Evening With An Author

Last night Kish and I did something rare:  we had a weeknight out with friends, for dinner and one of the Thurber House Evenings with Authors.

It was the brainchild of our friend CV, and it was a great idea to get out on a Monday night, for dinner at Black Creek Bistro and then a short drive over to the Columbus Museum of Art for the Thurber House event.  Doing something fun on a week night seems to make the work week a bit shorter and more tolerable.  There’s lots going on in Columbus during the summer months — it’s just a matter of picking something and making the commitment.  Fortunately, JV’s lovely wife provided the necessary impetus.

The Thurber House is a real treasure in the Columbus community.  Named for famous humorist and Columbusite James Thurber, it supports reading, books, and authors through a variety of speeches, readings, and other events.  Last night the speaker was Steve Berry, a writer of historical thrillers, many of which feature the character Cotton Malone.  Berry gave a lively talk about his latest, The King’s Deception, that theorizes that Elizabeth I of England in fact was a male, and then answered a number of questions from the audience about his books, his writing practices, and his characters.  Berry was quick-witted and entertaining, and many of the people in attendance clearly were huge fans.  I admired his candid recognition that he, and other writers in the same field, owe a debt of gratitude to Dan Brown and The DaVinci Code, which reinvigorated the thriller genre.

Although I’ve never read one of Berry’s books, I’ll be on the lookout for them next time I’m at the library . . . and Kish and I will be on the lookout for a few more weeknight outings this summer.

Mark Your Calendars, and Put On Your Volunteer Hats

The 2012 Ohioana Book Festival will be held on May 12, 2012 at the Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center.  If you been to one of the prior book festivals, I know I’ll see you again this year.  If you’ve never been to one, and you like reading, give it a shot — I’m confident you will have some fun.

The 2012 Festival offers an eclectic mix of featured authors whose works run the gamut from Tom Batiuk’s classic Funky Winkerbean comic series to Jeni Britton Bauer’s delicious ice cream recipes to Donald Ray Pollock’s tales from Knockemstiff, Ohio — and everything in between.  You’ll have a chance to interact with the authors, listen to readings from lots of writers, buy books, and experience firsthand the vibrant literary community found in the Buckeye State.

The Book Festival is free and open to the public — which inevitably means we need volunteers to help make the event run smoothly.  I’ll be there, and I hope you’ll consider joining me.  If you’re interested, information about volunteer opportunities is available here.  Me?  I’ll gladly do whatever they ask me to do.