Last year when I got back from BEA, Sherman Alexie was my new best friend. We got a chance to chat again very briefly, but let’s face it — Sherman has a lot of best friends in the book world. In fact, he was voted the Most Engaging Author at the Indie Choice Awards! We’re looking forward to proving that we’re the best of the best on his upcoming tour, but until then, let me introduce you to some new friends:
- Nick McDonnell, author of An Expensive Education. I was thrilled to get a chance to talk to him, because after reading this (very good) book, I had one burning question, geopolitics and super-spy action aside: Is everyone really that well-read at Harvard? I know some very smart people, but really? According to Nick, there is indeed a subset of the population (basically those who aren’t planning on going into finance or medicine) that can quote from every book ever at the drop of a hat. It also turns out that Nick’s favorite spy (the man has met actual genuine spies! In Africa!) hasn’t appeared in a book yet. Will Nick write a sequel? Stay tuned to find out more!
- Joanna Rakoff, author of A Fortunate Age, lovely as ever. Being in New York made me feel like at any moment, I’d run into one of her characters rounding a corner or leaving a restaurant. If you’re a city guy/gal and you haven’t already read this one, you should pick it up — she manages to capture not only the fraught journey from college grad to career person, but the texture and feel of NYC.
- It was great to see Trenton Lee Stewart again, especially because we got to talk short stories. Here is your TLS-approved reading list: “Open Window” by Saki, “A Rose for Emily” by Faulkner, and “For Same” by Salinger. I also got to meet his wife this time, plus sit next to Megan Tingley (of Megan Tingley books! How often do you get to sit next to someone who has their own imprint?), who loves independent booksellers so much that she threw a dinner for us at Mario Batali’s Del Posto. Yes, the food was really good.
- Michael Tucker and Jill Eikenberry told Betsy and me about Italy and acting, what it’s like to be in the public eye, and how much they love to ski. We’re working on getting them out our way for a joint event with Fresco–we’ll keep you posted!
- At the #beatweetup, I was reunited with Peter Fogtdal, who is still the funniest Danish novelist in the world (not to mention the funniest Danish blogger).
There was so much more that happened and should be blogged; stay tuned, while I try to get my brain to stop skittering off into dark corners and hiding from me.