PEN Center USA Book Club: Dietland

If you’re in Los Angeles this Wednesday night, come out to the PEN Center USA Book Club.  I’m hosting, and the selection is Dietland by Sarai Walker. I’ve been rereading the book in preparation for the club and I’m finding it just as timely and provocative as the first time I read it, back when I blurbed it in 2014. I believe Sarai will be there, too — she’s in town working on the television adaptation of the book.

“It felt good to say the word fat.”

PEN Center USA and The Edison look forward to seeing you at our April Book Club to discuss Dietland by Sarai Walker.

Hosted by Gabrielle Zevin and co-sponsored by Women Who Submit.

Specialty cocktails will be offered all night. Happy hour prices available for those who come early.

“Fight Club meets Margaret Atwood”—Bustle

“Dietland resonated with the part of me that wants, just once, to deck a street harasser…Which is to say, sometimes I forget I am angry, but I am. Dietland is a complicated, thoughtful and powerful expression of that same anger.”—Annalisa Quinn, NPR

*Members of The Edison Book Club receive a 15% discount when purchasing the current book club title at Skylight Books.

For more information, email

Wednesday, April 5, 2017
6 PM – 8 PM
Happy Hour & Book Discussion

The Edison
108 W 2nd St, #101
Los Angeles, CA 90121

Win’s Acronym & a Few Notes on My Book Tour

I’ve been on book tour for The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry and indeed, I’m still on book tour! Come see me at an event if you have an evening.

Many amazing things have happened to me on this book tour, and when I have a moment to catch my breath, I plan to write about a few of them. I think of the many babies in baskets I have encountered (and the one cat in a basket), the spectacular islands of Washington, the Fikry-reading Sasquatch in Anacortes, etc., etc. I have bought more books than I will be able to read in my lifetime, been stuffed with pie, lefse, cupcakes, Orca-shaped cookies, and love, seen numerous friends, chatted with booksellers of every taste and constitution (quite a few A.J. Fikrys, as is probably to be expected), met readers ranging in age from toddlers to 80+,  and yes, visited twenty or thirty bookstores, each delightful in her own way. (I do not know that I will ever tire of visiting a new bookstore.) And the tour is not quite half finished!

However, the reason I write you tonight is because of an event I did earlier this week at Books Inc. in Alameda, CA. A reader handed me a letter along with a bar of admirably dark chocolate. The letter concerns the Anya Balanchine books, and it answers a question that many of you have been asking me for months (and that I have promised to answer for months): namely, what DOES Win’s acronym mean in In the Age of Love and Chocolate? She was VERY close — all but three words. My corrections are in black ink. 

Do you have a playlist for Memoirs?

Yes, but doesn’t it seem so tired to do that? What book doesn’t have a playlist? Oh, all right, if you insist…

Here’s one I made in 2007 for an interview. The idea behind this mix is that it’s one Naomi created on a college road trip when she was in the mood to reflect about that wacky year in high school where she dated three boys and had amnesia.

Part the First: Songs for Will
“Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels) – Arcade Fire
“Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots” – The Flaming Lips
“A Certain Romance” – Arctic Monkeys

Part the Second: Songs for James
“First Day of My Life” – Bright Eyes
“Vindicated” – Dashboard Confessional
“Angeles” – Elliot Smith
“World Spins Madly On” – The Weepies

Part the Third: Songs for Ace
“Wigwam” – Bob Dylan
“Ripchord” – Rilo Kiley
“Better Man” – Pearl Jam

Part the Fourth: Songs for Myself
“Foux du Fa Fa” – Flight of the Conchords (in honor of Naomi’s French class)
“Life on Mars?” – David Bowie (“Changes” can be substituted here.)
“1979” – Smashing Pumpkins
“The Heart of the Matter” – India.Arie
“That’s the Story of My Life” – The Velvet Underground
“Your Ex-Lover is Dead” – Stars

And here’s a semi-complete list of songs referenced in the book:

Will’s 1st Mix
“Fight Test” The Flaming Lips
“To Whom It May Concern” by John Wesley Harding
“Song I Wrote Myself in the Future” by John Wesley Harding

In Naomi’s Biology Class
“Vertigo” by the Philip Glass Ensemble (Or something like)

At the Planetarium
“Learning to Fly” by Pink Floyd

Will’s Movie for Naomi
“Story of My Life” by the Velvet Underground

Songs for Visiting Naomi’s Crazy Boyfriend in Albany
“Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley
“Fly” by Nick Drake
“Angeles” by Elliot Smith

Opera on the Beach in Los Angeles
Maybe something from Tosca?

The Yearbook Song
“I Will” by The Beatles and the entire White Album

Will’s Mix for Naomi’s Art Show
“Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Part I” The Flaming Lips

(Alternative) Songs for a High School Graduation
“Higher Ground” by Stevie Wonder or the Red Hot Chili Peppers
“Bittersweet Symphony” by the Verve
“My Back Pages” by Bob Dylan
“Friends Forever” by Vitamin C
“Ghost World” by Aimee Mann
“At Last” by Etta James
“Teenage Spaceship” by Smog
“Baba O’Riley” by the Who
“Race for the Prize” by the Flaming Lips
“Praise You” by Fatboy Slim
“Road to Joy” by Bright Eyes
“I’m So Tired” by The Beatles
“Me & Julio Down by the Schoolyard” and “The Only Living Boy in New York City” by Simon and Garfunkle

The song that has the erratic tempo for marching
“Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen

The song by Bob Marley
“Three Little Birds” or “Redemption Song”

The song that may have been used in a Special Olympics commercial
“The Greatest Love of All” by Whitney Houston or “One Moment in Time” also by Whitney Houston