Girls Just Want to Have Fun

           At an Authors' Panel of Bronx Writers held at the fabulous Bronx Center of the New York Public Library

           At an Authors' Panel of Bronx Writers held at the fabulous Bronx Center of the New York Public Library

Hello Guys and Gals!  

It was a week to celebrate! For starters it was the 2nd Anniversary of the publication of Veronica’s Grave. These past three years, including that leading up to publication, have been an amazing learning experience with a steep learning curve. Every bit as difficult as, say, earning a doctoral degree. So, you want to write a book? As the late Joan Rivers would say: Can we talk?

This opportunity came my way thanks to Brooke Warner, the publisher of She Writes Press, who has worked tirelessly for years to create more openings for women writers. In recognition of her efforts, in 2017 the Book Industry Study Group Annual Industry Awards named her ‘innovator of the year,’ an award given 'to a company or individual who boldly reimagines what publishing is and can be.' We are so proud of her and so grateful. And we, her carefully curated roster of authors, have won a stunning number of literary prizes. It's a win-win.

A Bookish Week ...

And how better to celebrate the anniversary than with two of of my talented She Writes Press ‘sisters,’ both of whom happened to be in New York last week. Jetting in from Carmel, California was Diana Y. Paul (far left, above) the author of the award-winning Things Unsaid, a 'highly charged family saga of characters fighting for space to breathe' that's ranked #2 in the 'Top 14 Books about Families Crazier Than Yours.'

And from the Hamptons came Sande Berger (center, left), the author of the much-loved award-winning novel, The Sweetness, a tale of two Jewish girls, cousins, living on separate continents during World War 2, whose strikingly different lives ultimately converge. As you can see from the smiling faces above, girls just want to have fun.

And where better to catch up mid-town than at La Goulue, which I told you about a few weeks ago. Above is a beautifully organized Salade Niçoise and what had been the special that day, a luscious salmon over a bed of vegetables. Dee-lisch. To extend the day and the good cheer, we later joined a large crowd that turned out for a talk, book signing, and a Q & A at the 92nd Street Y to mark the publication of Meg Wolitzer's (far right, above)  latest novel The Female Persuasion and Curtis Sittendfeld's (center, right) collection of stories You Think It, I'll Say It. Meg shared the good news that evening that the book, which went to No. 1 or 2 last week in the New York Times, is being made into a movie. Woo!

A Relaxing Saturday...

Should you be sightseeing in the downtown area, perhaps visiting the 9-11 Memorial and Museum, walk over to the Hudson River and see Le District, the French food hall set in Battery Park City's Brookfield Place. I had not been to that part of town in some time and what struck me is how many young people are living in the downtown area and how remarkably residential Battery Park feels, thanks to its water views and biking trails.

Some say Le District is the French answer to Eataly, the Italian food halls. A new Eataly recently opened here on Liberty Street in the Financial District. We lunched that day at the brasserie Beaubourg, snagging a table on the terrace and under an awning, where all the neighbors were having a good time. For an easy-going day and a casual lunch by the river, when you want to have fun, Le District with all of its food shops and Beaubourg are worth the trip.

Happy Mother's Day!

Mother's Day in Australia and the US is Sunday, May 13, in the UK it's Sunday 31 March, and the French will celebrate 'la fête des mères' on Sunday, May 27.  It's your day, mama!  Pamper yourself, and if you're fortunate to have your mother in your life, pamper her!

On Sunday I will remember Veronica, who gave her life so that I wouldn't go though life without a brother or sister; my grandmother who stepped in and took over where Veronica left off; and Miss Marge who finished the job of raising Barbara.

That's all for today mes amis. But before  I go, let me ask you a question: What's your idea of having fun? What do you like to do in your spare time? What would you like to do when you come to New York? Drop me a line, I'd love to hear. Hope to see you back next week, when I'll have the coffee ready and we can chat. Until then, may life be good to you. À bientôt...