It’s awesome when all the things I love (or, am currently interested in) come together unexpectedly. That happened this past Monday during the World Book Night Kickoff Event at Powell’s.
To start things off, they gave out special editions of the Complete Sonnets of William Shakespeare, which was appropriate since April is National Poetry Month and they chose April 23rd to give away books to celebrate his birthday!
The place was packed. I was excited to think this was a room full of Givers but, as it turned out, there were only 2 of us! Usually I’d be shy about talking in front of a crowd but I couldn’t pass the opportunity to tell people about why I was a fan of World Book Night and to let them know I signed up to give away copies of one of my most favorite favorites– Armistead Maupins’ Tales of the City!
The event featured five writers each sharing a book or two that affected them either as readers or writers. The concept is very similar to my One Book concept.
Cheryl Strayed, whose book Wild is one of this year’s selection, was the first speaker. She talked about what World Book Night was and she was the one who asked about our previous experiences as Givers! It was cool to talk to such a famous writer!
Paul Collins read from Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome- a book he’s cited before in his own travel memoir Sixpence House as having influenced his writing style.
Chelsea Cain was her typical entertaining self- laugh out loud funny with a bit of edginess just like in her thrillers. She talked about books as objects using an old library copy of Mystery of the Glowing Eye by Carolyn Keene as an example. She read the Nancy Drew mysteries a lot as a child and while they weren’t particularly good books, they were great stories. She also encouraged the audience to give any aspiring writer in their lives a copy of Synonyms and Antonyms. She still had the copy her mom had bought her when she was a young child.
Matthew Dickman credited Allen Ginsberg’s Howl in seeing poetry as something accessible and not just some obscure puzzle to solve.
Amanda Coplin said it was difficult to choose just one book to talk about but settled on Mouchette by Georges Bernanos. She’s a local author (The Orchardist) who I definitely want to see if she’s willing to speak at one of our Friends of the Library events!
Cheryl Strayed then came back and shared her one book: Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. The way she talked about it made me want to go out and buy it!
I apologize for such a text heavy post! Click here for a free ebook from World Book Night- “a collection of stories and essays by booksellers, librarians, and authors!” You deserve it!
What are you celebrating this week?