Nick Arvin is a totally nice, approachable, funny guy, which I know because we met him. For reasons perhaps undisclosable by the University of Denver, I have one of 98 paper-bound copies of his novel, The Reconstructionist, sitting pretty on my bookshelf. It’s got Arvin’s hectic-looking signature on it and it’s been there on my shelf too many months to mention. And the fact is, it’s a book that sticks with you just as many months as that, and longer, and does so for reasons that stick out and make sure to matter. It’s an odd novel, but one that, like so many other choices I’ve commended HarperCollins for in the past, was well worth going out on a limb for, even when the limb might be a little shaky. Now, of course, post-publication, that branch is looking pretty solid: why NOT write a novel whose every page reads like the most dramatic/romantic/tumultuous episodes in the “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” repertoire? Except instead of the likes of Catherine and Grissom, you’re presented with people that are a hell of a lot more like you — which can be a lot more impacting and provocative and revealing.