Monday, January 20, 2014

Book Talks

When we are out here in La Jolla, we always go to a ton of book talks. Last week, we heard Chas Smith of WELCOME TO PARADISE, NOW GO TO HELL. I wasn't expecting much but living in a surfing culture for six weeks each winter, I wanted to understand it more.

Well, this was a fascinating talk. Although Chas Smith writes about surfing (and was also a war correspondent) his book is mostly about what has happened to Hawaii due to meth and a sort of belated desire on the part of native Hawaiians to retain their Hawaiianness. 

Their feeling is that they have lost their land and now they are losing their "waves" to encroachment from surfers from all over the world. The north shore seems to be much like Woodrell's Ozarks according to Smith. Fascinating topic and it made me want to read the book. And that is the purpose of these events.

Do you go to hear authors read? We are nowhere near a place to do this in Michigan, but here it's six blocks away and we go all the time. Cheers to Warwicks Bookstore who gives us a destination two or three nights a week. Check out their authors schedule if you are in the neighborhood.



14 comments:

Kent Morgan said...

Here in Winnipeg we have a large independent book store, McNally Robinson, that has a riding almost every night. The owners promote local writers as well as big names such as Richard ford and Ian Rankin, who was there reading from his latest book a few weeks ago. The store is less than 10 minutes from my home so I go when there is a writer who interests me. However, there are times when I wander into the store and end up stopping to listen to a writer who I had no idea was there.

Richard said...

Powell's, here in Portland, has a full schedule of readings and events, and I always check it to see if there is anything I want to attend.

pattinase (abbott) said...

it makes me so sad that in Detroit, there are virtually none. B & N, or what is left of it, don't do them. I would have to go to AA an hour away. The ones on the university campus tend to be poets or non-fiction now that there is no one teaching fiction writing.

Gerard said...

There are readings in Madison, WI but, like Ann Arbor I suppose, tend to be poetry, literary, and non-fic.

I have driven to Milwaukee a few times to hear talks at Mystery One. I have not done that in a while though.

There is a mystery bookstore in Madison but I've only been there once, not sure what their reader line-up is.

Todd Mason said...

The uni has an MFA program with no fiction? Sad. Though not as sad (nor as inevitable) as meth and its trade messing over yet another impoverished population. It's not as though the invasion of the surfing beaches is a new development...not as new as meth's overtaking crack as the figurative opiate of choice, anyway.

In your old hometown, the Free Library is the busiest spot for various sorts of readings.

Happy King Day.

F.T. Bradley said...

Nothing in my area either. Just signings... I've tried (since I'm an author w/ my own talk material), and have done a few library talks, but otherwise no one seems to want to make the effort. It's a shame.

Jerry House said...

There's very little available where I now live, but when we were in Massachusetts, Kate's Mystery Books in Cambridge (now sadly defunct) had a vigorous program of signings and readings as well as a fantastic mystery book club and MWA and SinC meetings. It was at Kate's that I learned how gracious and friendly mystery authors could be. I miss those days.

Dana King said...

I'd probably go if there was a place handy. Given my schedule, travel time, and trying to find parking in the DC area, it's a hassle.

pattinase (abbott) said...

WSU has a non-fiction person and a poet but no fiction writers. They do not have an MFA and never have.
I don't think enough book stores realize that having authors there brings people in. It's a WIN-WIN as far as I can see.

George said...

Last year we attended a book talk with Alexander McCall Smith. He was very entertaining and clever.

Margot Kinberg said...

Oh, it sounds like a great evening, Patti. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Ron Scheer said...

Here in the desert you have to do your own reading.

John said...

The Newberry Library had a series several years ago and invited some writers who rarely travel to Chicago ...or come to the US, for that matter. I saw Alexader McCall Smith (fabulous! witty, delightful, friendly), Sherman Alexie (kind of arrogant), and David Stashower (genuine, friendly, very knowledgable about Sherlockiana).

The Newberry doesn't have those type of events much more. Or maybe they do, I'm no longer a member and don't get regular updates or schedules anymore. Now with the closure of all Borders stores there are less opportunities to meet writers and hear them talk about their work. Only the Chicago Public Library and a handful of indie book stores like Unabridged Books have "Meet the Writer" events.

Gerard said...

Speaking of Chicago. Pritzker Military Museum and Library posts their book talks and interviews on iTunes. Almost all nonfiction.

I ran across a C-SPAN BOOkTV presentation hosted by the Pritzker once and found them online.