Hometown readings mean actually dropping sanctioned f-bombs in front of former professors, bosses, and your parents (see Mom, above right).

When they’re held the same weekend as your high school reunion, people with whom you ditched class are actually in attendance.

When they’re preceded by a write-up in the local paper, it means teachers who legit couldn’t stand you 20 years ago make a cheerful appearance.

So you seize the opportunity to apologize for being an grateful brat…but they commend you for bestowing the yearbook with its existing name.

Which kinda makes you wanna do hometown readings in every city you’ve lived in.

Because, selective memory.

The Effing Magic of Book Clubs

Twice a week all Spring, I’ve been in living rooms from Oregon to New York.

Sometimes I’m physically in the room with a dozen female strangers; sometimes I’m beamed in via Skype.

Most of them have read my book and all of us have a glass of something in our hands.

I break the ice by reading passages I hope their book club will enjoy.

Sometimes I read the right stories.

Sometimes I don’t.

But after talking love, loss, books and Pilates for an hour (or three), the definitions of reader and author become amorphous.

There’s nothing they’re afraid to ask.

Nothing I’m afraid to answer.

We take turns showing and telling.

Crying and laughing.

And by the end of every book club, I’ve met women I’d like to know better and others who it seems I already do.

I’ve often thought about writing you, but I figured ‘she must have so many people contacting her and who am I to think I will make any difference to the success she must feel?’ But then I realized: what if everyone felt that way? All these wonderful people on Tumblr who have been with you every step of the way, what if none of us told you how immensely proud we are of your success?

So this is me finally saying that I am so thankful to have come across you on Tumblr, and so sorry for the events that led to you writing your book, and a huge hearty congratulations for getting it published. As soon as it is available this side of the pond, I promise to order it!

—  — Victoria, Sweden (victoria-l-roberts)
I read ‘Splitting the Difference’ in two days and want to say THANK YOU. I know this will sound odd but after I finished the last page of your book, I went to check my emails and the very first message I opened said 'I’ll be there.’ It was from an intern that I was interviewing, but still, it gave me chills. Then the very next day, I went to a local watering hole, opened the menu and staring me in the face was a Cubano. A Cubano at a local beer bar. I had to order it. Then, a few days later I was on the phone with a very nice man who was helping me resolve computer issues and at the end of the conversation, I asked for his name and, naturally, it was Alberto. I am probably just reading into all of this but..it was so beautiful that I had to share with you!
—  — Lori, New York
You were one of the first people to follow me when my blog had a lot of my creative writing on it. It meant so much that an anonymous figure had an interest in what I had to write and was willing see more of my random pop up on their dash. I find your story, both personally and as an author, inspirational and unique. Thanks for the boost that little act gave me, and congratulations on your accomplishment!
—  — A Fellow Tumblr in Virginia (viewfromwatershipdown)

Hi book clubbers! Now scheduling “drop-in discussions” at NYC book clubs who read Splitting the Difference in late-March or April 2013. For non-local book groups, there’s Skype! Email your club’s location, number of members and two date/time options to splittingthedifference@gmail.com. Meet you in a living room (or coffee shop) soon? (Order for March 5th shipping at http://splittingthedifferencebook.com/buy-it/)

I had Barnes & Noble order your book and ship it to me in Rhode Island. Everybody keeps telling me they read it all in one sitting, so I am keeping it in the shipping box until the weekend (otherwise I know I won’t go to work tomorrow)! I’ve been so anxious to get the book because I know from following your blog that you paint riveting watercolors with your words. God bless!
—  — Rachael Anne (thegoodnitemoon)