Last night we went to a reading.
No, wait. It wasn’t a reading. It was a celebration, a celebration I figured would result in a reading. Anyway, I heard about this non-reading over at SheWrites and off we went.
Meg Waite Clayton is a local author I’ve never heard of, and her event was held at Books Inc., an independent bookstore I’ve never heard of. It turns out she was celebrating the paperback release of her last book — THE FOUR MRS. BRADWELLS — and Books Inc. was filled with her friends and supporters. It was more cocktail party than reading, and since we weren’t really part of the group I introduced myself to Meg and we scurried out of the circle. For the next half hour, my husband and I wandered around Books Inc. — such a great store! — wondering how in the world we didn’t know this place existed.
Meg did eventually take up the microphone to say a few words. She thanked her family and friends, then she read a page or so of her book and took a couple questions while her husband served champagne, chocolates, and Bellinis.
The night wasn’t what I thought it would be, but …
I discovered a new writer and picked up her book. If you haven’t heard of Meg Waite Clayton, check out her website — it’s one of the best author sites I’ve seen. And while I don’t read much women’s fiction, I’m guessing this book will be perfect for my book club.
I also left Books Inc. with my first James Michener novel, because I’m jonesing for a big fat saga and ever since I saw THE DESCENDANTS over the holidays I’m obsessed with Hawaii.
And I had my first Bellini.
This book is in processing at my library and I’m first in line, for once!
I was over at your blog today Sarah, so I know you’re doing the happy dance. Let me know what you think of the book —- I think I’m going to read it as soon as I finish MOCKINGJAY, and then …. (drumroll) …. maybe get lost in HAWAII.
I’m saving THE HOBBIT and my J. California Cooper book for a vacation week and/or a long plane ride. Maybe to, uh, Hawaii??? A girl can wish.
You are so encouraging, from the fact that you read about this local author and went out to support her to spreading the news afterward. I really do aspire to be your kind of good.
Is that sugar on the rim of that Bellini? I want to suck it down from here.
My first bellini came in a plastic cup, but that in no way lessened the experience. I kept watching Ms. Clayton and her big group of friends and thinking how fabulous they all were.
Finding a new bookstore, success!
I love that you went and upon finding out it was more of a cocktail party amongst friends, you went up and introduced yourself. I am such a social misfit in those situations. You’ve met me. You know.
We need to be neighbors, that’s it! Writing by day, Bellini’s, bookstores and board games by night…ahhhhhhh.
Sadly, I introduced myself so fast, just said hello-my-name-is and never mentioned how I heard about the event, SheWrites, or anything the likes of. Later I was hoping she didn’t think we were just some freeloaders wandering into their party! Like I said, I gotta get out more.
holy shit, just from the outside, that bookstore looks like the most fabulous thing you could hope to find while wandering the streets. really, those shelves and the window and sign. it screams—“THIS IS JUST FOR YOU!”
speaking of just for you, i have a new book that you should go buy as soon as you’re done reading my comment: The Journal Keeper by Phyllis Therox (mother of the hunk dating jennifer anniston)
it’s. so. good.
i’m going to write more about it today, but that’s how good it is. i had to share it right away.
Can’t wait to read your review of THE JOURNAL KEEPER —- adding it to my growing list.
Sounds like a lovely evening and I think I have already read about this book. Wish you lived around the corner for when I do my first shaky reading! Ciao cat
Italy. I can do Italy.
Lots of firsts! It’s inspiring. I know of Meg from SheWrites. Many of their emails come from her, I think,but I haven’t read her book. I’ll have to look for it.
Now that I’ve gotten to know who Meg is, I see that THE WEDNESDAY SISTERS is her best-known book, and seems to be a book club favorite. She said she’s currently working on the sequel.
Yes, I think she’s sold over a million copies of The Wednesday Sisters. It was a big book club hit. She’s great about sharing information about the publishing process on She Writes and her blog. In fact, somewhere in her posts she talks about getting noticed in the book club circle.
Like Lisa, I know of Meg from SheWrites and Twitter–she’s very supportive of writers. Her book(s) have been on my list.
So glad you had a ball. Bellinis are incredible. I’ve had exactly one in my whole life and still salivate thinking on it. Might be time to have another?
Hand over the Bellini and no one gets hurt.
I second MSB. You are the doing your share for authors everywhere, and then some. And that store is scrumptious. (Since 1851!)
Teri, you’re making me want to get out more. I can’t think of a better way to begin 2012 than with a bellini and a new (fabulous) bookstore. (Is it the store I think it is? Next to Calafia?? That shopping center is our go-to place for treats when I’m the clink)
Lizi, that is exactly it. How many times have I been at that stoplight and turned right onto the campus, but never right. And Books Inc. is literally right there! Duh.
When we were walking to our car, I pointed at Calafia and said to my husband, “That sign says Cafe and Bakery, but it’s pretty packed for this time of night.” Must be fabulous. We’ll have to stop there after our next Books Inc. excursion….
I just checked out her website – the blog about 1st books – v interesting. Will visit more later.
That bookstore looks so welcoming!
And I third MSB about how you support authors.
PS – I’ve never had a Bellini. Now on my to do list for 2012.
I spent a good hour last night fishing around her blog. So well organized, and great info all over the place. Before I went to bed, I read a Q&A in the back of her book and noticed her agent is the same as a friend of mine’s. The world is so very very small.
I went to a book event last night, too, where I also decided I need to go to more literary events/readings. I had the best time last night. It was a benefit for my local library, featured an excellent author (Thrity Umrigar), was held at a local wine shop. I think all readings should feature an open wine bar…and also be close enough for me to walk home afterward! Anyway, I’ve already decided to go to Anne Lamott’s event when she come to Cleveland in a few months.
I’ve definitely heard of Clayton, especially her novel THE WEDNESDAY SISTERS, but I haven’t read her yet. Let us know what you think of the book.
Your experience of feeling like an outsider around her family/friends at the event reminds me of my book launch party. I knew almost everyone who showed up, but right in the beginning, when it was still early and not too many people were there yet, a young woman I didn’t recognize walked into the room. I felt kind of awkward — should I introduce myself to her and thank her for coming? Or was she there simply to browse the used books, making me an ass for assuming she’s there for my book? Turns out she *was* there for the event, but I never got a chance to speak to her. Still feel kind of bad about that.
More literary events. Check! I’m pretty sure Yiyun Li (sp?) will be here this spring, so I’m looking forward to that.
Can’t wait to hear about Ann Lamott —- I’ve never seen her in person.
I love J. Michener. Hawaii is one of my favorites, Chesapeake is really good too. But The Bridges of Toko-Ri is awesome. Hunker down lady, this is one big book.
Not sure when I’m going to take this one on, Oma. Maybe I should wait until I’m on a beach. In Hawaii! Imagine…
Oh my look at that bookstore. Cripes I miss bookstores and by that I mean ones that are filled with books I can actually read. I’m going to have to get a Paris Shakespeare and Co/WH Smith fix in soon…
Your situation makes the best case for the Kindle. What in the world would you do without that?
I haven’t been to a book store in ages. Everything I buy is generally on Amazon. I miss going to those bookstores with comfortable seats and bright lighting, which just welcome you to read. Next time I see a good one I will need to walk in. – Mitt
The bookstores all around me keep clearing out and locking their doors. It’s a sad state of affairs. We drove a half-hour to get to the one pictured here —- I was spoiled by being able to ride my bike just a few minutes to our old store, long closed now.