Sunday, November 1, 2009

Author Love-a-Thon #1- Jodi Picoult

Author Love-a-Thon #1

Jodi Picoult

Welcome to my very first Author Love-a-Thon. I came up with this idea to highlight some of my favorite authors whose work I love as a whole. Some authors will be well known to you, some may not. I like giving attention to authors I think deserve it and if my little ol' blog can do that, then I say "AWESOME!"

Why I love Jodi Picoult by Red Headed Book Child

My love for Picoult's novels goes back a long time, a good ten years. I discovered her on a whim. I was working at a bookstore in Boston, where I began my book career, and I needed a book for my train ride home. I lived just a few miles outside of downtown Boston but on a train it took almost 45 minutes. You see, I lived right between Boston College and Boston University. This meant a helluva lot of stops! So on this particular day I was without a book (GASP!). I quickly spun around the Trade paperback table and saw The Pact. Suicide pact between two teens? Families torn apart? Sounds like drama times ten, I'm in!

From that book, I was hooked. At this time, she was not any where near being the NYT bestselling author she is now. Through the years I kept track of her and waited for her books to come out even though each bookstore I worked for after that only received a few copies in.

It was at the time the Salem Falls came out that I started to pay attention to her book signings. She was developing a bit of a book club following and did regular events now. When she came to my area, she did her book signings at a small independent bookstore in one of the neighboring suburbs. I became a regular every year for about three years for these signings. During these three years I was really trying on my end to bring more attention to her at my bookstore. I contacted the right people and whispered in their ears over and over again about how great Picoult was and what happened?
She did a drop by signing at my own bookstore just for ME! I bought her flowers and made an awesome display and got my entire staff jazzed and ready for her. She was gracious and funny and signed everything we had. We went on to sell her books like crazy. She also gave me a my very own copy of My Sister's Keeper, personalized.
I was over the moon!

From that moment on, the "higher ups" at my bookstore took notice of my passion for Picoult and my ability to sell and recommend her that I then got my very own signing at my very own bookstore. Okay, in real years it was like over a year but it DID happen. She was already doing multiple events in the area and her publisher made us promise we could get alteast 100 people. Pleeeease! 250 showed up!

Another year later, we got another signing.(the picture above is from that signing; my mom, me and Jodi) By this time she was huge. Every book was a bestseller...really from
My Sister's Keeper on, it was hard to not know who
Jodi Picoult was.

I picked Jodi Picoult for my first Author Love-a-Thon because she represents to me the power of discovery. I came across a rather unknown author at the time and watched her grow to become very successful. I feel I did my part in getting my community of book lovers to read her. In my copy of My Sister's Keeper she gave to me she wrote "Thank you for making the whole of Minnesota sit up and take notice of my books"
Her novels speak for themselves. She is an amazing storyteller. Without me, I'm sure she would have done just fine (wink)but when you have worked in bookstore as long as I have you just wish for that perfect book, that perfect recommendation that will fit with the right person. And with Jodi, I was able to fit her with many and that makes my heart swell.

Now fast forward to now. I still get excited for her next title. I am fortunate to get her books in advance and gear up to recommend them before they come out. As a reader and a bookseller I have grown. She is no longer my favorite but I will always be curious about what she is writing. I am a sucker for discovery; discovery of a new author, new book, one that I can recommend to everyone I know.

Why you should love Jodi Picoult

She has written 17 powerful novels full of family, friends, love, hate, loss, hope, joy, drama, heart and consequence.

House Rules
Handle with Care+
Change of Heart+
Nineteen Minutes*
The Tenth Circle
Vanishing Acts
My Sister's Keeper*
Second Glance
Perfect Match
Salem Falls*
Plain Truth*
Keeping Faith
The Pact*
Mercy *
Picture Perfect
Harvesting the Heart
Songs of the Humpback Whale+

*My favorites
+ Not pictured

My Sister's Keeper, The Tenth Circle, Plain Truth, and The Pact have all been made into movies. And even though I shudder every time I see or hear Cameron Diaz, she did just fine in My Sister's Keeper. (shudder)

When someone asks me which one to start with I always say The Pact. It got me. It will get you. Then I say move to Plain Truth and then Salem Falls. Mercy and Second Glance next. Save My Sister's Keeper until later. Her earlier books are gems.

If there is anyone out there who has not heard of Jodi Picoult, try one out. But give yourself a few hours with a cup of tea or a glass of wine and a cozy blanket. She has a tendency to suck you in.

Thanks for reading and traveling back in time with me. All Author Love-a-Thons will be posted on the 1st of every month.

Happy Reading and Happy Discoveries to you!

* red headed book child


Amy J said...

Okay now I must go find her books. What a great post!! Congrats on meeting her! i would love to meet an author I love! The only thing is can't you do this every week instead of every month??!! LOL

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

The Pact was the first (and still the only) Jodi Picoult book I've read. I have a bunch sitting on my shelf just waiting to be read and this gets me a little more amped up to get to them.

Jenny said...

Great post! I looove her books too! I've read all but 2, I think. I've had a goal for this year and last to read them all but for whatever reason haven't gotten around to the last couple (the first couple she wrote). I started with My Sister's Keeper when that was a best seller. I guess it was later on in her career, but earlier than some.

I went to this fancy luncheon they had in St. Petersburg where she spoke, ate lunch there, and then did a huge signing. There were so many people, though, that it was like a conveyor belt and they moved people through super fast. No pictures and hardly any conversation. Was fun though!

I buy all her books and she has her own little area on my shelf. =)

Melissa said...

I love her books. I haven't read all of them but the few that I have were great. My favorite so far is My Sister's Keeper.

Bookalicious Ramblings said...

Great pick and a fantastic post! I can't believe you've actually met her!
Oh, she's one of my favourite authors! I can't say I loved all of her books as some just didn't strike a chord with me, but she can definitely tell a great story, pull at your heartstrings and her writing is beautiful. Her books just suck me in and I usually can't put them down. My Sister's Keeper had me in tears and I was so engrossed in Mercy that I was actually walking down the street and reading it, lol. The Pact, Nineteen Minutes, Handle with Care and many others are all books that I literally read in one day, hehe. She's fantastic and I always say that I wouldn't be reading about all these subjects if the books hadn't been written by her! :)

Trev said...

I drove all over creation, including across several states, and even worked events of hers for you and I don't even get a mention? WTF?! Seriously I only love her b/c of you and not even and honorable mention. Well I never....

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

Seriously Trever, that would be an entirely new post full of very dramatic events worthy of a Lifetime movie.

Julie@My5monkeys said...

I love her books too but I love her earlier works like plain truth and picture perfect and salem falls. I do still read her new stuff but I do understand how you feel about her. I do love my sisters keeper too. Would love to have met her too.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Great author. I love her too, and have read all of her books. The only (2) I was not crazy about were Picture Perfect and Songs of the Humpbacked Whale.