We are pleased to announce another fun Book Bingo (My Story, The Memoir): A Virtual Adventure! If you are already familiar with our popular Southern California series that features NovelNetwork® authors, you will understand why we receive so many requests to expand the program nationwide. Pivoting to virtual events has made this not only possible, but offers up fun opportunities for exciting partnerships, participation by more of our over 150 book club favorite authors, and space to accommodate many more readers!
As the year comes to a close, we decided to get a little closer to our NovelNetwork authors by discussing their intimate memoirs! This free event features presentations by book club favorite authors: Jenna Blum, Aimee Liu, Susan May, Lilly Dancyger, Laura Davis, and Amy Wallen, an interactive virtual game of bingo, and fun prizes. All you have to do is show up (and why not invite your book club friends and fellow readers to join in as well) to learn about great new reads!
While this event is free, your purchase of a book(s) below (to be shipped to you within the U.S.) provides much-needed support to these authors whose book tours and events have been canceled due to COVID-19.
Your Adventure includes a book discussion with all six authors, an interactive virtual game of Book Bingo, Q&A, prizes, and the opportunity to meet the authors via Zoom. Books may be ordered below for shipping within the U.S. and will include a signed bookplate. See below for registration information.
Jenna Blum is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of novels Those Who Save Us (a New York Times bestseller, the # 1 bestselling novel in Holland in 2011, and the winner of the 2005 Ribalow Prize, awarded by Hadassah Magazine and adjudged by Elie Wiesel), The Stormchasers (an international bestseller, a Borders Book Club Selection, a feature in French Elle, and a Target Pic) and The Lost Family (a Target Pick and received starred reviews from all four trades: Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal), as well as the novella “The Lucky One” in the anthology Grand Central. Jenna is also one of Oprah’s Top 30 Women Writers and CEO/ CoFounder of literary social media company A Mighty Blaze.
For anyone who has ever loved a dog, Woodrow on the Bench, Jenna’s first memoir, pays tribute to her beloved black Lab, Woodrow, that recalls the last six months of his life and the ways in which he taught her to live. Since she adopted him as a puppy fifteen years earlier, Jenna Blum and Woodrow have been inseparable. Known to many as “the George Clooney of dogs” for his good looks and charm, Woodrow and his “Mommoo” are fixtures in their Boston neighborhood.
But Woodrow is aging. As he begins to fail, the true nature of his extraordinary relationship with Jenna is revealed. Jenna may be the dog parent, but it is Woodrow, with his amazing personality and trusting nature, who has much to teach her. A divorcée who has experienced her share of sadness and loss, Jenna discovers, over the months she spends caring for her ailing dog, what it is to be present in the moment, and what it truly means to love. Aided by an amazing group of friends and buoyed by the support of strangers, Jenna and Woodrow navigate these precious final days together with kindness, humor, and grace. Their unforgettable love story will reaffirm your belief in kindness, break your heart, and leave your spirit soaring.
To schedule a book club visit with Jenna or any of our authors on NovelNetwork:
Aimee Liu is the bestselling author of the novel Glorious Boy, as well as Flash House; Cloud Mountain; and Face. Her nonfiction includes Gaining: The Truth About Life After Eating Disorders and Solitaire. Aimee’s books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. Her short fiction has been nominated for and received special mention in the Pushcart Prize competition. Her essays have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Los Angeles Times, Poets & Writers, and many other periodicals and anthologies. She taught for many years in Goddard College’s MFA in Creative Writing Program at Port Townsend, WA.
In Gaining, Liu shatters commonly held beliefs about eating disorders while assembling a puzzle that is as complex and fascinating as human identity itself. If you’ve ever suffered from an eating disorder-or cared for someone who is anorexic or bulimic-you may think you understand these illnesses. But do you really understand why they occur? Do you know what it takes to fully recover? Do you know how eating disorders affect life after recovery?
Now, nearly three decades after she detailed her first battle with anorexia in Solitaire, Aimee Liu presents an emotionally powerful and poignant sequel that digs deep into the causes, cures, and consequences of anorexia and bulimia nervosa. Aimee Liu believed she had conquered anorexia in her twenties. Then in her forties, when her life once again began spiraling out of control, she stopped eating. Liu realized the same forces that had caused her original eating disorder were still in play. She also noticed that other women she knew with histories of anorexia and bulimia seemed to share many of her personality traits and habits under stress-even decades after “recovery.” Intrigued and concerned, Liu set out to learn who is susceptible to these disorders and why, and what it takes to overcome them once and for all.
To schedule a book club visit with Aimee or any of our authors on NovelNetwork:
Susan May has written over 30 books of fiction and nonfiction. She writes romance for Harper Collins as Susan Carlisle. Under the name S. Carlisle May she published A WWII Fight Surgeon about her great uncle’s experience. Often found speaking to nursing groups, civic groups, and high school health classes, Susan will talk to anyone who will listen about the importance of organ donation. She has led workshops on time management, organizing your time, finding the right writer’s conference to meet your needs, and making rejection work for you.
In her memoir, Nick’s New Heart: 30 Years and Counting, Susan recounts the story of her one-year-old son, Nick, who received one of the first successful pediatric heart transplants. Most people associate heart problems with old age. However, many American children suffer serious heart issues that once were insurmountable. In the past, infants with heart defects like Nick’s invariably died at a very young age but with surgical and medical advances, this gloomy situation has changed, providing not only a positive quality of life but a substantial life span.
Nick’s life has been similar to taking a roller coaster ride without a seat belt or a safety bar. No one, not even Nick’s doctors or his family, knew what was around the next turn. His story’s often more dramatic than fiction, as devoted doctors and nurses worked together with his family not just to save Nick’s life, but to provide him with a happy life. He grew up alongside his peers, graduated from college, married, and became a father. Through each of those milestones has come great experiences, a deeper understanding of the human spirit and God’s love, the value of hope, love, and steadfast support from friends, relatives, nurses, staff, and doctors – and his hometown. Through it all, Nick has lived and loved. Not just survived, but thrived and beat the odds. Thirty years and counting…
To schedule a book club visit with Susan or any of our authors on NovelNetwork:
Lilly Dancyger is the author of Negative Space (2021), a reported and illustrated memoir selected by Carmen Maria Machado as a winner of the Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Awards, and the editor of Burn It Down (2019), a critically acclaimed anthology of essays on women’s anger from Seal Press. Lilly is a contributing editor at Catapult and assistant editor at Barrelhouse Books. Her writing has been published by Guernica, Literary Hub, The Rumpus, Longreads, The Washington Post, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and more.
Her memoir, Negative Space, explores Dancyger’s own anger, grief, and artistic inheritance as she sets out to illuminate the darkness that was hidden from her. Despite her parents’ struggles with addiction, Lilly Dancyger always thought of her childhood as a happy one. But what happens when a journalist interrogates her own rosy memories to reveal the instability around the edges?
Dancyger’s father, Joe Schactman, was part of the iconic 1980s East Village art scene. He created provocative sculptures out of found materials and brought his young daughter into his gritty, iconoclastic world. She idolized him—despite the escalating heroin addiction that sometimes overshadowed his creative passion. When Schactman died suddenly, just as Dancyger was entering adolescence, she went into her own self-destructive spiral, raging against the world that had taken him away. But as an adult, Dancyger began to question the mythology she’d created about her father—the brilliant artist, struck down in his prime—using his paintings, sculptures, and prints as a guide to piece together a truer story.
To schedule a book club visit with Lilly or any of our authors on NovelNetwork:
Laura Davis is the author of six non-fiction books, including The Courage to Heal: For Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, The Courage to Heal Workbook, and Becoming the Parent You Want to Be. Her groundbreaking books have been translated into 11 languages and sold more than 1.8 million copies. Over the course of her long career as a communicator, she has been a columnist, a talk show host, and a radio news reporter. Her other passion, aside from writing, is teaching and encouraging others to write. She loves building writing communities where people can find their voice, tell their stories and hone their craft.
Her riveting new memoir, The Burning Light of Two Stars, examines the endurance of mother-daughter love, how memory protects and betrays us, and the determination it takes to fulfill a promise when ghosts from the past come knocking. When she published The Courage to Heal in 1988, Laura Davis helped more than a million women work through the trauma of childhood sexual abuse. But her decision to go public with her grandfather’s incest deepened an already painful estrangement with her mother, Temme.
Over the next twenty years, from a safe distance of three thousand miles, Laura and her mother Temme reconciled their volatile relationship and believed that their difficult past was behind them. But when Temme moves across the country to entrust her daughter with the rest of her life, she brings a faltering mind, a fierce need for independence, and the seeds of a second war between them. As the stresses of caregiving rekindle Laura’s rage over past betrayals, they threaten her intention to finally love her mother “without reservation.” Will she learn what it means to be truly openhearted before it’s too late?
To schedule a book club visit with Laura or any of our authors on NovelNetwork:
Amy Wallen is an author, editor, teacher, and baker. Her essays have been published in The Gettysburg Review, The Normal School, Country Living, and other national magazines and anthologies. Her first novel MoonPies & Movie Stars was a Los Angeles Times bestseller. Additionally, she teaches creative writing classes through the UCSD Extension, is the Associate Director of the New York State Summer Writers Institute, hosts manuscript workshops with pie, and mentors Science and Engineering students on personal essays. Amy is the proud owner of Savory Salons, her way of bringing pies and writing together!
In her memoir, When We Were Ghouls, Amy learns her parents are grave robbers, and with her memory out of focus, she tries to figure out what truly happened. She excavates both their sojourn overseas and how her family was one by one sent away from her until she was left alone at the age of seven in Lagos, Nigeria.
In 1971, Amy’s blue-collar Southern peripatetic family was transferred from Ely, Nevada to Lagos, Nigeria. From Nevada to Nigeria, and elsewhere, When We Were Ghouls follows a family that has been dispersed around the world, a family who, like ghosts, come and go and slip through Amy’s fingers making it unclear if they were ever there. A cross between Alexandra Fuller’s Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight and Michael Ondaatje’s Running in the Family, with some Indiana Jones thrown in, the tale starts in the middle, around a pre-Inca grave her family uncovers. We see her family members appear and disappear in Peru and Bolivia and beyond. On one level the story is about family, but it also represents how with both innocence and denial our worldly treasures are neglected—not just our children, but the artifacts of humanity, and ultimately humanity itself.
To schedule a book club visit with Amy or any of our authors on NovelNetwork:
Are you in a book club, library reading group, or is your group of friends, colleagues, family members seeking fabulous authors who are excited and available to meet with you? Then you will be delighted to know that Jenna Blum, Aimee Liu, Susan May, Lilly Dancyger, Laura Davis, and Amy Wallen are all members of our wonderful community of over 150 NovelNetwork authors available to meet with small groups via video chat.
NovelNetwork is the nation’s first and only match(dot)com for authors and book clubs to find each other, so check it out today. Book clubs join for free and gain access to our database of dozens of authors, from NYT and international bestsellers, to debut authors, cookbook authors, mystery and non-fiction authors, and representing various regions of the United States, and even Alaska and Hawaii, all of whom want to meet with you!
To schedule a visit with Jenna, Aimee, Susan, Lilly, Laura, Amy or any of our authors, join FOR FREE here.