If any of you are a fan of books with experimental presentation and/or books as physical objects, I recommend And Now We Are Going to Have a Party, by Nicola Griffith. It’s a memoir of her early life, leading to when she was starting to become a published author; it’s rather well done as such, and I think she must have been a difficult person to be, a difficult person to be around, an interesting person to be, and an interesting person to be around. (And presumably most of those are still true!)

But the reason why I mention it here is that it is the only book I have that comes with scratch-and-sniff cards. At least I think it is; I’m quite sure that it’s the only book that I have that comes with a scratch-and-sniff card of an English pub. (“The smell of an English pub that’s been around for two hundred years or more is like nothing else on the planet: old wooden floors sticky with spilt, fruity-smelling ale, sun on scarred tables, ashtrays.”) There are other non-written artifacts in it, too: childhood works, a CD with music from a band she was in, but the scratch-and-sniff cards stand out the most. Well, that and the postcard from the publisher showing the delightful technique by which they “have just convinced a party that they had better buy their books at Payseur and Schmidt.

It’s a limited edition, of course, but copies seem to be still available. I really should read more of her books; I read her first three, and seem to recall rather liking the second and third, but she’s written more in the intervening decade.

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