Sylvie Simmons Book Reading and Signing Event "I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen" at Book Soup, West Hollywood on September 24, 2012

September 27, 2012

Sylvie Simmons and Arlene

Book Soup is a modest sized neighbourhood type book store on Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood, the kind that is sadly disappearing. So it was with great anticipation I went to the Sylvie Simmons book event. Great surroundings and I was not disappointed.

First thing upon arriving, I bought the book which was well displayed of course for the book event. I messaged Sylvie ahead of time to ask permission for a photograph and she kindly agreed.

I arrived early to snag one of the few stack chairs available and got one in the first row.  A lovely lady took  the chair next to me. She was gracious, friendly and interesting and introduced herself. It was Aviva Layton, long time partner of Irving Layton, Leonard Cohen's literary mentor.  Aviva was proud that her photo is included in Sylvie's book and offered to show me where it was. If you have the US edition, the photo is on the fourth page of photos, left side bottom.  The caption reads: "Aviva Layton. Irving Layton, Anne Sherman and Leonard in the Laurentians, Quebec. Leonard Cohen Personal Collection."

Aviva Layton
I would estimate between 30 and 40 people turned out for this book event and the bookstore handled this number comfortably. There were only 12 stack chairs (see the photo above) and the rest of the patrons stood in two book aisles.

Sylvie Simmons put on a super book reading, told terrific anecdotes (see video clip below), answered questions and then rewarded us with two wonderful Leonard Cohen songs with her ukelele, Sisters of Mercy and Famous Blue Raincoat.  Sylvie likes to include local artists wherever she goes for her book events. At the Book Soup, it was Rob Laufer. You will see in the videos below, what a good match they are.

And after all of these treats, Sylvie graciously stood at the back and signed books.

Thank you Sylvie, for all your efforts and a most wonderful book event.

Sylvie Simmons reading book excerpts with anecdotes

Sylvie Simmons & Rob Laufer - Sisters of Mercy  (at 3.30 a cellphone goes off. Both Rob and Sylvie smile and carry on)

Sylvie Simmons & Rob Laufer - Famous Blue Raincoat

Sylvie Simmons will be doing a book event in late October in Austin and will attend the Leonard Cohen opening concert in Austin on October 31.

See also my earlier post: Sylvie Simmons Reads Poignant Excerpt From Her Leonard Cohen Bio about So Long, Marianne at Madison Event


  1. Thanks for the coverage - sorry I missed it (back trouble - no long drives right now)

  2. Thanks very much for this report and the videos Arlene. Most enjoyable. I look forward to getting my hands on a copy of the book,
    Tim Dale

  3. Thank you so much Arlene, you are always our incredible journalist !

  4. It sounds like a lovely event. The book seems on its way to become a classic.