Tuesday Night Laughs with BJ Novak

writers on a new england stageAt the beginning of February, PunxsutawneyPhil predicted six more weeks of winter, and weekly New England storms became a ‘thing’. I started a spring countdown on my refrigerator, began summer vacation talks with friends, and decided I needed an immediate mood boost, preferably in the form of laughter.

Luckily, in the midst of my late winter meltdown (Why can’t the snow melt instead?) BJ Novak made his way to Portsmouth to share his new book, One More Thing.

Novak’s visit was organized by the Writers on a New England Stage series which hosts author presentations and interviews with New Hampshire Public Radios’ Word of Mouth at the Portsmouth Music Hall.

As I made my way through downtown Portsmouth to the Music Hall’s side street entrance last Tuesday night, most of the city was tucked within warm restaurants or apartments, and those of us outside seemed to all be heading in the same direction. We all scurried into the venue lobby eager to escape the cold and connect with friends.

bj novakAfter a warm introduction, Novak took the stage and admitted he was surprised by the sheer size of the Portsmouth audience. He jumped right into a few short stories from his book, my favorite being, Missed Connection: Grocery spill at 21st and 6th 2:30pm on Wednesday. I found Novak’s writing to be wildly entertaining, surprisingly relatable, and ingeniously hilarious.

After providing a sneak peek at his collection of carefully crafted stories, Novak sat down and answered questions from Virginia Prescott. Novak held his own, even after being questioned about his relationship with Mindy Kaling repeatedly, (Come on, we just want you two together!) and provided fantastic insight into the world of professional writing (“Write to entertain someone like yourself.”).

The evening concluded with a book signing where I eagerly scooped up a copy and waited in line to meet the guy who made me forget for a few brief hours that winter is here to stay. If you’re looking for me in the next few weeks, I’ll most likely be bundled up in my apartment savoring a cup of coffee and the rest of One More Thing.

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