More Still Alice

images Part 1.  Author Event

A week ago, I drove almost an hour and 1/2 to attend my very first ever author event at the beautiful library in Chatham, Massachusetts.   I was way early and spent a few dollars in the lovely touristy spots on the main street and then was second in the room where the event was to be held.    I chitchatted with the other lady early to claim a seat – she was expecting a huge crowd, had I read the book?, etc and then some.    I chose the third seat in the third row and opened a book I had purchased at the same time as buying my second copy of Still Alice – since I had loaned my copy to a friend and HAD TO HAVE ANOTHER so Lisa Genova could sign it, right?!   Right.

What a delight that 84, Cross Charing Road was the other book!   and how absolutely perfect it was to have in such a situation;  quick, funny, short, smart, DELIGHTFUL.   Helene Hanff was quite a character.    You can read much more about Ms. Hanff by visiting Citizen Reader’s series from last week => click here.      I had first heard about 84, Cross Charing Road in a post by Jessica of The Bluestocking Society a looooooong time ago claiming it as one of those books everyone should read.   I had never heard of it.   CR gave me the kick in the butt.    FINALLY, I got around to it and I can’t tell you just how charming it is.      This would be an excellent book for the next Read-A-Thon if you like a sense of satisfaction for number of books completed,  it won’t take but an hour or two to read – – if that, you will laugh out loud, and you will be delightfully charmed.   I dare you to not be.

Back to the author event…          I wish I had read a few more posts by Trish on how to be a good attendee at an Author Event.    I felt shy and awkward!    I brought my camera but didn’t have the courage to take any photos.   My cellphone had no service in that space so I had no idea what time it was and was just sure that I had to hurry and get back home asap – I am not a clear thinker when I’m feeling rushed.
Ms. Genova’s talk was awesome!    The crowd was at least 150 people – but I’m unreliable on such estimates…    She seemed very pleased and surprised, especially in contrast to the beginning of her marketing time line for this book.    In the beginning (after writing the novel), she started out sending out requests to publish and only heard from about five out of a thousand plus;   3 were NO (no one would read such a book?!) and 2 were please-send (and I think it fizzled from there.)    Now her book is garnering excellent reviews and I bet word-of-mouth is helping considerably.   She didn’t mention that and I was too bashful to ask her anything about her opinions on the book blogging effect.
She read from the book – the sections she chose were good ones for a glimpse of her writing skills and just how confused Alice becomes.  I found out that the endings were different for her self-pub’d version and the newer Simon & Schuster one.  Someone asked about a scene in the book and she decided that too many people hadn’t read it yet and so we didn’t get an answer!  (same in my book club – more on that later in this post.)   She talked a lot about what she used to do before becoming an author and how/why she decided to write Still Alice.
I had the book ready and was one of the first in line as we rushed the poor Lisa to a seat and forced a pen into her hand.   She is very gracious; I fumbled as I told her that I just blogged a review and that she was so nice to comment on it (I think that’s what I said) and she signed!    My first official signed book:
Part 2.  Book Club
On the next day, I made new friends at the new-to-me book club I’ve joined at the high school.   I think we had 9 attendees, two of which had yet to finish the book.     We had a great discussion, many had stories to share about loved ones affected by Alzheimer’s, and no one liked the husband.   A few were not keen on how the book ended.    We talked about the butterfly and we were all impressed with the writing skills of Lisa Genova.   We all want to read her next book!    Still Alice is an excellent choice for a book club.

I am so excited to be a part of a REAL book club offering face-to-face discussions!   The rattling off of book titles and suggestions and other online book sites (I was shocked that I didn’t know them all – I mean, as a book blogger, I’ve always thought of myself as a little more aware than the non-blogger book lover…  OOPS, dangerous thinking.)   Favorites others have read also with exclamations of “Oh, I hated that!   Oh, I LOVED that!”  was just a ton of fun.
We’ll be reading In the Woods by Tara French for the mid-May meeting.    but I’ll be more interested in continuing our Alice discussion and finding out what exactly the husband did or did not do in that one scene…   did he read her Butterfly message?!   did he know, did he…?????