I like traveling alone to the countries where I speak the language. This gives me an opportunity for a cultural immersion that really isn’t possible if you’re traveling with English speakers.
Delphinium Books Blog
Author of The Killing of Karen Silkwood
On November 13, 2014, a reporter at “KWTV-News 9” in Oklahoma City interviewed Karen Silkwood’s son Michael. It was the fortieth anniversary of her death, and Michael was close to tears as he confessed that he was afraid of dying without ever knowing who killed his mother and why. She was never far from his thoughts.
I recently did an event at Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont. Northshire is universally recognized as the preeminent bookseller in the State of Vermont. It has a faithful, steady clientele and its staff actively hand-sell titles. One of them, a cheerful crystal-eyed guy called Stan, is known throughout the publishing industry for having a singular ability to inspire sales of one thousand copies or more of a single title. Because of this, he is swamped with review copies of books that come to Northshire from everywhere. [Read more…]
In all the years I’ve been doing book signings and appearances, I’ve had a few eerie moments. The most usual is a person coming to an event merely because there is an event. They have absolutely no interest in the book or its author. They may be attracted to the makeshift arrangement of chairs. Perhaps they think there might be a giveaway or free wine and cheese after I get done with my spiel about my book and why I wrote it.
However, some people who come have connected with the book in a very powerful and meaningful way.
Is it possible to write about a book you’ve read and didn’t viscerally respond to without discouraging that book’s other potential readers? Is it possible to recognize a book’s many qualities and still say that your experience reading it wasn’t exactly satisfying? I am going to try and do this with Celeste Ng’s novel Little Fires Everywhere, a book that has been highly praised, both online and in newspapers and has managed also to be a bestseller and seems to be a favorite of many people.
Ng is a fine writer. She tells a compelling story, and at the center of Little Fires Everywhere is a provocative moral dilemma. This novel—her second— is, for these reasons, impressive.
I recently visited the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland’s County Clare—a mecca that attracts tourists from all over the world. The cliffs rise precipitously above the Atlantic, and when you stand at the top of them, you look down on a short grassy decent that quickly ends at a sharp shelf. And then a sheer 700-foot drop to The Atlantic. The view is dramatic and the cliffs appear monolithic. And yet despite the fact that the Slieve League Cliffs in Donegal are three times higher, the Cliffs of Moher are far more frequently visited. [Read more…]