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Kathryn B., one of our readers from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, wrote us with some insight that she has gathered for more reading about the subject of Susan Meissner’s THE LAST YEAR OF THE WAR, which we recently reviewed. It was so interesting that we asked if we could share it with you as a blog. She graciously said yes, and you can read it here.
We love when our readers share with us their experiences about the book festivals and literary events that they attend. Thus, we were so pleased to get this report about the Montclair Literary Festival from our longtime reader, Nancy Sharko.
On March 16th, the Arvada Center for the Arts and Regis University partnered with the Tattered Cover Book Store to present the first-ever Colorado Book and Arts Festival, a one-day literary arts festival that celebrates books, art and music for the entire family. Among the 40 authors in attendance was Roberta Gately, a nurse whose first two books --- LIPSTICK IN AFGHANISTAN and THE BRACELET --- were novels based on her humanitarian aid work. Her most recent book, FOOTPRINTS IN THE DUST, is a memoir chronicling the stories of the refugees with whom she worked. Roberta was kind enough to share with us her experiences at the festival --- which included memorable encounters with two of the attendees --- along with some photos from the event.
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 Bookreporter.com, 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 Bookreporter.com.
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.