A must read: Andrew McCarthy’s new book “The Longest Way Home”

“When I get a little money, I buy books. If any is left, I buy food and clothes.” – Erasmus, humanist and scholar

Fall is here  (or so the calendar says) and it’s time to get new reading material.

I really love to get my hands on a fabulous new book, but most of all, I love discovering a great writer…Little did I know THIS ONE and I have a history that goes way back to 1986.

His name is Andrew McCarthy. His book is called “The Longest Way Home” and let me just say, it is excellent. 

My new favorite book.

Oh, he’s also an actor who you may remember from Pretty in Pink and all the other movies from the late 80’s/early 90’s.

 YES, THAT Andrew McCarthy. ¡Es el “Blane” y el de Mannequin!

 (And if you were not alive back then, then I feel sorry for you kids. You missed out! De veras amiguitos… those movies were something else. Y la canción de OMD “If You Leave” is permanently engraved in my life soundtrack. But I digress…)

I went to a book signing last weekend and met him in person. So you can imagine the teenager in me was kind of excited, but since I’m already a grown up, I honestly went to get my booked signed and meet the author, ok?

 Andrew McCarthy listens to his introduction at Vroman’s. He is an accomplished actor, director, travel writer and National Geographic Editor at Large. He’s got a pretty impressive resumé.

As it turns out, Andrew McCarthy has been traveling the world for the last decade, in addition to the show business- acting and directing, and has also become an award winning travel writer and editor at large for National Geographic. How cool is that! And how did he go from one thing to another? We’ll, you’ll just have to read the book.

I came across the title on a Sunday morning, reading the NY Times Sunday Book Review two weekends ago (The New York Times REALLY loves himclick here to read it) and also their Travel Magazine, where they had an excerpt back in August, and I was intrigued.

During the presentation there were funny moments and great stories about his life and travels.

How random is it then, that I should be in Pasadena the day he came for a book signing? Serendipity, I tell you! It’s not often that your teenage crush turned accomplished writer visits your favorite bookstore in town, the lovely Vroman’s on Colorado boulevard. But there he was.

He’s still super taquillero…. It was a full house, and not just all of us ladies, the “groupies” (You know who you are!) Había gente from every age group: men and women,  a bit older, wiser folks who appreciate a good book and author when they see one.

The crowd at Vroman’s, and this was before it started.

Andrew said someone described his book “The Longest Way Home: One Man’s Quest for the Courage to Settle Down”  as Eat, Pray, Love for men, and then he joked that he wanted Julia Roberts to play him in the movie. Yet in the NY Times book review, Cheryl Strayed writes “It’s a good book about a good man who’s trying good and hard to figure himself out.”

So it was wonderful to see him in person, listen to him read from the book, talk about his life, his family, a few of the movies and acting, the travel experiences, what traveling does for your soul and how it’s made him a better person, a bit of everything that leads up to the memoir.  He is a funny, smart and articulate person, and had us laughing and hooked throughout.

 Además… sigue estando super cute, no se le quita. ¡Esa sonrisa!

Yes, he’s still got it. Tan lindo él!

 We all got our books signed and he even took pictures with everyone, and there were over a hundred people. A few even brought their Pretty in Pink memorabilia and he signed everything. Such a cool guy!

 So yes, please read his book. You’ll enjoy it.

He was so gracious and signed everyone’s book until we all went home.

(In the meantime you can also read his piece for the LA Times Travel section on Ireland, published this past Sunday. It’s quite good!)

Yeah, I did a little swoon…

That evening I followed Erasmus’ advice and got a few other books.  Turns out my teenage idol, Molly Ringwald,  TAMBIEN has a new book out recently! This one is fiction and it’s called “When it Happens to You.” It’s a novel told in short stories, I’m also looking forward to it. So it’s kind of a reunion of sorts.

Together again. Both Andrew McCarthy and Molly Ringwald both came out with new books this year. And I’m going to read them both.

But it blows my mind a little bit. Imagine watching their movie in 1986 a hundred times, and now in 2012 both of them have become writers with new books and new careers.  It’s like they now live in this wonderful parallel literary universe.  Goes to show you, true talent will take you far indeed!

6 thoughts on “A must read: Andrew McCarthy’s new book “The Longest Way Home”

    • You should be here already!! I thought about how we loved the movie and the song. Me tuve que pellizcar un poquito.

  1. Wow, I loved everything about this blog entry…the guy, his smile, the way you captured his essence in your pictures…and seeing you in my minds eye telling me this story in person. I’ll have to read it sometime too. Y cerrar con el libro de Molly…redondeo el tema de manera perfecta…hooray for our fellow gen-x idols reinventing themselves!

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