Boston Book Festival – Saturday, 10/24 in Copley Square

I’ll be volunteering at the first annual Boston Book Festival being held this Saturday (10/24) in Copley Square.  The festival features 90 authors reading from their works and signing books, and 40 exhibitors. Events will be taking place at the Boston Public Library, Trinity Church, and the Old South Church. And, it’s free! The keynote speaker will be Pulitzer Prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk. However, I admit I’m most intrigued by the session called “Writer Idol,” in which an actor will read the first pages of unpublished manuscripts submitted by audience members, and a panel of judges (editors and literary agents) will offer their opinions on what works and what doesn’t. Get more info at

The Thomas Crown Affair

I just watched The Thomas Crown Affair on Monday (the 1968 Norman Jewison version), which landed on two stylish films lists recently (LA Times and Turner Classic Movies).  Sleek women like Lauren Santo Domingo refer to it as their sartorial inspiration. But I didn’t realize that it was set and filmed in Boston-it’s cool to see popular sites like the State House, Beacon Hill, Boston Common, Mt. Auburn Cemetary, and Crane’s Beach, among others.  It’s also available at Snell, so you can rent it and pick out your own favorite location (or outfit).   I think mine are their stroll by the Charles River, the Polo Scene at Myopia Hunt Club, Steve McQueen’s riding outfit, and Faye Dunaway’s dress.

Boston GreenFest 2009

If you’re looking for something fun (and free!) to do this weekend, go check out Boston GreenFest 2009 at City Hall Plaza, right outside the Government Center T stop. This event runs from 10 AM to 10 PM August 21st and 22nd with a kickoff concert tonight from 5 to 10. Over the next two days there will be screenings of the films “The Greening of Southie”, “Fresh”, “Out of Balance: ExxonMobil’s Impact on Climate Change”, and “Flow: The Film”. There will be speakers and workshops covering everything from green cars to eco-games to the Charles River. You can also walk around and check out the art gallery, exhibits and listen to some live music. This looks like a really fun event with something for everyone. I’m planning to attend on Saturday so maybe I’ll see you there.

The Family Fortune

Keeping up with my Austen kick, another slightly chick lit adaptation that I read recently (this fall) was The Family Fortune by Laurie Horowitz.  This modernizing update of Persuasion was recommended to me by a friend.  Even though I’m well familiar with the story, I still found myself dying to get back to reading it.  Somehow, these stories still manage to generate in me a page-turning suspense.

I thought certain aspects of this update worked better than others.  Jane Fortune, the Anne Eliot stand-in works for her family’s literary journal, the Euphemia Review.  While in keeping with Jane’s literary interests (and the opportunity for meeting her Captain Wentworth figure, writer Max Wellman), something about the unrealistic nature of her career bothered me.  The story is set in Boston, which makes it a fun read. 

While no Austen, and at times oddly irksome, I still found myself captivated by The Family Fortune.  What do you think of the cottage industry of chick lit ‘Austen’ retreads?  Do you have a book that fully captured your interest despite its faults?