If you’ve read any of Isabel Allende‘s memoirs, you know that no detail about her or her family’s lives is off-limits. You can also image that Allende feels very comfortable involving herself with all details of her family members’ personal situations.
In this excerpt from The Sum of Our Days Allende reads from the chapter “Searching for a Bride.” She tells the hilarious tale of her quest to find a wife for her son Nico after his divorce.
Spoiler alert: Mother knows best!
If you enjoyed this Best of Authors On Tour podcast, please listen to the entire Isabel Allende podcast.
This podcast was originally recorded on April 10, 2008.
John Hodgman was once a literary agent in New York City. He is now a self-proclaimed minor TV celebrity, most famous for his role as PC in Apple’s “Get a Mac” advertising campaign and his regular appearances as the “resident expert” on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
During the time in between, he paid a visit to the Tattered Cover book store in Denver to discuss his book of made-up facts, The Areas of My Expertise, along with his personal troubador, Jonathan Coulton.
Hodgman and Coulton are nothing if not obsessed with depression-era hobos, as you’ll hear in this podcast. They sing about hobo nickels, lint-knitting, the hobos’ failed attempt at a U.S. Government takeover, and much, much more.
If you enjoyed this Best of Authors On Tour podcast, please listen to the entire John Hodgman podcast, where, among other things, he conducts the entire audience Q&A session via walkie talkie.
This podcast was originally recorded on February 17, 2006.
Before Marley & Me was a huge Hollywood hit — and merely an internationally best-selling book — author John Grogan paid a visit to the Tattered Cover book store in Denver to look back on life with Marley, the “world’s worst dog.”
The book is full of side-splittingly familiar stories that most dog owners can, unfortunately, relate to. The passage from Marley & Me that Grogan chose to read, though, recounts an experience few of us have had to endure: watching our dog disrupt a day of shooting on a movie set.
Many of us assume that animals appearing in film are specially trained to “act,” but as you’ll hear in this podcast, sometimes low-budget movies cast low-budget pets and are forced to live with the consequences!
This podcast was originally recorded on March 20, 2006. You can also listen to the uncut John Grogan: Marley & Me Podcast.
When Wally Lamb packed the Tattered Cover book store in Highlands Ranch, CO in late 2008, many of the people in attendance were fans of Lamb’s first two novels, She’s Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True, both Oprah’s Book Club selections. The fact that his new novel, The Hour I First Believed, dealt with the 1999 tragedy at Columbine High School also hit close to home for the crowd in this south Denver suburb.
Lamb started this event, however, by reading a majority of his essay Braided Cords, a hilarious look back at his early life and career. Lamb starts by introducing us to his older sisters and girl cousins who forced young Wally to play such games as “Death Drums” and “Kingy Boy” (you’ll have to listen to understand!). He also takes us though his college years, his post-collegiate teaching career, and then describes the life-changing call he received from Oprah Winfrey, telling him that She’s Come Undone was chosen as an official selection for Oprah’s Book Club.
This reading of Braided Cords was a great way to start the evening that continued with a riveting reading from I Know This Much Is True.
This podcast was originally recorded on December 1, 2008. You can read the entirety of Wally Lamb’s Braided Cords essay by clicking here.
Please also listen to the uncut Wally Lamb Podcast.
Losing those closest to us can be a powerfully tragic and reflective event. In those times, even talking about our deepest feelings can be difficult, a fact that makes Joan Didion‘s The Year of Magical Thinking an especially remarkable book.
Several days before Christmas 2003, John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion saw their only daughter, Quintana, fall ill with what seemed at first flu, then pneumonia, then complete septic shock. She was put into an induced coma and placed on life support. Days later–the night before New Year’s Eve–the Dunnes were just sitting down to dinner after visiting the hospital when John Gregory Dunne suffered a massive and fatal coronary. In a second, this close, symbiotic partnership of forty years was over. Four weeks later, their daughter pulled through. Two months after that, arriving at LAX, she collapsed and underwent six hours of brain surgery at UCLA Medical Center to relieve a massive hematoma (she later dies).
This powerful book is Didion’s attempt to make sense of the “weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea I ever had about death, about illness . . . about marriage and children and memory . . . about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself.”
This podcast features Didion reading an excerpt from The Year of Magical Thinking, a section of the book that details her thoughts and experiences in the day following her husband’s passing.
This podcast was originally recorded on November 7, 2005. The audio for this podcast was furnished courtesy of KGNU radio in Boulder which also broadcast the event. For more, please listen to the entire Joan Didion podcast, which includes an interview with author, friend and radio host, Sara Davidson.
In honor of Frank McCourt, who passed away this past weekend, we are replaying this classic podcast, recorded when he was on tour for Teacher Man.
McCourt became an unlikey star when, at the age of sixty-six, he burst onto the literary scene with Angela’s Ashes, the Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir of his childhood in Limerick, Ireland. Teacher Man, his third book, recounted McCourt’s thirty-year teaching career in the New York public schools.
On behalf of everyone at Authors On Tour – Live, Frank McCourt will truly be missed, but his words and passion will live on forever.
This podcast was originally recorded on January 30, 2006. If you’d also like to hear Q&A from the Tattered Cover audience, you can listen to the entire Frank McCourt Podcast.
It always gives us great pleasure to see Authors On Tour alumni reach higher peaks.
Al Franken has gone from entertaining us on Saturday Night Live to informing us as a liberal radio talk-show host. Now, after a eight-month legal battle, Franken is the junior Senator from the state of Minnesota.
Back in November of 2005, Franken spoke at the Tattered Cover book store in Denver. In his book The Truth (with Jokes), he hinted at a possible run for the Senate and spoke of what he would do if elected. This excerpt, however, shows Franken’s more sensitive side (although not quite in Stuart Smalley territory!).
Reading form the chapter “Al Franken Talks About God,” he looks back at the last days of his father. He prefaces the reading by admitting he cries at “sappy McDonald’s commercials,” and he certainly showed his emotions during this powerful reading.
This podcast was originally recorded on November 16, 2005. Listen to the entire Al Franken Podcast.
While on book tour for When You Are Engulfed in Flames, David Sedaris read to a standing room-only crowd at the Tattered Cover book store in Lower Downtown Denver.
This story from the book, Crybaby, recounts Sedaris’s experience with a publicly mourning seatmate on a flight from New York City to Paris. Listen in as Sedaris electrifies the Tattered Cover crowd.
This podcast was originally recorded on June 22, 2008. Listen to the entire David Sedaris Podcast.