At last! After five years and three hemispheres and too many drafts to count, Driving Hungry hits the shelves today. I couldn’t have possibly imagined everything that was going to happen, everything that had to happen, between getting that first email from the woman who was to become my literary agent — I’ve been following your blog with interest and have found myself wondering if you’ve ever considered writing a book… — and this day. As part of the celebration, I’m giving away a signed copy.
Driving Hungry is the story behind the hundreds of taxi adventures I’ve written about on this blog. It’s a story about what happened when I decided to go deeper into my surroundings by asking taxi drivers, “Where is your favorite place to eat?” It’s a book about wanderlust, appetite, learning to tango in the milongas of Buenos Aires, navigating New York City as a novice cabbie, and exploring what it means to be a Lebenskünstler—life-artist—in rapidly-transforming Berlin.
Oprah calls it “sparkling.” Booklist calls it “a paean to taking the serendipitous road to wherever it happens to lead.” Kirkus Reviews says Driving Hungry “joyfully captures the satisfaction gained by trusting your instincts and seeking out new places, food, and people.”
If you’re interested in reading an excerpt from the first chapter, Penguin/Random House has published it here. If you’d like to order a copy of Driving Hungry, you can find it at your favorite independent bookstore, or at other outlets online.
Let’s celebrate together
To celebrate the long-awaited launch of Driving Hungry, I want to invite you to some festivities this week:
- When you get a copy of the book, snap a picture of you with it and upload it to Instagram. Tag me @drivinghungry and/or use the hashtag #drivinghungry. We’ll be randomly giving away prizes to those who participate. Every day this week, we’ll pick a winner.
- In Driving Hungry, I wrote that to be in suspense is to be alive. If you’d like to live these words with me, I invite you to attempt a taxi adventure and post a photo of your meal and/or your cab driver on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, using the hashtag #drivinghungry. (If you’re not on social media, you can also send photos to layne(at)taxigourmet(dot)com.) In the next issue of the Taxi Gourmet newsletter, I’ll gather all photos posted by July 31st and invite recipients to vote for their favorite. The winner will receive a surprise from Rumen, my favorite cab driver.
- If you’re in Berlin, I’d love to see you at the Driving Hungry launch reading, at Shakespeare & Sons bookshop, at Warschauerstrasse 74 in Friedrichshain, on Thursday, July 16th at 8pm.
- If you’re in the U.S., I’d love to see you at one of the stops on the Driving Hungry book tour! You can find all the dates and locations here.
- If you’d like to win a signed copy of my book, please leave a comment below. I’ll pick a winner at random by August 14, 2015.
If you’re still reading this post, I want to thank you. You’ve heard it before, but I’ll say it again: No one writes a book alone. If you read this blog, if you’ve read the book, if you plan to read the book, if you’re one of the extraordinary people whose story is part of the book, you have my deepest gratitude. The joy of this day belongs to you, too.
Update, August 1, 2015: We’ve done the drawing, and the number is 7, which means Odeg is the winner of the free signed copy of DRIVING HUNGRY! Thanks to everyone who responded to this post – the contest for the book is over, but please feel free to leave a comment if you’re so inspired.