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!