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Sarah Vowell at Skylight

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Ever wonder what it's like to be renaissance woman Sarah Vowell? It probably looks a little like this. At least, that's what it looked like last night as people crammed into Skylight Books to hear her read from her latest book, Assassination Vacation, now out in paperback.

In case you don't know Ms. Vowell, she's an editor at This American Life, the award-winning storytelling show on NPR (some of her older stories can be heard here; we're particularly fond of the cannon). She was the voice of Violet in The Incredibles. She's the chair of the board of 826NYC. She has been writing op-ed columns in the NY Times. And the bestselling books. Whew.

All that Sarah Vowell-ness led to a humongously packed bookstore, where only the luck few could actually see her read; the rest had a radio-like experience. The piece she read from the book, about the 19th-century free love Onedia community (where President Garfield's assassin resided), was as funny as you'd expect. The questions afterward showcased her quick wit. Here's an example:

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Q: What do you think of Ira Glass?
A: What do you think of your boss?

LA landmarks she likes are the Barnsdall Art Park, the Schindler House and Union Station. You might find her at any of them toward the end of April, when she comes back to town for the LA Times Festival of Books.