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  • Whitney Collins 3:30 pm on 2017/07/18 Permalink
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    50 of the Funniest Books Ever Written 

    If you love to laugh then you’re in luck, because we’ve gathered 50 of the funniest books of all time on this can’t-miss list. From the dark and dry to the witty and wry, from the fictive to the factual, from travel logs to comedic blogs, this extensive collection of humor both classic and new includes something for everyone. Get ready to read ‘em and weep with laughter.

    Cold Comfort Farmby Stella Gibbons
    Published in 1932 in satirical response to romantic rural literature popular at the time, Stella Gibbons’ Cold Comfort Farm is a rollicking read about Flora Poste, a broke 19-year-old metropolitan orphan who decides to impose herself upon her remote farming relatives, the Starkadders. Full of aptly (and hilariously) named characters such as the Jersey cows, Graceless, Pointless, Aimless, and Feckless; and cousins Urk, Ezra, Harkaway, and Caraway, this laugh-out-loud novel details what happens when a bossy city girl tries to meddle in pastoral affairs.

    A Confederacy of Duncesby John Kennedy Toole
    Posthumous winner of the 1981 Pulitzer Prize, Toole’s masterpiece has awed and entertained scholars, skeptics, and general scalawags for decades. This peerless and eternally hilarious novel relays the misadventures of the misanthropic Ignatius Reilly—a thirtysomething who lives with his mother in 1960s New Orleans and struggles to find work while battling an affliction of the pyloric valve—as well as the various trials of the colorful characters of the Quarter.

    Do the Windows Open?by Anne Hecht
    Originally published as a series of absurd pieces in the New Yorker, Do the Windows Open? follows the life of a neurotic narrator who spends most of her time attempting to photograph bizarre subjects, most notably a renowned reproductive surgeon, the ponds of Nantucket, and the many houses of Anne Sexton. Wry, dry, and irresistible, this book will have readers rooting for its exasperating star, who struggles with claustrophobia, dental complaints, and an impossibly clean macrobiotic diet.

    The Selloutby Paul Beatty
    This satirical novel about race and racism reads like a brilliant standup routine that goes on for days. Every sentence of Paul Beatty’s masterpiece is so dense and multilayered, you’ll want to set aside precious time to absorb the barrage of images and genius within. Chock full of keen observations, singular interpretations, and loads of all-American cultural and historical references, The Sellout is in a league of its own.

    Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir), by Jenny Lawson
    Jenny Lawson, better known on the Interwebs as “the Bloggess,” shines her brightest in this irreverent memoir that reveals what it was like to grow up with a father who ran a taxidermy business out of the house, a mother who worked the school cafeteria, and a sister who shamelessly wore her mascot costume everywhere. Equally morbid and magnificent, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened unearths all of Jenny’s humiliating moments and mines them for wit and wisdom.

    Nakedby David Sedaris
    It’s nearly impossible to choose just one David Sedaris book for this list, as there are nearly a dozen that belong here. But if I’m forced to pick one, Naked takes the cake. Why? Although its contents are much like those contents of his other works (outrageously smart and hysterical essays that render readers incontinent), Naked does include the notorious “C.O.G.,” a piece of writing so stellar and original it’s a wonder anyone, anywhere, has dared put pen to paper since its publication.

    Still Life with Woodpeckerby Tom Robbins
    Redheaded Princess Leigh-Cheri, a former cheerleader turned vegetarian, falls in love with her opposite, outlaw Mickey Wrangle, at a liberal political convention in Hawaii that Mickey intends to bomb. A book about individual priorities, “metaphysical outlaw-ism,” the purpose of the moon, and “how to make love stay,” Still Life with Woodpecker has also been described as a postmodern fairy tale that takes place inside a pack of Camel cigarettes.

    I Was Told There’d Be Cakeby Sloane Crosley
    A collection of helpless, hapless, and howlingly good essays, Crosley’s I Was Told There’d Be Cake details the struggles and pitfalls of young urban life, from upsetting an exhibit at the Natural History Museum to managing an unhealthy obsession with plastic ponies to attending weddings for people you no longer remember.

    Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
    This 1963 science fiction masterpiece follows a cornucopia of crazed characters around a sordid Carribbean island where one writer’s desire to document atomic bomb stories overlaps with a high-stakes political drama. Once a mainstay of every student’s backpack, Cat’s Cradle offers important commentary on American imperialism, man versus technology, and the threat of nuclear war. But above all else, it’s screamingly funny.

    I’m Judging You, by Luvvie Ajayi
    Multi-award-winning writer, critic, blogger, and all-around wisecracking social commentary mastermind Luvvie Ajayi holds nothing back in this howlingly brave and funny collection of essays tackling not just the insipidness of pop culture but the pervasiveness of racism. A self-proclaimed “professional shade thrower,” Ajayi has written a brilliant bestseller that will have you laughing at (and ruthlessly lambasting) the world around you.

    In Persuasion Nation, by George Saunders
    George Saunders, lauded and beloved writer of fiction, is more than just a fantastic storyteller; he’s a keen-eyed satirist who knows both heartache and humor and can expertly dish up equal servings of pathos and absurdity. In Persuasion Nation is a collection of varied short stories that blend the literary with the fantastical and offer poignant insight into the emptiness and hilarity of our modern world.

    Hyperbole and a Halfby Allie Brosh
    Praised as genius, human, broken, and sidesplitting, Hyperbole and a Half is the wildly illustrated book that Bill Gates proclaimed to be “funny and smart as hell.” Spawned from the popular blog and webcomic following Allie’s adventures with depression and rescue dogs, Hyperbole and a Half is one of the most original and captivating creations of our Internet age.

    What I’d Say to the Martians: And Other Veiled Threats, by Jack Handey
    Known for his New Yorker wit, Saturday Night Live bits, and riotous Deep Thoughts, Jack Handey is also celebrated as one of America’s most enduring humorists. In What I’d Say to the Martians, he dishes up his trademark accessible weirdness through various short stories, sketches, and musings. From “How to Prepare a Wild-Caught Rabbit for a Meal” to “My Third Best Friend” (which ends up being his wife, Brenda), Handey will have you gasping for air and buying up copies for friends.

    Our Dumb Worldby The Onion
    Brought to you courtesy of The Onion, arguably the planet’s most hilarious fake news source, Our Dumb World is the most outrageously fun faux atlas you’ll ever encounter. Chock full of laugh-out-loud maps and graphics, this book skewers every corner of the world, from Nevada (“Where Everyone’s a Loser”) to Greenland (“The Largest Land Mass on Earth”).

    Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal, by Christopher Moore
    Most everyone knows the story of Jesus, but no one tells it as well as Christ’s little-known childhood friend, Biff. In Lamb, Christopher Moore retells the short life of the Messiah, including every miracle, journey, kung fu fight, and hot babe you may have missed the first time around. Hailed as both heartfelt and hilarious, this wacky, surprisingly wonderful lost book of the Gospel is truly divine comedy.

    If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t), by Betty White
    Betty White has spent seven decades in Hollywood, so you can imagine she has plenty of tales to tell and wit and wisdom to share. In If You Ask Me, White shares everything she knows about love, fame, our fine feathered and furry friends (she’s a devout animal lover), pop culture, and getting older. This read is as charming as its beloved author.

    The Innocents Abroad, by Mark Twain
    No one writes a travel book quite like humorist Mark Twain. In The Innocents Abroad (aka The New Pilgrims’ Progress), Twain details his journey aboard the chartered Quaker City, which took him and fellow Americans from New York City to Europe and the Holy Lands in 1867. Full of exasperation, awe, and laugh-out-loud comedy, this must-read may make contemporary travelers long for the days of slowpoke steamers.

    How to be a Woman, by Caitlin Moran
    Fearless, feminist, and funny, How to be a Woman, by one of Britain’s most brilliant broads, has been praised as “entirely necessary” and a cultural phenomenon. Full of well-crafted arguments on how to bring down the patriarchy, as well as zingers regarding bras, strip clubs, and witches, this can’t-put-down read is everywoman’s pick-me-up.

    Portnoy’s Complaint, by Philip Roth
    Named for the psychiatric disorder in which “altruistic impulses are perpetually at war with extreme sexual longings,” Philip Roth’s masterpiece is told from a psychoanalyst’s couch. This comedic jewel launched Roth to the forefront of American literature in the ’60s and continues to delight readers with its bravery and bawdiness.

    Diary of a Mad Diva, by Joan Rivers
    The last thing Joan Rivers ever wanted (or expected) as a gift was a diary, but when her daughter, Melissa, gave her one, the world’s most lovable and loudmouthed diva found she had a lot to say. The result is this gasp-inducing gem that skewers Hollywood celebs, New York, LA, vacations in Mexico, and, as always, Joan herself.

    Cruel Shoes, by Steve Martin
    One of the wisest and weirdest comedians of all time penned this classic compilation, which features absurdist short fiction and hilarious essays with LOL titles such as “The Diarrhea Gardens of El Camino Real,” “Poodles…Great Eating,” “The Vengeful Curtain Rod,” and “How To Fold Soup.”

    Under the Frog, by Tibor Fischer
    An audacious and daring black comedy that was the first debut novel ever to be shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Under the Frog tells the dark but surprisingly funny story of two Hungarian basketball players, Pataki and Gyuri, between the end of World War II and the anti-Soviet uprising of 1956. Determined to flee their pointless factory work, the two athletes travel to every corner of Hungary, oftentimes in the nude, on an epic search for food, women, and meaning.

    No One Belongs Here More Than You, by Miranda July
    Miranda July, award-winning performance artist and filmmaker, delights fans and first-time readers alike with this collection of short stories that mine the awkwardness of the human experience for moments both mundane and meaningful. Sly, tender, strange, and often hilarious, July proves with this compilation that she’s one of the smartest, and unexpectedly funniest, voices around.

    A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments, by David Foster Wallace
    There’s nothing quite like David Foster Wallace’s literary gymnastics; his flair for the funny, fearless, and footnoted are indisputably unmatched. And in this howler of a book, in which Wallace reports on experiences ranging from tennis to a Caribbean cruise to the Illinois State Fair, he brings his A-game. Readers will have their minds illuminated and their sides stitched.

    Meaty, by Samantha Irby
    Samantha Irby made her mark with her screamingly funny blog BitchesGottaEat, and the fun continues in outrageous literary debut Meaty. From the crass and witty “How to Get Your Disgusting Meat Carcass Ready for Some New, Hot Sex,” to poignant stories of her mother’s death and her struggles with Crohn’s, this bawdy and beautiful grouping of essays covers everything from poverty, race, and tacos to kittens, longing, and recipes. Yes, she’s included a few, to readers’ great joy.

    Skinny Dip, by Carl Hiaasen
    Only the outrageous plot master and character genius Carl Hiaasen could concoct something as rude and riotous as Skinny Dip, a novel involving attempted murder, bales of floating Jamaican pot, ex-cops, and fraudulent marine biologists. Readers can’t go wrong reading any of Hiaasen’s works, but this beauty in particular dips into the real skinny of his comedic genius.

    Bossypants, by Tina Fey
    Everyone knows who Tina Fey is: she’s an SNL queen, she’s Liz Lemon, she’s an accomplished and adored writer, actor, producer, and comedian. But who was she before all that? In Bossypants, the Tina Fey story is brought to life, in the sort of autobiography everyone wishes they had written—and lived. From her early days working at the YMCA to her adventures in motherhood, this tell-all shows Fey really is as down to earth, and otherworldly, as we’ve made her out to be.

    Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
    Trust us: if authors Gaiman and Pratchett are in charge of Armageddon, it’s going to be a hilarious event. In Good Omens, these two warped and witty Brits serve up their version of the end times, in which a witch whose prophecies always come true lets everyone know the world will end next Saturday before dinner. That’s when an angel and a demon (who’ve been living among mortals and enjoy it just fine) set out to find the Antichrist and put a stop to things. Too bad the Antichrist was switched at birth by a Satanist nun. Don’t miss the heaven this devilishly great read dishes up.

    In Such Good Company, by Carol Burnett
    One of television’s greatest variety shows was The Carol Burnett Show, starring Burnett alongside the outrageously fun Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner, and Tim Conway. In this read that’ll have you gasping for air, Burnett details the behind-the-scenes fun of all 276 episodes, with details on not just how the sketches were crafted, but also Burnett’s relationships with guest stars, like Lucille Ball, Rita Hayworth, and Jim Nabors.

    Lamentations of the Father: Essays, by Ian Frazier
    Ian Frazier, accomplished novelist, essayist, and social satirist, whose classic comedic stylings have long graced the pages of the New Yorker and Atlantic Monthly, is at his all-time best in this collection. Hailed by The Boston Globe as “an antidote for the blues,” it reminds us why this life is so worth living and laughing at.

    If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I doing in the Pits?, by Erma Bombeck
    From 1965 to 1996, the incomparable Erma Bombeck wrote almost 5,000 newspaper columns about what it was like to be an ordinary Midwestern housewife, and her wry, dry style appealed to nearly everyone, laundry specialist or not. In this classic collection, readers will laugh aloud at Bombeck’s take on everything from lettuce to bunk beds to tennis elbow. Bombeck was indeed an American original, and this gem that stands the test of time reads like a slice of our country’s history.

    Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About, by Mil Millington
    Though the title sounds like a blog entry, this scream of a novel is actually fiction at its finest. Main character Pel, who lives with his feisty girlfriend Ursula, is unequipped to handle the downward spiral that occurs when he takes over his boss’s job. From run-ins with the Chinese mafia to stolen money and missing coworkers, Perl’s misadventures also include a series of laugh-out-loud arguments with his stalwart and stubborn love interest. This read proves a thriller can also be a killer comedy.

    I’m Just a Person, by Tig Notaro
    In 2012, over the course of just four months, Tig Notaro was hospitalized with a rare intestinal disease, lost her mother, endured a devastating breakup, and was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer. The good news? Notaro is a comedian, and she took her unthinkable predicament onstage to deliver one of the most raw, illuminating, and darkly hilarious standup performances of all time. Her brave book tackles those same topics and is a must-read for its deep delivery of hope and laughter.

    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
    There’s The Odyssey and then there’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which just might be slightly more adventurous than what Odysseus got himself into. In Adams’ galactic road trip, prepare yourself for all sorts of interstellar road blocks, philosophical musings, and alien weirdos—like Zaphod Beeblebrox, a two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie who’s also the president of the galaxy. If you’ve ever wondered what the meaning of life is, and why we wear watches, crack open this chestnut for the universe’s answers.

    I Feel Bad About My Neck, by Nora Ephron
    Being a woman of certain age isn’t easy, but it just got a whole lot more fun thanks to the eternally observant and wisecracking Ephron, who gives readers the lowdown on empty nests, city life, sagging necks, and general runs of bad luck. With chapter titles like “The Lost Strudel or Le Strudel Perdu” and “Me and JFK: Now It Can Be Told,” not to mention its status as a #1 bestseller, I Feel Bad About My Neck will have readers feeling great about life.

    One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories, by B.J. Novak
    B.J. Novak of The Office and standup fame does something unexpected and wonderful with his debut book: he tries his hand at fiction, not memoir, and the result is amazing. Including stories both sharp and tender, One More Thing has been compared to the stylings of George Saunders, Steve Martin, and Woody Allen. At its core, however, it is entirely original, and every piece of prose within tackles why humans are always searching for that one thing that will complete them.

    Shrill, by Lindy West
    Lindy West was an incredibly shy child who struggled with her weight and her large, often controversial, viewpoints. Yet she grew up to be one of the freshest, wisest, and downright funniest voices of modern feminism. In her blockbuster memoir Shrill, in a voice both charming and unapologetic, West tackles everything from rape jokes and internet trolls to activism and intestinal fortitude (or lack thereof). In a world where women are expected to be both seductive and submissive, “like a porcelain dove that will also have sex with you,” West’s insights are extremely relevant and necessary. As well as hilarious.

    Three Men in a Boat, by Jerome K. Jerome
    Published in 1889, this howler is still considered relevant and witty even though it was written more than one hundred years ago. Detailing a boating holiday on the Thames River, Three Men in a Boat began as a travel guide, but soon evolved into a comedic manuscript about the pitfalls of group vacations. Real, witty, and timeless, this humorous account proves that, when journeying with friends (and dogs), the more things change, the more they stay insane.

    Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, by Maria Semple
    What happens when a mother tires of her Seattle life and lifestyle? One in which she’s considered too bold (by her husband), too outrageous (by fellow moms), and too revolutionary (by colleagues)? She becomes an agoraphobic misanthrope who can no longer function…not even for a reward trip to Antarctica with her devoted daughter. Touching, brilliant, and very very funny, this page-turner has turned millions of heads.

    More Stories About Spaceships and Cancer, by Casper Kelly
    This little-known jewel, written by an award-winning TV writer, is chock full of absurd dark fiction that Joe Randazzo, editor of The Onion, bluntly praises as “f***ing awesome.” Within, readers will enter the mind of one of the seven dwarfs, who lusts after Snow White; an elderly man who has had his brain placed in a vat; and an office drone who believes his entire life may consist of implanted memories. Weird and incredibly smart, Casper Kelly’s little masterpiece earns a big spot on any must-read humor list.

    Bridget Jones’s Diary, by Helen Fielding
    Bridget Jones is a thirtysomething “Singleton” on a quest to tighten her thighs, brighten her love life, and learn how to operate the VCR. But first she must overcome patronizing questions from “Smug Marrieds,” the temptation of delicious sandwiches, and the disastrous world of dating. Full of everygirl woes, delightful self-disgust, and loads of laughter, this gem is not just comedic, it’s now a chick-lit classic.

    The World According to Garp, by John Irving
    John Irving grew up not knowing his biological father, and warned his mother that if she didn’t supply him with some details, he’d create a fictional story about his origin. This award-winning opus is said to be the result of that conversation, to which his mother famously replied: “Go ahead, dear.” Within, feminist icon Jenny Fields rapes a wounded soldier in order to become pregnant, and her son, T.S. Garp, grows up wondering who he is, where he came from, and what’s the meaning of it all. Filled with sexual deviance, heartbreak, and endless humor, this book is both harrowing and hilarious.

    Why Not Me?, by Mindy Kaling
    Paling, of The Mindy Project and The Office fame, wows fans in her second book, in which she details her quest for happiness, her advice regarding on-camera beauty, her run-in with Bradley Cooper, and how to lose weight (or not) without employing behavior modification. This chuckle of a read is as self-deprecating and delightful as Paling herself.

    Live Right and Find Happiness (Although Beer Is Much Faster), by Dave Barry
    For more than twenty years, Dave Barry, acclaimed author of over thirty books and sometime guitarist for the Rock Bottom Remainders, wrote a weekly humor column for the Miami Herald, earning him a Pulitzer Prize and a TV show. In this knee-slapping compilation, Barry gathers essays on a variety of noteworthy topics ranging from Brazil’s soccer obsession to Putin’s Russia to his very un-Mad Men-like hometown, as well as witty advice for his infant grandson.

    The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, by Issa Rae
    In this lovable, laugh-out-loud memoir named for her hugely popular web series, Issa Rae details the perils of being both awkward and black, a condition “someone once told [her] were the two worst things anyone could be.” From cybersexing and eating alone, to “rapping” and PDA, Rae endears and enlightens all readers, no matter their cool factor or skin color.

    The Kid, by Dan Savage
    Dan Savage might be best known for his syndicated sex advice column, “Savage Love,” but in this frank and courageous book, in which Dan and his boyfriend decide to start a family, new territory is chartered, and it’s both hysterical and heartfelt. For anyone who has ever wanted a baby, but perhaps have not considered what it’s like for two gay men to approach this milestone, The Kid is equal parts illuminating and entertaining.

    Seriously…I’m Kidding, Ellen Degenres
    Degeneres has given so many so much through her talk show, her standup comedy, and her activism. But she always has more to give, so she also writes books. And thank goodness for her efforts, because her memoirs are some of the most laugh-out-loud funny personal chronicles out there. Seriously…I’m Kidding is chock full of anecdotes about her life with wife Portia de Rossi and her time on American Idol, all wrapped up in a laugh-till-you-cry tell-all that’s a gift to all.

    A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson
    An acclaimed writer of nonfiction (with a primarily travel-oriented bent), Bill Bryson is at his wittiest in A Walk in the Woods, tackling the Appalachian Trail, its history, and all the people he meets on his journey down it (not to mention bears). Howl like a wolf with Bryson as he makes his way from Georgia to Maine for more than two thousand miles of facts and fun.

    The Bedwetter, by Sarah Silverman
    Sarah Silverman’s autobiography is as fierce as she is, full of tales both tall and low about what it was like to grow up Jewish in New Hampshire, what it was like to write for SNL, what is was like to battle depression, and what it was like to struggle with an ongoing bedwetting condition. Very brave and extremely funny, Bedwetter will have readers wetting their pants.

    The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde
    Since it took the stage in 1895, Oscar Wilde’s piece de resistance, The Importance of Being Earnest, has delighted audiences and readers with its endlessly genius wordplay. In addition to a riveting plot and dialogue, this classic play employs all sorts of tricks of language that have continued to entertain for more than a century.

    The post 50 of the Funniest Books Ever Written appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Whitney Collins 6:15 pm on 2016/11/09 Permalink
    Tags: , the reading cure   

    6 Post-Election Palate Cleansers for the Politics-Weary Reader 

    This year’s Presidential Election has left television viewers, talk radio listeners, social media followers, and newspaper readers reeling from too-much-information overload. In the same way diners welcome a juice fast after an all-you-can-eat buffet (or small children benefit from a screaming meltdown after a day at a theme park), our American brains are in desperate need of powering down after enduring nearly 18 months of name-calling, mudslinging, hot mics, and pneumonia. Here are a half dozen refreshing, palate-cleansing reads to help you reboot that have nothing to do with polls, talking heads, or October surprises.

    The Power of Forgetting: Six Essential Skills to Clear Out Brain Clutter and Become the Sharpest, Smartest You, by Mike Byster
    Sometimes it’s nice to not be able to recall something, like your eighth-grade hairstyle, that blind date fiasco, or, say, what Aleppo is. This fresh and inspiring book promises to help you do just that. Author Mike Byster believes our modern brains can benefit from a big tidying up—that all the trivial things we learn and store in our gray matter are crowding out the essential stuff. Through quizzes and games and six essential skills, The Power of Forgetting shows us how to declutter our noggins and become better thinkers.

    Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
    If the 2016 Race to the White House left you trembling with fear from real-life monsters, then dive into this fictional classic that stars the literary world’s most famous make-believe one. Written after a dare to compose a chilling ghost story, Mary Shelley wrote this fantastic novel when she was only 18. Laden with elements both Gothic and Romantic (and also considered by many to be the very first science fiction book), Frankenstein details the horror of what happens when a secret experiment goes terribly wrong and the end result is an eight-foot-tall, lonely, lumbering beast who seeks both revenge and companionship in dark and desolate places. Trust us: this beautiful, terrifying story is guaranteed to transport you far from Pennsylvania Avenue.

    Will Not Attend: Lively Stories of Detachment and Isolation, by Adam Resnick
    What’s the cure for being overly plugged-in and caring way too much? How about a healthy dose of detachment and isolation with a large side of outrageous humor? Emmy Award–winning writer Adam Resnick delivers all three of these (particularly the laughs) in his side-splitting Will Not Attend, a book of 15 irreverent, cynical, and hilarious autobiographical essays that include unfiltered opinions on Disneyland, junk food, and insufferable sisters-in-law. If you need any further convincing that this jewel is worth your time, trust in the always accurate Jon Stewart: “Damn, this book is good.”

    The Washingtons: George and Martha, “Join’d by Friendship, Crown’d by Love” by Flora Fraser
    Okay. So maybe some of you aren’t completely tired of politics, just of politics as usual. If so, you’ll enjoy this riveting account of our nation’s original founding father and mother, The Washingtons: George and Martha, which details the early days of our country. With insight into both the public and private worlds of our first President and first First Lady, Fraser shows how both the Revolutionary War and the first presidency were handled by this remarkable couple. File this gem under #relationshipsgoals and #strongertogether.

    The Hidden Life of Trees:What They Feel, How They Communicate by Peter Wohlleben
    Our 24/7 news cycle has a way of stripping away life’s mysteries and bombarding us with facts, prompting the modern soul to wonder: whatever happened to wonder? The Hidden Life of Trees, by writer and forester Peter Wohlleben, shows world-weary readers exactly where it went: into the woods. This beautiful book, which is simultaneously highly scientific and delightfully magical, delves into the secret domain of trees: how they communicate, how they nurture their offspring and relatives, and how they navigate impending dangers. This bestseller, combined with a long walk through a forest, is the perfect antidote to months of TV as background noise.

    Life After Life: The Bestselling Original Investigation That Revealed “Near-Death Experiences” by Raymond Moody
    Anyone who made it through the three presidential debates knows what a near-death experience feels like. So why not take yourself further out of this world and into the next by reading the original 1975 classic Life After Life, a blockbuster bestseller in which psychologist and physician Raymond Moody interviews 100 people who survived clinical death and returned to the living with stories to tell. Enlightening, mystical, and all-around fascinating (even if you don’t believe in an afterlife), this seminal book continues to enchant readers year after year with visions of a world earth-bound spirits have difficulty conjuring, election cycle or otherwise.

    The post 6 Post-Election Palate Cleansers for the Politics-Weary Reader appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Whitney Collins 7:50 pm on 2016/10/28 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , relationship goals   

    Ina Garten’s New Cookbook, Cooking for Jeffrey, Dishes Up Delicious Devotion 

    If you’re familiar with Ina Garten’s hypnotic television series The Barefoot Contessa, you know Ina adores entertaining. Most of her shows center on a party or gathering of friends, for which Ina creates to-die-for menus, table settings, and culinary themes. But the best episodes, most fans will agree, are the ones in which Ina cooks solely for her doting husband, Jeffrey. These particular airings are infused with tenderness, a palpable devotion, and hand-selected comfort foods that express Ina’s love for a man who is, quite possibly, the most charmed husband alive.

    Jeffrey, Ina’s ever-smiling spouse, not only gets to devour his wife’s greatest masterpieces (like Steakhouse Steaks with Roquefort Chive Butter, Bourbon Honey Cake, and Fried Oysters with Lemon Saffron Aioli) on the show to viewers’ immense envy, but he gets to eat them ALL THE TIME IN REAL LIFE. Now, in Ina’s just-released tenth cookbook, Cooking for Jeffrey, readers (and eaters!) are treated to a new compendium of dinners, drinks, and desserts—as well as sides, soups, and salads—that lucky duck Jeffrey has given five stars. On top of that, the cookbook features numerous photographs and anecdotes about Ina and Jeffrey’s nearly 50-year love affair.

    Can’t wait until dinner to see what Cooking for Jeffrey has simmering? To whet your appetite, here’s a baker’s dozen of piping hot goodies the book serves up…

    1. The story of how Ina and Jeffrey met. She was 15, walking past the Dartmouth library to visit her brother, when Jeffrey spied her from a window and demanded to know: “Who’s that girl?”

    2. The recipes for the perfect appetizer combo: Parmesan & Chipotle Popcorn and a Limoncello Vodka Collins. How great is that?

    3. Lentil & Kielbasa Salad. What? Come on, Ina! Sausage salad? Yes, please!

    4. The romantic tale of Jeffrey and Ina camping their way through France as youngsters fresh from school, complete with a faded photo of Ina cooking for Jeffrey on a tiny gas stove in a little pink tent.

    5. Scenes from Ina and Jeffrey’s disastrous first date, in which she has no fake ID.

    6. How a simple tenderloin dinner at a friend’s house in Washington D.C. (way back when Ina worked at the White House writing nuclear policy papers!) changed the way Ina cooked forever.

    7. A full-color centerfold of radishes. Food porn at its finest.

    8. Lamb Stew with Spring Vegetables. (You’ll tear the page out and put it on your vision board.)

    9. That story about when Ina bought a little catering shop in the Hamptons and achieved fame and fortune roasting broccolini.

    10. How to make Kasha Varnishkes. What’s that you ask? Well, it starts with four tablespoons of duck fat, so does it really matter?

    11. How to plan the perfect dinner party. You’ll need a 48″-round table, six chairs, and cheese. If you’re inviting investment bankers, serve hot fudge sundaes with M&M’s.

    12. A recipe for Vanilla Cream Cheese Pound Cake. (Note: NOT paleo.)

    13. And finally, four amazing lists for list lovers: Jeffrey’s All-Time Favorite Dinners, Ina’s Pantry (things you must keep on hand), Ina’s Starter Kitchen (tools of the trade for beginners), and Ina’s Professional Kitchen (tools of the trade for chef-level cooks).

    Cooking for Jeffrey is available now.

    The post Ina Garten’s New Cookbook, Cooking for Jeffrey, Dishes Up Delicious Devotion appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Whitney Collins 5:00 pm on 2016/10/10 Permalink
    Tags: , ,   

    Shelf Improvement: Best Books on Love Edition 

    Shelf Improvement is a column highlighting books guaranteed to improve your library and your life. From literary fiction, young adult, and humor, to spirituality, autobiography, and more, no genre is off limits. The only requirement of the selections featured here is they must be transformative and page-turning. If you’re hoping to build a better bookshelf, Shelf Improvement can help you on your odyssey. The theme of this installment is “Best Books on Love.”

    How to Loveby Thich Nhat Hanh
    Thich Nhat Hanh, beloved Zen master, Buddhist monk, and peace activist, is known worldwide for his influential teachings on mindfulness. In addition to creating numerous mindfulness communities throughout America and Europe, he has also written more than 100 books on the practice of meditation. Recently, through a Parallax Press Mindfulness Essentials Series, Thich Nhat Hanh created a collection of unparalleled handbooks, including the titles How to Relax, How to Eat, How to Sit, How to Walk, and, perhaps most importantly, How to Love.

    How to Love is a tiny, pocket-sized read that packs an enormous punch. Within, Thich Nhat Hanh guides readers through the process of learning how to truly love others, beginning with a profound first entry on understanding. “Understanding someone’s suffering,” he writes, “is the best gift you can give another person. Understanding is love’s other name.”

    A sampling of subsequent chapters includes, “The Four Elements of True Love,” “Hugging,” “Empty Sex,” “Asking for Help,” “Friendship,” “A Sleeping Child,” and “20 Questions for Looking Into Your Relationship.” All of the chapters are no more than a page or two, and all are simply phrased, but don’t be fooled by the book’s spare writing or small size; this indispensable jewel covers everything you need to know about every type of love, from parental to platonic to passionate.

    Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë
    This coming-of-age classic explores one of the greatest romantic relationships in literary history, that of Jane Eyre and her employer, Edward Rochester. Though the book begins with Jane’s unhappy childhood as an orphan rejected by her aunt and cousins, and details her subsequent years of hardship at Lowood Institution for poor girls, the core of the book centers on the profound love between Jane and Rochester, which begins when she is hired as a governess at Rochester’s Thornfield Hall.

    Both stoic lonelyhearts desperate for connection, Jane and Rochester are first brought together by a horseback riding accident in which Jane rescues Rochester, and later through fireside talks that feature plenty of dry banter and unspoken longing. As Jane’s time at Thornfield progresses, so does their bond. When she finally professes her feelings to him, Rochester, to her surprise, proposes. But it is with Rochester’s unexpected proposal that Brontë chooses to take readers on an inconceivable trip: a wedding veil is ripped in two by a madwoman on the loose, Rochester’s previous marriage has not been annulled, an elopement is denied, and Jane runs away to teach at a school and nearly dies in the process.

    Ultimately, Jane and Rochester are brought back together, but only when circumstances are at their most tragic, proving to readers that the love between them is one for the ages: utterly unconditional and divinely destined. A must-read, must-own masterpiece that has been hailed as ahead of its time in the ways it tackles sexism, poverty, and religious oppression, Jane Eyre is, more than anything, an epic story of an epic love affair.

    The Fault In Our Stars, by John Green
    John Green’s dazzling The Fault In Our Stars is another one of the most readable, can’t-put-downable love stories ever. This brilliant novel details the young love story between 16-year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster and 17-year-old Augustus Waters, both of whom are battling cancer. After meeting in a support group, Hazel and Augustus quickly connect and agree to exchange favorite novels; Hazel’s is titled An Imperial Affliction and is about a girl named Anna whose story is much like hers.

    Frustrated that the book lacks a satisfactory ending, Augustus becomes determined to track down the author and discover what happens to his characters. In order to do so, he realizes he must travel to Amsterdam to meet the author, and decides to take Hazel with him. Despite their failing health, the two young lovers embark on an overseas adventure, only to find that the author has no answers for them and that the end, of both the book and their personal stories, is for them to write. What results when Hazel and Augustus return home is one of the most romantic, star-crossed conclusions ever penned, one wrought from grief, irrepressible dark humor, and pure devotion. Praised by critics and readers as incredibly real and refreshingly hilarious, as well as heartbreaking and unafraid, The Fault In Our Stars speaks perfectly to the purity of first love, the tragic unfairness of illness, and how incredibly high the stakes are when those two worlds collide.

    The post Shelf Improvement: Best Books on Love Edition appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Whitney Collins 5:00 pm on 2016/10/10 Permalink
    Tags: , ,   

    Shelf Improvement: Best Books on Love Edition 

    Shelf Improvement is a column highlighting books guaranteed to improve your library and your life. From literary fiction, young adult, and humor, to spirituality, autobiography, and more, no genre is off limits. The only requirement of the selections featured here is they must be transformative and page-turning. If you’re hoping to build a better bookshelf, Shelf Improvement can help you on your odyssey. The theme of this installment is “Best Books on Love.”

    How to Loveby Thich Nhat Hanh
    Thich Nhat Hanh, beloved Zen master, Buddhist monk, and peace activist, is known worldwide for his influential teachings on mindfulness. In addition to creating numerous mindfulness communities throughout America and Europe, he has also written more than 100 books on the practice of meditation. Recently, through a Parallax Press Mindfulness Essentials Series, Thich Nhat Hanh created a collection of unparalleled handbooks, including the titles How to Relax, How to Eat, How to Sit, How to Walk, and, perhaps most importantly, How to Love.

    How to Love is a tiny, pocket-sized read that packs an enormous punch. Within, Thich Nhat Hanh guides readers through the process of learning how to truly love others, beginning with a profound first entry on understanding. “Understanding someone’s suffering,” he writes, “is the best gift you can give another person. Understanding is love’s other name.”

    A sampling of subsequent chapters includes, “The Four Elements of True Love,” “Hugging,” “Empty Sex,” “Asking for Help,” “Friendship,” “A Sleeping Child,” and “20 Questions for Looking Into Your Relationship.” All of the chapters are no more than a page or two, and all are simply phrased, but don’t be fooled by the book’s spare writing or small size; this indispensable jewel covers everything you need to know about every type of love, from parental to platonic to passionate.

    Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë
    This coming-of-age classic explores one of the greatest romantic relationships in literary history, that of Jane Eyre and her employer, Edward Rochester. Though the book begins with Jane’s unhappy childhood as an orphan rejected by her aunt and cousins, and details her subsequent years of hardship at Lowood Institution for poor girls, the core of the book centers on the profound love between Jane and Rochester, which begins when she is hired as a governess at Rochester’s Thornfield Hall.

    Both stoic lonelyhearts desperate for connection, Jane and Rochester are first brought together by a horseback riding accident in which Jane rescues Rochester, and later through fireside talks that feature plenty of dry banter and unspoken longing. As Jane’s time at Thornfield progresses, so does their bond. When she finally professes her feelings to him, Rochester, to her surprise, proposes. But it is with Rochester’s unexpected proposal that Brontë chooses to take readers on an inconceivable trip: a wedding veil is ripped in two by a madwoman on the loose, Rochester’s previous marriage has not been annulled, an elopement is denied, and Jane runs away to teach at a school and nearly dies in the process.

    Ultimately, Jane and Rochester are brought back together, but only when circumstances are at their most tragic, proving to readers that the love between them is one for the ages: utterly unconditional and divinely destined. A must-read, must-own masterpiece that has been hailed as ahead of its time in the ways it tackles sexism, poverty, and religious oppression, Jane Eyre is, more than anything, an epic story of an epic love affair.

    The Fault In Our Stars, by John Green
    John Green’s dazzling The Fault In Our Stars is another one of the most readable, can’t-put-downable love stories ever. This brilliant novel details the young love story between 16-year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster and 17-year-old Augustus Waters, both of whom are battling cancer. After meeting in a support group, Hazel and Augustus quickly connect and agree to exchange favorite novels; Hazel’s is titled An Imperial Affliction and is about a girl named Anna whose story is much like hers.

    Frustrated that the book lacks a satisfactory ending, Augustus becomes determined to track down the author and discover what happens to his characters. In order to do so, he realizes he must travel to Amsterdam to meet the author, and decides to take Hazel with him. Despite their failing health, the two young lovers embark on an overseas adventure, only to find that the author has no answers for them and that the end, of both the book and their personal stories, is for them to write. What results when Hazel and Augustus return home is one of the most romantic, star-crossed conclusions ever penned, one wrought from grief, irrepressible dark humor, and pure devotion. Praised by critics and readers as incredibly real and refreshingly hilarious, as well as heartbreaking and unafraid, The Fault In Our Stars speaks perfectly to the purity of first love, the tragic unfairness of illness, and how incredibly high the stakes are when those two worlds collide.

    The post Shelf Improvement: Best Books on Love Edition appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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