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What a rush, Alaska author on the New York Times bestseller list

Heather Lende
Even though Oprah hasn't called, Heather Lende got an unexpected boost yesterday when she learned that her first book, "If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name," made the New York Times Bestseller List in ebooks. Courtesy Heather Lende

At least for one week.  As I typed my way toward the end of that new book deadline, I got an unexpected boost yesterday when I learned that “If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name,” my first book, made the New York Times Bestseller List for July 21 in ebooks.

It's No. 17. “Wild” is No. 18. Seriously? Pinch me. (Powers that be say it's real. If you get the Times mail me the list after you read it next week, okay? I'm at P.O. Box 936, Haines AK 99827. I'd like to frame it. Heck, it may never happen again.)  I did ask my agent, Elizabeth Wales of Seattle, and my Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill editor if this meant I'd be rich and famous. I haven't heard back.

Oprah hasn't called either. My dogs are quite pleased, though. When I told my daughter she said she thought I already was on the list. I explained that was a different list. For a bit after both books came out, I was on the Pacific Northwest list and the Indie booksellers' list. I was once on the long New York Times list, down around number 50 or so.  Still, to celebrate, my garden produced the first big bowl of red ripe strawberries for breakfast, which Chip and I ate all by ourselves, since we are still home alone.  

We did eat a supper of spicy vegetables while watching the cycling movie, “Breaking Away,” filmed back in 1979 when we were in college. I loved it. (I know, I can't believe I've never seen it either.) And this week I finished a really fine book, no doubt a New York Times Bestseller for months on end, Abigail Thomas's memoir, “Three Dog Life,” which I read in three sittings.

Haines writer Heather Lende is finishing her third book of essays, “Finding the Good.” This post originally appeared on her blog. It has been reprinted with permission.