Jan Karon, author of Putnam’s #1 New York Times bestseller, Come Rain or Come Shine, was honored with the Library of Virginia’s Lifetime Achievement Award this past weekend. The award recognizes a Virginian who has made an outstanding and long-lasting contribution to literature. Previous Lifetime Achievement Award winners include Edgar Allan Poe, Booker T. Washington, and John Grisham. Ms. Karon was the featured speaker at the library’s literary luncheon, where she was jankaroninterviewed by Sandy Treadway, the Librarian of Virginia, and she was presented the award at a ceremony that took place Saturday night in Richmond.  Putnam President Ivan Held and VP Executive Editor Christine Pepe (pictured here with Ms. Karon) attended the award ceremony to celebrate her achievement, as well as the close of her successful book tour that included two bookseller events in Richmond. Ms. Karon wrote her first novel when she was 10 years old, the same year she won a short-story contest organized by the local high school. At age 50, she left a career in advertising to be an author and her first series of books began as a weekly installment in her local newspaper. Eventually she published At Home in Mitford, her first novel, which has been reprinted more than 80 times and nominated three times for an ABBY (American Booksellers Book of the Year Award). Her novels have also won the Christy and Gold Medallion awards for outstanding contemporary fiction and the Library of Virginia’s People’s Choice Award for Fiction. Her two most recent Mitford novels both were very successful: Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good, spent 17 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, and Come Rain or Come Shine debuted at #1 on The New York Times bestseller list on October 11. A special hardcover gift edition of  At Home in Mitford will be released on October 27. She is also the author of 13 other books, including two Father Tim novels, a cookbook, and several books for children.
A Common Struggle by Patrick J. Kennedy (Blue Rider Press) is continuing to garner rave reviews and accolades. Patrick is being thanked for his courage in speaking out about his own struggle, battling stigmas that challenge millions, shedding light on issues that badly need it, and offering real solutions. In the coming weeks he will be on Dr. Oz, Charlie Rose, and C-SPAN Afterwords, with more press coming in every day.
Saturday, October 17, 2015 marks the centennial of the birth of perhaps the greatest American playwright of the 20th Century, Arthur Miller.To celebrate this occasion, Penguin Classics published The Penguin Arthur Miller: Collected Plays (Penguin Classics) on Tuesday (10/13). USA Today ran a feature on the book as well as Arthur Miller’s legacy and Symphony Space in NYC will host an Arthur Miller Centennial Event on Thursday, 10/22.
Media is going mad for Elvis Costello’s new memoir, Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, which went on sale from Blue Rider Press on Tuesday (10/13).  Here are excerpts from a selection of the rave reviews that continue to roll in: NPR Books: “Writers like Costello because he’s always taken writing seriously. That’s obvious to anyone who pays attention to his lyrics, and it’s even more apparent to anyone who reads Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, his charming new autobiography. The book is refreshingly free of salacious gossip and needless name-dropping; it’s an intelligent self-assessment from a musician who went from angry young man to elder statesman of pop.”– Michael Schaub   The New York Times:  “It’s streaked with some of the best writing – funny, strange, spiteful, anguished – we’ve ever had from an important musician.” – Dwight Garner New York Magazine: “…one of music’s wittiest, smartest, and most perceptive lyricists, Costello has done his legacy proud with his new book…” Rolling Stone: “[Unfaithful Music] is truly remarkable in the way it presents a riveting, honest portrait of the author and the many A-listers he’s tread the boards with, while ricocheting through the years at an almost breathless pace.” – Jeff Slate  
A wonderful article by Ed Park, Executive Editor at Penguin Press, is featured in the October 19 edition of The New Yorker.  Titled “Sorry Not Sorry: Reading Dalkey Archive Press’s Library of Korean Literature,”  Park’s piece looks at South Korea’s ever-evolving society from a literary perspective.  Park’s parents are Korean immigrants and he brings fresh insights into how “the best South Korean fiction coats the country’s existential tumult in dark humor.”  He focuses on several titles in the Library of Korean Literature series published in the U.S. by Dalkey Archive Press, particularly At Least We Can Apologize, a 2009 novel by the South Korean writer Lee Ki-ho, which Park notes is “divided into three sections, whose titles—‘Finding Wrong,’ ‘Creating Wrong,’ and ‘Cultivating Wrong’—describe a surefire, if unmistakably cynical, business strategy. What started, at the institution, as a simple means of survival becomes, in the outside world, an industry with the promise of limitless growth.” According to Park, “The most appealing novels in the Library of Korean Literature capture the existential turbulence of han while keeping a sense of humor about it.” Park also writes, “For American readers, literary evocations of Korea have come, for the most part, in the form of dystopian novels written by people without any direct connection to the country. Adam Johnson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Orphan Master's Son, is set in the harsh confines of North Korea; at the other extreme, David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas, features a futuristic South Korea-inspired ‘corpocracy,’ a hotbed of clones, plastic surgery (‘facescaping’), and insurrection … With few exceptions, novels by actual Koreans have not registered here … Happily, Dalkey Archive’s series, launched in 2013, in collaboration with the Literature Translation Institute of Korea, provides a panoramic view of Korean fiction, in all its strangeness and variety, from the nineteen-thirties to the present.” To read the full text of Ed Park’s New Yorker article, click here
The first-ever memoir by a drone pilot,  Hunter Killer: Inside America’s Unmanned Air War by Lt. Col. T. Mark McCurley, hit bookshelves on Tuesday, launching to a major media line-up. posted an exclusiveexcerpt of the book and in the past weeks McCurley has done interviews on WYNC’s The Brian Lehrer Show,  Al-Jazeera America’sMorning News, Newsmax Prime, ABC News NOW, Huffington Post LIVE, Bloomberg Radio, and SiriusXM radio, as well as a 20-city Penguin radio tour. McCurley was interviewed in theWashington Post and the Las Vegas Review Journal. Next month, he will also appear on NPR “All Things Considered.”
The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks (Viking) debuts at #12 on The New York Times hardcover fiction bestseller list for the week of October 25th.Geraldine has appeared for interviews on NPR / “Weekend Edition”  and  NPR / “Diane Rehm Show”  and  rave reviews of The Secret Chord ran in San Francisco Chronicle,, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Miami Herald, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,Minneapolis Star Tribune, Dallas Morning News, Philadelphia Inquirer and other outlets. Geraldine is currently on a 20-city book tour, which runs through November, and Viking expects more great publicity to come.
People en Español, one of the most widely-read Spanish-language magazines in the U.S. and the sister monthly publication of People Magazine, has published its first annual list of the “50 Most Influential” Hispanics.  This honor roll is a who’s-who of important world leaders, newsmakers, and bold-faced names, including: Pope Francis, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Univision journalist Jorge Ramos, Ricky Martin and Sofia Vergara—and our colleague Raymond Garcia. Raymond is recognized as Publisher of Celebra, the Penguin Publishing Group imprint he founded eight years ago.  One of only three businesspeople chosen, Raymond is the sole representative from the book publishing industry. Since starting Celebra in 2007 with the mission of publishing books by Hispanic celebrities—in both English and Spanish—for mainstream audiences, Raymond has acquired and published books by international superstars Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, and Gloria and Emilio Estefan.  Celebra also published La La Anthony’s #1 New York Times bestseller The Love Playbook and The 22-Day Revolution by Marco Borges which recently spent several weeks on the Times list. raymondKara Welsh, Senior Vice President, Publisher, Berkley Publishing Group, said, “Anyone who has worked with Raymond knows of his keen commercial judgment and his passionate, tireless advocacy of Celebra’s authors and their books.  We are thrilled and very proud of his place on the People en Español ‘Most Influential’ list.  Please join me in congratulating him: ¡Felicidades!” 
Edgar Award-winning author Alex Marwood won a Macavity Award in the category of Best Mystery Novel for The Killer Next Door (Penguin Books, 10/28/14). Members of Mystery Readers International nominate and vote for the Macavity Awards, which were presented at this year’s Bouchercon on October 8. The Killer Next Door, which follows a group of neighbors from a dodgy London apartment building, has been optioned by James Franco and Ahna O’Reilly for a movie adaptation.  Warm congratulations, Alex.  Pictured, left to right: Viking/Penguin authors Neely Tucker, Alex Marwood and Elizabeth Little with Ben Petrone of Viking/Penguin publicity at Bouchercon.Alexmarwood  
The 2015 National Book Awards finalists were announced this week and two books published by the Penguin Publishing Group are in the running for prizes.  Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff (Riverhead Books) is on the Fiction shortlist. How to be Drawn by Terrance Hayes (Penguin Books) is a finalist in the Poetry category.  He won the National Book Award for Poetry in 2010 for his collection, Lighthead. Congratulations and best of luck to Lauren and Terrance as well as their publishers and everyone involved with these highly praised titles. The winners will be announced at the National Book Awards Ceremony, which takes place Wednesday, November 18 in New York.