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Liese O’Halloran Schwarz is the author of the acclaimed novel THE POSSIBLE WORLD and the forthcoming WHAT COULD BE SAVED. Alternating between the past and the present, the book, which releases on January 12th, is about a family shattered by loss and betrayal, and the beauty that can exist even in the midst of brokenness. Liese has so many wonderful childhood memories of giving and receiving during the holidays, but what she remembers most fondly are the books that were gifted to her on Christmas morning. While shopping in bookstores may not be possible for many of us these days, Liese is hopeful that books will continue to be an important part of our holiday celebrations this year.
Janet Skeslien Charles is the author of THE PARIS LIBRARY, which releases on February 9th. During World War II, the librarians at the American Library in Paris defied the Nazis in order to hand-deliver books to Jewish readers. She first learned about this incredible true story when she worked at the American Library. In her holiday blog post, Janet recounts how family, reading and bookstores made all the difference to an impatient teen who wanted to leave home, and how she now longs to return to those simple days.
We are kicking off this year’s Holiday Author Blog series with award-winning, internationally acclaimed author Patricia Engel, whose new novel, INFINITE COUNTRY, releases on March 2nd and is about a Colombian family fractured by deportation. Patricia, the daughter of Colombian immigrants, reflects on her family’s celebration of Nochebuena (Christmas Eve), which would culminate in her grandfather dressed as Santa Claus entering the house with a bag of gifts. She and her cousins would act as his elves and deliver all these goodies to the relatives and friends who had gathered for this very special occasion. Considering her eventual career path, it should come as no surprise what Patricia often received as presents.
August 14, 2020

Your Favorite Book Podcasts

Posted by tom
In the July 31st Weekly Update newsletter, we asked you to share your favorite book-themed podcasts with us. We received so many great recommendations that we have pulled your ideas together into a blog. Thank you for all of your suggestions!
We wrap up this year’s Mother’s Day Author Blog series with a touching piece from Stephanie Scott, whose first novel, WHAT’S LEFT OF ME IS YOURS, releases on June 23rd. This gripping debut revolves around a young woman's search for the truth about her mother's life --- and her murder. Stephanie has dedicated the book to her own mother, who read to her constantly as a child and gave her plenty of book and author recommendations. She also has fond memories of their weekly trips to the library, which is still open to this day. As soon as she is allowed to travel again, Stephanie would love to return home to Singapore and give a reading at that same library. She hopes her mother will be able to join her.
Kelly Rimmer is the worldwide and USA TODAY bestselling author of such books as BEFORE I LET YOU GO, ME WITHOUT YOU and THE SECRET DAUGHTER. Her latest novel, TRUTHS I NEVER TOLD YOU, is a post-WWII story that explores the expectations society places on women set within an engrossing family mystery that may unravel everything once believed to be true. Kelly’s birthday plans this year, which included a family vacation to Tasmania, had to be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Shortly thereafter, her mother made a surprise delivery at her front gate: a huge box containing a plethora of books that Kelly devoured as a child. Over these last few weeks, she has been sharing this treasure trove of goodies with her 10-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter, and it’s been a wonderful bonding experience. This wouldn’t have been possible without the kindness and generosity of her mother, the wisest woman Kelly knows.
Francesca Serritella has written nine humorous essay collections with her mother, bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, about their relationship, which are based on their Sunday column in The Philadelphia Inquirer titled “Chick Wit.” She’s a graduate of Harvard University, so it’s only fitting that her newly released debut novel, GHOSTS OF HARVARD, revolves around a Harvard freshman who becomes obsessed with her schizophrenic brother’s suicide. Then she starts hearing voices. In this hilarious blog post, Francesca reflects on her childhood obsession with the Berenstain Bears and the not-so-conventional way that Lisa dealt with it.
A Bets On pick that released in paperback earlier this year, Marjan Kamali’s novel, THE STATIONERY SHOP, is a powerful love story set against the political upheaval of 1953 Tehran. Marjan has wonderful childhood memories of her mother reading to her and her sister. It was a nightly ritual that allowed the two girls to better understand the English language, which they didn’t know quite as well as their mother did. At the age of six, Marjan received her first library card, a privilege that made her feel like an adult and connected to the people who had borrowed the same books before her. Eventually reading turned into a solitary act for Marjan, but she will always treasure the gift that her mother gave her --- magic and belonging through books.
Dete Meserve is the award-winning, bestselling author of a series of mystery novels featuring investigative news reporter Kate Bradley: GOOD SAM, PERFECTLY GOOD CRIME and THE GOOD STRANGER, the latter of which will release on May 19th. When Dete was 10 years old, her mother read THE SECRET GARDEN to her and her brother; not long after that, it was THE HOBBIT’s turn to capture her imagination and inspire her to explore the world around her. This sense of curiosity and adventure would not have been possible without her mother and the long-ago gift she gave her, which Dete lovingly describes in her blog post.
We are kicking off this year’s Mother’s Day Author Blog series with New York Times bestselling author Megan Miranda, whose new psychological thriller, THE GIRL FROM WIDOW HILLS, releases on June 23rd. Megan has such vivid childhood memories of visiting the library with her mother each week and never leaving empty-handed. Receiving her first library card was significant for Megan, as it opened up a world of possibilities for her and gave her the freedom to explore all different kinds of books. Megan’s path to becoming a writer (and a very successful one at that) begins with her mother and their shared love of the written word, as she explains in this heartwarming piece.