Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Chicago Author Month: Melanie Benjamin as a Celebrity Bookseller

As part of our month long celebration of Chicago area authors, we extended a unique invitation to one of our favorite local authors, Melanie Benjamin. We thought it would be fun if she came to The Bookstore as a Celebrity Bookseller, in order to recommend some of her favorite books to our customers. Melanie gracefully accepted our invitation, even if she is deep into the proofing process of her next book (The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb, due to be released in July 2011).

As many of our customers and local book clubs know, Melanie has always been a big reader. At book club visits, she is often asked to share her favorite reads, and has even thought about putting together a list of book recommendations to hand out. In the meantime, here is the list of books we gathered for Melanie's own Celebrity Bookseller Picks:

March by E. L. Doctorow (Melanie's favorite historical fiction)
Homer & Langley by E.L. Doctorow
Howards End by E. M. Forster (turn of the century British literature)
Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier (Melanie: "so creative")
Mrs. Kimble by Jennifer Haigh (fiction: the three wives of Mr. Kimball)
Later, at the Bar by Rebecca Barry (similar to Olive Kitteridge)

On Melanie's recommendation alone, I brought home a copy of Later, at the Bar. I love it when I get an enthusiastic recommendation for a book that's completely new to me. Customers enjoyed talking to Melanie, and quite a few even picked up a copy of Melanie's current book, Alice I Have Been.

We even had a fun moment of bookstore serendipity when a customer identified herself as Brigid Pasulka's mother-in-law, and I was thrilled to be able to tell her, "I love Brigid's book - I just blogged about it as a part of Chicago Writers Month!" (A Long, Long Time Ago & Essentially True, October 13, 2010 post)

Bookstores are like that. They bring good people and good books together. A special thanks to Melanie for sparing some of her time as a busy writer to come hang out with us at The Bookstore!

Pictured above is the paperback cover of Alice I Have Been, which will be released on December 21st. Although I loved the cover in hardcover, I love the new paperback cover in a whole different way. The Bookstore is hosting a reception for Melanie after the holidays on Thursday, January 27th at 7pm. Mark your 2011 calendars now!


  1. I <3 the paperback cover of Melanie's book!

  2. I like the paperback cover better... just something about it.


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