Walter Mosley has written more than 34 acclaimed books, including the bestselling mystery series starring Easy Rawlins of Devil in a Blue Dress fame. Throughout his career, he’s also been the recipient of numerous awards, including an O. Henry Award, a Grammy, and PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. His work has been seen on the page, on the big screen, on the theater stage and soon on the small screen (He’s teaming up with Jonathan Demme to co-write a pilot for HBO based on his newest private eye, Leonid McGill). I caught up with Walter when he was visiting Nashville to promote the paperback publication of The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey.
Alex George’s A Good American is a book you may not have heard of yet. If not, you undoubtedly will. It is a spectacularly written novel receiving rave reviews, and it continues to pick up steam. In recent weeks, the book has been named:
- #1 Pick for Indie Next List, February 2012.
- Amazon “Best Books of the Month” List February 2012
- Barnes & Noble Discover Pick, Spring 2012
- Barnes & Noble Top Staff Pick for Fiction, February 2012
- Midwest Connection Pick, February 2012
- #1 “Title to Pick Up Now” for O Magazine, February 2012
Regular readers of this blog know that I love to study how and why people are able to overcome obstacles and achieve success. I recently had the opportunity to meet Jennifer Pharr Davis, who is the record holder for traversing the Appalachian Trail. She hiked the Trail’s 2,175 miles in 46 days, 11 hours, and 20 minutes, becoming the first woman to hold the record.
Nothing Can Stop A Determined Mind
The list of obstacles she faced on her journey include physical and mental obstacles:
- She was struck by lightning.
- Her eyes were frozen shut.
- She faced everything from insects to wildlife like bears and rattlesnakes.
- Critics said a woman couldn’t hold the record. A hiker couldn’t best a runner.
I recently visited Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh in Las Vegas. Sitting in his condo in a room lined with hundreds of plants and overlooking the Vegas skyline, we talked about his success and what’s next for Zappos.
Zappos.com is an online retailer with a specialty in shoes. It has branched out into other clothing lines in recent years. It is known for its exceptional customer service.
A Very Different Company
Zappos is different in many ways. Here are three:
Avid readers know the name Ann Patchett. Her work—from Bel Canto to State of Wonder as well as many other books—has won numerous accolades and awards, and she regularly tops the New York Times bestseller list.
When Nashville recently lost its bookstores, Ann decided to do something about it. She opened Parnassus Books, an independent store, with partner Karen Hayes. I was there for its grand opening and watched the crowds swarm in to celebrate the return of a local bookstore. The excitement over Parnassus quickly spread beyond the city’s borders—in fact, a bestselling author opening a bookstore landed Ann not on the book page, but on the front page, of the New York Times.
Ann recently gave an inspiring keynote address for booksellers in New Orleans. I sat down with her to talk about her success as a writer and her new career as a bookseller.