“After spending more than a year working on my debut novel, Before Ever After,” writes Samantha Sotto, “emerging from the safety and solitude of my little writer’s cave was daunting. Remaining holed up in it, however, was not an option. If I wanted readers and reviewers to discover this book, then I needed to buckle down and treat social media the same way I had treated school. In short, it was time to brush my hair, change out of my pajamas, and start interacting. First stop, the Blogosphere.”
Summer means lazy weekends, sand between our toes, and any excuse for ice cream. It also means that it’s time for a great summer reading round-up, when we’re all wondering what to bring along on a weekend getaway. And I love me a good beach read, so maybe it’s no surprise that each one of my books – regardless of when it first went on sale – is considered a “beach read,” especially my new paperback The One That I Want. For you RIFers, I’m opening up my beach bag and discussing this summer’s best sea-side reads for every member of your family.
“I love puzzles,” writes editor Sarah Knight. “Crosswords, Jumbles, the Cryptoquip that ran in my Sunday paper as a kid. For me, working on a puzzle is both soothing and exhilarating – and of course the biggest rush of all comes from solving one. So it’s kind of funny that the thing I love most about Will Lavender’s puzzle-thrillers is that they are impossible to solve.”
“In the back of my mind,” writes Lucia Greenhouse, author of fathermothergod, “was a little boy I didn’t know named Ian Lundman. In 1989, three years after my mother died, Ian Lundman died of untreated juvenile diabetes. His mother had been a Christian Scientist. When Ian became ill, his mother called a Christian Science practitioner (it could have been my father, but wasn’t) instead of a doctor. A Christian Science nurse sat beside this little boy as he lay dying of something that insulin would have successfully treated.” RIFers! In a book group? Check out the end of this post for a special offer for your group.
“Who was he?” asks Geoffrey Gray, author ofSkyjack. “To know D.B. Cooper was such a man, and he had a name other than his alias Dan Cooper, and a family, maybe a sister or brother, a job, and a reason to commit the only unsolved hijacking in our time, and that I might have the ability to determine once and for all who he was became the ingredients for an obsession. How else to explain the three days I spent in the basement of the Rutgers University library, flipping through year backs from postwar years ’46, ’47, ’48, and ’49, looking for faces on the track team that matched an FBI sketch that might not even look like Cooper himself?”
“I’ve heard men, experienced fighters, say they’ll sometimes block body blows with their heads. I believe them, but I’ve never done it. Next time you see a picture of a human skull, notice the gap, the absence of bone, at the nose. It’s a fantastically vulnerable place to get hit. Something about it goes straight to your brain and rattles you to the core. It’s hard to recover from.”
“When I set out to write The Memory of All That: George Gershwin, Kay Swift, and My Family’s Legacy of Infidelities, although at the heart of the story lay my grandmother’s romance with George Gershwin and how it has affected my family over the decades, and how it has affected my own definitions of love and marriage, I thought I was going to write a book about family stories – how we tell them, and how we hear them, what they mean to us, how the narrative impulse functions in a family’s identity, and how all this influenced me as a novelist.
“It may be that the mystery of Everett’s disappearance will never be solved,” writes David Roberts, author of Finding Everett Ruess. “But thanks to the controversy that swirled around Comb Ridge, we have more hints and clues about the wanderer’s fate – and about his character – than we have ever had before. In that sense, Finding Everett Ruess may form the appropriate rubric for a collective quest to solve a riddle that has no parallel in the history of the American West.”