Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘F Scott Fitzgerald’

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 “3 Questions”.  In it, we pose three questions to authors with upcoming visits to the bookstore.  Their responses are posted on The Book Jam during the days 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 and read their books.

Today we feature Ann Hood, the best-selling author of The Knitting Circle, The Red Thread, and Comfort, among other works.  She has been the recipient of a Best American Spiritual Writing Award, a Best American Food Writing Award, a Best American Travel Writing Award, the Paul Bowles Prize for Short Fiction, and two Pushcart Prizes. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

She will appear at the Norwich Bookstore at 7 pm on Wednesday, December 11th to discuss her new book – Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting.  In this book, twenty-seven writers tell stories about how knitting healed, challenged, or helped them to grow. For instance, Barbara Kingsolver describes sheering a sheep for yarn. Ann Patchett traces her life through her knitting. Reservations are recommended. Call 802-649-1114 to reserve your seat.

  

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

Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk,  Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler, and What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver.

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

F. Scott Fitzgerald. Not only do I admire him as a writer, I think he would be an awful lot of fun.

 

3.What books are currently on your bedside table?

Aimee Bender’s new story collection, The Color Master, a South African  mystery called Random Violence by Jassy Mackenzie, and Elizabeth Strout’s The Burgess Boys.

Read Full Post »

NOTE: This selection of books was supposed to post yesterday.  We feel we can not post without acknowledging yesterday’s events in Boston.  Our thoughts are with the runners, their families, the spectators and the first responders.

=====

In honor of today’s deadline for paying Federal taxes here in the USA, we tried to think of some interesting and entertaining books with money as a theme.  This, of course, led us to The Great Gatsby, and using that as our example, we have added a few recent releases that have money and its place in one’s life at their core.

Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald (1925) — Recently re-read for fun, and now serving as our standard for good literature with money in the theme.  This famous book, as many may remember from English literature classes of our youth, tells the story of wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for Daisy Buchanan, of lifestyles involving lavish parties on Long Island, and of an era – the 1920s.   This novel has exquisite prose that often disguises the brutal realism of the tale.  For a variety of reasons, The Great Gatsby is one of the great classics of twentieth-century American literature. If you haven’t yet picked it up, do so.  If you have read it, try it again for a reminder that assigned reading does not necessarily mean bad.  ~ Lisa Christie and Lisa Cadow

9780399158247

The Fever Tree by Jennifer McVeigh (2013).  When Frances Irvine’s well-to-do father dies suddenly and leaves her penniless, she is forced to make some quick, hard decisions about her future. It’s 1877 and she must leave her life of wealth and privilege in London either for a life as a nanny with her cruel aunt, or a life in South Africa married to marry a man – a poor, young doctor – whom she does not love.   And so, she boards a steamer bound for the southern hemisphere with nothing but her naiveté and a few belongings suitable for a hot climate to join her fiance.  On board she meets brazen, handsome, well-connected William Westbrook and her moral adventure begins.  This excellent piece of historical fiction takes the reader to Cape Town, into the rugged landscape and farms of the Karoo, into diamond mines, and into the heart of a smallpox epidemic.  This is a book about finding what is more important than wealth and status.  It is a story about finding value in doing what is right. ~Lisa Cadow

 Ghana Must Go by Talye Selasi (2013) – An incredibly memorable modern tale of a family – The Sais.   Their story and this novel, begins in Africa, and follows how their subsequent pursuit of the American dream shapes their lives.   Page one starts with the sudden death of the main character  – Kweku Sai, an incredible surgeon, but failed father and husband.  The story then unfolds backwards and forwards through the eyes and voices of his first wife and their four children.  It all hinges on Kweku’s reaction to a failure endured in his pursuit of his American dream.  His response shatters his family, yet also makes them all uniquely themselves.  This is a truly global tale — enjoy the time this book spends in Boston, Accra, Lagos, London, and New York.  It is also truly beautifully written. So much so that I slowed my reading to make it last a bit longer.  I loved this debut and am looking forward to this writer’s next work. ~ Lisa Christie

A BONUS Pick that really is all about money….

 How Stella Saved the Farm: A tale of making innovation happen by Chris Trimble and Vijay Govindarajan (2013) – Initially self-published, the success of this book in starting conversations about transforming companies caused St. Martin’s Press to publish a new edition.  Although it appears to be a tale that your favorite 3rd grader will enjoy (and some 3rd graders do), it is actually a parable designed to start companies thinking about handling change.  Read it and see why companies as diverse as Simon Pearce, AT&T and the Methodist Church are using this unique business book to change the way they do business / make money. (Disclaimer: one of us is married to one of the authors.) ~ Lisa Christie and Lisa Cadow

Read Full Post »

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 are thrilled to welcome Scottish-born writer Margot Livesey to the Book Jam. She is the best selling author of six books, including Eva Moves the FurnitureThe House on Fortune Street and her newest, a “retelling” of Jane Eyre,  The Flight of Gemma Hardy (2012) which is set between Scotland and Iceland in the 1960’s.  Ms. Livesey is also the current Fiction Editor at Ploughshares, a renowned literary journal, and her work has appeared in The New Yorker and The Atlantic Monthly. She has taught writing at many institutions such as Bowdoin College, Brandeis University, WIlliams College, Tufts University, and The Iowa Writer’s Workshop. For more information about her reading on Wednesday, March 14th or to reserve a seat, please contact The Norwich Bookstore at (802) 649-1114. This promises to be a very special event.

1) What three books have shaped you into the author you are today, and why?

The terrible novel I wrote while travelling round Europe and North Africa at the age of twenty-one, because it made me realise that I’d entirely failed to be influenced by all the wonderful novels I’d read.  Jane Eyre because it is such a wonderful example of a passionate first person narrator and it made me think about how to create a heroine rather than a woman character.  It’s also a fabulous example of the importance of setting in a novel.

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

George Eliot.  In its scope, ambition and accomplishment Middlemarch is one of the great novels.  I don’t think Eliot would be a particularly easy person to have coffee with – I can imagine awkward silences and then rather long rants – but I do think she’d have something interesting to say about almost everything.

3.What books are currently on your bedside table?

Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night, Alan Shapiro’s wonderful debut novel Broadway Baby, Eleanor Henderson’s Ten Thousand Saints – another debut novel that recreates the 80s with amazing vividness, and Eleanor Catton’s The Rehearsal which is set in an all girls school and is so beautifully and intelligently written.

From Lisa Christie: While we often do not have the chance to read the latest work by an author before their visits to the Norwich Bookstore, I was able to read Ms. Livesey’s The Flight of Gemma Hardy in time for this “Three Questions” post.  Set in Scotland and then Iceland in the 1960s, this book provides an homage to Jane Eyre, while still remaining its own novel.  As a huge fan of both Scotland and Iceland, I truly enjoyed the sense of place she created — I could feel the wind of the moors and the sea and … Basically, this novel is a just a fun read – think of it as a beach read for March, and I think fans of Jane Eyre will be especially intrigued, or maybe annoyed or… So please join the two Lisas of The Book Jam in Norwich on Wednesday, March 14th at 7 pm for Ms. Livesey’s reading and discussion at the Norwich Bookstore.  But, call 802-649-1114 soon to reserve your seat because, as always, seating is limited.

Read Full Post »