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Christopher Moore Noir
April 12, 2018 09:19 AM PDT
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Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of The Avid Reader. Today our guest is Christopher Moore, Author of Noir published just last week by William Morrow.

Christopher is the author of over fifteen novels including Lamb, A Dirty Job and You Suck. He has been called “A very sick man, in the best sense of the word” and “The greatest satirist since Jonathan Swift”.

Noir is a tough book to describe. Our protagonist is Sammy “two-toes” Tiffin a bartender with a past and then a future (hopefully) that contains one Stilton (the cheese) a knock-out blond bombshell whose picture is on the cover and on the title page of alternating chapters. But things don’t go as planned. Sal, the bar’s owner shows up dead, an Air Force General has some urgent business that falls on Sammy’s shoulders. At the same time we have some visitors from Roswell New Mexico, a secret society and Sammy and his pals, a Chinese sidekick, and a nasty but lovable kid and a black Mamba, (a semi-reliable narrator) all of whom join various other “MIB” types and loads of other fiends and friends to complete a roster of characters, who in this Noir book, coupled with the screwball comedy and mixed with the satire that Christopher so often provides us with lead to hijinks in this delightful romp.

1Q1A Christopher Moore Noir
April 12, 2018 09:15 AM PDT
itunes pic

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of The Avid Reader. Today our guest is Christopher Moore, Author of Noir published just last week by William Morrow.

Christopher is the author of over fifteen novels including Lamb, A Dirty Job and You Suck. He has been called “A very sick man, in the best sense of the word” and “The greatest satirist since Jonathan Swift”.

Noir is a tough book to describe. Our protagonist is Sammy “two-toes” Tiffin a bartender with a past and then a future (hopefully) that contains one Stilton (the cheese) a knock-out blond bombshell whose picture is on the cover and on the title page of alternating chapters. But things don’t go as planned. Sal, the bar’s owner shows up dead, an Air Force General has some urgent business that falls on Sammy’s shoulders. At the same time we have some visitors from Roswell New Mexico, a secret society and Sammy and his pals, a Chinese sidekick, and a nasty but lovable kid and a black Mamba, (a semi-reliable narrator) all of whom join various other “MIB” types and loads of other fiends and friends to complete a roster of characters, who in this Noir book, coupled with the screwball comedy and mixed with the satire that Christopher so often provides us with lead to hijinks in this delightful romp.

Andrew Santella Soon
April 11, 2018 07:40 AM PDT
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Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of The Avid Reader. Today our guest is Andrew Santella, author of Soon: An Overdue History of Procrastination, from Leonardo and Darwin to You and Me, published by Del Rey books just last month.

Andrew has written for GQ, the NYT Book Review, Slate and Atlantic. He probably could have written more.

Soon is a book that will resonate with the vast majority of us. Because most of us are procrastinators. I know Andrew is one because he tells us and because he even postponed this interview and I know I am one because I am reading the last page of his book as I give this introduction.

The question is why do we not do what we should be doing and do something else instead or just lay in bed. For instance, while getting ready for this interview, I took off some time to read my email, look at my desk calendar and doodle in the margins, get up to get a sparkling water and rearrange my library. I even checked my bank balance and my Vanguard account, much to my dismay. (I wish I hadn’t). I then ordered new checks.

Well Andrew brings us a lot of information and more than a little bit of solace regarding our tendency to put off that which should be done.

We get lumped in with such great procrastinators like Charles Darwin, Leonardo Da Vinci Frank Lloyd Wright. Many of these guys and women have done great things while they put off that which they had intended to do.

We learn about St. Expedite and his shrine in New Orleans, a shine that we have to wait for since it took so long for Mr. Santella to get there.

Even St. Augustine gets into the act.

Andrew Santella Soon
April 11, 2018 07:37 AM PDT
itunes pic

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of The Avid Reader. Today our guest is Andrew Santella, author of Soon: An Overdue History of Procrastination, from Leonardo and Darwin to You and Me, published by Del Rey books just last month.

Andrew has written for GQ, the NYT Book Review, Slate and Atlantic. He probably could have written more.

Soon is a book that will resonate with the vast majority of us. Because most of us are procrastinators. I know Andrew is one because he tells us and because he even postponed this interview and I know I am one because I am reading the last page of his book as I give this introduction.

The question is why do we not do what we should be doing and do something else instead or just lay in bed. For instance, while getting ready for this interview, I took off some time to read my email, look at my desk calendar and doodle in the margins, get up to get a sparkling water and rearrange my library. I even checked my bank balance and my Vanguard account, much to my dismay. (I wish I hadn’t). I then ordered new checks.

Well Andrew brings us a lot of information and more than a little bit of solace regarding our tendency to put off that which should be done.

We get lumped in with such great procrastinators like Charles Darwin, Leonardo Da Vinci Frank Lloyd Wright. Many of these guys and women have done great things while they put off that which they had intended to do.

We learn about St. Expedite and his shrine in New Orleans, a shine that we have to wait for since it took so long for Mr. Santella to get there.

Even St. Augustine gets into the act.

Jody Shields The Winter Station
April 09, 2018 11:15 AM PDT
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Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of The Avid Reader. Today our guest is Jody Fields, author of The Winter Station published in January by Little Brown.

Jody has Also written The Crimson Portrait and the very popular The Fig Eater.

She is also a screenwriter and has edited for NYT Magazine and American Vogue.

So, The Winter Station is set in Kharbin in about 1910. Kharbin is a kind of wasteland city in a freezing climate, sharing a culture that interweaves Russians and Chinese and a political influence by the Japanese. Which seems confusing but which is explained quite succinctly.

The story is based on a real Manchurian plague. People are dying everywhere, their deaths are covered up by the autocrat General Khorvat and others, while the Baron our hero works with his quirky and sneaky confidante and friend Andreev and the dwarf Chang, who deals In the event you did not receive my last, tea ceremony as well as in providing knowledge.

The Baron also says a lovely wife but also rivals like Dr. Wu who do not approach the plague with same type of logic and reason as does the Baron.

It’s a thriller, mystery and kind of true story that Jody weaves into a really readable story that reminds us of the past and makes us think carefully about our future.

1Q1A Frances Mayes Women in Sunlight
April 09, 2018 09:15 AM PDT
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Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of the Avid Reader. Today our guest is Frances Mayes, author of Women in Sunlight, published just last week by Crown.

Most of you already know Francis from her book Under the Tuscan Sun, on the NYT bestseller list for 142 weeks! And was a great movie, but she has written so many more, from Every Day in Tuscany, Bella Tuscany, In Tuscany, Bringing Tuscany Home, The Tuscan Sun cookbook, and others NOT dealing with Tuscany. Her books have been published in many languages and many of you remember the film version of Tuscan Sun starring Diane Lane back in 2003.

Women in Sunlight portrays the story of four woman, one an outside narrator of sorts, Kit Raines, who observes, then joins three women of a certain age, Julia, Camille and Susan, who consider buying homes in an over 55 community, Cornwallis Meadows.

Instead of giving in to this perfectly fine, but somewhat provincial manner in which to live out their golden years, the three instead venture to Tuscany and a ruin of a house which they restore and bring to live in so many ways. Their neighbor Kit, an author and poet, with a fine husband, also has a relationship with Margaret, no longer with us but certainly a presence in the novel.

As in many of Mayes work, food, gardening, wine and the wonder and delights of Tuscany abound.

Madeline Miller Circe
April 09, 2018 09:12 AM PDT
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Good Afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of the Avid Reader. Today our guest is Madeline Miller, author of Circe, published just last week by Lee Boudreaux Book, an imprint of Little Brown.

Madeline previous work is The Song of Achilles was awarded the Orange Prize for Fiction. Her essays have appeared in many periodicals, including The Guardian, WSJ, Laphams Quarterly and NPR.

She also wrote a great Kindle single, while set in a seemingly modern world, once again invokes the past and the Greek myths.

Circe continues the story of Odysseus as he takes us from the Iliad to the Odyssey. But rather than focusing on him, the book centers around Circe, daughter of Helios, the Sun God. Circe gets her self in all kinds of jams using the precursor of magic to transform her first love into a God who then rejects her, leading indirectly to the creation of Scylla who along with Charybdis blocks the passage of sailors with horrible consequences.

Now considered by her father and Zeus, dangerous rather than just a nuisance, she is exiled to a remote island. The island that Odysseus lights upon and where his men are turned into wild pigs.

Circe stands up to Athena and the whole panoply of Gods.

She is a super heroine and one with whom you emphasize and admire.

Mixing power and goodness is always a risky endeavor and Madeline is able to do so in portraying Circe and her life.

Madeline Miller Circe
April 09, 2018 09:10 AM PDT
itunes pic

Good Afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of the Avid Reader. Today our guest is Madeline Miller, author of Circe, published just last week by Lee Boudreaux Book, an imprint of Little Brown.

Madeline previous work is The Song of Achilles was awarded the Orange Prize for Fiction. Her essays have appeared in many periodicals, including The Guardian, WSJ, Laphams Quarterly and NPR.

She also wrote a great Kindle single, while set in a seemingly modern world, once again invokes the past and the Greek myths.

Circe continues the story of Odysseus as he takes us from the Iliad to the Odyssey. But rather than focusing on him, the book centers around Circe, daughter of Helios, the Sun God. Circe gets her self in all kinds of jams using the precursor of magic to transform her first love into a God who then rejects her, leading indirectly to the creation of Scylla who along with Charybdis blocks the passage of sailors with horrible consequences.

Now considered by her father and Zeus, dangerous rather than just a nuisance, she is exiled to a remote island. The island that Odysseus lights upon and where his men are turned into wild pigs.

Circe stands up to Athena and the whole panoply of Gods.

She is a super heroine and one with whom you emphasize and admire.

Mixing power and goodness is always a risky endeavor and Madeline is able to do so in portraying Circe and her life.

Thomas Pierce The Afterlives
March 02, 2018 07:43 AM PST
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Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of The Avid Reader. Today our guest is Thomas Pierce. His first novel The Afterlives was published in January by Riverhead.

Thomas is also the author of a short story collection Hall of Small Animals and his stories have appeared in The New Yorker and The Atlantic. He has reported for NPR and National Geographic.

The Afterlives is one of many new releases reality with mortality and the afterlife. The concepts fascinates us and this book draws even further into the reasons behind that.

Jim Byrd, a North Carolina loan officer who has suffered a near death experience explores along with his new found love Annie, the realm we all suspect or want to find and does so with compassion, passion and with a realist’s view of what mechanism might lead us to its discovery.

Welcome Tom and thanks so much for joining us today.

1Q1A Thomas Pierce The Afterlives
March 02, 2018 07:41 AM PST
itunes pic

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of The Avid Reader. Today our guest is Thomas Pierce. His first novel The Afterlives was published in January by Riverhead.

Thomas is also the author of a short story collection Hall of Small Animals and his stories have appeared in The New Yorker and The Atlantic. He has reported for NPR and National Geographic.

The Afterlives is one of many new releases reality with mortality and the afterlife. The concepts fascinates us and this book draws even further into the reasons behind that.

Jim Byrd, a North Carolina loan officer who has suffered a near death experience explores along with his new found love Annie, the realm we all suspect or want to find and does so with compassion, passion and with a realist’s view of what mechanism might lead us to its discovery.

Welcome Tom and thanks so much for joining us today.

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