Don’t sleep on your local bookstore for author events and book signings! I attended two memorable events last month through bookstores, big and small.
Earlier this week, I went to the first in-person event since Covid at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square…and y’all, it was a winner! The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon was there to celebrate the release of the latest installment in his children’s book series, Nana Loves You More. He brought along his guitar and sang a little ditty he wrote for the occasion called New York is Back, before reading his book (of which we all received a pre-signed copy) aloud to the crowd of all ages.
Then, Jimmy turned it over to the in-person and livestream audience for questions. We got everything from cheap date advice (a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge) to his current favorite Taylor Swift song (The Last Great American Dynasty). He also gave some advice to an aspiring children’s book author that I really feel like we can all put to good use — Try everything. If you need to hear the message in musical form, might I suggest the bop of the same name by Shakira from the Disney film Zootopia (which also happens to star Jason Bateman as the voice of Nick the fox). Jimmy also collected a number of gifts from the group, including the most precious finger puppets handmade to look just like the book’s characters.
I know this book is intended for young children, but the message tugs at your heartstrings no matter how old you are — “You’ll always love Nana, but Nana loves you more.” As Jimmy said, substitute whatever you call your grandmother for “Nana” and the sentiment remains. My Graham was my dearest friend and knew about pretty much everything that happened and everyone who was important in my life…Jimmy’s rendition made me tear up thinking of her. Graham also loved celebrity news and gossip, and I know she would’ve adored hearing stories from all of my NYC adventures.
You can get a copy of Jimmy’s new book here.
I’m not sure why children’s books are so hot among late night talk show hosts, but I’m here for it. So when I got an email from the Harvard Book Store (whose email list I joined when I visited the campus for Jason Bateman’s Man of the Year event) announcing a virtual event to celebrate the release of Late Night host Seth Meyers’ first children’s book, say no more.
Not only did my ticket purchase include a signed copy of I’m Not Scared, You’re Scared, I got to bear witness to Seth being interviewed by legendary author Judy Blume. Seeing these two together on my screen was like hitting the author jackpot for me. I was head over heels for Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Superfudge growing up, I could quote lines like my life depended on it.
Seth’s book also sends children (and any adult who chooses to read it) an important message about facing your fears. A very scared bear turns over a brave new leaf when his one rabbit friend is in danger. You are capable of so much more than you think you are. Imagine hearing that message every night at bedtime as a child, love that idea so much.
The online event was organized through a partnership with bookstores across the country. I learned during the live stream that the bookstore in Key West that took part in the event was founded by Judy and her husband George Cooper. How cool is that??
You can get a copy of Seth’s book here.
With so many events being forced to turn to online options during Covid, it seems like some of that has continued even now that in-person events have begun to come back. While it’s obviously not the exact same experience, it definitely opens up so many new opportunities to those who either don’t have as many local choices or just prefer to stay in the comfort of their own home.
Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming events the next time you’re shopping online or in-person at your favorite bookstore. I’ll get your started, Barnes & Noble is hosting a couple of exciting virtual events in the coming months:
• Books, Love and Romance with bestselling authors Jasmine Guillory and Emily Henry on May 3, when the two novelists will be discussing their latest projects and more with moderator Entertainment Weekly romance columnist Maureen Lenker.
• Katie Cotugno celebrates Birds of California with Taylor Jenkins Reid on May 24, when Katie will discuss her romantic comedy, set in a #metoo Hollywood, with Taylor, author of Daisy Jones and the Six, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (which, as was recently announced, is being made into a Netflix movie) and the upcoming Carrie Soto is Back.