You could call Learning to Swim suspense. You could call it a psychological thriller or literary mystery, or a combination of these. Someone told me this book is a lot of things: a crime novel and a suspense novel; a woman’s book and a love story; the story of a lost child and the story of self-discovery. I like to think of it as a book that will speak to a lot of people.

Calling all fans of Midwives, The Double Bind, and Secrets of Eden! Chris Bohjalian is on tour, and it’s not to be missed: a “rock-and-roll, get your t-shirts” book tour! (We have photographic evidence to prove it!) Check Chris Bohjalian’s calendar of events to see if he’ll be in your area in February.

When my sister and I arrived at the final room of Madame Tussaud’s Time Square, I saw her: Marie Tussaud. She wears a simple white dress with a subtle blue floral pattern and she’s been sculpted later in life, not the woman in her twenties and early thirties who occupies the pages of Michelle Moran’s Madame Tussaud. But I knew her instantly. She tilts her head to one side while holding out a hat, as if she’s about to set it upon icy Napoleon who’s standing a few feet away from her. Her expression is proud and peaceful, a woman who has overcome incredible hardship.

Calling all Jean Auel fans! Last week we launched our video review series – now we want to hear from you! Be among the first to read the highly anticipated The Land of Painted Caves. To receive a free advance copy, record a short video review (three minutes max) of your favorite book in Jean Auel’s Earth’s Children® series. Hold up the book in your review, and tell us what makes it your favorite!

I approach editing as a kind of carpentry: first a rough cut, then assembly, and then the finishing with finer and finer grades of sandpaper until the work is well-constructed, feels right to the touch. An editor suggests, asks, cajoles, demands, and pushes a writer as much as he can get away with. Editing a memoir, so deeply personal, can be even trickier. (Hey, about that chapter about your grandfather. I think we should cut it…) I warned Sean early on that I expected him to be sick of me by the time we were done. But he displayed great patience with my demands all the way through. In many regards, I think the book was a continuation of the vigil and companionship with his mom.

It’s an amazing privilege to be able to introduce you in various media to this country I’ve come to love; perhaps you’ll be inspired to visit, although I know the cost and time involved with that make it difficult. Armchair travelers are most welcome here; there’s no place like where you are right this minute. Truth be told, what’s most remarkable about being able to visit and learn about another land is that ultimately, in the end, we all want the same things: safe shelter, clean clothing, good things for our family, love.