Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Jean Auel book signing

So just recently, the final book in Jean Auel's Earth's Children series was released. I was stoked when I saw that there would be a book signing at Powell's in downtown Portland. Never having been to a signing, or even to Powell's, I asked a book buddy of mine how they went. He said to get there very early and try to sit at the front, because they would do the signing in order of seating... Front row, second row, third, and so on. So, I got there super early (like 2 hrs early) because I figured it would be packed. It is Jean Auel after all. I had already preordered a signed copy of her new book for my mom, but wanted to get Clan of the Cave Bear signed for her birthday as well.

So, get there super early, and there was a bunch of folks ahead of me, but only 30 or so. Powell's hadn't set up chairs yet, so folks were ranged on benches and the floor, waiting. They finally got the chairs out and I snagged a second row seat. Sweet! Eventually, all chairs were filled and people were packed in at the back, standing. I think there was around 300 before Mrs Auel started speaking. She didn't do a reading, instead talking about the research that went into the books, and how she got started writing Clan of the Cave Bear. She was very amusing, and her journey towards the final book was fascinating.

After she'd said her bit, she answered questions, and it was time for signing. Did the stupid Powell's employees get up and make an announcement about proceeding? Nope. They just said it was time for signing. It was a free for all. I got pinned between a chick that was trying to put together her phone (which she had just dropped) and a huge hippie that reeked of BO and patchouli and was munching on a granola bar with her mouth open. So not joking. Needless to say, after all my careful planning, I ended up at the end of the line. No kidding, like 5 people from the end. I waited in line for nearly 2 hours (and the stinky dreadlocked hippie was next to me... I was tempted to tell her that you CAN wash dreads. It won't hurt them. Yuck.) Didn't get home until nearly 11pm.

Anyhoo, I did manage to have Jean sign the book wishing my mom a happy birthday. Can't wait to surprise her with it. The ordeal was totally worth it for that, though I doubt I'll ever go to another book signing at Powell's. Not if they're all that poorly organized.

On a happier note, one of my vendors brought me some homemade strawberry jam this morning. Yum! My vendors are the coolest!


Paula said...

I loved Clan of the Cave Bear and have been thinking about rereading it. I think I read the second, and maybe the third book, but I'd like to read all of them.

Any Saturday you want to head up to Powells to hang out and look for books you just let me know (better on a rainy Saturday, of course!). Powells is one of many Meccas in Portland.

Glad you got your autograph for your mom.

Rae said...

That would be fun. I was surprised how huge that place is. I got lost twice, tryingto leave. :)

ILoveMyDogandMy Music said...

I love her books and would love to have seen her. Too bad you ended up josled to the back of the line..I haven't been on the blog site for about a week. Sooooo many to read now..

Rae said...

It was all worth it just to get Jean's first book inscribed to my mom for her birthday. I can't wait to give it to her next month!

Lindsey said...

I am perturbed by her new book.
I am a die hard Jean Auel fan - have read the previous books exhaustively.
But the last book to come out and this new one seem...different. Not the same.
Like she was a totally different person writing her first four vs. her last two.
Does anyone agree with me?!
And Powell's is the MECCA for book dorks. That place is outrageous!

Rae said...

I felt that Shelters of Stone blended pretty well with Plains of Passage, but I do agree that the most recent book was very different. Part of it was that several years had gone by in the book, and Ayla had changed quite a bit as a result. She grew a backbone in dealing with others, and stopped worrying so much about what people thought. Just those two things alone changed the nature of her character drastically. While she was always quite intelligent and had acquired many skills over her life, she was still very much a child when it came to interacting with other people and being a member of society. She routinely did things without thinking about the effect they would have on others (such as bringing Wolf home) because she'd been alone for so long. Now, living in a place where her actions could affect so many, her normal tendencies had to change. The final book seemed to show her finally grown up, which was a natural progression for the character. Unfortunately, with such a jump between the fifth and sixth books, the reader didn't really get to see what led her to finally becoming an "adult" member of society, leaving us to simply see a different person. At least, that's the way I perceived it.