August 5, 2020 | Issue #1
Five Facts From Our Friend, Elin Hilderbrand
The one thing you can’t live without in quarantine:
Sourdough bread delivered from Born & Bread on Nantucket. My kids eat the regular sourdough. I like the olive.

Your perfect day:
Every day in my usual summer is perfect. I do my exercise trifecta: jogging, peloton bike and barre class. Then I write by the pool or at the beach all day, making myself a delicious sandwich. Today I’m having a grilled salmon club. Dinner is usually something on the grill and corn on the cob. Occasionally I’ll venture out at night to one of the restaurants offering outdoor dining. Then I read before bed. Sheer perfection!
Your favorite independent bookstore:
Mitchell’s Book Corner here on Nantucket. I’m also partial to the two stores at the Delaware beaches, Bethany Beach Books and Browseabout Books.

The last book you raved about:
LUSTER by Raven Leilani!!!!!

Your next book in ten words or less:
Writer dies goes to beyond watches from above with nudges.
Bookseller of the Week


Our guest, Elin Hilderbrand, chose The Brewster Book Store in Brewster, MA as our featured independent bookseller of the week. This was Elin's childhood bookstore during family vacations on Cape Cod. Visit their custom landing page to shop for all of our books!
Debut Spotlight

On last week's show, we discussed these three recent debut novels that we think are worthy of your time and attention. Check them out! All are in stores NOW!

Remember to shop local!

THE SECOND HOME, by Christina Clancy
THE COMEBACK, by Ella Berman
LOUISIANA LUCKY, by Julie Pennell
Up Close with Kristy Woodson Harvey
One of my favorite things about childhood summers was my weeks at camp. I had some of the most carefree days and made some of the best friends of my entire life amidst the mountain backdrop and fresh air of Camp Hollymont in Black Mountain, NC. Camp was an adventure, a place where I tried new things and learned new strengths. It was a gift my parents gave to me, one that I was excited to give my son when he was old enough. Last year was his first year as a little camper. It was the longest week of my life. The morning we went to pick him up was, of course, the morning I also received the first letter from him telling my husband and me that he was having the best week ever. 

This summer has looked a bit different, obviously, and one of the blows to his little world was that camp was cancelled. But, with a few very savvy social distancing measures and a lot of masks, his two-week session was replaced by perhaps the greatest invention of all time: Family Camp!! 

The only thing better than unpacking your son in his cabin, seeing him smile hesitantly at kids that might still be his friends when he’s 30, and leaving, is doing those same things but then actually getting to stay. For four nights and five days, we ate camp food and sang camp songs and laughed at camp skits. We sailed and swam and strolled home under a sky full of stars so bright it seemed fake. 

There is no doubt that Coronavirus has proved to be challenging and hard, sad and trying. It has taken lives and put others in the lurch, put careers and relationships on hold. But, in the midst of the chaos, there have been gifts. Friends & Fiction is, without a doubt, one of the greatest. Family camp is up there, too. 

A couple weeks ago, I turned 35. Yes, 35, not 29 as we joked on the show. In light of the milestone, I decided to challenge myself to do 35 things that I had never done before. As you might be able to tell from the video, I can check number one off the list...

I feel pretty certain that all of us will remember 2020. We will remember the fear, the isolation, the inconvenience and, for many of us, the sorrow. But we will also remember this specific moment in time, this year that our children were this particular age. We will remember coming together with our communities, the way we found connection in a new way. And me? I’ll remember camp. I’ll remember the smiles on the faces of my son and his friends, the Fudgsicle drips on their sunshirts. And I’ll remember that sky full of stars, as endless and eternal as those carefree summer days once seemed.
Latest News From "The Fab Five"
KRISTIN HARMEL's The Book of Lost Names debuted last week at #14 on the New York Times combined fiction list, #13 on the Publishers Weekly frontlist fiction list, and #3 on Canada’s Toronto Star and Globe & Mail lists.

KRISTY WOODSON HARVEY's has loads of events coming up this week and next. For full details, Click HERE.

PATTI CALLAHAN HENRY is prepping for a big cover reveal for her March 2021 book, Surviving Savannah. If you’d like to participate in the big reveal, you’ll also be entered to win one of five advance publication copies of the book. SIGN UP HERE.

The cover is in progress for MARY KAY ANDREWS’s Summer 2021 book, The Newcomer. We’ll share that when it’s ready to reveal. Meanwhile MKA is busy with daily writing sprints, cooking, and canning homemade spaghetti sauce.

MARY ALICE MONROE’s The Book Club was just re-released with new cover and ‘Dear Reader’ letter from author. Details HERE.
News from the F&F Official Book Club
Do you know yet about the FRIENDS AND FICTION OFFICIAL BOOK CLUB? Run by Friends and Fiction members Brenda Gardner and Michelle Marcus, it's the spot to discuss the books written by the Friends and Fiction host authors in depth—and to chat about the show. Each month, the book club selects a different novel by a Friends and Fiction host author. This month is The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel. On Monday, August 17 at 7pm, Kristin will join Brenda and Michelle in a Facebook Live chat on the FRIENDS AND FICTION OFFICIAL BOOK CLUB page to answer your questions about the book—including spoilers! And every Wednesday night, Brenda and Michelle also host a casual Zoom after-show at 8pm, in which they lead a discussion of the guest author of the week!
Next up for the book club in September: Mary Alice Monroe's On Ocean Boulevard! JOIN THE CLUB NOW!