Updates from Saskia Lacey Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Saskia Lacey 3:15 pm on 2017/08/15 Permalink
    Tags: arts and crafts, , , hands on,   

    5 Perfect Crafting Books for Etsy Fiends and Creative Kids 

    DIY divas unite! The following collection caters to the crafting inclined. Each book offers simple, step-by-step guides to everything from crepe paper bouquets and psychedelic soaps to lunchbox guitars and popsicle stick purses. Craft on!

    Paper to Petal, by Rebecca Thuss and Patrick Farrell
    Rebecca Thuss and Patrick Farrell are a husband and wife team whose work includes photography, design, and paper crafting. Many of their paper creations are whimsical, quite unlike flowers ordinarily found in nature: one can picture them blooming somewhere in Dorothy’s Oz or Alice’s Wonderland.

    Each flower found in the book has a different inspiration, from cupcake sprinkles to stained glass to flying kites. The book includes a colorful gallery of crepe paper creations, a detailed list of materials and skills needed to create each flower, and templates and tutorials for each of the 75 blooms.

    Soap Crafting, by Anne-Marie Faiola
    In this introduction to the science of soap-making, Faiola walks “soapers” through 31 recipes. A self-professed “soap queen,” she details different soap-making processes, necessary equipment, and the properties of ingredients including essential oils and fragrances. Some of her master creations include color block and stained glass soaps. As newbie soapers make their way through the book, recipes become progressively harder. This allows readers to successfully build on their new skills with each project!

    Martha Stewart’s Favorite Crafts for Kids, by the editors of Martha Stewart Living
    Charming, inventive, and easy to work from, this crafting book is a must have for every parent. Each activity is playful perfection: children will construct unique characters from felt, pipe cleaners, and even rocks! Children will stretch their imaginations creating hand-drawn stuffed animals, miniature worlds, pinecone elves, and more. Each of the 175 projects, from the seasonal to the timeless, includes a list of materials and step-by step guides.

    Maker Dad, by Mark Frauenfelder
    Authored by the editor in chief of Make magazine, this book is aimed toward a very specific audience: dads and their daughters in search of DIY projects to share. The result is a pretty dang adorable book, with projects including giant bubble wands, silkscreened T-shirts, rubber stamps made from scratch, and kite video cameras. Though geared towards dads and daughters, the book is sure to appeal to any parent and to craft-loving sons.

    The Craftster Guide to Nifty, Thrifty, and Kitschy Crafts, by Leah Kramer
    If retro crafts are your thing, Leah Kramer’s book will delight you. It includes fifty projects, forty of which are taken from vintage craft books. Teach your little one to make the same crafts their grandparents may have learned as a child, including Popsicle stick purses, trashcan lamps, egg carton lanterns, and plastic bottle piggy banks. And Kramer’s got cred: she’s the founder of Craftster.com, a crafting community started in 2003.

    The post 5 Perfect Crafting Books for Etsy Fiends and Creative Kids appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Saskia Lacey 9:00 pm on 2017/06/28 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    20 Necessary Reads for Geek-Proud Teens 

    Every nerd worth their salt has a library filled with stories of geeky heroes and heroines. To a true nerd, a well-stocked library is like Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, a place of refuge and renewal. Gain strength from the following books—and give it to the teen reader in your life. They’ll thank you for the hours of bookworm joy.

    An Abundance of Katherines, by John Green
    Colin Singleton is a prodigy with a perennially broken heart. While he can anagram just about any word forty different ways, he’s a dunce when it comes to girls named Katherine. When dumped by his latest love, Katherine XXIX, Colin ditches town with his best friend, hoping to heal his heart by logging major miles on the open road. Along the way, the two friends land in a town named Gutshot, start working for a business that makes tampon strings, and befriend a former girl nerd who has found the secret to popularity—and whose name, fortuitously, is not Katherine.

    The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Arnold Spirit is a teenage cartoonist trying to survive life on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Bullied by his peers and jaded by his lack of options, the brilliant Arnold transfers to a better school off the res. But navigating his new surroundings while trying to maintain old loyalties isn’t easy. Arnold’s razor-sharp wit and basketball skills help him cope, but it’s his courage and scrappy strength that keep him afloat. Alexie’s book is a National Book Award winner that has received infinite praise since its 2007 debut. If you haven’t yet read it, put this book at the tippy-top of your reading list.

    Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell
    From the outside, Eleanor and Park are an odd pair.: she’s the redheaded new girl who’s too busy surviving poverty and a horrible home life to even try to fit in. He’s the son of a happy home but, as one of his school’s few biracial teens, a master of staying under the radar. They should have nothing to do with each other, but find unexpected common ground on the school bus. First they share a seat, then a comic book, then cassette tapes of Joy Division and the Smiths. This instant classic is a Romeo and Juliet set in 1980s Omaha.

    Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline
    In Ready Player One, life happens inside the gaming platform OASIS, where people work, play, and go to school. Virtual reality is a relief from the real world, which suffers from massive unemployment, environmental damage, and next-level overpopulation issues. And when the billionaire creator of OASIS, James Halliday, kicks the bucket, people become even more obsessed with the virtual world. Before he died, Halliday built a final, wildly immersive game, and the person who finishes it first will inherit his fortune. Wade Watts, avatar name Parzival, may be a nobody, but he’s determined to win. How, you might ask? With his encyclopedic knowledge of 80s trivia, of course!

    Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson
    Superheroes may save the day, but villains have more fun. Nimona is a crime-loving shapeshifter, a force of chaos. She delights in spreading mischief and mayhem. Her life is missing just one thing: a partner in crime. Enter Lord Ballister Blackheart, a vengeful supervillain. Blackheart and Nimona would be an unbeatable duo, if Nimona could play along. After all, even villains have rules. But aimless destruction, Nimona’s forte, isn’t really a team sport. A graphic novel by Noelle Stevenson, Nimona is a comic powerhouse with a bittersweet backstory and stellar artwork. 

    Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
    Forget what you thought you knew about Frankenstein. The original, penned by Mary Shelley and published in 1818, is darker, stranger, and much, much cooler than any of its successors. Widely considered to be literature’s first science fiction novel, its author was just 21 when the novel was published. If you like your gothic sci-fi with a dash of philosophy, this book might just be your new favorite read.

    The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
    Holden Caulfield has been a friend to generations of adolescents. There’s just something about his voice: its immediacy hooks you right in. The moment you open the book, there he is, complaining about the world and its phonies. Caulfield is real from page one. His story is one of isolation, grief, and longing for connection, making The Catcher in the Rye a must-read for all teens, and a must-reread for adults.

    Youth in Revolt: The Journals of Nick Twisp, by C.D. Payne
    Nick Twisp is a cynical 15-year-old in love with Frank Sinatra, French New Wave cinema, and a girl named Sheeni. Twisp is willing to do pretty much anything to win Sheeni’s affections: Change identities. Get in trouble with the law. Yep, anything. C.D. Payne’s hilarious novel is the first in a seven-part series.

    The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman
    Budding fantasy novel nerds, start here. Pullman’s multiverse is one of the best. In this world, everyone has a daemon, an animal that is the living embodiment of that person’s soul. During childhood, daemons have shapeshifting abilities, but as puberty approaches, they assume a single form, one that represents their human’s true self.  The importance of daemons are at the heart of this gorgeous fantasy adventure series, following intrepid young Lyra Bellacqua, who’s more important than she realizes.

    A Ring of Endless Light, by Madeleine L’Engle
    Madeleine L’Engle is probably most famous for the Time Quintet, which includes A Wrinkle in Time and A Swiftly Tilting Planet. However, she penned another collection that is equally compelling. A Ring of Endless Light is the fourth in the Austin Family series, but can be read as a standalone novel. The greatest selling point of this coming-of-age tale might be its inclusion of human-dolphin telepathy.

    Hamlet, by William Shakespeare
    Ah, Hamlet, the James Dean of the Elizabethan Age. Every tortured soul borrows something from the Prince of Denmark. He is the poster boy of pouting, the man of endless woe. Shakespeare’s play is one of political intrigue, murder, doomed love, and ghosts. Basically, it’s awesome. If that doesn’t convince you, then read it to become well-versed in 16th-century insults, ye pigeon-liver’d fool!

    Franny and Zooey, by J.D. Salinger
    If after reading The Catcher in the Rye, you find yourself craving more Salinger, try Franny and Zooey. The book’s titular characters are former prodigies and siblings, who discuss the meaning of life with an earnest charm that avoids preachiness. Highly recommended for searching young people!

    Harriet the Spy, by Louise Fitzhugh
    This is technically a kid’s book, but it’s also a primer on how to be a nerd. In other words, Harriet the Spy is mandatory reading no matter your age. The OG of spy kids, Harriet is endlessly interested in the peculiar habits of other people. She muses on the socks of her classmates, the rich neighbor who never gets out of bed, and everything in between. Wherever she goes, Harriet carries her trusty journal, jotting down her observations, some of them not so nice. When her secret spy journal is discovered by her classmates, Harriet becomes a pariah and has to work her way back into everyone’s good graces, without compromising her powerful sense of self.

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Charlie is used to taking in life from the sidelines. But when he starts high school at a new school, things change, as he becomes friends with people who actually celebrate his strangeness. He’s a rare sort of YA protagonist, one who is deeply curious about the lives of others. So often the coming-of-age genre reflects our self-obsessed natures, championing the desires of the individual above all else. But Chbosky’s hero is different, in the very best way.

    The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath
    Warning: if you haven’t already heard, The Bell Jar is a dark read. Esther Greenwood is a girl who seems to have it all, but during a magazine internship, she begins to fall apart. Greenwood’s telling of her descent varies between comically blunt and hauntingly poetic. No matter the tone, her struggles remain relatable. She is a young woman who hungers for everything and nothing at the same time.

    Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
    A science fiction classic, Card’s novel is about a boy taken from his family and groomed into a master tactician. Andrew Wiggin, “Ender,” is just 6 years old when he enters battle school. But in a few short years, he rises through the ranks to lead the world in the war against the “buggers,” a destructive alien race. When training games start having real-life consequences, Ender is torn. He must choose his own path forward, for better or worse.

    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer
    Foer’s second novel is about grief and what we do when trying to cope. The book’s protagonist, Oskar Schell, is 9 years old, super smart, and recovering from the loss of his father, who died during the attacks on the World Trade Center. When Oskar finds a strange key, he believes it is a message from his father. The boy begins his hunt, searching all of New York for answers.

    I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov
    Another book written long ago and set in what is now the not-so-distant future, Asimov’s work is a series of short stories chronicling the evolution of robots. The book centers around Susan Calvin, a robopsychologist, as she details her history with bots. These chronicles may be different from what you’re used to. They are not stories of violent robo-rebellion. In Asimov’s world, robots are governed by three basic rules: they must not harm humans, they must follow human orders unless the orders cause harm to other humans, and they must protect themselves from harm. But, as Calvin explains, loopholes develop, and that’s when things get interesting.

    That Summer, by Sarah Dessen
    Slouchers unite! Sarah Dessen’s debut novel is a must read for tall girls everywhere. Haven, 15 years old and closing in on six feet, can’t help but wax nostalgic about life before her growth spurt. Especially that one summer when everything was better. The summer when her parents were in love and her moody sister Ashley was actually being nice. Because now Haven’s parents are getting divorced, and her sister has become a bridezilla. If Haven could just find her way back to that summer, all would be well. Or, at least, that’s what she thinks until secrets from that summer come to light.

    The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
    The world is ending. For real. Arthur Dent and his alien best friend need to get off the blue planet ASAP. During his intergalactic travels, Arthur becomes part of a strange crew that includes a sad sack robot and a two-headed former hippie. Filled with looney mischief, Douglas Adams’ novel is unlike anything you’ve read before.

    The post 20 Necessary Reads for Geek-Proud Teens appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Saskia Lacey 11:00 am on 2017/06/08 Permalink
    Tags: , , , future classics   

    Future Classics: 50 Literary Greats 

    Here are fifty incredible literary works destined to become classics (in no particular order!). Many are Pulitzer Prize winners, but there are a few dark horses. If your favorite literary masterpiece has not been included, fret not, the comments section awaits! Tell us about any we’ve missed, any you disagree with, or any you think are spot on. And then add the ones you may not have gotten to yet to the top of your teeteringTo Be Read pile…

    The Pale King, by David Foster Wallace
    The last missive from one of our generation’s literary gods, The Pale King holds its ground among the author’s greatest works. Told from the perspective of an IRS agent, David Foster Wallace does the impossible: he shapes the seemingly drab work of accounting into something compelling, heartbreaking, and, of course, wonderfully comic.

    The True History of the Kelly Gang, by Peter Carey
    Peter Carey’s fictionalized account of a real man, Ned Kelly, paints the bank robber as a noble sort of scoundrel. Loved by the poor, but hated by the police, Ned Kelly, the Jesse James of Australia, writes to his daughter while hiding out from the law.

    Blonde, by Joyce Carol Oates
    From Norma Jeane Baker to Marilyn Bombshell Monroe, Joyce Carol Oates takes us from the icon’s girlhood to Hollywood stardom. Fictional, but achingly believable, Blonde gives us a new vision of the silver screen legend.

    Chronic City, by Jonathan Lethem
    Chronic City revolves around Chase Insteadman, a former child actor, and Perkus Tooth, a pop culture fanatic with a Marlon Brando obsession. The two unlikely friends bond through a series of stoned adventures, some of which land them among the uber rich of New York’s Upper East Side.

    Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett
    A story of captives and captors in South America, Ann Patchett’s novel is defined by its swoon-worthy prose. The novel’s setting is a birthday party for a wealthy businessman. Roxane Coss, a gifted opera singer, is the highlight of the evening. The party sours when a pack of terrorists turn the celebration into a war zone.

    The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
    With just a pistol between them and the world’s (almost unspeakable) evils, father and son journey through a post-apocalyptic hellscape. McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel is relentless, horrific, and impossible to turn away from.

    The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer
    At a summer camp for the artistically gifted, six young people with “potential” forge lifelong friendships. After camp ends, each takes a different path. Some use their gifts to great success, their promised potential resulting in actual fame. The Interestings is about the joy, pain, comradery, and competition of creative friendships.

    House of Leaves, by Mark Z. Danielewski
    A novel with an impossible history, House of Leaves was once just a stack of papers passed between friends. Now, years after its publication, the book is a horror classic. At the center of Danielewski’s novel is the house on Ash Tree Lane, bigger on the inside than it is on the outside, and full of strange secrets.

    Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel
    King Henry VIII and the world are at odds. The King is determined to marry Anne Boleyn, much to the chagrin of the Catholic Church. With Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel reinvents some of Britain’s most famous figures of history: Thomas Cromwell, and Henry VIII. Wolf Hall was winner of the 2009 Man Booker Prize.

    The Accursed, by Joyce Carol Oates
    Across the city, girls from good families are disappearing. It’s the early 1900s and something is haunting Princeton, New Jersey. Joyce Carol Oates spins a marvelously gothic web with The Accursed, a novel populated by turn of the century greats like Grover Cleveland, Upton Sinclair, Woodrow Wilson, Jack London and Mark Twain.

    Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout
    Powerfully funny, Olive Kitteridge is a novel-in-stories centered around a retired school teacher. Olive Kitteridge is a woman of big emotions. She is kind, ruthless, empathetic, and cruel. She is a total original. Strout’s collection of 13 narratives tells an epic story of a small New England town and its people.

    Life of Pi, by Yann Martel
    A tiger, a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, and a boy named Pi are the lone survivors of a shipwreck. In time, only the boy and the tiger remain. The two survive for months at sea before landing in Mexico. Pi is eager to tell his story, but will anyone believe him?

    The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri
    The Namesake cemented Jhumpa Lahiri’s status as a literary great. Her novel centers around Gogol Ganguli, a child of immigrants who struggles with questions of identity. Throughout The Namesake, Gogol vacillates between trying to fit in, and embracing his position as an outsider. 

    The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Eugenides
    Madeleine Hanna is an English major with a passion for Jane Austen and George Eliot, two literary masters of the marriage plot. But Madeleine’s life is unlike the novels she adores. As a young woman in the 1980s, love has little to do with the courtship rituals of the Victorian novel.

    My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante
    Elena and Lila are friends living in 1950s Italy. In their violent neighborhood, death is not a stranger. As the two friends grow and change, so does their environment. Elena reaches towards writing as an escape, while Lila’s ties to their neighborhood only become stronger. My Brilliant Friend is the first of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan quartet.

    Purity, by Jonathan Franzen
    Purity, or Pip, is on the hunt. She has a murky past, a missing father, and a mother who refuses to answer questions. Her journey will take her to strange places—including a dubious internship in Bolivia—where she will meet unusual people. Among them is Andreas Wolf, a charismatic man with a dangerous history.

    Everything I Never Told You, by Celeste Ng
    Lydia was supposed to do what her Chinese American father never could: fit in. A young girl with a promising future, Lydia was bound to succeed. But everything changes when her body is found at the bottom of a lake. Celeste Ng’s story is one of a small town shaken by the death of a young girl and a family with secrets. Everything I never Told You is an astonishing new author’s debut novel.

    Then We Came to the End, by Joshua Ferris
    Joshua Ferris’ novel of corporate life is a familiar one. Told from the perspective of the collective—the first-person plural “We”—Then We Came to the End is filled with rumors, drama, competition, and workers gone rogue. Essentially, Ferris has created a realistic portrayal of the average, thoroughly dysfunctional, modern office.

    Atonement, by Ian McEwan
    When an intimate moment is misinterpreted by a young girl, the consequences are tragic. Ian McEwan’s novel of two lovers separated by an imagined crime, explores the redemptive nature of storytelling.

    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon
    Michael Chabon’s novel of friendship and identity is a jubilant look at the Golden Age of comics. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, follows artist and magician Joe Kavalier and his comics-obsessed cousin, Sammy Clay, through New York during World War II.

    1Q84, by Haruki Murakami
    The world is not what it seems. Aomame tugs on the thread of reality, and finds it unravels. She should be in Tokyo in 1984, but instead she is in a disturbing and dreamlike parallel universe.

    A Visit From the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan
    A novel revered by music nerds, A Visit From the Goon Squad also happens to be a Pulitzer Prize winner. Egan’s work revolves around the lives of Bennie, a retired punk rocker, and Sasha, his pickpocket employee.

    White Teeth, by Zadie Smith
    For many, White Teeth was an introduction to literary wunderkind, Zadie Smith. The novel is a multicultural masterpiece that follows two London families, one willing to accept the status quo and another who will fight fate every step of the way.

    Netherland, by Joseph O’Neill
    In the aftermath of 9/11, an expat from London navigates a ruined New York. Alone in the city, he searches for connection in local cricket matches.

    Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro
    Three children are raised in an English boarding school, hidden from the rest of the world. They are told that they are special, but the reasons behind their unusual status are unknown. As they grow older, their purpose becomes terrifyingly clear.

    The Human Stain, by Philip Roth
    A well-respected professor, Coleman Silk, is accused of racism. The truth is something very different. Silk has a secret burden he has carried with him all his life. The Human Stain won 2001’s PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.

    Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson
    Named after a fictional town in Iowa, Gilead concerns itself with the life of an aging pastor. John Ames is a man who, even in his old age, retains an immovable Christian faith. In his seventies, Ames has a son, and grieving his lack of time, writes a letter to his son that takes a diary-like form. Gilead is winner of 2004’s Pulitzer Prize. 

    Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides
    Jeffrey Eugenides epic novel centers around Calliope Stephanides. Calliope, later Cal, has been “born twice,” first as a girl, and later, as a boy. Middlesex revolves around Calliope’s transformation and the genetic secret kept by her Greek-American family. A Pulitzer Prize winner, Middlesex is a multigenerational tale of identity, family, reinvention, and humor.

    Look at Me, by Jennifer Egan
    An aging fashion model, Charlotte Swanson, gets in a horrific car accident. After a drastic surgery, she is unrecognizable. Charlotte “recovers” from her accident by throwing herself into drink and navigating her old New York haunts, newly anonymous. Charlotte’s story becomes entangled with that of another, younger Charlotte, who is involved with a dangerous stranger.

    The Known World, by Edward P. Jones
    Henry Townsend was once a slave, but at the beginning of Edward P. Jones’ novel, he is a dying slave owner. Henry has become a man who purchased his freedom only to enslave others. The Known World takes a searing look at the beginning of black “freedom” in America and its dangerous implications for both masters and slaves. 

    Invisible, by Paul Auster
    Adam Walker, a Columbia University undergrad with a love for poetry, is changed by a chance meeting with Rudolf Born, an intense man eager to become his patron. Adam’s dealings with Born quickly become complicated. When Born’s brutal nature finally reveals itself, Adam’s life is forever altered.

    The Sense of An Ending, by Julian Barnes
    Tony Webster’s middle age is comfortable, if a bit lonely. In his sixties, retired, and divorced, it seems that the rest of his life will follow a predictable course. But when visitors from his past upend Tony’s simple existence, he is forced to contend with memory, time, and the friendships and loves of his youth. 

    NW, by Zadie Smith
    Zadie Smith’s NW is the story of four Londoners who begin life in the same poor neighborhood. Each has grown up and reacted to their upbringing in a different way. Some find success, and others are left feeling perpetually displaced, unable to catch up with time. Zadie examines the joys and bitter disappointments of seeking a “traditional” path leading to marriage, children, and the inevitable attempts to escape from both. 

    The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton
    Eleanor Catton’s novel takes place in 19th century New Zealand. Her cast of characters are drawn together by the country’s gold rush and a mysterious crime. Readers of The Luminaries will marvel as the novel’s mysteries slowly reveal themselves. Eleanor Catton’s novel is winner of the Man Booker Prize.

    The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt
    A book with serious heft, reading Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch is a commitment. Thankfully, the nearly 800-page novel, delivers in a big way. It is the story of a young man, Theo Decker, who loses his mother in a tragic accident. As a result of his mother’s death, Theo ends up living a strange life on Manhattan’s upper east side. Through it all is his obsession with Carel Fabritius’ The Goldfinch, a painting that reminds Theo of his lost mother.

    The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach
    Chad Harbach’s novel follows Henry Skrimshander, an athlete whose destiny as a baseball great seems all but certain. But then, things go afoul. With one bad throw, Henry’s whole career hangs in the balance. The repercussions of the mistake are felt not only by Henry, but five others.

    The Blind Assassin, by Margaret Atwood
    Winner of the Man Booker Prize, The Blind Assassin is a story of two sisters who couldn’t be more different. Iris Chase is sensible while her younger sister, Laura, has a wild streak. At the novel’s opening, an aged Iris reflects on her life and the death of her sister. Within this story is another, a science fiction novel penned by Laura. Through both fiction and nonfiction, the story of the two sisters takes shape.

    A Brief History of Seven Killings, by Marlon James
    In 1976, there was an attempted assassination on Bob Marley. A Brief History of Seven Killings grows outward from this event, and covers the explosive history between Jamaica and the United States. Marlon James populates his novel with a diverse cast, which includes CIA agents, politicians, music journalists and drug dealers. 

    Tree of Smoke, by Denis Johnson
    Denis Johnson’s novel will break your heart. Its brutal setting is 1960s Vietnam. At the center of the novel is the story of a young CIA agent named William Sands. Tree of Smoke also features a protagonist from one of the author’s earlier novels, Bill Houston of Angels. Johnson’s novel is winner of 2007’s National Book Award.

    Imagine Me Gone, by Adam Haslett
    Adam Haslett investigates the fraught terrain of mental illness over the course of two generations. Imagine Me Gone focuses on the terror caused by depression and anxiety to those afflicted and those who live with them. Despite its dark material, the novel is filled with warmth and humor.

    The Sellout, by Paul Beatty
    A poor town called Dickens is exiled from California. Taken off the map, Dickens ceases to exist. To fight against anonymity, an African American man does the unthinkable. He revives segregation and slavery, putting himself and his town on center stage, with a Supreme Court trial. Paul Beatty’s satirical novel is a hilarious and essential read.

    Empire Falls, by Richard Russo
    Richard Russo’s novel is a Pulitzer Prize winner. His book follows Miles Roby, a burger joint employee of two decades living in Empire Falls. The city is a dying town run by a wealthy, all-powerful family. Roby’s journey is a simple but compelling one.

    American Woman, by Susan Choi
    Susan Choi’s American Woman centers around an underground political community. She focuses on several young radicals living in hiding, a dark and paranoid existence. Choi’s novel is a claustrophobic character study of how we act under extreme pressure.

    The Circle, by Dave Eggers
    Mae Holland can’t believe she gets to work at the Circle, a nearly omnipotent internet company based in California. Mae starts at the bottom of the corporate ladder, but climbs quickly, becoming more and more entrenched in the company’s culture. The Circle is a spellbinding look at a particular moment in our tech history. Eggers sharply assesses the addictive nature of social media, the cost of total e-connectivity, and the benefits and terrifying consequences of modern surveillance. 

    Train Dreams, by Denis Johnson
    Robert Granier, born at the end of the 19th century, witnesses the shaping of the American West. He is an orphan who gains a family, only to lose them in a fire. A quick and haunting read, Train Dreams is a novella of immense impact. 

    The White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga
    A biting satire narrated by Balman Halwai, an entrepreneur and self-styled “man of tomorrow,” The White Tiger is a vision of the modern Indian class system from the perspective of a man who starts at the bottom. 

    The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
    A young slave named Cora plots her escape from a cotton plantation. Her life is brutal beyond imagining. There is word of secret tunnels, a true underground railroad, but the journey is dangerous. As she travels towards what seems like an impossible freedom, Cora never feels safe; her hunters are always close behind.

    Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell
    An immensely difficult but rewarding read, David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas is comprised of six stories. The style of each varies so greatly that the reader wouldn’t be surprised to learn each story was written by a different author. Cloud Atlas stretches across hundreds of years, transporting the reader from 19th century ships to alien gods of the future. 

    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz
    All Oscar wants is to find love. But being overweight, nerdy, and cursed, his chances don’t look good. Oscar and his Dominican family have been subject to the fukú, a supernatural curse, for as long as anyone can remember. If Oscar is to succeed in love and life, he must battle the unbeatable. 

    Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen
    Walter and Patty Berglund haven’t yet learned how to live. A suburban couple with two children, in building their lives together the Berglunds may have compromised too much. Franzen’s novel follows Patty and Walter through their college years and beyond, where the figure of Walter’s charismatic best friend, Richard, looms large. While both Patty and Walter yearn for a different life, neither are quite willing to let go of the other.

    What books would you add to this list?

    The post Future Classics: 50 Literary Greats appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Saskia Lacey 4:25 pm on 2017/04/17 Permalink
    Tags: , growing up   

    5 Fantastic Coming-of-Age Graphic Novels 

    Whether you’re battling boredom in the suburbs or attending a magical school for mutants, growing up is hard to do. Trekking to adulthood is a universal journey, and teenage angst is a language we all speak. The settings of the following graphic novels may be worlds apart, but each focuses on a coming-of-age, delayed or otherwise.

    Ghost World, by Daniel Clowes
    An oldie but a goodie, Ghost World continues to feel of the moment, despite its lack of tech references. Enid and Rebecca—recent high school graduates and giggly misanthropes—do not text. Instead, they inflict their mopey brand of mean IRL. Everyone is a target: their small town, its inhabitants, and sometimes, each other. As they shuffle towards adulthood, will these two cynics stick together or part ways?

    American Born Chinese, by Gene Luen Yang
    A National Book Award finalist, Yang’s graphic novel follows Jin Wang, a student who longs to fit in with his peers. But, as the only Chinese-American in his class, Jin has no such luck. His misadventures, one of which includes an ill-advised perm, are mirrored by two other interweaving tales. Yang’s work speaks to anyone who has been on the outside.

    SuperMutant Magic Academy, by Jillian Tamaki
    Despite obvious parallels, Tamaki’s academy is no Hogwarts. Her characters are as likely to conjure absurd acts of performance art as they are spells and potions. Episodic in nature and mischievous in tone, this book about magically inclined teens is a quick and delightful read.

    Anya’s Ghost, by Vera Brosgol
    Anya just wants someone to talk to. She’s worried about her weight, the cute boy at school, and steering clear of Dima, a fellow Russian student who reminds her of everything she’s trying not to be. Feeling disconnected and friendless, Ana meets a young girl who seems like the answer to all of her issues. The only problem? She’s 100% dead. Vera Brosgol’s brilliant graphic novel is part murder mystery, part ode to awkward adolescence.

    Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life, by Bryan Lee O’Malley
    The first of a six-volume series, O’Malley’s work chronicles the life and times of a Canadian 23-year-old man-child. In a band, sharing a studio, happily jobless, and dating a high schooler, Scott is pushing against adulthood with all his might. But that’s until Ramona Flowers, an uber cool American, invades his dreams. She’s got seven evil ex-boyfriends, and if Scott wants a chance, he’s gonna need to conquer them all.

    Did we miss any of your favorite coming-of-age graphic novels?

    The post 5 Fantastic Coming-of-Age Graphic Novels appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

Compose new post
Next post/Next comment
Previous post/Previous comment
Show/Hide comments
Go to top
Go to login
Show/Hide help
shift + esc