Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Author Event: Jamie Ford

Last weekend I attended the first author event of the year. It was the Family Literacy Symposium at the Prvov Library and featured Jamie Ford, author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, as its keynote speaker. Don't you think that it was great timing that our book club just happens to be reading this book this month? I thought that was awesome!

Jamie Ford

So I was there, despite the chaos happening at my house that morning! It was fun to be there with Kami and Kathy too. But still, I'm surprised more book bloggers didn't come.

It was fun hearing about how he realized he was a different sort because of his love of stories, and particularly his love of love stories. He tells about how he discovered this at a young age when he sobbed over an ABC after school movie. Anyone remember those? I captured a little of this story on my phone:

He then suppressed this for years until he was at a conference for newly engaged couples and he and his fiance were older and while listening to all the young crazy kids talk about the weird ways they found each other, something hit him and he decided to finally embrace his sentimentality and write.

It was fun to hear how himself, his dad, and his grandpa all inspired the Hotel book. And how he explored even darker themes in his newer book, Songs of Willow Frost, which I really look forward to reading.

Yes, I bought this new one and had him sign it for me. Sadly, I thought I already had the Hotel book, but couldn't find it anywhere.

After listening to him, we went to a couple of breakout sessions where the librarians told us all about their favorite teen books and adult books of the year. There was also one one favorite kid books. I didn't go to that one. Interested in those lists? Click the links.

Finally, at the end, we listened to a panel discussion of great book club books. However, the discussion morphed into thoughts about picking book club books in this unique area where so many readers are really quite conservative. I'm sure Jamie Ford enjoyed that topic! (He did say he spoke Mormon though, so maybe he followed along okay?) Actually, it was fun to hear his take on this and it was fun hearing how other people solve this issue. I'm glad that for the most part, our book club doesn't worry about this much.

It was a fun bookish day! So glad I managed to stop life long enough to go.


  1. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet was our One Book, One Community read several years ago, and I'm SO BUMMED that I didn't get to go to the speaking event.

  2. I think google ate my comment. :( But I'm glad you enjoyed the rest of it. I was really sad I couldn't stay. Thanks for linking those other lists. I was really curious about them!

  3. You find such awesome events. Sounds like a good one! Thanks for sharing.

  4. This sounds like it was a really good event! I didn't realize a lot of book club readers tend to be conservative - that must make it difficult to pick good books for the clubs.

    1. Belle: A lot of book clubbers in my area are. But thankfully, I've got one that isn't so much.

  5. I thought Hotel presented a really interesting point of view. I would have loved to hear him speak!

  6. That was a really fun event. I'm glad I stayed for the whole thing.

  7. Oh my gosh I am incredibly jealous of you!!!!!

    (Also, thank you for linking this at the Spread the Love Linky Party – I also pinned it! :D)



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