Adventures by the Book!

I love the written word! Some would even say, I swear by it. If you ask me,  it comes in handy when blogging. Yep, I’m passionate about the written word. Which is why I also love to read!

Only now that I’m whipping up tall stories for my blog, I have little time to do read, which is a real shame because there are so many books worth exploring these days.  If someone can figure out a way to give me back my teen years, when I could lounge in bed for hours on end and just read, read, READ, then I’d be forever grateful.

Until that happens, I simply do not want to lose touch with reading.  And thanks to two major events in my life, I don’t have to!

1:  I have discovered the world of audio books. Perfect for when I’m walking my dog. Makes me feel like a kid again, harking to a time when my mother would drop me off at the library for story time. How I loved listening to the librarian’s expressive voice as she read the story of the peddler and his dozens of caps and his run in with some mischievous monkeys, or the adventures of the amazing, self-reared, Pippi Longstocking.  Now, I’m reliving those times, but with books for the adult me!

2: My dear friend, Susan, has launched a very exciting venture, fittingly called, Adventures By the Book.

In this day and age of mass media meets social media, and the rush, rush of ever-changing technology, isn’t it nice to know you can have a cozy exchange with your favorite published writer? Well, that’s what Adventures by the Book is all about! If you ask me, Adventures is sure to turn the world of books—and publishing—on its proverbial head. It has taken the traditional author book signing, many of us have participated in at bookstores, to a whole new level, giving us ordinary readers extraordinary opportunities to network with some amazing writers.

So, instead of standing on long lines waiting for an author to sign your book, Susan’s events are a chance to spend quality time with the author, learn about their writing process and how they got published, ask questions, and have evocative conversations with them in a decidedly personal setting. Voila! It’s so brilliant that I don’t know why I didn’t think of it myself!  But—and don’t tell Susan—I’m happy to ride on her coattails and go along for the journey.

Adventures By the Book event, featuring author Eleanor Brown and her book, "The Weird Sisters." From left: Susan McBeth, me, Eleanor Brown & our friend, Valerie Breen.

I’m especially excited that Adventures by the Book is debuting a Friday lunch series with authors guaranteed to delight and open new worlds. A feast for your mind and soul—not to mention your appetite! First up, on May 20th, Zohreh (Zoe) Ghahremani, author of the acclaimed Sky of Red Poppies.  Set in Iran, circa 1960’s, during the rule of the Shah, it is the story of two girls who are best friends, the choices they make and how the different paths they take impact their relationship.

I remember hearing about the Shah when I was a kid, and how he was driven from his country, which came as a surprise to the US at the time, or so it was said, but beyond that I knew little of the impact of his decades-long reign on his people. This book gives a remarkable glimpse into life in an oppressive regime.

Future Adventures by the Book activities will range from spending an intimate evening with an author, to a weekend getaway, to a more extensive trip abroad where, well-loved authors will provide guided tours of their part of the world or whip up a tantalizing dish, evocative of the region.

If you ask me, this is the coolest idea for an undertaking and I’m so glad my friend, Susan, has made it all possible.  It’s the best of all worlds, combining reading with meaningful occasions to connect with authors. So much so that I’m inspired to start reading—all over again.  After all, happiness is wrapping yourself in a good book, one that transports you to another place and time. Happiness also is getting to meet the writer behind said book. It can’t get any better than that!

26 thoughts on “Adventures by the Book!

  1. I drool over the idea of being able to read a whole book cover to cover…all at once…those *were* the days!

    • Yes, it’s a pretty wonderful idea and I’m so glad I get to enjoy it all thanks to Susan. As a writer myself, I love the opportunities to talk to published writers. Very cool! 😉

  2. Monica, what a heck of an idea! Love that readers are able to mingle and chat with these real life authors! 🙂 It was interesting to learn that you’re listening to audio books as you walk your dog. My sister recently recommended I do the same but I still haven’t had a chance to try it out. Is this just as good as reading the book do you think?

    • Hey, Bella, I’m glad I’m doing the audio book thing. It is very good, but it’s not the same. For one thing, sometimes I get distracted–by a car as I’m crossing the street, or my own thoughts that wander–and you can’t rewind just a little. you either have to start the chapter over, or hope that the next chapter helps you figure out what just happened. But overall, it beats not having time to read at all. It makes me look forward to the walks, so I can hear more of the story. I am enjoying it. I have purchased an audio book on iTunes and I’ve also purchased audio book CD’s from a bookstore. Trust me, the iTunes version was better, because it always remembers exactly where you left off, even if you listen to music in between, you can return to the same spot. Not so, with CD’s that you download onto your iPhone, iPod, or other MP3. Just a thought. Let me know if you do try it out, what you think.

  3. I love to read, its finding the time to find those quiet moments with just a good novel and my thoughts. And the thought of talking to the authors of some of my favorite books….would be an awesome moment. One of my favorite authors is Deborah Raney..especially liked “Leaving Novmember”. Great post !

    • Well, if I ever hear that Deborah Raney is going to be featured at a Adventures by the Book event, I’ll be sure to let you know so you can make the trip to San Diego. 🙂

    • Thank you, so much Thelma. I recently won the Kreativ Blogger award so this is the icing on the cake. I may have to sit on it for a bit as I don’t want my readers to think I’m all full of myself for being such an award-winning writer. Plus I recently featured a whole list of bloggers. Still, thank you. I will give you a shout out very soon! 🙂

  4. I soooooooo love to read, too! I’m a total night owl and usually read anywhere from 1-3 books per week during the wee hours of the night. I wish I lived in your area so that I could participate in Adventures by the Book. I do live 10 mins away from a university, and have been lucky enough to attend several author talks.

    I have to give Pippi a big thumbs up, as well. I love those books and so do my daughters! 🙂

    • I applaud you for making time to read. It is well worth the feat. Pippi is by far the best character of all time in a children’s book. Glad your girls appreciate her, too.

  5. I love to read… I had always been a “book” girl, with the occasional audio book thrown in when traveling. 2 years ago Hubs bought me a kindle and I am addicted to it now… It is so convenient to travel with and take to appointments that we bought one for my mom and dad… Mom loves to go to the beach and Dad is in dialysis so it makes taking books with him very easy.

    • I sometimes think about getting a Kindle but am hesitant because I love the feel of a book. Plus I accumulate books like some folks accumulate shoes (ok, I accumulate shoes, too) so I have a stack of books waiting to be read. Once I do go through my stack (or stacks, I should say) then maybe I’ll switch to Kindle because I hear such good things about it. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  6. Uh oh! Looks like I made my last comment somehow logged on with my obsolete blog identity. And now I don’t see it here. I hope it did not vanish into cyberspace:( I hate to recreate what I wrote when technology is not cooperating. Sigh. Anyhoo, came by from LBS.

  7. Came by from LBS. I can so identify… first, I love words. I get way too caught up in them sometimes. Yes, I have both a thesaurus and dictionary bookmarked on my computer for fast reference. Second, I used to read a ton of books but now hardly any since I spend so much time reading blogs!

  8. What a great idea. Hopefully Adventures by the Book will catch on in other cities. Perhaps Susan will franchise, if not I’ll just have to plan vacations that coincide with her adventures. I also fondly remember those days when I was a teenager and spent the entire afternoon reading many times reading a book a day. Now I’m lucky if I get thru all my tweet lists.

    • Oh, yes, Susan plans to one day go national–global even. It is such a fun idea, really and publishers love getting their authors out more. It’s those one on one moments that are truly special!

  9. I so relate to loving to read but not having much time because I’m busy writing. The irony! And the thought of talking to the authors of some of my favorite books….my heart goes pitter patter.

    • Oh, June, you would so love this! It’s magical really. To be able to read a book, then converse with the author to find out what inspired them, what motivated them. To have such access with an author? Well, it doesn’t get much better than this. 🙂

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