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Near Miss

120917 Savage Branch Howard County Library MD

Tonight the Asian-American Literature Book Club that meets at the Savage Branch of Howard County Library, Maryland was scheduled to discuss The Year I Smelled Like Milk.  A neighbor noticed the announcement and tipped me off, so I dropped in for a brief unannounced visit, hoping to thank everyone for reading and give away some signed copies.

Alas!  The organizer was feeling ill, so the event was canceled.

I hope the illness passes soon, and I’m grateful to all for reading!

Meet the Author in Howard County, MD

Meet the Author at Howard County Library, 3/9/11I’ll be speaking at a Meet the Author event co-sponsored by Howard County Library and Columbia Association’s International Book Club.  The event takes place Weds 3/9/11 at 7pm at the Miller Branch.  Online registration is suggested.

I’m looking forward to meeting members of the book club and sharing impressions of China and cross-cultural encounters!

Meet the Author 3/9/11

Libraries Across America searches thousands of library collections around the globe.  Naturally, it’s a fun tool to guess at where The Year I Smelled Like Milk has landed.

WorldCat doesn’t find everything – it misses the 7 copies at Howard County Library, MD (often listed as America’s #1 county library system), as well as all 15 copies at Baltimore County Library, MD (highest count, to my knowledge).  Still, WorldCat placed many pushpins on the map that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise, making me wonder where else the book may be.

Here’s a WorldCat roundup:

Santa Clara County Library, CA
San Mateo County Library, CA
Glen Ellyn Public Library, IL
Rockford Public Library, IL
Waterloo Public Library, IA
Elms College, MA
Missoula County Public Schools, MT
Greensboro Public Library, NC
Western North Carolina Library Network, NC
Kanawha County Public Library System, WV

Plus one more I know about locally:

Howard County Public School System, MD


MandMX.comThe book was tweeted recently by, a website with the first Chinese-English bilingual comic strip.  Run by the multitalented husband-wife team Magnus and Mingxing, features a radio podcast, news updates about China, and a cute language video series called Study Chinese with Ryan.  I especially enjoy the frequent tweets about their toddler’s verbal cuteness as he learns to speak two languages.

Content from the website was collected and published recently as Electric Voices and Stinky Tofu, and their new book project is positively brilliant – Having a Baby in China: Western Spouses Share Their Experiences Giving Birth in the Middle Kingdom.  This possible first paragraph feels a lot like a passage from my own book, only the stakes are ratcheted up about ten delicious notches!

I think she said, “go buy this medicine if you want your wife to have it.”  At least that’s what I think she said.  My Mandarin was rusty at the time and my wife or “translator in chief” was in the birthing room about to give birth through c-section.

An Evening with the Relay Bookies

The Relay BookiesMany thanks to the Relay Bookies, a Baltimore-area book club that invited me to join them for an evening of fine food and cross-cultural conversation!

Hostess Theda Mayer prepared exquisite treats, including jiaozi, coconut shrimp, and homemade fortune cookies.  The discussion teased out of me some behind-the-scenes info and a few juicy stories that didn’t make the book’s final cut.  Best of all was the chance to marvel together at the funny little moments that spring from colliding cultures.

What fun to share, to laugh, and to enjoy Ms. Mayer’s famed hospitality.  The group asked to be placed on my calendar for any future book releases.  Hmm, another evening like this one?  Absolutely!

Three Cheers for Baltimore County!

Someone at Baltimore County Public Library cares – they’ve added 15 copies of the book to their collection!  At the moment, 14 of those copies are checked out.

"... the easy flow of the narrative is reminiscent of an oral storyteller."

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"I read your book as soon as it came in the mail and found myself quoting from it for days."

~ Mona Kerby, author of
Owney the Mail-Pouch Pooch

"Your book is wonderful.  You capture the eternal in the ephemeral, the larger picture in the small incident."

~ Barbara Hampton, co-author of
Honey for a Teen's Heart

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