Editor Julia Pastore on Brooke Berman’s No Place Like Home

I don’t like to move around much. I’ve lived in the same apartment for the past six years and if all goes well, my well-lined hands will still be dusting the crown moldings, prying at the crooked linen closet door, and grabbing books (the ink and paper kind) off of my custom-made shelves (thanks, dad) sixty years from now.

My best friend Adriana is completely different. Over the past ten years, she’s moved hither (London) and yon (San Diego) and I’ve visited her in studio apartments barely the size of a futon, 3-bedroom flats shared by four people, and my very own living room (if you don’t mind sleeping on your side, that pullout couch is pretty comfortable). So when she finally decided to move back to New York City and my time zone after a few years in Wales, I thought a celebratory night on the town was in order—drinks, dinner, a play, the works.

What better play than Brooke Berman’s Hunting and Gathering? About a group of friends trying to find their place in the world and at least a room to call their own if not a whole house, I thought we’d both get a kick out of it. The reviews had been glowing and after two hours in the dark with Brooke’s well-rounded characters, and clever, thoughtful prose, so were we. Hmmm, I thought, could this be a book? The shortest leap seemed to be from play to novel, and since I don’t edit fiction, I decided it probably wouldn’t be the right project for me even if I could connect with her.

Later that week, though, a colleague walked into my office and handed me the front page of the Home & Garden section of the New York Times. “She should write a book,” he said, and pointed to a feature story on Brooke and her real-life adventures in real estate and the arts. Aha! This, I now knew, could be a smart, frank, lively memoir about finding the true meaning of home and realizing your dreams, perfect for my list. But was I too late?

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When you see an article that could grow into a book already printed in the New York Times (or the New Yorker or the Atlantic), it usually is too late. Odds are, a literary agent is just one click away from submitting a proposal based on your “brilliant discovery” or “bright idea” to editors all around town. Timing is everything and like Sandra Bullock, editors are often the last to know.

But—I am happy to say—not this time! We managed to connect, and Brooke was interested in writing a memoir. My publisher and editorial board thought the project had legs, too. And, about nine months later, after a few coffee dates and several emails, I was thrilled to receive a formal proposal and sample chapters for No Place Like Home. (Those jokes about publishing and pregnancy are no joke.) And the rest is a beautiful, printed hardcover. And ebook.

Brooke Berman’s humorous and honest memoir in 39 apartments is about her realization that home is much more than an address. What makes a home a home? Post a comment below to enter for the chance to win a copy of No Place Like Home. Limited quantities, while supplies last. Winners chosen at random. No purchase necessary.

About Kira Walton

Kira Walton

KIRA WALTON has been stalking books all her life as a college English teacher, bookseller, book club consultant, author, and editor.

  • Diane

    Sounds really good! I’d like to read it.

  • Mary

    I think I’d enjoy reading this book.

  • Katy

    I can’t wait to check this book out – having moved around a lot as a young person and stable as an adult, I can think of what home feels like, but it’s not where I live now. What makes a residence feel like home? Can’t wait to read and see what her searching has brought.

  • Beth

    Home is where your stuff is; the place where you always feel safe.

  • Beth

    Home is where your pets are.

  • jw

    I would love to live all over the world, until I found the place I like best to call home.

  • stephanie

    looks like a wonderful book. I would love a chance to win it.


  • Denise Kennedy

    I spent 30 years in real estate and constantly sought to assist people find a “home”, not just a house. I would dearly love to read this book and pass it on to others, I believe in sharing!
    Thank you.

  • KindaSassyCourtney

    Having moved from Australia to Canada to Australia and back to Canada (so far!) I really love the idea of this book. Home is more than an address – its where the heart is.

  • Jennifer

    Wow 39 Apartments, sounds fascinating. We moved around a lot and I discovered that a home is where your family is, it does not mater if it is a cramped apartment or a large house. Where there is love and comfort, that is home.

  • Bonnie Tittaferrante

    Sounds like an interesting book. t would interesting to do a counterpoint book from someone who has lived in the same place for 50 or 60 years and see the similarities and differences.

  • Anna

    This is a great concept! I’d love to read it. 🙂

  • kimberly fish

    Can’t wait to read–I’ve lived in a lot houses/apartments too.

  • Angie D

    What a great tale of how you wrote this book! I love reading memoirs! I will definitely have to check this one out.

  • Ida McCarty

    There really is no place like home

  • Julie Routhier

    Sounds great – would love to read!

  • Jeannine

    I totally agree that “home is much more than an address”. I was in an abusive relationship (years ago) and we owned a house together. I longed for a home and always felt a prisoner of the house. Years later, I am now in a healthy relationship and we are living in a happy home….even on vacation, we are “at home”. I think “at home” means that no matter where you are located, you can feel “at home”, comfortable, at ease, and safe.

  • mark kohut

    Very nice story, Julia…I’ve actually helped one or two happen myself–to editor friends.

    Mark Kohut

  • Susan Pike

    As someone who never felt any wanderlust, I am interested in what makes people want to move around.

  • Tom

    Two things make constant moving a drag: feeling a lack of connectedness to the place and community in which you live (commitments extend well beyond couplings) and, if you read, having to pack, carry, carry, unpack your book collection–in my case going from 1,500 books to, eventually, 7,000. It’s the only time I hate my books. . . I’d like to see what Berman’s discovered about moving and settling. (And settling ain’t necessarily “settling.”)

  • Nancy Pate

    I’m lucky to have two homes — my condo in Orlando, and a rented winter beach house on Edisto Island, S.C., where my mom and extended family live. The cats and dog are with me both places!

  • Tee Ring

    I love books about the search for home. Sometimes home is where you least expect it.

  • Nancy Taylor

    I would love to read this book!

  • Christi terSteeg

    Please send quickly…am trapped without air conditioning in my lovely old home!!!

  • Joseph Arellano

    Home is where Munchy the cat is.

  • David Cohen

    I own a moving company in NYC ( http://www.divinemoving.com ) so during the course of my job I hear a lot of stories why people are moving, some sad, some are funny… but I really liked this book. it’s written well and talks directly to the NYC market..
    I may buy a few copies to give to my clients that complain that they move 5 times in 5 years or something like that…

  • Erika

    Home is were people you love are. I’ve moved around most of my life, military brat and i’ve felt most at home when I first moved to Nashville not knowing many people but loving who I did know…

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