I hate book launches. I hate the idea of taking this thing, this work which has been produced in isolation, as an extended meditation, and struggled with over a long period of time, and turning it into a glorified birthday party. Yet there it is all the same -- seemingly the only way we can think of (or at least the only way that works) to get books out into the world. Okay, fine. And, of course, when it's a friend of yours, you're glad enough to go, and happier still to see the event turn out well. So it was with my friend Leah's launch on Saturday night, for her book Romancing the Buzzard, when Oscar at Novel Idea put on his usual good show, and Leah came off like a star.