Tag Archives: literary tour

Sweet Ride: Penguin Book Truck

30 May

Talk about a sweet ride! Look what I spotted at BookExpo America:

Penguin

That’s the Penguin Book Truck. Here’s Penguin’s press release on it:

Penguin Group (USA) Launches The Penguin Book Truck And Pushcart

NEW YORK, May 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Penguin Group (USA) announced today the launch of its first mobile bookstore: the Penguin Book Truck and the Penguin Book Pushcart.  Inspired by the long tradition of the library book mobile and the recent popularity of food trucks, this mobile bookstore is the perfect way to bring authors and books directly to readers.

The Penguin Book Truck and Penguin Book Pushcart will make their debut on May 30th at New York’s Javits Center during the Book Expo of America.  The Penguin Book Pushcart will be at the Delecorte Theater in New York City’s Central Park for performances at the 2013 season of Shakespeare in the Park.  The Penguin Book Truck and Pushcart will also visit the American Library Association Conference in Chicago, ” Tom Sawyer Day ” at the Mark Twain house in Hartford, CT and numerous other bookstores, festivals, library events and author signings throughout the year.  In October, in conjunction with the National Steinbeck Center’s kickoff of the 75th Anniversary of the publication of John Steinbeck ‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Grapes of Wrath, (published by Penguin) the Penguin Book Truck will travel West on Route 66 from Oklahoma to California, following the route of the fictional Joad Family and stopping at numerous museums, universities and historical sites along the way.

The Penguin Book Truck and Pushcart will stock books from all Penguin Group imprints and include a wide selection of titles by authors ranging from Patricia Cornwell to John Green , Elizabeth Gilbert to Khaled Hosseini , Nate Silver to Sylvia Day as well as Penguin Classics. The selection will also be customized for individual events.

Susan Petersen Kennedy , President of Penguin Group (USA), said: “We think the Penguin Book Truck and Pushcart will allow us to, directly and in partnership with bookstores, connect writers with readers and to spread the iconic Penguin brand in fun and exciting new ways. This will be a movable feast of today’s great books.”

Featuring Penguin’s iconic orange logo the Penguin Book Truck is 27 feet long with 96 linear feet of bookshelves on both sides. The truck is LED lit for nighttime events, has awnings to protect shoppers from the elements, and cafe tables and chairs where browsers can sit and authors can sign books.

The Penguin Book Pushcart is inspired by the design of the classic New York City hotdog cart.  It will be transported by the Penguin Book Truck to various locations including bookstores, parks, beaches, sidewalks in shopping districts, summer theaters, and green markets.

To learn more, view photos and follow the schedule of the Penguin Book Truck and Pushcart, you can visit them online at www.penguinbooktruck.com or follow them on twitter @PenguinBookTruck or on facebook at www.facebook.com/PenguinBookTruck.

About Penguin Group (USA)

Penguin Group (USA) Inc. is the U.S. member of the internationally renowned Penguin Group. Penguin Group (USA) is one of the leading U.S. adult and children’s trade book publishers, owning a wide range of imprints and trademarks, including Viking, G. P. Putnam ‘s Sons, The Penguin Press, Riverhead Books, Dutton, Penguin Books, Berkley Books , Gotham Books , Portfolio, New American Library, Plume, Tarcher, Philomel, Grosset & Dunlap, Puffin, and Frederick Warne , among others. The Penguin Group (www.penguin.com) is part of Pearson plc, the international media company.

Wish I could hitch a ride to Tom Sawyer Day and of course get my kicks on Route 66 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of John Steinbeck‘s novel!

Books and road tripping? Jack Kerouac would be proud. Hm… maybe they’ll let me take a cross-country trip on the Penguin Book Truck when Burning Furiously Beautiful comes out. An author can dream….

My first thought, though, when I heard about the Penguin Book Truck was that it reminded me of a book I had edited come to life:

Parnassus

Christopher Morley’s Parnassus on Wheels.

 

 

Lowell Celebrates Kerouac 2012: The Basics

5 Oct

Lowell Celebrates Kerouac kicks off next week, and this year the literary festival features a full week-long schedule of fantastic events with an incredible lineup of authors and poets, musicians, and filmmakers.  Perhaps most exciting of all, Jack Kerouac’s play “Beat Generation,” written the same year that On the Road was published, will also have its premiere during Lowell Celebrates Kerouac.

Roger Brunelle will also be leading his guided tours of Kerouac’s old haunts, which in the past have been my favorite part of LCK.  Brunelle has firsthand experience of Lowell and injects his tours not only with fascinating historical knowledge but also personal stories and warmth from his own life.

Visiting Lowell and seeing the Merrimack River and walking the bridges gives readers of Kerouac better insight into the landscape he describes in his Lowell novels and his upbringing in this Massachusetts mill town.  For the first-time visitor, LCK is an opportunity to encounter Kerouac’s hometown.  Many people return year after year to the festival, though, because LCK is also about community.  You meet people who grew up around the same time as Kerouac, and you meet fresh-faced pilgrims eager for experience. You meet people who have read every single one of Kerouac’s books, and you meet people who are new to Beat literature and simply curious.  You meet people who come every year to LCK, and you meet people who just happened to stumble upon it.

Here are a couple tips if you decide to go to Lowell Celebrates Kerouac:

How to get to Lowell by public transportation — There is a Greyhound bus that goes to Lowell, however service is not frequent.  The easier option is to take the commuter rail from Boston to Lowell.  You can take the train from Boston’s North Station.  It runs about once an hour during the weekday and is only about an hour long.

Wear your walking shoes —  If you’re on any of the tours you’ll be doing a bit of walking.  Lowell is a very walkable city, so if the tour or event is meeting anywhere in Lowell you can probably walk there without much difficulty from the center of the city.  It’s usually easier to walk than to catch a cab.  Unlike in major cities, taxis aren’t easily flagged down in Lowell; if you want a taxi, you should call for one in advance.  There are a few sections of Lowell that get a little eerily quiet at night, so after dark it is best to not walk alone, which is commonsense for any city.

Take time out to eat — There will be so much to see and do at LCK that you may forget to actually eat!  Many of the locales you’ll visit during the pub crawl offer food, and there usually is time on the tour to get a bite to eat at the pub, but chances are you’ll be so absorbed in conversation you will neglect eating.  That or maybe pub food just isn’t your thing.  An inexpensive, quick, light, and conveniently located alternative is Brew’d Awakening Coffeehaus, which offers delicious bagel sandwiches and other fare.  It’s a particularly good choice if you’re traveling solo since there’s often live acoustic music, so you can just sit back and read one of the free magazines and listen to some great music without the awkwardness of being in a sit-down restaurant by yourself or being in a takeout joint.  They also have great vegetarian options.

Skip an event or two — You’ll want to attend most events, but you don’t have to attend every single event at LCK.  Lowell has a rich history outside of Jack Kerouac, and discovering the city itself can help you understand the environment in which Kerouac grew up.  Visiting Boott Cotton Mills Museum, for instance, can lead to a great understanding of immigration in Lowell and Kerouac’s desire not to be a “mill rat.”  Meanwhile, the Whistler Museum is a great place to discover another one of Lowell’s great artists.

Here’s the complete schedule from LCK.