Writer for the hit television comedy “The Office,” and actor in the recent Disney biopic Saving Mr. Banks, B.J. Novak can now add New York Times bestselling author to his resumé.
Novak’s book, One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories is a collection of humorous short fiction that is at times laugh out loud funny and, at other times, painfully sad as it explores loneliness and love.
On Monday Feb. 17, at the modest-looking venue Town Hall Seattle that was, in its former incarnation, a Christian Science Church, B.J. Novak recited stories about vengeful hares, ambitious impatient billionaires and lonely guys who worry their friends are hanging out without them.
The room was half-full, with the audience members sitting attentively on threadbare pews, waiting for the man on stage to finish his lengthy introduction of Novak.
Said introduction involved the use of words like “praiseworthy,” “impactful,” and “genius.” When Novak finally arrived onstage, the audience broke into applause.
The first story he read was coincidentally the first story in the book. Entitled “The Rematch,” it describes what would happen if the Tortoise and the Hare (of the Tortoise and the Hare fable that boasts the famous phrase “Slow and Steady Wins the Race”) decided to have another race.
He followed up with “The Impatient Billionaire,” a story about a man who decided to put a mirror on the moon and simply could not wait until it was finished.
He proceeded to read several other stories from the book, including “Dark Matter,” “Angel Echevaria: Comediante Superfantastic,” “All You Have to Do,” “Romance: Part 1” and “Missed Connection.”
After reading a story by a female narrator, Novak said that you can hear an actual woman read it if you buy the One More Thing audiobook on Amazon.com or iTunes.
He neglected to mention that the women you hear reading that particular story is Emmy-nominated actress and writer Mindy Kaling. The audiobook boasts similarly acclaimed stars, such as Emma Thompson, Carey Mulligan, Rainn Wilson, Katy Perry and Jason Schwartzman, just to name a few.
The audience hung on Novak’s every word and waited for the next big laugh as he gestured excitedly.
In the Q&A after the reading, Novak fielded questions about his work on “The Office,” his writing process and his personal life. He discussed how to moderate creative disputes, his favorite moments on “The Office” set and his greatest inspirations.
He claimed that the only piece of writing advice he has ever felt he is qualified to give is, “Write for the kid sitting next to you.”
You can buy tickets for B.J. Novak’s tour at Uncollectedstories.com/tour and you can buy One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories on Amazon.com