Friday, June 7, 2013

A Cool Author Event at a Cool Bookstore

Last night, Joni and I went to see Beth Hoffman at A Great Good Place for Books in a part of Oakland called Montclair Village.  Beth is making only 2 appearances in the Bay Area with the other one being in Pleasanton tonight, which we couldn't make.  So we trekked up to Oakland.  Now, I actually grew up in Oakland, about a mile from Montclair Village.  But it's probably been 30-40 years since I've been there.  That was pretty surreal in and of itself.

But I digress (for a change!).  Beth is promoting her 2nd book, Looking For Me.  It has only been out for a little over a week, and it's already made the NY Times bestseller list.  And her 1st one, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, published in 2010, also made that exalted list.  I haven't read either of her books, but just about every single blogger that I follow has given both of them glowing reviews.  I figured I better get to it.  I bought CeeCee and will start it probably tomorrow.

The bookstore, which I've never been in before, has a very intimate backdrop.  It's long and narrow, which you can kind of tell from the picture.  Beth sat in a high chair (not that kind of high chair) in front of the cash register counter.  The rest of us were arrayed in a long row (about 20 chairs) opposite her.  In fact, I was directly across from Beth and had to swing my legs to the side so as not to hit her legs.  How often does that happen with a NY Times bestselling author?

Beth is a fascinating speaker.  Her new book reflects her personal life, although it's couched in fiction, and she speaks with a lot of emotion.  It's impossible not to get caught up in her storytelling.  She not only told us (there were 8 customers and 3 employees) what events led to the telling of this story, she also told us a lot about her childhood growing up in Kentucky.  Good stuff.
I have to talk about the bookstore a little bit too.  The owner, Kathleen, was there.  I had a chance to talk to her a little bit.  They do a bunch of author events (they've got something like another 9 or 10 just this month alone!).  And the store is way cool.  Kathleen has such a passion for books and seems to be very determined to continue to make A Great Good Place for Books a great good place to visit.  I know that if I have a choice, her bookstore will be right near the top of the list of venues to see authors.

One Blogger's Opinion:  WE HAVE TO KEEP THE INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORES ALIVE!


10 comments:

  1. Lloyd ... Thank you for making the trip (with your lovely wife) to see me. It was a fun night and I so enjoyed meeting you!

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  2. The pleasure was definitely ours!

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  3. I just adore Beth and her books! She has a heart of gold! I agree with you about indies and try to put my money where my mouth is - I'm on a first name basis with everyone at my local indie.

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  4. Thanks for the comment. And thanks for making me look at the title again. I can't believe I put "An" instead of "A." It is now corrected. I read the blog multiple times before posting. I guess I better read the title multiple times too!

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  5. I adore Beth!!!! How exciting for you to go and see her.

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  6. I'm sensing a pattern here! The comments about her and her books both are always glowing. I will be starting CeeCee today. I'm very anxious to see what the buzz is all about.

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  7. You know how I feel about Beth so I'll comment on the bookstore. I love the intimate setting. I would love to own one someday!

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  8. I never thought about owning my own bookstore. But you're right. That would be so neat. It was fun for my 1st visit to meet the owner, Kathleen, too. Overhearing her talk to Beth, it sounded like Kathleen is known in other parts of the country.
    Next Year - BEA!

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  9. It really was. I've been to hundreds of author events. But she is very unusual. She's so emotionally involved in her reading and her audience. It makes it that much more special to actually like her work and to be able to honestly review one of her books so enthusiastically. All of us bloggers know that it's tough to give a mediocre review to an author that we personally like - even though we've all done it.

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