Last week I had the pleasure of attending an author event with not one, but two, wonderful authors reading from their recent novels. The event was at Newtonville Books, about a half hour from me; it was well attended and there was a familiar face in the audience – Gail (@irisheyz77 on twitter) from Ticket to Anywhere.
If you read my review of The Weird Sisters, you know how much I enjoyed Eleanor Brown’s debut novel! It’s a wonderful tale of sisters, the perils of birth order, and the way we return to our childhood roles when we return to the family unit (even as adults). Ms. Brown read a section toward the beginning of the novel, which describes a play the girls performed for their parents (“the Scottish play” aka Macbeth). This is a wonderful excerpt, as it so clearly shows the personalities of each member of the Andreas family – the three sisters and their parents.
Rebecca Goldstein also read that evening. She is a philosopher and novelist who has published nine books (several each of nonfiction and fiction). Her recent work is 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Novel; the audience laughed at the ironic (or not?) title. The main character of 36 Arguments is Cass Seltzer, a professor at a fictional university in Cambridge who has been nicknamed “the atheist with a soul” by the press. Goldstein read an excerpt that caught my attention – the quirky characters, the familiar Boston/Cambridge setting, and Seltzer’s somewhat wishy-washy personality (my take, anyway. I believe Selter’s inability to stand his ground will be a theme in the novel).
I came home that evening with not one, not two, but three books! I purchased a finished copy of The Weird Sisters, added 36 Arguments to my “to be read” shelf, and picked up a signed copy of John Vaillant’s The Golden Spruce. Vaillant visited our bookshop in the fall with The Tiger, and I’ve been eager to read his previous nonfiction.
I’m so glad I braved the cold to hear Eleanor Brown and Rebecca Goldstein read from their novels. Bonus – J got the younger kids to bed while I was out!