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Archives - April 2014

Author Talk: Amanda Vaill, author of Hotel Florida: Truth, Love, and Death in the Spanish Civil War

Apr 25, 2014

Amanda Vaill is the author of the bestselling EVERYBODY WAS SO YOUNG, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Biography, and SOMEWHERE, for which she was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship. Her latest book, HOTEL FLORIDA, traces the tangled wartime destinies of three couples against the backdrop of a critical moment in history: the Spanish Civil War. Here, Vaill talks with founder Jesse Kornbluth about her work, researching HOTEL FLORIDA, and the theme that links each of her seemingly dissimilar subjects. She also considers the difficulty of wartime journalism and reflects on how writers --- and people in general --- struggle with honesty in their personal lives.

Interview: Francine Rivers, author of Bridge to Haven

Apr 24, 2014

Francine Rivers has been a bestselling author of Christian fiction since the mid-'90s, when her highly acclaimed statement of faith, REDEEMING LOVE, was re-released by Multnomah Publishers. Her latest novel, BRIDGE TO HAVEN, is about a young woman named Abra, whose early childhood trauma has left her angry and confused. Seduced by the glamour of Hollywood life, Abra burns every bridge to get what she thinks she wants --- only to find the price of fame too high, and the attention not enough to heal her broken heart. In this interview conducted by reviewer Michele Howe, Rivers talks about the biblical story that inspired BRIDGE TO HAVEN and how her personal struggles are present in all her writing. She also discusses the sometimes-paradox of heartache, the difference between what the world calls “love” and love that is real, and the transformative power of accepting God into our hearts.

Interview: Holly Peterson, author of The Idea of Him

Apr 4, 2014

Holly Peterson is a former journalist and the bestselling author of THE MANNY. Her writing has been published in the New York TimesNewsweek, The Daily BeastVogueHarper’s Bazaar, and numerous other publications. Her latest novel, THE IDEA OF HIM, brings readers back into the world of the Manhattan elite. This time, it’s about Allie Crawford, who is forced to face the reality of her “perfect” marriage when she finds her husband cheating on her. In this interview with’s Bronwyn Miller, Peterson talks about why women sometimes fall in love with “the idea of” men, why it’s important not to marry someone for his or her résumé, and why leaving a relationship can be easier than staying in one. She also discusses her own writing habits, and how Allie is a complicated character whose messy life any woman can relate to --- regardless of her social status.

Author Talk: Gabrielle Zevin, author of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

Apr 3, 2014

Gabrielle Zevin is the author of award-winning books for young adults, including MEMOIRS OF A TEENAGE AMNESIAC and ELSEWHERE. Her latest novel for adults, THE STORIED LIFE OF A.J. FIKRY, is about a bookseller and collector who, after a series of tragic and disappointing events, is slowly but surely isolating himself from all the people around him. But when a mysterious package appears at his bookstore, it gives A.J. the opportunity to make his life over and the ability to see everything anew.

In this interview that originated from Bookselling This Week (a dedicated section of, Zevin talks about how this book was inspired by the “trauma of getting published at 27,” and how the publishing world is different in real life than it appears in the movies (hint: There’s a way larger cast of supporting characters). She also discusses why bookstores are so beloved, why she chose to feature short stories in her novel, how risky it was to write a book about the book community --- and how lucky she feels to have its support.