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Posts Tagged ‘Helen Simonson’

Kathy L. Patrick & Random House Launch Online Book Club Show

The producers of Dancing with the Stars haven’t cast season 12 yet, but we hope they consider our petitions for Kathy L. Patrick and Claire Cook. In the meantime, fans can watch Patrick’s new online book club show with Random House.

Random House marketing director Avideh Bashirrad explained in the release: “We’ve seen increased demand for digital content from book clubs, so we developed a program that would offer them more of what they love. Kathy Patrick was our ideal choice for the partnership since she has been an advocate of our books for many years.”

The first two shows aired on January 14th with Karen Abbott‘s American Rose and Paula McLain‘s The Paris Wife. Patrick founded the Pulpwood Queens Book Club, a group with 400 chapters across the country. Other authors who will appear on the new show include: Pat Conroy, Fannie Flagg, Helen Simonson, Deborah Rodriguez, Frank Delaney, Yann Martel, Janelle Brown, Melanie Benjamin, Susan Vreeland, and Lisa See. (Via Shelf Awareness)

EDITOR’S NOTE: We corrected a spelling error in this post.

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Lit Resolutions from Heather Brewer, Teddy Wayne, Helen Simonson, & Thelma Adams

Today we have a new set of 2011 literary resolutions from writers. Share your resolutions in the comments section or on Twitter.

The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod vampire series writer Heather Brewer: “1. FINALLY read Mockingjay (I am SO far behind the times!). 2. Tackle something totally different for me – like a first person, female perspective (that, or happy fluffy rainbow bunnies). 3. Continue taking over the world with my Minion Horde (and yes, this does count as literary…kinda).”

Kapitoil novelist and writing professor Teddy Wayne (back in sarcasm): “My literary New Year’s resolution is to learn to read. (I’m currently dictating this to my assistant).”

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Helen Simonson on Her Indie Bestseller

Helen SimonsonHelen Simonson (pictured, via) is the author behind the indie bestseller, Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand. The novel just came out in paperback, so we caught up with the author for an interview about bookselling and writing.

Q: Given how independent booksellers were so important for the success of your book, how do you predict they will evolve to sustain themselves with the advent of digital book sellers?
A: I am delighted to see independent booksellers being connected to e-book sales opportunities through Google e-books. This bodes well for them and allows them to retain their community and curatorial status while servicing their customers’ e-book desires. I have also visited many independent stores and I see them finding more ways to embed themselves in the life of their communities – through charity efforts, book clubs, workshops, coffee bars and sales of upscale literary-oriented gifts and accessories. Some people turn up their noses at bookstores selling non-book items, but I’ll be happy to buy my note cards, lap throws and teapots at a bookstore if it helps them remain economically strong and viable. We need those well-lit windows filled with book jackets along our main streets and in neighborhood shopping centers.

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GalleyCat Reviews “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand” by Helen Simonson

Reviewed by Clea Simon
Read more about GalleyCat Reviews

major23.jpgDoes “delightful” sound demeaning? It shouldn’t, because Helen Simonson‘s debut novel, Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, is just that and it’s a gem. A small-scale domestic romance, set among the middle-aged widows and widowers of a small English village, this IndieBound pick is the kind of good-natured book that depends on note-perfect details to succeed, and Simonson has them: from the brewing of tea to the pacing of dialogue among a certain educated, but quite restrained class.

Major Pettigrew, our retired hero, has just learned of the death of his brother, as this positively charming–there’s another of those words–opens. Temporarily overcome by grief, he is aided by Mrs. Ali, the local shopkeeper, who has dropped by to make a delivery. And that touch of kindness sparks an unlikely sequence of events that will shake the village of Edgecombe St. Mary to its duck-shooting Anglo-Saxon foundations.

Pettigrew, after all, is not given to passion. The sensible scion of an honorable family, he has raised his only son, Roger, with an eye toward not spoiling him, and can only look on with dismay as Roger, now a London banker, puts materialism before the traditional values his father holds dear.

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