The third event of this summer’s the law firm reading series was a landmark for Behind the Book and truly a pleasure to attend. In a way, bringing authors into law offices to give readings, is not so different than what we do during the school year, because everyone, no matter their age or reading level, could benefit from meeting a fantastic author.
And so, after the installments on Wednesday and Thursday, we have reached the third and final post about the third and final reading, where Jim Shepard read from So You Think That’s Bad at the law offices of Weil, Gotshal & Manges.
You Think That’s Bad is a collection of short stories, and Jim Shepard read excerpts from a couple of the stories, each one deliciously precarious with strange, but likeable characters. The first story Mr. Shepard read was about Polish mountain climbers, who will wait patiently for the worst times of year to ascend their mountains. But while strange, the story is far from absurdity, because Jim Shepard meticulously researches his stories, spending sometimes six months learning everything he can about a topic before writing his final draft. In his talk, Jim Shepard told us about the research he completes for his stories, and the long writing process that goes into a short story of his.
With his affable nature and great sense of humor, Jim Shepard immediately gained a small fan club of summer associates who clustered around him at the refreshments table when he went to get a pastry after his reading. A second conversation about great books and short stories (and many other things too) arose organically in the friendlier and more informal circle at the end of the refreshment tables and became the third act of the event after the reading and the Q&A.
We would just like to thank Jim Shepard and the offices of Weil, Gotshal & Manges one more time, for making this reading possible. The summer law firm reading series has been a great success and we are always grateful to be able to work with such lovely people. All the law offices have such breathtaking views from the windows, and so it’s fitting to end with one last view of Central Park from the 25th Floor.
If you’re reading this and your corporation or law office would like to hold a reading for a special group within your company, we would gladly run the same sort of event for you.