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How Should A Person Be?

TONIGHT: A Discussion on How Should a Person Be?

Republic – Calhoun Square, 3001 Hennepin Ave S.

Social 6pm / Discussion 7pm

Even if you only read the prologue, you are sure to have an opinion on How Should A Person Be? We cordially invite you to bring that opinion to Books and Bars tonight.




We asked Jeff Kamin of Books and Bars a few questions in preparation for our big discussion:

1. Best Book You ever read:

Hardest question ever, akin to Sophie’s Choice. I don’t want to answer it. I really don’t but I will say I love a lot of books. One of them is The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. But it could be because it reminds me of being on a hammock on vacation in the Cayman Islands.


2. The worst book you ever read:

This one? No. I have stopped reading a few, but one that I read for Books & Bars and didn’t like too much was Beautiful Stranger: A Memoir of an Obsession with Perfection by Hope Donahue

Which maybe not coincidentally is the only B&B I have not moderated since I started running it. I fled to Australia and had a couple friends/members run that one.

 3. One sentence summary of How Should A Person Be?


A young female artist experiments, struggles and bats the ball around with no rules but writes an ugly book which wins the contest.


4. Favorite piece of hate mail surrounding your choice to take on the book:

The number one person begging me not to do this book was Amy Rea. Now she feel vindicated. I at least intentionally chose a month we are not in Chanhassen as she attends that one usually.


@amycrea@BrianSipprell Well, I warned @jefe23 ... But you know, that man, he just doesn't listen.

@amycrea: @heideland I have a vision of @jefe23 entering the room, and everyone heaving their copy of the book at him. I'm staying home for safety.


5. Favorite Books and Bars memory:

I dressed up as the main character in Jonathan Ames’ Wake Up, Sir! and Keith the Hater played Jeeves, my personal valet, wearing coat and tails, serving cognac to the readers who believed in him. I also loved our video chat with Lev Grossman (The Magicians, Time magazine) and our Harry Potter night on all 7 books including trivia. There’s been so many over our almost ten years and over 150+ meetings.


6. What is one thing a newbie can expect from a Books and Bars crowd?

You can always expect an in depth smart discussion of the book and author tempered with a lot of fun and friendly faces. 




Before you come tonight...

1. Reread the Prologue of the book:

We live in an age of some really great blow-job artists. Every era has its art form. The nineteenth century, I know, was tops for the novel.

2. Decide where you land:

The writing of How Should A Person Be?  has “that sloppy, pert formlessness characteristic of university days, so that one occasionally has to remind oneself that the author is thirty-five and not twenty.”   

James Wood, The New Yorker


3. Listen to Sheila Heti talk about her work:



4. Read this Awl interview:

Why do characters have to be likeable? Female characters especially have to be likeable, which is crazy.

Sheila Heti


We have to admit that we kinda love the book, guys. But you are welcome to throw your French fries and beer in protest. The discussion should be intense.



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