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Posts Tagged ‘Author Interview’

As part of our mission to promote authors, the joy of reading, and to better understand the craft of writing, we’ve paired with the The Norwich Bookstore in Norwich, Vermont to present an ongoing series entitled “Three Questions”.  In it, we pose three questions to authors with upcoming visits to the bookstore. Their responses are posted on The Book Jam in the week leading up to their engagement. Our hope is that this exchange will offer insight into their work and will encourage readers to attend these special author events.

We’re thrilled to welcome New York Times Best Selling Author Jodi Picoult, author of the new novel Lone Wolf , to the Book Jam’s “Three Questions”.

As part of the Norwich Bookstore’s author visits, Jodi will kick off her latest book tour at Simon Pierce in Quechee, Vermont  on February 28th at 9 am.  She will read from and discuss her newest book, Lone Wolf, a story about an estranged brother and a sister who must decide the fate of their father -a wildlife biologist famous for living with a pack of wolves – who lies in a coma in a New Hampshire hospital. This book explores the bonds of family love, the protection and strength they are meant to offer, and the intersection between medicine and moral choices.

For more information about the bookstore, upcoming speaker engagements or to reserve a seat, simply click on the following link for The Norwich Bookstore. But hurry because seats for this event are almost full! And this one’s a little different than usual: the $36.00 fee includes entry to the event, a signed copy of Lone Wolf, and light refreshments. We hope many of you are able to make it to this exciting book launch party!

Now, Jodi’s responses to our three questions.

 

 

1. What three books have helped shape you into the author you are today, and why?

Gone with the Wind– made me want to be a writer and create a world out of words;  The Great Gatsby – my first experience with an unreliable narrator, and ever since then, I’ve loved exploring the discrepancy between what the reader knows and what the narrator knows; The Sun Also Rises – the parity of language that is Hemingway’s hallmark always reminds me that less is more; and that there are times words fail us when we try to describe moments of great emotion.

 

 

2. What author (living or dead) would you most like to have a cup of coffee with and why?

Shakespeare.  I swear, I sometimes think that man created all the stories in the world.  We just recycle them.  Plus – getting Romeo and Juliet to speak for the first time in a sonnet…?  BRILLIANT.

 

 

 

 

3. What books are currently on your bedside table?

The Good Father by Noah Hawley (an advance reader’s copy as the book is due in March 2012), and Amy Hatvany’s Outside the Lines.

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As part of our mission to promote authors and the joy of reading, and to better understand the craft of writing, we’ve paired with the The Norwich Bookstore in Norwich, Vermont to present an ongoing series entitled “Three Questions”.  In it, we’ll pose three questions to authors with upcoming visits to the bookstore. Their responses will  be posted on The Book Jam in the week leading up to their engagement. Our hope is that this exchange will offer insight into their work and will encourage readers to attend these special author events.

We’re thrilled to welcome Sarah Pinneo, author of the new novel Julia’s Child, as the first contributor to “Three Questions”.

Sarah will be appearing at the Norwich Bookstore on Tuesday, January 31st  at 7:00pm where she will talk about her book, a comedy chronicling the success and subsequent challenges that face main character and baby food “momtrepreneur” Julia Bailey.  For more information about the bookstore, upcoming speaker engagements or to reserve a seat, simply click on the following link for The Norwich Bookstore. But hurry because seats for this event are almost full!

Now, her responses to our three questions.

Sarah Pinneo

1. What three books have helped shape you into the author you are today, and why?

I read everything, from classics to thrillers. This was brought home to me one recent evening as I was entering the books I’d just read into GoodReads, and one was by Henry James, and the other by Jennifer Weiner.

Julia’s Child best reflects my appreciation for Christopher Buckley and Carl Hiaasen; those two guys write hysterical, zany comedy, but at the same time their work probes issues about which they care deeply.

2. What author (living or dead) would you most like to have a cup of coffee with and why?

I’d like to meet Alexander McCall Smith. Over coffee, I’d like him to explain to me how he writes four or five novels a year. Come to think of it, he probably drinks quite a bit of coffee. It would be perfect.

And her new book3. What books are currently on your bedside table?

It’s a wobbly stack. I am reading Poser by Claire Dederer, Paradise Lust (which is not bodice ripper, but rather a non-fiction account of seekers of the Garden of Eden) by Wilenski-Lanford, and  The Baker’s Daughter by Sarah McCoy. I’m also working my way through On Plimouth Plantation by William Bradford.

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Science at its best

Chris Trimble Podcast (Click to Listen) or download http://www.box.net/updates#/updates/1/a/1/662861511.

Podcaster’s note: There was a bit of an editing snafoo and the beginning of this podcast with our signature introduction was mistakenly deleted. Don’t worry, our regular routine will return in our next recording but in the meantime our new theme song kicks off this interview with Chris Trimble.

Lisa Lisa and the Book Jam wrapped up their exciting year in books with an interview of accomplished author and dynamic Tuck School of Business

Don't scratch that itch!

professor Chris Trimble. It was a fun, often funny, and always interesting  conversation that included being read aloud to by Chris from one of his favorite science stories of of the last decade “My Bionic Quest for Bolero” by Michael Chorost from the collection The Best Science and Nature Writing 2006. Sit back and enjoy the first few paragraphs of this fascinating story about hearing, loss, how the ear and brain work, and the physics of music.

Trimble explained to us that his favorite reads always include two components: the elucidation of a complicated concept – such as medecine, technology or business – which is then wrapped up into a great story. In that vein, we discussed the work of Atul Gawande, his gripping book Complications: A Surgeons Notes on an Imperfect Science and in particular the story “The Itch” as well as Pauline Chen’s Final Exam: A Surgeons Reflections on Mortality which chronicles the author’s experience at medical school and her very first organ transplant.

A longtime favorite book and one that left a strong impression of the business world and Wall Street on Trimble is Tom Wolfe’s classic Bonfire of the Vanities. Given that Trimble describes it as “a lot of really intelligent people doing meaningless things,” Lisa and Lisa were curious about Chris’ chosen career of business consulting and teaching. Simple, he says.  Through past business endeavors a large chunk of the earth has risen out of poverty and now enjoys a better quality of life.  All of this progress, he explains, starts with science and the questions science explores. The answers to those questions result in ideas that then become commercial innovations. Turning those ideas into companies and then managing ideas within companies provides ongoing challenges for businesses and many areas of interest for Professor Trimble’s work.

As for the future of innovation, listen to the podcast for Chris’ thoughts on what the next few decades hold in store. And if you’re curious about the french fries mentioned above in the title, you’ll have to wait until the end to hear hear Lisa, Lisa and Chris discussing Fast Food Nation, flavor laboratories in New Jersey and Dorie Greenspan’s new pommes frites recipe from Around My French Table.

Mr. Trimble is on the faculty at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and is the author of three books: 10 Rules for Strategic Innovators, The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge – both published by Harvard Business Press and co-authored with Vijay Govindarajan- and How Stella Saved the Farm, self-published in 2010.

Other books mentioned in this episode:

Micheal Lewis’ The Blind Side, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, The Big Short, James Surowiecki’s The Wisdom of Crowds, the works of Malcolm Gladwell, Thomas Wolfe’s  A Man in Full and The Right Stuff, Richard Preston’s  The Hot Zone, and Dava Sobel’s Longitude.

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Peter Money Interview (Click to Listen)

We were lucky enough to spend a long, rainy lunch hour with Peter Money, a Vermont poet who hails from such diverse places as Napa, Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, Cape Cod, Ohio, Dublin and currently Brownsville, VT.  The conversation was truly delightful (and eating Lisa’s pizza and sipping tea didn’t hurt either).

A favorite

Peter’s description of himself as a scavenger in life and in reading led our conversation through a diverse array of topics including:  reading for the purpose of writing, the power of a gift of a book, the Cape Cod Melody Tent, travel in India and Australia, the difference one person can make in the events of the world – in particular Rachel Corrie to whom Peter’s latest book Che is dedicated – the things we use and keep as bookmarks, empty spaces,  the difference email and the internet make in the serendipity of life and reading as a means of developing empathy.

Sprinkled throughout the conversation were quotes by a former teacher of Peter’s –  Allen Ginsberg (“ordinary is made extraordinary by your attention to it” or  the buddhist reminder “Ground Path Fruition” or thinking of writing as “funky independent thought“).   Peter also modeled a superb teaching technique of being able to circle around and tie seemingly unrelated thoughts together.

Speaking of circling back around: we end this episode by playing a little ditty by Emmylou Harris and Mark Knopfler that not only alludes to one of the themes of our discussion (beach combing) but also provides a mellow finish to a lovely talk.

Actual books we dicussed ranged from:

Robert Louis Stevenson’s Child’s Garden of Verses – First published in 1885, A Child’s Garden of Verses has served as an  introduction to poetry for many generations. Stevenson’s poems celebrate childhood in all its forms.

E.B. White’s works – A writer at The New Yorker and the author of many books of essays, E. B. White also wrote the children’s books Stuart Little, Charlotte’s Web, and The Trumpet of the Swan.

Gregory Maguire’s Matchless – Every year, NPR asks a writer to compose an original story with a Christmas theme. In 2008, Gregory Maguire reinvented Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Match Girl”.

Justine by Lawrence Durrell – Set among the glamour and corruption of 1930s and 1940s Alexandria, the novels of Durrell’s “Alexandria Quartet” (Justine is the first) follow the shifts in allegiances and situations among a diverse group of characters. Peter carried a copy with him while traveling 30 years ago and had that copy with him when we spoke (complete with original bookmarks).

Iraqi Writer Saadi Youssef who has translated Leaves of Grass and Little Prince into Arabic and whose own work is carried by University of Minnesota Press.

The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard – from the foreword by John R. Stilgoe – A prism through which all worlds from literary creation to housework to aesthetics to carpentry take on enhanced-and enchanted-significances. Every reader of it will never see ordinary spaces in ordinary ways.

Collected Poems of George Oppen – Oppen, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1969, has long been acknowledged as one of America’s foremost modernists.  He was hailed by Ezra Pound as “a serious craftsman, a sensibility which is not every man’s sensibility and which has not been got out of any other man’s book.”

A History of Reading by Alberto Manguel – From tablets to CD-ROM, from book thieves to book burners, bibliophiles and saints, noted essayist Alberto Manguel follows the 4,000-year-old history of the written work whose true hero is the reader.

The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World by Lewis Hyde – The Gift defends creativity and of its importance in a culture increasingly governed by money. This book is cherished by artists, writers, musicians, and thinkers.

Hear Peter read some of his work set to original compositions.

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