Grateful for World Book Night 2014 and the chance to connect with book lovers everywhere over our favorite reads. #WBN2014
Having answered a Berlin newspaper advertisement for “strong women who can cook and do farm work,” Sophie Charlotte finds herself married with two sons on an Icelandic sheep farm, trying to sever cords of memory that lead back to the powerful love she knew in Germany—and all that she lost there.
This book club favorite, is now available as an ebook, for all devices, from Unbridled.
One of the questions that I’m most often asked by readers is why I decided to become a writer. It is, at once, the simplest and most difficult of all the regular questions. Simple because I can point to an exact moment and say, “That was when I decided to be a writer.” But difficult because the fact that I decided in that exact moment to become a writer is muddled by the fact that it was the same moment I became a reader. Twenty-five years later, and what I see in retrospect is that the world doesn’t necessarily need more writers, but it sure needs more readers.
My epiphany came when I was a junior at Minneapolis South High School. I was not the world’s best student. Certainly I was more interested in flirting with the girls in class or getting a laugh than I was in the subjects I was being taught. One day, sitting in an overcrowded English classroom, no doubt causing a disturbance of one sort or another, I was reprimanded by my teacher, who said, “Hey, Geye, it’s a lot easier to be a smartass if you’ve actually read the book.” Rather than feeling chastened or humbled, I felt challenged. I could be a better smartass? I would be. You bet.
I worked at a pizza joint after school, and that afternoon I went to work, slung some pie, then settled into my usually quiet shift with the book we’d been assigned. The book that would make me a better smartass. The novel was Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, and within the first twenty pages I was transported. I was in mortal fear. I was in love. I was at war. I had new friends. I understood all the ominous signs of foreshadowing in this world. I understood—without question—that the feeling those pages were evoking in me were the sort of feelings it would be meaningful to evoke in others. I decided in that single shift at the pizzeria that I would be a writer. I also understood that in order to become a writer, I would need to read. I would need to read a lot.
People often smirk or snigger when they hear a book can change someone’s life. I want to slap the disbelievers. Books have changed my life a hundred times. But none as much as when my high school English teacher—a man by the name of David Beenken—assigned his class a novel by Hemingway, when he challenged one of his most difficult students to become a better smartass. A single book in the hands of an unsuspecting student that changed his life forever. It’s just that simple.
All of which is to say that I’m especially honored, and entirely humbled, to have had my second novel, The Lighthouse Road, selected as one of the titles for World Book Night 2014. The literary world is often curious. It’s sometimes difficult to navigate. But at its most basic level, it’s a world full of books and stories, all of them waiting to find the perfect reader. How many times has a story found that person? Impossible to say, but the odds sure go up when programs such as WBN go out onto the streets with thousands of books—thousands of stories—looking for the unsuspecting. I was once that unsuspecting reader, thank God. Here’s hoping that some eager young kid gets her hands on a book she never even knew existed, and finds herself in mortal fear. Or love. Or at war. Certainly with a new friend.
And though I’ve said thanks to Dave Beenken a hundred times, here’s one more salutation. You made me a reader. You made me a better person because you did.
Honored to be among 35 titles chosen for April 2014 World Book Night USA. How many have you read?
Just sayin’… .
Wait…you mean you haven’t been following our preparations for the Ultimate Unbridled Picnic—until now? And you’ve just looked up from you work-a-day life and realized that it’s Labor Day and you’ve been doing nothin’ but working? Never fear! Read on for the antidote to last-minute picnic planning from author John Addiego.
And be sure to download our Ultimate Unbridled Picnic Reader.
Then put the kickstand up … and kick back!
Egg Salad Bike Picnic ExtravaganzaIngredients:1 hard boiled egg1 clove of garlic1 dill pickle1 hard roll or hoagieSalt, pepper, mayo, mustard1 plastic bag
Ride your bike to a special picnic spot, preferably with a bench or picnic table. Take off one shoe and smash the egg and garlic with heel until they are easy to peel and place in bag with pickle. Continue to pulverize the pickle, egg, and garlic with your shoe, then throw some salt, pepper, mustard and mayo into the sack. Turn your bicycle on its back and tie the sack to the rear wheel, using the Velcro pants cuff strap you are wearing, then crank the pedal rapidly for about three minutes. Try to be inconspicuous by making comments about lubricating your chain. Using a house key, gouge a slit in the roll and pour the contents of the bag into the cavity. Taste. If not successful, place sandwich in a trash can and ride your bike to the nearest deli. Enjoy!
Visit John Addiego’s website.
We asked New York Times bestselling author, Edward Falco, for his favorite thing to take on a picnic. Obviously he’s a gentleman who chooses his words…and visuals…wisely.
Visit Edward Falco’s website.
Be sure to download our Ultimate Unbridled Picnic Reader—kick back and enjoy!