BookMania authors 2017

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BookMania! Author Bios and Book Summaries


9:00 a.m.   Welcome and Opening Remarks

9:15 a.m. to 10 a.m. - Health and Wellness Panel

Dr. Steven Masley, Smart Fat: Eat More Fat, Lose More Weight. His book is an innovative guide that reveals how eating more fat, the smart kind, is the key to health, longevity and permanent weight loss. Dr. Steve Masley is a physician, nutritionist, author, speaker, and award-winning patient education. He sees patients at his Masley Optimal Health Center in St. Petersburg, FL.

James Hamblin, If Our Bodies Could Talk: A Guide to Operating and Maintaining a Human Body. JAMES HAMBLIN IS UNABLE TO ATTEND DUE TO A DEATH IN HIS FAMILY.The book is a comprehensive guide that entertains and educates in equal doses. Hamblin is a writer and senior editor at The Atlantic magazine and hosts a video series If Our Bodies Could Talk. After medical school at Indiana University, he did three years of residency before joining The Atlantic to develop a health section, and at least for now, work entirely in media.  JAMES

10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. - Barnes & Noble's Discover Great New Writers Panel

Jung Yun, Shelter - Kyung Cho is a young father burdened by a house that he can’t afford. He and his wife, Gillian, have lived beyond their means but now that is all catching up with them. Jung Yun was born in Seoul, South Korea, and grew up in Fargo, North Dakota. She lives in Baltimore with her husband and is an Assistant Professor of English at George Washington University. Shelter is her first novel.

Hirsh Sawhney, South Haven  “A vivid portrait of second-generation immigrants living in suburban New England, Sawhney is pitch perfect describing the uneasy relationship between adolescents and their parents” (Times Literary Supplement). Hirsh Sawhney lives in New Haven, CT and teaches at Wesleyan University. His articles and essays have appeared in a variety of publications including the Guardian, New York Times Book Review, the Financial Times and Outlook.

Jade Chang, The Wangs vs. the World – “An outrageously funny tale about a wealthy Chinese-American family that loses it all, then takes a healing, uproarious road trip across the United States.” (Entertainment Weekly) This is Jade Chang’s debut novel. She has worked as an arts and culture journalist and editor for publications like the BBC, Metropolis, Glamour and The Los Angeles Times Magazine. She lives in Los Angeles.

Rumaan Alam, Rich and Pretty – This irresistible debut, set in contemporary New York, provides a sharp, insightful look into how the relationship between two best friends changes when they are no longer coming of age but learning to live adult lives. Alam’s stories have appeared in StoryQuarterly, Crazyhorse, Meridian and other publications. He has written on design and other subjects for the Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine and other places and he studied writing at Oberlin College. He lives in New York with his husband and their two children.

11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Young Adult Panel

Paul Griffin, Burning Blue – Paul Griffin writes about the most beautiful girl in school, Nicole Castro, whose face is splashed with acid. Jay Nazarro, the quiet loner, uses his hacking skills to investigate the crime and discovers more than he cares to.  Paul Griffin went to Dartmouth College and majored in film studies and English, planning to write screenplays and books. In the process he became a teacher and became involved in helping young men and women tell their life stories.

Jay Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why - #1 New York Times and International Bestseller

A beautiful and eerie story with thriller-like pacing, Thirteen Reasons Why, tells the story of Hannah Baker, who commits suicide and leaves several cassette tapes for classmate Clay Jensen to listen to and discover why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them.  This was Jay Asher’s debut novel and has appeared on the NY Times bestseller list for nine years. It is currently in production to be a 13-part series on Netflix. He lives in California and enjoys traveling around the country talking about his books. His second novel is The Future of Us, co-authored with Printz-honor winner Carolyn Mackler.

1:15 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. – Historical Fiction Panel

Martha Hall Kelly, Lilac Girls – New York Times bestseller- For readers of the Nightingale and Sarah’s Key, inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, this remarkable debut novel reveals the power of unsung woman to change history in their quest for love, freedom, and second chances. A native New Englander, Martha splits her time between Atlanta, New York City and Martha’s Vineyard. Before writing Lilac Girls in 2016 she spent a number of years in the advertising world as a copywriter.

Helen Simonson, The Summer Before the WarNew York Times bestseller – “A novel to cure your Downton Abbey withdrawal …a delightful story about nontraditional romantic relationships, class snobbery and the everybody-knows-everybody complications of living in a small community.”(The Washington Post) Helen Simonson was born and raised in England where as a teenager, her family achieved the English dream and moved to live in the country in East Sussex. Later in life she could not wait to go to college in London and move away to America where she has lived for three decades. But she still carries with her a longing for England that will not fade and carries through in her writing.

Andrew Malan Milward, I Was a Revolutionary – A richly textured, diverse collection of stories that illuminate the heartland and America itself, exploring questions of history, race and identity. The stories span the Civil War to the present day and capture the roll of history through the eyes of an unforgettable cast of characters. Andrew Milward is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Southern Mississippi and a native of Lawrence, Kansas. He has published fiction in many places and has received several awards and fellowships.

James Haley, The Shores of Tripoli - The first novel in a brilliant new series by an award-winning historian that features young midshipman Bilven Putnam as he begins his naval service aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise. It is rich with historical detail and high-wire action. James Haley grew up in Ft. Worth and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Texas. He is the author of some 20 books including contemporary and historical fiction, and the history of Texas and the American West. The Shores of Tripoli was published in November 2016.



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