I have a terrible admission to make: I’ve never read a book by Michael Chabon. What is wrong with me? I know he’s a good writer, and I NOW know he’s a nice person, so what is my problem? I need to fix this asap, so I’m on the hunt for a good Chabon book.

How do I know he’s a nice person? I’m so glad you asked! This past week he visited the University of Calgary as part of the Distinguished Writers Program, and I was invited to an (exclusive!) reception before his keynote event where we got to meet him in person and eat delicious free food. I made the rookie mistake of talking to too many people and missing the majority of the tasty noms, so of course I was starving for the second half the night. But on the bright side I did get a chance to chat with Chabon, and our conversation went something like this:

Me: (nervously approaching Chabon) Hi, I’m Anne Logan, President of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta.

Chabon: (graciously pretending like he knows what the WGA is) Hi, it’s a pleasure to meet you.

Me: Thank you so much for visiting us, it’s an honour to have you here in Calgary. Would you mind if I took a photo with you? I have a book blog and I’d love to post about this.

Chabon: Of course, but it has to be a selfie.

The Chabon selfie
The Chabon selfie

Me: (trying desperately to make eye contact with the photographer) Oh really? Because my phone is pretty old, it’s from 2011 and it doesn’t always work very well, so maybe a picture from the event photographer would be better?

Chabon: Did they even make cellphones back then?

Me: Um…yes?

Chabon: No, let’s do a selfie, I’ll show you how

Me: Uh ok

(Chabon then maneuvers us into a suitable selfie position, I ask him if I have to flip the phone around, he laughs at me and pushes the button on the screen that does this instead. Somewhere back at home, my husband probably cringes as he can sense that I’m embarrassing myself out in public somewhere at that very moment. Yes, I’m a blogger who doesn’t understand technology very well, and I doubt I’m the only one!).

Me: Perfect, thanks very much!

Chabon: No problem, it was fun!

(Chabon is then distracted by another admirer, and I quickly email myself the photo before my phone inevitably dies or freezes).

Back to my conundrum-which of Chabon’s books should I start with?

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