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Archives - December 2015

For our final Holiday Author Blog, we’re featuring Melanie Benjamin, the New York Times bestselling author of THE AVIATOR'S WIFE. On January 26th, she’ll return with THE SWANS OF FIFTH AVENUE, a triumphant new novel about New York’s “Swans” of the 1950s --- and the scandalous, headline-making and enthralling friendship between literary legend Truman Capote and peerless socialite Babe Paley. Although she writes about glamorous big-city adventures, Melanie’s own childhood adventures were a bit more modest: books were usually borrowed, and buying for keeps required a trip to the mall, where the only books in stock were blockbusters in which she had no interest. Everything changed, though, when a little catalog serendipitously showed up in her mailbox one day.
Internationally bestselling author Linwood Barclay knows a thing or two about what makes a book a page-turner…or not. In his Holiday Author Blog, the BROKEN PROMISE author muses on the existential conundrum of the coffee table book. Has anyone ever read one front to back? Is it a crime to put them on bookshelves? And why do we keep making fruitcakes if no one really likes eating them? Linwood attempts to answer all these questions --- and more --- just in time for the holidays. Look for his forthcoming book, FAR FROM TRUE, the second book in the Promise Falls trilogy, in stores on March 8th. You can place it wherever you want, so long as you read it.
Bestselling horror author Ania Ahlborn has always been drawn to the darker, mysterious and sometimes morbid sides of life. Her latest book, BROTHER, is a terrifying tale about a teenager determined to break from his family’s unconventional --- and deeply disturbing --- traditions. Some traditions, though --- like giving and receiving books --- can be a little less sadistic. Here, Ania describes her favorite books to find under the tree, books that are dark and menacing and provide a much-needed shock of adrenaline during the wholesome holiday season.
Sloane Crosley is perhaps best known for her sharply observed bestselling novels, her smart and frequent contributions to the New York Times, and her sense of humor, which David Sedaris once described as “perfectly, relentlessly funny.” In her Holiday Author Blog, Sloane remembers the first and second best books she ever received for Christmas --- against all odds, actually, considering she’s Jewish. Her own book, THE CLASP, which came out in October, is the heartfelt character-driven drama and a madcap adventure about three friends struggling to fit together now that their lives haven't gone as planned.
Natasha Solomons is a screenwriter and the author of the New York Times bestseller THE HOUSE AT TYNEFORD. Her upcoming book, THE SONG OF HARTGROVE HALL (which releases on December 29th), is a breathtaking tale of love and treachery, joy after grief, and the never-ending search for redemption --- all set against the backdrop of an English country estate. Natasha’s interest in historical old things extends beyond her fiction and into her real life. Here, she tells the story of an old book of poems, an even older house, and the first Christmas in a home all her own.
On Friday, December 11th, readers and book lovers gathered at Random House for their semi-annual Open House, a wonderful, interactive program that has been held each spring and fall since 2012. This time around, readers were treated to panels featuring some big names in film and publishing, along with a fabulous cocktail party catered by celebrity hostess Mary Giuliani.
Heather Gudenkauf is known for her bestselling fiction, especially when it comes to suspenseful page-turners. Her latest --- available on February 2nd --- is MISSING PIECES, about a woman who uncovers earth-shattering secrets about her husband's family. The mysteries in her own life are a little less sinister, but no less life-changing. About 20 years ago, her fourth-grade students taught her about the charms of St. Nicholas Day. In her blog piece, Heather shares how her family celebrates St. Nick and why the old man can't seem to stop bringing books.
Camilla Läckberg is on a roll. Her taut thrillers are can’t-miss reading; each one is a #1 bestseller in her native Sweden and internationally acclaimed. She wasn’t always an author, though; she worked as an economist in Stockholm until a creative writing course triggered a career change. Camilla may not have started writing until later in her life, but --- as she explains here --- her love of a great story was fostered by her father very early on. Christmas is a time for family and peace, and --- most especially, if you’re anything like Camilla --- uninterrupted true crime reading. Her most recent book, THE DROWNING, released in September.
New York Times bestselling author Chris Bohjalian’s hotly anticipated new book, THE GUEST ROOM --- a story of human trafficking, a party gone horribly wrong, and a marriage in crisis --- will hit bookstores on January 5th. His favorite Christmas novel, Patrick Dennis’ THE JOYOUS SEASON, is a bit more playful; he describes its narrator as “Holden Caulfield with a sense of humor.” In his Holiday Author Blog, Chris examines what draws readers to certain holiday stories --- particularly the more self-aware contemporary ones --- and why it’s important to appreciate both the sacred and the profane.

As a first-generation American born to Afghan immigrants, Nadia Hashimi had a unique experience of Christmas. She grew up in a Muslim home, but her parents were careful to ensure that their children felt included in all traditions, whether inherited, adopted or even invented. Here, Nadia talks about how she celebrated the holidays in her own quiet way, reading books that gave her less traditional gifts: independence, imagination and pride. Her second novel, WHEN THE MOON IS LOW, released this summer.