Wednesday, October 30, 2019

A Book Club Meeting That Was Very Bittersweet

Last week I went to the 4th Tuesday Night Book Club meeting at Books, Inc, in Palo Alto.  It was a very bittersweet evening for me.  Why, you ask?  Well, on the sweet side, the book we read and talked about was Meg Waite Clayton's The Last Train to London (I reviewed this on August 16).  And Meg came to the book club meeting!  This is actually not that surprising since Meg has been a member for many years and was the one who suggested I look into it 4-5 years ago.  But it was still great having her there.  For those who didn't read my review (shame on you!), it's an excellent book about Geertruida Wijsmuller-Meijer (Truus), a Dutch woman (not Jewish) who helped get as many as 10,000 Austrian Jewish children onto trains and safely into London.  These kindertransports took place between December of 1938 and September 1, 1939, when the war started.

And still talking about the sweet side, the daughter of one of the kids that Truus saved was at the meeting!  That was so cool.  In fact, Meg said that just about everywhere she went on book tour she would meet someone who was connected to those trains.  She said it was a pretty humbling experience on several levels.

Here's some more sweet stuff:
1.  A couple of weeks ago TLTTL was #4 on the bestseller's list in Canada - behind Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, and Ruth Ware, and ahead of Louise Penny!
2.  High schools in Germany and Austria teach classes on the Holocaust while many other countries, including the U.S., do not.
3.  Truus kept working to save Jewish children throughout WWII, not just in the months prior to the start of the war.
4.  Meg was selected as 1 of 12 female screenwriters who got to attend a workshop sponsored by Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman.  She said it was an amazing opportunity.

Meg Waite Clayton
Meg and daughter of child rescued by Truus

Now that we've gone through the sweet stuff (and VERY sweet it is), I have tell you about the bitter side.  Margie Scott Tucker, co-owner of the Books, Inc. chain and the book club leader, is retiring.  This book club meeting was her very last.  She will not be replaced.  I have been to many meetings over the years.  And there is nobody that I've ever seen that can run a book club meeting like Margie does/did.  Her inside knowledge of the book industry gave the members info that made you feel like the author was there.  I know I will miss it a lot.  Enjoy that retirement, Margie!

Margie Scott Tucker (with the purse in front of her)

Monday, October 7, 2019

Barry Eisler Launches His Next Livia Lone - Hurray!

There are 1 or 2 days every year that I really look forward to.  These are the days that Barry Eisler launches his next book.  Every event is at Kepler's, and every launch is fun because Barry is a kick.  But here's the best part: He's really a good writer!  The launch this time (9/26) was for his next Livia Lone story, called All the Devils.  I will be writing my review of this one soon.  But let me give you a hint...I LOVED IT!