I mentioned last week that I'd be going to hear Frances Mayes, author of Under the Tuscan Sun and other books. It's been quite a while since I've been to hear an author speak and I quite enjoyed it. She's got a soft yet wonderful Southern accent, and she read to the audience for about 40 minutes before taking questions. It seems quite a few people are interested in visiting her in Italy. She was very good at deflecting their directness. I imagine she deals with her readers' boldness all the time.
Mayes is on a tour promoting her latest book about life in Italy called Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life, and it's just out in paperback. I don't yet have a copy of it, but I imagine I will soon. I'm really hoping her next book will be something along the lines of the one I enjoyed so much on the plane back from London, A Year in the World: Journeys of a Passionate Traveller, which wasn't about Italy much at all.
One interesting thing Mayes mentioned is that her publisher has talked her into writing a blog, and you can find it here.
This event and many others, including the To Kill a Mockingbird lecture and dramatic reading I attended last year, is all thanks to the Georgia Center for the Book, which keeps bringing those of us in the Atlanta area program after program of book-related fabulousness. You can view their upcoming schedule of events here.