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I LOVE book festivals. I admit a little skepticism when I first heard that the DC suburb of Gaithersburg would host a book festival. That was 10 years ago. Everyone should benefit from being so wrong; I adore this day. I was lucky enough to talk to Gaithersburg Mayor Jud Ashman, who dreamed up this jewel of a festival.
The Tucson Festival of Books was held on March 2-3 on the University of Arizona campus in Tucson. Carol Fitzgerald attended and so did at least six Bookreporter readers. Below you will find commentary from one of those readers, Muriel Logan, about the sessions that she attended. If more of our readers were there, please let us know.
Mary Calvi spent years wondering about the heiress who lived in the grand manor in her hometown of Yonkers, New York. Curiosity propelled her to do extensive research that spanned several years. What she uncovered stunned even her, a New York City anchor and reporter, and winner of nine New York Emmy awards. DEAR GEORGE, DEAR MARY, her debut novel, is based on historical accounts, letters and personal journals. In this blog post, written exclusively for, Calvi talks about the day she finally learned if her theory was correct --- that Mary Philipse, the richest belle in Colonial America and George Washington’s first love, was wrongfully convicted of treason during the American Revolution.
Ed Ifkovic's series of historical mysteries starring real-life writer Edna Ferber as an amateur sleuth has come to an end with the recently released RUN COLD. This 10th and final installment has a special place in his heart, as it is "the product of a joyous collaboration of writer and passionate editors." Ifkovic's research into 1950s Alaska, the setting for RUN COLD, was quite extensive, as he explains in his blog post written exclusively for
Kate Morton is the award-winning author of such bestselling novels as THE DISTANT HOURS, THE LAKE HOUSE and her latest, THE CLOCKMAKER’S DAUGHTER, in which a love affair and a mysterious murder cast their shadows across generations. We are excited to have Kate wrap up this year’s Holiday Author Blog series with a lovely essay about the Christmas Eve she spent in 2002 with her grandmother on Tamborine Mountain in south-east Queensland, Australia. Nana Connelly never spoke about herself, preferring instead to ask questions of Kate and her sisters and listen to what was going on in their lives. But on this very special Christmas Eve, Nana shared a heartwarming story that Kate has never forgotten and that serves as a powerful reminder of the real meaning of the holiday.
Releasing on March 12th, Bonnie Kistler’s debut novel, HOUSE ON FIRE, is about a blended family in crisis after a drunk driving accident leaves the daughter of one parent dead --- and the son of the other parent charged with manslaughter. When Bonnie was a freshman in college, she happened upon a used book sale on campus and spotted a rare autographed copy of LITTLE WOMEN, which she bought for a dollar. But rather than keep it for bragging rights or resell it for more money, she gave it as a Christmas present to her closest friend, whose life seemed to parallel Louisa May Alcott’s novel in uncanny ways. This gifting experience taught her a very important lesson about the value of a book, as she explains in our penultimate blog of the holiday season.
In his holiday blog post, debut novelist Alex Michaelides recalls some of the books he received as Christmas presents growing up that punctuated his childhood and adolescence. He credits his parents, especially his mother, with introducing him to authors whose works helped inspire him to become a writer himself. Alex’s first novel, THE SILENT PATIENT, releases on February 5th; it’s a psychological thriller about a woman’s act of violence against her husband and the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive.
John Lescroart’s 18th Dismas Hardy thriller, THE RULE OF LAW, releases on January 22nd. In it, the San Francisco attorney is called to defend the least likely suspect of his career: his longtime, trusted assistant who is suddenly being charged as an accessory to murder. On Christmas Eve, when John was a little boy, his family would read the Nativity story from the Bible, followed by Clement C. Moore's “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” John kept that ritual alive when he became a dad, but a strange thing happened one Christmas Eve --- you might even say it was miraculous --- that led to a new tradition involving a book that made his family “cry, cry, cry as we read it, laughing all the way.”
On Friday, December 7th, Random House held their Fall Open House, an event that sells out instantly and that people flock to in droves with their book clubs, friends and fellow readers. Held in their New York City office and featuring a broad variety of genres, authors and titles, Random House's Open House is a longtime favorite of mine --- I have only missed one to date!
Whitney Scharer’s debut novel, THE AGE OF LIGHT (which releases on February 5th), tells the story of Vogue model turned renowned photographer Lee Miller, and her search to forge a new identity as an artist after a life spent as a muse. For 10 years, Whitney worked at a non-profit creative writing center in Boston called GrubStreet. For the first few years, she was in an office with just three others, and all four became close friends. Rather than a traditional Yankee swap for the holidays, which would've required a few more people for maximum enjoyment, they decided to do their own holiday book swap. Read on to find out how these fun exchanges worked and why Whitney has cherished them so much.