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  • Molly Schoemann-McCann 4:00 pm on 2018/09/13 Permalink
    Tags: choose your own disaster, choose your own misery: dating, dana schwartz, flip to page 103, , jeff burke, jill gagnon, , , mike macdonald, my lady's choosing, ryan north, super giant monster time!, to be or not to be   

    Go Your Own Way With These 5 Modern-Day Takes on Choose Your Own Adventure Books 

    R.A. Montgomery’s Choose Your Own Adventure books were an ever-present part of childhood for ‘80s and ‘90s kids. Popular at both school libraries and book fairs, they were a game as much as they were a book, more accurately described as “interactive fiction”—taking the infinite possibilities idea of video games and applying it to text. A CYOA book wasn’t just one story, or a collection of stories—it was the same story told a bunch of different ways, like Rashomon for kids, but with way more aliens, rainforest escapes, and fringe scientists. The stakes were always nice and high, too—if your character died (or rather when your character died) you could just go back to the last breaking-off point at try again.

    A generation or two of kids inhaled Choose Your Own Adventure books, and they made a huge impression on readers, some of whom grew up to be writers. And those writers have found ways to imitate, parody, pay homage to, and expand the ideas of interactive fiction not to mention second-person fiction.

    If you want to read about a CYOA­­­-style book about grown-up life…SCROLL DOWN.

    Choose Your Own Misery: Dating, by Mike MacDonald and Jilly Gagnon
    MacDonald and Gagnon have struck on a brilliant idea, juxtaposing the breathless tone and breakneck speed employed by Choose Your Own Adventure books with painfully mundane and realistic adult situations. Sure, they’re still harrowing and terrible, just not spelunking in haunted caves or messing with malfunctioning time machines or whatever. In Choose Your Own Misery: The Office, the authors tasked readers with deciding whether or not to actually deliver their big presentation…or goof around on the Internet (hi!). (You know, work stuff.) Next up came The Holidays, which offers its own aggravating choices, like spending the festive season with your terrible family…or your significant other’s terrible family. Completing the trilogy is a book about things more terrifying than any spooky pirate ship or alien abduction scenario a CYOA could produce: first dates, mingling at parties, and connecting to another person in some small way. Ah, love!

    To go on a Shakespearen adventure…KEEP READING.

    To Be or Not to Be, by Ryan North
    The author subtitled this the copyright-skirting “A Chooseable-Path Adventure,” but we all know what this is. It’s also incredibly ambitious—the dude is rewriting Shakespeare, or at least he’s making you do it, putting into the reader’s hands all the raw material of the greatest work of English drama, jostling it all around, and seeing what happens if the reader can make the Prince of Denmark’s bad decisions for him. Finally, you can make Hamlet get to it while the getting is good and kill his throne-usurping uncle right away, and move on. Or you can give Ophelia, a fascinating character robbed of a good storyline, the good storyline she deserves. There are about 100 possible endings in all, plus it’s illustrated and there are puzzles. It’s everything a play should be!

    If you want to pursue the aliens…READ THE NEXT ENTRY.

    Super Giant Monster Time!by Jeff Burk
    And here we have a Choose Your Own Adventure novel that is more homage (peep that perfect cover) and continuation of the form than a transplanting of its properties. It reads exactly like an old school Choose Your Own Adventure classic, especially since the plot concerns giant alien monsters from space that are attacking your city. However, there are some adults-only, ironic flourishes, such as how the aliens’ ray guns turn people into mohawked punk rockers, as well as barroom fights, lots of swearing, and violence. It’s a kids’ book for adults is what it is.

    For a classy British adventure…MOVE ON DOWN.

    My Lady’s Choosing, by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris
    There’s this whole cultural subgenre of Jane Austen fantasy—stories about people who long to live inside a Jane Austen novel (Shannon Hale’s Austenland) or magically get to do that (the British miniseries Lost in Austen). Who wouldn’t want to bicker and then marry Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice and enjoy all those Regency-era fancy parties? The most successful and ephemeral entry in this genre: My Lady’s Choosing, because it’s written in the second person—“you” are literarily there, dear reader, making the decisions for a “plucky but penniless” young woman as she tries to find love with the prickly Sir Benedict, an affectionate faux Darcy. It’s a wonderful use of the Choose Your Own Adventure Format while also paying respect to Austen. This means that yes, there’s lots of witty back-and-forthing, but depending on the decisions you make, may also encounter a libertine Scotsman or go on a pirate adventure.

    If you wish to follow the clever humorist…READ ON.

    Choose Your Own Disaster, by Dana Schwartz
    Schwartz has done a lot of living, or she’s lived so much of her life with eyes wide open and with the Nora Ephron dictum that “everything is copy” in mind, that she’s already written a memoir by her mid-20s. This is an innovative autobiography in more than one way. First of all, life is rarely linear, but books that tell life stories are—but not this one. A read of Choose Your Own Disaster is all jumbled up, out of order, episodic, and fragmented—on account of how life is like that. It’s also interspersed with Internet-style personality quizzes…the answers of which direct readers to choose different paths—which are funny, self-deprecating stories from Schwartz’s life. It’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel where author, reader, and plot all get rolled up into each other’s business.

    What modern-day Choose Your Own Adventure iteration are you excited about?

    The post Go Your Own Way With These 5 Modern-Day Takes on <i>Choose Your Own Adventure</i> Books appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Molly Schoemann-McCann 5:00 pm on 2018/08/31 Permalink
    Tags: a willing murder, ann cleeves, , christmas cake murder, , dark tide rising, depth of winter, , field of bones, george pelecanos, , , joanna fluke, john woman, , leverage in death, , , , robert b. parker's colorblind, sofie kelly, the cats came back, the man who came uptown, , , wild fire: a shetland island mystery   

    September’s Best New Mysteries 

    The days are growing shorter and brisker, and fall is in the air. There’s no better time to relax on the porch (or to claim the comfiest chair in the living room) while you enjoy one of these shiny new mysteries.

    Leverage in Death (In Death Series #47), by J. D. Robb
    Robb ratchets up the tension in the 47th installment of her long-running but still incredibly gripping series. When businessman Paul Rogan detonates a suicide vest he’s wearing during an innocuous merger meeting in a Manhattan office building, killing himself and nearly a dozen others, Lt. Eve Dallas is left wondering whether this was as an act of terrorism, or a homicide. Delving into Rogan’s past and interviewing his surviving wife and daughter leads Dallas down a nightmarish path cut by villains who will do anything to get what they want.

    Robert B. Parker’s Colorblind, by Reed Farrel Coleman
    Jesse Stone is back to work after some time in rehab, but his latest case is more than he bargained for. A slew of crimes that appear racially motivated, including an African American woman’s murder, is leaving everyone shaken, and it hits close to home when Jesse’s deputy, Alisha, the first black woman on the Paradise police force, becomes the victim of an extremely devious frame-up. In the meantime, Jesse has taken a young troublemaker who has recently rolled into town under his sleeve, but it’s a decision he may come to regret.

    Depth of Winter (Walt Longmire Series #14), by Craig Johnson
    In the terrifying new novel in the beloved Walt Longmire series, Walt’s worst nightmare is realized when his daughter, Cady, is kidnapped by a vicious Mexican drug cartel—and they’re auctioning her off to the highest bidder among Walt’s (many, many) sworn enemies. When neither the American nor the Mexican governments offer much assistance, Walt must head off into the 110-degree Northern Mexican desert by himself to find her.

    Field of Bones (Joanna Brady Series #18), by J. A. Jance
    Sheriff Joanna Brady is on maternity leave, but a frightening serial killer’s gruesome shenanigans across several jurisdictions draw her back on the case (although tending to a newborn and reading through the cold cases in her father’s diaries is interesting, a chilling serial homicide case is just as compelling in its own way).

    Christmas Cake Murder (Hannah Swensen Series #23), by Joanna Fluke
    Fans of this delicious series will relish traveling back in time with Hannah Swensen to a Christmas many years ago, where they will witness the origin of Hannah’s bake shop, the Cookie Jar. Hannah is feeling stalled in life and in love, and she throws herself gratefully into the recreation of a marvelous Christmas Ball in honor of elderly local hospice resident Essie Granger. But soon Hannah finds herself sucked into Essie’s old notebooks, which detail a fascinating mystery story that soon becomes more than just a story—and more deadly, too.

    A Willing Murder, by Jude Deveraux
    After Sara Medlar retires from a highly successful career as a romance novelist, she finds herself getting restless. So she takes on a very large (as in, mansion-sized) renovation project in her hometown of Lachlan, Florida, but it ends up being a bit more than she can manage. Fortunately her niece Kate has accepted a job in Lachlan and needs a place to stay, so she gives Sara some much-needed company. Before long sparks begin to fly between Kate and another houseguest, contractor Jackson Wyatt. Unfortunately, before long the unlikely trio unearths a pair of long-buried skeletons, which shake the town up in a bad way. Beloved romance author Jude Deveraux brings us her very first mystery novel and it’s a perfect blend of romance and suspense.

    John Woman, by Walter Mosley
    A deliciously offbeat and unexpected novel of ideas from a master of the mystery genre, John Woman tells the story of an ordinary young man who reinvents himself as John Woman, history professor with revolutionary ideas about controlling the narrative of history in order to command your own destiny. But a dark incident from his past—and shadowy individuals who may be using their knowledge of it to control him—threaten the new life he has built for himself.

    The Cats Came Back (Magical Cats Mystery Series #10), by Sofie Kelly
    Mayville Heights, MN librarian Kathleen Paulson and her magical cats, Hercules and Owen, are excited for the town’s upcoming music festival—until a dead body turns up by the river. Sadly, the victim is a friend of Kathleen’s, but she also bears a striking resemblance to a singer who was slated to perform at the festival. Was she really the target, or was this a case of mistaken identity? Fans of this long-running series (even those who aren’t cat people!) will lap up this entertaining installment.

    Mrs. Jeffries and the Three Wise Women (Mrs. Jeffries Series #36), by Emily Brightwell
    Christopher Gilhaney seems to have made enemies at a recent Guy Fawkes Night dinner party—judging by the fact that he was shot dead later that night. Granted, he did spend the evening insulting every guest in attendance, to the mortification of hostess Abigail Chase. The mystery of Christopher’s murder, which is suspected to be related to a botched robbery, remains unsolved six weeks later, and Inspector Witherspoon’s expertise is called upon. But the holidays are approaching, and Witherspoon and his household at large are concerned that their holiday plans are at risk of being interrupted. Can they put this one to bed, or will the truth forever elude them?

    Dark Tide Rising (William Monk Series #26), by Anne Perry
    When a wealthy businessman’s wife is kidnapped in broad daylight, he asks the Thames River Police to be there for her ransom exchange. Monk assembles a trusted team of men, but when the exchange goes awry, he is left wondering who gave away knowledge of their plans. As he begins to dig into the pasts of some of his most seemingly faithful colleagues, he uncovers dangerous secrets that put more just their working relationships at risk.

    Wild Fire: A Shetland Island Mystery (Shetland Island Series #8), by Ann Cleeves
    An English family moves to the Shetland islands, hoping to build a better life for their autistic son—but when the body of a local young nanny is discovered, hanging in their old barn, it sparks rumors of an affair and throws the entire family into suspicion. When Det. Insp. Jimmy Perez is called in to investigate, his boss, Willow Reeves, returns to head the investigation, which forces him to confront their rather complicated relationship. This compelling installment may be Perez’s final case, and fans would do well not to miss it.

    The Man Who Came Uptown, by George Pelecanos
    Like many inmates, Michael Hudson is passing the time in prison by reading voraciously—and lucky for him, the prison librarian, Anna, has taken a shine to him and is keeping him supplied with books. Also lucky for Michael is the fact that a witness in his trial has been discouraged from testifying, and he is soon free. Now that he’s back out in the world, Michael discovers that thanks to his literary education, it’s a much broader world than he remembers. But he’s torn between the temptation to stay straight, and his allegiance to the man who helped get him released. You’ll race through this fascinating examination of redemption and hard choices.

    What mystery novels are you excited to read this month?

    The post September’s Best New Mysteries appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Molly Schoemann-McCann 4:00 pm on 2018/07/30 Permalink
    Tags: desolation mountain, , feared, , , , , Olen Steinhauer, pieces of her, , , the middleman, the mystery of three quarters, the prisoner in the castle, walking shadows, william kent krueger   

    August’s Best New Mysteries 

    The dog days of summer are here at last, but armchair sleuths know the best way to fight rising temperatures is by diving into a chilling new mystery. Gumshoes are spoiled for choice this month when it comes to choosing their next adventure. There’s a new nailbiter by Karin Slaughter (so get ready to stay up all night), Lisa Scottoline has brought us a twisty new addition to the Rosato and DiNunzio series, and Sophie Hannah continues her expert revival of Agatha Christie’s incomparable Hercule Poirot novels. Grab your motorized fan, your frosty beverage of choice, and prepare to find your next favorite mystery.

    Feared (Rosato and DiNunzio Series #6), by Lisa Scottoline
    The law firm of Rosato and DiNunzio is being sued for reverse sex discrimination—by three men who say the firm refused to hire them because they were men. Not only that, but the firm’s only male employee is getting ready to resign in order to back up their case. Of course, the plaintiffs’ are being represented by noneother than ruthless attorney Nick Machiavelli, who holds a grudge against Mary, and is doing everything he can to not only win the (bogus) case, but destroy the firm in the process. And when the case becomes deadly, the stakes grow ever higher.

    Pieces of Her, by Karin Slaughter
    Timid Andrea Cooper and her mother Laura are enjoying a quiet birthday lunch together at the mall when a sudden act of violence causes Laura, a celebrated speech therapist, to spring into action. Andrea is left scrambling to learn more about her mother’s past, even as a frightening incident with an obsessed intruder from her past leaves Laura in the hospital. It’s up to Andrea to piece together her mother’s past in order to protect both of them from imminent danger. Like all of Slaughter’s brilliant books, this novel is a thrill ride that never lets up.

    Desolation Mountain (Cork O’Connor Series #17), by William Kent Krueger
    Throughout his life, Stephen O’Connor has had visions that have warned him of tragedies to come. When he experiences a vision of a giant bird being shot out of the sky, he knows it’s a harbinger of terrible news, and he’s proven right when he learns that a devastating plane crash on Desolation Mountain has killed a senator and most of her family. Stephen and his father, Cork, head to the scene to look for survivors, but when the FBI shows up, they figure their involvement in the crash is over. Instead, it has only begun, as the pair is drawn into a harrowing investigation filled with suspicious characters and shadowy organizations with hidden agendas—who become deadly when their livelihoods are threatened. The B&N Exclusive edition of this harrowing story features a bonus Cork O’Connor short story.

    The Prisoner in the Castle (Maggie Hope Series #8), by Susan Elia MacNeal
    Imprisoned on a remote Scottish island at the height of WWII because of her possession of sensitive information about the planned invasion of France, former spy Maggie Hope and her fellow inmates are passing the time not entirely unpleasantly…until they begin dropping dead in grisly and mysterious ways. Can Maggie solve the mystery of these murders and—more importantly—escape both her prison and their fate before it’s too late? Fans of Agatha Christie’s unforgettable And Then There Were None will relish this smart, tightly-written historical thriller and its compelling heroine.

    The Middleman, by Olen Steinhauer
    In this chillingly modern and evocative thriller, four hundred Americans disappear one summer day in 2017—leaving behind their phones, IDs, and families and vanishing without a trace. It turns out they are part of a movement that refers to itself as the Massive Brigade, which was formed by a disturbing and charismatic leader, Martin Bishop. Members of the Massive Brigade are disenfranchised by current politics, but their actual goals are unknown, and the FBI, along with Special Agent Rachel Proulx, is determined to get to the bottom of their organization before it can cause irreparable damage to the country. This nailbiting thriller, which feels ripped from the headlines, is perfect for John le Carré fans looking for a whip smart, challenging read that will make them think.

    The Mystery of Three Quarters (Hercule Poirot Series), by Sophie Hannah
    Poirot returns from a lunch to find a furious woman on his doorstep berating him for sending her a letter accusing her of the murder of one Barnabas Pandy, whom she claims to have never heard of. Poirot has never heard of him either, and as it turns out, three other people have also received letters from someone impersonating Poirot and accusing them of murdering Pandy. In her third novel continuing the adventures of the late Agatha Christie’s lively detective, Sophie Hannah has written an ingenious mystery that fans of Christie will thoroughly enjoy.

    Walking Shadows: A Decker/Lazarus Novel, by Faye Kellerman
    When the body of a young man is found brutally murdered in the woods just outside a quiet town in upstate New York, Peter Decker can find no immediate explanation for the crim. The victim, Brady Neil, was quiet, hardworking, and kept to himself. But as Decker digs deeper into his past, he discovers that Brady’s father was a convicted criminal, having robbed a jewelry store years earlier. The store’s owners were found dead, but Brady’s father always denied killing them. As the plot thickens, one of Brady’s few friends goes missing, and also turns up murdered. Can Decker get to the bottom of this decades-old mystery before it gets any deadlier?

    The post August’s Best New Mysteries appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Molly Schoemann-McCann 4:00 pm on 2018/06/29 Permalink
    Tags: a gathering of secrets, a measure of darkness, a noise downstairs, , , , , , , , , , , paradox, rescued, the quiet side of passion: an isabel dalhousie novel, the sinners   

    July’s Best New Mysteries 

    July is the time for gumshoes to put on their wide-brimmed detective hats, slather on the SPF, and dive into an exciting new mystery. We’ve got something for everyone in this crop of whodunnits, psychological thrillers, and charming cozies, which includes everything from adorable dogs to a haunted typewriter.

    Paradox (FBI Series #22), by Catherine Coulter
    What could the attempted kidnapping of FBI Agents Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock’s five year old son have to do with a collection of bones dredged up from the bottom of a lake after a sherrif witnesses a murder on its surface? As it turns out, there may be a strong link—and it’s in the form of a escaped mental patient who is out for revenge. The twenty-second installment in Coulter’s bestselling FBI series has the pulse-pounding plot and relentless pacing that her fans know and love, and it’s going to be tough to put this one down before you’ve reached the end.

    A Measure of Darkness (Clay Edison Series #2), by Jonathan Kellerman and Jesse Kellerman
    Deputy coroner Clay Edison has enough on his plate these days. His brother is out of prison, and family things are complicated; he’s got a good thing going with his steady girlfriend and he’s worried about screwing it up, and his last case, although successful, netted him a suspension. So he’s not exactly thrilled when he’s called to the scene of a wild party in an up and coming neighborhood that’s gone wrong—wrong enough to need a coroner. One victim in particular stands out as different from the other—Jane Doe was horribly assaulted and left for dead and no one has been able to identify her. Obsessed with her case, Clay’s investigation into her story leads him down dark path into a harrowing world filled with danger and terrible secrets.

    A Gathering of Secrets (Kate Burkholder Series #10), by Linda Castillo
    Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called to investigate a fire in an insular Amish community—a barn burned to the ground in the middle of the night—but when the body of a well-known and well-liked young Amish man is found among the wreckage, burned alive, the mystery deepens and turns sinister. As Kate turns to the community she was once a part of for answers, she finds herself rebuffed at every turn. Is it because she’s an outsider—or is this seemingly peaceful community hiding something dark and disturbing? The closer Kate comes to the truth, the more she is forced to acknowledge about her own past—and a chilling possibility.

    The Sinners, by Ace Atkins
    Things are going poorly for Sheriff Quinn Colson these days. Ages ago his late uncle put the Patriarch of the no-account Pritchard clan behind bars, but he’s out now, and ready to cause trouble. Quinn’s got a wedding to get ready for, which is a positive development, but it’s been overshadowed by a sketchy trucking firm that has come to Tibbehah with its own violent agenda. When an innocent man pays the price of a business partnership gone wrong, can Quinn get his groove back in time to make sure justice prevails?

    Rescued, by David Rosenfelt
    Fans of the Andy Carpenter series know that mysteries + puppies = a winning combination, and the 17th novel in the series is further proof. Andy is hard at work manning the Tara Foundation, his dog rescue organization, which he enjoys a bit more than his chosen profession as a defense lawyer. But when the driver of a truck carrying 70 dogs up for adoption is murdered, the case has his name on it. The only small snag? The person accused of the murder is none other than Andy’s wife’s (handsome, strapping, ex-Marine) ex-fiance. Even worse? Andy believes his claim of innocence. This case is shaping up to be an extra tricky one, but his wife is insisting he take it.

    A Noise Downstairs, by Linwood Barclay
    Paul Davis is a college professor enjoying a normal life when he witnesses a murderer getting rid of several bodies on a deserted road late at night. This experience derails his enjoyably mundane existence and leaves him deeply traumatized, and when his wife Charlotte buys him a typewriter in an effort to cheer him up, he begins hearing the sound of typing in the middle of the night—but he’s the only one who can hear it. Before long, Paul has convinced himself that the typewriter has something to do with the murderer he witnessed—who apparently forced his victims to type apologies to him right before he killed them. This twisty psychological thriller by a master of the genre is not to be missed.

    The Quiet Side of Passion: An Isabel Dalhousie Novel, by Alexander McCall Smith
    Isabel has her hands full with her family (two young boys) and her career (a ton of editing work has falling into her lap), so at her husband’s suggestion she hires an au pair, and an assistant editor—but both women are involved in dubious romantic entanglements that Isabel worries may affect their work. As their boss, should she get involved in their personal lives? In the meantime, Isabel is befriended by Patricia, the single mother of a friend of her son’s. Knowing that Patricia has a hard time of it raising a child by herself, Isabel tries to reserve judgment when she notices Patricia making dubious decisions—but she grows concerned when she notices her associating with one particularly unsavory character.



    The post July’s Best New Mysteries appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Molly Schoemann-McCann 4:00 pm on 2018/06/28 Permalink
    Tags: an astronaut's guide to life on earth, chris hadfield, earthrise: my adventures as an apollo 14 astronaut, edgar mitchell, endurance: a year in space a lifetime of discovery, floating 'round my tin can, flying to the moon: an astronaut's story, , , , sally ride, scott kelly, to space and back   

    Books in Space: 5 Great Astronaut Memoirs 

    There’s just no cooler resume line item in the world than “astronaut.” You can take your actors, your rock stars, your Nobel Prize winners. Yeah, sure they made art and connected with millions, but the one thing none of those people ever did was leave the Earth in a marvel of science and engineering and visit outer space.

    Blasting off to the infinity and beyond (or at the least the moon, or Earth’s orbit) is something only a few hundred people in history have ever done. And until consumer space flights and Mars colonization become a thing, being an astronaut is such a unique and fascinating experience that we’ll have to look to the thoughts and recollections of others to get even a taste of what it’s actually like to gaze at Earth from above. Here are six astronauts who went to space, returned, and then wrote about it.

    Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery, by Scott Kelly
    For some, going to space is a once- or twice-in-a-career occurrence. For Scott Kelly, going to space is his career. This dude has spent about as much time in space as you’ve spent in an office. He’s been on four different space flights and no American has ever spent more time in space. He’s the perfect guinea pig—and now literary expert—on the effects of long-term spaceflight on the human body, brain, and spirit. He writes unflinchingly about being in space, and the difficulty of returning to civilian life. Especially interesting is Kelly’s report of a fascinating experiment in which he took part. To study exactly what space does to the body, NASA studied his earthbound twin brother and compared his aging process to that of Kelly…who spent an entire year in the outer limits.

    An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, by Chris Hadfield
    Not only is Chris Hadfield an astronaut with more than 4,000 space hours to his credit, he’s an unabashedly joyful and welcoming ambassador (and fan) of space programs. He revived widespread interest in space travel with his dispatches from space, satellite hookups to classrooms, and viral video of himself singing David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” aboard the International Space Station. In his book, the perpetually-wonder-filled Hadfield details his journey from an Ontario corn farm to the world’s most famous modern-day spaceman. He’s also remarkably frank—and fantastically detailed—about the process of going into space, and the day-to-day, moment-to-moment realities of living in space.

    Flying to the Moon: An Astronaut’s Story, by Michael Collins
    Of the three men to successfully reach the moon for the first time in July 1969—Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins—only Collins didn’t get to actually set foot on that sweet, sweet green cheese surface. As the Command Module Pilot for the Apollo 11 spacecraft, Collins dropped off Armstrong and Aldrin in their Lunar Module and then he orbited the moon. That means Collins was the only one of the historic trio to spend time in space alone, placing him in the embedded observer role on the NASA moon mission. He was uniquely qualified, then, to give this fascinating, first-hand, well-measured journalistic account on what it was like to go to the moon and back.

    To Space and Back, by Sally Ride
    It’s a memoir in the form of a coffee table book…for kids! The extra-large full-color format allows for tons of remarkable photos taken in space, adding an extra dimension (and something to contemplate) while one reads the words and memories of Ride, the first American woman in space. The copy is geared towards children, and the questions they’d have about space, such as how it feels to be weightless, the unique strangeness of blasting off, and what (and how) astronauts on the Space Shuttle eat.

    Earthrise: My Adventures as an Apollo 14 Astronaut, by Edgar Mitchell
    Mitchell was part of the Apollo 14 crew in 1971, one of NASA’s final moonshots and one that was relatively (but not completely) uneventful when compared to Apollo 11 (the first one that landed on the moon) and Apollo 13 (which was so notably disastrous they made a movie about it). Mitchell covers the nerve-wracking experience that is flying to the moon, but that’s just part of this The Right Stuff-esque account of a man who was a career astronaut and who had a knack for being in the right place at the right time. For example, he spent a great deal of time in Roswell, New Mexico—when the government was conducting nuclear testing, and when a UFO supposedly crashed there—and served as a Navy fighter pilot. Mitchell isn’t afraid to get profound either, waxing poetic as he does about looking down on one’s own home planet.

    What astronaut memoirs would you recommend?

    The post Books in Space: 5 Great Astronaut Memoirs appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

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