Welcome to Stories from the Boulevard. I’m currently working across the street from the Chinese Theatre and stumble upon Hollywood events and personalities rather frequently. Here is my accidental record of what’s happening in and around Hollywood Boulevard…

It didn’t take very long, but I’ve become really adverse to Hollywood Blvd. I don’t enjoy the interactions that I have with the strip toutes, the exploitation of tourists drives me nuts, the noise, the lights, the frenzy becomes really overwhelming after a while… especially now that it is the week of the Academy Awards and there are suddenly tons of snotty, drunk people around.

So, I now have a new destination in the evenings that is away from the strip: book signings. I’ve made some really great literary discoveries this way… and so far been blessed with seeing and hearing authors read and talk about their books.

The Woodcutter

None of this started in Hollywood. It all began in Calgary with a fantasy novel called The Woodcutter and an Canadian author playing a banjo: Lorn Wolf. La Niña is going through a Fantasy novel phase and picked up this adventure during a signing at Chapters Indigo.

She also picked up a copy of Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass and devoured it rather quickly, which leads to the next signing.

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One More Thing

Back in Los Angeles, I stumbled upon a book reading while looking for Book 2 of Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials series. The reading was for One More Thing, a book of short stories written by B.J. Novak.

You might recognize him from The Office or a whole host of other movies. We know him through The Book With No Pictures, a great kids book that is really fun to read out loud.

One More Thing is wry, witty, eclectic, and sometimes surprising. He is definitely an interesting person to hear talk and read. Throughout the reading he kept coming up with great quotable insights: e.g. It’s much better to tell a story about something you’ve done, rather than something you’ve almost done.

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Novak says he picks a theme for each of his readings. For this one in particular, it was Outer Space. And, to our surprise, he read The Book With No Pictures to a lone little girl who was shopping with her dad.