Toast the Author!

We started a new series of events for adults last September. Once a month, we invite an author in on Friday night. We start with an social time for 15 minutes, which gives everyone a chance to have a glass of wine and some small snacks. It’s also a great opportunity to meet the author and have a chat. The featured speaker then talks for 30-45 minutes. Sometimes the auth does a reading, or talks about how the book came to be, or discusses the research and background stories behind writing. There is always time for questions, discussion, and signing at the end.

Our first featured speaker was Larry Tye, who had recently written Superman: The High-Flying History of America’s Most Enduring Hero. Tye talked about the various incarnations of the Superman myth, even as the core values of the phenomenon stay relatively consistent. He highlighted the Jewish imagery and references that infuse the myth as well as the Jewish roots of Superman’s creators. Am I the only one who thinks that Tye’s posture and mannerisms kind of remind you of someone?

IMG_0928In October, Peter Abrahams, aka Spencer Quinn, visited. Peter Abrahams has written a number books for young readers and adults. Under the name Spencer Quinn, he writes the Chet & Bernie mysteries. The latest in this series is A Fistful of Collars, narrated by Chet, the dog. Chet also blogs. A few lucky guests went home with Chet & Bernie frisbees that they won from Abrahams’s book quiz.

Manz describes the Cartier Bresson strand of photo historyAnother local resident, Robert Manz, hosted our November event. Manz is a photographer. You’ve probably seen his cards and calendars in our store and a variety of other venues around town or visited one of his stunning exhibitions. His talk was titled “The REAL Picture: Some Questions about Art and Photography in the Digital Age” and he discussed some of the conceptual dilemmas in photography. If a photograph is edited in photoshop is it no longer ‘real’? What is the ‘original’ photograph in the digital age? Fascinating!

IMG_1232Joan Wickersham also joined us towards the end of November to discuss her new book The News from Spain: 7 Variations on a Love Story. In addition to reading from one of the stories, she also talked about the writing process. She made some really interesting and insightful comments (exactly what you’d expect from an author). My favorite was, ‘”With writing, I think the question is not why did something happen, but why did it stick”. It’s always so interesting listening to writers talk about writing!


Finally, in December, William Kuhn, author of Mrs Queen Takes the Train regaled us with some hilarious stories of his research adventures in the Windsor Castle archives. He also read from his novel, complete with voices for each character, including the Queen. Unfortunately I was so caught up in listening (and laughing) that I forgot to take any pictures!


Toast the Author! Spring 2013


January 11 with John Barylick, author of Killer Show: The Station Nightclub Fire, America’s Deadliest Rock Concert

February 15 with Kathleen Brunelle, author of Cape Cod’s Highfield & Tanglewood: A Tale of Two Cottages

March 22 with Eve LaPlante, author of Marmee & Louisa: The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother

April 19 with Jodi Daynard, author of The Midwife’s Revolt: A Novel

May 24 with Barbara Shapiro, author of The Art Forger

All Toast the Author! events are on Friday evenings from 6-7 pm. The full schedule is available on our website. 

BarylickwithDog)KathleenBrunelle smallLaPlanteEvebook cover head6

First up is John Barylick, who has written Killer Show: The Station Nightclub Fire, America’s Deadliest Rock Concert. He will be speaking on January 11, 6-7 pm. For seven years John Barylick was a lead attorney investigating and prosecuting wrongful-death and personal-injury cases arising from The Station fire. He has practiced law in Rhode Island since 1977. 15% of all sales of Barylick’s book purchased at this event will be donated to The Jimmy Gahan Charitable Foundation of Falmouth, in honor of Jimmy Gahan, who lost his life in the Station Night Club fire in West Warwick, RI on February 20, 2003.


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