the sort of guy with whom you could enjoy a cheerful evening of beer consumption. Some recent gems:

Officers on my doorstep at 4:00 a.m. — some kids were breaking into cars in my neighborhood. Should I install an alarm or just skip to claymore mines?

•  My daughter just asked me what color eyebrow piercing she should wear to her job interview. How do I answer that?

High school orientation tonight. My wife and I are threatening to embarrass our teens by making out in the janitor’s closet.

Broke my arm in high school on Friday the 13th. Drew much-wanted attention from cheerleaders. I’ll take that kind of bad luck any day.

Better yet, Ford is one of the relatively few authors who keeps up a blog and fills it with prescient, and cheerfully askew, perspectives on the publishing world.

One of my favorite recent entries is on a controversy over the way The New York Times selects which books it reviews. Upon seeing that Freedom, the forthcoming novel by Jonathan Franzen, got two glowing reviews in a week’s time from The Great Gray Lady, authors Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Weiner blasted off on Twitter, claiming that The Times is biased against women authors and popular fiction. That’s led to a lot of back-and-forth on the interwebs, and Ford weighed in with a wry take:

Honestly, I don’t know if Jodi is spot-on or hurling aspersions from the cheap-seats. I guess I’m just too busy to pay that much attention to the New York Times Book Review. Except for that time they were going to review me, then pulled out when they saw my first name and their literary bus jumped the guardrail and plummeted into the abyss of androgyny.

Despite answering trivia questions about college football and Bud Light commercials, they remained unconvinced of my gender and review worthiness. I even faxed them my birth certificate—clearly evidence that I was indeed male and worthy of their time, but in a form reply they stated that the mere effeminate nature of my name offended them and thereby voided any chance of a glowing review.

Like I said, freaking hilarious.

That’s why I’m hoping that the 90-minute format of Ford’s appearance in Poulsbo, on a Saturday yet, is no coincidence, and that we’ll be treated to 90 minutes of top-flight comedy.

Or, you know, 90 minutes of witty erudition and worthy insights. Works just as well for me.

I’m hoping Ford will indulge me with a Q&A in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.



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