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Our friend Jennifer Hart at www.BookClubGirl.com wrote earlier this week about a fundraiser taking place on September 23rd to benefit the Mark Twain House & Museum, which is in danger of closing. The extravaganza, “Writers Reading for Twain,” features authors Sara Gruen, Tasha Alexander, David Gates, Phillip Lopate, Tom Perrotta, Arthur Phillips, Stewart O’Nan, Amy MacKinnon, Kristy Kiernan, Robert Hicks, Andy Carroll, Philip Beard, and Jon Clinch (whose novel Finn reimagines the life of Huckleberry Finn’s father). Admission is $40 for the reading/signing and $100 to attend a reception along with the reading/signing. Click here for more information about the event.

Jennifer has an excellent suggestion for book club members looking for a way to help support the Mark Twain House, as well as Edith Wharton’s estate, The Mount, in the Berkshires, which is also facing financial troubles: select a Twain or Wharton work to read in your book club and have each member bring $10-20 to donate to the respective author house. If you’re feeling especially generous, do it for both! My book club recently read The House of Mirth, and in our twelve years of meeting we all agreed that it inspired one of our best discussions ever. 

And for further proof that classic literary scribes never go out of style (see Tuesday’s post about Edgar Allan Poe making headlines), there is more Mark Twain news. HarperStudio, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, just announced plans to publish Who is Mark Twain? — a collection of 22 previously unpublished short pieces written by Twain — on April 21, 2009, the 99th anniversary of the writer’s death. –Shannon McKenna Schmidt 

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“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.” —Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad In 1867, a young Mark Twain spied an advertisement for a cruise to Europe and the Holy Land, the first organized tourism in American history. He convinced a California newspaper to fund his passage on the five-and-a-half-month excursion in exchange for weekly columns. Twain later turned the trip reporting into his first full-length book, The Innocents Abroad, which one reviewer deemed “instructive, humorous [and] racy.” An interesting exhibit at the New York Historical Society delves into the story behind Twain’s lively travelogue, published 150 years ago and his bestselling book during his lifetime. The exhibit runs through February 2, 2020. #marktwain #theinnocentsabroad #classiclit #literarytravel #noveldestinations #nyc #nyhistoricalsociety @nyhistory
Giving thanks today and every day for great storytelling and superb novels like this one. ... Rules of Civility follows Katey Kontent, a smart, witty, ambitious young woman, through the working world and into the New York social circle in the late 1930s, beginning with a chance encounter at a Greenwich Village jazz bar on New Year’s Eve. The story is compellingly told, with lovely writing and a vivid New York City backdrop. Not only are there echoes of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Edith Wharton, tales infused with glamour and grief, literary lovers will appreciate the abundance of bookish references throughout. “I’ve come to realize,” muses Katey, “that however blue my circumstances, if after finishing a chapter of a Dickens novel I feel a miss-my-stop-on-the-train sort of compulsion to read on, then everything is probably going to be just fine.” ... #happythanksgiving #happyreading #gratitude #greatstorytelling #rulesofcivility #amortowles #booksofinstagram #igreads #bookwormsofinstagram #nycnovels #instabookstagram #booksintheair
Nighttime browsing before meeting up with my book group. Or, holiday shopping for me. 🎁 #strandbooks #bryantpark #wintervillage #nyc #booksofig #bookstagram #bookstores

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