For the past nine years I have served on the Executive Planning Committee of the San Francisco Authors Luncheon sponsored by the National Kidney Foundation of Northern California. Founded 21 years ago by Amy Tan and Ann Getty, the NKF luncheon remains to this day the premiere annual authors’ event of the SF Bay Area—and the largest fundraiser for the National Kidney Foundation of Northern California.
Each year we feature six or seven award-winning authors who offer insights into their writing lives, often including entertaining personal anecdotes. Authors sign books provided by the local, independently owned bookstore, Book Passage. On the day of the event, though I’m at work managing the volunteers who sit with our authors, I’m always eager to run home and open a new book… but which to read first?
This year’s luncheon—which took place on Saturday, November 6th, at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis—featured ABRAHAM VERGHESE, Cutting for Stone; ARMISTEAD MAUPIN, Tales of the City; CARLOS EIRE, Waiting For Snow In Havana: Confessions of A Cuban Boy; AMANDA HESSER, The Essential New York Times Cookbook; MICHAEL KRASNY, Spiritual Envy: An Agnostics Quest; YIYUN LI, The Vagrants; and MAC BARNETT, Guess Again. WOW!
At the time, I was deep into KATHRYN STOCKETT’s thought-provoking first novel, The Help. As soon as I finished that work, I reached into my NKF grab bag and pulled out VERGHESE’s, Cutting for Stone. It took me a few chapters to get into it, but I’m totally there, carrying it with me now wherever I go. In the meantime, I’ve been perusing HESSER’s historic NYT cookbook (just wait ‘til that new stove is delivered to my place next week...). Though my reading is eclectic, I generally look first to the literary novel, then to biography, then research for my own works. Right now, however, I am intrigued with KRASNY’s book, which is currently in first position on my nightstand.
If you would like to receive notices about future NKF author events—and/or if you would like to volunteer for this event or our sister author event in Sacramento—please go to my CONTACT page and send me a note.