Category Archives: Resources

Coming Of Age With Curtis Sittenfeld’s Prep

978-0-8129-7235-1By Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Prep: A Novel (Random House Trade Paperbacks, November 2005).

When Prep was published, I was thrilled that it resonated with so many people. Countless readers sought me out to tell me that it captured their own feelings of awkwardness, insecurity, and excitement when they left home for the first time. What I hadn’t anticipated was that, in most cases, they were referring to their experiences not at boarding school but in college. Although my protagonist, Lee, is fourteen when she travels to Massachusetts to enroll in the elite Ault School, her adventures and misadventures actually reflect those of many college freshmen: her exposure to other students whose intelligence and sophistication impress and intimidate her and whose families are either far wealthier or far poorer than hers; her shifting relationship with her own family at home; the intimacy of dorm life, where she might find herself brushing her teeth next to someone she’s never spoken to; and the confusion and joy of early sexual experimentation. Continue reading

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My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School

9780345511010By Carlotta Walls Lanier, on why she wrote A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School (One World, July 2010).

I started this book in earnest in January of 2006. I had in mind the upcoming 50th anniversary of our entry into Little Rock’s Central High School. This September 2007 event might have been the impetus, but it wasn’t the reason. (Besides, I sort of missed that deadline by a couple of years!)

As I say in the book, I didn’t talk much about my experiences until the late 1980s, after our 30th anniversary, when the nine of us were all together again in Little Rock and Bill Clinton was governor of the state. In the years that followed, Melba told her story in Warriors Don’t Cry. Ernie had a movie about his experience, The Ernie Green Story. Mrs. Huckaby, the assistant principal, told her story, which was made into a movie called Crisis at Little Rock. Back in the 1960s, Mrs. Bates had told her story in The Long Shadow of Little Rock. Continue reading

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“Sincere, inspiring, and wonderfully human”: Boston College on Colum McCann’s Convocation Address

59846_mccann_colum[2]The following piece was written by Rev. Joseph P. Marchese, Boston College’s Director of First-Year Experience in support of Colum McCann and his novel Let The Great World Spin: A Novel (Random House Trade Paperbacks, November 2009):

In September 2011, Boston College hosted author Colum McCann and featured his novel Let the Great World Spin at the University’s First Year Academic Convocation.  This event is a rich tradition at Boston College, assembling the freshmen class in its totality for the first time, and tasking students with the charge to “Go, set the world aflame!” in the spirit of Saint Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus.  Convocation speakers have featured authors, politicians, and other leaders including Dr. Paul Farmer, Tracy Kidder, Senator John McCain, Jeanette Walls, Ann Patchett, Bill Strickland, and in 2005, then Senator of Illinois, Barack Obama. Continue reading

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A Life Lesson for Every Student

THINK with borderBy Guy P. Harrison, author of Think: Why You Should Question Everything (Prometheus Books, 2013).

Students in their first year of college are experiencing a pivotal time in their lives: for the first time they are on their own, making decisions with real implications and seeing their world expand exponentially. Unfortunately, most institutions do not teach courses devoted to critical thinking, and even fewer make them required of students to graduate, despite the fact that critical thinking and logic are applicable to every discipline and are skills that students can use for a lifetime. Our students need to be armed with excellent critical thinking skills, and Think is just the book to teach them. Continue reading

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Check Out the Book Trailer for Financially Fearless

9780385347617The trailer for Alexa Von Tobel’s new book Financially Fearless has arrived.  The book puts forth Von Tobel’s 50/20/30 plan, which refers to the percentage breakdown of how to spend take-home pay each month: 50% pays for the essentials, 20% sets a foundation for the future, and 30% is left to spend on the things that bring happiness.  It goes on-sale 12/31/13.

Click here to view the trailer.

Alexa Von Tobel will be speaking at Random House’s Cocktails & Conversations event during the 2014 Conference on the First-Year Experience®, February 15-17 in San Diego, CA.

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Order a desk or examination copy here

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Five Days at Memorial Atop Multiple “Best of 2013” Lists

FIVE DAYS- FINAL JACKETThe accolades for Sheri Fink’s Five Days at Memorial continue to roll in.  Fink’s book, which chronicles five days at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, has been included in Time Magazine’s 10 Best non-fiction Books of 2013 and has been named as one of the Top Ten Books of 2013 by the New York Times Book Review as well as the Chicago TribuneThe East Bay Express has additionally included Five Days in their “Best of 2013” list, stating: “This year’s most important book is also one of its most enthralling.”  Finally, Entertainment Weekly has named Five Days as the best nonfiction title of 2013.

We are excited to have Sheri Fink presenting at the 10th Annual Random House Author Luncheon at the 2014 Conference on the First-Year Experience®.  Click here to RSVP.

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The Random House Common Reading Advisory Board Takes NYC

Left to right: Tara Coleman (Kansas State University), Rebecca Campbell (Northern Arizona University), Steven Girardot (Georgia Institute of Technology), Jennifer Latino (Campbell University), Jared Tippets (Purdue University), author Gary Shteyngart (ABSURDISTAN and SUPER SAD TRUE LOVE STORY), Elizabeth Bracher (Boston College), Karen Weathermon (Washington State University), Jeanne Leep (Edgewood College), Daphne Rankin (Virginia Commonwealth University and Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle.

Last month, Random House hosted its Common Reading Advisory Board for the third time in our NYC headquarters.  Like at last year’s meeting, the intensive three-day event touched on a broad range of topics, such as: the use of eBooks and audio-books in common reading; the ins and outs of hosting a successful author event; and how to engage other academic departments across campus.  The nine-member board truly did amazing work, envisioning what the future of common reading will look like while also rooting its actions and decision-making in present reality. Continue reading

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