Category Eleven Days

…yes, authors are just like us: they too look forward to the summer to finally read the books that have been sitting on their bedside table for weeks.

Now Two Roads has an exclusive (!) look at what some of our writers are reading this summer

Bret Anthony Johnston, author of Remember Me Like This (out now)

Bret Anthony Johnston’s summer reading pile

 

I tend to read in the morning before starting a day’s work and then again in the evening before bed, and I tend to read from a different book in each session. Fiction usually comes first, and I’m excited about the fiction I’m reading now or soon to read. Rene Steinke’s forthcoming novel Friendswood, Lea Carpenter’s novel Eleven Days (find out more here), some Chekhov stories, and a collection of strange and beautiful fiction called Nature Stories by Jules Renard. The Renard book might serve as something as bridge between my current fiction and nonfiction tastes, as I’m reading a lot about animals right now. One of the things I’m currently working on is a weird, nonlinear short story involving horses, and this book on horse psychology continues to prove invaluable to me in countless ways. Future projects may include the mythical (or is it?) chupacbra and the siege in Waco, Texas in 1993. This summer I’ve also been spending time with Emily Rapp’s heart-rending memoir The Still Point of the Turning World (find out more here). As for the book on iPhones, well, let’s just say I’ve recently gotten my first one and the transition hasn’t been easy or smooth. That book will probably be the most helpful, and it’s the one I’m looking forward to the least. Maybe there’s a lesson in there somewhere.

 

Jamie Kornegay, author of Soil (spring 2015)

Jamie Kornegay’s summer reading pile

As a full-time bookseller, my reading tends toward the new and upcoming – a merchant must test his wares, after all – and hence my summer stack is a blend of some of this season’s best, including startling debuts from Smith Henderson and a Mississippi friend, Lisa Howorth, as well as stories from the fiercely talented John Brandon, and what must surely be James Lee Burke’s masterpiece; and forthcoming fall titles, including one of my favorite writers, Richard Flanagan, whose new novel I’m currently loving, along with the reliably strange Michel Faber, history from Hampton Sides, and one of the U.S. South’s most popular writers, Rick Bragg, on one of the South’s most notorious rock-n-rollers. Sandwiched in the middle is something for the writer…

 

Sally Magnusson, author of Where Memories Go: why dementia changes everything (out now)

Sally Magnusson’s summer reading pile

 

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month I’ll be hosting the James Tait Black prize-giving ceremony at the Edinburgh Book Festival, so my holiday in Tuscany is a great time to devour the shortlist. The biographies were a bit large for my suitcase but the four novels are just right. Have just finished Jim Crace’s Harvest – a stunning read. The bottom two books are background reading for programmes I’m doing on the First World War.

 

 

Carrie Snyder, author of Girl Runner (spring 2015)

Carrie Snyder’s summer reading pile

 

Here’s the tour, from bottom to top, starting with the books I keep meaning to read, and do delve into on occasion, but have yet to finish: two library books, The Oxford History of Popular Print Culture, volume 1, and The Girl and the Game: A History of Women’s Sport in Canada (which I’ve already read, ages ago, but figure I should brush up on again in advance of my book coming out). Next is Karen Armstrong’s Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life. I did intend to become a better person this summer. I regret to say I’ve stalled on step two. But I did read all through Matilda, by Roald Dahl, with my two youngest (ages 6 and 8). We loved it, although did note that Dahl seems to have a strong animus for the imposing female athlete, who is the villain in the piece. I whipped through Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, kept staying up late to read, which is what summer really should be for. Yes, that’s my own Girl Runner, the American uncorrected proof, which I confess I started reading the evening it arrived and just kept on. It’s homework, though. I’ve got a lot of readings booked this fall and I need to find and rehearse sections that would make for good drama. Just above is Anita Lahey’s essay collection The Mystery Shopping Cart, only available in Canada, and a very Canadian book of literary critique. Finally, the book I’m currently marching through: A Man in Love by Karl Ove Knausgaard, the second in the series; I loved the first, but am finding this one a little less moving, with its focus so far on raising small children while trying to find time to write, which is basically my life and has been for the past 13 years. This is hardly an original observation, but I keep wondering if anyone would be interested had a woman written it instead.

 

Aylet Waldman, author of Love and Treasure (out now)

Ayelet Waldman’s summer reading pile

 

This summer is all about the French Riviera and Hollywood in the 1940s. I have begun work on

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my new novel and by far the most exciting part of that is delving into a new area of research. Research is my joy. It’s the actual writing part that kicks my ass.

 

 

 

 

 

Have you wondered what writers like to read when they go on holiday?

Research material for their next book?

The classics?

Nothing at all?

Well, we have the answer: we asked a few of our own authors to share their summer reading piles and to explain why they picked those books in particular. Take a look!

Judy Fairbairns, author of Island Wife: Living on the Edge of the Wild

I like variety when I read a pile of books. All these

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are about man’s relationship to something or someone and that, for me is the fascination of life.

Judy Fairbairns summer reading pile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lea Carpenter, author of Eleven Days

Anna is enough on her own, but the others offer balance. And each of the others is also riveting.

Lea Carpenter summer reading pile

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Kirsty Wark, author of The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle

I like the way books accumulate. I think of them as a treat in store rather than a daunting task – though the Su Doku has stuck in there for a while now: my game plan for burnishing my brain cells isn’t really working. I will add to and subtract from the pile over the summer.

Kirsty Wark author of The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle summer reading pile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book

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Club

The Watch Tower is part of a series called ‘Text Classics’. It’s a great series of books from a terrific Australian publisher. Everyone has been talking about Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. Pat Barker’s ‘Regeneration Trilogy’ gave me some of my best reading ever – so of course I can’t wait to read her new one, Toby’s Room. I heard William Dalrymple speak and he was captivating. And this is such an important piece of history. I started The Stranger’s Child and was so enthralled that I actually made myself stop for a while so that I could save it for a perfect summer day. Leigh Newman’s memoir goes between Alaska and New York, portraying a remarkable childhood. And The Orchardist is a bookseller favorite – I kept seeing it on ‘staff recommends’ shelves.

Of course I’ll pick up lots more along the way. And I’ve already raced through some wonderful books.

Will Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club summer reading book pile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi Everyone!

A month has passed since our last Monday Blues Remedy and a lot has happened in the meantime: we celebrated our birthday (pictures attached!); we published some great books; and we received some very exciting updates on our forthcoming publications. So put your kettle on and forget about the biting cold outside (what happened to spring?!)…

BOOK NEWS!

Doodlemum – OUT NOW!

The lovely book from our favourite artist/writer/mum was published on February 28th. You might have seen the beautiful centre-spread Day in the Life of feature in Guardian Family, complete with Doodlemum’s pictures and an interview by Patrick Barkham; if not, don’t worry: you can still catch it online. Read the interview here and see the exclusive Guardian slideshow of original Doodlemum art here.

We ran a Doodlemum-centred Mother’s Day competition where we asked our readers to post their own doodles on our Facebook page and this is just one of the entries:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quite something uh? Fede contributed his own drawing which received some mixed in-house reviews:

 

 

 

 

 

Also, the Daily Mail run a beautiful feature with the catchy headline ‘Doodles with oodles of love’. A little preview:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And a link to the online article on the Mail Online.

 

Until I Say Good-Bye (out on March 14th)

As publication date is getting near, Susan’s story is getting a lot of interest both here and on the other side of the Atlantic. Have a look at the Sunday Telegraph piece, complete with wonderful pictures:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even more pics on the Mail online page here.

Plus, a very rare and quite intense interview with Susan herself is up on NPR. Since ALS affects the muscles in the body, Susan’s ability to talk has quickly deteriorated in the past few month, which is why hearing her voice feels so special.

Finally, here’s Good Housekeeping’s take on Susan’s memoir:

You might worry that a memoir about living with a terminal disease could be too upsetting. Instead, in Susan Spencer Wendel’s hands it is both life-enhancing and inspiring. In UNTIL I SAY GOOD-BYE she chronicles her last year of adventures as she wrings every ounce of joy out of her remaining months.

As always do keep up to date with all things Susan on her Facebook page (over 3000 Likes now), and remember to grab a copy of the Guardian next Saturday and have a close look at the cover of the Family section…

 

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald (out April 11th)

Lots of updates on Therese’s Facebook page as publication gets near (only one month to go!). Gatsby mania is building fast: we have posted The Bookseller’s feature on all things Gatsby/Fitzgerald (complete with an interview to Lisa about Z) on our Facebook page; plus the April Vogue issue is just out, complete with an article on Zelda and an interview with Therese. Go grab your copy now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Export copies are in and our beautiful hardbacks are due this week: exciting!

 

The Still Point of the Turning World (out April 11th)

Emily’s son Ronan, who was suffering from Tay-Sachs, died recently – just before his third birthday. Emily talked about him and about her experience as a grieving mum in her emotional interview on the Today show last Friday. Take a look here.

The book is receiving great pre-publication reviews and is, quite literally, the talk of the town in the US, with an interview and excerpt running in the Huffington Post; a magnificent review in the Boston Globe and two more interviews with Bodega magazine and Bookslut blog.

To learn more about Tay-Sachs and to raise awareness please visit the American National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Association at http://www.ntsad.org/

 

Eleven Days (out June 20th)

There’s no stopping Lea Carpenter’s book from becoming the literary debut of the year. We now have a quote from one of the Greats of American literature, Toni Morrison:

A compelling story made memorable by the strength of its elegant prose

And our lovely cover is going live this week:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TWO ROADS TURNED 2! A few pics from our ‘Two Roads turns 2’ party: thanks to all the people who stopped by to wish us well and taste Fede’s delicious, home-baked, awkwardly-named ‘Morning Glory’ muffins:

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A big thank you to all our followers and friends for the heart-warming birthday wishes!

“Mmmh I wonder if they sell espresso here”

One month. Thirty days.

Sometimes that’s all it takes to change your life in unexpected, quite dramatic ways. Right before Christmas I was standing in front of my desk in an office tower in the outskirts of Milan, looking at the space where I had worked for the past 16 months and that I had just finished cleaning out. It was my last day at Rizzoli before the holidays. My last day before moving to London for my new job as Editorial Assistant at Two Roads.

And now I am in a different, taller office tower, in the centre of a different, larger city, at the heart of a different, foreign country. The first few days at Two Roads have been positively crazy, filled with gargantuan tasks: how do you work a touch screen elevator without constantly ending up on the wrong floor? How can you suppress your craving for espressos and learn to like filter coffee? (this one’s easy: you simply can’t. I drink tea now) How do you pretend you know the name of that colleague you’ve been introduced to on your first day and is now in the lift with you? (smile, say “Hello” with a thick Italian accent, smile some more).

But despite all of this – new job, new colleagues, new life – I feel right at home, proud to be part of the Two Roads family and happy to be back in London, a city I first fell in love with while studying here two years ago. And after all there is one thing that hasn’t changed: I still get to read books, lots of them! They might be new submissions, or backlist titles I have to get acquainted with, or new books coming out in the next few months. It doesn’t really matter: I am most happy when sitting on the couch in my new flat, sipping espresso and reading. Just reading.

Of course it helps when the book is incredibly good. Take Eleven Days, the debut novel by Lea Carpenter we are publishing in June. It’s a fantastic story of mother and son, separated by distance and time but connected by a bond that is impossible to break. It’s a glorious first novel, written with grace and compassion, a book that has made me laugh, cry, think and has reminded me why I love working in publishing. You can find out more about Lea and her work here on the Two Roads website.

 

I think that will do as an introduction, but from now on I’ll be contributing regularly to the blog so look out for updates regarding life in the Two Roads office and the adventures of an Italian expat in London.

For daily news and pics follow me on twitter @Due_Strade (google-translate it and you’ll get it!).

Alla prossima…

Fede

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