Off The Page-Random House Event

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We are going back to New York today.  For months I have been trying to get us back there but life has a way of slowing us down even when we don't want to be slowed down.  I did promise you a look at the Random House book event though, and it was fabulous, so late or not, I'm going to share.  I also try to keep in mind that this is the kind of blog post or story that I would want to share with my family...hence, even if late, we are going there.   Books, authors, and wine.  Are you KIDDING me? Let's go....  

 So one thing I love about New York is that it is a very walkable city.  We left early in the morning for our walk over to The New School, where the event was being held. It was quiet this early morning..

So one thing I love about New York is that it is a very walkable city.  We left early in the morning for our walk over to The New School, where the event was being held. It was quiet this early morning..

 Our walk took us through  Washington Park.   A beautiful spot with so much to watch and captured.  I loved that people just hang out here and they have a great dog park.  I also love the clouds hugging that building.

Our walk took us through Washington Park.  A beautiful spot with so much to watch and captured.  I loved that people just hang out here and they have a great dog park.  I also love the clouds hugging that building.

 The sun comes out and the day begins for these New Yorkers moving from one side of the city to the other. Through the park is the way to go.  This was our route to getting to the school. I could have stayed here taking photo's all day long.

The sun comes out and the day begins for these New Yorkers moving from one side of the city to the other. Through the park is the way to go.  This was our route to getting to the school. I could have stayed here taking photo's all day long.

We arrive just in time to get our packets and book bags.  I felt the excitement of the group and it was electrifying.  Next off to breakfast.  Fruit, danish, coffee cakes, tea and coffee. Perfect.

After our little breakfast, we all went to find our seats and get ready for the talks.  The authors did not do readings of their books but they did talk about them.  A moderator had questions for them and they answered the questions with lots of leadway to tell the story of their individual books.  Many personal questions were also asked and answered.  It was a wonderful format for getting to know some of the authors that I had never read and also for getting a really nice feel for how, why and what they love to write about and what writing means to them.  I loved the morning sessions because of Elizabether Berg, a favorite for sure.  I also walked away though finding several new authors that I was not familiar with.  Since that event, I have read those new authors and have even gone back to get the books of theirs that were written previous to the lectured books.  Above is Salman Rushdie...He wrote the Golden House, which my husband just finished.  Next up was Emily Ruskovich, author of the book Idaho, which I really enjoyed.  A new author for me.  Lisa Wingate, also a new author with her book, Before We Were Yours, which is in my "to read now" pile.  Then, the reason I went was to meet up with Elizabether Berg again...and to finally come to know Arthur Truluv...a new book for her.  She is so special and I have been so fortunate to have taken a writing class with her and also to have attended many book readings by her.  She used to live in Boston so I was a "groupie"...

There were a few other writers also in the morning...another one I especially loved and now have gone back to find some of her older books was  Kelly Corrigan.  Her newest book, which I already read, was Tell Me More.  Check her out.  So the morning was great fun and then it was off to lunch.

 Well look who I met while we were out walking for lunch.  Elizabeth has a favorite food cart that she likes when in New York.  She tells me they have the best chicken and rice.  She likes it so much, she got it twice while there.  We had such a wonderful chat, standing right there on the sidewalk.   HIGHTLIGT..

Well look who I met while we were out walking for lunch.  Elizabeth has a favorite food cart that she likes when in New York.  She tells me they have the best chicken and rice.  She likes it so much, she got it twice while there.  We had such a wonderful chat, standing right there on the sidewalk.  HIGHTLIGT..

Fascinating afternoon speakers.  The wife of Dr Paul Kalanithi, "When Breath Becomes Air, was the lead-off speaker for the afternoon session.  So fascinating and sad to listen to their story.  She is promoting his book and actually helped to get it finished.  Also, Khiza Khan, "An American Family" was just dynamic.  Of all the participants, he was the only one to get a standing ovation and he got three of them.  Can't wait to read his memoir.  Trump made him a household name...and this man is living proof that good families can come from anywhere.  He actually also had a little book of the constitution put in our bags for kids.  So that every child could know what the constitution stands for.  Vance Jones was another great speaker.  

Not just novel and biographies were presented that day.  Two cookbooks and a book of poetry were reviewed.  Such a special time.  Random house does this twice a year.  Once in the spring and once in the fall.  I'm eagerly waiting to see who's up for the spring.  Springtime in New York could be very nice.

 

 So the day was wonderful.  When it was over, it wasn't really over for those of us with this special name tag.  Yes, Cocktail Reception Guest.  That's me...   

So the day was wonderful.  When it was over, it wasn't really over for those of us with this special name tag.  Yes, Cocktail Reception Guest.  That's me...

 

Time to call it a day and put a lid on this wonderful event.  Cocktails, apps and book signing at the end.  All of the authors were so friendly and didn't mind chatting at all.  We left there very surprised by how much this event effected us and what a worthwhile day it was. My husband is wonderful and usually goes along with whatever I want to do.  I was so pleased though that he relly loved this event.  I think we were both surprised by that. So yes, he would go again.  We walked back to the hotel with a little bounce in our step.  So proud that we stepped a bit out of our box to enjoy something that we both love so much... Books and reading.

 Back in the hotel room, we lined up all the free books we got.  We also got a wine glass, wine opener, and peanut butter cups.  Scored big here.  There is nothing more comforting than a huge pile of books waiting to be cracked open and enjoy.  Oh, yes, we will be going again.

Back in the hotel room, we lined up all the free books we got.  We also got a wine glass, wine opener, and peanut butter cups.  Scored big here.  There is nothing more comforting than a huge pile of books waiting to be cracked open and enjoy.  Oh, yes, we will be going again.

So what is it that you are wishing to do that might seem a bit out of your comfort zone.  Think about that for a minute.  Then think about how you might be able to make that possible.  It doesn't have to be New York or a book fair, it could be as simple as a walk alone on a beach or going to the woods this spring and listening to the birdsong.  It's restorative to take a small leap into what our hearts desire.  Slow down and enjoy the opportunities that present themselves to you...

"In the beginning I was just giving books away.  I got a new book, I gave away an old one. I always keep just seven.  But then I began to find that others were leaving books where I had left mine and I thought, these are for me.  So now I replenish my library with the random gifts of unknown strangers and I never know what I will read next, I wait for the homeless books to call out; you, reader, you are for me.  I do not choose what I read anymore. I am wandering through the discarded stories of the city."   Salman Rushdie...The Golden House.

All photos from today's post were taken with the Fuji XT-2 and Fuji 35mm 2.2 lens