Friday, September 12, 2014

Weekend reads and a fab author reading...

Last night I got to see Jessie Burton, author of The Miniaturist, at one of my all-time fav indies, Harvard Bookstore with a friend I hadn't seen since April (hi, Tracy!). 

It was a wonderful reading and I'm even more charmed with Burton and her novel.  An actress, Burton's reading was faaaaaaaaaahbulous; turns out she's the reader for the British audiobook of The Miniaturist, so if you're an audiobook fan, get that edition stat! 

After reading her excerpt, she spoke a bit about how her novel came to be, which I found fascinating and remarkably helpful and inspiring, given that I'm mired in my own attempt at writing a novel.  (But I'm not daydreaming about an 11 publisher bidding war over my manuscript!) (Well, maybe a little.)

Burton shared some wonderful anecdotes, including a story about the piles of edits she received from both her British editor and American editor (400 pages each!).  Daunted by how she was going to reconcile these edits and still have a book that seemed like hers, she admitted to being very worried when, on the first page of her manuscript, her American editor underlined a sentence and said it was what hooked him on the novel -- and it was the same sentence her British editor wanted removed. (!)

Like all the readings at Harvard Bookstore, this one was intimate and warm (Burton didn't need to use a mic, and she instead chatted with us like we were hanging out together; it was so lovely!). I had gone ahead and bought the e-book, so didn't have anything for her to sign, but she kindly agreed to a few pictures (I'm apparently incapable of not looking like a crazywoman when I meet authors and there's a photograph to be had).

Next week I'm seeing Sarah Waters with my friend Tracy -- this time it's a ticketed event at a theater, so I'm unlikely to get a photo with her -- but I'm still very excited.  If you've never been to an author reading/event before, consider doing so -- even if you've not read the book in question, they're such fun.

I'm having to rein in my excitement for The Miniaturist, however, as I've got a few review books in my queue to read first. This weekend, I'm reading Moon Over Tangier by Janice Law, which is the third book in the amazing series about 20th century painter Francis Bacon. (This is also my second #weekendreads post about it, as I ended up pushing back the review when it was clear I was behind.)

So (to the point of this post!), what are you reading this weekend?

9 comments:

  1. There are no indie bookstores near me and it bugs because heck, I live in a big city within LA County, how can I not have an indie bookstore near me??? So I never have cool author talks to attend. Bleh. Gets on my nerves.

    What am I reading? The Way Inn by Will Wiles. It's a very clever book about a conference surrogate. I sat down to read it, thinking it might take a little time to get into it and nearly finished it in one sitting. I have a just a little bit to go and then I can start The Bone Clocks!

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    1. That's shocking -- and disappointing -- you have no indies near by. What a bummer! I feel particularly blessed to have so many great indies nearby, as well as a pretty rocking public library system (they bring in authors, too!) -- it's such a huge treat for me -- makes me feel so fancy!

      I've heard great things about the Wiles book -- I may have to grab even though I initially thought it wouldn't be my thing. Hope you love The Bone Clocks!

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  2. Wow, what a great event! I don't always enjoy the reading part of author events because not all authors read as well as they write. I want to get my hands on a copy of this book!

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    1. I've heard folks so that but so far have not had a bad reading experience (yet). I'm loving this book so far, and really loved the excerpt Burton read. She got me so excited for the characters after she talked about how strong, interesting, grounded, etc. they were.

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  3. This is awesome!! I would love to hear her and Sarah Waters speak and get books signed by them! I have gone to a few author events at my local Indie book store but unfortunately no one has come that I am DYING to see/hear! And now that my office has moved I'm not as close to the bookstore as I used to be. I wish these authors were coming down to a bookstore near me in Florida!

    This weekend I'm reading The Winter Guest by Pam Jenoff...I am only on page 20 but I'm already loving it!

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  4. I think I've heard of The Miniaturist. I'm reading Traces by Bette Bolte for my book club.

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  5. I live in a small town, (we like to say City, but at 30,000 people, its really just a small town. Our closest Indie bookstore is 110 miles west in Sheridan WY or 130 miles east in Rapid City SD. But we have an amazing library and tomorrow there is a special event. A young women from our town has written a book, and she will be there to talk about it, maybe read, and surely to sign and sell books. I am going to be there. While I am there, I think I will check on The Miniaturist. I'll probably have to get on a list. Thanks for the info.

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  6. Oh, author events are so great! This one sounds perfect. I'm going to see Sarah Waters at Powell's next week -- I'm so excited! We'll have to compare notes. :)

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  7. I'd love to attend an event at HarvardBookstore one day. I know various booksellers there but I've never stepped foot across the threshold.

    So...inquiring minds want to know: How DID the author reconcile the sentence that one editor loved and the other hated?

    I wonder if an author has ever produced substantially different editions of the same book for various countries...that would make an interesting study!

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