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When we heard that bestselling author John Searles was visiting a book club in each of the 50 states to discuss his award-winning mystery, HELP FOR THE HAUNTED, we couldn’t help but be impressed by such an ambitious undertaking! Halfway through this exciting project, he took time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions about his whirlwind tour. Here, John talks about some of the most interesting groups he’s chatted with so far, the strangest question he’s been asked, and what makes HELP FOR THE HAUNTED such a terrrific book for discussion. If your group is interested in discussing it, you can find the guide here.
This past weekend, March 14 – 15, the University of Arizona campus was overrun with book lovers of all shapes and sizes, as people gathered to attend the Tucson Festival of Books. With more than 250 exhibitors and new and veteran authors including Lisa See, Deborah Harkness and William Kent Krueger in attendance, there was plenty for attendees to see. Luckily, Edy Alderson is an experienced festival-goer, and she was kind enough to navigate the scene for us. Here, Edy shares --- with infectious enthusiasm --- her favorite panels, event highlights, and which book she’s most looking forward to reading.
It’s been a brutal winter, and all this snow has made traveling nearly impossible. We got to wondering how book groups have been faring in these colder months, and what measures they’ve been taking to combat these precipitous obstacles. We asked our readers in last month’s registered newsletter to share their strategies, and we were delighted (but not surprised) to see that many of you seem to have this all figured out.
Jonathan Odell's deeply moving novel, MISS HAZEL AND THE ROSA PARKS LEAGUE is set in pre-Civil Rights Mississippi. It's the story of a town, a people and a culture on the verge of a great change that begins with small things, like unexpected friendship. Jonathan himself grew up in Mississippi, and here he shares his journey, as a "recovering racist," toward a greater empathy and understanding of others who are like and unlike him. Read on for his story, and click here to watch a video where he further explores the issue of race in America.
The Miami Book Fair  is now in its 31st year, and boasts more than 450 authors reading and discussing their work, including the Latin American and Spanish authors who participate in the IberoAmerican Authors Program. Unfortunately, Carol could not make it to Miami this year, but one of our readesr Cristina Vazquez (who Carol has been lucky to spend time with at the Fair in the past) was kind enough to share her commentary on the event. Here, she talks about some of the panels she attended (she learned some surprising information about one of her favorite authors) and the books she thinks will lend themselves to excellent book group discussion.
Last Saturday book group members, leaders and avid readers joined editors of the Hachette Book Group and their authors in New York at the Lighthouse International for Hachette’s Annual Book Group Brunch.
This past Saturday, September 27th, readers and writers arrived in downtown Morristown for a beautiful, sunny day of books and author talks at the inaugural Morristown Festival of Books. The downtown location was a particularly great venue because of the easily accessible parking and literally dozens of places to eat during the lunch break.
Last October, we gave 100+ book groups the chance to win a copy of THE PRESERVATIONIST and have author Justin Kramon personally visit their group's discussion. We heard from many of you that the book was great and Justin was an absolute delight. Here, Justin shares his experience group-hopping across the country; it seems he enjoyed you as much as you enjoyed him, even if no attempts at kidnapping were made! Make sure to scroll all the way down to see some photos from Justin's travels. And click here to check out reader Valerie Giambona's blog post about Justin's visit to her book group.
If there is one series that has crossed multiple generations and genres, it is the Outlander novels. The books, the first of which was published in 1991, have slowly but surely acquired a large base of fans, many of whom who have been reading the series for over 20 years.
One of my favorite parts of my job is conducting interviews for REAL TALK: Publishing. I get to meet people with the most interesting jobs, and, like our readers, get a sneak peek into a side of the book industry that I likely know little about. Preparing for our upcoming REAL TALK interview with audiobook producer/director May Wuthrich was no exception, and actually, it was extra special, because it came with a field trip! May invited me to watch an hour of her recording session with Mozhan Marnò (“House of Cards” fans will recognize her as reporter Ayla Sayyad), who was narrating READING LOLITA IN TEHRAN author Azar Nafisi’s newest book, THE REPUBLIC OF IMAGINATION: America in Three Books. Here are a few of the most interesting things I discovered: