Surviving the Ordinary: Why We Need Memoirs of Regular Lives

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Click over to Lit Hub today, where Musing editor Mary Laura Philpott contributes an essay about memoirs. Here’s an excerpt:

I am 100 percent here for a good stranger-than-fiction memoir. Do I want to know how someone escaped a cult, pulled off a heist, or became famous after surviving a freak accident? Absolutely. Send me your tales of life-and-death adventure. But I also want to read about the lives (and deaths) of people who face nothing extraordinary at all, whose stories exemplify the challenges and realities of common, daily existence. High stakes make for great reading, but examine any life, and you’ll see the stakes get pretty high for all of us at some point, even if the only decisions we ever make are the ones billions of people have made before us and billions will make again. It’s not novelty that draws me to a memoir, at least not always. Read the rest of this entry »

Her Voice, At Last: Authors Madeline Miller and Victoria Schwab Discuss Miller’s New Novel, Circe

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We’ve admired Madeline Miller’s work since she made her debut with the highly acclaimed novel The Song of Achilles. In fact, we loved the spellbinding tale so much that we chose it for our very first Signed First Editions Club selection. As it happens, we were just as blown away by Miller’s second book, Circeso we couldn’t resist picking it as a First Editions Club favorite, too.  Read the rest of this entry »

Cover Reveal! Nashville: Scenes from the New American South

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Today’s post from Ann Patchett includes your first look at her new book with photographer Heidi Ross (right), featuring an introduction by Jon Meacham (left).

I’d worked with Liz Sullivan before. She’s an executive editor at Harper Collins, the person who handles the art books. Four years ago when I wanted to edit a collection of essays based around the photography of my friend Melissa Ann Pinney, I went to Liz. She was tough and exacting and in possession of a flawless sense of design. What we wound up with is TWO, a truly gorgeous piece of work. After we were finished, Liz and I stayed friends. These days we mostly talk about our dogs, though sometimes the conversation veers towards chocolate. Read the rest of this entry »

Jason Reynolds and David Arnold: An Interview For Every One

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Jason Reynolds believes kids who think they hate reading “don’t actually hate books, they hate boredom.” So he has made a pledge to his young readers: never to write boring books. His plan is working so well that not only have his novels become favorites among kids and teens everywhere, but they’ve been honored so many times we can’t fit all the awards in this intro (a Newbery Honor, the Coretta Scott King Author Award, and a finalist for the National Book Award, to name just a few). Lucky for Nashville, Reynolds is coming to Parnassus on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, to celebrate of the release of his two newest books: Sunny and For Every One. Read the rest of this entry »

Notes from Ann: Springtime, Death

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People like to know how writers become writers, and in my case a big piece of the credit goes to my stepfather, Mike Glasscock, who died on February 17, 2018. He was a famous surgeon and a pioneer in the field of neuro-otology. He had a big life, traveled the world, had three wives and four children. His achievements were spectacular, as were his mistakes. Mike came into my life when I was five, and even though he and my mother parted ways when I was 24, he and I stayed close until the end. Mike’s belief in me was epic. When I was a little kid, and I mean little, eight or nine, he would say, “Someday I’m going to open up a book and it’s going to say, ‘for Mike Glasscock.’” And he was right. I dedicated Commonwealth to him. The book was in large part based on him and the lives of the six children he and my mother brought together. The portrait I painted wasn’t always flattering, but Mike said he loved it. He was proud of me, and his constant encouragement and support transcended the madness of family life. Sometimes things work out. Read the rest of this entry »

Katrina Kenison on the Best Friend She Hasn’t Met (Yet), Anna Quindlen

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Anna Quindlen will discuss her new novel, Alternate Side, next Wednesday, March 28, 2018, with fellow author Katrina Kenison, who contributes today’s guest post. 

I have been having a lively conversation in my mind with Anna Quindlen for about 25 years. She’s my wiser, funnier best friend — albeit the one I’ve never actually met. Still, I’m pretty sure if we were neighbors we’d get together to walk our dogs every morning and compare notes on what’s going on in the world, what we’re making for dinner, and what we’re reading and thinking and worrying about. (I’m also pretty sure every other Anna Quindlen fan feels exactly the same way I do. To read Anna Quindlen is to wish she lived next door.) Read the rest of this entry »

A Robot Gone Wild Returns to Civilization

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Roz the robot embraced the wild world of nature in one of our favorite novels for independent young readers, Peter Brown’s The Wild Robot. In the sequel, The Wild Robot Escapes, Roz faces a new challenge: adapting back to the world of machines and civilization. How will she adjust? And will she make it back to the island she now considers home?
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