I had the great pleasure of visiting a book club tonight. I love book discussions, but there’s something really special when the discussion is about your own book! (I visited this same book club in connection with my first book, and I was pleased that they asked me back to discuss the new one.)
What’s not to love? Nine smart women who have read my book (or at least plan to read the book), drinking wine, eating good food, asking me pertinent questions about the book and the publishing business. That’s my idea of a very good time.
One of the women brought a copy of last week’s New York Times Book Review because it included this Q&A with Jeffrey Eugenides, and she asked me some of the same questions. That was fun. What’s the last truly great book I read? Let the Great World Spin. What 3 authors would I invite to a dinner party? Flannery O’Connor, Tim O’Brien, Hermann Hesse. Etc.
The hostess had made egg rolls in honor of the Chinese theme of the book, which I thought was great. (And the egg rolls were pretty terrific.) She also prepared Chips and Salsa, which is relevant to the book, but you have to read it to know why.
They asked me to read a bit from the book to start, so I asked the hostess which was her favorite story. She had a quick answer: “ The Nations of Witness.” That might be my favorite, too, so I read from that one, although others had different preferences.
Which one is your favorite?