House of SpeakEasy Blog

Writers and Storytelling: Larry Olmsted

Larry Olmsted, Photo Credit Allison Olmsted

Larry Olmsted is an award-winning journalist who has been a visiting professor at Dartmouth College, where he taught nonfiction writing. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Real Food / Fake Food and Getting into Guinness, a history of the Guinness Book of World Records, a book for which he broke three world records himself while researching, and the new book FansHow Watching Sports Makes Us Happier, Healthier and More Understanding. He currently writes online columns for Forbes and USA Today, and he appears regularly on television and radio.

On May 25th, Larry will join Amber Hunt, Gabriela Garcia, and Nancy Sherman in our next edition of “Seriously Entertaining” where they will each tell stories tied to the theme “I Scream, You Scream.” Register here for the show!

What are you reading right now for solace or escape or entertainment?

The new Equalizer reboot with Queen Latifah. Oh wait, that’s a TV show. I bought the new Stephen King book If It Bleeds at the start of pandemic but never opened it. I have stacks of unread “to read” books. Frankly I’ve been too busy with interviews and writing spin-off op-eds for own new book Fans, and I just listened to it in its entirety as an audio book which is a really weird experience because it’s not me.

If you could live inside a fictional world, which one would you choose?

Fernfield, the small town where the Disney Buddies movies are set. I love Golden Retrievers, have two, and it would be so cool if they could talk and have adventures like in Fernfield.

Are there any quotes you use to inspire you?

“You Miss 100% of the Shots You Don’t Take,” Wayne Gretzky

“Not all those who wander are lost,” JRR Tolkien

“Good teams make their own luck,” unknown

What writer would you like to share with the world and why?

Tony Hawks, the British comedian not the pro skateboarder of same name. He wrote Round Ireland With A Fridge, which is the funniest travel book of all time yet largely unknown even among travel writers. After making a drunken bet, he sets out to hitchhike around all of Ireland while carrying a dorm fridge. He and his fridge then have real life adventures. What could be better than that? His follow up, Playing the Moldovans at Tennis, is aslo quite good,. Now that I just googled him I see he has a newer book I haven’t read so I am about to buy it – just shared with myself!

Writers and Storytelling: Michelle Nijhuis

Michelle Nijhuis is a project editor at The Atlantic, a contributing editor at High Country News, and an award-winning reporter whose work has been published in National Geographic and the New York Times Magazine. She is co-editor of The Science Writers’ Handbook and lives in White Salmon, Washington. Her new book Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction is out now. On April 20th, Michelle will join Annabelle Gurwitch and Sanjena Sathian in our next edition of "Seriously...

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Writers and Storytelling: Sanjena Sathian

A Paul and Daisy Soros fellow, Sanjena Sathian is a 2019 graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She has worked as a reporter in Mumbai and San Francisco, with nonfiction bylines for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Food & Wine, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, and more. And her award-winning short fiction has been published in Boulevard, Joyland, Salt Hill, and The Master’s Review. Her debut novel Gold Diggers is out now. On April 20th, Sanjena will join Annabelle...

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Writers and Storytelling: Mary H. K. Choi

Mary H. K. Choi is a writer for The New York Times, GQ, Wired, and The Atlantic. She has written comics for Marvel and DC, as well as a collection of essays called Oh, Never Mind. Her novels Emergency Contact and Permanent Record were New York Times bestsellers. She is the host of Hey, Cool Job!, a podcast about jobs, and Hey, Cool Life!, a podcast about mental health and creativity. Mary grew up in Hong Kong and Texas and now lives in New York. Her new book Yolk is out now.  On March 23rd,...

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Writers and Storytelling: Avi Loeb

Avi Loeb is the former chair of the astronomy department at Harvard University (2011-2020), founding director of Harvard’s Black Hole Initiative and director of the Institute for Theory and Computation at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He also chairs the Board on Physics and Astronomy of the National Academies and the advisory board for the Breakthrough Starshot project, and is a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. His new book is...

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Writers and Storytelling: Nic Stone

Nic Stone is an Atlanta native and a Spelman College graduate. Her debut novel for young adults, Dear Martin, and her debut middle-grade novel, Clean Getaway, were both New York Times bestsellers. She is also the author of Odd One Out, a novel about discovering oneself and who it is okay to love, which was an NPR Best Book of the Year and a Rainbow Book List Top Ten selection, Jackpot, a love-ish story that takes a searing look at economic inequality and Shuri: A Black Panther Novel based on...

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Writers and Storytelling: Melissa Febos

Melissa Febos is the author of the forthcoming Girlhood, as well as Whip Smart and Abandon Me, a Lambda Literary Award finalist and Publishing Triangle Award finalist. Her essays have appeared in Tin House, The Believer, The New York Times, and elsewhere. Febos is the inaugural winner of the Jeanne Córdova Prize for Lesbian/Queer Nonfiction from Lambda Literary and the recipient of fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, The BAU Institute, The Barbara Deming Foundation, Vermont Studio Center,...

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Writers and Storytelling: Renée Watson

Renée Watson is the New York Times bestselling, Newbery Honor Book, and Coretta Scott King Award-winning author of Piecing Me Together, This Side of Home, What Momma Left Me, and Betty Before X, co-written with Ilyasah Shabazz, as well as two acclaimed picture books: A Place Where Hurricanes Happen and Harlem’s Little Blackbird, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. She is the founder of I, Too, Arts Collective, a nonprofit committed to nurturing underrepresented voices in the creative...

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Writers and Storytelling: Marisa Acocella

Marisa Acocella is the New York Times best-selling author of the graphic novels The Big She-Bang (which you can buy in our Bookshop storefront) and Ann Tenna, the graphic memoir Cancer Vixen, and Just Who the Hell is She, Anyway? She is also a cartoonist for The New Yorker and her work has appeared in The New York Times, Glamour, and O, The Oprah Magazine. A breast cancer survivor, she is the founder of the Marisa Acocella Foundation, which, through a grant from Bloomingdale’s, funds the free...

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Writers and Storytelling: Matthew Gavin Frank

Matthew Gavin Frank is the author of The Mad Feast and Preparing the Ghost, which was reviewed on the front-page of The New York Times Book Review. He teaches creative writing and lives in Marquette, Michigan. His new book is Flight of the Diamond Smugglers: A Tale of Pigeons, Obsession, and Greed Along Coastal South Africa, which is available in our Bookshop storefront. He will be joining Marisa Acocella, Walter Mosley, and Renee Watson, on February 23rd to tell stories tied to the theme "I...

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