Anne Lamott at Brazos Bookstore, Plus Two Chances to See Diane Setterfeld at MBTB or Blue Willow Bookshop

The most amazing thing happened the other day. I sat down in my quiet living room, I opened a book, and I read for an uninterrupted 90-minute stretch. No TV, no music, no checking my phone for missed messages--just the occasional rustle of the page as I turned from one to the next.

You, too, can have this magical experience. With a November calendar absolutely bursting with incredible author signings, Houston independent bookstores are practically throwing the peace and quiet at you; inviting you to meet a new or longtime favorite author, to hear them read, to buy their books, and then to curl up and read the world away, if only for a little while.

Oh, and here's a hint: Start your Christmas shopping now at Murder By The Book, Brazos Bookstore, and Blue Willow Bookshop.

Murder By The Book

On Saturday, November 9, spice things up a little with Houston-based author Delphine Dryden, who will sign and discuss her new novel Gossamer Wings at Murder by the Book (4:30 p.m.). Writing in the romance genre, Dryden is a recovering lawyer and award-winning author; if you enjoy meeting local writers, you'll love this signing.

We also have our eye on the November 12 event with Julia Spencer-Fleming, who will sign and discuss her latest Through the Evil Days. Spencer-Fleming is also the author of In the Bleak Midwinter (her debut novel that won the St. Martin's/Malice Domestic, the Dilys, the Agatha, the Anthony, the Macavity, and the Barry awards!) and Out of the Deep I Cry, the latter of which was a finalist for the 2005 Edgar Award.

There are also tickets still available for the November 18 "Tea with Diane Setterfield." Part of the ongoing Mystery Author Luncheon Series, tickets for this event are $65, and include lunch and a copy of Bellman and Black.

Brazos Bookstore

Brazos Bookstore has so much going on in November, we seriously might need to synchronize our watches. First, on November 8, Matt Zoller Seitz will be in-store to sign The Wes Anderson Collection, a photo book celebrating Wes Anderson films. The signing starts at 7 p.m., and this $40 hardcover would make a perfect Christmas gift for a movie lover (or coffee table book lover) in your life.

Tickets are required for the November 13 event with Anne Lamott. Yes, the Anne Lamott. The event itself will be held at Christ Church Cathedral, and tickets ($18.50) can be pre-purchased through the Brazos Bookstore website.

On Tuesday, November 19 Mark Halperin will discuss and sign his book Double Down: Game Change 2012 at the University of Houston. This is also a ticketed event ($30), and your purchase includes a copy of Double Down as well as entry; tickets can be purchased in advance, online. The following evening, meet Jody Williams--activist, author, 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winner--when she talks about her memoir, My Name is Jody Williams: A Vermont Girl's Winding Path to the Nobel Peace Prize.

Blue Willow Bookshop

Blue Willow Bookshop also has a terrific schedule of events coming up in November, starting with a visit from Loren Long and Jon Agee on Saturday, November 9 at noon. Long and Agee are author/illustrators and will be signing their newest holiday titles, An Otis Christmas and Little Santa, respectively.

Cookbook fans should mark their calendars for Houston author Elizabeth Stone on Monday, November 11 at 7 p.m. and Christy Jordan on Friday, November 22 at 5 p.m. Stone will sign and discuss An Invitation to Entertain: Recipes for Gracious Parties, which comes out just in time for Christmas. Jordan's signing on November 22 is for her latest, Come Home to Supper; the event will also double as a food drive for the Fair Haven Food Pantry. Visit the event to view the list of requested donation items.

If you can't make the MBTB November event with Diane Setterfield, you have a second chance at it. The author will appear at Blue Willow Bookshop on Monday, November 18 to sign Bellman and Black at 7 p.m.

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