World Book Night is an annual celebration designed to spread a love of reading and books, to be held in the U.S. as well as the U.K. and Ireland and other countries, each giving away a half million books in a single night. World Book Night will again see tens of thousands of people go out into their communities to spread the joy and love of reading by giving out free World Book Night paperbacks. The 30-35 titles are chosen by an independent panel of librarians and booksellers. The authors waive their royalties and publishers pay the costs of producing the specially printed editions. I am proud to be a part of the fourth iteration of the annual April 23 event, which encourages public reading by distributing about a half-million free books and honors Shakespeare’s birthday. You can choose the book you give away from the selected titles, and my book is Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple, a book I feel has appeal for both teens and adults. Both my college age daughter and I loved it! Here's a brief summary of the book:
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Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.
Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle—and people in general—has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.
To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence—creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.
This is a very quirky, unusual book about life of the uber rich in Seattle. It also is about how mental illness can define a family, and children will love you, no matter what. I enjoyed it, laughed out loud at some points, was very puzzled by others, and overall enjoyed the way the story was pieced together by various methods of communications - e-mails, texts and actual conversations. If you don't get one of my 20 free copies available at the library information desk, I encourage you to check out one of our copies and give this book a try! Maria Semple is not only an author, but writes screenplays. Her television credits include Beverly Hills, 90210, Mad About You, Saturday Night Live, Arrested Development, Suddenly Susan and Ellen.