The League of Extraordinary ‘Gentlemen’

At McNally Jackson on January 5, authors (l. to r.) Jason Reynolds (When I Was the Greatest), Matt de la Peña (The Living), Todd Strasser, (No Place), Brendan Kiely (standing, The Gospel of Winter), and Chris Lynch (Little Blue Lies), gathered for a panel discussion on writing literary YA fiction geared toward boys. The occasion was also a kick-off for The Gentleman's Tour, which teams Simon & Schuster authors Kiely, Reynolds, and Lynch, whose new novels are issue-driven and feature central male characters. John Corey Whaley (Noggin) will join the tour in April. During this week’s event, the authors indulged in the perfect complement to a literary affair – a soupçon of Scotch.

A January Thanks-Giving

Phoenix-area teachers and librarians received a big thank you from local YA authors on January 4. The appreciation party, the third of its kind, was held at the home of Aprilynne Pike (Earthbound). As Pike explained, “The point of these parties is simple: to give us local YA authors a chance to thank teachers and librarians for everything they do for our community.” Guests were invited to pick up free books provided by the authors’ publishers and local booksellers. This year, the authors in attendance, which included Bill Konigsberg (Openly Straight), Shelley Coriell (Goodbye, Rebel Blue), Lisa McMann (The Unwanteds series), and others, were able to give away more than 20 boxes of books to around 150 teachers and librarians. Here, Chandler, Ariz., librarian Lynn Lam carries an impressive stack of books. “I know that we can’t just fill every library and classroom with books for free,” Pike said. “But that didn’t stop us from trying!”

Once More with ‘Passion’

Tonya Hurley and friends celebrated the launch of the second book in her The Blessed trilogy, Passionaries, on January 7 at powerHouse Arena bookstore in Brooklyn. In attendance were actor Parker Posey (shown here reading a selection from the new novel), who is a longtime friend of Hurley, as well as model Hallie Hutchinson, who starred in the book trailer as main character Cecelia. Cocktails named after the book’s three main characters – St. Lucy, St. Celia, and St. Agnes – were served to guests. After Posey and Hutchinson read, Gayle Forman Just One Year interviewed Tonya. To up the hip quotient, events concluded with an acoustic guitar performance and a raffle in which guests won tickets to Jay-Z and Kings of Leon as well as a signed Arcade Fire record – on vinyl.