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December 7, 2013

Ann Hood’s Love Story

Posted by emily
Ann Hood is the bestselling author of THE KNITTING CIRCLE, THE RED THREAD and THE OBITUARY WRITER, among others, as well as the recipient of mutiple awards, including two Pushcart Prizes. Her latest book, KNITTING YARNS: Writers on Knitting, is a collection of essays by 27 popular authors --- curated and edited by Ann --- about the transformative magic of yarn and a pair of needles. Here, Ann writes about the magic of another seemingly ordinary object: a book. She recalls how her mother dismissed books as "the greatest waste of money around," and how splurging on a hardcover was her first small but significant step toward independence.   
December 6, 2013

Lynn Cullen: The Gift

Posted by emily
We're kicking off this year's Holiday Author Blogs with Lynn Cullen, the author of numerous award-winning books for both children and adults. Her latest novel, MRS. POE, is about Frances Osgood, the married poet who inspired the love of Edgar Allan Poe and the ire of his vengeful wife. In this inaugural post, Lynn recalls an almost-encounter she had with a young couple who was searching for a children's book for the man's grandfather, whose mind was muddled by Alzheimer's, at the bookstore where Lynn was working. She wistfully admits that it wasn't apathy, but her own "hushed grief and sympathy for the young man's sorrow" that kept her from helping the couple and sharing her own similar experience. 
The past is a foreign country, as L.P. Hartley famously observed in THE GO BETWEEN. But unlike other exotic destinations, it’s one you don’t have to leave home to visit. All you need is the right kind of passport: historical fiction... The ability to transport the reader through time as well as place is one of the reasons the genre has always enthralled me, and now --- being married to historical novelist Tasha Alexander --- I’m doubly fortunate: Not only do I love reading her finished books, but I get to watch them being created. It’s fascinating to see a bygone era being reconstructed before my eyes --- with its delicate tapestry of distinctive clothes, food, technology, vocabulary, class distinctions and social conventions --- but that’s only half the story, because the driving force of any novel is really its protagonist. In Tasha’s case, of course, that’s the wonderful Lady Emily. And that begs the question: Living in the present-past with Tasha-Emily, how much are these two captivating ladies alike?
This year, the 44th Bouchercon --- the world's leading convention for crime fiction readers, writers and others ---  was held in Albany on September 19-22. Wendy Webb, the award-winning mystery author of THE TALE OF HALCYON CRANE (2010, Holt), THE FATE OF MERCY ALBAN (2013, Hyperion) and THE VANISHING (2014, Hyperion), was kind enough to answer a few questions about her experiences as a panelist and an attendee. In this interview with Bookreporter.com, she talks about all the interesting things she did and saw, including the "liars"-themed panel she herself was on, as well as some of the other authors she most enjoyed listening to --- including Louise Penny and Marcia Clark. 
What’s it like to have your city flooded with book people? Not so bad, according to Bookreporter.com reviewer Amy Gwiazdowski of Washington, DC, who was among the thousands in attendance at the National Book Festival on September 21st and 22nd. Luckily, Amy was willing to share her experiences about her day at the festival with all of us who weren’t there. Read on to find out which books she’s most excited about after attending, the interesting literary question the Library of Congress posed to the world at their pavilion, and the best part about getting together with fellow readers.
On September 21st and 22nd, thousands of book lovers gathered in Washington, D.C. for the 2013 Library of Congress National Book Festival. Among those in attendance was Bookreporter.com reader Denise from Rockville, MD, who tries to make it to this national celebration of all things reading every year. Luckily, for those of us who weren’t there for the fun, Denise agreed to chat with us about her experiences. Here, she gives a recap of her favorite panels, shares which authors she was dying to meet most, and chimes in on the Franzen-Weiner Twitter controversy, which, in case you missed it, is the most recent literary spat grabbing headlines. She also reveals what surprised her most and gives advice for folks thinking of saving the date for next year.
After the success of last year's Hachette Reading Group Day, ReadingGroupGuides.com couldn't resist partnering with Hachette Book Group again to give readers the opportunity to meet some of their favorite authors and hear them speak about --- what else? --- books! Diana from Staten Island, NY was one of the lucky readers who attended the event on Saturday, September 7th, and was kind enough to answer a few questions about it. In this Q&A, Diana shares some of the highlights of the day, including her favorite panels and the authors who impressed her the most. She also talks about which book included in her swag bag she's most interested in reading --- and why she's lucky it's not Nicholas Dawidoff's football nonfiction, COLLISION LOW CROSSERS, which was immediately stolen by her husband!  
After the success of last year's Hachette Reading Group Day, ReadingGroupGuides.com couldn't resist partnering with Hachette Book Group again to give readers the opportunity to meet some of their favorite authors and hear them speak about --- what else? --- books! Valerie of the Red Pages Book Club in Secaucus, NJ was one of the lucky readers who attended the event on Saturday, September 7th, and she was kind enough to share some of her experiences with Bookreporter.com. Here, she talks about the panels she attended --- including her favorite, the New Adult/YA crossover, which featured effervescent authors A.S. King and Kate Locke --- some of the interesting things she learned about writers' writing processes, and all the free books she received (as well as the ones she couldn't help but buy).   
September 6, 2013

Vacation Reading Summer 2013

Posted by carol
Tagged:
Ahhhh…the joy of having a week off during the summer to read while floating in the pool. This year we did a staycation, which made things a tad easier as I did not have to pack books in advance. Instead, I would just peruse my shelves and let my fingers dance over what I wanted to explore. What happened? Eight books in 10 days, not bad! Here’s what I explored....  
Thank you to all the readers who wrote notes in honor of our 17th anniversary. Here you will find some of the warm words that were shared with us.