Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sarah Vowell

Sarah Vowell has been my favorite author ever since I happened to hear her on an NPR program during the summer of 2003. I don't remember exactly which program or what she was talking about but I do remember getting home and going straight to my computer to order Take The Cannoli from A week later I sat on the couch and found a new favorite author. She's a former high school band geek who loves history, national parks and America. She's witty as all get out and is just generally the super-cool nerd that I would want to be.

My favorite of her books is Assassination Vacation, which chronicles her trips to sites significant to the assassinations of Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley. It is informative, hilarious, and poignant all at once. If you have any interest in history or just want a good read, I recommend it. If you have little interest in history, I recommend Take The Cannoli, which is a collection of short stories. Topics range from Disneyworld to Pop A Shot.

But I digress...

Last week Eddie saw that she was going to be on the Daily Show. She's always hilarious on that show so I got pretty excited. I also hopped online to see what her new book was about. I noticed on her website that she was going to be at the Barnes and Noble in NYC. With us living so close, it would be an easy trip to see her.

So, Eddie left work and picked Henry and I up and we hit the road. Traffic into the city through the Lincoln Tunnel was not good but we got there. The store in the city is amazing...four stories of shelves. The reading/signing was up on the fourth floor in an area with a bank of windows overlooking Union Square Park. I could also see a ticker counting up the national debt...

Because I bought her new book at the store, I was able to enter the seating area early and had a pretty good seat. Eddie and Henry were a few rows behind me.

She came up onto the stage and begin reading from her new book. She read for maybe 20 minutes. (I had listened to Assassination Vacation a number of times so it was weird to see her with the voice being there too.) After she read, she took questions for a while. She was funny and knowledgeable, as expected.

View from my seat of her doing a reading from her new book.

She signed things for people after the Q&A. Henry, Eddie and I got to chat with her for a quick minute. She, of course, loved Henry and encouraged him to read. We were "those" people that took out the camera and gave her the baby.

Henry was more interested in her pen than anything else. It was past his bedtime so we were just happy he was still relatively charming when he met her. :-)

It was a really cool way to spend the evening. I am really glad that I've been able to take advantage of everything in the area since we've moved. She's speaking again in Brooklyn next month so I'm thinking of going again since by then I will have read the new book.

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