Joel M. Hoffman's Blog: Joel M. Hoffman - Author Blog
January 22, 2016
August 25, 2015
My destination was South Africa, and the people I knew from there spoke in an accent vaguely reminiscent of certain British dialects, so I reasonably if wrongly assumed that South Africa would be more or less like Great Britain, with, perhaps, a bit of Amsterdam thrown in. I realized I had made that subconscious assumption only when it was challenged by the reality I saw: South Africa is much more Africa than Europe.
January 23, 2015
Delta flew me to San Antonio on Friday, via Atlanta, of course. I had dinner with friends, then an exceptional breakfast the next morning at The Guenther House. Well fed, I headed south toward the vastness that is southern Texas.
I opted for US-281 over I-37, and I'm glad I did. The journey ran through towns like Premont. With a total population of only a few thousand and occupying less than two square miles, the main street is practically the only street.
Route 281 brought me right to the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, where I still had a couple of hours before sunset to take in the natural beauty. I chanced upon a gorgeous snake and even spotted two bobcats across the river in Mexico.
From there it was a quick hop (which in Texas terms means a full hour) to Brownsville.
What to do for dinner? I took a chance on Sasi's, a Thai restaurant that I found on-line. And I lucked out. The food was outstanding, and the staff was warm and welcoming. If you're ever in Brownsville, stop by. You'll be glad you did.
Sunday was my book signing. Some hundred plus people showed up, even though the beautiful, sunny weather offered a tempting alternative to an indoor event.
My next event was in Corpus Christi, a couple of hours away. I arrived to find that the weather had turned even nicer, and that I had a hotel room right on the water. I took full advantage of the idyllic setting. I complemented my time with the local community by admiring the sun and the water.
It was with great reluctance that I drove back to San Antonio the next day to return home.
November 6, 2014
The first was in Glendale, CA.
Southern California is magic. The lovely weather, bright sunshine, and glorious mountains in the background would have been amazing under any circumstances. I have to admit that the beauty was enhanced by the fact that back home temperatures had dropped below freezing and a wind storm had knocked out power to my house. In California I even managed to sneak off to Joshua Tree National Park the day before my event.
Then a 6:00am departure meant that I had to leave my hotel at 4:00am, but it was worth it to get to Houston. I'd been there before, for my last book, and I remembered the destination fondly. It was great to return, and to enjoy the absolutely stellar hospitality that the Houston Jewish Book Festival arranges.
Another early morning flight forced me to cut my sleep short again, and again it was worth it. I'd been to St. Louis before, but never to the book fair. I loved it. The staff were wonderful, and the audience, like in my two previous stops, was enthusiastic and engaged.
In fact, all three times we had to cut Q&A short, so I invited the guests to continue the conversation on "The Unabridged Bible," the companion site for The Bible's Cutting Room Floor. The blog has a section for Q&A.
Now I'm on my way down to Spartanburg, SC, where I'll give five lectures: one at the local university, one at a synagogue, and three at three different churches. If you feel like stopping by, details are available on my events page.
p.s.: If you're counting time zones, the fourth comes from leaving daylight saving time while I was in California. And for about an hour I was in a fifth zone, because I transferred through Salt Lake City.
August 26, 2014
This time my destination was San Diego, for a rare pre-launch book event. The Bible's Cutting Room Floor doesn't hit book stores until Sept. 2. But people who attended the event, held at the Lawrence Family JCC in La Jolla, were able to purchase advance copies.
I thought the organizers did a great job, and I met some wonderful people.
I even managed to spend a bit of time at the amazing San Diego Zoo Safari. Pictures are on my Flickr account.
Next stop, Georgia.
August 21, 2014
Tomorrow I leave for San Diego. And this Sunday I'll be talking about my research and signing books at a pre-launch party.