When the BEA (Book Expo America) met in May, those of us who stayed home held our own Armchair BEA
. I participated in only one meme, the one about book signings and author sightings
. In my post, I tried to remember some of the authors I've met over the years. I managed to come up with a few that day, but I'm still occasionally remembering others I've stood in line for, waiting to get a book signed. The best meet-ups with authors, of course, are when I actually get to look her or him in the eye and talk a few minutes. Here are the ones I remember specifically.
I've read three of Masha Hamilton
's books, but have reviewed only one of them: The Camel Bookmobile
. Donna and I had lunch with Masha when she came to Tennessee for a conference, and Masha also chatted with our face-to-face book club via speaker phone. Take a look at Masha's web site
came to town for our very first A Tale for One City event, when Chattanoogans read Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
. She's as funny in person as I expected her to be.
A Tale for One City is a citywide reading initiative designed to get Chattanoogans to read the same book at the same time. Started by READ Chattanooga, the purpose of this program is to build unity in the community and to stress the importance of reading.
Laurie Halse Anderson
was here in March 2008, when A Tale for One City read her YA novel Speak
. She shared a meal with members of the committee, which gave me a chance to talk to her. I've reviewed three of her books: Speak
, a young adult novel; Independent Dames
, a children's book; and The Hair of Zoe Fleefenbacher Goes to School
, another children's book.
I've read two of Christopher Paul Curtis
's excellent young adult novels: Bud, Not Buddy
and The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963
, about the church bombing. A Tale for One City chose Bud, Not Buddy
as our YA book one year, and I chatted with him at a reception at the home of a committee member.
I first learned about Avi
when my friend Donna insisted I read Nothing But the Truth
, a wonderful YA novel in documentary form, which became one of my favorite YA books, ever. Donna and I met Avi at a conference in Kentucky a few years ago. Take a look at Avi's web site
and John Dominic Crossan
are friends and occasional co-authors. In February, I'll be leading a weekend retreat in a study of Borg's The Heart of Christianity
, the best book I've found that explains differences between two current streams of Christian thought. Together, Borg and Crossan wrote The First Paul: Reclaiming the Radical Visionary Behind the Church's Conservative Icon
. One of Crossan's most recent books is God and Empire
The list keeps getting longer. So far I've remembered Laurie Halse Anderson, John Dominic Crossan, Marcus Borg, Masha Hamilton, Theda Perdue
, Madeleine L'Engle, Robert Hicks
, Susan Gregg Gilmore
, Paul Von Ward
, Fannie Flagg, Janisse Ray
, Avi, and Christopher Paul Curtis. That's a baker's dozen (thirteen, in other words). Actually, I've met several others at the Conferences on Southern Literature I've attended (people like Lee Smith), but these thirteen are my most memorable "author sightings."
Update (1-27-11): E. L. Konigsburg, who wrote The View from Saturday
and lots of other young adult books, signed my book when she spoke at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Update (1-26-14): I met Paul Von Ward, author of The Soul Genome
, when he spoke at the Unitarian church.