In which my friends are movie stars, and I stay out past my bedtime.
I paid one pack of Pokemon cards for this logo.
There are a lot of newsletters out there, so thank you for wandering into this one. Here’s what you can expect: updates and information about my books; reading recommendations and updates on Books Are Magic happenings; thoughts on television and food and cats and other things that I find good in the world. I won’t spam you, or waste your time, unless you think two paragraphs on Reese Witherspoon and customized stationery is a waste of your time. The next newsletter is likely to have the cover of my new book! Eeek! So thrilling!
This week has been a wild one—as you may have seen on my Instagram, the one and only Reese Witherspoon dropped into my life like Charlie Bucket’s golden ticket. Do you want to hear the whole story? Okay great.
It was 8:15 on Monday morning, and my husband and I were walking our kids to school. We had just stopped for a couple of chocolate croissants, because we are soft touches, and chocolate is a motivating factor for all of us, when I got a DM. From Reese Witherspoon. It began“Hi Friend!”—and that’s when my heart stopped. She said that she was filming a movie that had to do with publishing, and she was rounding up a few writers to appear as themselves—this, I learned, is called a cameo and it means a fancy extra. I said yes, of course, and she said that she wanted to go to the store, and by the time we had dropped the kids off at school, I was already emailing everyone I knew to tell them that I had become a movie star. Two hours later, Reese wrote again, to say that she was on her way to the bookstore, and I ran then ran faster than I have ever run (clogs are not the absolute best running shoes) to make sure I was there to greet her. She was: small, blonde, powerful. She was: well-read, smart, enthusiastic. She was: in her costume, a knee-length denim skirt. She hugged me. When Reese left, my booksellers and I all collapsed, overcome.
The next day, I arrived at the shooting location at 3pm. It was at an event space on the Upper East Side that often hosts the Poets + Writers annual gala, and so I already knew where the bathrooms were. After about an hour of sitting around alone, I found my fellow cameos—Grove publisher and eternal youth Morgan Entrekin, professional shopper and New Yorker writer Patty Marx, and my fellow novelists Min Jin Lee, Amanda Brainerd, Jacqueline Woodson, and Mateo Askaripour. We had worn party clothes, as directed, and we all looked, honestly, outtasite.
I wore my very favorite dress, which is a large pink square, the very same dress that caused one commenter to write, “I didn’t know Snuggies came in pink,” when I wore it to a live-streamed National Book Award function. The next several hours were spent getting to know each other, talking about books, talking about how much we loved Reese Witherspoon, talking about our children and our careers and our lives. Min and Jackie are two of my heroes, and they were both be-suited and elegant, like the coolest high school seniors you’ve ever seen.
It was about 9pm when Amanda told me that she’d been a juror on the Harvey Weinstein trial. What??!! This is what happens when you leave the house and are alone with other adults for many hours—you learn things! Our scenes were, if I may say so, artful. Aline Brosh McKenna, the writer/director/genius, placed us just so and had us pretend-talk while Reese and the supernaturally handsome Jesse Williams did their scene. The crew was enormous; the PAs were angels from heaven. I went to bed later than I had in years. Whether or not our scenes make the movie, it was a thrilling day. I wrote everyone thank you notes the next day, because I am not a heel.
Okay! That’s all for now! Sign up for more of this! I can’t promise movie stars, but I can promise to tell you the most exciting thing that has happened that week. The next newsletter should have my new book in it...book jacket, title, description, with extra hot dog content. (The book is not not about hot dogs.)
What I’m reading: