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10-year celebration with Jamie Ford scheduled as Penguin Random House Book Fair kickoff event

Carroll Community College has hosted the Penguin Random House Book Fair annually since 1997. This year, an author talk from best-selling novelist Jamie Ford will be the Friday night kickoff.
Carroll Community College has hosted the Penguin Random House Book Fair annually since 1997. This year, an author talk from best-selling novelist Jamie Ford will be the Friday night kickoff. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times file)

The 22nd annual Penguin Random House Book Fair will kick off Friday night with an author talk with Jamie Ford.

The event will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of his debut novel, “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet,” a historical fiction tale that slices between the two children separated in the violent war years of the 1940s and protagonist Henry’s adult life in 1986.

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The New York Times best-selling author will be at Carroll Community College, 1601 Washington Road, Westminster, Friday, March 1 at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $15 and some spots at the talk were still available as of Tuesday afternoon. They can be purchased online at library.carr.org/bookfair or at any branch of the Carroll County Public Library.

The event will start with the talk, followed by an interview with President of the Carroll County Public Library (CCPL) Board of Trustees and avid reader Joyce Muller. The author will then take questions from the audience.

After the talk with Ford, guests will have a chance to ask him to sign copies of his work.

The ticket price includes a special anniversary edition of the novel “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.” Copies of Ford’s other books will be on sale at the event for the same discount as other titles included in the Penguin Random House Book Fair’s offerings. Leading up to the Book Fair, copies of Ford’s work will be available at A Likely Story Bookstore, 7566 Main Street, Sykesville.

Jamie Ford, NYT bestselling author of "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet," is coming to Carroll County to kick-off Penguin Random House's annual book fair on March 1, 2019.
Jamie Ford, NYT bestselling author of "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet," is coming to Carroll County to kick-off Penguin Random House's annual book fair on March 1, 2019. (Courtesy Photo)

Director of Communications for CCPL Lisa Picker said that in the past decade, Ford’s debut has been a popular choice for book clubs around the area as CCPL has worked with book clubs to help them track down multiple copies of the same title at once.

“Knowing that he was very popular with our book clubs, it seemed like [Ford], would be a great fit for Carroll County,” Picker said.

Typically, historical fiction is popular in the area, and past CCPL authors have included Melanie Benjamin, Karen Abbott and Amy Bloom.

Picker has found the book to appeal to a wide variety of people.

“It’s a story that even though it was written 10 years ago, it has timeless appeal,” she said. “It’s something that a reader could enjoy at any time and be able to appreciate.”

This event is a partnership between Penguin Random House, Carroll Community College, A Likely Story Bookstore, and Carroll County Public Library.

The ability of these organizations to come together to provide an event for the community is “an example of how unique Carroll County is,” Picker said.

On Saturday, two more Penguin Random House authors will lead events for guests.

Suzanne Kaufman, the illustrator of picture book “All are Welcome” will give a book talk at 9:45 a.m. Saturday. The New York Times best-selling book explores diversity in schools. Kaufman is a globally recognized animator and teacher who has worked for Universal and Discovery.

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Author of “The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary” and longtime poet-in-the-schools for the Maryland State Arts Council Laura Shovan will lead “En Garde!: Choreographing an Action Scene,” a workshop aimed at teaching choreography to upper elementary and middle school students. Taking place from 11 a.m. to noon, the workshop will teach them to act out an original action sequence. And there will be Nerf swords.

A full schedule of Book fair events is available at www.carrollcc.edu/bookfair.

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