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Archives - May 2014

As you may have guessed, Lynn Cullen --- the award-winning author of numerous books, most recently the fan-favorite MRS. POE --- is all about books. Although she tends to write sweeping historical fiction, here she shares a story from more recent history about reading to her now-grown kids when they were children. She admits that after a long day, she was often exhausted and not entirely thrilled by the prospect of the bedtime story. It was never a choice, though; reading to her kids was as essential as feeding them dinner, and looking back on it now, she wouldn’t have it any other way. Happy Mother's Day!
Bestselling author Sarah Jio’s latest book, GOODNIGHT JUNE, is about a dissatisfied young woman who finds meaning in letters from her late great-aunt and GOODNIGHT MOON author Margaret Wise Brown. So it’s not surprising that some of Sarah’s fondest childhood memories are of her mother reading to her. It is to her mother that Sarah owes her love of storytelling --- and her ambition to tell stories of her own someday.
Lacy Crawford doesn’t remember her mother reading bedtime stories to her; that job seemed to have been appropriated by her father at some point between the time she was an infant and the time she could read to herself. But she does remember her mother’s keenly detailed recipe cards --- and the stories they told indirectly. From her mother, Lacy learned to observe and record, and to find the story off the page. Her book, EARLY DECISION: Based on a True Frenzy, was published last year.
With her signature blend of self-deprecating and irreverent humor, Karen Alpert --- author of I HEART MY LITTLE A-HOLES and the popular Baby Sideburns blog --- shares a less-than-sentimental story about reading bedtime stories to her daughter. Never afraid to tell it like it is, Karen wonders how a book could possibly have no author, why they don't make 'em like they used to, and gives herself credit for an important mommy milestone: being able to read princess stories to her daughter while her mind wanders to a land far, far away.
At last week’s Random House event, I had the nice opportunity to meet three of our readers --- Augusta from Glendale, NY; Diana from Staten Island, NY; and Erika from the Township of Washington, NJ. After the event, I sent them some questions to answer so they could share their thoughts on the day. Here is what they had to say.
Holly Peterson’s latest book, THE IDEA OF HIM, is about a woman who starts to question her comfortable life choices in order to find real happiness. In Holly’s own life, she finds happiness by connecting to her tween and teen kids through books. Amid all our daily chaos and buzzing technology, it’s important to carve out some quiet, cozy time to share a good story.
Christa Allan, whose latest book is TEST OF FAITH, is a true Southern woman who knows that any cook worth her gumbo always starts with a roux. She is also aware of the importance of reading books to her children, teaching them from an early age to love a good story. Now grown, her children make their own choices when it comes to reading material, and their tastes are as diverse as they are insatiable. Here, Christa talks about how stories have the power to transcend even physical obstacles.
May 6, 2014

Brenda Bevan Remmes: Skip-It

Posted by Meghan
THE QUAKER CAFÉ, Brenda Bevan Remmes's debut novel, is brimming with Southern charm. With charm to spare, Brenda shares here the story of her family's tradition of replacing hard-to-pronounce words with a simpler, handier phrase: "Skip-it." The unconventional practice was started by a nanny who would not be cowed by words she'd never learned, and evolved into a lesson about reading between the lines --- which still proves useful today.
In her latest book, THE SAME SWEET GIRLS' GUIDE TO LIFE: Advice from a Failed Southern Belle, Cassandra King offers her signature humor and practical wisdom to new graduates in order to sustain them through life’s inevitable ups and downs. And if you’re anything like her, you won’t be able to help but read it again and again. Here, she admits to being a repeat reader when it comes to books she loves, and how she’s found --- much to her delight --- that it’s a quirk she’s passed down to her grandchildren.
Eva Marie Everson is a multiple award-winning, bestselling novelist whose latest work, THE ROAD TO TESTAMENT, was born out of her many getaways to North Carolina and the writer’s favorite question, “What if…?” It wasn’t until she turned 40 that the writing bug bit, but the seeds had been planted at a young age, when her mother would allow a restless Eva Marie to read instead of nap. Through the years, both her parents enthusiastically encouraged her writing; her mother’s faith in her was so firm that she offered to “hold her extra pen at book signings” even before Eva Marie had sold her first manuscript. When Eva Marie needed details for a story about a 1950s housewife, she knew exactly who to ask: her mother. That book, THIS FINE LIFE, remains to this day Eva Marie’s favorite, because it reminds her of her mother and this fine life she willed for her.