Tag Archives: Around Harvard Square

‘Game of Thrones’ Is Ending But It’s Not the End of George R.R. Martin’s World

I interviewed Sophie Turner in London in 2016.
I interviewed Sophie Turner in London in 2016.

“Game of Thrones” is ending on Sunday, but the world that George R.R. Martin created is far from finished.

I wrote a piece about this on Quartz.

I’ve been following the show since before it began, interviewing Martin himself several times as well as cast members like Kit Harington and Sophie Turner. I have some thoughts about the turn that Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys Targaryen character took in the penultimate episode, but I’m going to wait until the whole show ends before I weigh in.

You can check out my new book “Around Harvard Square” on Amazon.

 

I once interviewed Emilia Clarke at a "Game of Thrones" premiere.
I once interviewed Emilia Clarke at a “Game of Thrones” premiere.

Music and ‘Around Harvard Square’

LaurynCover1The Largehearted Boy blog does this cool series called “book notes” where they ask authors–like Jesmyn Ward and Hari Kunzru–to submit playlists of music that could go along with their books.

This feature fit perfectly with my new novel “Around Harvard Square” so I was psyched when they asked me to submit a playlist. See, my book is set in the 1990s and back then I was the music critic for Time magazine. I used to spend my days and nights interviewing folks like Lauryn Hill, Beyonce, the Smashing Pumpkins, Liz Phair, Jay-Z, and other stars of pop, rock, rap and alternative music.

Each of the chapters in “Around Harvard Square” was named after a song from the 1990s, so there’s kind of a built-in playlist. Anyway, I tell more of the story about the connection between my book and the music of the 1990s on the Largehearted Boy blog.

You can read my “book notes” on the Largehearted Boy blog.

My Chat with Blogger Deborah Kalb About ‘Around Harvard Square’

The stained glass windows of the Harvard Lampoon depicting Jester, Ibis and Blot--I wrote about the racial history of these Lampy symbols in my novel 'Around Harvard Square.'
Jester, Ibis and Blot on the Harvard Lampoon’s stained glass widows–I write about the racial history of these symbols in ‘Around Harvard Square.’

I did a q. and a. about my new novel “Around Harvard Square” with Deborah Kalb, who writes a literary blog. I love the fact that there are people out there like Deborah fighting to bring some arts and culture to the internet.

She asked me a lot of great questions about the book, including how I came up with the ending, and how important the setting is to a novel.

You can read my q. and a. with Deborah here.

‘Around Harvard Square’ Does the Quaz with Jeff Pearlman

On the road promoting my novel "Around Harvard Square."
On the road promoting my novel “Around Harvard Square.”

Jeff Pearlman is a former neighbor of mine whom I’ve worked with on various stories and projects over the years. He’s also a critically-acclaimed sportswriter who has launched a half-dozen books up the bestseller lists. He has this interview series called The Quaz that’s kind of like a cooler, less formulaic version of Vanity Fair’s Proust Questionnaire and he recently interviewed me for it. We talked about “Coneheads,” that time I interviewed Amy Winehouse, my five favorite films…actually you should read the interview yourself, it’s worth your time. You can check out the installment of the Quaz featuring me talking about my new novel “Around Harvard Square” here.

My novel “Around Harvard Square” is available for purchase on Amazon.

‘Around Harvard Square’ Arrives at Harvard Book Store

HarvardBookStore1I stopped by Harvard Book Store in Cambridge MA on April 30th to read from my new novel “Around Harvard Square.” The turnout was great and there were lots of questions about how I came to write the book, how I managed to anticipate the college cheating scandal, and the lack of diversity in YA fiction.

WCVB-TV came by to do an interview with me and I’ll update you when that piece airs later this month.

You can buy “Around Harvard Square” on Amazon now.

‘Around Harvard Square’ Reading and Discussion at Harvard Book Store

HarvardReadingPhoto1I’ll be reading and discussing my new novel “Around Harvard Square” at Harvard Book Store, 1256 Mass Ave, Cambridge MA tonight, April 30th at 7pm! Please share this post and let your friends know!

I’ll be holding a q. and a. at the event and discussing all kinds of related topics, from the lack of representation in YA novels to the recent college admissions cheating scandal to my career as a pop music critic for Time, a senior editor at the Wall Street Journal and an executive editor at Amazon Inc.’s Audible. I’ll also talk about co-producing a Peabody-award-winning documentary for HBO, and having Lifetime turn one of my books into a top-rated TV movie.

I hope you can attend the reading!

You can buy “Around Harvard Square” on Amazon now.

‘Around Harvard Square’ on CBC Radio

JohnHarvardI’ve got relatives who live in Canada, so it was a pleasure and an honor for my new novel “Around Harvard Square” to be featured on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio. The CBC is basically the NPR of Canada, which means that a lot of people tune in.

The interview focused on my days back at college when I was an editor of the Harvard Lampoon. You can listen to my interview with CBC about “Around Harvard Square” here.

Come hear me read from “Around Harvard Square” at Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA, on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 at 7:00 PM.

‘Around Harvard Square’ at the LA Times Festival of Books

LosAngeles1After years of hearing all the fuss about the place, I stopped by In-N-Out Burger. My verdict: Solid, but not legendary. The fries were bland and not very crisp, and while the sauce on the burger had some zip, the lukewarm patty wasn’t anything special. Is Fat Burger better? Leave me your thoughts on the best burgers in the comments!

I’m in LA because I’m a panelist at the LA Times Festival of Books at 2:30 pm on Saturday, April 13, on the campus of the University of Southern California, Mudd Hall 203. The title of my session: Writing Writers: Novels About Struggling Artists. If you’re around, please stop by!

Come Hear ‘Around Harvard Square’ at Barnes and Noble Union Square

I’ll be reading from my new novel “Around Harvard Square” on Tuesday, April 9 at 7 p.m. at Barnes & Noble Union Square, 33 East 17th Street, NYC. CNBC star Jim Cramer is moderating, and we’re going to have a fun and fascinating discussion about our experiences at Harvard.

There’s been a lot going on with college news lately–from Felicity Huffman pleading guilty in that big college admissions scandal to the Boston Globe reporting that a wealthy man allegedly purchased a home from a Harvard fencing coach in a bid to get his son into the school.

If you care about YA literature, college admissions or just want to hear some tales from the forgotten and secret history of the Ivy League, I hope you can attend my event!

‘Around Harvard Square’ at Barnes and Noble Union Square!

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I’ll be reading from my new novel “Around Harvard Square” and chatting with CNBC star and double Harvard grad Jim Cramer on April 9th at 7 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble Union Square. The address is 33 East 17th Street, New York City.

If you want to find out more about my book, which predicted the recent college cheating scandal, or chat about other issues around elite institutions and high education, please stop by! If you want to discuss whether an Ivy League education is worth the cost, yes, we’ll be talking about those kinds of issues too. If you just want to talk about fiction, reading and the future of YA literature, this session will be the place to be.

You can buy “Around Harvard Square” on Amazon.

I hope to see you at Barnes & Noble Union Square on April 9th! I’ll be the one signing books. That is, unless Jim signs some of his own bestselling books, in which case I’ll be the guy in black glasses signing books.