Summer always seems to officially arrive right after the fourth of July weekend.
And the word summer brings up such evocative memories, doesn’t it? Time off. Buzzy slow days. Reading. Family. Time spent in the back of a family station wagon fighting with siblings… Whatever summer means to you, I hope you are enjoying it so far. I have loads of things to tell you about.
And I’m here with a few of my favorites for summer.
Favorite New Book Release: The Forest of Vanishing Stars
Favorite New Netflix: Security in Italian with English subtitles
Favorite Summer Recipe: Cut open a watermelon; eat it.
If you want to get really creative, check out "47 Watermelon Recipes for Summer Cooking" by Country Living.
Plus more, below.
The Forest of Vanishing Stars
O U T T O D A Y !
I'm excited to tell you about a new release out TODAY from my good friend and Friends & Fiction co-host, Kristin Harmel! THE FOREST OF VANISHING STARS is the 13th novel from this New York Times bestselling novelist, whose 2020 novel, THE BOOK OF LOST NAMES, was a Goodreads Choice Finalist, a Costco Buyer's Pick, and a #1 international bestseller. (THE BOOK OF LOST NAMES just made its way back onto the New York Times bestseller list a few weeks ago, too, when it was released in paperback).
Kristin's latest, THE FOREST OF VANISHING STARS (which received a coveted starred review from Publishers Weekly) is an evocative coming-of-age World War II story about a young woman who uses her knowledge of the woods to help Jewish refugees escape the Nazis—until a secret from her past threatens everything.
After being stolen from her wealthy German parents and raised in the unforgiving wilderness of eastern Europe, Yona finds herself alone in 1942 after her kidnapper dies. Her solitary existence is interrupted, however, when she happens upon a group of Jews fleeing the Nazi terror. Stunned to learn what’s happening in the outside world, she vows to teach the group all she can about surviving in the forest—and in turn, they teach her some surprising lessons about opening her heart after years of isolation. But when she is betrayed and escapes into a German-occupied village, her past and present come together in a shocking collision that could change everything. Inspired by incredible true stories of survival against staggering odds, and suffused with the journey-from-the-wilderness elements that made Where the Crawdads Sing a worldwide phenomenon, THE FOREST OF VANISHING STARS is a heart-wrenching and suspenseful novel from the #1 internationally bestselling author whose writing has been hailed as “sweeping and magnificent” (Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author), “immersive and evocative” (Publishers Weekly), and “gripping” (Tampa Bay Times). Kristin is thrilled THE FOREST OF VANISHING STARS is both an American LibraryReads pick for July and a Canadian Loan Starspick for July, meaning that it is a top 10 pick by the major librarian associations in both countries. Libraries have always meant a lot to Kristin, so this feels like an extra special honor to her.
Learn more and find buy links here.
Catch Kristin on her book tour (a combo of virtual and live events) here.
Happy 4th of July from F&F!
N Magazine’s resident bookworm Tim Ehrenberg gives his ultimate summer reading list
Celebrate this 4th of July with a list of summer books from the Friends & Fiction Fab 5 NEED TO READ: JULY 2021 Tim Talks Books Grab your favorite beach chair and fill your biggest tote bag with these five fabulous reads from the “Friends and Fiction” authors. Mary Kay Andrews’ The Newcomer is just as fun as she is. Patti Callahan’s Surviving Savannah is one of my favorite historical novels. The Summer of Lost and Found by Mary Alice Monroe is a beach read with so much heart. Under the Southern Sky by Kristy Woodson Harvey tackles relationships and newsworthy issues in this charming southern novel. Finally, Kristin Harmel is back with another WWII story inspired by actual events, The Forest of Vanishing Stars.
The Fab Five is headed to the Nantucket Book Festival —virtually, that is!
On July 20th at 7pm ET, Tim Ehrenberg of "Tim Talks Books" will be interviewing the Fab Five and then engaging in a fast-paced Q&A game show to find out how much these friends really know about each other. To finish the fun, the Fab Five will team write (relay style) an original, one-of-a-kind Nantucket-themed story and take turns reading their collaboration aloud live on the air. CLICK HERE to reserve your spot now for this FUN virtual event which is FREE and open to all. A link will be emailed to all registrants the day before the event.
10 Independence Day Reads to Celebrate 245 Years
Every year on the Fourth of July, we commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which in 1776 pronounced the Colonies were sovereign states no longer subject to the rule of Britain. The document goes beyond the boundaries of government to famously declare that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” And while this statement may have been heartfelt, written as it was by men who had been subjugated by a monarch who gave them little in return, it has proven very difficult to put into practice. The concepts of “equal rights” and “liberty” have been particularly challenging for us throughout our 245 years as a nation. This year, after one of the most tumultuous times in recent American history, we here at the weekly live web show and podcast Friends & Fiction urge book lovers to step back and read more deeply and widely about our country and its painful, sometimes complicated, but always fascinating history. The ten books we have chosen — fiction and nonfiction, for children and adults — represent a mixture of the history surrounding Independence Day and the trials we have faced in living up to and defending its ideals, from the nation’s inception to our present day. We offer these as just a starting point for deeper conversations about our country’s past, and our future.
Friends & Fiction ⛱ Summer Schedule
JULY 7—Launch party for Kristin Harmel's The Forest of Vanishing Stars JULY 11—Sunday Bonus Episode: Susan Boyer, Lowcountry Book Club JULY 14—Paula McLain JULY 21—Vanessa Riley JULY 28—Christina Baker Kline AUG 4—Lauren Willig AUG 11—Taylor Jenkins Reid AUG 18—Debut Novelists featuring Lou Diamond Phillips & Gervais Hagerty AUG 22—John Truby & Leslie Lehr AUG 25—Karin Slaughter SEPT 1—Megan Abbott & Laura Lippman Click the below link for more about our F&F Partners and goodies! Friends & Fiction Partners MAMA GERALDINE’S and STORYPOINT WINES!
It would not be summer without Friends & Fiction Merchandise!
Order yours today and show off your goodies. Are you a fan of Friends & Fiction? Grab some of our merch to show your F&F pride!
We’ve got comfy cotton T-SHIRTS with a flattering v-neck for $22
We’ve got WINE TUMBLERS in our signature blue for $22
We’ve got 20oz TRAVEL TUMBLERS perfect for on-the-go coffee for $24
Gifts for 🎓 Grads Country Living Magazine
"5 NYT Best-Selling Authors Share the Best Books to Give to New Graduates"
Inspiring, instructional, and humorous, books are possibly one of the most useful gifts for a high school or college graduate. And who better to ask for book recommendations from than a best-selling writer? So we chatted with the founding authors of Friends & Fiction, the popular weekly Facebook Live webcast that celebrates reading, books, and the art of storytelling. These five New York Times–bestselling authors—with more than 80 published titles to their credit—gave us the scoop on their favorite new-grad book recs.
About the Author
“Stories that steal your imagination.”
Photo Credit: Bud Johnson Photography Savannah, GA
Patti Callahan New York Times Bestselling Author and Podcast Host Patti Callahan is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of sixteen novels and podcast host. She is the recipient of The Christy Award — A 2019 Winner “Book of the Year”; The Harper Lee Distinguished Writer of the Year for 2020 and the Alabama Library Association Book of the Year for 2019. She is the co-host and co-creator of the popular weekly online Friends and Fiction live web show and podcast. A full-time author and mother of three children, she now resides in both Mountain Brook, Alabama, and Bluffton, South Carolina with her husband. Read More