John Grogan - The Longest Trip Home


Blogging for the Book Lady

Friday, November 13, 2009

It seems like most of the fall has been spent on the road. September was my children's book tour for Marley Goes to School. And October had me back out for the paperback release of The Longest Trip Home, which is currently #31 on The New York Times' extended paperback nonfiction bestseller list. Thanks to everyone who turned out to say hi.

I just arrived back home in Pennsylvania from my final trip of the year, to The Woodlands, Texas, outside of Houston, where I spoke at a charity fundraiser for the John Cooper School. Prior years, the event featured Barbara Bush, Dave Barry, and Mitch Albom, so I certainly felt in good company. And now my traveling is behind me for a while. I actually did something I haven't done in months -- fully unpacked my suitcase and stowed it in the attic instead of keeping it half-packed in the corner ready to go. It feels good to be home for awhile, and I'm celebrating by splitting and stacking a winter's worth of firewood to warm my little writing (and daydreaming) cottage out by the barn.

Just as I was winding down my fall travel, I received an irresistible invitation from to be a guest blogger. The Book Lady's Blog is a fun site filled to the brim with unbridled passion for books of all kinds. Rebecca, who is the Book Lady, asked me to write about The Longest Trip Home, and the story behind the story. I was all too happy to oblige.

In her introduction to my essay, Rebecca wrote:

"About this time last year, I stayed up late one night to finish John Grogan’s memoir The Longest Trip Home. As I sobbed my way through its final chapters, grateful that my husband was no longer awake to tease me for my emotional reaction to a book, I realized I was finishing one of the best books of the year. The Longest Trip Home left an impression I won’t soon forget, and I am thrilled to welcome John Grogan to guest post here at The Book Lady’s Blog."

Thanks for the generous words, Rebecca. To read my guest essay that recently went up on The Book Lady's Blog, please click here:

posted by John Grogan at 11:13 AM


Blogger Erin said...

Great to hear from you again, John! I always get excited when my "blogs I follow" tells me John Grogan has a new post. :)

I love your guest post on the Book Lady's blog too. It's very interesting to me how you got started. As a fellow (young) journalist and aspiring writer, I'd love to learn more about the process. Perhaps sometime in the future [when I get more time to think up some good questions] you'll consider guesting on my blog too??

2:19 PM  
Blogger christopher said...

Hi there John,
Congratulations on your enormous success. How great! I actually didn't realize it was you! We were at Rodale together briefly in the Organic division. I just got a dog of my own and it opened a whole new world for me. I still live in PA too.
All my very best,
Christopher Hirsheimer

5:47 PM  
Blogger R said...

Hi John,

Glad to hear you're back home. I just found your blog after blogging about Marley and Me and my fellow bloggers pointed me your way.

I'm applying for my first ever guide dog from Guide Dogs for the blind, and I'll be getting a lab of some sort. The beginning of the movie almost scared me off haha! But by the end, I couldn't wait for my guide dog!

I look forward to getting your audio books, and keeping up with your blog!

1:55 PM  
Blogger AnitaBook said...

Hi! My name's Clare and I am a great admirer of your books. I am writing to ask you a favor, even though I know it will not be easy. I have a sister who is a lover of animals. She loves animals and their world. She always reads all the books about animals and when she read the story of Marley always told me that she wanted to write to you and make you the compliments. Mi sister is 17 years old and she is diabetic for five years. She does many quirks, she does not want to accept her situation and often violates the rules. I try to be very close to her, to listen to her when she needs help, but sometimes she retreats into silence and I do not know what to do. Friday is her birthday and I want it to be special. I know that this is not the appropriate place where to write to you, but please do not be angry. I'd like you to write to her two simple words of congratulations. Only this. She would be very happy. I'm sorry for my bad english, but I'm Italian and I don't speak english very well. This is my email:
I wait expectantly your reply.
Thank you very much.


5:17 AM  
Blogger Juliana said...

Hello John Grogan. My name is Juliana, I'm 11 years old, I am Brazilian. I read your book Marley and Me and I enjoyed. I wanted to give you the congratulations, and tell you that you are a wonderful writer. I loved the story of Marley, but I cried a lot with his death. Kiss
Juliana, if you can contact me.

4:21 AM  
Blogger jeff said...

Hello John,
I just finished "The Longest Trip Home" and loved it. My life's journey has been so similar, yet different...I grew up in a wonderful family, in a great neighborhood in Asheville NC. I was born in 1961 and have such great memories of my childhood. Mom and dad are both gone now, mom in 2004 and dad in 2006. I miss them desperately. They were fantastic parents and provided my sister (who is your age) and I with a wonderful upbringing. We were raised Methodist and mom and dad were not overbearing in their building of our faith, most of which remains in our lives today. Anyhow, I've thought for years that I would love to write about that wonderful childhood but never seem to really ever get to it. (we're all so busy aren't we?!) Your book certainly made me think back to so many good memories I have, thanks to mom and dad. Tonight, at least, I feel motivated to re-examine that possibility (even though I have no real writing experience) and thank you for sharing your story(s). If you and your family ever come to the beautiful mountains of NC, My wife Vickie and I would be glad to show yall around. Take care and thanks again for a great read!
Jeff Collins /

9:12 PM  
Blogger Júlio César said...

Hi John, my name is Julio Cesar Baldini. I'm 23 years old. I'm a married guy from Brazil. I read your book "Marley & Me" today. I bought the book yesterday and today I read the 302 pages... I also watch the movie last week and it really makes me cry a lot. Cause it's so fantastic. Marley was a great dog. I had a cocker spaniel dog. He die when he was a 9 years old. He's named Freud. The coagulation of your blood was inexistent. He was sneezing blood from your nose and was so sad when my dad send he to sacrifice. He was my best friend when I was 14 ,15, 16, 17 years old. Today I have a little cat, just 6 months old. And I love the animal. Please sorry about my english cause I'm brazilian. And if you can, send me a mail to:

Thanks and hughs to you and to your family.

4:23 PM  
Blogger karen said...

Hi John,
Just finished audio book "Longest Trip Home" and - like so many others have expressed - felt like I was re-living a version of my own family's life. Philadelphia instead of Detroit. Number 6 of 7 children. Intense Irish-Catholic upbringing seemed to be the same though.

My older brother found Buddhism while at Penn State and I recall one summer he spend chanting on beads in his bedroom while my mother prayed the rosary for his soul in hers. I called it "bead wars" and never really knew who won. My brother is now a leader in his Buddhist organization and my mother died with the rosary in her hands.

I finished listening to "Longest Trip" while driving to a family Thanksgiving in Florida...the first since my father died earlier this year.A man whom I got to know all over again while listening to your book.

While at dinner that week with my brothers and sister, I relayed to my five brothers (all former altar boys)your tale of "Two drop Donohue"...which, in turn, lead to tales of our former pastor, Father O'Neil giving out communion like he was dealing cards in Vegas. Thanks for the laughter and the tears.

Hope you make it to Northeast Florida one day soon. I plan to buy your Marley children books for my niece this Christmas.

Thanks John...for taking us along with you on your trip home.


4:50 PM  

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