Sophie Mackintosh, Michael Ondaatje Among Our 2018 Man Booker Prize Semi-Finalists

The longlist of thirteen semi-finalists for the 2018 Man Booker Prize, one of the most influential annual English-language international literary fiction honors, has been announced from London. They were chosen from more than 170 submitted books being published in the UK between October 1, 2017, and September 30, 2018.

Here are our longlisted titles published by Penguin Random House imprints in the U.S., Canada and the UK:

THE WATER CURE by Sophie Mackintosh US: Doubleday Canada: Hamish Hamilton Canada UK: Hamish Hamilton U.K. WARLIGHT by Michael Ondaatje US: Knopf Canada: McClelland & Stewart UK: Jonathan Cape (Earlier this month, Mr. Ondaatje’s THE ENGLISH PATIENT was awarded the Man Booker Golden Prize, honoring the best work of fiction from the last five decades of the Man Booker Prize, as chosen by five judges, and then voted on by the public.) WASHINGTON BLACK by Esi Edugyan U.S.: Knopf NORMAL PEOPLE by Sally Rooney U.S.: Hogarth (4/16/19) Canada: Knopf Canada (4/16/19) THE LONG TAKE by Robin Robertson U.S. Knopf (1/22/19) FROM A LOW AND QUIET SEA by Donal Ryan U.S.: Penguin Books UK: Doubleday Ireland EVERYTHING UNDER by Daisy Johnson UK: Jonathan Cape THE OVERSTORY by Richard Powers UK: William Heinemann THE MARS ROOM by Rachel Kushner UK: Jonathan Cape SNAP by Belinda Bauer UK: Bantam Press View the complete 2018 Man Booker Prize longlist here. The shortlist for this year’s Man Booker Prize will be announced on September 20, and the winner revealed on October 16. We warmly congratulate our semi-finalists, their editors and publishers.

Penguin Random House Donates Books to Save the Children as Part of “Grand Central Reads”

Penguin Random House has launched a limited-time charitable-giving opportunity as part of our Grand Central Reads partnership with MTA Metro-North Railroad and Grand Central Terminal, a brand new program that allows commuters and visitors to use their mobile devices to download free Penguin Random House book excerpts.

In celebration of Penguin Random House’s five-year anniversary, the company is offering Grand Central Reads users a special 5-minute Reads section on the mobile platform, which will trigger book donations from Penguin Random House to its charitable partner, Save the Children, empowering New Yorkers to give back to those in need. For every five minutes read in this section, Penguin Random House will donate one of its book to global humanitarian organization Save the Children, up to 25,000 books, which will be distributed during community events, family activities and holiday celebrations at parks, schools, and libraries in the areas the organization serves.

“Inspiring a culture of reading in communities is central to who we are and what we do as Penguin Random House,” said Claire von Schilling, EVP, Director, Corporate Communications, Penguin Random House. “This special initiative on the Grand Central Reads mobile platform is a wonderful opportunity for us to come together with Save the Children and our home-town New Yorkers to give back and make a positive difference in the lives of others through books.” “Save the Children is committed to ensuring every last child gets the opportunity to learn,” said Carolyn Miles, President & CEO, Save the Children. “We know the significant impact reading can have on a child’s life, and are grateful for Penguin Random House’s support and the Grand Central Reads partnership in helping us give more children the best chance for success.” Grand Central Reads features a platform created by Penguin Random House that offers users free access to extensive excerpts from a wide range of its book content, including thrillers, nonfiction, classics and cookbooks, via free wi-fi, inside Grand Central Terminal, on terminal platforms, and in the Park Avenue Tunnel. The program highlights the works of New York authors and stories featuring the Big Apple, Grand Central Terminal, and eventful train rides. Among the featured titles are:   For more information about the GCR program, please visit grandcentralreads.com.

Penguin Random House Colleagues Participate in 2018 NYC Pride March

On Sunday, June 24, the Penguin Random House LGBTQ Network participated in the NYC Pride March that was organized to celebrate, advocate for and support the LGBTQ community. For the sixth year in a row, Penguin Random House employees and their spouses, partners, friends, and family marched to support LGBT rights.

Read on for pictures and to hear what marchers had to say about the day!

“It was an absolute joy to march with PRH’s LGBTQ Network! There was a tremendous amount of support from both members of the Network and from parade spectators. LGBTQ inclusion in the publishing industry was definitely showcased by our participation.” –Matt Romano, DK “This was my first time walking in Pride, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. But seeing so many people celebrating themselves freely and confidently—and celebrating each other—made me feel empowered and proud to be who I am.” –Jennifer Huang, Riverhead “It was such an honor to be able to participate in Pride as a member of PRH's LGBTQ Network. It was not only incredibly heartwarming to witness the strength of New York's thriving and compassionate LGBTQ community by marching alongside the hundreds and thousands of Pride's fellow marchers and attendees, but it also reminded me of how incredibly proud, honored, and thankful I am to be welcomed and accepted as a member of the PRH family.” –Tiff Ferentini, Kodansha Comics “It was exhilarating walking in the parade with the PRH LGBT Network, knowing I was surrounded by the most supportive, wonderful colleagues—and knowing that our company has been equally supportive at every turn.” –Max Felderman, PPG Sales The Penguin Random House LGBTQ Network was conceived to provide: a supportive environment to all employees who share the common idea of nurturing workplace diversity; a forum for professional and social opportunities; a community among the LGBTQ individuals at Penguin Random House; and an increased awareness of LGBTQ authors and books within the community.  

How One World’s Chris Jackson Discovered and Published Dr. Mona’s Story of Truth, Change and Hope

In WHAT THE EYES DON’T SEE: A Story of Crisis, Resistance and Hope in an American City (One World), Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha shares her powerful first-hand account of how an Iraqi-American pediatrician used science to prove Flint, Michigan kids were exposed to lead. In riveting detail, she takes readers into the heart of the crisis and how she successfully stood up against the government that accused her of spreading hysteria. But this book is not only about environmental injustice, it is a story of hope. It is about how each of us – no matter who we are, where we are, or how we ended up in this country – has the power to fix and change things.

Here Chris Jackson, Vice President, Publisher, Editor in Chief, One World, reveals how he first came in contact with Dr. Mona, the process of working with her to develop her story and experiences into book form, and ultimately publishing WHAT THE EYES DON’T SEE: “I met Mona Hanna-Attisha at the Ridenhour Prize ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, back in 2016. I was there to present an award to one of my authors, Jill Leovy, author of GHETTOSIDE: A True Story of Murder in America; Dr. Mona was there to receive the Ridenhour Truthteller Prize for her work in Flint, Michigan, where she was a key whistleblower in that city’s devastating water crisis. Dr. Mona delivered a few remarks that day that moved me then and have stuck with me ever since. Mona spoke about whistleblowing being a 'choiceless choice' – that having seen what she saw, she had no choice but to risk her professional reputation and the wrath of her own state government to tell the truth she’d uncovered: that the state was poisoning its own children. She also generously dedicated most of her short talk to shining the spotlight on other heroes in Flint – activists, mothers, reporters, scientists – creating a portrait not of a singular, heroic savior, but of a community that came together to save itself. I approached her after her talk – wading through a crowd of other admirers – and asked her if she’d ever thought about writing a book. She took my card and six months later her proposal landed in my in-box. “Working with Dr. Mona has been its own process of discovery. At our first meeting back in Washington, all I knew about her was she was a pediatrician and a whistleblower. But in some ways, Dr. Mona had been preparing for her role in the crisis for her entire life. She was the child of Iraqi immigrants who came to this country fleeing a tyrannical dictator who poisoned his own people and by the time the crisis in Flint hit, she was an established pediatrician, researcher, and educator who had oriented her practice toward social justice. The book as we initially conceived it, wove these strands together – the immigrant story, the story of her incredible work before and after the crisis at the Hurley Pediatric Center, and, of course, the thrilling core narrative: the crisis and the bold detective work and outspoken advocacy that forced the whole country to pay attention. But the sum of the book had to be more than those three pieces. “A great book always needs to elevate its story with a theme that gives it deeper meaning – in other words, Dr. Mona and I had to figure out what the bigger story was that she was trying to tell. We didn’t just want a riveting, thrilling story of rule-breaking citizen activism; and we didn’t just want to provide much-needed information about lead and water. We realized that we wanted readers to be changed by the book – to see in the incredibly important story of Flint an even bigger story. Flint wasn’t just an anomalous event or even a tragedy. It was a deliberate government-abetted crime that reflected a twisted set of values. And we wanted the book to show how a different set of values–fighting for justice, respecting science, caring for the most vulnerable, especially children, and choosing truth over personal security or careerism—might point us toward a different way, with different outcomes. Dr. Mona and others have used the crisis as an opening for incredible, creative work in Flint, where they are building models for how communities can recover from histories of policy-driven violence and deprivation. We wanted the book to be a creative model in its way, too. “Our goal was to get all of this into the book and I think Mona succeeded. The book is a thriller about a crisis – ‘Grishamesque’ is how O Magazine described it—but more than that, it’s a book about the most urgent and timely challenges we’re facing right now as a society. It’s about how we must care for each other better. How we must tell the truth, even in the face of awful repercussions. And it’s about how we – as citizens – don’t have to wait for our politicians to get their acts together. We can fight for change where we stand, right now, because the stakes are too high to wait. “Dr. Mona will be appearing all over the media and traveling the country over the next weeks and months talking about her book and these deeper ideas. And just as Flint discovered in the water crisis, I think the country at large will find that our present crisis has met its ideal advocate: the daughter of immigrants, a driven scientist and caregiver, a passionate defender of children, and a powerful, fearless truthteller.” See and hear Dr. Mona talk about WHAT THE EYES DON’T SEE in conversation with Chelsea Clinton tonight at Barnes & Noble Union Square in NYC beginning at 7:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

A Farewell To Smashing Ideas

We are bidding farewell to everyone at Seattle-based Smashing Ideas, Inc., the tremendously creative design and innovation agency, which has been part of our company since 2011. As you’ll read in their purchaser’s press release, Smashing has been acquired by Luxoft Holding, Inc., a global IT service provider, in a transaction announced the afternoon of June 18. We wish our now-former colleagues as collegial and productive a working relationship with Luxoft as the one we long have enjoyed with them.

Luxoft Acquires US-based Digital Innovation Agency, Smashing Ideas Zug, SWITZERLAND -- June 18, 2018 -- Luxoft Holding, Inc (NYSE:LXFT), a global IT service provider, today announced the acquisition of Smashing Ideas, a Seattle-based design and innovation agency. Smashing Ideas consults across the product design and development lifecycle, with a focus on accelerating innovation at every stage for their Global 500 clients. Their approach and depth of experience in strategy, design, development, and program management fosters collaboration and enables them to bring new products, services, and businesses to market, faster. Luxoft purchased Smashing Ideas from Penguin Random House, the world’s largest trade-book publisher, which has owned the company since 2011. This acquisition bolsters Luxoft’s digital research, strategy, and design capabilities, and illustrates its ongoing commitment to provide valuable expertise to its global clients. It comes at a pivotal time in the industry, when ongoing collaboration among technology, design, and strategy is critical to delivering products as companies look to enhance their user experience, improve their results and ensure market share gains. The acquisition expands the range of services both companies can provide, creating a unique market position that accelerates clients through all phases of their lifecycle. The increased depth of capabilities is intended to positively impact each of Luxoft’s lines of business: Digital Enterprise, Financial Services and Automotive, with Smashing Ideas supporting Luxoft’s horizontal digital transformation practice, Luxoft Digital. “Our commitment to helping revolutionize the technology offerings of our clients is more evident than ever with our acquisition of Smashing Ideas,” said Dmitry Loschinin, CEO and President of Luxoft. “Luxoft prides itself on being a value-added provider that is focused on technical strategy and implementation. This move further extends our capabilities into design and business strategy, allowing us to provide even more value to our strategic client partners.” Smashing Ideas CEO, Brian Burke, added, “By joining Luxoft, we are well-positioned to advance our clients’ most ambitious initiatives across the innovation lifecycle. Luxoft’s worldwide presence enables us to collaborate across time zones to service global clients via a multitude of delivery centers. This allows us to bring products to market faster, while Luxoft’s deep technical expertise in blockchain, IoT, and machine learning amplifies the enterprise scale we can provide. Together, we look forward to being a true innovation partner to our clients’ organizations.” “Penguin Random House and Smashing Ideas have enjoyed a long and productive working relationship. While we have continued to work together on several exciting digital product experiences, we believe that moving forward, Smashing Ideas, and its exceptionally talented strategists, designers, developers and program managers, will be best served by an owner that can contribute more synergies and added value for shared clients. We believe Smashing Ideas and Luxoft are a perfect fit, and we wish them enormous success together,” said Nina von Moltke, President, Director of Strategic Development, Penguin Random House U.S.. GP Bullhound acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Penguin Random House and Smashing Ideas on this transaction. About Luxoft: Luxoft (NYSE:LXFT) is a global IT service provider of innovative technology solutions that delivers measurable business outcomes to multinational companies. Its offerings encompass strategic consulting, custom software development services, and digital solution engineering. Luxoft enables companies to compete by leveraging its multi-industry expertise in the financial services, automotive, communications, and healthcare & life sciences sectors. Its managed delivery model is underpinned by a highly-educated workforce, allowing the Company to continuously innovate upwards on the technology stack to meet evolving digital challenges. Luxoft has more than 12,900 staff across 42 cities in 21 countries within five continents, with its operating headquarters office in Zug, Switzerland. For more information, please visit www.luxoft.com. About Smashing Ideas: Founded in 1996 and headquartered in Seattle, WA, Smashing Ideas is a design and innovation agency with deep expertise in creating highly engaging digital experiences. They partner with the Global 500 to create connected smart products, apps, websites, and content management systems that make a positive impact on user engagement and their clients’ bottom line. From business strategy and service design to UX, visual design, and development, their trademarked process, Motivational UX™, accelerates digital transformation and increases user engagement. Their unique service offerings, which include lean strategy, digital product and service design, product realization, managed services, and data science and analytics, has resulted in 60+ awards and a Fortune 500 client list spanning manufacturing, mobility, health, entertainment, and retail. Forward-Looking Statements: This news release of Luxoft Holding, Inc (“Luxoft”) contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking statements include information about possible or assumed future results of our business and financial condition, as well as the results of operations, liquidity, plans and objectives. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as “believe,” “may,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “should,” “plan,” “expect,” “predict,” “potential,” or the negative of these terms or other similar expressions. These statements are subject to, without limitation, the risk factors discussed under the heading “Risk Factors” in Luxoft’s Annual Report on Form 20-F and other documents filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission by Luxoft. Except as required by law, Luxoft undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements for any reason after the date of this news release whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Investor Inquiries Tracy Krumme Vice President, Investor Relations 212.964.9900 x246 IR@luxoft.com Media Inquiries Robert Maccabe Director, Public Relations t: +44 (0)20 3828 2346; m:+44 7950 517 836 Press@luxoft.com Twitter: @Luxoft Brittany Carlstrom Associate Marketing Director t: 1.206.378.0100 ext. 143 PR@smashingideas.com Twitter: @smashingideas          
Load more

Psychedelic Trips with Author Michael Pollan

When Penguin Press author Michael Pollan set out to research how LSD and psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) are being used to provide relief to people suffering from difficult-to-treat conditions such as depression, addiction and anxiety, he did not intend to write what is undoubtedly his most personal book, HOW TO CHANGE YOUR MIND: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence, a #1 New York Times bestseller.

Upon discovering how these remarkable substances are improving the lives not only of the mentally ill but also of healthy people coming to grips with the challenges of everyday life, Pollan decided to explore the landscape of the mind in the first person as well as the third. The true subject of his “mental travelogue” is not just psychedelic drugs but also the eternal puzzle of human consciousness and how, in a world that offers us both suffering and joy, we can do our best to be fully present and find meaning in our lives. In this “Meet our Author” interview, Pollan offers fascinating insights into the writing of HOW TO CHANGE YOUR MIND, his own personal experiences with psychedelics, how this influenced the creation of this book, and the biggest takeaways. You are best known for your books about food such as THE OMNIVORE’S DILEMMA, IN DEFENSE OF FOOD, and COOKED. What led you to write about psychedelics? It’s true I’m best known for my books about food and agriculture, but that work grew out of a deeper fascination with human engagement with the natural world, and the species we evolved with, a fascination explored in earlier books like The Botany of Desire and Second Nature. Food and beauty are two of the human desires other species have evolved to gratify, but there are other, more mysterious desires, and the human drive to change consciousness, whether mildly and routinely with plant drugs such as caffeine, or more dramatically with psychoactive mushrooms, has always fascinated me. Why do we want to do this potentially risky thing, and why did plants and fungi evolve these remarkable chemicals that affect us in this way? What do these experiences do for us, as individuals or as a society? Psychedelics are the most extreme case of this curious phenomenon, and they have been a central part of human societies for thousands of years. I wanted to find out why. And then I began hearing about a renaissance of research into psychedelics by scientists hoping to treat cancer patients suffering from “existential distress,” addicts, people struggling with depression and so-called “healthy normals.” These researchers had found that psilocybin, the psychoactive compound in magic mushrooms, could reliably occasion a “mystical experience” in people that they deemed one of the two or three most significant experiences in their lives –comparable to the birth of a child of death of a parent. The experience had changed them in lasting ways. This was something I needed to explore. I wasn’t sure I had ever had a spiritual experience. Would one happen to me? Was there some dimension of existence or consciousness I was missing out on? Was it really possibly to change one’s mind as an adult? My journalistic curiosity soon morphed into a personal quest to explore some of the uncharted territory of both the mind and my mind. While researching your book you decided to experience psychedelics yourself. Why? Did you have any reservations? Well, I’ve always liked to do participatory or “immersive” journalism—I bought a cow to understand the cattle industry; built a house to understand architecture; and apprenticed myself to great chefs and bakers to learn their crafts, so embarking on a few psychedelic trips seemed like something I should do, for the edification of my readers if nothing else. I’ve always believed in the value of getting one’s hands dirty, so to speak, as a way to move beyond the usual journalistic attitudes of cynicism or world-weariness. You learn a lot more when you have some skin in the game. But in this case it was more personal than that. It was impossible to listen to people describe these transformative experiences—experiences that had extinguished their fear of death, surfaced buried experiences from their childhoods, shifted their priorities in life and their whole world view—without feeling the need to have such an experience myself. Would I change? Was I capable of a “mystical experience?” Would I learn something new about myself? I was particularly keen on the possibility that the experience could help me escape habitual patterns of thought and behavior, something we all struggle with. But I certainly had reservations. I had had very little experience of psychedelics—I was only 12 during the Summer of Love, which means I’m less a product of the psychedelic sixties than of the moral panic against psychedelics. They terrified me. And the night before every one of my “journeys” I was a sleepless wreck, as I rehearsed in my mind everything that could go wrong, listening to a voice in my head saying this was crazy. That voice, I came to realize, was my ego trying (selfishly) to prevent me from a having an experience that, among other things, would undermine that ego. How did your personal experiences influence your thinking and writing? My trips allowed me to connect better with the dozens of patients and volunteers I interviewed, helping to put some flesh on abstractions I was hearing from them, like “ego dissolution,” and “mystical experience” or “merging with nature.” It allowed us to speak one another's language about an experience often described as "ineffable." But the experiences also presented a terrific literary challenge—how do you evoke a psilocybin or LSD trip on the page, without sounding like a lunatic? (You will decide if I succeeded.) I also think the experiences changed me — changed my relationship to my ego (which I no longer think of as identical to my self, but more like a "character" that needs to be managed and sometimes demoted); made me a better meditator; generally made me more open and less defended, etc. My wife Judith, who had trepidations when I embarked on this journey, eventually became quite supportive. Initially she worried that my involvement in psychedelics might somehow change me. What she didn't foresee is that it might change me for the better! What is the biggest take-away from your experience writing this book? Though ostensibly a book about psychedelics, HOW TO CHANGE YOUR MIND is really a book about the mind—a realm on which psychedelics happen to shine a powerful new light. Consciousness is one of the greatest mysteries there is—there is nothing of which we are more certain, and yet nothing that is further from being understood by modern science: how brains produce consciousness (if in fact they do—some believe it may exist outside of us). Yet consciousness itself is not a single thing. Psychedelics show us that, as William James said, minds are capable of multiple kinds of consciousness, separated from our everyday experience by “the filmiest of veils.” There are doors in the room of one’s mind that open onto unsuspected dimensions of mental experience. Psychedelics is only one of those doors—there are other, non-pharmacological doorknobs too, like meditation, prayer, breathing exercises, sweat lodges, vision quests, etc. But turn any one of these knobs and enter, and you realize, as I did in my “reporting” for this book, that the mind is far vaster, and the world more alive, than I ever suspected.  

Highlights from A Busy Penguin Random House BookExpo and BookCon 2018

Penguin Random House authors, editors, books and colleagues were in constant demand at this year’s BookExpo (May 30 – June 1) and BookCon (June 2 ­­– 3) at the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. We welcomed innumerable authors, booksellers, and industry visitors to our PRH booth during the BEA trade show on Thursday and Friday, with masses of book-loving consumers coming to see us Saturday and Sunday during BookCon.

@BookExpo Markus Dohle, Penguin Random House Worldwide CEO, on Thursday participated in one of this year’s SRO events, “Leadership Roundtable: Publishers on Publishing,” along with Carolyn Reidy, President & CEO, Simon & Schuster, and John Sargent, CEO, Macmillan. Maria. A. Pallante, President & CEO, Association of American Publishers, moderated the discussion. In response to the question, “How is the book business fairing?” Mr. Dohle said, “Better than [its] image, actually, both domestically and globally. And there are more reasons to be confident about the future of long-form reading and the future of the book.” Penguin Random House editors were featured at each of the always-popular BookExpo “Buzz Panels,” where they generated great enthusiasm for the showcased books. At the Adult Editors Buzz, Becky Saletan, Vice President, Editorial Director, Riverhead Books, spoke of how THERE WILL BE NO MIRACLES HERE by Casey Gerald (Riverhead, 10/2) “breaks the mold for what a memoir should be” as the Yale grad/Harvard MBA author “stands the American dream on its head.” With his rags-to-riches narrative that explores race, class and power, Saletan said, “This book is fire.” At the Middle Grade Editors Buzz, Alex Ulyett, Associate Editor, Viking Children’s Books, praised MONSTROUS DEVICES by Damien Love (Viking Books for Young Readers, 11/13) for its “Raiders of the Lost Ark-type adventure” and “gripping tale” that “makes the big questions – about life, death, truth, and the stories we tell – feel magical.” At the Young Adult Buzz, Dana Chidiac, Associate Editor, Dial Books for Young Readers, DARIUS THE GREAT IS NOT OKAY by Adib Khorram (Dial Books for Young Readers, 8/28) delved inside this book about a half-white, half -Persian boy visiting family in Iran for the first time, talking of how it “demystifies Iran,” while managing a “balancing act of jokes and pathos... and walking a line between friendship and romance.” Adult Book & Author Breakfast co-hosts, actors and husband and wife Nick Offerman (Parks & Recreation) and Megan Mullally (Will & Grace) introduced their upcoming book, THE GREATEST LOVE STORY EVER TOLD (Dutton, 10/ 2) in alternating, revealing sentences about their marriage. Panelist Trevor Noah, The Daily Show host, comedian and author, drew much laughter talking about The Daily Show’s upcoming book , THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH PRESENTS: The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library (Spiegel & Grau, 7/31). Children’s Book & Author Breakfast host Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award-winning Penguin Young Readers author, discussed the timeliness of her two upcoming books, HARBOR ME and THE DAY YOU BEGIN, both being published by Nancy Paulsen Books on the same day, 8/28, and said, “I feel hopeful for young people and looking at life through their eyes.” Oscar-winning actress and children’s book author Viola Davis was a breakfast panelist, and she presented her upcoming book, CORDUROY TAKES A BOW (Viking Books for Young Readers, 9/4), and how she imbued Corduroy’s adventure “with all the magic of the stage” on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of this beloved character. @BookCon Whether attendees were playing corn hole for audiobook prizes, having their faces painted in the Underlined booth, or waiting in line for one of our highly anticipated giveaways, the Penguin Random House booth was a not-to-be-missed destination on the BookCon show floor. Our “What Do Books Mean to You?” Post-It Wall quickly filled, up offering inspiration to anyone walking by, and the in-booth bookstore was constantly buzzing with consumer traffic. Among the in-booth author appearances: attendees made pins alongside Nicola Yoon; lucky winners were able to get their picture taken with PYR authors Sabaa Tahir and Maria Lu; and fans flocked to signings by Kevin Kwan, David Arnold, Naomi Novik, and Rachel Hawkins, among others. There were many Interactive In-Booth Activities: fans celebrated Deborah Harkness’ upcoming novel, TIME’S CONVERT (Viking, 9/18) with a photo op at the All Souls Laboratory; expert book detectives solved the mystery of which book to read next; attendees enjoyed treats and celebrated Underlined’s first birthday; a life-size likeness of Multnomah author Tim Tebow was available all weekend for a fun photo op; fans entered to win all 100 titles featured in PBS’s “The Great American Read” campaign; and the Handmaids even showed up! Readers shared their “reading equation” on Jacqueline Woodson’s “Reading = Hope x Change” Wall; a mystery ARC giveaway from Penguin Teen drew traffic-stopping crowds; the giveaway of Anne Rice’s LESTAT drew costumed fans; Little Women devotees lined up to find out which March sister they are; and life-size likeness of Prince Harry and Megan Markle even made an appearance with Rachel Hawkins, author of the teen romance, ROYALS (Putnam Books for Young Readers, 5/1). Our first-ever “Books & Bubbly: A BookCon Mingle,” a collaboration among PRH Audio Publishing, the Crown Publishing Group, Knopf Doubleday, Random House Children’s Books’ Underlined, and Out of Print, was a resounding success. More than 70 specially-invited book influencers mingled with our colleagues, who touted upcoming titles – many displayed on colorfully decorated tables – while enjoying prosecco, ice cream sundaes, and popcorn, sparking a flurry of influencer posts about the event and our books on Instagram, You Tube, Twitter and Facebook. The hottest ticket on Sunday surely was the one to see Bill Clinton and James Patterson, the two authors of the brand-new thriller, THE PRESIDENT IS MISSING, co-published by Knopf. To view more fun BookCon photos, click here. Throughout Saturday and Sunday, there was great feedback from fans who had attended previous BookCons, who made a point to revisit the Penguin Random House booth. In addition to returning readers, many attendees were attending BookCon for the first time, and we saw a more diverse crowd this year in terms of age, gender, and ethnicity. We hope to see all of our favorite book enthusiasts this summer and fall online or at their favorite bookstore.

Our Colleagues Make Care-Cards on National Gun Violence Awareness Day, Host #WearOrange Post-It Note Walls at BookCon

Last Friday, June 1, Penguin Publishing Group recognized National Gun Violence Awareness Day by organizing an event at our 375 Hudson Street offices for Penguin Random House employees to make and write care-cards for families of victims of gun violence. Over the course of two hours, dozens of our colleagues created more than 130 hand-designed and thoughtfully written cards. They’ll be distributed to members of the Everytown Survivor Network, which brings together survivors, victims, and loved ones of those affected by gun violence.

Penguin Publishing Group’s partnership with Everytown for Gun Safety continued the next day at BookCon, where PPG and Everytown invited book lovers passing through the Penguin Random House booth to show their support for #WearOrange by writing and posting orange Post-It notes to several dedication walls labeled “I #WearOrange because…”. For every Post-It note shared, Penguin Random House donated $5.00 to Everytown for Gun Safety. Representatives from the Everytown Authors Council, including Penguin author Chris Healy, joined Penguin Random House staff in greeting and talking to visitors, many of whom wanted to share their own stories. The #WearOrange movement originated on June 2, 2015 in honor of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old girl who was shot and killed in Chicago one week after marching in President Obama’s 2nd D.C. inaugural parade in January 2013. In the days and weeks following, Hadija’s friends commemorated her by wearing orange – the color many hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others from harm. There are several ways to donate to #WearOrange and its partner organizations, who are working hard every day to build a future where every American can live free from gun violence. For a full list, click here.

How “Rev Up for Reading” Inspires Crawfordsville Students to Read

The chance to engage with a real-life Monster Truck has sparked many students’ interest in reading books at a number of elementary schools in Crawfordsville, Indiana, thanks to Rev Up for Reading, a wonderful program created by Beth Hiatt, Manager, Receiving, at our Crawfordsville distribution center, and her husband. Beth explains, “With our program, teachers challenge their students to read. They set a ‘minutes goal’ and track their progress throughout the school year. As a reward, we bring our Monster Truck to their school towards the end of the academic year.

“We've worked with schools since 2009, usually two a year. Our first school had 330 kids who read 56,000 books in order to ride in our truck. More recently, we just do displays; let the kids see the truck; answer questions, and give away pictures, Frisbees, posters, and my favorite Penguin Random House books.” Beth branded the program Rev Up for Reading, because, “for me, this is where the rubber meets the road: My love for books and reading; and supporting reading for our youth. “When we hear the stories about kids who could not read at the beginning of the school year; but can read by the end of the year it inspires us to do more. When we hear that kids read 30,000 minutes – that's one class of 22 - 24 students – just to see our truck, it means we are doing something right.” Look at the expressions on the faces of these children – who read for 30,000 minutes – posing with the Monster Truck. Beth and her husband deserve special commendation for the remarkable results that their program has achieved. For more information about Rev Up for Reading, click here.

LINCOLN IN THE BARDO Wins Audiobook of the Year at the Audies

Penguin Random House Audio won the top prize – Audiobook of the Year – for George Saunders’ LINCOLN IN THE BARDO (Random House Audio) last night at the 23nd annual Audie Awards® in New York. The Audio Publishers Association (APA) annually presents the premier awards program for audiobooks in the United States, recognizing excellence in audiobooks and spoken word entertainment.

LINCOLN IN THE BARDO, narrated by Saunders, Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, and 163 other voices, was produced by Senior Exectuive Producer Kelly Gildea, who accepted the award on stage along with Amanda D’Acierno, Senior Vice President and Publisher, Dan Zitt,Vice President of Content Production, other Penguin Random House Audio team members, and several narrators.. On Wednesday, LINCOLN IN THE BARDO received the Indies Choice Audiobook of the Award at the Celebration of Bookselling & Author Awards Luncheon at BookExpo. Penguin Random House Audio won more Audie Awards in these categories: Nonfiction: AMERICAN WOLF by Nate Blakeslee, narrated by Mark Bramhall and produced by Linda Korn   (Random House Audio) Fiction: ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE by Gail Honeyman, narrated by Cathleen McCarron (Penguin Audio) Mystery: THE GIRL WHO TAKES AN EYE FOR AN EYE by David Lagercrantz, narrated by Simon Vance and produced by Aaron Blank   (Random House Audio) Middle Grade: SEE YOU IN THE COSMOS by Jack Cheng, narrated by a full cast and produced by Karen Dziekonski (Listening Library) [caption id="attachment_10899" align="alignright" width="150"] (left to right) Vicki Tomao, Heather Dalton, and Rob Guzman[/caption] Big congrats to the authors, narrators, producers, marketers and the entire award-winning PRH Audio team.In addition, Penguin Random House Audio won an Excellence in Marketing Audie Award for “Transform Your Commute,” the NYC campaign that encouraged listeners to turn a sour commute sweet with audiobooks. Pictured at the Audies are several members of the marketing team who created the initiative (left to right) Vicki Tomao, Heather Dalton, and Rob Guzman. To view the complete list of Audie Awards winners, click here.