Drawing: Tickets for Matthew Weiner at Skidmore OR the creators of Welcome to Night Vale + Northshire gift card + 15 Church gift card

northshire drawing Matthew Weiner or Welcome to Night Vale

Drawing's closed! Winner's been emailed!

The Northshire Bookstore has two author events coming up over the next week or so at Skidmore: Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner November 11; and on November 16 Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor -- the creators of the popular Welcome to Night Vale podcast.

We're giving a prize package that includes tickets to these events -- winner's choice. So, the drawing winner will get either:

+ Two tickets to the Matthew Weiner event. One copy of his new novel, Heather, The Totality. A $25 gift card to Northshire Bookstore. And a $50 gift card for the restaurant 15 Church in Saratoga Springs.


+ Two tickets to the Night Vale authors event. Two copies of their new novel, It Devours. A $25 gift card to Northshire Bookstore. And a $50 gift card to the restaurant 15 Church.

The winner gets to pick one of those prize packs.

To enter the drawing, please answer this question in the comments:

What's a book that's meant a lot to you? Why?

It could be anything -- fiction, non-fiction, something you read in school, something you read for pleasure, a picture book from when you were a kid, whatever. We'll draw one winner a random.

The Matthew Weiner event is this Saturday, November 11 at 7:30 pm in Palamountain Hall. He'll be talking with Yaddo president Elaina Richardson on stage. Tickets are $34 for one book and one seat / $47 for two seats and one book / $30 for one seat and one book for seniors, students, active-duty military.

The event with Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor -- Welcome to Night Vale -- is Thursday, November 16 at 7 pm in Palamountain Hall. They'll be talking on stage with AOA's own Mary Darcy. Tickets are $23.52 and include a copy of the book (the ticket price is the price of the book).

Important: All comments must be submitted by noon on Thursday, November 9, 2017 to be entered in the drawing. You must answer the question to be part of the drawing. (Normal commenting guidelines apply.) One entry per person, please. You must enter a valid email address (that you check regularly) with your comment. The winner will be notified via email by 5 pm on Thursday and must respond by noon on Friday.


"1984" - read at a pivotal moment in my development when I was 13 and figuring out who I was. It made me feel like books could put you in a secret club, and make you feel in the know, make you feel like a rebel. Now I'm a librarian.

100 Years of Solitutde.. Oner of the best sagas about corporate imperialism set in a soporific banana republic.

The Corrections. I have yet to meet the person who loved it like it I did but it's black humor and storyline resonated with me on so many levels.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank - in middle school, reading about the experiences of someone close to my own age was tremendously powerful and I developed a strong interest in history (which I have a degree in).

Robert A. Heinlein - The Red Planet.

It blew up my world and suddenly with science fiction, anything was possible!

I feel silly commenting on a book intended for middle-schoolers, but, Wonder by R.J. Palacio was such a great read. It's turning into a movie, which I can't wait to watch. The book covers bullying, family dynamics, being different and ultimately kindness. Kindness is so necessary these days.

The World According to Garp is a book I come back to over and over. I love the main character's ability to find a semblance of happiness in the face of tragedy.

The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield. Like scales falling from my eyes. I read it every Christmas break.

Sorry for the very long post...

Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut, for two reasons:

1) Helping to dispel the myth of the "John Wayne" type World War II hero. There's passage in the Preface where the wife of Vonnegut's war buddy is upset with Kurt, because the book he is working on will likely glamorize war. "You'll pretend you were men instead of babies, and you'll be played in the movies by Frank Sinatra and John Wayne or some of those other glamorous, war-loving, dirty old men. And war will look just wonderful, so we'll have a lot more of them. And they'll be fought by babies like the babies upstairs." I think Kurt heard her and did her proud.

2) This amazing passage from the novel: Billy...went into the living room, swinging the bottle like a dinner bell, turned on the television. He came slightly unstuck in time, saw the late movie backwards, then forwards again. It was a movie about American bombers in the Second World War and the gallant men who flew them. Seen backwards by Billy, the story went like this:

American planes, full of holes and wounded men and corpses took off backwards from an airfield in England. Over France, a few German fighter planes flew at them backwards, sucked bullets and shell fragments from some of the planes and crewmen. They did the same for wrecked American bombers on the ground, and those planes flew up backwards to join the formation.

The formation flew backwards over a German city that was in flames. The bombers opened their bomb bay doors, exerted a miraculous magnetism which shrunk the fires, gathered them into cylindrical steel containers, and lifted the containers into the bellies of the planes. The containers were stored neatly in racks. The Germans below had miraculous devices of their own, which were long steel tubes. They used them to suck more fragments from the crewmen and planes. But there were still a few wounded Americans, though, and some of the bombers were in bad repair. Over France, though, German fighters came up again, made everything and everybody good as new.

When the bombers got back to their base, the steel cylinders were taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States of America, where factories were operating night and day, dismantling the cylinders, separating the dangerous contents into minerals. Touchingly, it was mainly women who did this work. The minerals were then shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground, to hide them cleverly, so they would never hurt anybody ever again.

The American fliers turned in their uniforms, became high school kids. And Hitler turned into a baby, Billy Pilgrim supposed. That wasn’t in the movie. Billy was extrapolating. Everybody turned into a baby, and all humanity, without exception, conspired biologically to produce two perfect people named Adam and Eve, he supposed.

Master and Commander by O'Brian. The friendship between Aubrey and Maturin comforts me.

People of Paper by Salvador Plascencia -- It is a book that tackles loneliness and heartbreak in ways that I had never encountered before and that I can definitely relate with. It is surreal and magical at the same time

In Small Things Forgotten by James Deetz. It's a book about the power material culture has to tell us about the past beautifully written by an historic archaeologist. It found me just at the time I needed it, and has had a treasured spot on my shelf ever since.

"The Giver" by Lois Lowry. It was the first book I read that made me really think. It is still a book I go back and read from time to time.

The View From Coal Creek: Reflections on Fly Rods, Canyons, and Bamboo by Erin Block. The book itself is a treatise on the zen and existential lessons of tedious tasks. Broadly, every line Erin writes draws you in and wraps you in blankets of emotion, even when the subject matter is seemingly dry. She does not waste words. Of course the real reason the book means so much to me is because I found her writing at a time when I needed it.

Fahrenheit 451 - I read this book at a very young age and didn't quite understand the importance of censorship, it stuck with me and now I read it every few years as a reminder.

O Albany! by William Kennedy for forever enhancing my connection with the city.

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed is a book I recommend to everyone who will listen. It's got a lot of great advice about how to respond to mud life often slings at you.

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

First time in college that assigned reading turned into for-pleasure reading. The chapter that includes the Grand Inquisitor is extraordinarily thought-provoking.

Read the 4th Harry Potter book (also a favorite) after to give your brain a break.

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek - Annie Dillard. It's written with such depth and clarity on nature, the mysteries of life, death, God, and all of existence.

Where to start....may I have two since I'm a librarian book geek?
From girlhood: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank started me on a path of reading every Holocaust memoir that I can put my hands on.
More recently: Richard Russo's Bridge of Sighs. I love his characters and how he expresses emotions which are universal.

Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo. It's kind of a dark book, not the typical humor of RR, but at almost the last page, I had such a revelation...really, it changed my life.

"Until I Find You" by John Irving
Though it's tough to pick just one John Irving novel, something about Until I Find you really stuck with me. His character development is unparalleled, and even more so in this book. I find myself thinking back to it often, despite reading it over 15 years ago. Sometimes I'll try to re-start it, but you can't recreate the first time. It is also the book that made me fall in love with John Irving's writing style, and began a years-long journey through all of his incredible books.

Night by Eli Wiesel -it had a huge impact on my view of the Holocaust and the atrocities faced by Jews in the concentration camps.

Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban. It taught me at a young age to try new things and step out of my comfort zone.

1984 and 1Q84: Both opened my mind to new possibilities/worlds only slightly different from our own while also shedding a light on the curiosities of the world we live in.

Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy: It was the last book that both my mother and I read before she died.

As a young adult in college, I picked up the first book of Jacqueline Carey's trilogy called Kushiel's Legacy. I had not read for pleasure in years, but I chose to give this book a try because I heard it was sexy. As it turns out, it's not just sexy, but it's an amazing example of fantasy and alternative history with fantastic world-building. I immediately immersed myself in the world of these books and I fell in love. I did not just fall in love with this trilogy, but with reading and fantasy in general. In the decade since then, I've read tons of fantasy/sci-fi and I cannot imagine not having a good audiobook loaded onto my phone at all times.

As a student attending college in the midwest I was captivated by My Antonia by Willa Cather. Her words can still transport me to the to the prairie.

Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel by Gary Shteyngart--When I read that book, I felt I had a lot in common with the protagonist. But beyond that the book describes a near-future dystopia that is very recognizable.

Reading Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own was pivotal for me in high school. It taught me so much about writing and about feminism. I have read it so many times and always get something new from it. A classic.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.


Recently on All Over Albany

Gawking at the new Schenectady train station

In a bit of a surprise the new Schenectady train station opened this past Wednesday, a few weeks ahead of the announced schedule. The $23... (more)

A little push up the hill

Wrapped into my update this past week about what it's been like to use a bike as one of my primary ways of getting around... (more)

A collection of castle day trips

This part of the country is dotted with castle-like structures, full of history, mystery, romance, and fairytale. Here's a handful of castles that are within... (more)

Classics of Science Fiction at The Linda

A multi-day get-together called Classics of Science Fiction will be at The Linda in Albany November 1-4. Blurbage: Guests include authors, artists, podcasters, cosplayers, business... (more)

Cuomo leads in Q-poll, NTSB still hasn't examined limo from deadly Schoharie crash, Schenectady and GE

Q-poll shows Cuomo with strong lead The latest Quinnipiac University poll shows Andrew Cuomo with a 23-percentage point lead over Republican challenger Marc Molinaro. [Spectrum]... (more)

Recent Comments

I ride every day to work, and also after work for exercise. I love the concept of being a person who happens to ride a bike. There's a level of bike riding, with the high performance gear and sleek clothing, that makes riding seem like its not for everyone. I try to avoid markers like that, and always wear regular clothing/shoes/backpack with dumpy-looking bike. One concession is bike gloves.

A little push up the hill

...has 1 comment, most recently from Danny C

Today's moment of mural

...has 3 comments, most recently from Rich

A year later I'm still using a bike to get around town -- here are a few thoughts about how that's worked out

...has 13 comments, most recently from Randal Putnam

It's looking like it could be a relatively warm winter. Probably.

...has 2 comments, most recently from Jeff D

Now is a good time to get a flu shot

...has 5 comments, most recently from Beck