June 5, 2012

Armchair BEA: Best of 2012

Posted in Book Talk tagged , , , , , , at 2:51 pm by The Word Jar

I’ll admit it. I cannot keep up with the Literary Joneses. I will never in my lifetime finish my “to read” list, yet I add to it almost daily. I add old books; I add new books. I read old books; I read new books. Yet I can’t seem to get my act together enough to read the “it” books when everyone else does. Case in point: I added The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern to the list when I heard about it during BEA 2011, and I’m just now getting around to reading it. Not that I haven’t been salivating to read it all year, it’s just that other books, equally saliva-inducing, pop up, too. With this disclosure, I offer up my list of the Best of 2012, in no particular order and with no particular guarantee that they will be read anytime soon.

Stay Awake by Dan Chaon–This is the only 2012 book I’ve read so far, and it wouldn’t matter what year it was published in, this would make the list. A collection of ethereal dream-like short stories. Simply entrancing.

The Receptionist: An Education at The New Yorker by Janet Groth–A tell-all from a receptionist at the New Yorker? I think this sounds better than any Real Housewives of [Fill in the City]. But that’s how this bookworm rolls.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson–A memoir by The Bloggess must be required reading for bloggers, right? I’ve only heard great things about this one, but even if it doesn’t live up to expectations, how can you not love that cover?

What I Did by Christopher Wakling–A story about a little boy who runs into a busy street and the consequences of that action, told from the boy’s POV.

This is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz–I read part of one of the stories in this collection in the BEA Buzz Books from Publishers Lunch (via NetGalley), and the voice was fantastic. With a line like “she treats me like I ate somebody’s favorite kid,” I’m in.

Be sure to let me know what you’ve loved or what you’re looking forward to this year. I’ll be stopping by other Armchair BEA blogs, but the more suggestions, the merrier.

March 27, 2009

David Sedaris Talks Author Tours

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 9:54 pm by The Word Jar

In the March 30 New Yorker, David Sedaris muses over author tours and book signings. (You can read the abstract here, though it’s not nearly as funny; registration is required for the full essay.) He describes his latest book tour and his dismay over it beginning and ending in Costco stores.

Even though I’m an avid reader, I’ve only been to one book signing. Perhaps even more tragic, that signing was for Patricia Heaton’s book. I’ve never been a reader who’s felt that I must meet the authors of books I love. In my crazy mind, I think meeting the author might take away a little of the magic.  The authors would no longer be the mythical beings who created the works of art I love so much; they would be mere mortals, subject to schedules, hand cramps, and bad days just like the rest of us.

Sedaris’s essay may have changed my views on book signings. Maybe I’ll try to attend some this summer. There is a wonderful independent bookstore in town, and they always get the hot authors to stop by. Or maybe I just want to go to a David Sedaris book signing. He interacts (and seems to enjoy interacting) with his readers.

I guess I’d have to read a David Sedaris book first. He’s been on my “To Read” list for several years now, but I’ve never gotten around to him. Judging by the number of times his essay made me laugh, I think it’s time to move his name up the list.

What was your favorite book signing? Have you, as either author or reader, had any memorable experiences at a book signing?