Monthly Archives: April 2019

‘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.

‘Game of Thrones,’ Season 8, Episodes 1 and 2: And Now My Watch Begins

GameofThrones1In his classic novel “The Book of Laughter and Forgetting,” the Czech-born French writer Milan Kundera wrote that “The struggle of people against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.” Now it appears that may also be the ultimate theme of HBO’s series “Game of Thrones.”

It will also be the theme of this series of posts, which I’m calling “Taking the Black.” I’ve been interviewing the cast, crew and creators of “Game of Thrones” from the start of the series. I interviewed George R.R. Martin when he released “A Dance With Dragons” and I’ve also talked to Kit Harington, Sophie Turner and other members of the cast. As the series heads towards the finale of its final season, I’m going to post my thoughts on the new episodes, some reflections on past shows, and some throwback photos of me with “GoT” personnel.

Here I am interviewing "A Game of Thrones" author George R.R. Martin in 2014.
Throwback Photo: Here I am interviewing “A Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin in 2014.

The first two episodes of the eighth season were beautiful throat clearing, renewing our bonds with the characters, and the characters’ bonds with each other. Characters on the show pretty much revealed most of their outstanding secrets to each other. Now it’s time for action, and the much-anticipated Battle for Winterfell.

I’ll be reading from my new novel “Around Harvard Square” at Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA on April 30 at 7 p.m. If you’re in the Boston area, please stop by!

‘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!

Jim Cramer Talks About My Novel ‘Around Harvard Square’

FarleyCramerReading2I had a great conversation with CNBC star and “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer at the Barnes & Noble Union Square this week about my new novel “Around Harvard Square.” We swapped stories about attending Harvard and exchanged opinions about how crazy the application process for elite schools has gotten in recent years.

I’ll be reading from “Around Harvard Square” at the Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave Cambridge, MA on April 30th at 7 p.m. I hope I see you there!

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!


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.

The Jamaica Gleaner Raves About ‘Around Harvard Square’

AroundHarvardSquareStacksThe Jamaica Gleaner, the island’s most well-read newspaper, raved about my new novel “Around Harvard Square” calling it “witty and artful” among other really nice things!

My new book is about a Jamaican-American freshman at Harvard struggling to deal with barriers of class and race. Glenville Ashby, writing in the Gleaner, said that “Around Harvard Square” is “a definitive commentary on society’s struggle for meaning.”

You can read the Jamaica Gleaner’s full review here. Believe me, it only gets better.

It’s always nice when the main paper in the country where you were born acknowledges your work and says great things about it! #AroundHarvardSquare

You can order “Around Harvard Square” on Amazon or at a bookstore near you.