Monday, May 6, 2013

Literary Loot

Heather's Literary Loot for April
It doesn't look like much, but I promise you -- this bunch makes me feel like I've won the lottery. I really enjoy attending book events where the author gives a talk, participates in a question and answer period, and then holds a signing. Signed books are the Holy Grail for me.

On Wednesday the 17th, I took a trip down to the Commonwealth Club of California to hear Mary Roach discuss her new book, Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal. Roach is smart and witty and wildly entertaining. She also discussed her writing process as well as her other books. To hear audio from the event, click here. While I hadn't yet purchased Gulp, I did happen to bring my copy of Stiff -- the book that introduced me to her funny and informative writing style that has made her famous. She spoke with me briefly and signed my book (pictured bottom, far right).

A week later, on Wednesday the 24th, I headed over to the World Affairs Council of Northern California to hear Shannon O'Neil share her thoughts on Mexico--U.S. relations and talk about her new book, Two Nations Indivisible: Mexico, The United States, and the Road Ahead. The topic of Latin America -- U.S. relations is close to my heart as I graduated with my degree in Latin American and Latino Studies and Politics. I was curious to hear O'Neil's perspectives on the hotbed issues such as politics, immigration, drugs, and violence that dominate the discussions surrounding Mexico and the United States. She kindly signed my book after the event (pictured bottom, center).

Over the weekend, I popped into two local shops: Bookshop West Portal and Two Cats Comic Book Store. At Two Cats, I picked up Gene Luen Yang's American Born Chinese. It looked interesting and I liked the style. Two Cats has a nice amount of non-superhero comics and that keeps me coming back. Down the street, I headed into Bookshop West Portal in search of Kevin Smokler's Practical Classics: 50 Reasons to Reread 50 Books You Haven't Touched Since High School. There's been a lot of buzz around this place because Smokler will be joining some of the Tators for an upcoming podcast. I found the last copy of his book hidden in the back of the store in the reference section (pictured, bottom far left). It also seemed to sport his signature, but the sales lady wasn't able to verify. That led to the following Twitter encounter: 
Author Smokler verified his signature in my book via Twitter!
I definitely got more than I bargained for when I picked up Practical Classics -- but in a very good way! 

Not pictured: a digital copy of Tina Fey's Bossypants -- purchased for $0.99 on Amazon (promotion has ended).

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