Category New York

…the beautiful cover for Ayelet Waldman‘s LOVE AND TREASURE. Published in April 2014.

Love and Treasure by Ayelet Waldman

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We received proofs of the book today and we took a little video to show you all how beautiful they look: see it here.

BEA 2012: A Spotty Alphabet



Author’s note – yes I know it’s 2013, but I just came across this article I wrote for BookBrunch, the industry news service. I’m just back from this year’s show (my 21st) and it’s still valid – mineral water is now $5 a bottle, people are still wandering helplessly looking for events (possibly from last year) and the queues for the loo are still serpentine. But actually, it’s genuinely about the buzz and IT’S NEW YORK.

From New York, Lisa Highton, Publisher of Two Roads at Hodder & Stoughton, offers a personal reflection from her twentieth BookExpo.

This year, BookExpo is about conferencing and events as much as the trade fair. While the exhibition space has shrunk, the lower level of the Javits is buzzing with people eager to go digital and learn new stuff. Also buzzing with people trying to find their way to lost meeting rooms. Signage people, signage.

All About the Reader
We are reaching out to them – a lot.

Author Events
Possibly because I had three authors at BEA, I have a new respect for what author signings on this scale can do. A great set-up for an author – either debut or established. Packs of ever-patient, smiling publicists organising events and signings for authors. Many are called but few are chosen, so a BEA invitation is a privilege.

BEA’s Greatest Hits
The non-changing location of BookExpo prompted vets to reminisce about previous BEAs, as we still like to call them, which used to take us all over the States. Now we are forever in New York, which of course is never a bad thing. But see Javits. Anaheim – very bad, just one huge car park and no food. Las Vegas – historic, a rotting Cesar’s Palace hotel, equal parts Rat Pack DNA and Miss Havisham. New Orleans – excellent, despite subsequent acute pneumonia from ending up in bar at 4am in swamp. Los Angeles – rubbernecking. Bizarre encounter of British publishing and Playboy Mansion – the grimy grotto never to be forgotten. Chicago – uplifting. We were all much improved by Chicago walking tours and Frank Lloyd Wright. Washington – capitol.

With booksellers, sell-out ticketed events, and now broadcast live; breakfasts with librarians, influencers. Breakfasts: I don’t do breakfasts but thanks to technology I could watch great authors in the luxury of my own PJs. From Barbara Kingsolver to Zadie Smith and Michael Chabon. All brilliant. (Photo: Kingsolver with, left to right, Jo Nesbo, Junot Diaz, and Stephen Colbert. By

Buzz words
Discoverability, of course, is outstripping curating. Reaching the Reader is the theme. Neil Young will be putting this to music and releasing on his newly announced tour.

Editors Buzz Panel

Favourite Quotes
Barbara Kingsolver – author breakfast talking about physical form of books and how people resist change: “We complain, we get over it and what endures is story.” Bookseller proudly waving her signed copy of Naomi Wolf’s new book (Vagina): “Naomi Wolf signed my Vagina!” Bookseller in mile-long queue for Rachel Ray’s Burger Matters: “Of course I’m a vegetarian.” J R Moehringer’s new book on criminal Willie Sutton… who was asked why he robbed banks: “Because that’s where the money was.”

Galleys & Giveaways
See Tote Bags. Hottest galleys: Tigers in Red Weather/Harold Fry.

While we’re all very professional now, it was nice to see out-of-work actors and models dressed up as angels/devils/tomatoes giving away Things (see Tote Bags)

Seeing books I acquired with a good shot at US success. No names, no pack drill.

Under scaffolding. A good thing. Attendants with the paddles saying “May I Help You?” They can’t. Dizzying prices – a small bottle of water is $3.65 and a cappuccino $6. Really? Call the pricing commission.

Yes, they’re still going, although few are now open to all, but a special nod to my group’s 175th Birthday Party for Little, Brown. An old-style gracious party for the great and the good – cast-list included Tom Wolfe, Michael Connelly, Donna Tartt, among many others. And a call-out for Janklow & Nesbit cupcakes at theirs.

While things are tight in their market, right now the US has more of this with the possible exception of those Brazilians.

Seeing books I turned down set for US success. No names, no pack drill.

Signings signings signings (I want to buy shares in Sharpies). Cocktail parties, dinners… Wind up an author and let them go make their book work. There’s a charming democracy to this. Everyone works hard in less-than-glam surroundings, from Peter Carey to a first-time novelist. While many signed copies undoubtedly end up being sold, the majority of requests are genuine and it’s a real opportunity to connect with the author and for the author to connect with people who can help make their book work. Cannot be cynical about this process and not even trying.
(above, Will Schwalbe)

The Hot Ticket
Neil Young and Patti Smith. Without a doubt. Couldn’t get in.

Tote Bags
What will we do with all of these? Be buried in them?

US Trade Paperbacks
The nicest, best-produced paperback format in the world. There, I’ve

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Oh the irony of discussing digital in a concrete bunker, get broadband people, get broadband.

The End of Your Life Book Club book club read E. M. Forster's Howards End (Will Schwalbe)

After a few months spent on hiatus, the book club gathered once more to discuss the E. M. Forster classic novel Howards End. The meeting was timed with the release of the paperback edition of Will’s The End of Your Life Book Club and although he couldn’t be with us in the Two Roads headquarters, he managed to join in from New York, talking about the book with Lisa, who is in the Big Apple herself: a true transatlantic book club experience!


The End of Your Life Book Club book club read E. M. Forster's Howards End (Will Schwalbe)

Will reading HOWARDS END in New York

Surprisingly perhaps, not many people had read Howards End before or even seen the film. The book is about three families in England at the beginning of the 20th century: the Wilcoxes, rich capitalists with a fortune made in the Colonies; the half-German Schlegel siblings Margaret, Tibby, and Helen; and the Basts, a struggling couple in the lower-middle class. It explores the underlying class warfare involving these three distinct groups and the source of their conflict – Howards End, a house in the countryside which ultimately becomes a symbol of conflict within British society.

For such an apparently heavy subject, the novel is incredibly engaging (and obviously beautifully written). We found ourselves drawn to some of the most obvious themes (the now famous line ‘Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. was the focus of much discussion) and we were particularly intrigued by the relationship between the highly idealistic Margaret and Henry, the pragmatic defender of social conventions. How could such different characters end up becoming husband and wife?

But most of our conversation revolved around the timeliness of the novel. When it was first published in 1910, E. M. Forster’s book dealt with some of the most profound issues of British society: the relationship between ownership and power, and the huge gap between different social statuses. Most people in the club agreed that Howards End still feels incredibly ‘of the time’ today – class still being a subject worth writing about in these troubled times – but also wondered if Forster would pick a different subject matter (race perhaps?) were he alive today.

The End of Your Life Book Club book club read E. M. Forster's Howards End (Will Schwalbe)

Zadie’s Smith ON BEAUTY

The discussion turned towards more recent books when someone brought up Zadie Smith’s On Beauty, the Orange Prize-winning novel which is an homage to Forster’s classic. We started talking about the modern ‘reinterpretations’ of the classics, not only in literature but also in films (we spent quite a bit of time analysing how cult film Clueless relates to Emma, the Jane Austen book it is loosely based on): do they introduce the classics to new audiences and ensure their survival? Or is it just a way to exploit some of the greatest works of the past?

In the end we went back to Howards End and we agreed

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to a good 3 out of 4 score. And then we rewarded ourselves with some well deserved cake (check out more pics on Facebook):

The End of Your Life Book Club book club read E. M. Forster's Howards End (Will Schwalbe)









What do you get when you mix the IT girl of the roaring 20’s and one of today’s most acclaimed and

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loved artists? Well, if you’re that lucky, you get a picture of Florence Welch (of Florence and the Machine fame) holding a copy of Z, the fictionalised account of Zelda Fitzgerald’s life by Therese Anne Fowler:

Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine holding a copy of Z

Florence has a new song on the soundtrack for The Great Gatsby, the new film adaptation directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire and Isla Fisher. Have a listen to her song (and other tunes by the likes of Jay-Z, Beyoncé,, Lana Del Rey, Emeli Sandé and Sia) here.

Hi Everyone!

We’ve almost got to the end of Monday here in sunny (!) London and it’s time to celebrate with one of our ‘Monday Blues Remedy’ blog posts. Lots of updates from our authors this week…


Until I Say Good-Bye OUT NOW!

Susan’s book is out now and it has been very warmly welcomed by readers all over the world. It became an instant NYT bestseller , entering the Hardcover Non-Fiction chart at #3:










Susan met with hundreds of readers at her local Barnes & Noble and signed over 400 copies with her thumbprint:

And publicity is going extremely well in the UK too. Susan’s story was featured on the cover of Guardian Family, complete with a beautiful shot of Susan and a touching interview with her husband John (you can read it in full here:



As always her her Facebook page is the best place to keep up with all things Susan: click and like!


Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald OUT THIS THURSDAY!

Therese’s book was published in the US last week and it instantly became a bestseller hitting the NYT, USA Today, NPR lists among others:






The Sunday Telegraph run a wonderful piece by Therese on Zelda, ‘Rehabilitating Zelda‘ which went viral and was picked up by the New Yorker and the Daily Mail. Reviews are pouring in and readers are just loving this book:

‘Finely researched, entertaining and very plausible.’ Vogue UK

‘A thrilling read.’


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her new novel Z, Fowler draws a compellingly complete portrait of that other Paris (and New York and St. Paul and Long Island) wife: mother, painter, writer, flapper, feminist Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald.’ USA Today

A gorgeously rendered piece of literary entertainment, not a biography but rather a love story set in the Jazz Age.’ New York Daily News

Zips along addictively and exposes the dark side of artistic ambition.’ EW

Z is a fictional account of Zelda Fitzgerald’s life – giving voice to the determined, intelligent and vibrant woman who struggled to find her identity in the shadow of her husband, whose demons challenged them both with heartbreaking consequences. An unforgettable read’ Australian Woman’s Weekly

And look out for reviews and features in the Sunday Times Culture, Spectator, Stylist and Irish Tatler.

In the meantime our Australian and New Zealand friends are going literally crazy for the book:








The Still Point of the Turning World OUT THIS THURSDAY!

Emily’s book is also officially a NYT bestseller and the reviews are simply outstanding. We’ll let them do the talking:

‘A brilliant study of the wages of mortal love’ The New York Times Book Review

‘A radiant book steeped in deep feelings’ Los Angeles Times

Rapp combines an essayist’s willingness to lay herself bare on the page, a theologian’s search to plumb the mysteries of life and a poet’s precision’ San Francisco Chronicle

‘Rapp has written a beautiful and passionate elegy for her son, a book that offers deep wisdom for any reader.’ Boston Globe



The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle (March 2014)

We are publishing Kirsty’s literary debut next year, but in the meantime take a look at the glamorous spread in the Guardian Weekend magazine:. Sadly, she had to give the clothes back.




…you now need a good, refreshing, tall glass of one of these fab ‘literary beers’:

Cheers and until next time!


Book Expo is the foremost US book trade fair and, I think, fair to say unique around the world. I don’t know of anywhere else that has such total focus on connecting booksellers, librarians, bloggers, influencers of all shades and writers and their new books from breakfast to nightfall. Booksellers, librarians, publishers and authors come from all

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over the country to beguile and be beguiled — publishers are doing everything in their power to help make good word of mouth happen. And there’s no formula for that, it really is magic.

Hachette stand BEA

A small shot of the fair, with the Hachette stand in sight

As well as authors speaking almost continuously for four days there are the signing sessions, hundreds and hundreds of proofs given away and booksellers lining up to get them signed and to chat with their authors (in some case their heroes, e.g. Ian McEwan, Zadie Smith and in some cases complete unknowns). These are held in what’s called the sheep pens, a remarkably democratic affair, reducing all authors to a talking Sharpie (the ubiquitous signing pen). Even the editors get in on the act. There is a session called the Editors Buzz Panel (or Editoridol as it’s nicknamed), in which 6 prominent editors speak passionately about the book on their list they love the most. This year’s six were:

  • The People Of Forever Are Not Afraid by Shani Boianjiu
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
  • In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner
  • Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan
  • Panorama City by Antoine Wilson
  • A Million Heavens by John Brandon
Karen Engelmann signs The Stockholm Octavo at BEA

Karen signs proofs of The Stockholm Octavo at BEA

Interesting to check out their fates in a year’s time.


Will Schwalbe signing BEA

Will signs The End of Your Life Book Club proofs at BEA

Three Two Roads authors were also working hard at BEA. Karen Engelmann, THE STOCKHOLM OCTAVO; Will Schwalbe, THE END OF YOUR LIFE BOOK CLUB and Gretchen Rubin, HAPPIER AT HOME. Here are some shots of their

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signing sessions and some general pics of the weird and the wonderful!


For as much as publishing is a very professional business, with much at stake BEA also has a streak of daftness. Long may that continue.

There are more postings and photos of BEA on our Facebook page here







Six weeks working in New York has been amazing and a privilege…but all good things come to an end and I must face

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good British rain.

Thank you New York, you’ve been excellent company. Until next time…


The Flatiron

Next Tuesday I’m off to New York to work for six weeks.  There will be posts from there, of an over-excited nature. It may well be  raining there too, but dammit, it’ll be New York Rain.

Watch this space…

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