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  • Heidi Fiedler 9:43 pm on 2018/02/20 Permalink

    The Barnes & Noble Podcast, and 9 More of the Best Podcasts for Bookish Types 

    True book lovers know it’s not enough to simply read before bed or at the beach, you’re always hungry for more. Reading everything from bestsellers to masterpieces is just one part of your reading life. You want to connect with authors online, join book clubs, and think about books during your commute. Enter the Barnes & Noble podcast! Found wherever you download your podcasts, it’s a deep collection of intimate, thoughtful conversations with authors. Imagine sitting down next to your favorite author at a dinner party and getting to ask all your burning questions with abandon. And if you’ve already binged all the B&N interviews, here are a few more bookish podcasts we love. You can thank us when your TBR pile grows bigger!

    The New York Times Book Review Podcast
    Writers, editors, and critics come together on the paper of record’s podcast. If you’re trying to decide whether the bestsellers are worth reading or want to hear more from the authors who are reviewed in the Times, this is a unique window onto the literary elite.

    The Secret Library
    It’s rare to hear about every side of publishing, which is what makes Caroline Donahue’s show so special. Her warm, thoughtful interviews include everyone from Susan Orlean to marketing directors working behind the scenes to aspiring writers waiting in the wings.

    The Audio Book Club
    If leaving the house, buying wine, and making appetizers sounds like too much work, an audio book club is the perfect alternative way to enjoy the literary elements of a book club without the extroverted ones. Everyone is invited to read along with Slate’s community of likeminded people and share insights each month.

    The New Yorker Radio Hour
    Dive deeper into current events and the creative process with this intelligent podcast hosted by David Remnick. Combining excellent storytelling and journalism, this is a series you’ll never regret spending time on.

    Writing Excuses
    If you’re a reader who’s also a writer, this short podcast provides practical tips from experienced writers who understand how easy it is to find yourself without enough time to write. Get inspired and learn from their mistakes and insights with this lively roundtable discussion.

    The Yarn
    If you’ve ever wondered how a children’s book is made, this series of interviews takes readers behind the scenes. Illustrations, design, writing, editing, production, and marketing all play a role in what books are published and how successful they are. Learn more with this show from School Library Journal.

    Michael Silverblatt is pretty much the Terry Gross of books. His interviews are legendary, and every episode includes analysis that will leave you thinking “Wow! I never would have thought of that!” This is a show for any reader who considers themselves a true bookworm.

    Write Now
    Writers who want to balance reading, writing, and the rest of life will enjoy this weekly podcast, which takes an honest look at the struggles and rewards of being a writer. Whether you’re a writer or someone who admires writers, this is an accessible look into the creative process.

    My Dad Wrote a Porno
    And if you just need a good laugh and want to dig into a book that should never have been published (!), this show is reliably hilarious. Just don’t listen at work, in public, or with small children. You will thank us.

    The post The Barnes & Noble Podcast, and 9 More of the Best Podcasts for Bookish Types appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Heidi Fiedler 6:00 pm on 2017/09/13 Permalink
    Tags: , craft, how to be a writer, , ,   

    20 Books That Belong on Every Writer’s Bookshelf 

    Like painting, wine, and the human condition, writing is something that can stand up to a lifetime if study. Wherever you are in your journey as a writer, it’s essential to keep your bookshelves well stocked with inspiring mentor texts and reference books that will help you develop your craft. The books on this list will enrich your writing life and deepen your skills, while also lifting your spirits and reminding you why writers devote their hearts and minds to this exceptional art form. Write on, writers! Write on!

    [ean1]The Elements of Style, by William Strunk and E.B. White
    In general, it makes sense to leave the editing to editors, and instead focus your time and energy on developing your craft. But the most compelling stories are easy to read, and this master class in being clear, succinct, and sensible on the page is essential reading for any writer.

    [ean2]The Plot Whisperer, by Martha Alderson
    For those struggling to give your story a compelling beginning, middle, and end, Alderson guides writers to a deeper understanding of the universal story structure driving everything from fairy tales to multiverse sci-fi operas. You might even learn something about the story of your own life.

    The Art of Character, by David Corbett
    Ask editors what they’re looking for, and they’ll likely say some variation on, “I’ll know it when I see it.” But if pressed, they may admit they’re searching for books with characters readers will fall in love with so hard they’ll want to follow them anywhere. Develop your ability to create memorable, relatable characters with author David Corbett’s practical and inspiring guide.

    [ean4]Wonderbook, by Jeff VanderMeer
    Fantasy and sci-fi writers will love this illustrated guide to world building and storytelling. Filled with maps, advice, essays from writers like Neil Gaiman and George R.R. Martin, plus online extras, it’s a book you will return to again and again.

    Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert
    When you need a dose of been-there-done-that courage, this wise, warm exploration of creativity will guide you. It’s filled with actionable advice, thoughtful metaphors, a deep understanding of the creative process, and, yes, maybe even the little bit of magic that’s needed to spark your own creative spirit.

    [ean6]The Emotion Thesaurus, by Angela Ackerman
    As humans, our emotional vocabulary may be woefully underdeveloped, but writers can’t afford to blur the lines between anger and annoyance. This reference book parses the nuances between everything from desperation and disappointment to scorn and smugness. Each entry includes body language suggestions and more. Sure to inspire psychological debates—and better drafts!

    Still Writing, by Dani Shapiro
    Part writing memoir, part craft book, all infused with a creative spirit any artist can relate to, this is a modern classic that belongs on every writer’s bookshelf. Divided into Beginnings, Middles, and Ends, it’s really the title that drives the message: against all odds, Shapiro is still writing and encourages you to keep writing too.

    Zen in the Art of Writing, by Ray Bradbury
    The master of succinct, precise writing lets loose with essays on the creative process. His love for writing is soaked into every page, and you’re sure to finish this book feeling inspired and reassured that the effort you put into your work is worth it.

    [ean9]The Art of Slow Writing, by Louise DeSalvo
    Ah now, doesn’t the title just make you feel better? Slow writing. What a lovely idea in a world that regularly promises you can write a book in thirty days or crank out a bestseller every year. DeSalvo’s wise and practical book is deeply comforting as she lights the way, away from insanity and toward a creative process that’s mysterious, meaningful, and rewarding.

    [ean10]Story Genius, by Lisa Cron
    With an intriguing refusal to take a side with the pantsers or outliners, Cron recommends a new approach to storytelling that promises exciting plotlines, meaningful themes, and strong early drafts. Her secret? New research into brain science that shows how writers can engage readers at a fundamental, deeply compelling level.

    [ean11]The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron
    Millions of artists, dancers, and, yes, writers, swear by Cameron’s immersive approach to creativity. Whether you’re feeling stuck, want to take your work to the next level, or are looking to experiment with a new technique, this twelve-week program will inspire you to do more than write. It will inspire you to live like a writer.

    [ean12]On Writing, by Stephen King
    More than a how-to guide written by a serial bestselling author, this is a master class in the craft of writing, as well as a celebration of its power. Generous, warm, helpful, and entertaining, this is a book that’s a pleasure to read and a delight to return to.

    [ean13]Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg
    Written with humor and wisdom, this is a practical guide to developing your craft. There are exercises for developing your voice (and your ear), establishing a routine, overcoming self-doubt, and more. Find out why this book has been in print for over thirty years.

    [ean14]The Writing Life, by Annie Dillard
    In her trademark poetic prose, Dillard explores what it means to be a writer. Give this to someone who doesn’t understand their late-night bursts of inspiration or someone who is secretly a writer but doesn’t yet know it.

    [ean15]Reading Like a Writer, by Francine Prose
    One of the fastest and most enjoyable ways to become a better writer is to read more and analyze the books you love. Prose’s guide to reading will help you make the most of your time, with tips on using your favorite books as inspiration in your own writing.

    [ean16]Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott
    Filled with memorable metaphors and reassuring imagery, this is the book that’s on every writing syllabus. It leaves readers feeling braver, smarter, and more dedicated to their craft. And if you’re not yet in a writing class, it will help you be your own best teacher.

    [ean17]Drawing Your Own Path, by John Simon
    Sometimes to grow, writers need to take a break from words. This collection of meditative drawing exercises will help you tap into your intuition and write more mindfully. (If it’s good enough for Ruth Ozeki, it’s good enough for us!)

    [ean18]Letters to a Young Writer, by Colum McCann
    The books on this list are as much about mindset as method, and this collection of lessons on how to be a writer (and an interesting human) is a lovely combination of the two approaches all on its own. A call to empathy, poetry, truth, and light, this is a rallying cry for new and old writers alike.

    [ean19]The Art of X-Ray Reading, by Roy Peter Clark
    Time spent with a masterpiece is never wasted, especially when you’re analyzing it carefully. From The Great Gatsby to The Bluest Eye, Clark invites readers to glean meaning and inspiration from the classics in a way that will inform your writing for years to come.

    [ean20]Scratch, by Manjula Martin
    At some point, after you develop your craft, you’ll probably be eager to start earning money. This book tackles taboos and digs into the nitty-gritty detail of how writers make a living with essays from Cheryl Strayed, Jonathan Franzen, Roxane Gay, and more, making it essential reading for any writer who hopes to be paid for the privilege of making art.

    The post 20 Books That Belong on Every Writer’s Bookshelf appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Heidi Fiedler 3:00 pm on 2017/09/11 Permalink
    Tags: 100 places to go before they disappear, 1000 places to see before you die, 12 photographic journeys: iran in the 21st century, 59 illustrated national parks, africa, anahita ghabaian, atlas obscura, bhutan matthieu richard, both sides of sunset, bridges, by the sea, cairo illustrated, california the beautiful, chic stays, drives of a lifetime, dylan thuras, earth from above, earthart, ella morton, emmanuel decamp, eric meole, ettore pettinaroli, galapagos, great houses of havana, humans of new york: stories, india, ireland: a luminous beauty, Italy, james gracie, joel anderson, karen lehrman, london’s waterfront, lonely planet, lonely planet’s ultimate travel, melinda steves, my nepenthe, nathan anderson, new york, , one planet, overview, paris in blom, paris in color, peter guttman, places to see, sebastiao salgado, sophie walker, spectacular china, steve mccurry: the iconic photographs, stone offerings, the hidden himalayas, the japanese garden, the most scenic drives in america, the national parks, the new paris, the summer palace of the romanovs, the world’s great wonders, this land, tony hillerman’s landscape, , treasured lands, tui de roy, , wild beautiful places, yann arthus-bertrand   

    50 Must-Have Coffee Table Books for the Armchair Traveler 

    For those who know exactly what they would do if they won the lottery (buy a gorgeous house, quit working, and travel the world!), this collection of books is a passport to colorful daydreams, exotic foods, and amazing experiences that can only be found far from home. But if your day job is still your job job, take a virtual trip via one of these classic photography books. You’re sure to return, if not rested, at least inspired.

    Atlas Obscura, by Joshua Foer, Ella Morton, and Dylan Thuras
    From the creators of the popular website comes a book with profiles of 700 of the strangest (and most interesting!) places on Earth. Covering everything from a pub inside a baobob tree to a bone museum in Italy, each entry is sure to disgust, intrigue, amuse, delight, or amaze you.

    Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel, by Lonely Planet
    So many places and so little time to see them…so let the experts at Lonely Planet rank them for you. Never worry about whether you should see Budapest before Birmingham again!

    1000 Places to See Before You Die, by Patricia Schultz
    If for some reason you’ve run out of places to see, consult the ultimate checklist and get back out there. This guide will inspire budget travelers, thrill seekers, and cultural anthropologists alike.

    Humans of New York: Stories, by Brandon Stanton
    Profound, real, and empathetic, Stanton has a talent for turning interviews into heart-to-heart sessions that reveal just how similar we all are, whether we spend our days in New York City, abroad, or in our armchairs.

    Paris in Bloom, by Georgianna Lane
    Take the most beautiful city in the world and add flowers? Ooh la la! This gorgeous collection of photographs celebrates the flower markets, gardens, and other floral focal points of the city. Très belle!

    Wild Beautiful Places, by National Geographic
    Step into the National Geographic archives with this collection of vintage photographs that capture Nature at her best. Including interviews with the photographers, this book will inspire you to improve your own skills.

    Beaches, by Gray Malin
    Photographed by a favorite in the fashion industry, The Hamptons, Capri, the Amalfi Coast, and more are all on display in these masterful aerial shots that show off the easy breezy glam that is life at the beach.

    Drives of a Lifetime, by National Geographic
    Whether you’re flying solo or with someone you love, there’s nothing better than a road trip. As much a collection of gorgeous photographs as it is a travel planner, this book will guide you onto the open road with expert advice, solid maps, and the detours dreams are made of.

    Both Sides of Sunset, by Jane Brown and Marla Hamburg Kennedy
    Photographs from masters like Julian Schulman and Lee Friedlander come together to reveal the many layers of Los Angeles, a city that can be as sinful as it is sunny. This book is the next best thing to landing at LAX.

    Secret Journeys of a Lifetime, by National Geographic
    Top Ten lists, large photographs, maps, and informative sidebars make this a practical guide to deeper travel. With chapters titled “Spiritual Havens,” “Hidden Treasures,” and “The Road Less Travelled,” you’ll step into a world that is missed by many but never forgotten by those who discover it.

    The National Parks, by Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns
    This is a behind-the-scenes look at the PBS special that celebrates Acadia, Denali, the Everglades and more national treasures, as well as a lavish visual history of the parks themselves. With the same democratic spirit as the TV series, this is a book for everyone.

    Paris in Color, by Nichole Robertson
    Bleu, rouge, vert, gris, noir! They’re all found in Paris. Take a colorful tour of artists’ favorite city. Organized by color, this book is sure to have you seeing even your own neighborhood with new eyes!

    Treasured Lands, by Q.T. Luong
    Having logged over 300 trips to the national parks, Luong is an expert on capturing their beauty and majesty. This collection of hundreds of photographs includes captions that explain his process and vision for protecting this magnificent land.

    This Land, by Jack Spencer
    Inspired by the attacks on September 11th, Spencer committed to creating a portrait of America. The project took him to churches, monuments, and the vast landscapes this country is known for. The resulting variety represents the diversity and wonder that is found here.

    Abandoned Places, by Kieron Connolly
    There’s something magnetic about images of ghost towns, rusty amusement parks, and abandoned hospitals. Both haunting and peaceful, they each tell a story, and Connolly’s more than 200 photographs are exceptional examples of the genre.

    Castles from the Air, by Giampiero Gianazza
    Often a favorite on any itinerary, castles represent our ability to create great things: community, architecture, and history. This book presents these ancient buildings with a fresh aerial perspective that will leave you eager to roam the real thing and admire their ingenuity and grace in person.

    Overview, by Benjamin Grant
    Using satellite images to make the astronaut perspective available to Earthbound armchair travelers, this collection of over 200 images reveals our planet in ways we’ve never seen before. Distant views of familiar buildings, landscapes, and more are sure to inspire you to see the world with new eyes, wherever you go.

    Bridges, by David Plowden
    Like a building or a monument, a bridge says something about the people who built it. This tour of American bridges celebrates the beauty, engineering, and spirit of collaboration they embody.

    12 Photographic Journeys: Iran in the 21st Century, by Anahita Ghabaian
    A variety of photographers come together to reveal the people of Iran, who live at the crossroads of traditional and modern life found in malls, cafes, mosques, and more. This is a thoughtful look at a beautiful country that is often misunderstood by outsiders.

    Passage to Israel, by Karen Lehrman
    Inspired by the land, light, and people of Israel, this book captures the deserts, cities, and spirit of this ancient place. Seen from the perspective of over 30 photographers, this collection will have you longing to see the country for yourself.

    London’s Waterfront, by Nicholas Waldemar Reed
    Some coffee-table books are sweeping in scope. Others reveal the intimate details of a hidden world. This book shines a light on a favorite section of London that’s so familiar, it’s easy to take it for granted. Instead learn the history of this area and study detailed drawings, so you’ll never pass by unaware again.

    Africa, by Sebastião Salgado
    With a photojournalist’s eye for truth, this collection of black-and-white photographs reveals the many people, places, animals, and truths that make up Africa. Text by African writer Mia Couto provides a perspective that foreigners must hear.

    The New Paris, by Lindsey Tramuta
    Of course, the traditions we know and love are alive and well in France. But Paris is also home to a vibrant, blossoming culture that welcomes new ideas, cultures, and people. Discover the new Paris with this warm collection of photographs and essays.

    The Japanese Garden, by Sophie Walker
    At over 300 pages, this book handles 800 years of Japanese gardening with the same deft elegance the masters bring to their gardens. Essays examine the meaning, technique, and care that is found in small and large landscapes that are expertly curated. Prepare to be inspired.

    Earth From Above, by Yann Arthus-Bertrand
    Created in partnership with UNESCO, this collection of aerial photographs is designed to evoke wonder and awe for our beautiful planet. And with over 200 images that present the Earth from a new, sometimes tender, other times grand, perspective, mission accomplished.

    The Hidden Himalayas, by Thomas L Kelly
    Travel where few Westerners have been before. The struggles, spirituality, and strength of the people of Humla are all on display in this evocative book that captures a hidden world that only the most intrepid travelers have seen.

    Spectacular Scotland, by James Gracie
    If you can tear yourself away from the Outlander series long enough to contemplate actually visiting Scotland, this book will have you longing to book a ticket straight away. The highlands, lochs, castles, glens, and villages are all captured here with Gracie’s sharp eye.

    New York, by Gabriela Kogan
    This is the New York that feels at once intimidating, inspiring, and utterly familiar all at once. It’s the New York you can only come to know by living in the city. And it’s here for admiring. Or not. New York doesn’t care. It’s just going to keep doing its thing, and Kogan will record it with her camera.

    59 Illustrated National Parks, by Nathan Anderson and Joel Anderson
    Designed in honor of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, this book includes keepsake posters, historic photographs, maps, tips on making the most of a visit to the parks, and a look at the history of these special places that belong to all of us.

    India, by Eric Meole
    India is an epic country, and at nearly 300 pages, this book honors the variety, magic, and history of the country. Meole took nearly 25,000 photographs (and curated them ruthlessly) to capture this place that has inspired people for thousands of years, including the writers who have contributed poems, essays, and more for this book.

    The World’s Great Wonders, by Lonely Planet
    If you’ve ever wondered “How did they do that?” Or “What could cause that?”, read on in this expansive yet informative book that reveals the how and why behind famous sites like the Grand Canyon, Stonehenge, and even the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Then impress your tour mates, or at least whoever you’re sharing the dinner table with.

    Ireland: A Luminous Beauty, by Peter Harbison and Leslie Conron Carola
    The stunning soft light of Ireland is at the center of this book. Everything from castle ruins to vast meadows appears nearly magical in this gorgeous glow. Prepare to sigh with pleasure.

    EarthArt, by Bernhard Edmaier
    Taking a cue from the color wheel, Edmaier has traveled around the world to capture the land from above in all its many hues. The natural beauty of Iceland, New Zealand, Chile, and more are proudly on full display, like a peacock unfolding his feathers.

    California the Beautiful, by Galen Rowell
    If you can’t afford a trip to the west coast, enjoy this road-trip-in-a-book that’s filled with sunsets, beaches, valleys, and that famous Sunshine State sparkle. Words by John Muir, Maya Angelou, Joan Didion and other luminaries add meaning to the experience.

    100 Places to Go Before They Disappear, by Co+Life
    If you don’t already feel excited to take a trip, perhaps a sense of urgency will push you to take action. Tragic but true, many of the world’s most beautiful and interesting places are sinking, being buried, or otherwise destroyed by human activity. Add the Great Barrier Reef, French vineyards, and of course, Venice to your list—quickly. The gorgeous photographs in this book will remind you why.

    Cairo Illustrated, by Michael Haag
    A unique mix of ancient and modern, sacred and commercial, gritty and beautiful, Cairo is a place that deserves a special spot, either abroad or on your bookshelf. This guide includes 150 dazzling photographs and informative introductions to mosques, markets, mosaics, and more.

    Steve McCurry: The Iconic Photographs, by Steve McCurry
    You may not know his name, but legendary photographer Steve McCurry’s images are unforgettable. Taken during his travels around the world, this collection reveals his unique vision of the human condition and what makes us, along with the world, so very beautiful.

    Great Houses of Havana, by Hermes Mallea
    With the travel ban lifted, it’s time to indulge in all things Cuba, including this gorgeous celebration of Havana architecture. Stately, colorful, and stylish, sugar plantations, mansions, and grand houses are on display here, as is a sophisticated look inside Cuba’s culture.

    My Nepenthe, by Romney Steele
    Even more compelling after the recent landslides in the area, this personal take on Big Sur and Nepenthe, the restaurant with the famous lookout, is one to savor. The recipes, family stories, and musings on what makes Big Sur so very special will transport you.

    Bhutan, by Matthieu Richard
    Richard has been invited into some of the world’s most isolated places. Here he reveals the color, courage, and creativity that are part of daily life in Bhutan, the land of the thunder dragon and national happiness.

    One Planet, by Lonely Planet
    You can almost hear Bob Marley singing “Let’s get together and feel alright,” as you flip through the pages of this book. It’s a beautiful gallery of images that makes a simple but important point: Wherever you go, we’re more similar than different.

    Spectacular China, by Nigel Cameron
    The best Chinese photographers have come together to show off their homeland with 180 colorful images, including many that unfold into panoramic posters. From ancient treasures to contemporary cities, you’ll never look at this country the same way again.

    Italy, by Ettore Pettinaroli
    Wander through the hills of Tuscany, the museums of Florence, and the canals of Venice in this stunning ode to Italy. With an insider’s knowledge, you can plan a Roman holiday or simply escape into the gorgeous vistas that Italy is beloved for.

    Tony Hillerman’s Landscape, by Anne Hillerman
    Author Tony Hillerman’s daughter has captured the New Mexico and Arizona deserts that play such a strong role in her father’s detective novels. With quotes from Tony, a history of the region, and insights into traditional Native American ceremonies, this book adds layers to his own writing and invites readers to venture beyond the page.

    Stone Offerings, by Mike Torrey
    Torrey’s admiration for Machu Picchu’s beauty and demanding nature, pour from the pages of this book. With a thoughtful history of the region, 120 photographs, and personal details that can only be learned by making the climb, armchair travelers will be inspired (perhaps simply to take an appreciative oxygen-rich breath, but still).

    Galapagos, by Tui De Roy
    Penguins, volcanos, iguanas, and more are all captured with De Roy’s compelling camera work, while her personal narration encourages urgent conservation. Like the island itself, this book never lacks for drama.

    The Summer Palace of the Romanovs, by Emmanuel Ducamp
    When you’re craving opulence, there’s nothing more glorious than living vicariously through the Romanovs. Step inside the Agate room, admire the gilded mirrors, hail the porcelain. Nothing is too fine for this palace, and Ducamp lavishes attention on every detail.

    The Most Scenic Drives in America, by Reader’s Digest Editors
    The American highways stretch from coast to coast, but it’s the backroads, winding detours, and secret exits that this book will guide you toward. With maps, seasonal advice, itineraries, and more, you’ll be ready to roll the windows down and take the long way home—or simply dream about it from the comfort of your chair!

    By the Sea, by Peter Guttman
    With the ocean as inspiration, Guttman travels to Maine’s granite coast, the floating markets of Southeast Asia, and even the North Pole. The result is a new understanding of the vital water that makes up more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface.

    Chic Stays, by Melinda Stevens
    Learn where celebrities like Kate Winslet prefer to stay as they introduce you to their favorite getaways. Hotels in Lisbon, Scotland, Sri Lanka, and more are featured here. Prepare to experience major room-service envy.

    What coffee table books would you recommend to armchair travelers?

    The post 50 Must-Have Coffee Table Books for the Armchair Traveler appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Heidi Fiedler 4:00 pm on 2017/08/09 Permalink
    Tags: abc dream, , baby faces, baby loves quarks, charley harper abc's, color me: who's in the pond?, dinoblock, feminist baby, , goodnight goodnight construction site, , goodnight songs, i like myself, , if i had a little dream, mr. brown can moo!, pat the bunny, peek a who, potty, , the boss baby, the finger sports game, the runaway bunny, the wonderful things you will be, welcome, ,   

    The 50 Best Books to Bring to a Baby Shower 

    There’s nothing sweeter than welcoming a new baby into the world with a library of favorite books that say “We can’t wait to show you how amazing this place we call home is!” The books on this list will earn smiles at any shower—whether the theme is Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Bollywood Baby, or somewhere in between. Some are traditional favorites. Others are modern classics. Many fall into classic board book categories, teaching shapes, colors, numbers, letters, and feelings. Animals, transportation, community, and nature are all popular themes, along with nerdy topics like quarks and chemistry. There are also more literary titles that include song lyrics, rhyming text, or characters that early readers will fall in love with. They all say “Welcome to the world, little one!

    Baby Faces, by Kate Merritt
    Anything in the Indestructibles series is a practical and playful gift for little hands, and this is an especially baby friendly title. Gnawing, slobbering, and tearing are no match for these super duper books, making them a favorite of parents and babies.

    Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, by Elena Favilli
    Consider bedtime handled. With 100 stories about the lives of 100 women, including Serena Williams and Malala Yousafzai, this collection will leave kids feeling sleepy, inspired, and just a wee bit rebellious.

    Pat the Bunny, by Dorothy Kunhardt
    As nostalgic as they come, Pat the Bunny has been a favorite for generations. There’s the peekaboo cloth, fragrant flowers, Daddy’s scratchy beard—and of course the fuzzy bunny! Introduce a new generation to this favorite title at your next shower.

    Dinoblock, by Christopher Franceschelli
    The books in this super chunky series are so satisfying to hold, and dinosaurs are a perennial favorite of kiddos. This title highlights the shape of classic dinosaurs like the long necked brachiosaurus with a guessing game kids will want to play for eons.

    Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown
    This book has been given to many new parents, studied by generations of writers and editors, and beloved by millions of children. Perhaps soon someone will write a thesis on it. Although the question of what makes this a classic is academic—children love it!

    Goodnight Songs, by Margaret Wise Brown
    Or put a modern spin on classic Margaret Wise Brown with this posthumously published collection of the children’s songs she wrote. Each tune is illustrated by a modern artist and included on a pitch perfect CD that will easily find its way into the bedtime routine.

    If I Had a Little Dream, by Nina Laden
    Published in 2017, this dreamy book is already a classic. Filled with wonder, love, and lyrical language, this is a book that wishes only the best for our children. And the illustrations are beyond beautiful.

    Baby Loves Quarks!, by Ruth Spiro
    It’s never too early to nerd out with your baby when it means reading a charming, colorful book together. This simple yet accurate introduction to the invisible world of physics is a great way to inspire a love of science and awe for our amazing world.

    Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak
    There aren’t a ton of picture books that belong in a baby’s library, but this is one of them. It’s a book that has inspired hundreds of writers, children, and even parents to embrace their inner monsters and trust that we will always belong at home, no matter how wild we get. What better way to say “Welcome, little one”?

    Welcome, by Mo Willems
    For anyone who has wished life came with a user guide, this book is a clever introduction to the weird, wonderful thing we call life. Addressed to babies, this is a witty book parents and older siblings will treasure as well.

    The Finger Sports Game, by Hervé Tullet
    Well known for his fabulously interactive picture books, Tullet brings the same creativity to toddler-friendly board books. There’s no wrong way to play with these books—and lots of silly ways!

    Feminist Baby, by Loryn Brantz
    Rhyming text has never been so subversive. Long overdue, this board book stars an irrepressible girl who is ready to take on the patriarchy. Extra points if you give this to parents having a boy!

    Mr. Brown Can Moo!, by Dr. Seuss
    Seuss is a classic gift, and this short but silly board book is a baby-friendly read-aloud. There are plenty of opportunities to show off your sound effects with moos, buzzs, tick tocks, and more.

    I Wish You More, by Amy Krause Rosenthal
    Go ahead and buy the whole Amy Krause Rosenthal catalog. It will be treasured throughout childhood! But if you want to limit yourself to just one book, this lovely poem is the perfect place to start. It’s like a book and a heartfelt card all in one.

    The Boss Baby, by Marla Frazee
    When you bring a new baby home, it doesn’t take long before you realize who’s boss, and it isn’t you. This witty book celebrates pint-size CEOs in all their managerial glory (and just might help Mom and Dad feel a little less alone too).

    The Wonderful Things You Will Be, by Emily Winfield Martin
    Part of the magic of being so very little is having so very many possibilities lying before you. Wise and dreamy, this book invites children to imagine all they can be and does it in a way that’s never heavy, but rather as uplifting and whimsical as a boy floating up, up, and away on a bouquet of balloons.

    Peek-a-Who?, by Nina Laden
    Spinning the classic peekaboo game into a menagerie of animal-themed questions, reading this book becomes a game that parents and kids can enjoy together. (Spoiler alert: The last page includes a mirror…peekayou?)

    Tap the Magic Tree, by Christie Matheson
    Bring the magic of nature inside with this interactive book that follows a single tree through the seasons. Readers will delight as they pat, jiggle, and clap page by page and watch as the illustrated leaves grow.

    Color Me: Who’s in the Pond?, by Surya Sajnani
    All the Wee Gallery books feature black and white illustrations that are easy for newborn eyes to see. This illustrated bath book includes a special ink that changes color when it gets wet. Perfect for older babies and toddlers who need a little enticement for getting wet.

    The Runaway Bunny, by Margaret Wise Brown
    There are a few authors on this list more than once, and it’s because they’re so stinking talented. This classic story of a bunny and his mother’s love still makes grownups cry. It’s a beautiful way to say I love you at bedtime each night.

    Your Baby’s First Word Will Be DADA, by Jimmy Fallon
    Don’t forget dad at the shower. This book is a funny (and clever) way to tilt the scales toward Baby saying “Dada” before “Mama.” A gift sure to get a laugh and an appreciative smile from new fathers!

    Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, by Sherri Duskey Rinker
    From the first rhyming line to the last, this book is a satisfying bedtime poem that is perfect for truck-obsessed littles. The sophisticated writing will make it a book new parents look forward to reading again and again and again.

    I Like Myself!, by Karen Beaumont
    Throwing aside superficial cares like curly hair and bad breath, this exuberant ode to self-esteem is sure to inspire resiliency, self acceptance, and even a little compassion for others. Rhyming text makes the reading experience even more satisfying.

    Charley Harper ABC’s, by Charley Harper
    There’s something about Harper’s art that is perfect for bright eyed little ones. Graphic, bold, and filled with lively animals, it begs to be admired again and again. This title introduces the alphabet with style.

    ABC Dream, by Kim Krans
    Sidestep the traditional gifts with this wise take on the standard ABC format. Wordless but filled with images that invite alliteration and imagination, this is a gorgeous book for little ones who are always looking, looking, looking.

    Potty, by Leslie Patricelli
    Pair this book with a box of diapers or a kid-size potty, and you’ll have the most popular gift at the shower. With her signature humor and bold illustrations, the author addresses one of the classic pain points of parenting in a way that kids will adore.

    Touch and Explore Farm, by Xavier Deneux
    This is not your grandma’s touch-and-feel book. Multisensory elements enhance sophisticated design and modern illustrations to engage kiddos on every level. Don’t be surprised if you find your own hands longing to lift the flaps too!

    The Colors of Us, by Karen Katz
    Help kiddos feel at home in the world and at ease with people of all colors with this book that reveals there are many shades of brown—and they’re all beautiful. This walk through a neighborhood will be a favorite for kids of all colors.

    This Little President, by Joan Holub
    Prime pint-size patriots to know their history with this simple, bright intro to the American presidents. Perfect for family field trips, holidays, and any baby born on the Fourth of July!

    Before & After, by Jean Julien
    A clever collection of before-and-after scenes, this book will have kids of all ages giggling and wondering what’s next. There’s a pregnant woman, an ice cream cone, and a roller-coaster—all with their funny outcomes revealed on the next page. Expertly paced, this is a book that will inspire your own games and questions.

    The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein
    If this classic title still brings a tear to your eye, it’s the perfect gift for a new niece or nephew. Or give it directly to a new parent who is selflessly caring for an infant the way the giving tree cares for his little boy. This is a gift that grows with readers, whatever age they are!

    TouchThinkLearn Opposites, by Xavier Deneux
    Xavier Deneux is another one who deserves to be on this list more than once. He is totally in sync with babies’ developmental milestones and the designs that adults find sophisticated and compelling. The TouchThinkLearn series features diecuts, a colorful, graphic design, and clever juxtapositions. Opposites is a great place to dive into this series.

    1 2 3 Count with Me, by Tiger Tales
    Help little ones practice the skills they need for reading and writing with this tacticle series. The counting title is filled with traceable numbers up to 20. Happy illustrations reinforce the concepts for visual learners.

    Everywhere Babies, by Susan Meyers
    A poem about all the many things busy babies do from morning to night, this book is a delight to read again and again, because there are always new details to uncover. And diverse characters in the illustrations make this a welcome present for modern families that might not fit the traditional mold.

    Pantone: Colors, by Pantone
    Let little ones learn colors in the most design-savvy way possible, from the masters of colors themselves—Pantone. Just don’t be surprised if one day you spy a swatch book peeking out of the diaper bag!

    The Odyssey: A BabyLit Primer, by Jennifer Adams
    The BabyLit books are both stunningly nerdy and totally kid friendly. Bright illustrations and simple allusions to classics like The Odyssey make it easy to introduce Baby to great literature. When they are ready to embark on more reading adventures, there’s BabyLit Pride & Prejudice, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, and Frankenstein.

    Guess How Much I Love You, by Sam McBratney
    Let the days of “I love you more” and “No I love you more” begin! This sweet classic celebrates the epic love parents have for their kids and kids have for their parents. It’s the perfect bedtime book to add to their new library.

    All Aboard! National Parks, by Haily Meyers
    The All Aboard! series encourages new readers to see the world from their crib. With everything from puffins and bison, this wildlife primer introduces American animals that any young explorer would be glad to know!

    All in a Day, by Cynthia Rylant
    Simple, evocative illustrations paired with text that encourages children to take care of the Earth and make the most of each day make this book a treasured keepsake. Adults will appreciate the wisdom. Children will be drawn in by the rhythm of the text.

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle
    If there’s one book every baby should know, it’s this classic diecut board book. Little fingers can wiggle along as they watch everyone’s favorite green caterpillar becomes a beautiful butterfly. Along the way, kiddos will also learn the days of the week and how to count.

    Paris: A Book of Shapes, by Ashley Evanson
    Introduce shapes in the chicest of ways with this Paris-inspired title from the Hello, World series. Each book teaches basic concepts like shapes using stylish illustrations of famous cities. Paris? New York? London? And more? You might even inspire a nursery theme!

    Baby Touch and Feel: Animals, by DK
    With the high-quality photographs DK is known for and touch-and-feel elements like fur and bumps, this book is engaging for new readers and anyone who learns through touch. And don’t bunnies make anything better? Even spit up at midnight?

    You Are My Baby: Ocean, by Lorena Siminovich
    Each title in this series features a new theme and a book-within-a-book format that will delight parents and their babies. Simple introductions to basic concepts are also included in the sweet illustrations. This title follows a baby whale and his mama on an ocean journey.

    So Many Stars, by Andy Warhol
    Soup cans. Celebrity obsessions. And playful children’s books? Yes, Andy Warhol was a man of so many talents. And this effervescent modern classic is one your artistic friends and family will be delighted to discover. They may even want to frame it!

    Besos for Baby, by Jen Arena and Blanca Gomez
    Share some Spanish kisses with your loved ones with this simple bilingual real-aloud. Its cheery illustrations and sweet text are sure to inspire muchos cuddles, giggles, and besos!

    Peekaboo!, by Taro Gomi
    Before Baby is ready for the classic Everyone Poops, you can introduce Taro Gomi’s winning style with engaging board books. This one turns into a mask that’s perfect for playing (you guessed it) peekaboo with everything from frogs to robots.

    Hug, by Jez Alborough
    There’s nothing better than a huge hug from someone who loves you, and this monkey knows it! He is on a hunt for a good hug, and readers will love following along as he spreads the love.

    I’ll See You in the Morning, by Mike Jolley
    The perfect way to end the day, this poetic board book will soothe young and old as they wind down for bed. Snuggles, gentle sighs, and smiles are all invited. Monsters who live under the bed are not allowed!

    The Skin You Live In, by Michael Tyler
    As people start to understand that being color blind isn’t as dreamy as it sounds, this book celebrates all the ways we are are the same and the beautiful ways we are different. Help children embrace diversity in themselves, their friends, and their family with this playful book.

    Cozy Classics: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Jack Wang
    Another entry in the smart-but-sweet category, this series features simple felt versions of stories like Moby Dick, Emma, and Les Misérables. It’s a cozy way to introduce kiddos to the classics!

    The post The 50 Best Books to Bring to a Baby Shower appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Heidi Fiedler 9:00 pm on 2017/05/10 Permalink
    Tags: , build your bookshelf, love and marriage, , , ,   

    21 Books for the Newlywed’s Bookshelf 

    Here comes the bride, all dressed in white—what books will she read with her new spouse? Okay, maybe the song doesn’t go quite like that, but that doesn’t mean newlyweds can’t add a few books to their registry. If you want to give your newlyweds a gift that’s a little more life-changing than a crystal punch bowl, a book is a welcome way to pass on some wisdom to wide-eyed lovers. And if you’re feeling a little nervous about your own wedding, these books are perfect for building confidence and excitement about all the happiness that lies ahead.

    The Newlywed’s Instruction Manual, by Caroline Tiger
    Are we arguing too much? Where is that wagon wheel coffee table going? What are we going to do about the in-laws? It’s common to have a lot of questions in the first year of marriage. This illustrated instruction manual is filled with answers and—yes!—diagrams. Think of it as your own personal troubleshooting guide to matrimony. Need some urgent advice? Jump to the chapter on trust and communication!

    Becoming Wise, by Krista Tippett
    This book from the host of On Being asks what it means to be human and who we are when we’re our best selves. And if we are ever to be successful, we must bring our best selves to marriage! This is required reading for husbands, wives, and anyone who wants to live their lives with curiosity, joy, and deep authenticity.

    The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz
    As tempting as it may be to enter marriage with a plan to improve your better half, it’s probably wiser to start by changing yourself. This classic book urges readers to make four essential agreements with themselves: Be impeccable with your word. Don’t take anything personally. Don’t make assumptions. Always do your best. This is definitely the recipe to a happy marriage, or even a well-lived life.

    The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brené Brown
    Sharing a vocabulary of pet names, inside jokes, and quirky life theories is one of the pleasures of being in a long-term relationship. Take this idea to the next level by sharing the language of Brené Brown, who wisely counsels readers to live a more compassionate, intentional, wholehearted life. Read this with your new husband or wife, and you’re sure to refer back to it in arguments and makeups.

    Help, Thanks, Wow, by Anne Lamott
    There’s something about knowing you’ll be sharing a dinner table with someone for the rest of your life that makes you feel a little more spiritual and inclined to pray for your loved ones. The ever-essential Anne Lamott addresses three types of prayers: asking for helping, giving thanks, and the feeling of awe we may find ourselves longing for at the end of the day, even if we don’t know the traditional verses. Use this book to elevate your meals and lift your spirits.

    The Secrets of Happy Families, by Bruce Feiler
    One of the consequences of being married is appreciating how blissfully efficient things were when you were single. Of course, you would never trade to get those days back, but if you’re looking for strategies that will help you and your spouse align your goals on everything from what to have for dinner to how to raise your kids, this book is filled with business, sports, and military techniques, along with scientifically supported advice that will make your family run smoothly and feel authentic to who you are as a couple.

    The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman
    With over 11 million copies sold, they might start handing out this book with marriage certificates. If you haven’t received your copy yet, seek it out. This simple book is based on the powerful idea that we can learn to show our loved ones that we love them in ways that will actually make them feel loved, not just in the ways we think or hope will make them feel loved. Being able to articulate what makes you feel loved and knowing how to show your beloved how much you treasure them? That’s pretty much the key to wedded bliss.

    Marriage and Other Acts of Charity, by Kate Braestrup
    As a minister, a widow, and a wife, Kate Braestrup brings an honest voice to the ups and downs of the ties that bind us together. With advice on how to mend a relationship after a fight, what it really means to share your life with someone, and how we can honor our commitment “for better or for worse,” this is a book you’ll want to read aloud to each other.

    The Automatic Millionaire, by David Bach
    Marriage is more than a commitment of the heart, it’s a financial partnership. As you spend long hours daydreaming about what you’ll name your kids and how you want to stay in love as you travel the world, take time to also talk about what retirement will look like for your family. This book is sure to have you dreaming big and feeling more confident about your plans for the future.

    The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
    This classic story has something for everyone, including romantics, adventure seekers, and nostalgic adults, which means it’s perfect to read with your honey after a long day at the office. Escape into this fantasy, then role play with Westley’s classic “As you wish,” line. You know what they say: The couple that quests together, stays together.

    The Nest Newlywed Handbook, by Carley Roney 
    When you want practical, no-nonsense advice on modern married life, but don’t want to prompt mockery or worried looks from your in-laws and friends, turn to the Nest, a trusted source for millions. With the straightforward tone of an owner’s manual, this book will help you figure out how to merge finances, fight nicely, and navigate the emotional knot that is the holidays. Everything you need to create a marriage that works for you is covered!

    The Happiness Project One-Sentence Journal, by Crown Publishing Group
    Marriage guru Dr. Gottman says if a couple has five positive interactions for every negative interaction, their relationship is healthy, but we all know how easy it can be to focus on that one little annoyance. This journal, inspired by happiness expert Gretchen Rubin, provides a daily prompt to accentuate the positive and remember the moments that made you smile. It’s the kind of scorekeeping that will help you look back on your first five years of marriage with affection. Bonus points if you keep the journal together!

    Love Coupons, by Gregory J.P. Godek
    It’s natural for fledglings to make mistakes, and keeping the lines of communication open and affectionate will go a long way toward making that okay. But sometimes you can’t bring yourself to apologize, or you’re not quite ready to kiss and make up. Having a book of love coupons on hand is the perfect (silent) way to start the I’m Sorry process. And bonus points if you leave a coupon in a lunch bag or briefcase for no good reason. With prompts for cuddling, slipping away for a weekend, and making a home-cooked meal, these coupons are sure to lead to lovely memories.

    One Dish, Two Ways, by Jane Kennedy
    One of the trickiest parts of living with someone is trying to coordinate meals. And when two picky eaters marry each other? Bless them! That’s asking for heartache. But this handy book offers loads of solutions and encourages couples to lay down the knives. It’s filled with recipes for grownups, kids, and grownups who are as picky as kids (no judgments here). Each dish starts with a base meal that can be added to and deconstructed to meet everyone’s tastes, allergies, and food restrictions. Basically it’s a culinary way of saying, “I like you just very much, just as you are.”

    All About Us, by Phillip Keel
    While you’re still in the gooey-eyed honeymoon phase of your relationship, why not spend nights by the fireplace answering the questions in this book. Simple yet meaningful and thought-provoking, these questions are designed to help couples get to know each other better and celebrate their love. What better way to spend a Sunday night than journaling together?

    The Art of Communicating, by Thich Nhat Hanh
    If there’s one secret to marriage, it’s communication. Any happy couple will tell you that, and they’re right. So why not learn the art of communication from a true zen master? This practical guide offers clear steps you can take to listen mindfully and express what you’re really feeling, whether you’re angry about socks in the living room or insecure about a late night at the office.

    Love Poems, by Pablo Neruda
    There will be moments when you look at your better half and feel like your heart is bursting with love. When words fail to describe how very important this person is to you, turn to the masters. Pablo Neruda’s sensual love poems still feel modern and romantic today. And if words of affection is your betrothed’s love language, you will definitely want to have this book on hand.

    How We Love, by Milan Yerkovich
    Before we can vow to love each other completely, we need to understand how we love (and hurt) each other. Use this book to explore attachment theory and your own “intimacy blueprint,” so you can develop a marriage that will last. Understand how your personal history influences your mate, discover how to unlock painful patterns, and find a way forward that works for both of you. This book will give you the tools you need to divorce-proof your love affair.

    The Newlywed Cookbook, by Sarah Copeland
    When a cookbook guides you through the process, sharing a homemade meal with your family can feel splendidly grownup. Cooking can also be a lovely way to spend quality time together. Set yourself up for success (and minimize the spilled milk) with over 130 recipes, including decadent pancakes and pastas, that are expertly chosen to encourage domestic bliss. Soon you’ll be dancing through farmer’s markets and nuzzling in the kitchen together.

    Strengths Based Marriage, by Jimmy Evans
    Based on the same concept as the popular StrengthsFinder book, which encourages readers to spend more time leaning into what makes you amazing and less time worrying about improving areas of weakness, this guide provides helpful tips and a reassuring boost to any marriage. As with any tool that cultivates self-awareness, you’ll come away with a deeper understanding of how your relationship works and how to make it as rich as possible. The authors also walk you through the 5 Ts of marriage. (That’s tone, time, trust, truth, and teamwork for newlyweds.)

    Letters to My Love, by Chronicle Books
    Imagine celebrating your golden anniversary, not just with a party or a dinner with your sweetheart, but by reading letters you wrote to each other as newlyweds. Capture the excitement and passion of this moment with this beautiful keepsake. Twelve prompts encourage you to reveal your heart in love letters you’ll treasure forever. Write one every year on your anniversary, or just whenever the mood strikes, then tuck them away for safekeeping, and swoon when, years later, you open each envelope—together.

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