February 26, 2013

Ruta Sepetys Rocks Books and Books . . .

Last week, I had the great pleasure of hearing author Ruta Sepetys give a talk at Books & Books.

Hubby and I drove two hours through rush hour traffic on a weeknight to be there.


A little more than a year ago, Steve Watkins, Julia Durango and I judged the Golden Kite Awards.  We read through 450 books . . .

And ultimately chose Ruta's Between Shades of Gray as the winner of the Golden Kite Award. 

Not to be confused with that masterpiece of literature, Fifty Shades of Gray.  Even though Ruta's book does start with:  They took me in my nightgown.

Here's a blurb about the book:  Fifteen-year-old Lina Vilkas is arrested by the Soviet secret police and deported to Siberia with her mother and younger brother. Lina fights for her life, vowing that if she survives she will honor her family and the thousands like hers by burying her complete story in a jar on Lithuanian soil. Lina’s writings chronicle her experience, her struggle to accept help from a kind Soviet guard she’s supposed to hate, and retain her dignity without losing faith in mankind.

Between Shades of Gray has been published in 41 countries.

So, when Ruta's follow up, Out of the Easy, came out, I had to get it.

And when I found out Ruta would be at Books & Books at the beginning of her 10-week tour, I had to get there.

She was worth the trip!

Ruta gave the best author/book talk I've heard at a bookstore.  Her stories were fascinating, funny and harrowing.  They involved American idol, being in a prison camp and spending a day with a mafia boss.  Her personality is warm and genuine.  And she stayed until every last question was answered and every book signed.

I'm an even bigger fan now!

Donna & Ruta Sepetys at Books and Books
Ruta's tour will take her to many places in the United States, London, Paris, several locations in Lithuania and she will be speaking to the European Parliament! 

Here's her touring schedule.  If you get a chance to see Ruta speak, don't miss it!


Janeen Mason said...

Sorry I missed her at Books and Books! I'm off to buy her titles now. Nothing like a glowing recommendation from a trusted friend. Thanks, Donna! I can't wait to read them.

Wild About Words said...

Janeen, just be sure to have a tissue or two handy. And allow a lot of time; you won't be able to stop reading!

Genetta said...

Great blog post, Donna! Ruta is an amazing speaker and author. Her tour started in Memphis two weeks ago, and everyone there was mesmerized by her words. I'm glad you were able to attend her Books & Books presentation. And I'm so glad you and the committee selected BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY for the Golden Kite Award!

Wild About Words said...


Thanks for stopping by the blog and for singing the praises of Ruta. She's really something!

All best,