March 12, Wednesday afternoon -- Reading Connie Briscoe

Because her soup was too hot

Reading Big Girls Don't Cry, by Connie Briscoe ...and then, when the soup was cool enough to eat, the book was to hot, to put down, that is.

She has a friend who used to sell black books, books written by black authors, about black people. Together they'd go to conventions where she'd get to meet book dealers and her favorite authors, like J. California Cooper--a senior citizen who writes about the south--and April Sinclair--a young, modern writer with a good sense of humor--who she and her friend followed around the convention until the author turned around and said, laughing "Are you stalking me?" And that's when they got her autograph.

When she was young she used to like Stephen King. In high school she remembers reading 1984, by George Orwell, for class and still, today when she sees security cameras she thinks about Big Brother and the book. In Pinole, where she lives, an elderly couple was accosted and the husband was shot and killed, but the police were able to round up suspects because of a security camera. So, she goes back to thinking about 1984, weighing privacy versus safety.

In tenth or eleventh grade someone took a picture of her reading on the school steps and it went into the year book. After that, everyone thought she was a bookworm.....but she wasn't.

And, today, caught reading again. Big Brother with a blog. But, she is a bookworm. Shouldn't everyone know? Her bookseller friend has a huge library and she goes over and borrows new ones all the time, like this one, a story of a woman from age 11 to adulthood, going through life grappling with civil rights, love, affirmative action and family responsibility.

Do you have any experiences meeting your favorite authors?

23 Comments:

Identity: Tranquility Jones said...

this is the first blog i've clicked on in awhile that made my endorphins hang on for life at the back of a cable car zipping downhill at breakneck speed...

being lodged on a small island in the south pacific at the moment... where reading substitutes for HDTV... I'm finding myself exploring the blogosphericalness of the net more than I ever have. it's become my new on-the-road pastime as I globe hop for the coming year.

i haven't met any of my favorite authors yet... i think i lack the stalking gene. And by the way, bookworm isn't really a flattering term, is it? There must be something better than fish bait to describe the outcroppings of literacy, right?

Jane Hamilton said...

I think the image of a worm with specs, nose buried in a book, is a cute picture to relate to. Of course, there is some danger from the fish of the anti-reading 'school' of thought. Still, we'll survive, don't you think??

frida kahlo said...

It does my heart good to see proof that books still have relevance in today's high tech world!
Keep up the good work!

http://smartchica4u.blogspot.com

Kathryn Bonner said...

Being an author myself, I enjoy going to book signings and Conversational book signings of authors. Go to the www.BarnesandNoble.com and click on "Stores and Events" and continue to follow the array of tabs to click on and find out what authors are coming to your local store. I love going... it's interesting, and the people who go are great. I just went to a Conversation and a Signing for Robert Rummel-Hudson the author of Schuyler's (pronounced Skyler) Monster. Schuyler is the author's daughter, (his book is a non-fiction)who lives in a wordless world, she is unable to speak. It was wonderful. I love non-fiction authors (that's what I am :)... I love to read about real lives, struggles, accomplishments, faith, and joy. I really like your blog... I shall return for another visit. Kathryn

Herb Childress said...

I had the chance to meet John McPhee about ten years ago. He was delightful, and told wonderful stories about how difficult it was to write. One of my favorites was about his daily schedule. He goes out to his little writing hut in the back yard about 9:00 or 9:30 in the morning, and usually picks up a book that he's been reading. Somewhere around noon, he realizes that he's been reading all morning, and goes into the house to make lunch. After lunch, he goes back out to the hut, and often picks up his book and lies down on the daybed he has out there. When he wakes up around 3:30, he says "Oh my God, I've only got three hours to write before dinner," and he writes non-stop between then and 6:30 or so. He called it "the compression of panic."

TootsNYC said...

I love the stories that go with the photos. What a neat little look into someone's head. And what a neat way for those people reader to "matter" to many of us, if only for a little.

On this one, I feel as if I have just been introduced to someone interesting.

A reminder to me to shut up--shut up my own thoughts, and my own mouth, and listen to the people around me, hear their stories.

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

I went into a shop in my hometown a few years ago and saw a brand-new copy of the recently published "Last Chance To See" by Douglas Adams and Mark Cawardine. I'm a big Adams fan - just wish he'd been a bit more prolific. Anyway, it was reduced half-price or something, so i bought it and took it home - only to find on arrival that the book had been pre-signed by both authors! I'm still chuffed after all these years!

A. Stageman said...

Sadly enough, I have never met any of my favorite authors (a lot of that has to do with the fact that many of them are already dead...). But I've come to realize that I have "met" many of my favorite authors by just reading their books. Books are works of art and the artist always leaves a little piece of himself in his artwork.

shaikens said...

This is a really cool idea! I've found myself reading more and more lately, and I usually post what I think about the books after I'm done on my blog. I am adding you to my "blogroll" so I can check back in and get some new ideas! Thanks!

Matthew Katinsky said...

I've not met any of my favorite authors, but my father once gave a book called Mortification, a collection of essays by authors remembering the most embarassing moment of their lives. Over half of the stories describe an event where an author is meeting readers, usually at a public reading, and often involving alcohol.

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Satellite TV said...

I wondering how easy is it to find someone to proof read and correct manual scripts for a book that can sell like the wild fires in USA.
I have just found this post talking about meet your your favorite author and got reminded about my dating game book.It will be very rough but the sense in it is so strong if i seat round any author,they will just go "Bingo",Bingooooo
I will need to hear from you guys,I am going back to my blog at http://realfreetv.blogspot.com to create a subject matter for comments and advice,please your know how is not too small

mrst said...

Love your blog! I am not far from San Francisco and I am an avid reader. I mostly read Nora Roberts books and while I've never met her (but would LOVE to) I have four autographed books from her. I too am finding out just how many people still read. I found a good place to find book readers is at my son's karate class. Parents who are waiting for class to end sit and read a lot! I once even saw a mom walking across the school campus with her nose in a book! Now that's a dedicated reader!

Silhouette said...

I have this thing for books... or the "idea" of reading a book. Sometimes, more often than I'd like to, I'm inclined to read not for the actual reading but for how a book looks, feels, smells and the image I get of myself reading - what that would look and feel like.

And then I start reading.. and I lose interest. Hm, wonder why this is?

cheshire said...

Interesting blog. My favourite book at the moment is Mister Pip.
Not sure if I would go around, taking pictures of people, reading. It is going into their personal space

Bruce Eagle the Full Metal said...

Unfortunately, my two favorite authors(vonnegut and Puzo) died before I got a chance to meet them. Consider yourself lucky :)

By the way great blog...would you mind if i link to yours and you link to mine?

www.thegrandarcanum.blogspot.com

Osgood said...

this is the first time i've ventured into the realm of other people's blog whom i don't know. i'm very excited about finding something so good and so unique and in my own city (well for the next few months at least)! a new favorite! i'll be reading....

Osgood

Danielle said...

I was able to meet one of my favorite poets a couple of years ago, Billy Collins. It was at a poetry reading he gave in Boise, Idaho. He was funny, generous, and took the time to discuss the need for poetry in the middle school classroom even though there was a line of people waiting behind me.

mary said...

I met Hanif Kureshi in London nearly a decade ago. He was doing a book tour and readings for his book Intimacy. My favorite books of his are The Buddha of Suburbia and Love in a Blue Time. He was so sexy and cute and inspiring! If you haven't ever read his stuff, do! Daniel Day Lewis was in a movie version of his short story "The Beautiful Laundrette". I got to chat with him for a moment during the book signing. Very neat.

Oh, and I met Chang Rae Lee. If you haven't read Native Speaker, it's a must!

Liza P. said...

Wow, I adore your blog! Just found it on my Blogger dashboard and it is such a great idea for a blog, and it is nice to see what others are reading. Also great for book recs. I also your style, as well.

Gonna link you, if you don't mind.

TootsNYC said...

My daughter was a HUGE fan of Ron Roy, who wrote the A to Z Mystery series, among others.

She wrote to him, based on one of his "write me!" pages in the back of his book, and was over the moon about the form letter she got back.

I was a little bummed he hadn't even photocopied his signature, let alone signed it. But SHE was thrilled, so I just didn't mention it.

That sense of personal connection really made her a major fan. Good marketing tactic, Ron!

Clare said...

I haven't met any of my favourite authors; but I wrote to Diana Wynne Jones last year and the most lovely, kind, encouraging personal letter back.

And I wrote to Neil Gaiman and got a hand-written postcard in response; it made me hyperventilate with joy!

Also, a radio script writer came to talk to my writers circle -- he wrote a series in the 50s called Journey Into Space. He was about 90 and a bit fragile, but so alive and electric. He talked about his early years at the BBC (the UK broadcaster) and made it sound like a huge adventure. I was inspired to try radio plays a few years later.

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