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Archives - March 2015

Journalist Bethanne Patrick, one of Flavorwire's “35 Writers Who Run the Literary Internet," tweets as @TheBookMaven and began the #FridayReads book discovery meme. Bethanne received her MA in English from the University of Virginia and lived in Charlottesville twice; she has been involved with the Virginia Festival of the Book since 2000 and regularly moderates its Agents Panel. She also was on a panel about book groups, which had a wonderful turnout! The veteran attendee was kind enough to share her experience at the event this year, including her favorite panel and the most surprising thing she learned.
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.