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…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.

 

 

 

 

 

On the first day of the New Year, we bring you the words of Two Roads author Lea Carpenter about family, loss and hope. Have a great 2014, filled with love and light.

Christmas is about family; this is my little one, looking like a snowflake.

Christmas is also about loss. Mark Strand’s poem catches family and loss and hope, too. It has been on my desk through many blizzards.

 

A Piece Of The Storm

From the shadow of domes in the city of domes,

A snowflake, a blizzard of one, weightless, entered your room

And made its way to the arm of the chair where you, looking up

From your book, saw it the moment it landed.

That’s all There was to it. No more than a solemn waking

To brevity, to the lifting and falling away of attention, swiftly,

A time between times, a flowerless funeral. No more than that

Except for the feeling that this piece of the storm,

Which turned into nothing before your eyes, would come back,

That someone years hence, sitting as you are now, might say:

“It’s time. The air is ready. The sky has an opening.”

Lea Carpenter’s debut novel, Eleven Days, was published this year and will be available in paperback in spring 2014.

Lea Carpenter's Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

Happy birthday Robert Louis Stevenson

On November 13th, 1850, Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer Robert Louis Stevenson was born at 8 Howard Place, Edinburgh.

A literary celebrity during his lifetime, Stevenson now ranks among the 26 most translated authors in the world, thanks to classics like Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
His works have been admired by many other writers, including Jorge Luis Borges, Bertolt Brecht, Arthur Conan Doyle, Cesare Pavese, Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling, Jack London, Vladimir Nabokov, J. M. Barrie, and G. K. Chesterton.

Stevenson with his wife Fanny, second from right, and family, outside their property on the island of Samoa, where he spent the last few years of his life.

Stevenson with his wife Fanny, second from right, and family, outside their property on the island of Samoa, where he spent the last few years of his life.

Robert Louis Stevenson holds a special place in our Two Roads hearts: in January 2014 we are publishing Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan, the passionate and turbulent story of Stevenson and his tempestuous American wife, Fanny.To celebrate his birthday we have a range of activities going on on

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our social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Do take a look! We also have an exclusive guest blog post by Nancy Horan herself, sharing how Stevenson gave away his birthday: it’s a touching story, and you can find out more by visiting Hodder’s History Lives blog.

And don’t forget to join in on the celebration: download your RLS moustache here and post a picture of yourself proudly saying ‘Happy birthday RLS!’. We did (and had lots of fun)…

RLS tache group 1

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

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…

BESTSELLER NEWS

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: http://goo.gl/Wlf3G)

 

 

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.’ Stylist.co.uk

‘In

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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

 

2014 PREVIEW

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.

 

 

AND SINCE YOU’VE SURVIVED MONDAY…

…you now need a good, refreshing, tall glass of one of these fab ‘literary beers’: http://flavorwire.com/382387/10-delicious-literary-beers-to-drink-while-reading

Cheers and until next time!

Fede

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