One of my resolutions this year was to take the blog into the real world a bit more, by attending some bookish events and getting more involved in my favorite local bookstore and library. Last night Hooray for Books had a Bring Your Own Book night, which turned out to be a lot of fun. We all brought one favorite book, we described our book to the group, and then we chose someone to swap with.
I brought Mary Lawson’s Crow Lake. Lawson is a writer many people haven’t heard of, but her three novels (about small town life and family relationships in Ontario) are wonderful. This is her first and definitely the one I would start with.
There were about 12 or so participating (all women), and I’d read a good number of the books they brought (including Persuasion, The Shadow of the Wind, Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand and The Book Thief). There were two I wanted: Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett and Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, written by a lawyer who founded the Equal Justice Initiative.
Since I already had (or didn’t particularly want) most of the others, I went after the Gaiman book right away (and check out this news about a Good Omens show on Amazon). Plus I met a really nice person who gave me some good recommendations for Pratchett reading, since his Discworld series is rather intimidating.
There was wine, a bookish game which we didn’t get to, and each of us got to pick an ARC to read and review for the bookstore in February. The ARCs were wrapped and each had a description card. I’m happy with the one I got, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti. The description from Goodreads:
After years spent living on the run, Samuel Hawley moves with his teenage daughter, Loo, to Olympus, Massachusetts. There, in his late wife’s hometown, Hawley finds work as a fisherman, while Loo struggles to fit in at school and grows curious about her mother’s mysterious death. Haunting them both are twelve scars Hawley carries on his body, from twelve bullets in his criminal past a past that eventually spills over into his daughter’s present, until together they must face a reckoning yet to come. This father-daughter epic weaves back and forth through time and across America, from Alaska to the Adirondacks.
And last but not least, I signed up for their science fiction book club, which will meet once a month at the bookstore. They had canceled it due to low participation, so I’m hoping a few others will be motivated to join. A science fiction book club is a rare thing; most book clubs want to read books I’m not terribly interested in (Hooray has a general book club and a YA book club too). So if you’re in the area, think about signing up, or at least check out the store. It’s a mostly children’s bookstore but they are aiming more at adults. I love their selection of children’s books and the staff are incredibly knowledgeable. Friday they are hosting a poster session to prepare for the Women’s March on Saturday, which I think is very cool.
The event was a lot of fun, I got two new books, and I even gave out a few business cards for the blog. I’m not terribly good at meet & greet events, but bookish people are always easy to talk to. And that’s one resolution I’ve actually done something about. Next on my list is reducing the sugar in my diet, which doesn’t sound like nearly as much fun. But I’ll let you know.