Monday, September 13, 2010

Sara Gruen-- APE HOUSE

On Saturday, Brenda (a friend of mine I've known for years online and finally got to meet face to face!) and I made the drive to the Malaprops bookstore in Asheville, NC, one of the stops for Sara Gruen's book tour. The book is APE HOUSE, and it is on sale everywhere. Most of you will know Sara from her best-selling books WATER FOR ELEPHANTS and RIDING LESSONS.

We toured the Biltmore mansion before the signing, which I HIGHLY recommend (stop into the courtyard and get a chocolate-dipped waffle cone after you're done, it is the best ice cream I've tasted in a while--I loved the mint chip) and it was amazing!!! The grounds are gorgeous too, but unfortunately we didn't get to see as much as we liked because of the FISHOOKS and HAMMER HANDLES raining down on us most of the time! (It almost seemed like the downpour timed itself just as we wanted to be outside! ;-)
We saved the house for last. We did the audio tour, which takes you through 40+ rooms and gives a lot of background on the mansion. We both had complete coronary heart attacks over the LIBRARY--wood-paneled walls, luxurious furniture, tapestries, leatherbound books stacked in rows two floors up, and a fireplace you can stand in.
We wondered if they'd care if we just stepped over the velvet ropes and sat ourselves down for a while. ;-)

Then it was on to dinner and the Malaprops Bookstore/Cafe--a great independent bookstore in the heart of downtown Asheville.

Sara was gracious and poised, and answered many questions. She spoke at length of her research with Bonobo apes, which in itself is quite amazing. She had us laughing with funny anecdotes of her time spent at the Great Ape Trust. I've started reading the book and it is riveting. For Sara's other stops on her book tour you can find the info on
Congratulations Sara!

And THANK YOU Brenda, for such a great day!!!


Devon Ellington said...

Biltmore Houe is on my list of must-sees. Sounds like you had a fantastic time! And isn't Brenda a ton of fun? We've gotten together a few times in NY and had a good time.

Anonymous said...

You're more than welcome! We'll have to plan another excursion soon!

Anonymous said...

I love the Malaprops Bookstore. It's so cute!

Aimee said...

I hear they're making Water For Elephants into a movie (GREAT book). And that what's-his-face-Edward from Twilight plays the lead role. He's not bad to look at so I'm looking forward to it.

Lara said...

Aimee, yes, Robert Pattinson is playing Jacob, and Reese Witherspoon is playing Marlena! They wrapped the filming recently, and it will be out in April next year. April 15, I believe!