So excited to hear stories from our Midwest friends!
Off topic (sorry), but months ago someone in these comments recommended Steph Cha's Your House Will Pay. Unfortunately, I can't remember who it was. But whoever it was, if you see this, THANK YOU! Holy hell that book is good.
Out of context here, would you ever consider writing a video game? George R. R. Martin wrote Elden Ring, which was huge. Btw, I'd pay premium money to play as Madison leading armies in hell.
Chuck, I thought you might find it amusing to know that the Pixie Package you sent me went on a l'il field trip to the Strand Bookstore today. (I noticed it down by the mailboxes in my building as I was leaving. Stuff is usually left alone there, but I was paranoid that someone would see your name on the package and swipe it before I got home. My apartment is a fifth-floor walkup, and I'm a very lazy woman, so it was easier to put the box in my bag and take it downtown than to drop it off at home.) We had a lovely time browsing, and I even found a few books from your suggested reading list that aren't available at my local library. All in all, a delightful excursion.