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Pat McMahon

Story time

In this Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, file photo, an Amazon.com employee stocks books along one of the many miles of aisles at an Amazon.com Fulfillment Center in Phoenix. As more and more bookstores have closed, Amazon is now believed to be the nation's largest bookseller, with an estimated 30 percent of a total book market that PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates hit $34.9 billion last year, and 60 percent of an e-book market that PwC pegged at $7.9 billion. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

I was doing a TV interview Sunday with one of the best-selling authors in the publishing world, Elizabeth Gilbert. You know her primarily from her enormous success with "Eat, Pray, Love."

But in preparing for our conversation, I was checking out this year's other literary hits, and something peculiar and encouraging is happening in the book world. No matter what the critics of American education are saying, young people are reading. They're not only reading, but they're buying.

Youth and "tween" books are all over the New York Times and USA Today listings.

John Green's "The Fault in Our Stars" -- not exactly summer vacation, romance on the beach stuff, since it's about a teenage cancer victim -- has been No. 1 for ages and on the charts of best-sellers for 114 weeks. Veronica Roth has her "Divergent" trilogy in the top five of all books sold in America. "The Lord of the Rings" books are huge.

Kids are reading long, complex books. And I think it began with "Harry Potter." Hogwarts really does create wizardry.

I'm Pat McMahon.

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About the Author


He's done it all -- and keeps doing it. His career in local Arizona radio and television dates back the late 60s. Pat always stimulates with his thought provoking, opinionated, and entertaining commentaries on the Arizona Morning News while hosting award-winning talk-shows like "The McMahon Group" and "The God Show."

"The Mc Mahon Group" features a very unpredictable all-star panel where 3 people from the community get together and give there thoughts on the news of the week. He also hosts "The God Show" on Sunday's which talks about all aspects of spirituality.

Pat is also well known outside of radio because of his multi-faceted career as an actor, producer, recording artist, writer, broadcaster, and one-third of the legendary comedy team that was on TV for 35 years in Arizona, "The Wallace and Ladmo Show."

Through the many experiences of his professional life, Pat has been richly rewarded with 7 Emmys, major national and international radio awards as well as numerous civic, educational, religious and humanitarian awards. Pat was also a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Ottawa University, the Arizona Broadcasters Lifetime achievement Award, and has his bronze likeness hanging in the rotunda of the Herberger Theater in recognition of his contributions to Communications & The Arts.

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