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Entries in Community Reads (9)

Thursday
Aug312017

I'm going to need a bigger suitcase

The Consolation Tour: Fall 2017

I'll be hitting the literary highway in support of my new book, LOVE AND OTHER CONSOLATION PRIZES, but I'll also be doing community reads and a few high school visits. If you don't see your town on the list, don't despair, I have more dates in 2018. 

9/8/17

Bookmarks
Eat & Greet Luncheon
Winston-Salem, NC
www.bookmarksnc.org

11:30 am
Talk & Signing

 

9/9/17

Bookmarks
Free Festival
Winson-Salem, NC
www.bookmarksnc.org

10:00 am
Talk & Signing

 

9/12/17

Barnes & Noble
1601 Marketplace Dr.
Great Falls, MT 
(406) 452-3299

7:00 pm
Talk & Signing

 

9/13/17

Sacramento Bee Book Club
2100 Q Street
Sacramento, CA
(916) 321-1075

5:00 pm
Talk & Signing

 

9/14/17

Auntie's Bookstore
402 W Main Ave
Spokane, WA 
www.auntiesbooks.com

7:00 pm
Talk & Signing

 

9/15/17

Tacoma Public Library
Wheelock Branch
Tacoma, WA 
(253) 617-7811

6:30 pm
Talk & Signing

 

9/16/17

Third Place Books
17171 Bothell Way NE
Lake Forest Park, WA 
(206) 366-3316

4:00 pm
Talk & Signing

 

9/18/17

Warwick's Bookstore
7812 Girard Ave
La Jolla, CA 
(858) 454-0347

7:30 pm
Talk & Signing

 

9/20/17

Margaret Mitchell House
979 Crescent Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 
(404) 814-4114

7:00 pm
Talk & Signing

 

9/21/17

Parnassus Books
3900 Hillsboro Pike #14
Nashville, TN
(615) 953-2243

6:30 pm
Talk & Signing

 

9/22/17

Cassiopeia Books
@ Paris Gibson Square
Great Falls, MT 
(406) 727-6350

7:00 pm
Book Party

 

9/23/17

West Sound Reads
South Kitsap High School
Port Orchard, WA
(360) 475-9170

2:30 pm
Talk & Signing

 

9/24/17

Cassiopeia Books
MONTANA NOIR 
Great Falls, MT 
(406) 727-6350

7:00 pm
Group Reading

 

9/26/17

Tattered Cover
2526 E. Colfax Ave
Denver, CO
(303) 322-7727

7:00 pm
Talk & Signing

 

9/27/17

Kappa Book & Author Evening
Palazzo Verde
Greenwood Village, CO
(303) 377-0094

6:00 pm
Talk & Signing

 

9/28/17

One Book Evansville
Old National Event Plaza
Evansville, IN
(812) 475-1054

7:00 pm
Talk & Signing

 

9/29/17

Lexington Public Library
3080 Fieldstone Way
Lexington, KY
(859) 231-5554

7:00 pm
Talk & Signing

 

9/30/17

Cincinnati Library
800 Vine Street
Cincinnati, OH 
(513) 369-6944

2:00 pm
Talk & Signing

 

10/1/17

Upper Arlington Author Series
Upper Arlington High School
Columbus, OH
(614) 641-2214

2:00-7:00 pm
Talk & Reception

 

10/2/17

Bishop Hartley High School
1285 Zettler Road
Columbus, OH 
(614) 237-5421

9:00 am
Talk & Signing

 

10/2/17

Indianapolis Public Library
6101 N. Keynote Ave
Indianapolis, IN 
(317) 275-4085

6:00 pm
Talk & Signing

 

10/5/17

Wing Luke Museum
719 S. King Street
Seattle, WA 
(206) 623.5124

6:30 pm
Talk & Signing

 

10/8/17

Opus & Olives
Saint Paul River Centre
St. Paul, MN
(651) 366-6490

5:00 pm
Talk & Reception

 

10/10/17

Rappahannock Library
1201 Caroline St
Fredericksburg, VA 
(540) 372-1144

6:45 pm
Talk & Signing

 

10/11/17

Tuckahoe Woman's Club
4215 Dover Rd
Richmond, VA 
(804) 257-7215

11:00 am
Talk & Signing

 

10/13/17

Allen County Public Library
900 Library Plaza
Ft. Wayne, IN 
(260) 421-1265

6:00 pm
Talk & Signing

 

10/14/17

Authors to the Pointe
The War Memorial
Gross Pointe, MI 
(313) 434-2074

11:30 am
Talk & Signing

 

10/17/17

Fact & Fiction
220 N. Higgins
Missoula, MT  
(406) 721-2881

7:00 pm
Talk & Signing

 

10/18/17

Elk River Books
120 N. Main St
Livingston, MT 
(406) 333-2330

7:00 pm
Talk & Signing

 

10/19/17

This House of Books
224 N. Broadway
Billings, MT 
(406) 534-1133

5:30 pm
Talk & Signing

 

10/20/17

Country Bookshelf
28 West Main St
Bozeman, MT  
(406) 587-0166

7:00 pm
Talk & Signing

 

10/24/17

One Book Fargo
Concordia College
Fargo/Moorhead 
(701) 476-4076

7:00 pm
Talk & Signing

 

11/2/17

Verse & Vino
Charlotte Convention Center
Charlotte, NC  
(704) 416-0802

5:30 pm
Talk & Reception

 

11/9/17

Warren County Public Library
175 Iron Skillet Court
Bowling Green, KY  
(270) 782-0252

6:00 pm
Talk & Signing

 

11/15/17

One Book Cherry Hill
Cherry Hill Public Library
Cherry Hill, NJ
(856) 667-0300

6:00 pm
Talk & Signing

 

11/16/17

Champaign Public Library
200 W. Greet St.
Champaign, IL 
(217) 403-2062

7:00 pm
Talk & Signing

 

11/17/17

The Power of Words
Buskirk-Chumley Theater
Bloomington, IN  
(812) 320-2629

6:00 pm
Talk & Signing

 

11/18/17

Kentucky Book Fair
Literary Luncheon
Frankfort, KY 
www.kyhumanities.org

Noon
Talk & Signing

 

Thursday
Jul242014

My adventures at the Bay View (guilty by) Association

This is a kind of a "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" type of report, because there's good, there's bad, and there's even a coming-of-age moment for yours truly. This is about my recent visit to Bay View, Michigan, where I was honored and absolutely dee-lited that the literary powers-that-be chose Songs of Willow Frost for their Third Annual Bay View Reads selection.

I'd been to this part of Lake Michigan, namely last year, to Booktopia, and the thought of a few relaxing days away from the kids seemed like a slice of Heaven. Or heaven (lower-case), if you don't believe in Heaven (upper-case). More on that in a moment.

Peace pole in front of the church. Anyone speak Hebrew?When we arrived in Bay View we were blown away by its charm, its coziness, its Americana, and best of all, of the 440 cottages that comprise this community (Victorian vacation homes, really) we were billeted in the cottage formerly owned by Irma Rombauer who wrote The Joy of Cooking. The only bad part is that we'd feel guilty ordering pizza or mircowaving a Hot Pocket on such hallowed ground.

Then came the surprising, non-ironic, actual bad part.

We quickly learned that Jews are not allowed in Bay View. WHAT! ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME?! IN THIS DAY AND AGE? Okay, calm down. It's not that bad, or that simple to understand. Don't fall for the sound bite. It's actually quite nuanced. Jewish people can rent (or as one Bay Viewer joked, "Hey, we don't mind their money,") but they can't become a member of the official resort community known as the Bay View Association.

Why? Because the Bay View Association was founded by Methodists and while the association is a non-profit organization, the vacation homes are on land leased from the association, and to purchase a home you must be approved by the association. And while fewer than half of the association members actually go to any church these days, that Christian requirement is used to keep people of other faiths, namely Jewish people, from joining. (Even though I was told that the Methodist Church itself is in favor of letting anyone join). And you thought the Hobby Lobby thing was complicated.

But...but...this is a religious institution founded 100+ years ago, they can't change! Actually, from what I can tell, this is a homeowner's association. I've given talks at churches and on the campuses of faith-based colleges and universities. They look and feel like churches. This looks and feels like a resort community. And it's lovely. And they did change their by-laws in 1959 when they removed the language forbidding non-white races from joining. So, change is possible. The members just need to vote that way. Last year's vote was split right down the middle.

So, knowing that I was about to give my big talk the next evening, I did what anyone with WiFi would have done, I Googled the heck out of this controversy. And most telling was a fifty-two page document by current and former Bay View members urging change. In it were statements like this:

No matter how tightly you wrap yourselves in the idea of freedom of religion, there is the foul odor of prejudice and racism in this position. During my interview, I was asked, “But what if more Jews wanted to join Bay View?” Implicit in this statement was the country club mentality of “we don’t want their kind among us.”

That's when I realized that by showing up, I'd accidentally stepped on flaming bag of dog-poop while wearing new shoes. I couldn't do my song and dance here because by doing so might imply tacit approval. So I talked to my publicist, my agent, and most importantly my wife who recommended that I do my thing, but use the spotlight as a teaching moment. (Um...yeah, that sounded like going into the lion's den and preaching veganism. But, hey, like with most things, she was right).

So my choices were:

1) Take my ball and go home. I could have cancelled. Packed my bags and left, which makes a certain kind of statement and would have been easy to do.

2) Dance, monkey, dance. I could have gone through with my normal event. Get check. Cash check. This actually would have been the hardest thing to do. I'm just not built that way. Some days, I wish I was. Life would be easier without a conscience.

3) Speak from the heart. And that's what I did. I turned down my speaking fee and gave a different kind of talk, one where I shared how my great-grandfather changed his last name from Chung to Ford so he could own property in Nevada. How my grandparents lived on Beacon Hill in Seattle because that was the only neighborhood in the city where a Chinese person could buy a house at the time. I talked about how it was illegal for my parents to get married in my mom's home state of Arkansas (they got married in California). And I talked about how the magic of this place vanished as soon as I realized the magic was only reserved for certain people. I expressed how Bay View was a wonderful community with a rich heritage and that I hoped they'd invite me back, and that if they did, I hoped I'd want to come back. It was a knee-trembling, voice-wavering, emotional speech and when I was done there was a round of thunderous applause, much to my relief.

Half of the community was thrilled that I spoke up. One woman from Louisville even gave me a "battlefield commission to Kentucky Colonel." The other half, not so much. But even a few of the angry ones still wanted me to sign their books.

I wrote "True love abides all."

Monday
May132013

Sleeping in an airport near you

Here's an update on the ol' travel schedule, including the September launch of Songs of Willow Frost and subsequent tour hither and thither.

I'll be adding a few more stops as soon as those plans are finalized (here's looking at you Great Falls, Ann Arbor).

On a related note, does anyone know how many frequent flyer miles are needed for a ride on the Space Shuttle. I must be getting close.

5/28/2013

ABA Bookseller Cocktail Party
Grand Hyatt New York
109 East 42nd Street
New York, NY

9:00 pm -11:00 pm

5/30/2013

Library Journal Breakfast
Random House, Louis L’Amour Room
1745 Broadway
New York, NY 10019

7:30 am - 9:30 am

5/31/2013

Book Expo America
The Javits Center @ the RH booth (#2739)
655 W 34th St
New York, NY 1000

10:00 pm
Signing
7/18-21/2013

OCA Convention
Omni Shoreham Hotel
2500 Calvert St NW
Washington, DC 20008

Willow Frost Tour

TBD
TBD
9/10/2013

Town Hall - BOOK LAUNCH!
1119 8th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 366-3316

7:30 pm
Talk, Q&A, and Signing
9/11/2013

Auntie's Bookstore
402 W. Main
Spokane, WA 99201
(509) 838-0206

7:00 pm
Talk, Q&A, and Signing
9/12/2013

Tattered Cover
2526 East Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO 80206
(303) 322-1965

7:30 pm
Talk, Q&A, and Signing
9/17/2013

Vroman's
695 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 449-5320

7:00 pm
Talk, Q&A, and Signing
9/18/2013

Warwick's
7812 Girard Ave.
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 454-0347

7:30 pm
Talk, Q&A, and Signing
9/19/2013

Author's Live
Highland Park United Methodist Church
3300 Mockingbird Lane
Dallas, TX 75205

6:00 pm
Talk, Q&A, and Signing
9/24/2013

Barnes & Noble
1601 Market Pl Dr
Great Falls, MT 59404
(406) 452-3299

5:00 pm
Talk, Q&A, and Signing
9/26/2013

Sacramento Bee Book Club
Tsakopoulos Library Galleria
828 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

5:00 pm Pre-Signing
6:00 pm Talk, Q&A
9/27-29/2013

Booktopia
307 E. Lake Street
Petoskey, MI 49770
(231) 347-118

TBD

9/30/2013

National Writers Series
City Opera House
106 E. Front St.
Traverse City, MI 49684

7:00 pm
Talk, Q&A, and Signing
10/1/2013

Anderson's Bookshop
123 W. Jefferson Ave.
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 355-2665

7:00 pm
Talk, Q&A, and Signing
10/2/2013

Lake Forest Bookstore
Lovell’s of Lake Forest
915 S. Waukegan Rd.
Lake Forest, IL

11:30 pm
Talk, Q&A, and Signing
10/3/2013

Mager's & Quinn
3038 Hennepin Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 822-4611

7:00 pm
Talk, Q&A, and Signing
10/10-12/2013

Montana Festival of the Book
TBD
Missoula, MT
(917) 414-1578

TBD
Talk, Q&A, and Signing
10/15/2013

Copperfield's Books
775 Village Ct
Santa Rosa, CA
(707) 578-8938

TBD
Talk, Q&A, and Signing

10/17/2013

Powell's City of Books
1005 West Burnside
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 228-4651

7:00 pm
Talk, Q&A, and Signing
10/21/2013

Metro Detroit Book & Author Society
Burton Manor 27777 Schoolcraft Road
Livonia, MI 48150
(586) 775-3533

Noon-3:30 pm
Luncheon w/authors
10/27/2013

Book Lover's Luncheon
Greenacres Ctry Club 2170 Lawrenceville Rd
Lawrence Township, NJ 08648
(609) 896-0259

12:00-3:00 pm
Talk, Q&A, and Signing

10/28/2013

A Conversation From Main Street
Landmark on Main, Jeanne Rimsky Theater
232 Main Street
Port Washington, NY 11050

7:30 pm
Talk, Q&A, and Signing
11/25-27/2013

Milano Book Fair
Parco Esposizione Novegro
20090 Segrate Milano
Italy 02 7020 0505

TBD

 

1/10-11/2014

Provo Library Family Litereary Symposium
550 North University Avenue
Provo, Utah 84601
(801) 852-6650

TBD

 

1/17-19/2014

Pulpwood Queens
Annual Girlfriends Weekend
Jefferson, TX
(903) 665-7520

TBD

3/4-5/2014

Western Kentucky Reads
Western Kentucky Community College
Paducah, KY
(270) 534-3213

7:30 pm, March 4
11:00 am, March 5
Wednesday
Feb292012

Live from Thousand Oaks

Okay, not quite live, but darn close. Here's a talk from a recent community read in California. (I come in at the 10:45 mark).

When people ask, "What do you do at one of these things? Do you just read?" Not exactly. In my mind, a perfect authorly event should be 50% entertainment, 40% education, and 10% reading. And maybe 1% extra of sparkly glitter.