Novel Night III

Last Thursday we hosted the third edition of Novel Night, our monthly reading series devoted to all things prose. Our first reader was author Thomas McNeely, who was visiting us from Boston. Thomas read from his debut novel Ghost Horse, a wise and compelling coming-of-age tale set in 1970’s Houston. The novel’s protagonist, Buddy Turner, is a smart and sensitive eleven-year-old boy who is struggling to make sense of the failures of his feuding parents.

Next up was Houstonian Mike Freedman, who read from School Board. This smart and subversive first novel follows the rabble-rousing misadventures of Tucker ‘Catfish’ Davis, a high school senior and aspiring politician who takes on the school board incumbent, a senior executive at an Enron-like company.

Our store manager Becky Garcia hosted the Book Talk segment, in which an enthusiastic Malvernite introduces the audience to one of their favorite titles on our shelves. This month Becky discussed Ken Fontenot’s For Mr. Raindrinker (Slough Press), a novel set in the New Orleans of the ’70s, which Becky recalls from trips with her family—in contrast to her “staid” hometown of San Antonio, she describes it as “a rare and wild animal.” Have a listen to Becky’s wonderful reading from the novel; it’ll definitely make you want to pick up a copy of Raindrinker next time you’re in the store.

And last but certainly not least, we invited members of the audience to brave our open mic and share with us some of their unpublished prose. (Anyone is welcome to take part; if you’re keen to join in next month, just sign up in store on the night.) This month we enjoyed readings from Fred Afflerbach, Katie Battistoni, and Molly Schulman. We hope you like the footage—and if you do, why not come along in person next time? Our next novel night is on April 9th, and will feature readings from Drew Hayes and David Heymann, among others.