New York Times bestselling author and Princeton alumni Jennifer Weiner returned to the Princeton Public Library yesterday, and spoke to a full house. It’s no wonder there was standing room only, because Weiner catapults her charm and humor into the stratosphere due to her lack of filter.
Ms. Weiner graciously provided delicious cupcakes from Stace of Cakes for attendees, as part of her Cupcakes Across America tour (last year was whoopie pies). As if she needed them to attract a crowd, but thanks for the yummy treat! Unfortunately, she got stuck in traffic. Librarian Janie Hermann kept us up to date and entertained while waiting. Hermann added that she’s usually early.
Once Weiner arrived, she quickly changed from flats to heels in the front of the room, got a thumbs up for the necklace she added and thumbs down for putting on a bra, and also for changing her dress. I wondered if she had planned to do this in front of us, or if it was because of being late, but it definitely set the tone for what was to come.
Her stories were hilarious, at times sprinkled with colorful language. Weiner told us that one woman said “you write what I think”. That’s where the filter is missing, and why she’s so funny. She also writes the way she speaks. This informality certainly draws the reader in, and makes her stories more intimate.
The latest book, The Next Big Thing is available in bookstores and online as a hard cover, eBook, and audio book. This is her 10th book, and she’s sold a total of over 11 million copies worldwide. It’s based on the sitcom she wrote for ABC Family featuring Raven-Symoné called State of Georgia, but was unfortunately cancelled. She painfully read about this on the Hollywood news site Deadline moments before the call.
One of her idols/mentors is Nora Ephron. I can totally understand this since I’ve met Ms. Ephron (see post). Both have a body of work that are humorous in different ways, but relate so well to their audience.
After about 30 minutes of speaking, Jennifer answered questions, gave away canvas boat bags and beach towels to those who wore a vest, and signed books, which where for sale in the back for those who had yet to purchase one. I can call her by her first name, because she asked me to photograph her and the crowd wearing vests with her iPhone.
I haven’t read The Next Big Thing yet, but from what I’ve heard, this will make a GREAT summer read. Jennifer Weiner is a delight to hear speak, because she connects with her audience live just as well as she does in her books. I can’t wait until her next visit.