Friday, September 18, 2009

The Coffee List

Coffee List = (n.) a list of authors, living or not, whom I would like to take out for coffee just so I could have an excuse to listen to them talk.

(in no particular order)

• Lewis Carroll--he wrote two novels about math. Math rules. 'Nuff said.

• Norton Juster--he also wrote a novel involving math, so right away, he's racking up the coolness points. He also wins the prize for writing the most original inscription of any signed book I own.

• E. Lockhart--she is so goshdarn funny, and when she reads her work in public, she does the voices.

• M.T. Anderson--when I heard him speak on an author's panel, he used words like "ethos" and "postulate" to talk about teen literature. Coooool.

• Louis Sachar--anyone who can weave that many plot threads together and pull off what he did in Holes while still making it look easy... that takes serious talent... and guts.

• Gaius Valerius Catullus--he could make a poem about a cute little bird sound raunchy. Can any other poet do that without coming across like a perv? Think about it.

• Jane Austen--because even in a time when women weren't allowed to inherit land, she wrote strong-minded female protagonists and made them seem believable.

That's my list for now, though I will be adding to it as I think of more authors.

What's yours?


Duh, and how could I forget?

• Samuel Johnson--king of snark and literary bad@$ness, a man not intimidated by even the most insane of literary projects (he wrote a dictionary for crying out loud!). If you doubt me, look up the word "patron" in a copy of Johnson's dictionary. But I have one caveat: he'd better not bring Boswell.


  1. Found you at Literary Rambles. I love The Phantom Tollbooth and have read it dozens of times, first as a student and later with my own.

    What was the inscription??

    Jules Feiffer (don't know how to spell that one)signed my worn copy. He wasn't the friendly sort.

  2. The inscription is: "The extra L is free" which only makes sense if you know two things:

    1) He misspelled my name "Gabriella" instead of "Gabriela."
    2) I was holding up my conference name badge for him to copy.

    Anyone who can laugh at their own muss-ups and think up with a clever comeback that fast definitely makes my coffee list. That, and the talk he gave before the signing was fantastic.