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May 8, 2014 Readers Weigh in About Random House’s May 2nd Open House Event

Posted by carol

At last week’s Random House event, I had the nice opportunity to meet three of our readers --- Augusta from Glendale, NY; Diana from Staten Island, NY; and Erika from the Township of Washington, NJ. After the event, I sent them some questions to answer so they could share their thoughts on the day. Here is what they had to say.  What made you decide to attend the Random House Open House on May 2nd?

Augusta: The opportunity to meet Random House staff, guest authors, and networking with others who are passionate about books and reading.

Erika: I read about the Random House Open House in the Bookreporter newsletter and knew right away that I had to go. All the sessions looked really interesting, and a tote bag filled with summer reads sounded great!

Diana: I have attended other similar literary events and found them interesting and informative. Also, it is just a great time to bond with other book lovers and book sellers.

BRC: Who was with you, or did you attend alone?

Augusta: I attended alone.

Erika: I went to this event alone. I met many nice people at the event. It was easy to find something to talk about since we all had one thing in common: our love for books.

Diana: I attended with my sister who is my book swap partner for 50 years!

BRC: Which author(s) were you most looking forward  to seeing?

Augusta: Jenny McCarthy and Panache Desai

Diana: Ruth Reichl is a favorite of mine from her years as the New York Times food critic and editor of Gourmet.

Erika: I was not very familiar with most of the authors at this event. The only author whose work I had read was Maggie Shipstead. I was looking forward to the summer reading panel the most since it gave me an opportunity to meet her and four other authors. It is always exciting to discover new great authors.

BRC: What were some of your favorite parts of the day?

Augusta: The conversations with authors, which provided some interesting and enlightening remarks. The excellent food, the hospitality extended by Random House staff.   

Diana: The authors' panel in the afternoon, with four different but entertaining personalities, and the Q&A period were the most interesting to me.

Erika: The entire day was a great experience. Walking into Random House and seeing bookshelves everywhere full of books was heavenly. I really enjoyed the session with Jenny McCarthy. She was funny, open and honest about her experiences in life. She told us about how her fiancé proposed with the help of her son, which was very emotional. The session with Panache Desai was very powerful. While listening to him talking about discovering the purpose in his own life, I started thinking about my own life. What is my soul signature? I will be joining his 33-Day Path read-along online to learn more. (

Most of all, I enjoyed the Summer Reading Panel. It gave me an opportunity to learn about how five different authors approach the writing process and to learn about their novels. I think it adds to the reading experience to hear the author talk about his/her novel. At the end of the day, I was leaving Random House with a tote bag full of exciting new books, thinking about how lucky I was to be able to attend such a wonderful event.

BRC: What book do you want to read first after the event?     

Augusta: Panache Desai's on discovering one's "soul signature."

Erika: The book I want to read first is THE DIVORCE PAPERS by Susan Rieger. This is her first novel, and I thought it was very touching to hear that the thing she had enjoyed the most about publishing her book was to get the opportunity to do a reading together with her daughter. As I started flipping through the book, I saw how it is entirely made up of letters, emails, legal documents, articles and notes. I have not read a book like that and am very excited to get started.

Diana: THE VACATIONERS by Emma Straub and DELICIOUS! by Ruth Reichl, but I look forward to every one included in the generous gift bag.

BRC: Would you attend an event like this again?

Augusta:  Absolutely!  

Erika: Yes, yes, yes!! I would love to attend an event like this again.

Diana: Absolutely! I look forward to your publicizing such events on the website. I have to say, the number of books we received was literally staggering --- I had to leave 2 with my sister who lives in Manhattan, because they were too heavy to carry home. The cost is really nominal when you get a lovely lunch and cocktail hour and all those books, plus the opportunity to buy hardcovers at deep discount. We were also fortunate to have the moderator, Theresa, happen to sit at our table for lunch, so we had a great discussion with our tablemates.