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Archives - Weekly Update

I feel like the Halloween equivalent of the Grinch in our neighborhood as I have yet to even put out a pumpkin for the holiday! I have five orange mums on the porch, but nothing that screams Halloween. We have boxes and boxes of decorations that we have accumulated through the years, but the last months have been hectic with weekend business events, and I have not gotten around to traipsing around the attic to gather them. I am determined to at least have the three big pumpkins in the windows by later today! I also need to buy some candy --- the kind we want to have leftovers of!

I am here to tell you that, in case you are wondering, Kevin Costner has an amazing smile in person, as well as a laid-back, laconic way of speaking. I was at his publisher’s office on Monday for a meeting while he was there to shoot a video and do a meet-and-greet with the staff in advance of the publication of his book, THE EXPLORERS GUILD: Volume One: A PASSAGE TO SHAMBHALA, a sweeping adventure story that he wrote with Jon Baird.

Emily, Greg and I seized the opportunity to meet him and get books signed. THE EXPLORERS GUILD is beautifully designed, with a lush cover and pages that look like they were dipped in tea. Besides writing and illustrations, there are a number of graphic novel panels to tell the story. You can see a photo of him above signing books with his co-writer beside him and illustrator Rick Ross on the far left. You can see a video of Kevin and Jon talking about the book on "Good Morning America" here.

Last week’s three-day weekend led to a jam-packed week this week. Whew!

When we left off, I was headed to the Ocean County Library's Book Group Leaders Tea in Toms River. What a fun afternoon that was with 100-plus very enthusiastic book group members in attendance, including my mom. I presented 40 books that we selected over at to be book group favorites; it was really a lovely day, and I was glad my mom got to share it with me! I wave my bookmark at the library team that coordinated and ran this event. I learned that they even made the refreshments --- lovely cucumber sandwiches among them!

What a wild week of books and authors! When we left off last week, I was headed to the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association's Trade Conference for a breakfast where five authors presented their work to booksellers with a goal to entice them to order and sell them. Each was a terrific speaker, and I look forward to sharing their books with you as they come out. You can see a photo above of Simon Van Booy (FATHER’S DAY, April 26th); YA author Maggie Thrash (HONOR GIRL, in stores now; our review is here); Stacy Schiff (THE WITCHES, October 27th); Eric Weiner (THE GEOGRAPHY OF GENIUS, January 5th) and B. A. Shapiro (THE MURALIST, November 3rd).

What a lovely bookish week! Last night, I celebrated 100 Years of Knopf, the legendary publisher, at the New York Public Library. What a lovely evening. On the way, we were greeted by two Borzoi dogs, which I confess I did not know until then was the dog breed featured in the Knopf logo; I wish I had captured a photo of them. Sonny Mehta, Knopf editor-in-chief (and Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group chair), opened the evening, and then there were beautiful toasts by authors Robert Caro, Sharon Olds, James Ellroy and Toni Morrison, and one of my favorite booksellers and the founder of the Miami Book Fair, Mitchell Kaplan. Patti Smith wrapped up the formal ceremonies by singing a cappella.