The Dreaded "Author Reading

Are you turned off by the phrase “Author Reading”? I was until I actually went to one. The phrase conjured up a picture of authors standing at a podium reading word for word from their latest book for an hour or more. That seemed terribly boring to me. Since going to that first “reading” I have been to a number and only one author spent most of the time reading from her latest book. 

Actually, many of the authors are rather entertaining. They will often tell you something about the book and read a short passage before they open up the floor to questions. Two of the authors of culinary mysteries each baked up a recipe included in the book they were “reading” and shared the goodies with the audience. Talk about going the extra mile…

Now, I haven’t had a chance to read the following two books, but I thought that I would share what I learned.

I went to a very entertaining author reading by Douglas Preston. His latest book, written withouLincoln Child, is Impact. In it, three different people in three different locations, Maine, Cambodia, and California, are involved in three different facets of the story. Yes, he does tie all of the parts together in the end. Listening to him speak about his experiences in life, you realize that his inspiration comes from his own, rather interesting life. Not only has he written thrillers, but he has contributed a variety of articles to publications such as Audubon, Smithsonian, National Geographic, Harper’s, Natural History, New Yorker, and Travel and Leisure. His brother is Richard Preston, who has also written thrillers.

On January 27th, I heard  Elizabeth, whose latest book is The Swan Thieves. She read some of the book to us. It involves two artists, one a young woman, Beatrice, and Olivier, her uncle.  She is very attracted to Olivier and feels that she has to fight that attraction. The novel takes place in France, where Kostova went to research the book. Her use of language is quite appealing. She said that the authors who influenced her the most were Dickens, Tolstoy, Henry James, and Virginia Woolf.  Like her first novel, The Historian, Swan Thieves is rather long, but it sounds quite interesting.

The next book I've read. You may find that you will enjoy it despite the fact that it may give you goose-bumps.

I  searched the Bram Stoker award winners (horror) to find a book to read outside my “area of comfort” and found Creepers, by David Morrell. Creepers are urban explorers who get pleasure from wanderingaround in abandoned buildings in an urban setting to see what they can find (through breaking and entering).  In New Jersey, a small group of people chose an abandoned hotel that at one time housed the eccentric owner, an agoraphobic who also had hemophilia. He was a recluse somewhat reminiscent of Howard Hughes. Early on it is evident that some of the “creepers” are not who they represented themselves to be when their adventure began. Soon they realize that they are not alone. They encounter the son of the former owner who turns out to be quite the villain and they encounter yet another small group of “creepers” who give them cause for concern. The book straddles several genres - horror, thriller and adventure - for you see, the villain really “puts them through the wringer”.

Here at the library authors come to talk about their work in a program called Writers Talking. Attend one and maybe the phrase "author talk" will become a cause for celebration.