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ande
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#5: Readers and author readings

By now it’s clear that you Book Explorers love books, love to read and love to talk about books and reading. But do you enjoy listening to authors read from their works?

As you might imagine given what I do for a living, I am often at author readings and other publishing events. This past Saturday night I went to a reading at a writer residency program at a local university because one of the Literary Ventures Fund’s authors –- Kris Holloway, author of Monique and the Mango Rains – was a featured reader. It was quite the global evening. First up was a Jamaican author who read a splendidly well-crafted short story. His lilting accent transported us out of the cold Northeast to the heat of the islands and, as it turned out, the ardor of a middle-aged man for a much-younger woman.

Then we shifted to Mali, where Kris Holloway’s Monique and the Mango Rains is set. If you’ve read earlier posts you know that Kris served in the Peace Corps from 1989-1991 in a tiny village in sub-Saharan Africa working alongside a young midwife named Monique Dembele. Her memoir of that became the aforementioned book and the book has taken off (see my #4 entry). Kris and her husband (he was in the Peace Corps, too, in Mali) returned to Mali last month for 10 days to visit with Monique’s family and to visit and deliver supplies to Clinique Monique, a maternal and child health facility built in Monique’s honor.

Anyway, I wanted to see Kris and hear about trip. What is so amazing is that I have read her book and have attended probably a dozen of her reading and I never tire of listening to her. And it’s pure magic watching her audiences respond –- leaning forward in their seats and she reels them in with her tales of a life they can only imagine through her words. She is a truly riveting presence. And you really must read this book. Kris is joining us, as you can see (#4 entry).

So tell me -- I’d like to know: Do you go to local bookstores or events to hear authors read? Are you delighted when an author turns up on TV or radio to discuss his or her work? Do you like to exchange thoughts with authors on message boards such as those available here? Or do you keep your relationships with authors confined to words on the page?

I’ll be posting on Wednesday next week as I’ll be knee deep in a two-day “Inside look at Publishing” event that Literary Ventures Fund is hosting in New York earlier in the week.

Ande
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Merryworld
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Re: #5: Readers and author readings

I love listening to a good author interview or reading. I listen to NPR, and they often have great shows with writers discussing their works. Some authors are actually better to listen to than read. For example, when I listen to David Sedaris read his stories, I always laugh out loud, but I don't find him quite as funny in writing. There's something about his deadpan voice, phrasing and pauses that make the stories hilarious.
Melissa_W
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Re: #5: Readers and author readings

A local independent store, Prairie Lights, hosts the nationally broadcast "Live from Prairie Lights" (NPR) which features all sorts of authors from national bestellers to brand-new writers at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. The two best readings I heard there were from Jeffrey Eugenidies (just after he got the Pulitzer for Middlesex) and Jasper Fforde (who is hilarious by any account). The B&N that I work for also has readings but many are local authors through smaller press publishers so they're well attended by friends and family.



ande wrote:
By now it’s clear that you Book Explorers love books, love to read and love to talk about books and reading. But do you enjoy listening to authors read from their works?

As you might imagine given what I do for a living, I am often at author readings and other publishing events. This past Saturday night I went to a reading at a writer residency program at a local university because one of the Literary Ventures Fund’s authors –- Kris Holloway, author of Monique and the Mango Rains – was a featured reader. It was quite the global evening. First up was a Jamaican author who read a splendidly well-crafted short story. His lilting accent transported us out of the cold Northeast to the heat of the islands and, as it turned out, the ardor of a middle-aged man for a much-younger woman.

Then we shifted to Mali, where Kris Holloway’s Monique and the Mango Rains is set. If you’ve read earlier posts you know that Kris served in the Peace Corps from 1989-1991 in a tiny village in sub-Saharan Africa working alongside a young midwife named Monique Dembele. Her memoir of that became the aforementioned book and the book has taken off (see my #4 entry). Kris and her husband (he was in the Peace Corps, too, in Mali) returned to Mali last month for 10 days to visit with Monique’s family and to visit and deliver supplies to Clinique Monique, a maternal and child health facility built in Monique’s honor.

Anyway, I wanted to see Kris and hear about trip. What is so amazing is that I have read her book and have attended probably a dozen of her reading and I never tire of listening to her. And it’s pure magic watching her audiences respond –- leaning forward in their seats and she reels them in with her tales of a life they can only imagine through her words. She is a truly riveting presence. And you really must read this book. Kris is joining us, as you can see (#4 entry).

So tell me -- I’d like to know: Do you go to local bookstores or events to hear authors read? Are you delighted when an author turns up on TV or radio to discuss his or her work? Do you like to exchange thoughts with authors on message boards such as those available here? Or do you keep your relationships with authors confined to words on the page?

I’ll be posting on Wednesday next week as I’ll be knee deep in a two-day “Inside look at Publishing” event that Literary Ventures Fund is hosting in New York earlier in the week.

Ande


Melissa W.
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IBIS
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Re: #5: Readers and author readings



ande wrote:
So tell me -- I’d like to know: Do you go to local bookstores or events to hear authors read? Are you delighted when an author turns up on TV or radio to discuss his or her work? Do you like to exchange thoughts with authors on message boards such as those available here? Or do you keep your relationships with authors confined to words on the page?

Ande




I love listening to authors read from their books. I live in Boston, and a wonderful independent bookstore called Porter Square Books in Cambridge invites authors do readings. I've gone to several of their authors' readings... some of whom I first met online here at the B&N bookclub.

I met and listened to Alan Creuse reading THE FIRES; it was an incredible experience to hear him in person. Another author, Dalia Sofer read from THE SEPTEMBERS OF SHIRAZ, another book that I've enjoyed discussing with her here on the B&N bookclub.

I loved listening and meeting them in person, and exchanging thoughts with them on these message boards.

IBIS
IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
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ande
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Re: #5: Readers and author readings

IBIS:

I just saw Alan Cheuse this week (see my new entry #6) and he mentioned you. He thought you two had a terrific conversation when he joined us here at the Book Explorers Club a few months back. And he was very appreciative of your close and wise reading of his work. You should have introduced yourself at Porter Sq. Books (a fabulous bookstore, I agree).

Ande
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Re: #5: Readers and author readings

Hi Ande,

I am one of the lurkers on this board but couldn't contain myself when I saw this thread. I love author readings. One of my favorite events is the San Jose Book Group Expo in June. It is a Friday evening, Saturday, Sunday event with interviews, panels, discussions, readings and at least 35 authors. It has been held in the San Jose Convention Center for the past two years. Khaled Hosseini (Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns)was a great hit two years in a row. I loved Amy Tan in 2006, and Anna Quindlen was impressive among others in 2007.

http://www.bookgroupexpo.com/

Another one of my favorites is "Silicon Valley Reads" a month-long celebration of one particular author. This January/February it is Bo Caldwell, reading from her novel "The Distant Land of My Father." (This book is a fast and easy read, a novel written in the style of a memoir, taking place in Shanghai and Los Angeles) I listened to her at the I plan to go to other events at local libraries, at my favorite Barnes & Noble, and in Cupertino, Bo Caldwell's present hometown, where a whole day is planned with readings, entertainment, tea ceremony etc.

In the past Mas Masumoto read from "epitaph for a peach." (lyrical and philosophical)
Julie Otsuka read from "When The Emperor Was Divine"
Louise Steinman read from "The Souvenir: A daughter Discovers her Father's War"
T C Boyle read from "The Tortilla Curtain" (gripping)

http://www.siliconvalleyreads.org/2007-08/Distant.asp

And, IBIS, I love Alan Cheuse, met him at a workshop and later read several of his books. The ones I remember best are "The Light Possessed" a fictional biography of a woman painter based on the life of Georgia O'Keeffe and "Lost and Old Rivers" (short stories)
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Re: #5: Readers and author readings

Ande
Thank you for passing along Alan Cheuse's kind comments about me; I did introduce myself to him but I used my real name (!) He may not have made the connection.... another example of the hazards of using multiple names.

IBIS
IBIS

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IBIS
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Re: #5: Readers and author readings



Sunltcloud wrote:
IBIS, I love Alan Cheuse, met him at a workshop and later read several of his books. The ones I remember best are "The Light Possessed" a fictional biography of a woman painter based on the life of Georgia O'Keeffe and "Lost and Old Rivers" (short stories)




I agree wholeheartedly with you about Alan Cheuse. I loved THE FIRES so much that since then, I've read almost everything he's written. I too read THE LIGHT POSSESSED based on Georgia O'Keefe's life; but my ultimate favorite is his autobiography where he and his son go to Russia to find out more about his grandfather. Fascinating biography... his grandfather sounded so much like a literary creation himself.

IBIS
IBIS

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Re: #5: Readers and author readings

IBIS,

"Fall Out Of Heaven" was the biography. I had forgotten about that until you mentioned it. I liked it a lot too. "The Fires" is on my reading list.



IBIS wrote:


Sunltcloud wrote:
IBIS, I love Alan Cheuse, met him at a workshop and later read several of his books. The ones I remember best are "The Light Possessed" a fictional biography of a woman painter based on the life of Georgia O'Keeffe and "Lost and Old Rivers" (short stories)




I agree wholeheartedly with you about Alan Cheuse. I loved THE FIRES so much that since then, I've read almost everything he's written. I too read THE LIGHT POSSESSED based on Georgia O'Keefe's life; but my ultimate favorite is his autobiography where he and his son go to Russia to find out more about his grandfather. Fascinating biography... his grandfather sounded so much like a literary creation himself.

IBIS