Mar 13 2014 7:00 pm
We are so excited to welcome our friend, humorist and writer Dave Barry, to a very special evening at Montclair Presbyterian Church as part of our ongoing speaker series. Dave will be joining us on Thursday March 13th at 7:00pm to share excerpts from his new book, "You Can Date Boys When You're Forty". PLEASE NOTE that this event will take place at Montclair Presbyterian Church, 5701 Thornhill Drive in Oakland.
A brilliantly funny exploration of the twin mysteries of parenthood and families from the Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times–bestselling author of Insane City.
In his New York Times–bestselling I'll Mature When I'm Dead, Dave Barry embarked on the treacherous seas of adulthood, to hilarious results. What comes next? Parenthood, of course, and families.
In uproarious, brand-new pieces, Barry tackles everything from family trips, bat mitzvah parties and dating (he's serious about that title: "When my daughter can legally commence dating—February 24, 2040—I intend to monitor her closely, even if I am deceased") to funeral instructions ("I would like my eulogy to be given by William Shatner"), the differences between male and female friendships, the deeper meaning ofFifty Shades of Grey, and a father's ultimate sacrifice: accompanying his daughter to a Justin Bieber concert ("It turns out that the noise teenaged girls make to express happiness is the same noise they would make if their feet were being gnawed off by badgers").
Let's face it: families not only enrich our lives every day, they drive us completely around the bend. Thank goodness we have Dave Barry as our guide!
For many years he wrote a newspaper column that appeared in more than 500 newspapers and generated thousands of letters from readers who thought he should be fired. Despite this, Barry won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary, although he misplaced it for several years, which is why his wife now keeps it in a secure location that he does not know about. One of Barry's columns was largely responsible for the movement to observe International Talk Like a Pirate Day every year on September 19. This is probably his most enduring achievement.
Barry has written more than 30 books, including the novels Big Trouble, Lunatics,Tricky Business and, most recently, Insane City. He has also written a number of books with titles like I'll Mature When I'm Dead, which are technically classified as nonfiction, although they contain numerous lies. Two of Barry's books were the basis for the CBS sitcom Dave's World, which can probably still be seen on cable TV in certain underdeveloped nations.
Barry lives in Miami with his family and a dog that is determined to urinate on every square inch of North America.
On October 16, 2013, GGP welcomed Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon at a reading at Montclair Presbyterian Church. Michael read from his latest book, "Telegraph Avenue." After the reading, Michael answered questions from the audience. In the video clip below, Michael answers a question about writing his Sherlock Holmes book "The Final Solution: A Story of Detection," and his love of language and writing.
On October 8, 2013, GGP welcomed Gayle Forman to read from her new book, Just One Year. Ms. Forman was introduced by Nina LaCour, author of The Disenchantments. The evening included a hard-fought trivia contest testing knowledge of Ms. Forman's writing! A fun evening!
For descriptions of Ms. Forman's wonderful books, click on the links in the book list below.
On Tuesday evening, October 8th, National Book Award winning author Alice McDermott read for an appreciative GGP crowd at Montclair Presbyterian Church. Ms. McDermott discussed and read from her new book, Someone. "Someone" chronicles an ordinary life lived by an ordinary woman —its sharp pains and unexpected joys, its bursts of clarity and moments of confusion.
Ms. McDermott selected for her reading a section of the novel recounting the first meeting of a young couple, and how she brings him home to meet her family. In the section read by Ms. McDermott, the young man tells the story of how he was captured in World War II by the Germans, and how he survived his capture.
After the reading, Ms. McDermott answered questions for the audience. She told how she creates her characters by understanding how they would feel in a given situation. On a character named Fagan, she told the story of how the character's knowledge of his Dickens' namesake and the tradition of professional mourners shaped the character.
Ms. McDermott closed with praise of independent bookstores like Great Good Place for Books, and the communities these stores foster.
We have some video from the event that we hope to post excerpts from soon, but until then, here are a couple of photos, and a link to her book should you want to read more about it or order a copy.
Three of Kathleen's favorite books arrived this week: "Two Boys Kissing" by David Levithan, "The Beginning of Everything" by Robyn Schneider, and "Counting by 7s" by Holly Goldberg Sloan. If you'd like us to hold a copy of one of these books for you just let us know, or you can order online from our website at the links below.
As Krystle put it, "This book is for anyone who wants to experience or relive first love."
On the evening of April 18, 2013, GGP welcomed Anne and Sam Lamott for an evening of reading, laughs and wisdom.
Anne and Sam started the evening by browsing the store, leading Anne to start her comments with an appreciation of GGP as an example of "a good honest bookstore, crowded with books, not mugs."
Anne and Sam then read from the book they co-authored, "Some Assembly Required," about Sam and Anne's respective adventures as a father and grandmother.
In the discussion after the reading, Anne shared her perspectives, including a comparison to Charlie Bucket in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: "To be an artist is to have gotten one of the gold tickets, and I've tried to honor that."
Some more thoughts from the evening:
On the difficulty of writing: "Creation is like labor ... the enemy is the perfectionist ... all writers are doing multiple drafts. Life is about overcoming the critical voices in your head. Creation is often about taking stuff out."
On the difficulty of letting go: "Raise your children to leave you ... they need to begin their own heroic journeys." "Letting go, ungripping is hard. ... As a parent you want to be around the corner to give your kids sunscreen when they need it."
On the need to let go of your kids: "Kids don't need you to call saying 'Honey, pick it up, it is lonely mommy.'"
On the writing process: "Stream of consciousness is not interesting. ... A writer can't justwait for inspiration - you need to work on a shard of an idea, untangling the chain." You need to start writing, even though the real start of your work will be at page 7, and the first seven pages were just getting your feet wet." Writing is hard - it takes "elbow grease and keeping your butt on the chair."
Jax, the star of Some Assembly Required, is doing well - he recently complimented Anne on her technique in reading aloud "Green Eggs and Ham."
Sam's advice for new fathers: "Enjoy fatherhood ... realize that you will be going slowly on your life path for a few years ... you will be very busy."
Recalling an embarrassing incident related in Operating Instructions, Anne shared her insight that life can be embarrassing every step of the way, but "laughter is carbonated holiness."
Anne on being present in your life: "Be where your feet are."
"We are walking percussion instruments - our hearts are beating. Fill your heart - occupy your heart!"