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This past Saturday, more than a hundred readers trekked up to beautiful Hudson Valley for Random House’s latest reader event, “Off the Page.”  Although Random House has been inviting readers into their headquarters for years, this time they took the party to the stylish Basilica Hudson, a stone’s throw from the Hudson Amtrak train station, where attendees were invited to listen as authors discussed their latest works, participate in workshops and even do a bit of shopping.  I had the fortune of attending Off the Page with former Bookreporter intern Matthew Burbridge, Bookreporter reviewer Vivian Payton and Carol Fitzgerald.
               
Malcolm Brooks first read THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER when he was not yet 11 years old, and the impact of the Twain classic was not lost on him. He and his friends --- boys of the rural foothills of the California Sierras --- did their best to invent adventures worthy of Tom and Huck. So when his young son asked for his copy of TOM SAWYER, Malcolm was not surprised by his interest; he was impressed, though, by his boy’s keen insight. Malcolm’s own book, PAINTED HORSES --- a stunning debut, as well as a lyrical and layered adventure story worthy of Twain’s heroes --- is now available in paperback.
It’s no secret that Daniel Palmer’s father, the late Michael Palmer, has had a tremendous impact on his son’s work. The senior Palmer was a master of the medical thriller, and --- as the story goes --- was overjoyed when Daniel started making his own contributions to the family’s literary canon. After his father’s sudden and untimely passing, Daniel was charged with writing Michael’s latest book --- a task that might have been daunting if his father’s legacy hadn’t been so thorough. TRAUMA ended up being so much more than a son carrying his father’s torch; it ended up being therapeutic, as labors of love tend to be.
Robert Kurson is an award-winning journalist and author, whose writing has appeared in Esquire, Rolling Stone and The New York Times Magazine. He is known for his exhilarating nonfiction, and his latest, PIRATE HUNTERS: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship (out today) does not disappoint. Robert may have been a born storyteller, but he credits his dad --- no slouch in that department either --- with fostering that talent…as well as fueling it with stories of his own.
Elena Delbanco is no stranger to the arts: She recently retired after teaching for 27 years at the University of Michigan, and before that, she co-founded the Bennington Writing Workshops. Elena’s father was the renowned cellist Bernard Greenhouse, who owned the Countess of Stainlein ex-Paganini Stradivarius violoncello of 1707. The imagined fate of that instrument, upon her father’s death, inspired THE SILVER SWAN, her first novel. In our inaugural Father’s Day Blog post, Elena writes about her unique childhood as the daughter of a great artist, a man who did not and could not act like the rest of the 9-to-5 dads. Still, she could always count on spending time with him on Father’s Day, and together they would enjoy the intersection of their interests: books about music.
I'd venture a guess that there's a good chance you text --- a lot. Maybe at lunch or before you go to bed, but probably while you're doing other things, too --- "listening" to your teacher talk about the Civil War, sitting at the office or even walking, biking or driving. In his book A DEADLY WANDERING, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Matt Richtel explores a "texting-while-driving" incident that claimed the lives of two rocket scientists in 2006 and the greater influence of technology on the human mind and society. See his blog post below, where he discusses the book --- it will definitely make you think twice about your own texting behavior.    
New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery’s THE GIRLS OF MISCHIEF BAY is the first novel of a brand new series, about three women at different stages in life, who come together to provide solace and support through shared laughter and tears, proving that when all else fails, you always have your friends. It’s safe to say that Susan’s books have moved millions of readers, and in our final Mother's Day Blog, she graciously gives credit to her mother --- for teaching her how to love books through and through, and to appreciate the lessons that can be learned from each and every story.
Kathryn Springer’s latest book, THE DANDELION FIELD, is about a handsome firefighter and a headstrong single mom who find that romance can bloom in the rockiest of places. But Kathryn wasn’t always a bestselling author; once upon a time, she was a little girl who sat at her mother’s desk and banged out stories about horses on a manual typewriter. To this day, Kathryn is grateful that her mom let her sit behind that desk --- and that she wholeheartedly encouraged Kathryn’s creative writing.
It’s easy, for writers and readers alike, to take for granted the art of oral storytelling. Not so for award-winning author Margaret Dilloway, whose mother would often tell her Japanese fairy tales from memory when she was young. Margaret’s own daughters are already avid readers, who seem to be carrying on the family tradition of dramatic recitation. Margaret’s latest book, SISTERS OF HEART AND SNOW --- the poignant story of estranged sisters, forced together by family tragedy --- is in stores now.