Diesel celebrates with party, book signings

Malibuite artist/author Leigh McCloskey with Lyn and Greg McClintock discuss McCloskey's book, "Tarot Revisioned." Photo by Vicky Newman

Although Diesel, A Bookstore has been open for business in Malibu for a few months now, a grand opening party complete with champagne, chocolate strawberries and a famous author reading his newest book took place this weekend.

Barry Gifford, writer of more than 20 novels including “Do the Blind Dream?”, his latest entitled “Back in America,” poetry books and nonfiction exploring such subjects as the Chicago Cubs and Jack Kerouac, was celebrated Saturday night. Featured this weekend was Gifford’s book,” Read ‘Em and Weep: My Favorite Novels,” published in paperback by co-owners of Diesel, Allison Reid and John Evans. “Read ‘Em and Weep” compiles all the author’s favorite books with his personal commentary of why they are included in his list. His recommended books, with authors as varied as Mark Twain and Henry Miller, are also for sale at Diesel, displayed next to each other like a welcome answer for the “no idea what to read” buyer.

The evening was filled with local book lovers browsing through books as well as actor Matt Dillon who came to support his friend Gifford who, beside writing novels, co-wrote Dillon’s film, “City of Ghosts.” (Gifford also wrote David Lynch’s “Wild at Heart,” based on Lynch’s book, as well as co-writing “Lost Highway,” also with Lynch.) Author Kem Nunn, who wrote “Tijuana Straits,” was also among the guests.

Later in the evening, Gifford read from his book to an almost full house and afterward signed copies. One man even purchased a dozen for him to sign, a sure sign of a cult following.