By: Nora-Grayce Orosz
Bedside Reading is proud to welcome Julie Chen to our program. Julie's children's book, When I Grow Up, is a charming tale of a parent's love, acceptance, and encouragement. We were able to chat with Julie about her latest endeavor as a children's author, as well as her own childhood favorite books and her son, Charlie, for whom the book was inspired by. Read our full conversation here:
BR: Tell us a little bit about your book, When I Grow Up, and what it was like to work with New York Times bestselling artist and Caldecott Honor recipient Diane Goode as an illustrator.
JC: The story follows a young boy and his mom during the child’s nightly wash up routine. As he is getting ready to go to sleep he tells his mom all the things he dreams of becoming when he’s a grown up. Diane Goode captures my son’s big personality and lets the boy be the star of the show while finding clever ways to incorporate the mother on each page. Sometimes she’s right there as herself. Other times she’s drawn as a rocket ship, or her face is the center of a flower or a hot air balloon. It’s subtle message that the boy’s mom will always be there for him. I love telling new readers to look for the mom on each page. It becomes a game for kids, with the reward of knowing they’re never alone.
BR: Julie, you are a successful TV personality, wife, mom, and now author. When I Grow Up is your debut book and it's for kids. Why write a children's book?
JC: I was approached by Simon and Schuster soon after becoming a mom to my son Charlie, asking would I be interested. At first I thought about doing a Chinese new year book to teach my son the traditions and why we celebrate the way we do, but then I thought I would love to let him know that no matter what he chooses in life, I’ve got his back. I will support him and believe in him.
BR: Your son Charlie is nine years old, how did he help with the writing process? And what does he want to be when he grows up?
JC: My son has such a creative mind. He dreams big and has an incredible imagination. Just watching his aspirations and ideas constantly grow and change guided me tremendously in writing this book. Right now he says [he wants to be] a director. But he is a hambone and also wants to be “a comedy actor who can also do drama.” He love Tom Hanks and Jonah Hill.
BR: When you were a kid, what did you dream about doing as a grownup?
JC: Since age 14 I wanted to be a TV news journalist. My mom planted the seed in my head while watching the local news in NYC. We saw an Asian, female news anchor, and my mom said, "This is your calling." She was right. Mom is always right!
BR: When you were growing up, what was your favorite book?
JC: My favorite book was The Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Huchet Bishop. First, it was one of the few books that was about people like me! Second, the characters had superhero talents...one brother can swallow the sea, another can stretch his legs, another is immune to fire. Third, there was intrigue of a mister charge and lastly, it’s about family sticking together at the end of the day and justice prevailing!
BR: For some authors, writing can be challenging. How much did you enjoy the process, and would you write another book?
JC: I loved the process because my inspiration was to show my son how much I love him and celebrate him and want to encourage him. I would love to write another book following Charlie at the same age he is in When I Grow Up. There’s so much ground to cover and it’s so innocent and sweet. It’s a process that opens up your heart.
BR: Julie, what's your favorite and hardest thing about being a mom?
JC: The hardest thing for me being a mom is saying no and sticking to it! My son can be very convincing (and relentless) while making solid arguments why I should let him do something.
BR: Lastly, When you are not working and find time to relax, what do you enjoy reading?
JC: I like reading fiction for escape. Right now I am reading two books: My Korean Deli by Ben Ryder Howe and Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.
When I Grow Up by Julie Chen is available for purchase here.
By: Nora-Grayce Orosz
It seems like spring has just sprung, and yet we're already preparing for the dog days of summer. All our fellow bibliophiles know that there's nothing better than sitting on a quiet beach, or lounging poolside with the sun on your skin and a great book in hand.
To prepare you for the summer season, we've gathered a list of some of our favorite upcoming beach reads. Whether you like to keep it light, and fun, or you prefer to sink deep into a hefty page-turner, we've got a something for every reader in this list.
And if you really want to fill your summer with an endless supply of beach reads, reserve a tote bag of our hand-picked Bedside Reading Summer Hamptons books. Act fast though—this is our most anticipated program of the year!
1. Whatever It Takes by Jessica Pack
This enticing novel from Jessica Pack skillfully unravels a web of family secrets with refreshing originality. A month before her 25th birthday, Sienna finds herself facing a cancer diagnosis and a quest to uncover the truth surrounding her late mother—whose only memories have been gleaned from letters written in the final weeks of her life. "Whatever It Takes" is a fascinating look into family, identity, and parenthood.
2. Montauk by Nicola Harrison
"Montauk" is Nicola Harrison's glamorous debut, and will have readers pining for their own summer of extravagance by the seaside. Picture this: Montauk, Long Island in 1938—the summer playground for New York City's wealthy elite. When Beatrice Bordeaux is sequestered to the seaside town for the summer, she is forced to confront truths about her relationship, her past, and her future.
3. The Farm by Joanne Ramos
Joanne Ramos' "The Farm" is a chilling, and timely dystopian story of the sacrifices women will make to secure a better life. Ramos has penned a heart-pounding, page-turner akin to Atwood's "Handmaids Tale," that will likely have you up until the wee hours of the night.
4. The Nine by Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg
This highly suspenseful novel from Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg tells the story of a well-intentioned, yet overbearing mother, and her brilliant son Sam. When Sam soon discovers the troubling underworld to his prestigious boarding school, his revelation threatens to shake the core of not only the school, but Sam's family as well.
5. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb
Respected writer and psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb pens a triumphant new novel that's receiving some serious praise. Now in development as a TV series with ABC, "Maybe You Should Talk to Someone" has been called, "An irresistibly addictive tour of the human condition," by Kirkus Review.
6. The Canary's Song by Natalie Banks
"The Canary's Song" is a riveting story filled with suspense, and complex characters. What begins as a romantic getaway for Juliette in an attempt to bolster her crumbling marriage, turns into a fight for her life in the North Carolina wilderness. You won't be able to put this book down!
7. The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates
Philanthropist, business mogul and global women's advocate Melinda Gates shares her ideas on empowering women and thus, changing the world. In this New York Times Bestseller, Gates provides her own manifesto, garnered from years of advocacy work, that calls for resolutions to society's most troubling issues. Do pick up The Moment of Lift if you want to be inspired!
8. The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary
This charming novel from Beth O'Leary transports us to foggy London, to a flat that's being inhabited by two strangers. One has domain during the day, the other, gets nights; but in between, the two begin leaving each other notes around the apartment. "The Flatshare" is a romantic tale of two strangers turned roommates turned...
9. Lost and Found In Spain: Tales of an Ambassador's Wife by Susan Lewis Solomont
When Susan Solomont uproots her life to join her husband in Spain where he has been appointed U.S. Ambassador, she never expects how drastically her life would change. This fascinating part memoir, part travelogue tells the story of Solomont's journey into making a life for herself in a new country, and finding her voice. Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry praised Lost and Found in Spain, “[In Lost and Found in Spain,] Susan Solomont makes the patriotic expatriate life her own and reminds us that an Ambassadorship is a family calling.”
10. Inglorious Arts by Alan Hruska
This latest Alec Brno novel from Alan Hruska is perfect for the crime buffs and thriller junkies alike. Inglorious Arts will grip readers from the very first pages as they follow New York lawyer Alec Brno in his next, seemingly impossible assignment. With a plot that barrels full-speed ahead, this is another page-turned that's sure to keep readers engrossed.
11. On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
From celebrated author of The Hate You Give, comes the highly anticipated sophomore effort, On the Come Up. New York Times Bestseller, Angie Thomas writes the story of 16-year-old aspiring rapper Bri. Bri's come up story is paved with obstacles, and when she decides to pour her frustrations into a rap, it ends up going viral for all the wrong reasons. On the Come Up is a story of courage, and fighting for your dreams from one of the most influential literary voices of a generation.
12. Being Here...Too: Short Stories of Modern Day Enlightenment by Ariel & Shya Kane
Looking for some spiritual fulfillment? Look no further than this collection of real, every day stories from Ariel & Shya Kane to help you live in the moment. We all want an escape from the constant hustle of our lives, but sometimes, just being present is all we need. Being Here...Too will inspire and ground readers and makes for an added layer of relaxation to that sunny afternoon.
13. The Whisper Network by Chandler Baker
This much-buzzed about novel from Chandler Baker tells the timely story of a group of female co-workers who decide to take a stand against their new CEO's promotion. Equal parts witty, hilarious, and cutting, The Whisper Network is an absorbing story of sisterhood.
14. A Veil Removed by Michelle Cox
“Fans of spunky, historical heroines will love Henrietta Von Harmon," writes Booklist of this romantic mystery from Michelle Cox set in 1930's Chicago. When couple Henrietta and Clive's honeymoon is cut short after the untimely death of Clive's father, the newlyweds are forced to return home and investigate his suspicious death. Thus begins the first case for the Von Harmon's! Another irresistible, sexy mystery readers will devour.
15. 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne
USA Today bestselling author Sally Thorne brings us the anticipated follow-up to her hit debut The Hating Game. 99 Percent Mine is a romantic comedy that will have readers getting secondhand butterflies! The novel follows Darcy Bennett as she gets a second chance at her longtime crush. This hilarious read is your ideal summer romcom.
By: Nora-Grayce Orosz
All book-lovers can attest to the feeling of satisfaction after staying up all night to finish a great book. But so many of us are often left wanting more. How can we share in our feelings (and you bet we have lots of 'em) once we put down the book? Look no further—these six great podcasts are the perfect companion to your literary lifestyle. Add these into your podcast rotation, and who knows, you might just discover your new favorite book.
Get Booked by Book Riot
Get Booked is an awesome resource for literally any book-lover. In this weekly podcast, Book Riot puts together a list of book rec's that are guaranteed to have your #ToBeRead pile stacked to the ceiling. What's even cooler about Get Booked is that listeners can request specialized recommendations, which hosts Amanda and Jen will use to tailor their suggestions.
In this weekly podcast, hosts focus on literature written for women, by women. Each month features two episodes on the same theme—one highlighting a range of titles and one discussing two titles more in depth—and two author interviews with talented women writers, reads their show description. Whether you're a fan of female writers, or looking to find your next favorite female author, this podcast is for you!
So Many Damn Books
This podcast discusses all things literary. So Many Damn Books talks all things publishing, reading, and #ToBeRead piles. The quick wit of hosts Christopher and Drew will lure you in and keep you coming back for more. And as an added bonus, each week they feature a signature themed drink to go along with the episode. What's not to love?
Tales by Parcast
This podcast shows us fairytales like we've never heard them before. Tales presents fairytales the way they were originally told: "orally and unadulterated." This fascinating podcast deals with the lore behind our most-beloved stories, and often reveals the dark undertones of the original stories. This one is not to be missed.
The chemistry between this longtime group of friends and self-proclaimed book nerds will have you subscribed to Literary Disco in no time. Friends Julie, Todd, and Rider, talk all things books, and will even occasionally host authors to come in and discuss their favorite books. And fear not, no matter what genre you're into, The Literary Disco has got you covered.
This podcast, hosted by friends Becca and Corinne, discusses the hottest new book releases, literary scandals, and other fun topics. Described as, "a book club where we actually read the books," The Bookstore recreates all the charm of hanging out at your local indie bookstore discussing your new favorite read over a latte.
By: Nora-Grayce Orosz
We are living in an increasingly connected world. We follow, share, pin, like, and retweet so much information on a daily basis, that it's practically second nature to us now. Whether you feel that the age of social media is a blessing or a curse, statistics don't lie—word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most significant determinants for consumer buying habits in 2019.
83% of Americans say that word of mouth recommendations from friends or family members make them more likely to purchase that product or service, according to Talk Triggers. And even more staggering, millennials are 115% more influenced by word of mouth than traditional advertising. Knowing this, its important to consider the impact that word-of-mouth has on your business or brand.
Authors and publishing professionals can certainly take advantage of this marketing technique as well as those in other industries. Here's a few ways to generate goodwill and encourage word-of-mouth:
Seek out Micro- and Nano-Influencers
Remember the old school book clubs? Turns out, book clubs are having a substantial resurgence as of late, but you don't have to make it into Oprah, or Reese Witherspoon's coveted must-read lists to expose your story to broader audiences.
There's a growing, online community of book bloggers on social media who are cultivating their own virtual book clubs to spread the word about great titles. Consider taking advantage of outlets like Instagram, to find micro and nano-influencers who may be interested in reviewing your book. This is a relatively easy, and free, way to increase your word-of-mouth marketing, and in turn, get more eyes on your book.
Hashtags are your friend.
Consider creating a hashtag that readers can use to share their thoughts about your book. When creating your hashtag, remember to pick something unique to your personal brand or book title. Then, promote your hashtags on your own social media, official website, or promotional materials. (You may even consider including your hashtags somewhere on the inner jacket of your book.)
This way, you can easily track, share, and engage with those who are taking the time to promote your book. Engaging with your readers, even through social media, is a simple, yet effective way to build loyalty.
Seeking out established online communities is a perfectly good strategy, but once you begin to build your own following, consider establishing your own communities as well. Creating your own online, or real-life literary communities can be a great tool for boosting word-of-mouth. Start a Facebook group, create an email newsletter, publish a blog and encourage readers/consumers to submit reviews. These are small ways to build a community around your brand that can yield great results.
By utilizing one, or all of these simple tips, you'll be on your way to generating more word-of-mouth marketing and, in turn, increasing exposure to expand your customer-base.
From the brilliant mind of Ted Rubin:
Ted Rubin's Road #RetailRelevancy #NoLetUp
I sat next to Ted Rubin on a plane years ago. I've been following him ever since.