Friday, September 19, 2014

Weekend reads and going on a babymoon...

Tonight my wife and I are going on a "babymoon", a little weekend getaway before Little Reader arrives.  It was something we had wanted to do but didn't have strong feelings about what/where we would go ... until I learned that the famed artists residence, Yaddo, was offering a rare day of tours this weekend.

My wife and I first learned about Yaddo in 2008, when we accidentally stumbled across the special exhibit offered by the New York Public Library. Yaddo's artistic legacy is pretty incredible -- among their alum include Hannah Arendt, Newton Arvin, James Baldwin, Leonard Bernstein, Truman Capote, Louise Erdrich, Patricia Highsmith, Langston Hughes, Ted Hughes, Robert Lowell, Flannery O'Connor, Sylvia Plath, Katherine Anne Porter, Colm Tóibín, and David Foster Wallace.

Our literary weekend will start with a drive out to the Berkshires, where we hope to tour Herman Melville's Arrowhead and Edith Wharton's The Mount, then we'll power on to Saratoga Springs, New York, for our Yaddo tour.  I'm so excited -- my wife and I love road trips, and we're geeks about bookish tours. 

The unofficial start to my weekend of literary geekiness was last night, when I went to a reading with Sarah Waters.  (I was front row, center, literally, and it was heavenly.  As I squeed on twitter, we were breathing the same air!) Emily M. Danforth, a new-to-me author, did a general Q&A with Waters, which was deliciously fun -- lots of howls and laughter about lesbians and the sex in Waters' novels as well as discussion about her writing process.  Waters was wonderfully warm and generous with her replies, and both she and Danforth were pretty cute in their boots and blazers.

Even more gratifying, Maryanne O'Hara, author of my 2012 fav, Cascade, was there, too; recognized me; and came over to give me a big hug.  It was a lovely start to a wonderful night

This weekend, I'm reading Chrysler Szarlan's The Hawley Book of the Dead, which is deliciously fun. (Here's the opening line: On the day I killed my husband, the scent of lilacs startled me awake. How can you resist that?)  It's mostly set in western Massachusetts, a lovely coincidence given our weekend plans!

What are you reading this weekend?


  1. What an awesome weekend!! I know you will have a great time!! And I am so jealous of that author event with Sarah Waters...I wish she would do an author event down near me!! Have a wonderful time exploring this weekend!

    This weekend I plan on going back and forth between Goddess Born by Kari Edgren and 50 Children about an American couple who rescues 50 children from Nazi Germany (I can't remember the author right now!).

  2. Have a wonderful weekend - it sure sounds like it started out right!

  3. Sounds fantastic! Have a great time! I hadn't heard of The Hawley Book of the Dead before, and it sounds like one we need to add to the library collection ASAP. I'm reading a lot of horror fiction right now, getting ready for an October presentation for work, so I'm reading Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake this weekend.

  4. It sounds like an awesome weekend! I hope it was everything you wanted it to be!