When I attend book functions where there will be authors I know I might be mingling with, I try to read at least one of their books beforehand.
But, sometimes, well.....so many books, so little time.
I was once invited by my friend, Ann Cameron, to attend some of the festivities surrounding the National Book Awards in New York City when her book, The Secret Life of Amanda K. Woods, was nominated.
I scrambled to read as many of the five nominated books as I could before I went. (Louis Sachar, Jack Gantos, Anita Lobel, Ann Cameron, and Richard Peck.)
Alas, I ran out of time and was not able to read Richard Peck's. (I think it was A Long Way from Chicago, but I can't remember now...)
One of the events involved having lunch with the authors. Everyone was assigned to sit at one author's table to discuss the book. There were only about 6 or 7 people at each table.
You guessed it.
I was assigned to Richard Peck.
I sat there like a total idiot and couldn't say anything remotely intelligent about the book.
But NOW - if that happens again, I'll be armed: How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read by Pierre Bayard.