The CBS New York Book Club has another book you might want to put on your list.
"Fourteen Days: A Collaborative Novel" tells the stories of residents of a building on the Lower East Side during the first days of the COVID lockdown in March 2020.
Mary Calvi spoke to R.L. Stine, one of the 36 authors who contributed chapters to the book to help raise money for the Authors Guild Foundation's advocacy and educational work.
Stine is best known for his dozens of books for children and teens.
"It's a strange place for me," Stine said. "If you like short stories, this is the place to go."
The Authors Guild is America's oldest and largest professional organization for published writers. The book is the group's first anthology, Stine said.
In the book, the residents gather on their building's rooftop during the first days of the pandemic.
"And they tell these amazing stories by all these amazing authors," Stine said.
The authors are Charlie Jane Anders, Margaret Atwood, Joseph Cassara, Jennine Capó Crucet, Angie Cruz, Pat Cummings, Sylvia Day, Emma Donoghue, Dave Eggers, Diana Gabaldon, Tess Gerritsen, John Grisham, Maria Hinojosa, Mira Jacob, Erica Jong, CJ Lyons, Celeste Ng, Tommy Orange, Mary Pope Osborne, Douglas Preston, Alice Randall, Ishmael Reed, Roxana Robinson, Nelly Rosario, James Shapiro, Hampton Sides, R.L. Stine, Nafissa Thompson-Spires, Monique Truong, Scott Turow, Luis Alberto Urrea, Rachel Vail, Weike Wang, Caroline Randall Williams, De'Shawn Charles Winslow, and Meg Wolitzer.
Readers won't know which author wrote which chapter until the end of the book. Stine admits he found that weird.
"When you buy a book of short stories, an anthology, don't you read your favorite authors first?" Stine said. "Now you have to guess who wrote what, unless you go to the back... and say oh, here's Scott Turow's story, here's Margaret Atwood's story, and you can go find it. Otherwise it's a real guessing game."
According to Guinness World Records, Stine is the world's most prolific author of children's horror fiction novels. His works include the popular "Fear Street" and "Goosebumps" series.
Stine said he's written the "Goosebumps" series for more than 31 years, and he's working on a new title called "Say My Name, Say My Name."
"There's nothing like stealing from Beyonce," Stine said.
"Fourteen Days: A Collaborative Novel" is in bookstores on February 6, 2024.
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"Fourteen Days: A Collaborative Novel" Edited by Margaret Atwood and Douglas Preston
From the publisher: Set in a Lower East Side tenement in the early days of the COVID-19 lockdowns, Fourteen Days is a collaborative novel from the Authors Guild, with an unusual twist: each character in this diverse, eccentric cast of New York neighbors has been secretly written by a different, major literary voice-from Margaret Atwood and Celeste Ng to Tommy Orange and John Grisham.
One week into the COVID-19 shutdown, tenants of a Lower East Side apartment building in Manhattan have begun to gather on the rooftop and tell stories. With each passing night, more and more neighbors gather, bringing chairs and milk crates and overturned pails. Gradually the tenants-some of whom have barely spoken to each other-become real neighbors. General editors Margaret Atwood and Douglas Preston and a star-studded list of contributors create an ode to the people who couldn't escape when the pandemic hit.
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