Every December, readers, writers and booklovers gather at Random House’s Open House
event, a day when readers are invited to meet their favorite authors and Random House’s staffers to learn more about new and upcoming titles. (There are additional events like this hosted throughout the year.) The event is typically hosted at the Random House offices, but last week for their 10th Open House event, they celebrated by taking things out of house, to the nearby Kaye Theater at Hunter College.
The Texas Book Festival was held on November 5—6, in Austin, TX. The annual festival is one of the largest and most prestigious in the country and boasts over 250 authors, over 20 venues including the State Capitol, and more than 80 exhibitors --- not to mention live music, local food trucks and plenty of family activities. We were not fortunate enough to make it out there this year, but two fabulous readers, Anne Glasgow and Kathy Bigelow, were kind enough to share their experience with us. Below, they talk about their favorite panels, unexpected author encounters, and which books they are most looking forward to reading.
This past August, Edinburgh was host to their very own international book festival, set in a specially created tent village in Charlotte Square Gardens. They welcomed more than 800 authors in over 700 events, including novelists, poets, scientists, philosophers, sportsmen, illustrators, comics creators, historians, musicians, biographers, environmentalists, economists, Nobel and Booker prize-winners and many more besides. Jani Brooks from Rhode Island was lucky enough to attend, and here she shares her experience with us, including amazing descriptions of Scotland's sights and sounds and her very special Outlander-themed trip.
On Saturday, October 22nd, almost 300 book lovers joined authors and publishing professionals for Hachette’s annual Book Club Brunch --- now in its fifth year. Boasting a variety of authors, books and snacks, this event is highly anticipated by readers and sells out nearly every year. The Book Report Network staffers were unable to make it, but we had seven generous readers share their experiences with us, including which authors they connected to most, which books they can’t wait to read, and how the discussion of Min Jin Lee
--- which readers were given the opportunity to read before the event --- played out in such a large group.
This month (and every month) at ReadingGroupGuides.com, we're particularly interested in the dynamics of your book group. We know that --- for longterm groups especially --- it can be hard to evaluate how your group is doing and get back on track. That's why we think groups will benefit from a Book Group Checkup: It gives your group an opportunity to do a self-check to be sure its goals are still being met. Pick a month that you are going to do this and make it an open forum where people discuss a number of questions, or you can have people write their comments anonymously. We've been asking readers to share some thoughts and tips for optimizing meetings, which you can check out below.
This weekend, Bookreporter.com's Carol Fitzgerald, our intern Maya Gittelman and I all met up in beautiful Morristown, New Jersey, for what has become one of our most highly anticipated events of the season: the Morristown Festival of Books. Held during the first weekend of October, this fabulous festival brings authors, readers and books together for a full day of exciting programming --- at no cost!
Longtime reader Denise Neary provides her book club's perspectives on Jodi Picoult's new novel SMALL GREAT THINGS
This year’s National Book Festival
was held this past Saturday, September 24th, at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. Denise Neary, our longtime and intrepid reporter, attended with her husband Chris Kelly, and was more than willing to share her experience with us. Here, she discusses Festival highlights, including panels with Katherine Paterson, Geraldine Brooks, and --- by a serendipitous stroke of luck --- Stephen King.
Last Friday, The Book Report Network’s Carol Fitzgerald, Nicole Sherman, former intern Erin Siu and I made our way to Random House’s New York offices for their ninth Open House, a day when readers are invited to interact with both Random House staff and authors to go behind the scenes of their favorite new and forthcoming titles. Also with us were Bookreporter.com
reviewers Vivian Payton and Matthew Burbridge and Carol’s friend, Beverley.
Last Friday, The Book Report Network’s Carol Fitzgerald, Nicole Sherman and I took some time out of our busy schedules to treat ourselves to a day at Random House for their Spring Open House event. My dear friends --- and avid Bookreporter.com readers --- Vivian Payton, Elena Payton and Mary Wegner were also in attendance, as was Carol’s friend, Beverley Wilson. This was my fifth time attending the event, and, as always, it did not disappoint.