When is a writer like a baseball player?
I get a feeling of pride when I see an author that I admire covered in some major, or even minor, news source. I think, "I know them." Do I? There is something in the way that we connect with writers through their work that fascinates me. The only other time I feel that is when I watch my favorite baseball team, the Philadelphia Phillies. When I watch those white and red pinstripe uniforms run out onto the green grass of the ball field I feel it. But why? What I have I done to forge this bond? Simple. I show up through thick and thin. I cheer for my team no matter the outcome.
Likewise if you've impressed me once I'm in it for life. I will buy everything you put out. I will seek to continue this eternal conversation that we're enjoying. There's no need to know what the book is even about sometimes. If I see an author's name that I love the book immediately goes on my to be read list. I don't feel that way with other artists. There's not a movie star that will send me to the theater no matter the plot. There's no TV series that wins me over with a great cast. But an author, I pledge my loyalty. And to my baseball team too.
A few writers on that list that I admire so very much are Jessie Burton, Nadia Hashimi, Rainbow Rowell, and Zadie Smith. These great ladies could write about anything and I am here for those books. Actually there are some new books arriving from some of them very soon! See the titles I've read so far of these greats highlighted in green. When will I make it to all green on this page? Guess we'll just have to wait and see...
Jessie Burton wrote an outstanding first novel, The Miniaturist, about Amsterdam in the late 1600s. It was so charming and unexpected. Because of that strong start I am really looking forward to her forthcoming second novel, The Muse. It is the story of two women, one in Spain, 1936 and one in England, 1967 and the way their lives intertwine.
I took home The Pearl That Broke Its Shell but didn't get a chance to read it. So, when Nadia Hashimi's second novel, When the Moon is Low, came through the bookstore I took it home with me determined to finally read this author that always caught my eye. I brought it down to the beach with me one lovely summer day, and it was such an great reading experience. I was clutching my chest throughout the harrowing tale of a mother and her children. Hashimi has a new book, The House Without Windows, coming in August of 2016 that is on my shelf now and I won't miss the opportunity to read her ever again.
Rainbow Rowell writes some of my favorite characters of all time. Georgie McCool of Landline is so familiar and honest. And, of course, Eleanor while not so familiar to my own experience was a character that I wanted to know in real life. She was someone I had more questions for and wanted more information on her life before and after. And let's face it, all of Rowell's love interests are total babes. Funny enough I've never read her first novel nor her most recent work. Must remedy that soon.
When I read On Beauty in college it was like my brain was rewired. I was tuned into women writers like I never had been before. She cracked open my ideas that women wrote softly and quietly. She writes with force and dignity. She has a new novel, Swing Time, coming in the fall. I could honestly care less what it's about simply because it's new Zadie Smith and that is all that matters.
I went to my first baseball game of the 2016 season on Saturday, April 9 at Citifield to see the Phils take on the Mets. It was freezing but we pulled it out to win our first game this season. Even though we have a largely new team this year the sight of that logo on their caps was enough to fill me with that same sense of loyalty I feel each season.