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April 19, Event Recaps

Hi again! We have been very busy at the store this month!

Everyone has been coming in and filling up their baskets for lunch. In addition to general store busyness, we have also been busy with author visits and other events. Our Teen Open Mic Night for Poetry month was sparsely attended but had strong presenters. Younger poets have dropped off some of their work for display--we have their poems up above the chapter books--and to be entered into our Poetry Month Raffle. 

And then we have our School Visits: Lowey Bundy Sichol, author of From an Idea to Disney and From an Idea to Nike, visited three schools in two days, giving dynamic energetic presentations on MBA level topics at each. She spoke to students at Derby Academy, Foster Elementary School, and Hatherly School. This past Wednesday, on April 17, Ali Benjamin, author of The Thing About Jellyfish and The Next Great Paulie Fink, spoke at Thayer Academy. There, she presented five stories that all came together into how she came to write The Next Great Paulie Fink.  Also last week was the book launch for Hull resident Jacqueline Veissid's Ruby's Sword which was spectacularly well attended.

We've also been hard at work on school bookfairs. This week, Inly students had the opportunity to purchase books, a portion of the proceeds will go to the school library, and next week Deer Hill will do the same. Then we'll have a week off before the next three happen!

Coffee with the Authors

Great snacks!

Mostly we've been busy with our annual signature spring Coffee with the Authors. This year we were lucky enough to have Diane Les Becquets, author of The Last Woman in the Forest and Breaking Wild; David R. Gillham, author of Annelies and City of Women, and Meredith May, author of The Honey Bus, as our guests. Unfortunately, Meredith was unable to join us due to inclement weather in Minnesota, prohibiting her from completing the Massachusetts leg of her tour. Fresh Feast catered, bringing delicious quiche and pastries as always and Seabird Coffee supplied the coffee. Both are also local businesses, allowing us to make this truly a community event. We had wonderful weather that day with the sun reflecting off the water outside the Lightkeepers' House. 

Meredith was kind enough to send some suggested passages to read and events manager Totsie introduced her book. Meredith, a fifth generation beekeeper, has written an emotional memoir about her childhood and the stability and life lessons her grandfather imparted to her through beekeeping and metaphors of bee life. Store Owner Kathy calls it "an unforgettable read with characters that will pull at all of your emotions. I loved the authentic combination of an innocent child's voice and the wisdom of her grandfather's perspective. This story proves that a child needs just "one" to help get by in life. Meredith May has written a beautiful book about how nature and the bees can provide solace and hope when least expected."

David spoke next about his new novel, Annelies, which imagines the life Anne Frank might have lived had she survived the Holocaust. With clear devotion to Anne Frank's legacy, David has created an adult Anne who has finally had a chance to write. He spoke honestly about his inspiration. Having first read Anne Frank's diary in his twenties, he has seen her as almost a muse since then. This novel was his attempt to offer her the life she never got to live. Audience members asked him about the challenge of writing about Anne when her name carries such cultural weight. Other members of the audience who had already read the book spoke of David's dedication to Anne's legacy. 

Diane presented her book last. Marketed partially as a thriller, The Last Woman in the Forest follows a woman in her mid twenties who following her boyfriend's death begins to suspect he might've been a notorious serial killer. With the assistance of a retired forensic profiler, she begins her search for closure. Diane has a masterful ability to write suspense and nature. She read a passage in which Nick, the retired profiler who suffers from a terminal brain cancer, reflects on his life, his wife, his work, and the victims. This touching scene persuaded many audience members to give the book a try, even though they expressed doubt at a thriller. I personally loved the book, she develops her characters with such skill. And if your book club happens to choose it, Diane has downloadable questions on her website. 

Their presentations were followed by a question and answer section which let the audience engage with the authors. Both Diane and David spoke about their writing processes, their inspirations, and their research. Attendees then had an opportunity to have their books signed and speak to the authors briefly. 

I hope that if you have never been to one of our Coffees, that this entices you and you will consider attending our Fall Coffee in October or one of our Summer Suppers. And now we're back to work getting ready for the next events. 


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