There are still some states in the continental U.S. not mandating masks. And unfortunately, the states in the continental U.S. are all connected.
However long this nightmare lasts, we're keeping the Silent Reading Party going, and we're continuing to spice things up with *special guests.* This Wednesday, the guest is Seattle novelist Richard Chiem, author of the novel King of Joy and the short-story collection You Private Person.
In the grand tradition of reading party special guests, he won't do anything except sit there silently reading whatever he wants, just like you, while our resident musician Paul Matthew Moore plays relaxing and exquisite piano music.
Stranger critic Rich Smith wrote last year:
Chiem is one of my favorite writers and readers in Seattle. His low-key and yet somehow extremely intense performances cast a spell on audiences. His meditative sentences pull you close, and then, right when he has you where he wants you, he shows you some weird thing that makes you laugh, tear up a little, or remember that even your tiniest insights and observations are valuable to the world.
Alas, you won't get to experience him reading aloud his work on Wednesday, but you could go buy his novel King of Joy and let him cast his spell on you that way.
At the very least, you should click these letters and look at the book's cover. Wowza. Best cover art ever?
Chiem joins a happy gaggle of recent reading party *special guests* that include Lesley Hazleton, E.J. Koh, Gary Shteyngart, Garth Greenwell, and Sheila Heti.
You can get your ticket for August 5's party right here.