Right now I'm reading Amy Tan's book "The Opposite of Fate." I've got a stack of books that I've got piled up after I finish Amy Tan's book. -- Art I love Amy Tan and her writings about her relationship with her mom and her life in the Bay Area.. She was always supportive of the public library, speaking at many of our main and branch library programs and reading from her works. One of our librarians Judy Yung, who worked at SFPL for many years, began to write books about Chinese American women, the immigrant experience, etc. and eventually left her librarian job to do full time work researching, writing and co writing, mostly about the Chinese in the Bay Area. A third public library Chinese American woman writer supporter from the area was Maxine Hong Kingston, much acclaimed Bay Area scholar. She also was kind enough to speak to audiences at our library programs for free when asked. Although she majored in engineering at Berkeley later on she decided she wanted to write and switched to English for graduate studies, and taught at Berkeley for many years. Her Woman Warrier; Memoir of a Girlhood Among Ghosts was awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction one year and her book China Men was awarded the National Book Award one year. You know who else was very generous with her time—-the wealthy and best--selling romance writer Danielle Steel, who lived with all her children in the Spreckles Mansion, San Francisco. http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=Spreckles+Mansion+San+Fr...She did not want to appear at a public program, but she volunteered to spend time in the afternoons reading books for our Library of the Blind branch which happened to be in the Presidio Branch close to her home where she could walk over and record. She spent many hours doing that in this tiny recording room in the basement of the Presidio Branch and asked that we not publicize or make a big deal of it. She would always come in wearing a headscarf and dark glasses so as not to be recognized on the street. Amy Tan plays with the famous rock band The Rock Bottom Remainders, which include people like Dave Barry, Maya Angelou, Ridley Pearson, , Barbara Kingsolver, Greg Iles—they played several times through the years at the American Library Association conventions. In fact I see they are playing at the ALA Convention in Los Angeles this summer.http://rockbottomremainders.com/And they played at many other bookish and not so bookish events. I just learned there is a 1994 book about their experiences called Mid-Life Confidential:The Rock Bottom Remainders Tour America with Three Chords and an Attitude by Roy Jr. Blount, Stephen King, Ridley Pearson and Dave Berry. It is already out of print or quickly going out. I found a “very good” copy to order for 75 cents and 3.99 postage. I’m so glad I decided to respond about Amy Tan, otherwise I would not have found this book. You and Bonnie should get yourselves to San Francisco for Chinese New Year some time Art. It is so much fun, the weather is great, the festivities are glorious and the food is delicious. 2013 is the Year of the Snake and the activities start in early February. If I had any ambition I would get myself there, but then there is my little cat family, you know how it is. Excuses, excuses.http://gocalifornia.about.com/od/casfmenu/a/chinese_new_year... --from Wikipedia:“The Rock Bottom Remainders were a rock and roll band consisting of published writers, most of them both amateur musicians and popular English-language book, magazine, and newspaper authors. The band took its self-mocking name from the publishing term remaindered book, a work of which the unsold remainder of the publisher's stock of copies is sold at a reduced price. Their performances collectively raised $2 million for charity from their concerts.The band's members included Dave Barry, Stephen King, Amy Tan, Maya Angelou, Cynthia Heimel, Sam Barry, Ridley Pearson, Scott Turow, Joel Selvin, James McBride, Mitch Albom, Roy Blount Jr., Barbara Kingsolver, Robert Fulghum, Matt Groening, Tad Bartimus, Greg Iles, as well as professional musicians Josh Kelly on drums, and Erasmo Paulo on saxophone. Founder Kathi Kamen Goldmark died on May 24, 2012. The original band members collaborated on a book about the band, Mid-Life Confidential. Published author Al Kooper also was a member for some time.”
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