Yup, I Read Now

October 14, 2009, 4:32 pm
Filed under: Book Adventures | Tags: , , ,

adventures (red version)Rainy days are bookstore days and so, after a quick stop at Le Wal-Mart to pick up sacks of Peanut M&Ms for my Oct 31. 24-hour Peanut M&M-Binge-O-Rama, that’s exactly where I was yesterday afternoon. The Young Adult Fiction of this particular chain bookstore is a kind of showpiece for the place; it’s right in the middle of everything, no doubt owing to the recent teen vampire craze. Now, I have no beef with the Twilight series or Stephenie Meyer but I will never read any of these books. Morals or principles or standards don’t factor into it. Reading a Stephenie Meyer book is just one of those things that I don’t ever see myself doing, just as I don’t ever see myself running the Boston Marathon or eating a praying mantis. I did see the Twilight film and was mainly unimpressed, but still, I have nothing but the most out-and-out sort of ambivalence when it comes to the franchise. Well, perhaps I should say had nothing but the most out-and-out sort of ambivalence because I saw something yesterday at the bookstore that shook the foundation of my staunch irresoluteness.


Et tu, Austen-e?

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Book Adventures-Sherman Alexie Reading

adventures (red version)This week is sort of unofficially “Author Week.” I just got back from one of the most phenomenal readings ever.

This is what I learned:

Sherman Alexie is a funny human being, hilarious even.

I was a TA for a Native American Literature and Film class this summer and we devoted nearly half of the session to Alexie’s fiction, poetry, and films. The humor in his work is always sharp (and seamlessly interwoven with all of the cultural criticism and drama) but I never expected him to be as funny as he was. I laughed more tonight than I do watching Comedy Central stand-up.

To quote Smoke Signals, one of my favorite films, the evening was a “fine example of the oral tradition.”

…and he was nice enough to sign books for everyone in attendance (the place was packed, so no small feat).


I’ve only read a few pieces in War Dances but tonight has inspired me to try and finish it up this weekend. Or at least read it in conjunction with the Wodehouse, which I started last night.

Yay for my (lack of) photography skills…

IMG_0092Sherman Alexie

Book Adventures-Nick Hornby Reading

adventures (super new)I just got home from the Nick Hornby book reading/signing/Q&A at the El Cerrito Plaza Barnes and Noble. It was fantastic and even though Dave Eggers is going to be accompanying Hornby on stage @ the Herbst Theater tomorrow night in the city (of course, it’s sold out), I definitely enjoyed the intimacy of tonight’s event. Hearing him read from Juliet, Naked changed some of my opinions of the book. There are subtle layers of humor that I may have overlooked or sped through when I was reading it on my own. Maybe in a few years I’ll read it again and be able to appreciate it on an entirely different level, which is an interesting thought considering the book’s plot.

Here’s the rundown:

-Hornby is v. proud of  An Education (he wrote the screenplay). I was under the impression that the source material was book length (something that I suppose could have been cleared up with a simple Google search), but apparently it was just a 10-page piece published in Granta. Like his novels (and I guess most British cinema), the film is dialogue heavy. I didn’t think that I could be any more excited about this movie than I already was, but tonight has put me on the brink of mind explosion. Peter Sarsgaard. Nick Hornby. This movie is going to be so awesome, I just know it (!) Thanks to the internet(s), there’s some Oscar buzz surrounding it and tonight while I was staring at Hornby, who seems to be a v. sweet guy, I was just thinking about how cool it would be if he were nominated for an Academy Award. Fingers crossed.

Here’s the trailer….

-His advise for writers=do 500 words a day, which doesn’t seem like much, but over three months you’ll have finished that novel, or at least reached a novely-length.

-He didn’t say anything bad about any of the films that have been adapted from his work (including the Farrelly Bros. helmed Fever Pitch). Like I said, he’s v. sweet.

-He’s short-ish.

-He’s a Dickens fan and says despite their length, the books have punch. As far as Dickens on film/TV goes, he recommends the recent adaptation of Bleak House starring Gillian Anderson.

-Anne Tyler is the writer who made him want to be a writer.

And in conclusion, yay for photos (or photo as the case may be).


September 30, 2009, 5:54 pm
Filed under: Book Adventures | Tags: , , ,

adventures (super new)As I mentioned earlier, I spent the day in the city. Here are a few book related snaps.

IMG_0053The Jack Kerouac Alley street sign in Chinatown.

IMG_0055The Beat Museum.

IMG_0056My boyfriend is anti-book, pro-beer. Needless to say, he wasn’t really feeling The Beat Museum so we didn’t actually go inside. But here’s a little peek.

IMG_0065Despite the fact that I just said that my boyfriend is anti-book, when we went to the bookstore to get Juliet, Naked he actually bought one. Yes, it was a Sylvia Browne book but one of us has to keep abreast of the latest conspiracy theories, right?  All kidding aside, it isn’t our place to judge what our loved ones read, it’s our place to encourage the habit so that they don’t get Alzheimer’s. (And also keep them from drinking from aluminum cans.)