John Grogan - The Longest Trip Home


Let the Countdown Begin

Friday, October 17, 2008

I've been counting down the days to publication of my new memoir for about, oh, the past eight months. But now it is starting to feel real. The Longest Trip Home hits bookstores and other outlets everywhere on Tuesday, October 21. As I write this from a hotel next to the Mall of America in Minneapolis, that is just four days away. Holy cow! It's really happening!

I am scheduled to kick off my book tour with an appearance Tuesday morning on Good Morning America, so tune in if you are near a television. Then I hit the road with bookstore appearances in Manhattan, Long Island, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Sacramento, Denver, Phoenix, Austin and other cities. (For my complete schedule, please click "Events" in the menu bar at the top of this page). Hope to see as many of you as possible on the road. A lot of authors grumble about the rigors of book tour -- a different city every day -- and I must admit sometimes the hassles of air travel in the age of the $7 junk-food snack and ubiquitous flight delays can be trying. But I love, love, love getting out to meet readers. If you've been to one of my signings, you know I have a lot of fun at these things. I'm a pretty social person and writing is a very solitary act, so I revel in the human contact, and of course in the opportunity to meet interesting people and talk books and writing.

Speaking of interesting people (transition alert!), I just recently returned from three pre-publication appearances -- all to discuss The Longest Trip Home with some of my favorite people on the planet: booksellers. I spoke at the Southern Independent Booksellers annual convention in Mobile, Ala., at the Great Lakes Booksellers Association annual meeting in Detroit, and at the Books-a-Million annual sales conference in Birmingham, Ala. Each event drew several hundred booksellers, and it was a great opportunity to talk about my book with them and read a passage or two. I was thrilled at the warm and friendly reception they gave me.

The Longest Trip Home, as you have probably gathered from this website, is about my life as a somewhat reluctant Catholic (yes I lied in my first confession!) growing up with loving and very devout parents who wanted nothing more than for their children to embrace their deep faith. The more I tried to meet their expectations, the more I seemed to foul things up -- often in comical ways. It took me well into adulthood until I eventually found my way to that place in the world that I could call my own. And then, finally, my way back to my childhood home to say those things that needed saying.

Some early reviews have started to roll in -- most recently a four-star review in this week's issue of People magazine. The People review reads in part: "In this prequel [to his 2005 bestseller Marley & Me] the author looks back at his [Catholic] childhood in suburban Detroit -- and proves he doesn’t need a four-legged subject to write a winning book. . . . As he did in Marley, Grogan makes readers feel they have a seat at the family dinner table.  He’s now a nonpracticing Catholic, but here—to wonderful effect—he confesses all."

And in this morning's Rocky Mountain News, reviewer Sarah Peasley Miller, writes: "You don't have to be Catholic to enjoy Grogan's story of growing up outside Detroit in the 1960s. Filled with hilarious coming-of-age adventures and gratifying insights, The Longest Trip Home is sure to appeal to a wide audience. If Marley & Me was one note -- albeit one pretty good note, as it turns out --The Longest Trip Home is a chorus in four-part harmony."
To read the full review, please go to:

By clicking the "Review" tab on the top of my this page, you can keep up on what critics are saying about the book. I also hope to add some podcasts, maybe even video clips, to this site in the days ahead. [And let me thank the wonderful team at HarperCollins, led by Lynn Grady, that put together this cool new website for me.]

If I sound excited about the launch of my new book, I am. As I told the bookseller groups, this is a story that means a great deal to me bebause it is about a family that means a great deal to me: my own.

Now I need to get ready for a 2 p.m. appearance at the Mall of America here. This is a Marley & Me event, but I'll be talking about The Longest Trip Home, too. If you're in the area, please swing by and say hello.

Ciao for now.... John

posted by John Grogan at 9:02 AM


Blogger Gi said...

Here I am again!
Oh, how jealous I'm of all people who will be able to go to one of your tour events, I wish I could go!
Well, congratullations for all that and success!
"As he did in Marley, Grogan makes readers feel they have a seat at the family dinner table" - I just can't wait!
Oh, and I saw the trailer of the movie, Marley running on the beach.. how cute!
That's it for now!

Giovana, 19
São Paulo - Brazil

3:39 PM  
Blogger Supervixen said...

Hey there!
My name is Larissa, I'm 24 and I'm posting from São Paulo, Brazil. I've just finished reading "Marley & Me" today and I absolutely loved it. Me and my husband [newly wed!] bought a Beagle in january. He is 10 months now and I found your book extremely similar to what we have been going through with Paco. I've had dogs for all my life and I love them more than I love humans, LOL! Anyways, I just felt like writing something to you, because your book made a difference in my life and mad me feel not so lonely when it comes to the world's worst dog EVER! And I will surely read more of your books, you're an amazing writer.

Best wishes,

4:13 PM  
Blogger Ceci said...


I read "Marley and Me" and loved it, and share with you a story about my late dog Kissy in this site. I read the sample of "The Longest Trip Home" and I really felt heartwarmed. I can see from your books that you view a solid family as one of the most important things in life, like a seasoning to our hearts.
And I hope that your own family will have and give much happiness!

1:32 PM  
Blogger Maia said...

Dear Mr. Grogan,
I am a fifth grader and have just finished reading Marley & Me. It's one of those books when you have to stop reading, but you don't want to. I never knew just one dog could do so many crazy things. I have two cats, and they don't do much at all. I cried near the end of the book at an after-school program. I hope no one saw me! If only I could meet you in person, I would ask so many questions! Maybe you could come to my school sometime. I think you should write about your other dogs. Are you writing any other new books anytime soon? If you are, I'd be happy to read them. I can't wait to read the second book of Marley & Me!

Maia(Yardley, PA)

3:43 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

I am a 4th grade teacher in a cyber school in PA. I read Marley and Me to my students over the internet. They just love it. We are very excited about the upcoming movie. I am hoping to arrange a field trip to one of your book signing events with my students in the eastern part of PA. I hope we will be able to meet you. The parents of my students say that it is amazing to watch their children sit at the computer listening to me read and laugh at the story. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with Mrley in such a funny and touching way.

Kathy Elizabethtown, PA

7:39 AM  
Blogger jl said...

This post has been removed by the author.

6:44 AM  
Blogger jl said...

I am the mother and a wonderful daughter nine years old and two dogs, Edward (2) and Delta (7mos). Our household is crazy with the dogs running all over the place and eating socks and gloves. I cannot tell you how many we've gone through! My daughter just finished reading your book "Marley and Me" last night. We both are anxious to see the movie as well. Thank you so much for sharing such a beautiful life experience with all of us. We wouldn't trade our dogs for any others in the world and I'm sure others would say the same. I look forward to your next book. Take care.
Jennifer and the crew

6:46 AM  
Blogger Barking Dogs said...

Congrats on the great reviews the book is getting!

2:59 PM  
Blogger Jo said...

I am the dog mom of 2 chihuahuas. One of them (NuttNutt) is the worst chihuahua in the world. I know big dogs have more destructive power due to their size- but don't let size fool you!
I LOVED Marley and me and await he movie.

8:16 AM  

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