New Best Friends

June 4, 2009

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!

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.

Rapunzel Roundup | Ann Cannon & The Loser’s Guide

August 7, 2008

Ann Cannon will be signing at the Rapunzel Roundup, August 23rd, 1 p.m. at the Foothill Library, 1135 South 2100 East, Salt Lake City

Ann Cannon, always wise beyond her years, has a sense of humor, a way with language, and a fondness for her characters that catches at your heart even while it makes you laugh. In The Loser’s Guide to Life and Love, a 21st-century riff on Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, the cast of characters includes: Ed, who is looking for love; Scout (longtime friend and coworker), who has a crush on Ed; Quark (best friend and neighbor), who has a crush on Scout; and new-girl-in-town Ellie, who has a crush on a memory. What comes out of the long series of slip-ups and switches (which in Shakespeare, as in life, always border on tragedy) is proof that there must be real magic that comes even into our perfectly ordinary lives. For teens and 20-somethings (and more than an occasional grownup who needed something like this in youth), this is an astonishing tour de force, beautiful beyond even our wildest dreams, one of the best so-called “young adult” novels we have ever read. Magical doesn’t BEGIN to describe it. – Review by TKE Staffers Margaret Brennan Neville, John Merritt, Betsy Burton, Linda Gurrister, and Anne Holman

Guest Blogger | Ann Cannon on Loser’s Guide to Life and Love

July 18, 2008
Ann Cannon at The Kings English Bookshop

Ann Cannon at The King's English Bookshop

So TKE hosted an event for my new young adult novel, The Loser’s Guide to Life and Love, and seriously I felt like a debutante at my own debutante bowl, except that I’m 52. And also I wasn’t wearing a corsage.

Anyway, it was a GREAT evening (thanks, Jenn!) with all kinds of amazing and personal touches–from the dragonflies on the banner to the icy cold cans of Dr. Pepper to the readers’ theater (the kids were amazing!) to Anne Holman’s sweet and funny introduction.  Plus there were actual people in attendance. PEOPLE!  No kidding. I’ve had events in the past for other books where nobody came.  So thank you, everybody, for being there.

Sometimes readers ask which of my books I like the best.  It’s a hard question to answer because your books are like your children:  you love them all equally but some days (truth be told) you like the kid who cleans up his bedroom without being asked better than you like the kid who just totaled your new car.   I will say this, though.  I never ever had more fun writing a book than I did writing Loser.  I think that’s because I wrote about things I love: summer nights in Salt Lake City, my Avenues neighborhood, the moon (and Goodnight Moon, too!), sweet and silly teenage boys, overly affectionate cats, old movies, party food, flowers, romance.  I call Loser my happiness book, and while I don’t know if it’s the best book I’ve ever written, it certainly holds the distinction of being closest to my heart.