Before we jump into another year we wanted to take a look back at 2015 –wonderful moments, fantastic stories, amazing friends. Thank you to everyone who made this year so special.
Our World Explorers Kids Club got their monster on with the authors of Peanut Butter and Brains and The Monster Under My Bed. They also visited The Spinnery to learn about all things soft and woolly and threw a Curiosity Day birthday party for their favorite curious monkey! They’ll be doing a little cooking at The Lovin Oven later this winter.
Carrie Rollwagen, fellow Indie bookshop owner and author stopped by for a visit and shared some of the many values of supporting neighborhood businesses that she outlines in her action-provoking book, The Localist.
We teamed up with the Hunterdon County Library to host out-of-this-world authors/illustrators for our first Hunterdon Comic Fest. The event was a huge success. Mark your calendars for second Comic Fest on August 6, 2016!
The Book Garden kicked off the summer with a Frenchtown Celebration to thank everyone who helped make our history book, Frenchtown, NJ: History Along the River, a reality. The Frenchtown Celebration is now our annual welcome to summer. Stay tuned for the 2016 date. Fairies, dragons and other mystical creatures visited the Imaginarium Summer Campers and other galaxies were explored during the Radio Theater Teen Summer Workshop. Speaking of radio theater – the River Town Radio Theatre troupe was featured quarterly on WDVR and performed live at Virginia Napurna Cultural Arts Center.
Bastille Day Fete, Riverfest and Milford Alive brought some of our favorite local authors out to share their work and The Book Garden showcased many of our favorites during our first Local Authors Salon. Among those were Mark Lyons who we would like to congratulate once more for his collection, Brief Eulogies at Roadside Shrines, being honored as one of the “Best Books of 2015” by Kirkus Reviews.
The Book Garden was the setting for book launch celebrations for Tommy Reynolds and Laurie Wallmark, proud authors of The Game: Baseball and America, Growing up Together and Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine, respectively.
Around the neighborhood we welcomed Mary Lou Quinlan as keynote speaker at the Hunterdon Chamber’s Women’s Leadership Summit, and partnered with the Delaware Valley Education Foundation to bring award-winning CNN Correspondent Tom Foreman, and acclaimed author of 22 books, Beth Kephart, to the high school to discuss their work. Beth also taught a memoir workshop at the National Hotel that was so well received we hope she’ll come back in 2016. Pulp Vegetarian Juice Bar was the setting for an emotional evening of poetry with Douglas Piccinnini and Ross Gay, whose latest collection, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, was a finalist for a 2015 National Book Award.
The year wouldn’t have been complete without a visit from our hometown favorite Elizabeth Gilbert. Liz signed copies of her New York Times Best Seller, Big Magic, and spent a magical afternoon engaged in a kitchen conversation on living a creative life.
These are just the highlights of a fabulous year. Thanks to all of our guest authors and friends for enriching our lives. We have a feeling 2016 is going to be another great chapter for The Book Garden and for Frenchtown. Thank YOU for being part of our ongoing celebration of stories and all the best to you and yours for 2016.
See you in the New Year!
Caroline & Robert
(Katie and Ollie too!)