Adventures in Marketing — Week 347

Sold TEN books, eight in one order, smashing my PB.

But first…
“Goshkin” went to a high school teacher from the Bronx in for Thanksgiving at his daughter’s. He has lived in Boston, Peru, Israel, West Chester – and we connected over basketball. He knew the SPHAs, Willie Somerset, Guy Rodgers, and the Eastern League, where a friend, “the one honest guy among Clair Bee’s boys at LIU” had played. “Zai gezunt,” he wished me when he left.
“IWKYA” went to a fellow whose part in the Berkeley scene pre-dates mine by years. His usual routine is to arrive at the café looking for a friend who has already left, fail to recognize me, and, when I identify myself, recall a sedar he had attended with my wife and Ram Dass which, Adele says, never happened.
This time I invited him to sit. It was an entertaining half-hour. I heard about old girl friends, acid trips, Merry Pranksters, Gershon Sholem, Saul Bellow, learning French kissing from a nine-year-old cousin, visiting pre-Castro Cuba with a business mogul relative who predicted the revolution, a second marriage, at 72, to the 27-year-old daughter of a noted scholar of Judaica (“Seven, two,”he said, “Two, seven. Kabbalahistically significant”), and his plan to return to Stanford, at 82, to complete his PhD. (My role as a line editor came under discussion.)

As for the bonanza…
Faithful readers will recall the law school classmate who had gone on to a distinguished career in journalism with whom I’d breakfasted recently after not seeing each other in 50 years. I had given him a “Lollipop” and he already had a “Cheesesteak” and he sent a more-than-enough wad of cash to complete his collection of Bob Levins. So I packed up “Best Ride,” “Fully Armed,” “Pirates & Mouse,” “Outlaws, Rebels…,” “Schiz,” and “IWKYA” and sent them off. “I pride myself on owning and reading all books written by… Gay Talese, Walter Isaacson, and Bill Cohan,” he wrote. “I want to add Bob Levin to my list.”
Boy, did I feel good.

In other news…
1.) “I took 15-pages of notes on your book,” a recent reader of “Lollipop” told me. “But I’ve compressed it into one sentence: ‘A snide look at do-gooders by an insider who knows the score.’ What do you think?”
“I don’t care for ‘snide.’” I said.
“I didn’t think you would. But you’ll remember it.”
2.) On the other hand, another fellow e-mailed: “At 12 MN, I decided to look again at ‘Cheesesteak.’ Read it cover to cover. Cannot remember when I read a book all in one sitting. What a book!”
So there.
[ALL OF BOB’S BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE FROM:, The “snide” to the “What a…!” Judge for yourself.