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  • BN Editors 8:00 pm on 2020/02/21 Permalink
    Tags: , , , the splendid and the vile   

    The B&N Podcast: Erik Larson on The Splendid and the Vile 

    Our guest today is Erik Larson, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Devil in the White City and Dead Wake joins us to discuss his newest work, The Splendid and The Vile, where he delivers a fresh and compelling portrait of Winston Churchill and London during The Blitz.

    The post The B&N Podcast: Erik Larson on <i>The Splendid and the Vile</i> appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • BN Editors 5:00 pm on 2020/02/13 Permalink
    Tags: #BNDiscover, , , ,   

    Guest Post: Karma Brown Shares the Classic Cake that Inspired Recipe for a Perfect Wife 

    I have a beloved, vintage family cookbook (Purity Cookbook, 1945 edition), which is tattered and food splattered but contains the recipe that inspired Recipe for a Perfect Wife: the “Busy Day Cake.” It’s a basic, white cake that can be decked out with fancy adornments—like the sugared flowers my 1950s character, Nellie, uses—or kept simple with a shake of sprinkles. As a writer who works from home (and often bakes for procrastination) I love that something like the Busy Day Cake exists—because who isn’t busy these days? Writing this novel raised a lot of questions for me about gender roles and expectations, questions I am not sure there are full answers for, but it also made me appreciate my daily life in a new way.I have choices and freedoms about how I spend my time (cake baking in the morning, writing in the afternoon), unlike many of the women of past generations. 

    Busy Day Cake, Purity Cookbook (1945 edition)  

    ½ cup butter 

     teaspoon lemon or vanilla extract 

    1 ¾ cups granulated sugar 

    2 ½ cups sifted Purity Flour 

    ¼ teaspoon salt 

    2 teaspoons baking powder 

    1 cup sweet milk 

    4 egg whites, unbeaten 

    Cream butter until it is soft and creamy, add flavoring while creaming. Add sugar. Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder and add to butter mixture, followed immediately by the milk and unbeaten egg whites. Stir mixture quickly and gently until it is well blended. Spread carefully into well-greased 7 x 12-inch cake pan and bake in moderate oven (350°F) for 60 to 65 minutes. Allow baked cake to set for 20 to 25 minutes before removing from pan. Cool and spread with any desired icing.  

    The post Guest Post: Karma Brown Shares the Classic Cake that Inspired <i>Recipe for a Perfect Wife</i> appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • BN Editors 2:30 pm on 2020/02/12 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    The B&N Podcast: Holly Jackson on A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder 

    Our guest on this episode is Holly Jackson, who joins us to talk about her new YA crime thriller A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder.

    The book plays well for readers of Kara Thomas and Karen McManus, an addictive, twisty crime thriller with shades of Serial and Making a Murderer about a closed local murder case that doesn’t add up, and a girl who’s determined to find the real killer—but not everyone wants her meddling in the past.

    A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder has been chosen for our March Barnes & Noble YA Book Club event! Mark your calendars to join us for a discussion on Friday, March 13th at 7:00 PM!

    For readers of Kara Thomas and Karen McManus, an addictive, twisty crime thriller with shades of Serial and Making a Murderer about a closed local murder case that doesn’t add up, and a girl who’s determined to find the real killer—but not everyone wants her meddling in the past.

    Everyone in Fairview knows the story.

    Pretty and popular high school senior Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, who then killed himself. It was all anyone could talk about. And five years later, Pip sees how the tragedy still haunts her town.

    But she can’t shake the feeling that there was more to what happened that day. She knew Sal when she was a child, and he was always so kind to her. How could he possibly have been a killer?

    Now a senior herself, Pip decides to reexamine the closed case for her final project, at first just to cast doubt on the original investigation. But soon she discovers a trail of dark secrets that might actually prove Sal innocent . . . and the line between past and present begins to blur. Someone in Fairview doesn’t want Pip digging around for answers, and now her own life might be in danger.

    This is the story of an investigation turned obsession, full of twists and turns and with an ending you’ll never expect.

    Like this podcast? Subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher to discover intriguing new conversations every week.

    The post The B&N Podcast: Holly Jackson on A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • BN Editors 2:00 pm on 2020/01/30 Permalink
    Tags: book of the month, , guest post, , january, ,   

    Guest Post: The Unteachables Author Gordon Korman Shares A Reading List for Unteachable Kids 

    The surprisingly heartwarming story of a classroom filled with misfits, paired with a teacher counting down the days to retirement, Gordon Korman’s hilarious middle grade novel The Unteachables is B&N’s children’s book of the month for January. We asked the author to share a reading list for “unteachable” kids, and he recommended some excellent must-reads for young readers—including a mix of beloved classics and brand new stories.

    The Great Brain, by John D. Fitzgerald
    Okay, it’s pretty old—but so am I! This series proves that you can be a genius and an Unteachable at the same time. 

    New Kid, by Jerry Craft
    Required reading for anyone entering middle school. Also, Jerry Craft and I have been running into each other at book festivals for so long that we qualify as camp buddies at this point.
    (Editor’s note: This title won the 2020 Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Author Award!)

    Ms. Bixby’s Last Day, by John David Anderson
    Just because you’re an Unteachable doesn’t mean you don’t have heart! 

    Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, by Judy Blume 
    Believe it or not, I was a fourth-grader around when this came out. It was the first time I really saw myself in the characters of a book. 


    Smile, by Raina Telgemeier
    Thanks to this book, I actually feel deprived because I never wore braces when I was a kid. 

    Heads or Tails, by Jack Gantos
    For my money, the top middle-grade writer of all time. His Jack Henry series is my personal favorite. The characters are as unforgettable as they are Unteachable. 

    Wings of Fire, by Tui Sutherland
    I have never attended a single children’s book festival, with any group of authors, where this series did not receive the loudest cheer of the day. 

    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams 
    I get it—it’s not a kids book. But a lot of kids read it. It’s weird. It’s hilarious. It’s out there. It’s worth it. 

    Stormbreaker, by Anthony Horowitz 
    You don’t have to be an Unteachable to believe that a kid can be a secret agent. 

    Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney 
    Over the years, I’ve ready every book in the series three times—once with each of my kids. I found something new and different to love on each go-through. (Plus I was once a balloon-handler for the Greg Heffley balloon in the Macy’s parade, which was pretty awesome!) 

    The Unteachables is on B&N bookshelves now.

    The post Guest Post: <i>The Unteachables</i> Author Gordon Korman Shares A Reading List for Unteachable Kids appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • BN Editors 10:57 pm on 2020/01/23 Permalink

    Isabel Allende’s A Long Petal of the Sea Highlights a Refugee Story 

    In one of the many vivid scenes in Isabel Allende’s new novel A Long Petal of the Sea, a young, barely-trained doctor on the Republican side of Spain’s brutal Civil War assists in a battlefield operation to save a soldier’s life:

    Carefully removing the bandages, he saw to his amazement that the wound was still open and was as clean as if it had been painted onto his chest…Having worked for nearly three years on the side of the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War, at first on the fronts at Madrid and Teruel, and then at the evacuation hospital at Manresa, Victor Dalmau thought he had seen everything , become immunized to the suffering of others, but he had never seen an actual beating heart.

    As she has so often in her works of fiction and memoir, Allende places the beating hearts of her characters in front of us, and A Long Petal of the Sea is a novel that challenges our own sense of being “immunized to the suffering of others.” It’s a beautiful, bittersweet epic grounded in the journey of two people — Victor and Roser, the pregnant young widow of Victor’s brother Guillem — who join the hundreds of thousands of refugees who flee their native country in 1938 to escape death at the hands of the Fascists. Their odyssey, in Allende’s fluidly sweeping narrative, intersects with the fascinating true story of the S.S. Winnipeg, a ship chartered by the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, on which two thousand Spanish refugees fled from squalid camps in France to Chile — the “long petal of sea and wine and snow,” in Neruda’s words, that gives Allende her title.

    A Long Petal of the Sea wraps the Victor and Roser’s uneasy partnership in a broader, wrenchingly timely story of exiles torn in a moment from their homelands, and who spend their lives wrestling with the question of belonging, and the conflict between the call to remember and the need to move forward. Allende leads us through decades of life for Victor and Roser, and as she does so we travel into the heart of the real-world political calamity that resulted in the author’s own flight from her home country. The result is a call to empathy for all who have to remake their lives in a place strange and new.

    Since Allende’s arrival on the literary stage in 1982 with the family saga The House of the Spirits, she has woven history and invention together, allowing each to inform the other as she explores themes of exile and return, oppression and liberation, and especially the voices and experiences of women in cultures that often seek to silence them.

    The author of two dozen widely acclaimed works of fiction and nonfiction, a human rights activist, and the recipient of multiple honors including the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom, Allende continues use her pen to enchant and educate in the same moment. “The only thing I can do is tell stories,” Allende told us when she joined us in 2017 on the B&N Podcast. With A Long Petal of the Sea, she reminds us once again what a monumental calling that is.

    Explore all of Isabel Allende’s books here.

    Listen to our podcast interview with Isabel Allende here.

    Author photo of Isabel Allende (c) Lori Barra.

    The post Isabel Allende’s <em>A Long Petal of the Sea</em> Highlights a Refugee Story appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

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