A Conversation with Kenji Yoshino, author of Speak Now: Marriage Equality on Trial

35472_yoshino_kenjiIn this post, Kenji Yoshino discusses his forthcoming book Speak Now: Marriage Equality on Trial (Crown, April 2015).  The renowned legal scholar’s newest work tells the definitive story of Hollingsworth v. Perry, the trial that will stand as the most potent argument for marriage equality.  Advanced copies are available, please email commonreads@penguinrandomhouse.com (limited to first ten respondents).

Q. SPEAK NOW revisits the much-publicized Hollingsworth v. Perry federal trial, which overturned Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage. Why did you feel this case warranted closer examination?
A. When I read the 2010 decision in the case striking down Prop 8, I noticed that it was different in kind from other decisions on same-sex marriage. The 136-page opinion was encrusted with facts, which were drawn from the twelve-day Hollingsworth v. Perry trial, the first federal trial ever on this topic. Then, when I read the 3,000-page transcript of the proceedings, I had the experience of many readers—perhaps the experience that defines us as readers—of “falling into” the text and not emerging into everyday life until I had turned the final page. It was a shining civil rights document—more thorough, rigorous, and dramatic than any debate I had ever encountered on the subject of same-sex marriage. Because the trial was not televised, I became obsessed with bringing the proceedings to the general public. Continue reading

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Seattle Reads The Painter

9780804170154The Washington Center for the Book has recently selected The Painter by Peter Heller as their 2015 Seattle Reads—a common reading program that goes beyond the college campus, promoting literacy and community engagement by facilitating reading and discussion. We wanted to share this good news and suggest that it might provide an opportunity, especially if you already have a common reading program, for community involvement.

A stunning, savage novel of art and violence, love and grief, The Painter is the story of a man intent on using the losses he has suffered to create a meaningful life: Continue reading

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First-Year Experience Author Dinner

FYE-DinnerKnopf Doubleday, Penguin Group USA, Macmillan, and HarperCollins are thrilled to feature the following authors the upcoming 34th Annual Conference on The First-Year Experience® in Dallas, TX:

• Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven
• Ruth Ozeki, author of A Tale for the Time Being
• Richard Blanco, author of The Prince of los Cocuyos
• Alice Goffman, author of On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City

Complimentary copies of all of these books will be made available and signings will follow dinner.

This exclusive event for common reading committee members and instructors will take place Saturday, February 7th at 7:45 PM in Dallas Ballroom Salon E. Click here for the official invitation.

Space is limited. Please RSVP by email.

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Random House’s Top Common Reading Adoptions of 2014

Each year Freshmen across the country read Random House titles in conjunction with common reading programs. From small liberal arts colleges to large public universities, Random House titles have impacted thousands of first-year students. Here are some of our top adoptions from 2014:

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie selected by Dominican University; Duke University; Earlham College; Macalester College; Pennsylvania State University; Pomona College

Machine Man by Max Barry selected by Clemson University

Global Weirdness: Severe Storms, Deadly Heat Waves, Relentless Drought, Rising Seas, and the Weather of the Future by Climate Central selected by Brookhaven College Continue reading

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How to “Create Value in the World” with Zero to One

9780804139298By Blake Masters, co-author of Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future (Crown Business, September 2014)

What important truth do very few people agree with you on? It sounds like an easy question. It isn’t. Wrestle with it for a few moments and you may be tempted to give up, but don’t. Every great business—indeed, every way in which the future will be different and better than the present—is rooted in a good answer to this question. Contrarian truths may be hard to find, but in a world in which so much of what we do is to simply repeat what’s been done before, creating new value means thinking from first principles, not following the crowd. Continue reading

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Filed under about us, Author Essay, Hear it from them!

The Internet Society: How Our Online Lives Reveal Who We Really Are

9780345812582By Christian Rudder, author of Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking) (Crown, September 2014)

My fellow first-years and I were the first incoming class at Harvard to get official email addresses from the school. I remember thinking, what nerd is going to send me an electronic letter? Who wouldn’t just call me? What is this garbage? It was 1993. That fall, I used my roommate’s Mosaic browser to look up guitar tab for a Steve Miller song and then, my curiosity about “The Joker” well satisfied, pretty much forgot about the Internet. Continue reading

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Random House Academic Resources Confirms Author Lineup for the 2015 First-Year Experience® Conference

2015FYECOCKTAILSANDCONVERSATIONS2015FYEAUTHORLUNCHEON

Random House Academic Resources’ author line-up for the 2015 First-Year Experience® Conference (February 7-10, Dallas, Texas) is now confirmed.  Our authors hail from diverse backgrounds and their books reflect that: from books on social justice to best-selling novels, we will have something for every FYE program.  Here is the line-up (in order of appearance): Continue reading

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Filed under about us, FYE Speakers Series, Top Adoptions