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News & Events




I'll be speaking on my new novel, Mockingbird Summer

at the Books and Bees Festival

Hill Country Galleria

Bee Cave, TX

(part of Austin's southwest suburbia)

Inside the Galleria's Barnes & Noble bookstore





The Library of Congress' affiliate Texas Center for the Book

has chosen

West with Giraffes

for their
2023 Great Texas Read






Every year, the Texas Library Association chooses recent books for their Lariat List the librarians deem as "simply a pleasure to read."

I'm happy to report that, just as Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale made the 2012 Lariat List, West with Giraffes made this year's Lariat List.

Honored and blessed to have been chosen by librarians, who in my opinion are doing God's work.

Thanks, TLA! 
(For Full List click on the image to go to the TLA article.)




Meeting Bruno the Sloth-Longneck Manor


Fredericksburg, TX

5 p.m. Nov. 15

--RSVP by Nov. 1--



Friends of the Library Event

Oct. 26 6:30 p.m.


Friends of the Dallas Library event

October 25, 6:30 p.m.


Previous speakers for this special event begun in 1987 to honor the Dallas Library and their vibrant Friends of the Library members reads like a literary "who's who," including: Robert Caro, W.P. Kinsella, Horton Foote, Calvin Trillin, Billy Collins, Susan Orlean, Cheryl Strayed, Tracy Kidder, Geraldine Brooks, and Delia Owens.
I am honored to be their 2023 literary choice.


Lewisburg Literary Festival

Lewisburg, West Virginia

7 p.m. Aug. 5, 2023

Featured Speaker

Historic Carnegie Hall


I'm so looking forward to being the headline speaker

for this stand-out festival.

Previous speakers have included

Garry Trudeau, David Sedaris,

Jeannette Walls, Sara Gruen, Kathryn Stockett,

Garth Stein, and Tobias Wolff.



Click HERE to hear podcast

A global literary podcast host based in India recently discovered West with Giraffes and next thing I know we're having a ball talking on "The Literary City" about the novel, life, and all things breezily literary, beginning with my reading a scene from WWG.

Got 30 minutes to listen to such a fun chat?


April, 2023

West with Giraffes has now hit 500,000 SALES.

Thank you, readers for making this a word-of-mouth bestseller



West with Giraffes is Traveling the World

The gorgeous Vietnamese cover

Hi, y'all!

Thought you might enjoy knowing that as of the start of 2023, West with Giraffes is still, still, wonderfully still, going strong. Recently, we've accepted an offer for a French edition, and a Ukranian edition (if that isn't wonderful), which brings the translation count up to 15. Couldn't be happier my very American novel is traveling the world even if I can't ;):


• Korea    • Vietnam
• Russia   • Hong Kong
• Serbia    • Slovakia
• Hungary   • Poland
• Lithuania • Germany
• Germany   • Italy
• France    • Bulgaria

• Ukraine 



Hill Country Author Series
Georgetown TX Public Library

2 p.m.


I'll be doing a fundraiser for Friends of the Library in Georgetown, Texas, and they've done a bang up job on their poster as you can see. If you're in the Georgetown area on Oct. 20, 2022 at 2 p.m., come on by and we'll have fun talking about all things West with Giraffes.


Washington County READ 2022

Oct. 11

Brenham, TX

5:30 p.m.


West with Giraffes' next Community Read event



 in Brenham, Texas 

HELD at Unity Theater in downtown Brenham, it will include a dramatic reading by their local players as well as my talk, so it should be an interesting night if you're nearby!


Galveston's Rosenberg Library has chosen

West with Giraffes

for its

2022 Galveston Reads

I'll be coming in person to speak for this great event


MAY 21, 2022.


Notice all the wonderful thing they have planned leading up to it: 
•a Professor's panel
•a Depression Era Cooking Class

•a Virtual Giraffe Specialist's Talk
•a Ceramic's Class to paint your giraffe mug.

If you're in the Galveston Area, I hope you'll join us.



Coronado Island Public Library has chosen

West with Giraffes

for its

2022 Coronado Community Read


I'll be coming in person for a speaking event

on the evening of Thursday, April 7.


If you're in the San Diego area, I hope you'll join us.


The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

at Furman University, Greenville, South Carolina

has chosen
West with Giraffes

for its

2022 Annual Big Read!

I'll be participating in a Zoom speaking event on March 1 at 3:30 EST.

They have a whole wonderful lineup of events about the era taught by their professors plus a webinar with their local zoo about giraffes. Right now they are celebrating the 1st birthday of their zoo's baby giraffe seen in this great photo. 

For more click on the image to go to their FB webpage.





 Poplar Bluff, Missouri Public Library has chosen
West with Giraffes

for its

2022 Book in the Bluff



I'll be doing Zoom talks on April 5th

and they have opened the evening Zoom to the public!




I just had the most remarkable experience...

I woke up staring at a giraffe.


A special reader of West with Giraffes, zoologist and conservationist Rick Barongi, invited me to come visit his new "Long Neck Manor."


Rick, a former zoo director and designer of Disney's Animal Kingdom, has begun Phase One of his vision of having an experience much like Nairobi's Giraffe Manor right here in the states. Down a winding road out in the middle the hill country, yet only 5 minutes from charming, bustling Fredericksburg, Texas, Rick has brought 3 zoo-born giraffes and 3 zoo-born southern white rhinos to a 100 acre ranch and has opened the first phase of his dream of offering that kind of fun, conservation experience for those of us unable to travel around to the other side of the world. Right now, he's offering tours to meet the animals and learn all about the conservation efforts, and in my opinion, be blown away with what he's already done out in the middle of nowhere (but so close to a great little town full of fun itself). And if you have the wherewithal and/or desire you can spend the night in the barn's gorgeous, tall suite that puts you eye to eye with the giraffes the whole night. Frankly? I'm still on a giraffe high, and for those in love with rhinos, that was quite the fun, too.
Here's the website to enjoy even if you can't make it there, packed with Rick's bio that got him to Phase One of his dream, along with the LongNeck Promise and Mission, which outlines how the revenue and the donations are used, plus what a tour offers the lucky people who get to visit.


Dreaming is good. Dreaming about giraffes is better. Dreaming BIG about how to help save these and other flagship species is a marvel beyond words. Thanks, Rick.



West with Giraffes
Top 25 Books of 2021

 Book Riot just named West with Giraffes one of its top 25 books for 2021 across all genres taken from Goodreads.





Translation rights are beginning to sell around the world for West with Giraffes.


As of October 2021, translation rights have now sold to publishing houses in:

• Russia

• Korea

• Serbia

• Hungary

• Lithuania

• Germany
• Vietnam
• Hong Kong

• Slovakia (Czech)


For this very American novel, isn't that something?





Hi, Lynda,
We have exciting news! Just a few short months after reaching 50,000 readers WEST WITH GIRAFFE has surpassed 100,000 readers!

Lake Union Publishing


...Holy Moly!



publication day
February 1, 2021

Amazon's First Reads program pick was a great jumpstart, over 5K ratings, most terrific. If you're ready for a crosscountry trip in 1938 with giraffes, we're on our way.




West with Giraffes chosen for
Amazon FIRST READS program.

My new novel
has been chosen for the
It will debut
in January 2021 as an ebook for the members a month earlier than its February publication date!



Editor's note to members is mighty nice:

"Once in a great while, a book hits my desk that is so full of memorable characters and scenes that I can't wait to see it publish! Such was the case with West with Giraffes, the historical novel based on the incredible true story of an unlikely pair transporting two giraffes across the country during the Depression. The author was inspired by the event, which she discovered while working on a nonfiction piece about the San Diego Zoo, and this book contains so many charming details, I felt like I was along for the ride.
I'll never forget Woody, the young Dust Bowl survivor, and his curmudgeonly older boss. The challenges they endure on the trip end up teaching young Woody indelible life lessons about fate, love, and life. From truck breakdowns to circus con artists, from meeting the woman of your dreams to visions of life in California, this is the kind of laugh, cry, tell-a-friend read that you long for. Grab a blanket and a cup of tea, and enjoy this wild road trip."

An emotional, rousing novel inspired by the incredible true story of two giraffes who made headlines and won the hearts of Depression-era America.







(Do you like giraffes?)




From the French magazine interview: "Actual Litte" (The World of Books):

"The Last Madness of Claire Darling" based on Lynda Rutledge's novel
by Antoine Oury

Catherine Deneuve becomes Claire Darling in Julie Bertuccelli's latest film, The Last Madness of Claire Darling, a comedy drama based on a Lynda Rutledge's novel, Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale, which was translated into French by Laure Manceau and published by Actes Sud in 2012:

"I plunged into this story," explains director Julie Bertuccelli, "as it offered a transposition of stories and themes that affect me: the complex relationship between mother and daughter, the dead who haunt us, the objects and furniture that invade us and serve us as substitution for past experiences, the lies, the unspoken family secrets that mishandle us, the end of life that awaits us, the memory that builds us, traps and stifles us at the same time--and the forgetfulness that saddens us but also frees us and makes us lighter."


VARIETY Magazine article announcing the Film



Bullock Texas State History Museum
Bullock Museum Book Club "BOOK IT, TEXAS!"
November 21, 2015
1800 N Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701
Janene Pearson
Education Programs Coordinator
Bullock Texas State History Museum

Reading Between the Wines
Literacy Council of Fort Bend County
Gala Fundraising Event
February 6, 2015
6:30 pm
Safari Texas Ranch
Richmond, Texas {Houston area}

Tuesday Book Review Club Annual Author Luncheon
May 20, 2014
Austin's Womens Club
708 San Antonio Street
Austin TX 78701

Irving Club Author's Tea
February 18, 2014
Dr. Eugene Clark Library
2 p.m.
Lockhart, TX
Tickets available
For info: contact Jody King, 512-559-1135

Celebrating "Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale"
Winner of The Writers League of Texas 2013 Book Award for Fiction
Oct. 26, 2013 Noon-2 p.m.

Dripping Springs Women's Club
Terrace Club
Dripping Springs, Texas
Wed. Oct. 16 at 11:30

Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale has won the 2013 WRITERS LEAGUE OF TEXAS Book Award for Fiction.

For a complete list of finalists and winners in other genres, click here:

2013 Writers League of Texas Book Awards

EVENTS: Fall 2013

Wed. Oct. 16 at 11:30
Dripping Springs Women's Club
Terrace Club
Dripping Springs, Texas

Thurs. Sept. 19 at 6:30
Wimberley Library
Wimberley, Texas
TALK: "How to Start a Novel"
... in honor of NaNoWriMo (Nat'l Writing a Novel in a Month Event).

How to Start a Novel Presentation by Lynda Rutledge at the Wimberley Village Library


June 6-SPEAKER, Austin's Women's Club 11:30 a.m.
Austin Woman's Club Program Guide.

June 22-PANEL, Writers League of Texas' Agents % Editors Conference, Austin
2013 Writers League of Texas Agents & Editors Conference

Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale has been named to the Texas Library Association's "Lariat List" as one of the top 25 Adult Novels of 2012.

The annual list of Lariat award winners calls attention to outstanding fiction published during the year that merit special attention from adult readers. The main criteria for selecting books for the Lariat List is that they are “a pleasure to read.”


Saturday, April 13


11:15am-Noon: Celebrating Small-Town Texas Souls with Liza Palmer and Lynda Rutledge Moderator: Josie Seeligson

Friends of the Victoria Public Library ANNUAL MEETING
Victoria, TX
Sunday, April 14
2:00 p.m.
SPEAKER: Lynda Rutledge, author of Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale

Round Rock New Neighbors Book Club
Barnes & Noble, Round Rock TX
Monday, March 18th
1:00 p.m.
VISITING: Lynda Rutledge, author of Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale

Live nearby? Open to Public.

Texas Library Association Lariat Award 2013 Short List
"Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale" has made the short list for the 2013 Texas Library Association Lariat Award. The annual list of Lariat award winners calls attention to outstanding fiction published during the year that merit special attention from adult readers. The main criteria for selecting books for the Lariat List is that they are “a pleasure to read.”

Friend of the Bulverde/Spring Branch Public Library Book and Author Luncheon
March 6, 2013

11 a.m.
Spring Hill Event Center
2455 Celebration Dr.
San Antonio, TX
SPEAKER: Lynda Rutledge, author Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale

Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013
7 p.m.
Brazos Bookstore
2421 Bissonnet Street
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 523-0701

Appearance: Pulpwood Queens Girlfriend Weekend
Jan. 17-18, 2013

Phoenix's "Arcadia News" Book Club
"Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale"--November Book Club Pick

MONDAY, OCT. 29 @ 6 pm
Wimberley Village Library Library Event, Wimberley, Texas
Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale at the Library.

10 a.m. Saturday, OCTOBER 27

PANEL: "Taken by Surprise: Two Novels about Second Chances"

-12 noon at the Book Signing TENT.
-12:30 at PENGUIN TENT.

Friends of the Houston Public Library
2012 Annual Meeting and Celebration
Clayton Carriage House
Houston, TX
6:30 pm.

SPEAKER: Lynda Rutledge, author of Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale

Southern Book Festival Oct. 12-13


Friday, Noon:
Of Saints, Garage Sales, and Astronauts: 3 Southern Indie-Next List Debut Authors
Saturday, 11 a.m:
Pulpwood Queens Presents Royal SOUTHERN Reads

WRITERS LEAGUE OF TEXAS "Third Thursday" Panel
BookPeople bookstore, Austin

TOPIC: How to Land a Literary Agent. Free & Open to Public.

Writers League of Texas Third Thursday Panel at BookPeople-AUSTIN, SEPT 20, 7 pm.

BOOKSIGNING. Tattered Cover, Denver/Highland Ranch.

Tattered Cover Event-Highlands Ranch, Colorado JULY 19

A month after release, rights have been sold for Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale to France, Italy, and Taiwan.

Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale was chosen for the June Selection for the Pulpwood Queens Book Club, with 534 chapters (and counting).


Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale was chosen for the May Selection for SheReads.org Online Book Club.


Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale on Shelf Awareness.org as an Indie Favorite.

ShelfAwareness Indiebound "FAVORITE"

Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale is named to The May 2012 "IndieNext" Great Reads List.

The IndieNext May List is a dozen or so chosen titles from across publishing by Indiebound, the independent bookseller's association.

The May 2012 IndieNext Great Reads List

Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale has been chosen as an Ingram Premier Picks. Ingram is the nation's largest book distributor and Premier Picks is a galley program juried by a committee of Ingram librarians.

Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale has been chosen as a selection for Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Clubs.

The novel's first "print" mention--in Library Journal's Fiction Preview for May 2012, by Barbara Hoffert, LJ Book Review Editor.

Rutledge. Lynda. Faith Bass Darling’s Last Garage Sale. Amy Einhorn: Putnam. May 2012. 304p. ISBN 9780399157196. $25.95. POP FICTION
It’s the last day of the millennium, and wealthy Faith Bass Darling surprises everyone in Bass, TX, by emerging from 30 years of seclusion to start selling off all her possessions. It gives folks a chance to investigate both the Bass family saga, crucial to their town, and larger questions about how we are shaped by memories, possessions, and the hope of a second chance. A debut novel snatched up by the editor of such favorites as Kathryn Stockett’s The Help, so watch; it’s seen as a fun yet thoughtful read, which would make it great for reading groups.

Library Journal's Fiction Preview-May 2012