Sometimes book tour travels can wear you out. And sometimes they can be amazingly invigorating.
The latter happened today in Austin, Texas, as cool a town as they get. At the Dell Jewish Community Center, the Jewish Book Festival hosted me to speak at the annual Book Lover's Luncheon. More than 250 people packed the sold-out room, and the energy was marvelous.
One illustration: there were a dozen hands up for questions, many from people who had read the book and wanted to know updates. Another: At events like this, typically 1 in 8 or so attendees buy books. But Barnes & Noble's mobile bookseller sold its entire stock -- more than 100 books -- then asked me to sign book plates for 30 more for those buyers who got shut out. The bookseller told me, "That's a first for me at these events. We never sell out."
And of course, there are always the wonderful stories people tell about their own dreams, aspirations and bold actions. Like the woman who explained how she sold her own house. Like another who came up to the signing table to tell me she was headed home to clean out her closets. Like the 8th-grade girls who were ready to reengage on service work that had been dormant since their bat mitzvahs.
Possibly my favorite little element was provided by Lisa Apfelberg, who pulled the event together. On each table was a basket of fortune cookies. Inside each one: A quote from The Power of Half. How cool is that?