Thursday, October 30, 2014

Two Author Events: Gail Sheehy and Dan Jones

I have attended two author events at the public library in the past couple of weeks. I love going to these well-attended affairs. Even though I don't always buy or even read the visiting author's book, just seeing and hearing them is a treat.

Gail Sheehy

Journalist Gail Sheehy was on tour with her memoir Daring: My Passages. She is the author of a book that I had on my shelves through many of my own passages but never read and finally gave away. Passages: Predictable Crises of Adult Life was originally published in 1984 and took a look at the growing pains of adults. Perhaps now would be a better time to read the book so I could just acknowledge, "Been there. Done that."

In Daring, Sheehy, now in her seventies, looks at her career as a journalist for New York magazine and Vanity Fair. She brought along a slide show with photos of her on assignment; of her husband and editor, Clay Felker; and of her with all sorts of the high-profile folks she has interviewed over time.

She has certainly led an eventful life, but I just couldn't warm up to her.

Dan Jones

On Monday night, I heard British journalist and historian Dan Jones speak. His latest book, The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses and the Rise of the Tudors continues the saga of his 2012 book The Plantagenets: The Kings Who Made England. 

He attended the University of Cambridge and is still a bit unsure why he chose to study the Middle Ages. But, as he said, "sometimes you fall in love with a period of history and you just can't leave it alone."

Besides having his feet planted in those centuries of long ago, he writes about sport - rugby, football, and yes, cricket - and attendant personalities for the London Evening Standard.

Mr. Jones was very witty (and handsome) and I learned a great deal about the Middle Ages in Great Britain. Many bloody battles were fought and many men were named Edward, Richard, or Henry. I found it difficult to keep up with all of it, but I enjoyed his presentation.


  1. Ah, a witty and and handsome weakness.

    I read Passages when I was in my 30s, and found it helpful in understanding what was happening in my life. I still have my copy, in fact. (Now that I'm--ahem--older, perhaps I should read the section pertaining to my current age.) However, sometimes our life experiences and outlooks are just too different for us to really "click" with someone. That's OK. We usually find our people--and I consider you to be one of mine :) .

    1. Aw, thanks, Kathy. I, too, think we 'click' very nicely! I agree that it might be entertaining to see how I am doing in whatever 'passage' Ms. Sheehy paints of my age. Although, on second thought, I might just live it instead of read about it.

      And, yes, I will take a handsome, witty Brit any day. Aren't we lucky that there are so many!