Two surprises:

1)Steve Martin, the actor, plays the banjo in a group.

2.) I am besotted with the banjo, as played and strummed by him.

A week from now, Ty and I will hear Steve play seaside at Humphrey’s by the Bay in San Diego.

Meanwhile, the best song on his latest banjo album is below. (Just listen, and see if you don’t feel instantly happy.)

And if you need a fantastic book or two to read, he’s one of the best writers we have.  I absolutely inhaled An Object of Beauty and Shopgirl, of course — which made me want to go to Neiman Marcus, to buy gloves.

My gloves would be Chanel. (Have you SEEN these things? Just glorious.)

Fingerless, of course — because I live in the wasteland.

And if you also live in this desert, an amazing author is speaking tomorrow night at Changing Hands Bookstore and I’m really excited to go listen. Jess Walter wrote The Financial Lives of the Poets, one of the best books I read last year, and his new book is called Beautiful Ruins, and it’s set on the Italian coast. Have I mentioned that I find setting more important than most readers?

I’m so happy I haven’t read it yet — joy awaits me. Walter is smart and wipe-your-eyes funny and most of the writers I know hate him for being so fast, and so talented. Read the NYTimes rhapsody about his book here. A good LA Times article about Walter is here.

Doesn’t he look fun?

7 pm Friday, Changing Hands. Details here.

Tell me if my song made you happy. I hope so.