MY NEW BRIGHT IDEA has been to start writing something to keep my hands busy. I can’t really call myself a “recent graduate” anymore, but I still drag my little ambitions towards that little light which I think might be my future career in books. You’d think I’d have a great start by working in a library, but who knew public libraries would focus so much on computers and other miscellaneous events that even staff themselves don’t read?
The title of this blog post references quite a literal predicament I find myself in recently – well, only literal in the sense that I’ve had to put most of my books in that dark place in the attic, and keep only my “favourites” visible on bookshelves (coffee tables, bedside tables, drawers, floors, whatever), all so that my fiancée can feel like he has a flat that resembles a liveable space. He has also asked me to slow down on buying books.
Let’s see how well I did.
I went to a Judy Blume event at Waterstones Piccadilly a couple of weeks ago; she was promoting her new book In The Unlikely Event, and she was fantastic. It was led by Judy herself and her husband George Cooper, who is a writer of non-fiction, and the natural playfulness and teasing between the two of them was not only really sweet, but also made the whole event feel incredibly relaxed. You would usually see the author interviewed by someone – in her case, she told us, it would have been her agent – but this time, Judy had her husband ask her questions instead. At some point, when George asked her what was the most embarrassing/awkward question she’d ever been asked, Judy, unable to stop herself from laughing and chastising her husband at the same time, relayed the hilarious story of an interview she once had in front of her family members. The interviewer cheekily asked Judy who she had her first sexual experience with, and whilst she initially tried to dodge the question, she eventually replied “myself”. That simple answer got a roaring cheer from an audience mostly comprised of women, and I honestly couldn’t stop myself from laughing either.
In The Unlikely Event is about a period of three month in the 1950s which saw three planes crash in small town Elizabeth, New Jersey. Hearing the truth in the story behind the novel was quite an insightful experience since I was nowhere near being even conceived when the events were happening. Judy’s vivid descriptions of her own experiences during these events and the retelling of the sheer volume of research she had completed with her husband made it totally worth attending and getting my book signed. Aside from detailing the crashes, the novel also follows different families over different generations with their varying responses and reactions to the tragic events that shocked the world at a time when flying was only very newly commercial and all the more fascinating for it. Not usually the kind of book I would pick up, but the way she told that story sold me almost immediately.
Of course, I could hardly resist the urge to buy Are You There, God? It’s Margaret (and get signed it as well). Margaret was just one of those endearing characters you weren’t likely to forget any time soon, and truthfully, or perhaps more strangely, that seems to be the only Blume book I actually fully remember reading.
All in all, the event was fantastic – great fun with great laughs. Problem was, at the end of it, I found myself with six floors of books and not wanting to go home. So I did the only natural thing – I bought four more books. See that image at the top? Sigh.
I’ve got a brief paragraph in the “About Me” page on the menu. I didn’t want my first post to be a rant about my life right now. Please send any questions or suggestions my way! I’m still learning 🙂