Margaret Atwood received a standing ovation even before she began speaking at the 31st Niehoff Lecture on Nov. 3. Nearly 900 people dressed up and turned out to see Atwood in conversation with author Curtis Sittenfeld, making Niehoff XXXI the largest event in the 183-year history of The Mercantile Library.
We had the opportunity to have a conversation with National Book Award-winning author Alice McDermott during the 2018 Books By The Banks festival. She was smart and gracious and warm, and the whole discussion was a delight. But what she had to say about the relationship between readers and writers struck us as particularly poignant.
Writers tend to be readers, really good readers. So one of our favorite questions to ask any visiting author is: What are you reading? Leading a few of the author panels at Books By The Banks, we took our opportunity and asked National Book Award winner Alice McDermott and others to share the best books they'd read recently. Their answers made our TBR lists a great deal longer -- and smarter.