Back from the book tour!

I have been back from my US mini-book tour for a week now. I’m still rather jetlagged, but I’m really happy to have met so many wonderful people! I only got to visit New York and Seattle, and wish I could have done more, but considering that this was my First Book Tour Ever, and that before I embarked on it I was frankly scared to death, I think it went really well.

(Incidentally, the book has been out of stock for ages on Amazon, but is now back in stock again! Go go go before it sells out again! ^__^;)

So, here are just a few photos - all taken by the indefatigable Guy. I couldn’t have done the tour without his help. (For that I will have to pay him back with numerous chicken kijiyaki/tamagoyaki/kabocha bentos….)

This was the first event, a talk and signing at Kinokuniya in NYC. I had some trouble remembering to keep the microphone in my face - the problem was that I had the mike in my hand, but I tend to ‘talk’ a lot with my hands! - but all in all I think it went okay. About 30 people showed up on a freezing cold day! (The photo below made it to this week’s email newsletter of the prestigious Publisher’s Weekly!)

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We gave away two filled bento boxes at the event. This one is one layer of a Pikachu bento box, with bunny shaped carrot and tamagoyaki. The boxes were from Kinokuniya’s gift department (which has a much expanded bento box selection from when I checked it out a year ago).

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This is from a party-event for bloggers hosted by the lovely Viv of Seattle Bon Vivant. Viv knows absolutely everyone in Seattle, and she’s hosted book events in the past for such food world luminaries as Dorie Greenspan and Amanda Hesser. I was not worthy! We had such fun in any case. I made chicken karaage (with lots of help from The Guy), broccoli with wasabi sauce, apple bunnies (note to self: Red Delicious apples are nice and red but do not taste good), and onigiri. I think the onigiri were the most popular.

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Here I am signing books and talking to someone at the party. See those jazz hands - I do talk with my hands, a lot! To the right you can see Aimee of SmileFelt - she gave me some of her really cute ribbon-adorned bento bands! They’re available from her Etsy shop. Besides the Book, we also had the too-cute-for-words Norio onigiri box (seen in front of me), supplied by Bento&co, at which everyone squee-ed in delight. (Merci Thomas!)

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I met so many other bloggers too, such as Shirley of Lovely Lanvin, Tara of Tea and Cookies, Lisa of Gluten Free Foodies, Matthew of the Spilled Milk Podcast, and Luuvu of Luuvu! Lisa (if you have a blog let me know!) brought me some of Seattle’s famous Fran’s Salt Chocolate Caramels - thank you so much Lisa!

Here’s my second event in Seattle, an evening talk-and-signing at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park. Third Place Books is a wonderful independent bookstore, as you can see from that shelf of used/vintage books behind me. This was a wonderful, mellow hour. Afterwards we wandered around the store, trying not to do too much damage to our cash balance. (We didn’t, but it was touch-and-go there for a bit.)

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Then the final event was hosted by Kinokuniya again, this time the Seattle store, which is attached to Uwajimaya, the family run Japanese grocery chain. I was esconced behind the takeout-bento counter of Uwajimaya, right in front of the Kinokuniya store entrance. It was super-busy due to the Chinese New Year. People kept asking me for store directions! Neverthless it was another successful event, with lots of people stopping buy, some just to say hi, and many others to buy and get their books signed! I met more bloggers here too, especially Ms. Sonoma Bento, who was up in Seattle to visit family. Daniel stopped by and gave me a beautiful sock knitting kit! Thanks Daniel!!

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Tara and Viv stopped by to see me again, both bearing gifts of…food! Such wonderful ladies both.

This is me at the end of a hectic two hours. I’ve obviously lost the plot.

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Thank you, thank you to everyone who came to see me, who bought books, who helped clean up after some events, and so on… it was such a pleasure. Special thanks go to Viv of course (anyone who wants to have an event in Seattle should contact her first!), and to Sumi-san and the ever patient sales and marketing director at Kodansha America, Laura-san. Hontou ni osewa ni narimashita!

Now, to get rid of this jetlag and back to bento-making ^_^;

For more bento recipes, ideas and tips, subscribe to Just Bento via your newsreader or by email (more about subscriptions).

And visit our sister site, Just Hungry for great Japanese home recipes and more.

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Re: Back from the book tour!

Congratulations on surviving the tour! It looks like it was a smashing success. :D

And yes, Red Delicious=responsible for making me think I didn't like apples, for a long time. Turns out I do, but they need to have some flavor and texture. For a long time, Fujis were the only supermarket ones I liked. (Got some Sundowners from the farmers' market yesterday. Those are great if you enjoy some tartness.) Red Delicious are pretty much the epitome (or the nadir!) of American supermarket produce--all gloss and color, signifying nothing. But I bet they looked adorable anyway.

I hope the jet lag goes away soon!

--
http://www.readableblog.com (for English learners)
http://www.talktotheclouds.com (for teachers)

Re: Back from the book tour!

I am spoiled in Switzerland where they take their apples quite seriously. We can get nice, crispy/tart, many locally grown varieties like Jonagold, Gravensteins, Gala, Cox's Orange, etc... Golden Delicious is sold off-season, but not Red. Now I know! (conversely, I have had a hard time so far finding really good apples in southern France...since they aren't really locally grown I guess)

Re: Back from the book tour!

I love that you talk with your hands - as an Italian it is almost genetic for me. Now I can tell people that it is not uncommon in other cultures as well (I had noticed it before on some Japanese friends).

Are you having a European cookbook tour? I'd love it if you did!

Re: Back from the book tour!

No more book touring is in the works for this book....I'm both disappointed and relieved to be honest! (it's pretty hard work ^_^;)

Re: Back from the book tour!

Congratulations on your very successful book tour! Great photos, thanks for sharing of course. I hope you'll come back to the Seattle area again soon (only go south a bit!!). I look forward to meeting you someday. =)

Re: Back from the book tour!

I was able to get one! It just arrived last week, and I've been reading it over and over ever since. (Must post picture sometime) Too bad it's unlikely you'll be doing a tour here in Manila, but here's to hoping. ;P

You look adorable in that last photo!

Re: Back from the book tour!

Hi Maki!
First off, congrats for your book and tour! That's totally awesome!
Second, a piece of information you may want to know (if you don't already): I just spotted that on the current (February 2011) issue of Hiragana Times there's a small article about "The Just Bento Cookbook". Again, congrats!
Cheers,
Chris

Re: Back from the book tour!

Thanks for letting me know about The Hiragana Times mention ^_^

Re: Back from the book tour!

The book has just arrived in the mail- so exciting :) Thankyou for posting some pics of yourself, it's nice to put a face to a name. The book really needs a photo of you !

Jacinta (Melbourne, Australia)

Re: Back from the book tour!

I finally managed to get a copy from JapanCentre...the book is awesome and it is so rich in recipes and tips that is going to be a neverending source of inspiration! thank you!!!

Re: Back from the book tour!

I'm glad you had a good time. I also dislike the taste of red delicious apples!

Re: Back from the book tour!

It looks like you had a really great time! Congratulations on the tour! I *love* that you talk with your hands (apparently I do, too. LOL). I really enjoyed these photos and the thought of you being able to meet readers and friends in person. What lovely memories :)

Re: Back from the book tour!

Hi! My husband just came back from a business trip to Tokyo (I'll tag along with him one of these days!) and your Just Bento book was my gift on his return! I've read it through three times already and am super inspired to start with some simple bentos. I love that it includes so many alternatives for each bento so you can change it up depending on what you have in the fridge. Glad I found your blog too :)

Re: Back from the book tour!

I'm glad the book is inspiring you ^_^

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