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.
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?
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?
This is awesome! I had a similar nervous experience when I met Tony Kushner, but he was awesome about it. I loved “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay”, so that’s my Chabon recommendation.
good to know! I’ll add it to my TBR list 🙂
That’s awesome Anne! I’m so proud of you!
Why thank you Auntie Coll 🙂
Ahhhhh i love this! The joy in the picture! He’s not bad either 😶 I haven’t read him, but this Booktuber is the biggest Chabon fan i know and can probably provide some guidance: https://www.youtube.com/shared?ci=NofLfrCireU
thank you for the recommendation! Haha you can tell when someone’s happy, based on how much of their throat you can see in their smile 🙂
I’ve never read him before but after reading your list and giggling, I’m going to check him out!!
you and me both will be discovering his writing for the first time!
I just finished Moonglow and recommend it!
So many people loved Moonglow-perhaps that should be my first?
You know, I don’t think it should be your first. Kavalier and Clay was my first but Yiddish Policeman’s Union was my favorite.
I appreciate the advice!
Haha! I love this! Good for you for getting the picture. I think you’re conversation sounds like it went pretty smoothly. And, you may not have known how to take the picture, but you *did* know how to e-mail it yourself! Yay! That’s the part I wouldn’t have known how to do. I really think we could be friends. You talk to the writers, I’ll take the pictures, and you e-mail them! (Hmm… 2 jobs for you and only one for me. I know – I’ll also gather up all the food while you talk to everyone!)
I haven’t read Chabon, so have no recommendations. All I know is that I once tried to read Kavalier and Clay, but couldn’t get into it. I don’t think I got further than the first two chapters, though, so that probably doesn’t count. Lately I’ve been hearing good things about Moonglow…
Ok that sounds like a good plan, we can hit up all the book readings and get some good content for blog posts out of it. If only we didn’t live on opposite sides of the country…sigh.
Moonglow seems to be an overwhelming favourite with people!
This is such a great author meeting story! I love it! Sounds like you had a great night.
is this a good story? hahah
Totally! This is one you’ll never forget for sure. 🙂
Ha! Great story! I don’t even have a cellphone, so you seem quite a tech-head to me! 😉 I loved Telegraph Avenue, but wasn’t so taken with The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay…
I always knew I liked you, but knowing you don’t have a cellphone means we are soul mates!
This is the best! The photo turned out great! You’re not alone – I’ve never read any of his work either. If you end up starting somewhere, let me know how it goes. Now I’m curious!
oh don’t worry, a book review will definitely accompany a chabon read for sure!
Try starting with Kavalier and Clay. Its a terrific book quite apart from the quite unexpected fantasy section about a librarian that ended up in one of my posts
ok that’s interesting, because so many people have said they don’t like that one! Have you read Moonglow?
I’ve read a few by Chabon and really enjoyed them all. I recommend The Adventures of Kavalier & Clay or The Yiddish Policeman’s Union to start. His non-fiction book Maps and Legends is also really good if you’re at all interested in the process of writing.
Oohhh Maps and Legends sounds like it could help me, although I don’t consider myself a writer, I wouldn’t mind getting better at blogging 🙂
That’s very funny. At least you didn’t have to pretend you read some of his books. Try The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Clay.
I would never lie to an author about that-in fact I find they like to hear about it when people haven’t read them
Well, sure. I guess I meant more that you didn’t have to admit never having read him. But if that doesn’t bother you, then it wouldn’t have been embarrassing?
yes I guess not, although maybe he could have been a big jerk about it, and acted offended that I haven’t read his books either-I suppose it’s a toss up. Although for the record, he didn’t seem like that kind of author 🙂
Oh, I see Naomi says not. Well, in that case, maybe Wonder Boys would be a good choice. Or Moonglow, his latest, is really interesting.
What an adorable post. Great picture, great admission. You are not alone. I’d love it if you’d join our FB group called Networking Bloggers. We are there to help each other through blogging issues. 🙂 I published one of your reviews last October. I’m updating it to promote it on social media. I’d like a picture of you to add to your bio section.
how do I join?
Easy peasy, just go to networking bloggers on FB and either click the join button or permission to join. I think it’s still a public group. Maria was talking about closing it, but either way, I’ll click you in. I hope you don’t mind that I added your picture to the bio section of the post you wrote for me. I cropped Michael out of it a little bit.
hmmm what is the offical title of the group? There are a bunch of similar sounding groups on fb so its not coming up right away
This should help! Thanks for being persistent. https://www.facebook.com/groups/networkingbloggers/