Today the ever so delightful Katherine Hall Page has stopped by to celebrate her book birthday! Small Platesis now on sale and ready to be reserved at your local library, so make sure you are on the list!
I wrote my first short story when I was about nine years old. And then didn’t write another one for over thirty years. The first one has been lost in the mists of time, but I believe it was about my dolls coming to life and I’m pretty sure fairies played a part. What I do recall is sending it in to my favorite magazine, Jack & Jill. They sent back a very kind rejection letter, which I found some years ago in a box of things my mother had saved.
Essentially we start our reading lives with short stories and I, for one, have continued to love them. In school, our readers were made up of short stories, each chapter, even in Dick and Jane, was a complete tale. Then there was My Weekly Reader, which always had a piece of fiction mixed in with the news.
My Livingston, New Jersey librarian, Ruth Rockwood, must have also been a fan of the genre. When I was older and allowed to check out books from the adult section, she steered me toward many authors: O. Henry, Willa Cather, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Eudora Welty, Katherine Mansfield, to name a few. It was through an anthology from the library that I discovered the pleasure of spine tingling reading—Edgar Allan Poe, Ambrose Bierce, Shirley Jackson and Saki in particular.
As a writer, I find short stories much more difficult to write than novels. And, although I quite like the ones I’ve done for Small Plates, I do not kid myself that I have mastered the form. To be as able at longer fiction as short is rare, especially in the mystery genre—Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, and, more recently, Robert Barnard are without equal. Henry David Thoreau summed it up best, perhaps, observing to a friend: “Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.”
I don’t understand why some readers avoid short stories—“I want to read something that’s not over so quickly” is one comment I often hear. A good short story not only lingers on the palate, but also prods us to think deeply about what might happen next—and even what might have occurred earlier. Small Plates is all about the pleasure of ordering tapas or several appetizers instead of an entrée.
Thank you so much, Katherine. Your books are always enjoyable!
Introducing the next hysterical romantic (mis)adventure from the internationally bestselling Mhairi McFarlane, author of You Had Me At Hello!
Despite the oddballs that keep turning up on her dates, Anna couldn’t be happier. As a 30-something with a job she loves, life has turned out better than she dared dream. However, things weren’t always this way, and her years spent as the butt of schoolyard jokes are ones she’d rather forget.
So when James Fraser - the architect of Anna’s final humiliation at school - walks back into her life, her world is turned upside down. But James seems a changed man. Polite. Mature. Funny, even. People can change, right? So why does Anna feel like she’s a fool to trust him?
Reserve an early copy of Here’s Looking at You today, and experience this laugh-out-loud funny and romantic story!
You can also enter Mhairi’s cover contest! Post a photo recreating the cover of You Had Me At Hello as a comment to this Facebook post. One lucky winner will be chosen by Mhairi to win a gift certificate to Warby Parker.
Get creative! We're so excited to see your version of the cover, however you want to recreate it. Five random photos will also be chosen by the Harper 360 team to be featured on their Facebook page the day after the contest ends. Good luck!
I made no secret of my own love for The Orphans of Race Point by Patry Francis, and praise for this book just keeps on coming. A starred review from Booklist says, "this beautifully wrought novel is a sometimes wrenching but ultimately uplifting story of murder and betrayal in the face of faith, family in its truest sense, and—most of all—love," and Library Journal just released its own starred review for this beautifully tragic novel:
"Like Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, this sprawling second novel by Massachusetts author Francis (The Liar’s Diary) starts out with a traumatic incident involving a young boy befriended by a girl and expands from there into a Dickensian story in which criminals with murky motives mingle casually with the pure of heart. But instead of London or New York City, the tangled lives of the two motherless children, Gus and Hallie, and their friend, Neil, unfold on the beaches and narrow streets of Provincetown, on the outermost tip of Cape Cod, and in the seacoast city of New Bedford, MA. Fate lies heavily on the characters, as the book explores fatherhood, inheritance, human behavior, and the aspects of ourselves that can be changed. VERDICT Steeped in sea air and completely ignoring the tourist season, this story captures the essence of year-round life on the Cape and the Portuguese Catholic traditions of New Bedford fishermen as its themes of passionate treachery and abiding love play out in sometimes heartbreaking ways. Recommend to readers wondering what to read after The Goldfinch."—Laurie Cavanaugh, Holmes P.L., Halifax, MA
Congratulations to Patry Francis and The Orphans of Race Point!
First of all, check out those gruesome covers. Yikes. Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s epic vampire trilogy (The Strain, The Fall, and The Night Eternal) follows a ragtag group of humans—including a CDC investigator, a Holocaust survivor, and a former gangbanger—as they battle a mysterious and ever-widening vampiric virus that threatens to take over New York City, and soon the whole world. And now, if your imagination just doesn’t quite cut it, the series comes to the small screen this July on FX in The Strain. Judging by those TV-tie-in covers and these two teasertrailers, we are in for one chilling ride.
David Wellington is a delight. Some of you might be familiar with him for his Monster Island Trilogy, some might remember him for his appearance at TLA (zombie historical figures featured in his short story). Either way, I super support you checking out his latest book The Hydra Protocol, in which Jim Chapel must infiltrate a top secret Russian military base and disable an unstable supercomputer.
David has popped in today, on the birthday of his book, to share some thoughts about his childhood library.
I’ve written before about the library where I worked, but today I’d like to take a second for some fond memories of the library where I grew up. It was sprawling and full of people. It was built of oiled wood, painted steel shelving, scuffed linoleum; it sounded like the repetitive chunk-chunk of the machine that printed out due dates. It was heaven.
We're Number 1! We're Number 1! And such modest winners. This month's LibraryReads list was just announced and Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey was chosen as the #1 book. In more exciting news, The Hurricane Sisters by Dorothea Benton Frank also made the list. Thank you everyone who loved and voted for these books!
Are you voting? Get onto Edelweiss to submit and have your voice heard!
Elizabeth is Missing by debut novelist Emma Healey is a particular favorite of Amanda's and today has been chosen as the featured review on Booklist's website in honor of Mystery Month.
Simultaneously a sophisticated mystery and a heartbreakingly honest meditation on memory and identity, Elizabeth is Missing possesses an unforgettable narrator in Maud, a grandmother fighting a losing battle against the devastating effects of memory loss.
"Part mystery, part meditation on memory, part Dickensian revelation of how apparent charity may hurt its recipients, this is altogether brilliant." - Booklist
This book goes on sale June 10, but until then you can snag an egalley on Edelweiss.