Category Remember me Like This

…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

 

Later this

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

Today we celebrate the beautiful debut novel by Bret Anthony Johnston, REMEMBER ME LIKE THIS, out now in hardback.

Four years have passed since Justin Campbell’s disappearance, a tragedy that rocked the small town of Southport, Texas. Did he run away? Was he kidnapped? Did he drown in the bay? As the Campbells search for answers, they struggle to hold what’s left of their family together.

Then one afternoon, the impossible happens. The police call to report that Justin has been found only miles away in a nearby town, and most important, he appears to be fine. And though the reunion is a miracle, Justin’s homecoming exposes the deep rifts that have diminished his family, the wounds they all carry that may never fully heal. Trying to return to normal, his parents do their best to ease Justin back into his old life. But as thick summer heat takes hold, violent storms churn in the Gulf and in the Campbells’ hearts. When a reversal of fortune lays bare the family’s greatest fears – and offers perhaps their only hope for recovery – each of them must fight to keep the ties that bind them from permanently tearing apart.

A gripping literary novel with the pace of a thriller, Remember Me Like This introduces Bret Anthony Johnston as a gifted storyteller. With his sophisticated and emotionally taut plot Johnston reveals how only in caring for each other, can we save ourselves.

You can listen to extracts of the book on BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime beginning on June 23rd. The novel will be read by Clarke Peters, aka Lester Freamon from hit show The Wire (yup, that Lester!)

Find out more about the author and the book on Bret’s Facebook page: facebook.com/bajbooks

Today REMEMBER ME LIKE THIS is published in America and we couldn’t be more thrilled for Two Roads author Bret Anthony Johnston.

To celebrate, and to whet your appetite before the UK pub date of June 19th, here’s a quick round-up of the latest, brilliant praise we have received so far…

Set in a small community on the Texan Gulf, REMEMBER ME LIKE THIS is a gripping literary novel with the pace of a thriller, the story of a family coming back together after a kidnapped son comes home and lays bare the effects of his trauma as the book builds to a spectacular denouement over one long, hot summer.

Enthralling… I know the novel you’re looking for. It’s the thriller that also has interesting sentences. It’s the one with a driving plot but fully realized characters as well, the one that flows like it was plotted by Dennis Lehane but feels like it was written by Jonathan Franzen. The high-end potboiler. The literate page-turner. It’s a surprisingly rare breed even though it’s so obviously the novel we all want. Fortunately, there’s Bret Anthony Johnston’s Remember Me Like This… It has all the features of a trashy psychological thriller, but with all the resources of literary fiction brought to bear on the psychologies in question… The plot in Remember Me Like This is interstitially tied in to the psychological details of the characters, and that’s what makes it interesting. Johnston has a gift for creating characters that are perfectly ordinary but also deeply peculiar… In the end, the high literary technique and the pulp elements of Remember Me Like This contribute so seamlessly to each other you wonder how they got separate in the first place. It doesn’t need a name. It’s just good to read. – Esquire

This portrayal of a family struggling through what should be its happiest moment is tremendously movingthere’s real humanity in Johnston’s writing, and it’s heartening to spend time with these folks as they relearn how to be a family. Rendered in these compassionate, candid chapters, theirs is a struggle that speaks to those of us who have endured far less. – Ron Charles, Washington Post

And just in case you are not following Bret’s adventures on Facebook, here’s a recent post that explains why you should…

Bret Anthony Johnston (copyright Nina Subin) Remember Me Like This - HarvardIt’s with great joy that we can finally announce that Two Roads will publish Bret Anthony Johnston’s debut novel

Remember Me Like This

in July 2014.

A compelling exploration of human morality, the novel is set on the Texan Gulf over one long, hot summer, where abducted teenager Justin Campbell’s reappearance after four years missing feels like a miracle to his family, but also lays bare the effects of his trauma, as the book builds to a

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spectacular denouement.

Oh the joy when a book like this comes along. Finding a writer as talented and a storyteller this assured is a gift, and one of the many pleasures of being both a publisher and a reader.

Lisa Highton, Two Roads publisher

I am exceedingly thrilled that Remember Me Like This has found its home with Two Roads. I could not dream up a better publisher for the novel, a novel that is in many ways about the life of a place, its stories and voices.

Bret Anthony Johnston

Bret Anthony Johnston is the author of the award-winning Corpus Christi: Stories, which was described by David Mitchell as ‘a gorgeous accomplished debut’ and named a Best Book of the Year by the Independent and the Irish Times, and the editor of Naming the World: And Other Exercises for the Creative Writer. His work appears in the Atlantic Monthly,

Esquire, The Paris Review, The Best American Short Stories, and elsewhere. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he’s the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship and a 5 Under 35 honour from the National Book Foundation. He teaches in the Bennington Writing Seminars and at Harvard University, where is the Director of Creative Writing.

We’re not the only one who fell in love with this book. Remember Me Like This has received fantastic advance praise from a vast and varied list of writers:

In this deeply nuanced portrait of an American family, Bret Anthony Johnston fearlessly explores the truth behind a mythic happy ending. In Remember Me Like This, Johnston presents an incisive dismantling of an all too comforting fallacy: that in being found we are no longer lost.

Alice Sebold, author of the Lovely Bones

You could say that this book is ripped from the headlines, but that wouldn’t be fair. Bret Anthony Johnston’s riveting novel picks up where the tabloids leave off, and takes us places even the best journalism can’t go. Remember Me Like This is a wise, moving, and troubling novel about family and identity, and a clear-eyed inventory of loss and redemption.

Tom Perrotta, author of Little Children and The Leftovers

This mesmerizing story of loss and redemption on Texas’s Gulf Coast will take you in and hold you and not let go until it’s done with you, leaving you wiping at your eyes with the kind of soul-gratitude that comes only after experiencing true art.

Andre Dubus III, author of The House of Sand and Fog

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