Monday, June 13, 2011

The mailbox was overflowing...

Happy Monday, y’all,

Well, I’m still struggling desperately to catch up after my two weeks on the East Coast. I feel like I finally got some good sleep this weekend! Meanwhile, things are as busy as ever out here, and life does not seem to be inclined to wait for me to catch up. I started writing some updates about the stuff going on this past week and in the immediate future, and the post became so ridiculously long, I decided to separate it from Mailbox Monday, which is itself ridiculously long. It’s the inventory of the boxes from BEA, and I’m still working on it. So, let this be the first part of my weekly check in:
  • Just a reminder that the giveaway for Charlaine Harris’s Dead Reckoning is still going on here.  You have until Wednesday morning to post a comment.  The more of you who enter, the more copies I’ll give away.  So please post a comment today!
  • My sister and baby Jonah are doing well! 
  • I went out to catch the always entertaining Matt Richtel on tour for Devil’s Plaything the other night.
    He was so cute.  He was terrified of boring his audience (I assure you he wasn’t!) and stopped the reading portion of the evening after like the shortest reading ever for fear of going on too long.  But that’s okay; the Q&A portion was more fun anyway.  Most authors wait for the audience to come up with questions.  Matt takes a proactive approach and supplies questions that the audience may ask him.  I shot a few minutes of video before my battery died the other night.  If it’s any good, perhaps I’ll post it this week.  Oh, and this was sweet, HarperCollins messed up and forgot to include the acknowledgements page in the book, but Matt had insert copies cut to size on his signing table.  I did make the acknowledgements page, but Matt signed my book: To my favorite unacknowledged early editor.
  • I also had the opportunity to hear Nick Mamatas and Lisa Goldstein read from Sensation and The Uncertain Places respectively, and then both authors had a discussion with moderator Terry Bisson.  This is all a part of the SF in SF author and film series, always an enjoyable night out, even if you’re not especially interested in the books or authors that month.  In this case, however, I was interested in Goldstein, ever since reading this review of her new book.  So, I picked up a copy at the event and of course had her sign it.  Afterwards, several people including Lisa; and her publisher, Jacob Weisman of Tachyon Books; and his wife, Rina, who runs the SF in SF series, just sat around kibbitzing for an hour.  I’d never met (or read) Lisa before, but Rina and Jacob are good friends.  It was a predictably fun evening, and I read a sizable chunk of The Uncertain Places yesterday.  This may sound like an odd compliment, but it’s very readable.  Reading it is pleasantly quick and easy, without being the slightest bit dumb or pandering.  It’s just effortless and delightful, and I’m finding myself carried away by the story.  It’s everything a good fairy tale should be.
  • Of course, I would have finished The Uncertain Places in a day, had I not been primarily reading (Finally!) Ann Patchett’s completely wonderful State of Wonder.  This book could have been written specifically for me.  Of course, I’ll be reviewing all books mentioned in the near future.  But the reason I finally got around to the Patchett that I’ve been dying to read for at least a month is that she’s coming through SF on tour tomorrow.  Bookshop West Portal, here I come!  I’ve never met her or heard her speak before, so I’m really looking forward to this.
  • Tonight, Jon and I are going to see a current Broadway show, The Importance of Being Earnest, on screen in a movie theater.  Do you know about this?  It will be the second time we’ve seen a theatrical production at the movies, the first time being a few weeks ago with last year’s Best Musical Tony winner, Memphis.  The Importance of Being Earnest is one of the few shows I didn’t see in NY, because as excellent as the production is rumored to be, I knew I could see it this way.  And with so many excellent shows to see, it was a compromise. 
  • Also, we already have tickets to a Sunday matinee screening of Stephen Sondheim’s Company, starring Neil Patrick Harris, Patty LuPone, Stephen Colbert, Martha Plimpton, John Cryer, Christina Hendricks, and many others. This production, in conjunction with the New York Philharmonic, played for only one weekend back in April. This is the sort of special event that sends me running for the airline schedules, but tickets were impossible to get. How wonderful that the production was filmed live so that more than a handful of people would have the opportunity to see it!
  • This leads me, of course, to last night’s Tony Awards telecast.  Did you watch it?  Best.  Tonys.  Ever.  Well, not so much having two shows sweep the awards in a forgone conclusion—I hate that—but the show itself was wildly entertaining.  I do love me some NPH, and having him do a number with Hugh Jackman just about sent me into orbit.  And even though The Book of Mormon and Warhorse swept the musical and play categories respectively, they didn’t sweep the acting awards.  Having seen so many of the productions, I was really delighted with most of the winners.  It was a great night honoring the best theater season in years, and I was delighted to spend the evening with good friends who love the theater as much as I do.  Thanks so much, Jon, for playing the consummate host, as always!
  • Finally, Jon, Peter, and I went to see in Paris the other night.  I loved it so much!  But, I have enough to say about the film that I’ll try to do a separate blog post.  But this leads me to a recent epiphany…  I’ve decided not to feel guilty if I want to write about a film, a play, or even a television show here.  Yes, it’s a book blog first and foremost, but I do have other interests, and it’s my book blog.  Since I make the rule, I’ve decided to feel less constrained, or at least less guilty about occasionally veering off topic.  And usually not that far off topic, because these are all scripted forms.  They’re just a different type of written language.  So, it’s still a book blog, but a value added one, LOL.
That’s all for now, but I will be posting a Mailbox Monday post sometime later today.  Thanks for sticking with me as I ramble!


  1. I've read two reviews of this Ann Patchett book in the last week, both by people whose reading opinions I respect, and they both loved this one.

    I can't wait to read it. I've never read any of her stuff before. Nope, not even Bel Canto. For shame! I know...I know.

  2. Hi Jenny,

    Well, now I'm feeling shamed, because despite my very best intentions, I've not read Patchett before either. I can't tell you how many times I've pulled Bel Canto off the shelf, only to ultimately replace it unread. I don't know why.

    Anyway, definitely grab a copy of State of Wonder. It's the best sort of plot-driven literary fiction. And I'll let you know if she says anything especially interesting at her book signing tonight. :-)

  3. Several people have asked me if I have ever read Bel Canto-due to my opera singing past, I suppose. I have yet to get to it, but would love to read both it and her newest.

    Have you seen Book of Mormon? As a member of the LDS Church, I am quite curious about it.