Monday, November 06, 2006

The Art of the Book Reading

Since a lot of people who read this blog are already published, or are about to be soon, I'd like to talk about book readings today. Over the course of my years, I've gotten to hear some really cool people do readings:
-Nicholas Sparks for A WALK TO REMEMBER (he made the whole audience cry when he told us the story was true to his own life)
-Amitav Ghosh for THE GLASS PALACE
-Arundhati Roy (LOVE HER!)
-Amy Tan (Listening to Amy was like listening to some deep voice that had lived inside me allmy life)
-Indu Sundaresan for THE FEAST OF ROSES (one of my local writing gurus)
-Janet Lee Carey (A FANTASTIC YA writer, if you like Newberry Award books, you'll adore her. She was my first and only writing teacher)
-Jane Porter (she is so gorgeous!)
...and many more

A book reading, to me, is a great way for authors to connect with readers. A lot of authors tend ot be shy, quiet things who'd rather hide under the covers than read a chapter of their deeply personal work out loud. I love seeing an author face to face, hearing them speak about how they get their ideas, watching them as they share secrets about their writing life and future works with an intimate audience.

A good reading will devote me to an author for life, that's for sure.

What do you guys think? What are some of the memorable readings you've been to and when your books start hitting the shelves, what are some things you guys are going to do at your own readings?

Till next week!
Dona Sarkar-Mishra
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Chapters & Chai - Read all about it


Me said...

Do you know... I don't think I've ever been to a book reading! In fact, the only time I remember being read a book was by Mrs. Johnson in my sixth grade class--but I can't even remember the book.

It is true, though, that authors can benefit greatly from giving readings, talks, workshops, etc. Especially young adult authors. There's a whole world of readers out there just waiting to be given the spark. I taught at a very low-income middle school last year and I can tell you that any outside influence was definitely welcome. From both the students and the administration.

The best thing about doing a reading, I think, would be getting to express your feel of the book. A reader gives their own emphases, their own images, their own experiences to the written word. Author readings are an opportunity to share more of your story than what comes across on the page.

PS--I love Jane Porter, too! And we can't even hate her for being so beautiful because she's so overwhelmingly nice. Darn it.

Dona Sarkar-Mishra said...

I totally agree with you there, TLC! The writer of a book is the person who can read the book as if was meant to be read....hopefully that means you'll do a reading when your book comes out!

PS: I forgot to thank you earlier, but THANKS SO MUCH for the Halloween card. That was so kind and thoughtful of you :)

TinaFerraro said...

Some years back, I attended a reading by one of my favorite authors, Janet Evanovich. I met a writer-friend for dinner and then we joined 200+ people to hear her read. I loved hearing her intonations when she read, and the crowd collectively laugh. The line to get our copies signed was really long, but Janet's daughter, Alex, came through and chatted with the fans, plus my friend and I got the chance to really catch up. A very nice evening.


Dona Sarkar-Mishra said...

I LOVE Janet Evanovich....her Stephanie Plum series is one of my biggest inspirations for writing humourous women's fiction :)

chanceofbooks said...

I love book readings. Favorite ones that I have been to: Daniel Quinn, Gordon Korman, Rachel Simon, Jennifer Weiner, and Jenny Shortridge. IF IF IF I ever get published, I would love to do readings. I'm a big fan of libraries and summer reading programs as well as literacy programs at schools and I'd like to do some sort of tie-in. Also, as a reader, I really like when there is an incentive for showing up--freebies, raffles, etc. Hyperventilating just thinking about it. Back to editing.

GeminiWisdom said...

SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy) She. Was. Amazing. I love her, love her books. I definitely plan to do some readings when my books come out.

Simone Elkeles said...

I don't remember ever being at a book reading, either, except for the ones I've been doing for my own book How to Ruin a Summer vacation. The audience always claps when I finish reading, which is a trip and a half.

Listening to Mary Alice Monroe speak is like listening to an angel. She's so soft spoken, articulate, smart and lyrical when she talks regularly. When she's doing a presentation or talk on writing the audience sits there mesmerized. She actually talks like she writes, a person who really stops in the middle of life to smell the roses. Mary Alice Monroe is also an award-winning author and conservationist. Amazing person.

~Simone Elkeles