Armchair BEA 2014. Author Interaction.

Armchair BEA

ArmchairBEA2014 (

Today’s question for Armchair BEA is about authors and our interaction with them.

 One evening several years ago, I was checking out my blog and came across a comment that appeared to have been made by the author. I was flummoxed because I was convinced someone was pretending to be the author of CUTTING FOR STONE by Abraham Verghese. Low and behold, it really was Abraham Verghese. This was when his CUTTING FOR STONE was just out in hard cover. It had not been “discovered” at that time. Such a positive and gentlemanly comment.  Over the years we have become friends, first through email and social media, then meeting at the Miami Book Fair and having lunch.  CUTTING FOR STONE was my first blog post. You can imagine how exciting it was to meet the author. 


Abraham Verghese

Over the years I have met many authors whose books I’ve blogged about and gone on to support. It’s the highlight of my professional life. Nothing is more rewarding to me than finding a new author who I feel has that potential to become one of the great ones. I have had that privilege on several occasions. It never ceases to amaze me!


16 thoughts on “Armchair BEA 2014. Author Interaction.

  1. What a thrill it must have been to meet Dr. Verghese. When I read Cutting for Stone, it became one of my all time favorite books. I have read a few columns he has written in the NY Times. He is one of my all time favorite people as well.

  2. How exciting for you to meet Dr. Verghese in person. I loved the book and have recommended it to several friends. I didn’t know until after I had finished the book that the author was actually a doctor. That made it even more special.

  3. How lucky for you to meet the author on your FIRST blog post! I’ve met a couple of authors at signings but I’ve never had one respond to one of my reviews!
    On a random note, I love how your title is Maurice on Books and your banner is a picture of a cat on books. Is that Maurice?

    • Yes, the cat on my banner is Maurice. He was my Siamese Sealpoint. He passed almost two years ago after living with us for 22 years! We have four more rescue kitties. Maurice was also a rescue. You can tell I am a big cat lover. Thanks for your kind remarks. And good luck with your blog.

      • Thanks so much! I’m sorry to hear about Maurice. I’m a complete cat lover, too. My baby’s name is Pandora and my next review will be on a book about cats just so I can have an excuse to put pictures of her up on the blog.

  4. I will have to start following your blog so I can see the photos of your kitty. Pandora is a lovely name. Maurice had a special life full of all the stuff cats love. He is missed.

  5. Jean, I notice that “The Goldfinch” is #1 on the bestseller list again. You also gave it a great review. I have talked with several good friends that are avid readers and they did not like it at all and wanted to put it down but kept on struggling through it thinking something grand was going to surface. What are we missing with this one???

    • Kathleen, I had the same reaction to The Goldfinch. I did finish it just because of the rave reviews, but I can’t say that I liked it at all. I’ve found, over the years, that I seldom really like the Pulitzer winners. Don’t know what that says about my taste.

  6. In reply to Kathleen and Sue. I have often found the Pulitzer winners to be extremely literary and difficult, not my usual reads at all. I usually pass on them. They are not for everyone. But they are always good for a great discussion. I loved THE GOLDFINCH. I am at the point in my life where I will put a book aside if it is not to my liking. Life is too short to spend reading books we don’t enjoy. I read for the gorgeous prose, and the story within. I also feel compelled to step out of my comfort zone with reading. Elaine Newton is sure to do one of her lectures on THE GOLDFINCH this upcoming season. I will be in the audience to learn even more. She can put light on these sometimes difficult books.

  7. Hi Jean, I agree with your statement about the Pulitzer winners being literary and difficult. That’s not what turned me off on the “Goldfinch.” I just didn’t like any of the characters and couldn’t find myself rooting for or identifying with any of them. I did like the original premise of one event changing a person’s life and direction in life, but there are other books with great writing that I feel covered that better, i.e., Amor Towles’ book “Rules of Civility.” This past year was a good one for really good books and I just felt the “Goldfinch” wasn’t one of them. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. I’m also fairly sure Elaine Newton will pick it as one of her presentations next winter, but then I haven’t been all that thrilled with her recent choices either. I think my last favorite of hers was the aforementioned “Cutting for Stone.”

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