the book you want to read now:
Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth
(and a give-away)

163560For sixteen years I had what was arguably the best job in the world. It certainly was the best job for me. As a first-time mother of an infant, I wanted nothing more than to be at home with my new baby. At the same time, I’d loved my career as a literary editor and I still had to earn a living. By some miraculous stroke of luck and grace, the universe afforded me the chance to do both.

A week after my baby was born, I got word that I’d been chosen to be the new series editor of The Best American Short Stories, an annual anthology beloved by readers and writers alike. Three months later, I hired some help, bought my first desktop computer, set up a system to keep track of everything (magazines logged into FileMakerPro, the stories themselves written up by hand on file cards), and got down to work. It was amazing — I was getting paid to read.

I dressed for my new job in stretchy old black leggings and sweatshirts spotted with baby drool. I had no set hours and three deadlines a year. The magazines arrived by the box load and the babysitter came for a few hours every morning. While she was there, and while my son slept, and in every other spare moment of the day, I read short stories.

Sixteen years flew by. During that time, two little babies grew up into teenagers and sixteen volumes got published and I read thousands and thousands of stories. I had the joy of “discovering” such new voices as Amy Bloom, Junot Diaz, Akhil Sharma, Edith Pearlman, and Nathan Englander, and helping to introduce them to wider audiences. Meanwhile, I also had the privilege of working closely with some of our most accomplished writers — chatting about what made certain stories work and others miss the mark with the likes of Louise Erdrich, Tobias Wolff, Garrison Keillor, Barbara Kingsolver, E. L. Doctorow and many others. Co-editing with John Updike The Best American Short Stories of the Century allowed me not only the happy, prodigious task of reading every story ever published in the series since its inception in 1915, but also the privilege of engaging in an intensive, congenial, two-year correspondence with one of my lifelong literary heroes.

But without doubt the greatest good fortune that befell me as the editor of BASS was my enduring friendship with writer Ann Patchett, guest editor of the final volume of my tenure. After working together for over a year, getting to know each other by email and phone and letter, we finally met in person for the first time in Harvard Square at a PEN reading for The Best American Short Stories of 2006. It was a bittersweet night for me. Handing off the editorial baton to my successor seemed like the end of an era, the end of my professional identity, the end of steady income, the end of structure to my days. I had no idea what I’d do next.

At some point during the evening, as a sheet cake was wheeled out into the foyer and a set of leather-bound copies of all the volumes I’d edited was readied for presentation, Ann slipped her arm through mine. “This must feel so weird to you,” she said. And then, “Well, the book is done. But can we still be friends?” I’m happy to report that, ten years later, we still are.

img_1865I could go on and on here about the joys of this special friendship, but I won’t. Because what I really want to do is make sure you know: the best novel yet from this most generous and gifted storyteller will be published next week.

Three years ago, late one night, after I’d done a reading at Parnassus Books, Ann’s renowned destination bookstore in Nashville, she and I sat sipping tea in her living room. A new book was taking shape in her mind and she was trying it out on me, wondering out loud if she was finally ready to embark upon a deeply personal, even autobiographical novel. It was time, she mused, to write about the one thing that scared her the most: her own family.

The story she was imagining would focus on the children of divorce, territory she knows well. As she acknowledges in her courageous, candid essay “This is the Story of a Happy Marriage,” she and her sister and their step-siblings “weren’t the products of our parents’ happy marriages; we were the flotsam of their divorces.” When marriages implode, so does childhood. What happens in the aftermath is at the heart of Commonwealth, an emotionally resonant page-turner that draws you into the lives of two young families and then holds you in its firm yet tender grip through a span of nearly fifty years.

I finished reading the galleys of Commonwealth sitting in a rocking chair at dawn last spring, while the rest of my family slept. Determined to make my way in silence and solitude through the final pages of this heart-wrenching, engrossing book, I allowed the tears to flow even as I felt the kind of rare, deep satisfaction that comes when an author does her work to perfection. Knowing something of Ann’s own difficult childhood, I also knew how close to the bone this novel cuts, how liberating and difficult it must have been to write at last, and how brilliantly she had transformed reality into something even deeper, richer, and more compelling – a story so finely and truly wrought that every event, small and large, seems at once inevitable and surprising.

Only this morning, as I read this marvelously intimate interview with Ann in The Guardian, did I glean just how harrowing her process was, once she finally took the lid off and began mining her own experience. Speaking about “This is the Story of a Happy Marriage,” she recalls “the sweat pouring down her face as she wrote it, while she experienced the distinct sensation that she was ‘sitting in the middle of the highway in the dark, with a legal pad, thinking: I’m going to get squashed by a truck’.”

My guess is that Commonwealth was a bit sweat-inducing as well. And yet, the real achievement of this book is that it’s fiction, the stuff of real life run through the imagination of one of the unmistakably great novelists of our time and quietly, assuredly fashioned into a small literary masterpiece. As Ann’s mother wryly observed, “None of it happened and all of it’s true.”

I can’t wait for every single person I know to read this book. I can’t imagine a more engaging novel for book group discussions or for families to pass around or for two friends to talk about over a cup of tea. You could not ask for a better companion for a day spent in bed, or for a train ride, or for those betwixt and between moments of life when you find yourself with a few stolen minutes of reading time. My own hardcover copy arrived in the mail yesterday and I’m about to plunge right back in.

Are you a reader who appreciates a good first line? I just opened the book and was reminded that this must surely be one of the best: “The christening party took a turn when Albert Cousins arrived with gin.” And with that, you’re off, embarked on a true-yet-not-real story that will make you laugh, that will break your heart and that will, ultimately, reaffirm your faith in both the essential goodness and the resilience of the human spirit.

If you’re new to Ann’s writing, just go ahead and start right here, right now. There’s plenty of time to catch up. And if you’re already a fan, well, all I can say is, Carve out a little time for yourself and prepare for deep, unbridled pleasure.

A signed first edition to win!

I’ve bought one signed, first-edition copy of Commonwealth to give away to a reader here.  To enter to win, you must be a subscriber.  (Sign up now, if you don’t already receive my newsletter.)  Simply leave a comment below.  Share what’s on YOUR bedside table or your must-read list for the fall.  (I know this will result in a reading list we’ll all be happy to have.)  Of course, you can also just say, “Count me in.” A winner will be chosen at random at 12 pm on Thursday, Sept. 15.  Good luck to all!

Or, order a book right now and have it signed by Ann.

Official publication date is Tuesday, Sept. 13. However, if you order books by noon on Monday from Parnassus, Ann will sign (and even personalize) your copies. Click here.

Prefer to order from Amazon? You can, of course, but this IS a great opportunity to support an independent bookstore AND to receive a signed first edition of what many are predicting will be the book of the year. That said, click here to buy from Amazon. (Amazon links on this site are affiliate links.)

And now, a bit of advance reading:

I’ve rounded up these links to whet your appetite till Commonwealth is in your hands.

The Parnassus website is my favorite place to hang out for all things book-related. If you ever wonder what to read next, you have no further to look for compelling, trustworthy recommendations. Also, there are always new author interviews, inside stories, and, best of all, Ann’s blog. Click here for a behind-the-scenes look at her writing process for Commonwealth.

Well-kept secret: The Guardian has better book coverage than any American newspaper. This interview with Ann is revealing and captivating and funny. It captures the essence of who she is.

Today’s New York Times has a glowing review. However, proceed with caution. I think it reveals too much. A huge part of the pleasure of this novel comes from not knowing what’s going to happen. My suggestion: read the book first.

PrintFinally, this.  Ann’s about to hit the road — thirty cities this fall alone.  Little wonder; booksellers love her as much as her fans do.  And she is as wonderfully engaging in person as she is on the page. She may be coming to your hometown.  Check out her full schedule here.

moments of seeing: reflections from an ordinary life

mos_cover_finalCopies of my new book will be shipped on November 1.  But you can order your own (signed!) copy now.

For more info, and to pre-order your copy, click here.  (Hint: It just may be that you can get all your holiday book shopping done right now: a brilliant novel to gulp down and a fat collection of essays for the bedside table. . .)

Note: My husband Steve’s company, Earth, Sky & Water, is my official publisher for Moments of Seeing, and the secure order page is at his company website. Lucky for me, Steve and his staff are fully equipped to handle order fulfillment. And yes, they can even arrange to ship books overseas. While you’re there, feel free to browse around and check out the beautiful collection of nature guides, cards, and prints, too.

for my reflections & inspiration

your comments

  1. Lauren Seabourne says:

    I remember you reading this in Asheville and not wanting it to end. I just ordered my copy from Parnassus, quite possibly the best bookstore I’ve ever visited.

  2. I am intrigued. Parnassus seems to have website issues, but I’ll be back to order it later. And she’s coming to Asheville! I quite possible will have to make the trip up there! Maybe take my step-sister-in-law (how’s that for confusing family relations?). I’m excited, so thank you for the recommendation.

  3. I’m going to see her when she comes to San Diego and I just can’t wait. I’ll be standing in line with the book I’ve preordered from our local indie bookstore, Warwicks. But it was exciting just to read this. I’ve loved her work forever and as a child from a family of 11 kids thrown together by divorce and remarriage, I can imagine how challenging it was to write. I know my sisters and stepsisters are planning to read Commonwealth too.

  4. Nancy Kanell says:

    I am trading Robin Black’s essays in writing and life, Crash Course. It is wonderful – so insightful for anyone who loves to read or write.

  5. Sandy Greenstreet says:

    I just read “This is Story About a Happy Marriage” for the second time. Learning about Ann’s new book made me want to re-read this book. I just finished Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest, “Big Magic”. I am looking forward to reading “Commonwealth”. I hope a visit to Portland, Oregon is in her book tour!!

  6. Patricia Holloway says:

    I finished and passed along The Light of Paris to a friend.

  7. Robin Martin says:

    I bought all of your books last week so those are on my nightstand waiting to be read. Need to finish Finding Me by Kathryn Cushman first though.

  8. Lucia Berlin A MANUAL FOR CLEANING WOMEN — exquisite.

  9. Patti Devine says:

    Currently on my chair or bedside table: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.

  10. Count me in!

  11. I LOVE books! And this sounds wonderful! Can’t wait to read it! At the moment I am reading Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson. Intriguing.

  12. Essentialism is on my night stand, count me in!

  13. Beth Bruno says:

    What’s on my bedside right now: My Reading Life by Pat Conroy, One Writer’s Beginnings by Eudora Welty, and The Essential Rumi.

  14. Would love to read this. Never read anything by her before. Being a child of divorced parents from way back when and having gotten divorced myself, this seems like a good read for me. Currently on my nite-stand: The Language of Flowers. Just finished Lilac Girls, a difficult subject matter but a great and important read .

  15. Melissa Whitt says:

    Count me in! (And on my nightstand is Richard Russo’s Nobody’s Fool; an old school read that I’m enjoying very much! )

  16. Thanks for the recommendation. On my nightstand – Mitten Strings for God – a must have in these days of raising little people. All the best to you and yours Katrina!

  17. I am eager to get my hands on Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad.

  18. Hi Katrina,
    I’m reading & writing with “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. I love how the process she teaches in the book is freeing up & revitalizing my creativity!
    She also has a new book out, “It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again” (Discovering Creativity & Meaning at Midlife & Beyond).
    I’m looking forward to reading your new book when it arrives.
    Best wishes,

  19. Thank you for the recommendation. I’m reading The Corrections currently.

  20. I’d also like to read The Underground Railroad. Thanks for the reminder, Missy K.

  21. Love is a Canoe. Count me in! Thanks

  22. Susan Baron says:

    Excellent Women, by Barbara Pym. Please count me in…

  23. calendargirl says:

    Currently reading “Strolling Through Istanbul” and “Suite Francaise.” Cannot wait for this one by Ann Patchett, which will be my first!

  24. Anne Luiten says:

    Besides you, Katrina, ann is my favorite author. I haveread all her books and am so excited for this new one. Currently reading The Wright Brothers.

  25. Reading and crying with “hand wash cold” by Karen Maezen Miller.

  26. Lora McClelland says:

    Count me in, please! Thanks-

  27. Charlyne Ashford says:

    Just now reading The Nazi Officer’s Wife, such a superb true story.

    Please count me in Katrina. Thank you.

  28. Count me in for Ann Patchett’s latest book! I just ran across Run in my bookshelf and reminded myself that it needs to be read. I am reading Elizabeth Strout’s My Name is Lucy Barton at the moment.

  29. Just finished “Don’t Let Me Go” by Catherine Ryan Hyde…

  30. Looking forward to reading this! I just finished reading The Book That Matters Most by Ann Hood.

  31. You Had Me At Woof by Julie Klam

  32. I have this book in my book queue waiting for pay day. Now that another child is in college, my budget is stretched tight, but my one indulgence is books. I’ve pre ordered your newest release and I am so looking forward to reading Ann’s newest release.

  33. Count me in! And “Breakfast with Buddha” by Roland Merullo is phenomenal, as are his follow-up books, “Lunch with Buddha” and “Dinner with Buddha”.

  34. Count me in! Latest reads are: “May the Road Rise Up To Meet You” by Peter Troy; “Modern Lovers” by Emma Straub; “the Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt, all of them excellent and I highly recommend! Can’t wait to read “Commonwealth”!

  35. Allison Mallowe says:

    My bedside book: Mitten Strings for God. Ever so slowly redwing this in the last 2years as my 5year old and 2 1/2 year old grow up. Thank you for a wonderful book. Looking forward to another book to hep escape at times

  36. Currently I am reading, non fiction: 97 Orchard by Jane Zeigelman, fiction: Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan and self-help: Freeing Your Child from OCD by Tamar Chansky. I can highly recommend all three reads. Thank you.

  37. Jane Johnson says:

    Yes, please count me in. On my night stand … God ‘s Hospital, Toa the Ching, Hildegatrd’s Healing Plants, and my all-time favorite book to gift and share – A Gift of an Ordinary Day.
    So looking forward to reading, and sharing, Commomwealth.

  38. Kyenne Williams says:

    yes, count me in please :: i’d love to add “commonwealth” to my reading pile as fall unfolds. and currently reading “dark matter” by blake crouch; “the mandibles” by lionel shriver and the new novel by jenni fagan “the sunlight pilgrims”

  39. I just read my first Ann Patchett this summer — Bel Canto — and fell in love with her wonderful sense of story telling and character. How generous of you to offer a signed copy here on your blog. Win or lose, I look forward to reading it.

    I’m quite a mystery fan so I’m looking forward to the next two Louise Penny books stacked on my pile, the eighth Bryant and May mystery, Ruth Ware’s “In a Dark, Dark Wood,” and “The Woman in the Photo.” And when I run out of those, I have a few Deborah Crombie mysteries in the queue and Susan Branch’s “A Fine Romance.” I just finished “The Nightingale” and I’m already having withdrawal pains…

  40. Count me in please- on my night stand is Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton…just came out this week!

  41. Elizabeth Stubbs says:

    Please count me in too, Katrina! I have read everything Ann has written and eagerly await this new one. I took her up at your recommendation – thank you so much.

  42. Denise Veggerby says:

    Count me in! Can’t wait to read it. I have “Sense and Sensibility” on my nightstand. Denise

  43. LOVE this endorsement, Katrina. Even more, the news of your new book (which I just ordered)!!

    My bedside table: When I Was a Child I Read Books – Marilynne Robinson & The Boston Girl – Anita Diamant

  44. My best summer read this year: The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach. Count me in!

  45. Thank you for this generous and exquisite offering. Bedside table: Love Warrior and The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible.

  46. Heather Cummings says:

    Just finished “The More of Less” by Joshua Becker. A life-changer, with no exaggeration.

  47. Gretchen Seibert says:

    I am reading Richard Russo’s Nobody’s Fool, so please count me in! I love Ann Patchett’s books!

  48. On my bed side table are Girl in Translation, the Story Hour and Together Tea. All stories of immigrants like myself.

  49. Tina Lincer says:

    Definitely count me in!
    Currently can’t get enough of Jo Ann Beard.

  50. After just visiting Hyde Park, NY, and seeing Eleanor Roosevelt’s homey Val-Kill, I’m reading her autobiography. I wonder how it would be written now? Maybe not so many references to “my husband,” but still a good read about a remarkable woman.

  51. Denise Renn says:

    When Breath Becomes Air, followed by All the Light We Cannot See…and I am extremely excited to add Commonwealth and Moments of Seeing to my bedside table!

  52. Mary Erlain says:

    On my bedside table is The Book of Forgiving by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu. I also just started Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. I am thrilled to share that Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth is on the top of my “books to read next list” for the fall. Count me in!!

  53. Susie Epstein says:

    Count me in! Currently reading and really enjoying Love, Loss and What We Ate by Padma Lacksmi.

  54. Commonwealth sounds perfect for my book club count me in! I’m reading, for the 3rd time, The Canal House by Mark Lee. Hard to find in book form now but you can find it in iBooks. My favorite book of the year so far is When Breath Becomes Air. So much wisdom there.

  55. Count me in, please! Reading Louise Penny ‘s latest “A Great Reckoning” while waiting for “Commonwealth!”

  56. Count me in! Currently reading “The soul of a pilgrim” by by Christine Paintner

  57. Katlin Ryan-Butz says:

    Sounds awesome! I always love your book suggestions!

  58. Just started “Everyone Brave is Forgiven.” I’m so looking forward to reading “Moments of Seeing” and “Commonwealth.”

  59. Amy Pignatella Cain says:

    Please count me in. Currently on my bedside table: Euphoria by Lily King and The Awakened Family by Dr. Shefali Tsabary. Thank you!

  60. I recently finished “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” On my nightstand are “We Could Be Beautiful” and “The Girls in the Garden.”

  61. Count me in! I’m enjoying A Man Called Ove right now.
    Thank you.

  62. Please count me in. I just opened Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist.
    I would love a copy of Commonwealth – I’m 91 on my local library wait list!

  63. Theresa A. Casey says:

    I am currently reading SUMMER BEFORE THE WAR by Helen Simonson and THESE IS MY WORDS By Nancy E. Turner.
    Count me in for COMMONWEALTH. Thanks, Terri

  64. At my bedside: They Left Us Everything, by Plum Johnson. Hopefully on my beside table soon: Commonwealth! (Katrina, I give your book Gift of an Ordinary Day to friends as gifts, and they always rave about it.)

  65. I would love to read this. Please count me in! Thank you 🙂

  66. I’m reading The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton.

  67. Count me in!

  68. So good to get your feed this morning! Yes, count me in for a chance to win this signed book. I saw it on Pinterest, and I was intrigued!!! I have “My Grandmother asked me to tell you she’s sorry”, by Fredrik Backman, waiting for me on the arm of my reading chair!

  69. Donna Ziegler says:

    I just finished Louise Penny’s “A Great Reckoning”; I hated to see it end.

  70. I would love a copy of this book. The cover draws me in…. Your book, Gift of the Ordinary Day, is one of my favorite treasures in my home library and I still often quote it to my friends.

  71. A little late to the party, I’m finally reading “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah, recommended to me by my 81 year old Dad! Definitely putting “Commonwealth” on my list. For now, time to peel & chop tomatoes all day – we’re canning 28 quarts of my tomato sauce tomorrow!

  72. I can’t wait to read this. Thank you so much for sharing!

  73. Thank you very much. Can’t wait to read this.

  74. Count me in! I just read The Lake House by Kate Morton and The Little Paris Bookshop (love, love, loved this book) by Nina George and now reading The Forgotten Garden also by Kate Morton. Still to go is I Let you go by Clare Mackintosh.

    I have never read any of Ann’s books, so will have to get this one. Thank you for your endorsement.

  75. Nancy grant says:

    Count me in! Reading the Underground Railroad by Collson Whitehead . Can’t wait to delve into Anne’s new novel!!

  76. Count me in! I am currently reading “Uninvited” by Lysa Terkeurst and “Love Warrior” by Glennon Doyle Melton. I LOVED the Gift of an Ordinary Day. I have read it more than once!

  77. Wow Ladies – I just quit my job so o can concentrate full time on this amazing and exhaustive book list!! Ok, kidding but it is a seriously awesome list I’ve garnered from all your comments! And Ann’s book sounds like a delicious treat Katrina! Count me in!

  78. Sorry – I just noticed a post by “Catherine” about the book They Left Us Everything by Plum Johnson and have to say, it is a journey and an experience! My sister Janyn – who also got me onto Katrina’s blog – is sharing this book with her 4 siblings and I am so glad. Definitely struck a chord.

  79. Commonwealth is already on my list!
    My stack is pretty full right now. Just finished LaRose by Louise Erdrich. Currently reading The Hour of Land by Terry Tempest Williams, and I just picked up A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny and Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. And I just got a notice I have more to pick up.

  80. Museum of Innocence, The War of Art, , count me in

  81. Love Warrior….in the middle and I can’t put it down!

  82. Patty Normand says:

    A little behind perhaps, but I just finished The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. Commonwealth could be next…thank you!

  83. Please count me in!!!

  84. Count me in, please and thank you!

  85. Love to read this fabulous book! Count me in too!

  86. Wendy Wyatt says:

    Thanks for the introduction to Ann – look forward to exploring her books… On my bedside table this summer have been a number of fascinating books: Learning to Die in the Anthropocene, The Black Count, Leaving Before the Rains Come and A Fine Romance. I absolutely love how reading transports me, enlightens me, and inspires me…

  87. count me in, please. i’ve never read ann patchett and am looking forward to reading this book. i’m currently reading (and loving) euphoria by lily king. thank you!

  88. Am looking forward to discovering Ann Patchett. Just finished reading The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton.

  89. Count me in!

  90. Count me in! I’m reading “Anything” by Jennie Allen. I have to keep stopping to breathe and ponder.

  91. On my bedside is The Merry Recluse (Caroline Knapp) and lots of Anne Lamott! I love ending my day with those women. And very, very excited for a new Ann Patchett!

  92. I haven’t read anything by Ann Patchett although I see her books all the time. Thanks for the recommendation. Count me in too.

  93. Count me in

  94. Linda Warschoff says:

    I’m having a bit of a dry spell right now with fiction reading. However I am very much enjoying an “old” book by Gloria Steinem Revolution from Within A Book of Self Esteem. I also just finished reading two little books of essays by Anne Fadiman which were very good.

  95. Please count me in. Just finished “The Artist Way” by J. Cameron.

  96. I listened to her interview on NPR yesterday. It was wonderful.

  97. Anything Katrina recommends this highly clearly needs to be added to my reading list! I’m new to Ann’s work and look forward to receiving my edition of “Commonwealth.” Currently into the first chapter of “Love Warrior.”

  98. Count me in. Currently reading Little Women by Louisa M. Alcott after a long time and enjoying it.

  99. On my bedside: Becoming Wise (Krista Tippett), The Boys in the Boat (Daniel James Brown), and When Things Fall Apart (Pema Chodron). I’ll be ordering a copy of Commonwealth from Parnassus for my friend…with hopes, after we’ve both read the book, that we’ll get the chance to chat about it over many cups of tea.

  100. Yes, please add me!

  101. holly boyle says:

    I am currently reading the Good Shufu by Tracy Slater, kind of an Eat, Pray, Love set in Japan. Next up, The Rocks, by Peter Nichols and then your new book, Moments of Seeing, already on pre-order. xx-hb

  102. LOVE your books!!! Count me in!!!

  103. Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto is my all time favorite book. And I just finished reading The Patron Saint of Liars. I cannot wait to read this one too!

  104. Count me in! I love Ann Patchett’s work and can’t wait to read Commonwealth. It’s been sitting in my Amazon wish list for awhile! I just finished (minutes ago) To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey. I was enthralled and couldn’t put it down. Highly recommend!

  105. Deborah Masnyk says:

    I’m reading Secrets of a Charmed Life, by Susan Meissner. Count me in!

  106. Count me in! Right now I am reading True Refuge byou Tara Brach.

  107. Just finished reading The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. This is the first book I’ve read from this author, and I plan on looking for another soon. After reading Katrina’s lovely article about her friend, I look forward to discovering/reading a book from Ann Patchett list of works in the near future!

  108. Cindy King says:

    Count me in!

  109. Count me in please!

  110. I’m just starting “Furiously Happy” by Jenny Lawson – and waiting til your new book comes out, Katrina! Count me in!

  111. Anne Murray Mozingo says:

    Please know I’d love your signed copy of Ann’s latest book! Right now I’m starting Right now I am reading Faces of the Mother, By Sharon Ann Rose, and I just picked up a copy of A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman to bring on my trip to Peru in a couple weeks! Can’t wait to meet you and learn from you at the upcoming retreat in the ADK!

  112. Count me in please 😀

  113. Gloria Howard says:

    OH I adore Ann Patchett!
    Please pick me….pick me!

  114. Please count me in! My daughter is waiting for me to read ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ but i have just begun ‘The Gift of Years’ by Joan Chittister.

  115. Leslie Basham says:

    Well if that GLOWING review didn’t make me want to read it…Nothing will. Can’t wait for yours as well.

  116. Count me in. Ann Patchett is new to me.

  117. Reading… Barbarian Days and The Vegetarian. Was so thrilled to see your post. Ann mentioned your name in Story of a Happy Marrage, and I spent quite a bit of googling time trying to verify that her Katrina Kenison was my Katrina Kenison. Now… Confirmed beyond all doubt! Excited to read Commonwealth!!!

  118. Currently reading Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming. And a very technical, but illuminating Your Body Your Yoga by Bernie Clark

  119. Count me in, please. I have a huge assortment of books from the library book sale to read but would put Commonwealth on top!

  120. Oh my goodness!! I’ve been anxiously awaiting the arrival Commonwealth!! And I’m THRILLED to see that Ann will be in Asheville (my home town) this fall on her book tour!!

    I just finished a wonderful novel – LaRose by Louise Erdrich. It’s the best book I’ve read in a long time, but my current read – Barkskins by Annie Proulx – is giving it a serious run for its money.

  121. I just finished Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist—-such rich words remaining me to rest and connect as I enter the pressure and busyness of teaching in a new school year. Thank you for the opportunity. I would love to visit Parnassus Books-loved poking my way through The Strand and Powell’s Books on other trips.

  122. Nancy Oberrath says:

    I just finished Elizabeth Berg’s novel about young Katie, called “True to Form.” It’s my favorite of hers.

  123. I look forward to Ann’s new novel. The subject matter is intriguing as we are surrounded by the many crumbling families around us.

  124. Caroline Whitlock says:

    I am currently reading “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein and am loving it.
    Count me in!

  125. Carolyn Fahey says:

    I recently finished “Van Gogh The Life” by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, a well written book about the tumultuous life of Van Gogh, and “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman” an interesting book with a beautiful message. I am currently reading “The Seven Story Mountain” by Thomas Merton, an autobiography of his search for faith and peace. Thank you Katrina for sharing your gift of authentic, inspiring writing! Count me in!

  126. I so enjoy your book selections. Just finished “Saving Jake” by D’Anne Burwell and found it to be powerful. “A Man Called Ove” is a new favorite of mine.
    Thank you too, for all the links in your blog – always informative and interesting.

  127. I have read Ann’a other books and look forward to this one! Thanks!

  128. About to start “Gone with the Wind” for the first time ever!

  129. I have been a fan of Ann Patchett’s since reading The Magician’s Assistant. Cannot wait to read her latest!
    I have just finished Riding the Bus With My Sister by Rachel Simon.
    Thank you!

  130. Cheryl Ives says:

    I am currently reading A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (my book groups chosen book for this month) and loving it.

  131. Need to tackle When Breathe Becomes Air for book club, but this book sounds intriguing!

  132. So looking forward to this one. Currently reading Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton.

  133. Laura Nelson says:

    Sounds like it will be an amazing book!! Thanks for the opportunity to have a signed copy. I have just started reading ‘truly madly guilty’ by Liana Moriarty and have just finished ‘Far Horizons’ by Tony Park.

  134. Denise Luechtefeld says:

    Too many books on my bedside table. Currently listening to Circling the Sun.

  135. On my bedside The Secret Chord,Geraldine Brooks. Another favorite author. Anxiously awaiting Commonwealth

  136. Angela Smith says:

    Count me in for the signed copy! After that introduction I cannot wait to read this book and ironically enough I just ordered, State of Wonder last week!

    Everytime I read your blog I am moved by how much your use of language makes me feel
    as if we are sharing a conversation. Thank you for including Anne’s book tour! Hopefully I can fit one of those dates into my calendar! My son is planning on moving to Nashville to study and pursue his dream of making it in the music industry and I am excited that I will have this unique bookstore to spend time in when I am visiting him…..

  137. Liz Hifstetter says:

    Looking forward to reading Commonwealth. Right now I’m rereading Charlotte’s Web after reading your wonderful essay about the book and traveling to Maine to see EB White’s home. Looking forward to your book as well.

  138. Have read Bel Canto and would love another of hers! Have Mitten Strings for God in my “next” pile of books!

  139. Love her books and visiting her bookstore, along with Louise Erdrich’s is on my wish list. Would love to win a copy, thanks for the opportunity! Just finished a debut novel, The Nest, which I loved.

  140. I am reading Kings of Colorado…a difficult read, but so many lessons about friendship and life.

  141. Count me in! I am currently reading The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri. A birthday present from my daughter. She chooses the best books for me.

  142. Shawn Knudeson says:

    Bedside table: large stack! Three on the front burner: Zealot by Reza Aslan; A Star for Mrs. Blake by April Smith; and The Pleiadian Workbook by Amorah Quan Yin.
    Thanks and blessings!

  143. I have many books on my nightstand but next up is The Book Thief. My daughter is reading it in her high school English class, so I thought we could read it together. Thanks for the giveaway. And love your blog!

  144. Sandra Tines says:

    It is amazing that I logged on to your blog and just read your thoughts on Ann Patchett. I am sixty eight and ashamed to admit that I just discovered her this weekend. Having just finished most of This is the Story of a Happy Marriage ( I skipped around a bit) and crying my eyes out after reading The Mercies, I can’t wait to read her new book. I have already got my name on a waiting list at our local library for it in case I don’t win here. I will be starting Bel Canto next.

  145. Hi Katrina!

    I would love to win this book! I’m excited to read it… Enjoyed this Blog post and happy to subscribe. Just started a blog of my own… working out the kinks!


  146. Finishing up The Light Between Oceans (for myself) and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (reading with my 8 year old) and a wide variety of others with my 6 year old and 3 year old. My 8 year old started Little House on the Prairie, but was devastated pages in when Laura’s dog is left behind and dies. She couldn’t continue.

  147. Currently reading The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian. Would love a copy of Ann”s new book!

  148. Count me in. I’m about to begin Cheryl Strayed’s Torch

  149. I just heard Ann Patchett interviewed on one of my favorite NPR stations. Of course I want to read her new book so count me in!

  150. Carla Ludwig says:

    On my bedside table is your “Magical Journey”. I just discovered your Blog and ordered the book immediately….just received it yesterday and can’t put it down. All I can say is THANK YOU!

  151. I’m almost finished with Sweetbitter and ready to start Patient HM. I’d love to read Commonwealth after reading your review so please count me in.

  152. I have always – ALWAYS – loved anything Ann wrote. Can’t wait to read this latest one!

  153. Katrina Kenison says:

    Congratulations to Leslie Basham, winner of a signed copy of Commonwealth. Many thanks to all who entered, and a big collective thank you for the fabulous reading list you all generated here. So many good books, so little time. . .

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