Joining Emily Freeman to share what I learned this month, from the serious to the silly.
1. I’ve been pronouncing Liane Moriarty’s name wrong for years.
We did the keynote at Read Savannah together and the first thing I learned was … it’s Lee-ON. Short “o.” Luckily, I found this out the day before I met her, not the day after.
2. … and she’s lovely.
One of my continuing surprises of the year is how much meeting an author in person—and hearing them talk about their work—adds to the experience of reading.
(This isn’t always the case, of course. Sometimes I’ll meet an author, and hear them speak about their work, and decide that nope, I don’t want to read anything they’ve written ever again. But this is the exception.)
More often, I come away with a deeper appreciation for their work, and the (rather obvious) revelation that the author is a real person, too.
When we spoke, Liane told us about how Buffy the Vampire Slayer inspired one of the characters in Truly, Madly, Guilty. About how her first marriage veered off course during a Law & Order commercial break. And how she embarrassed herself fangirling all over Elizabeth Berg when she bumped into her on the street. In other words, she was completely charming and wonderful. (I hope to share clips in a future podcast episode so stay tuned!)
Also completely lovely: every single one of the MMD readers I got to meet. Y’all are the greatest.
3. Pack your running shoes.
More Savannah. I almost didn’t pack my running shoes for my trip, because my schedule was packed and I needed to save room in my suitcase for books on the return trip!
But my husband talked me into it, and I’m so glad he did. I’m a slow runner, but even so, my early morning runs were a chance to explore the city on foot, and to see more of it than I could have if I’d just been walking.
There was so much to see there, and I didn’t come close to seeing it all, which made me extra thankful for the bonus sights I could take in during my runs.
4. You can turn kindle pages with your nose.
Many thanks to Jenny Colgan, who shared this tip in the delightful essay prefacing her new book The Bookshop on the Corner. In it, she catalogues the variety of wonderful places to read; one of her favorites is the bath, and—necessity being the mother of invention—she figured out this hack to save her kindle from getting all soggy during her long soaks.
Try it. It works.
5. The Momentum Chrome extension keeps me a little more on task.
It works like this: every day, you answer the question “what is your main task for today?” And then, every time you open a new tab in your browser, the first thing you see—in the second before it loads your page—is a beautiful photo plus a reminder of your big task for the day. It’s basically a very tactful, inspirational way to say “should you really be doing that right now?”
(Also valuable: some mornings I realize I have no idea how to answer the “main task” question, which forces me to clarify it before I get any further in my day.)
6. Baby shampoo makes a brilliant eye makeup remover.
Quick, cheap, gentle, and tear-free if you get some in your eyes.
What did YOU learn in September?