Before he read a story he talked a little about a book he edited called, The Story About the Story. Specifically he talked about the Charles D’Ambrosio essay about J.D. Salinger. While Hallman quipped about how talking about his own book was a great homage to Salinger, it really was a sweet and tender tribute to D’Ambrosio and how he discovered Salinger. I haven’t read the essay, but now I really want to.
It was a glorious evening filled with people talking about reading, books, and writing. I got a chance to meet Jeff Kamin who runs Books & Bars, this great Twin Cities bookclub. A bookclub so popular that they have outgrown the capacity of the Bryant Lake Bowl and often have to turn people away. How fucking awesome is that? Well, not for those who get turned away. It just makes me so happy that something like this exists and is that popular. Because reading is such a solitary activity and because finding other serious readers is hard it’s easy to forget that you are not alone.
[Random Aside, Re: serious readers: Today on Sister #3’s Facebook page there was a multi-comment discussion about the awesomeness of Nicholas Sparks. It too all my willpower not to spill all kind of frothy bile and rage and snobbiness all over those women praising his insipid, pointless drivel. But I resisted and for that I deserve a medal
And I am not alone. I have to admit I spent a lot of the evening red-faced and humbled. I heard a hundred times about the awesomeness of Minnesota Reads. All I could do was shake my head in amazement, and give most of the credit to the amazing writers who share their insights in exchange for free books. If it weren’t for the MN Reads’ reviewers, the site would have died a long time ago.