Evening With Authors: Author Recs


Evening With Authors 2016 with : Alexander Chee, Ellen Herrick, and Wally Lamb was beyond a magical evening. The Ocean State Theater was  filled with love of reading, entertaining conversation and bookish insight. Sharing the stage with these three was a dream come true.

This event benefits ACS Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and the book sales do as well. There are autographed copies of The Queen Of The Night, The Sparrow Sisters, and We Are Water available at Brown University Bookstore. If you’d like to order online and have them shipped please email robin@readingwithrobin.com and I’ll take care of this for you.


One of my favorite questions about what the authors are reading and recommending I didn’t manage to get to. So….I asked them afterwards and I have their responses to share with you here. Get ready to take notes!


Ellen Herrick shares, “So many, and some old but I do have give a shout out to Laurie Colwin a writer we lost too young. Any of her books or collections of short stories are superb: Happy All the Time, Shine on Bright and Dangerous Object, etc. As for current stuff, loving Commonwealth, Ann Patchett, The Wonder, Emma Donohue, A Man Called Ove is lovely, The Wangs vs. The World, by Jade Chang,  yay! Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, natch, My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout, any early John Irvings. Ack, must stop now. I know it’s all girls, but….Oh, and of course Alice Hoffman…”

From Alexander Chee: 

The Inseparables, by Stuart Nadler

“Laugh out loud funny, heartbreaking and dead-on satire of the way we all live now, from author culture to feminism to teen selfies, as seen through a family of strong women in crisis as the youngest gets kicked out of boarding school for naked pics someone else took of her and sent around campus, and the mom, an author, faces the reissue of a novel she hoped no one would read– a camp classic that she actually wrote sincerely.”

We Love You Charlie Freeman, by Kaitlyn Greenidge

“Kaitlyn is a former student, a historian and a debut novelist who wrote a highly original novel about a middle class black family who, as a part of an experiment, agrees to move to the suburbs with an adopted chimpanzee they will try to raise as their child. I am so proud of her.”

Running, by Cara Hoffman

“A novel about those hustlers who meet you as you arrive off the plane in Athens. Achingly beautiful writing, and a haunting story of lost kids making their way with only each other.”

How I Became A North Korean, by Krys Lee

“I reviewed this recently for the Times–a tremendous debut novel about the real sufferings of North Koreans–and how they didn’t know that was what they were until they fled. Three protagonists, all deeply human, funny people in different ways, all trying to get to freedom and whatever that could mean.”

and…this from Wally Lamb:

George Hodgman’s Bettyville and Richard Russo’s Elsewhere are both memoirs about complicated relationships between grown sons and their elderly mothers. Hodgman’s mother never quite accepted that her son is gay and Russo’s mom could never quite relinquish her hold on her devoted but frustrated child. Both of these works are the funny, bittersweet, and poignant memories of masterful writers.”

Gloria Norris’s KooKooLand, “a memoir on the edge of a knife blade,” features the author’s darkly comic remembrances of life with a flamboyant father who has a penchant for criminal behavior and a cast of other family members who are dysfunctional with a capital D.”

” I savor each annual edition of the Pushcart Prize series, an author-nominated anthology of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction that highlights the best small press and literary magazine publications of the previous year. This is a great way to discover new writers. The most recent volume in this series is Pushcart Prize XL.”

Elinor Lipman has been called a contemporary Jane Austen, but with I Can’t Complain: (All Too) Personal Essays she takes a break from fiction to reflect on her Baby Boomer childhood, marriage and motherhood, the challenges of widowhood, dating by 21st century rules, and other highly relatable contemporary subjects.”

Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman upset many fans of To Kill a Mockingbird’s Atticus Finch, who wanted Atticus to remain a paragon and did not want to be confronted with his racist failings. But Bruce Jenner is now Kaitlin Jenner and Bill Cosby isn’t “Bill Cosby” any more. I had a great time rereading Mockingbird and then tackling Watchman right after that. Doing so allowed me to reflect on another fiction writer’s creative process and the way our stories evolve from earlier to later versions.”

“Two books on my shelf that I’m very much looking forward to read: Emma Cline’s The Girls and Olivia Laing’s The Lonely City. I’ve heard great things about both from readers whose taste I trust.”

See you next year!



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