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  • Sarah Skilton 1:30 pm on 2018/08/28 Permalink
    Tags: , Book Nerds   

    Meet Your Next Book Club Picks 

    The best book club books invite discussion, reflection, and arguments—er, I mean, spirited debate. Whether you enjoy family dramas and beach reads, or sweeping historical fiction and fantasy, these books will keep you chatting way past the end of the meeting.

    And for just one week, you can get them all for 50% off as part of Barnes & Noble’s first ever book haul blowout! Today through September 3, shop in stores and online to get half off of 150 select titles, across genres, for all ages, and including bestsellers, new releases, and more. And when you shop in stores, you’ll get a free tote with purchase of three books, while supplies last.

    Circe, by Madeline Miller
    Miller’s much buzzed-about follow-up to 2011’s The Song of Achilles is narrated by the dazzling, captivating, vengeful Circe, daughter of Helios, who is banished by Zeus after turning her ex’s new love into a sea monster. Dismissed as useless when she was a girl (when your dad is the sun god, there’s a lot to live up to), Circe’s true skills are her penchant for herbs and spellcasting. Circe’s infatuation with mortals is her biggest strength and greatest weakness, and you’ll breathlessly follow her witchy, thousands-of-years-in-the-making adventures.
    Book clubs will love: the immersive mythology, and how relatable Circe is, even as a goddess.

     The High Tide Club, by Mary Kay Andrews
    New York Times bestseller Andrews delivers a tale of Southern romance and suspense that kicks off when Josephine, an eccentric, almost century-old heiress living in a Grey Gardens-esque crumbling mansion by the sea, hires lawyer Brooke to complete a mysterious task. Brooke must gather the descendants of Josephine’s best friends for a reunion that may prove either profitable or deadly.
    Book clubs will love: the island locale and juicy family secrets.

    By Invitation Only, by Dorothea Benton Frank
    Meet the Stiftels, peach farmers in South Carolina. They’re in for some serious culture shock when their beloved only son, Fred, becomes engaged to Shelby Cambria, the wealthy daughter of a Chicago-based private equity master of the universe. When the two families are thrown together, first in Lowcountry and then in the Windy City, their disparate backgrounds clash, and multiple secrets come tumbling out.
    Book clubs will love: the humor and surprises from the queen of Lowcountry beach reads.

    Love and Ruin, by Paula McLain
    After depicting the life of Hadley Richardson in her bestselling The Paris Wife, McLain sets her sights on Hemingway’s third wife, acclaimed war correspondent Martha Gellhorn. Her connection to Hemingway begins in Key West, Florida, in the late 1930s and ramps up against the invigorating, terrible backdrop of the Spanish Civil War. Two stars are on the rise—journalist and novelist, equal in skill—but one must eclipse the other.
    Book clubs will love: the wartime atmosphere and complex characters.

    Varina, by Charlies Frazier
    As was his stunning, National Book Award–winning Cold Mountain (also a film starring Nicole Kidman and Jude Law), Varina is set during the Civil War. The novel is narrated as an oral memoir by its titular heroine, Jefferson Davis’s much-younger wife, whose views of the conflict did not necessarily match those of the Confederate President. Little has been written about the First Lady of the Confederacy, and the story depicted here is full of rich and often unexpected details about the antebellum south as well as Varina’s post–Civil War life in New York.
    Book clubs will love: the underrated heroine and her take on the biggest issues of her era, some of which reverberate to this day.

    Before and Again, by Barbara Delinsky
    Having survived the car crash death of her young daughter, for which she was accidentally responsible, Mackenzie Cooper changes her name and starts a new life in a new town. As Maggie Reid, she works as a makeup artist beautifying others while never losing sight of the literal and metaphorical scars she’s hiding. When a friend’s teenage son finds himself in trouble with the law, Maggie knows she should back away—her probation prohibits fraternizing with criminals—but helping out another troubled soul may provide her with a modicum of peace in her own life.
    Book clubs will love: contemplating what they’d do in Maggie’s situation, and the rich relationships Maggie finds post-tragedy.

    The post Meet Your Next Book Club Picks appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Brian Boone 3:00 pm on 2018/03/23 Permalink
    Tags: , Book Nerds, daniel devoe, David Almond, Gertrude Chandler Warner, , , , robinson crusoe, skellig, the boxcar children, , with a laugh track   

    5 Classic Books Hollywood Should Adapt Into Corny Sitcoms 

    Not every TV show was dreamed up by some people on their laptops in Hollywood. Many of today’s most popular shows have literary origins. Game of Thrones is based on George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, for example, and Westworld is a thorough and thoughtful expansion of a kind of pulpy early ‘70s adventure novel by Michael Crichton.

    But those are high-budget, prestige cable dramas with relatively small audiences. What really brings in the viewers are broad, laugh-track-sweetened sitcoms, like The Big Bang Theory and Mom. Those aren’t based on books, but that doesn’t mean an ’80s-style sitcom couldn’t have a high fallutin’ inspiration. (There’s a show on right now called Superior Donuts that’s based on a play by Pulitzer Prize-winner Tracy Letts, after all.) There are plenty of novels out there that would make fantastic, cheesy, classic-style sitcoms. After all, they’re already episodic in nature and explore the kinds of problems that sitcom characters easily solved in 22 minutes, week after week after week. Here are some books we’d love to see taped before a live studio audience.

    The Boxcar Children, by Gertrude Chandler Warner
    There hasn’t been a good orphan show in a long time, not at least since the heady days of the early ‘90s with Webster, Diff’rent Strokes, and Punky Brewster. Plots often revolved around somebody trying to separate the adoptive parents from their kid for some reason, and the plucky orphan or orphans strive to keep everybody together. That’s pretty much the plot of The Boxcar Children, Gertrude Chandler Warner’s heartwarming tale—clearly from another time—about a group of abandoned kids who become a tight-knit family unit when they take refuge in an abandoned boxcar. Yep, it’s a children’s book about homeless children (one of whom is a baby) living in a dangerous situation. Each episode of The Boxcar Children could be about the Boxcar Children (which is what they call themselves) trying to thwart some bumbling fool from Child Services.

    Skellig, by David Almond
    There have been so many high-concept sitcoms about normal people trying to keep some extraordinary creature hidden from the neighbors or the authorities—an alien on ALF, an alien on American Dad, a robot on Small Wonder, a genie on I Dream of Jeannie, and so on. Just sub in “wise and mystical human/owl/angel creature” for alien, robot, or genie and you’ve got Skellig!, the hilarious tale of a little boy who keeps his garage friend a secret.

    The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    The beloved French children’s book about a sweet and sensitive little boy who lives on a lonely planet all by himself is very reminiscent of How I Met Your Mother. For example, they share a similar framing device—the main character (Ted, the Little Prince) tells of his adventures to a downed pilot, and his children, respectively. Those adventures also often involve relationships gone wrong, such as Ted’s many ill-fated romances, and the Little Prince’s thing with the self-absorbed rose in a jar, and the self-absorbed geographer. All a TV producer would have to do is make the stories funny instead of overwhelmingly melancholic.

    High Fidelity, by Nick Hornby
    Think Cheers, but instead of barflies in a bar, it involves a different public place catering to a different compulsion: obsessive record collectors trying to buy records. Except that gloomy store owner Rob, aggressive employee Barry, and milquetoast Dick hilariously criticize the bad taste of anybody who comes in to buy a record. Sure, there are some colorful regulars, but most of the action revolves around Rob, Barry, and Dick ruminating on women, just like in Hornby’s novel. Also, it takes place someplace “cool,” like Portland or Austin, so bands are always dropping by to play a song or two.

    Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe
    The famous Gilligan’s Island theme song namechecks Robinson Crusoe, one of the first major novels in the English language—so let’s go back to where it all started and just have a Robinson Crusoe sitcom. He’s a boorish, arrogant jerk, like many sitcom characters, and he’s just desperate to get off that island, by any means necessary. But he’s kind of dumb and his schemes never work, much to the chagrin of his over-it manservant, Friday. It’s Gilligan’s Island meets Jeeves and Wooster!

    What novel would you love to see as a sitcom?

    The post 5 Classic Books Hollywood Should Adapt Into Corny Sitcoms appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Tara Sonin 4:00 pm on 2018/03/16 Permalink
    Tags: , , anthony mccarten, Book Nerds, brave, , coco, daniel ellsberg, daniel kraus, darkest hour, darryl ponicsan, david finkel, deborah heiligman, diana lopez, first they killed my father, , greg sestero, , hillary jordan, in my own words, jeff bauman, john pearson, , last flag flying, loung ung, martin mcdonogh, molly bloom, molly's game, mudbound, munro leaf, nancy kerrigan, our souls at night, , painfully rich, r.j. palacio, reni eddo-lodge, rose mcgowan, , secrets: a memoir of vietnam and the pentagon papers, , stronger, thank you for your service, , the miracle of dunkirk, the shape of water, the story of ferdinand, three billboards outside ebbing missouri, vincent and theo, walter lord, why i'm no longer talking to white people about race,   

    24 Books to Soothe Your Post Awards-Season Letdown 

    And the award goes to…books! At least, it does in our world. But if you’re a film fan and looking to broaden your literary horizons, here are two dozen books to read now that awards season is over (and you’re probably tired of movies).

    Call Me By Your Name, by Andre Aciman
    The most buzzed-about book-turned-into-a-movie this season is definitely worth a read! A sensual, emotional tale of two young men tempted by lust, love, and passion for one another (despite neither of them being openly gay).

    Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, by Reni Eddo-Lodge
    Get Out isn’t based on a book, but that doesn’t mean one of the most important movies of this awards season (and all of film history) shouldn’t be talked about. This book is a great starting point for discussing the complicated intersections of black history, white supremacy, racism, gender, and much more.

    In My Own Words, by Nancy Kerrigan
    I, Tonya tells the story of the infamous rivalry between Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding as a larger-than-life portrait based on real interviews. What happened between Nancy and Tonya, two skating phenoms, who were once colleagues on ice…that led to Nancy’s skating career being derailed by a bludgeoned knee? Read her own words to find out the other side of the story.

    The Shape of Water, by Guillermo Del Toro and Daniel Kraus
    Normally, book people advocate seeing the movie after reading the book, but since this adaptation of the award-nominated movie doesn’t come out until the end of the month, we’ll forgive you for doing the opposite. This ethereal, beautiful romance between a mute woman and a mysterious sea creature kept as a science experiment is set against the backdrop of the conflict between the US and Russia, and is as high-stakes as it is romantic.

    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, by Martin McDonogh
    A grieving mother sets herself on the path of justice, violence, and retribution when she puts up three public billboards accusing the police department—and their beloved chief of police—of neglect after they fail to catch her daughter’s murderer. Brutal, emotional, and as impactful as the performances in the movie, this story is not to be missed.

    The Miracle of Dunkirk, by Walter Lord
    It’s 1940, and the allied forces have been forced to retreat after a terrible ai assult from Hitler. Over 300,000 men were stranded on Dunkirk until an evacuation was attempted…in which in which nearly the entire army was saved. This film is a riveting portrait of survival in war and the strength of the human spirit—and the book is just as fascinating.

    Scarlett Epstein Hates it Here, by Anna Breslaw
    Lady-Bird fans, this is the book for you! If you loved the honest voice, snark, and pop-culture references in the movie, you will love Scarlett. Her favorite TV show was just cancelled, so she resorts to writing online fanfiction of what could-have-been…but the problem is, it’s starring real people. When her secret gets out, Scarlett has to reckon with the relationships she has IRL, including a tense one with her Dad, as a result of her parents’ split.

    Darkest Hour, by Anthony McCarten
    If you’re making your way down this list, you will have read about Dunkirk…but who was the man who saved England’s army, and in history’s eyes, the world? Winston Churchill became Prime Minister right at the start of the war, and guided the allies through the most difficult fight of their lives.

    Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers, by Daniel Ellsberg
    The Post is one of the most talked-about movies this season, starring an incredibly prestigious cast. But I knew very little about the Pentagon Papers, and that’s where this book comes in! Daniel Ellsberg was the man behind the release of this Vietnam-war-era document, and risked his life to expose the truth.

    Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn
    The Phantom Thread is an incredibly unique movie with lots of twists and turns about a couple in the fashion world of the 1950’s who manipulate one another. Without giving too much away about the plot of the movie to those who haven’t seen it, I think fans will love Sharp Objects! It’s about a murder, a complicated mother, a beguiling sister, and a town that hides lots of secrets.

    Coco, by Diana Lopez
    A fave animated movie of 2017 about a boy who wants to be a musician despite his family having outlawed music for reasons he doesn’t understand is now in book form!

    Painfully Rich, by John Pearson
    This movie starring Christopher Plummer, Michelle Williams, and Mark Wahlberg is based on who made himself very very rich…but ruined his family in the process. Drugs, suicide, a kidnapping, and much more feature in this saga that is as strange as it is true.

    The Disaster Artist, by Greg Sestero
    Have you seen The Room? It’s a cult movie written by a man named Tommy Wiseau which never earned any money and was panned by critics. And yet it’s had an enduring life among cult fans, and this book brings that story hilariously to life (the story you can also see in the movie starring James Franco!).

    First They Killed My Father, by Loung Ung
    Now a movie from Angelina Jolie, this story about a young girl who had to flee her home and train as a child soldier in Cambodia is heart-wrenching, but true. Reading the book will help give you an appreciation for the struggles of others, for family, for home, and for freedom many people have lost their lives for.

    Molly’s Game, by Molly Bloom
    Gambling’s never been my game, but fascinating women who infiltrate exclusive, underground societies totally are. This movie of the same name stars Jessica Chastain as the young girl running an elite poker ring in Hollywood, until the house of cards came crumbling down.

    Our Souls at Night, by Kent Haruf
    Jane Fonda and Robert Redford are a star pair in this movie of the same name about a widow and a widower who have been neighbors for years…until one day they take the risk and decide to become something more. A story of second chances, love at all ages, and chosen happiness.

    Stronger, by Jeff Bauman
    The Boston Marathon Bombing was a horrible moment in history, and no one knows that better than Jeff Bauman, one of the survivors. He lost both his legs that day, and wrote a bestselling book about his journey following the terror attack, and it was adapted into a movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal.

    The Story of Ferdinand, by Munro Leaf
    A children’s book that will make you laugh and cry! Ferdinand the bull is sweet as can be. He has no interest in doing the things other bulls do. Fans of the movie, about a bull taken from his home after being mistaken for a violent creature, will love this heartwarming tale.

    Thank you For Your Service, by David Finkel
    Another movie about heroes and survivors that has a connected book. David Finkel was a different kind of hero; a journalist on the front lines of Afghanistan who documented the soldiers as they ended their tours of duty and started another war…the battle to rejoin civilian life.

    Wonder, by R. J. Palacio
    We could all use more kindness in our lives. That’s what the book—and movie—Wonder is all about. It tells the story of a young boy with a facial disfigurement who is afraid to let kids see what he really looks like, because he worries he’ll be bullied. This is the perfect gift for the sensitive kid in your life (after you watch the movie with them of course!).

    Brave, by Rose McGowan
    The harrowing story of one actress’ rise to activism through trauma is more than just a book; it’s the start of a movement. There’s no movie tie-in to this story, but we’d be remiss not to acknowledge the elephant in awards season…the systemic sexism and misogyny in Hollywood, now laid bare in part by Rose’s story.

    Last Flag Flying, by Darryl Ponicsan
    To truly understand Last Flag Flying, you should also read The Last Detail, the story of two soldiers escorting a man to a naval prison (which was also made into a movie.) This book, set over three decades after the events of the first, about three men escorting a young, deceased soldier home against the orders of their command.

    Mudbound, by Hillary Jordan
    In 1964, a woman from the city is trying to raise a family in the Mississippi Delta when two soldiers return from war and help out on the farm. One of them is black. In the Jim Crow South, bonds between family, between brothers, and friends, are all tested by the realities of the harsh world they live in.

    Vincent and Theo, by Deborah Heiligman
    There’s a non-fiction movie about Vincent Van Gogh and his brother, Theo, nominated for an award this year! I knew very little about them (other than the famous ear story) and so for those who, like me, are interested in learning about the brother who supported the genius artist—and 658 letters he wrote him over the course of their lives—this is the book for you!

    What books are helping you recover from awards season?

    The post 24 Books to Soothe Your Post Awards-Season Letdown appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     
  • Jenny Shank 7:45 pm on 2018/02/14 Permalink
    Tags: Book Nerds, love sweet love, , , ,   

    7 Lines from Classic Literature for Incurable Romantics 

    If you’re looking for the perfect sentiment about love for Valentine’s Day, and greeting cards and conversation hearts just aren’t cutting it, why not turn to classic literature for some insights on romance? Here are seven timeless quotes on love.

    “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.” –Aristotle, derived from The Symposium, by Plato
     Ever since people have been people, they’ve been thinking about love. Witness this idea, which Aristotle said was sparked by his mentor, Plato, in his work, The Symposium, a fictional dialogue between Socrates and his buddies about love written more than 2300 years ago. This philosophical dinner party banter is credited with inspiring the idea of “soul mates.”

    “If you wish to be loved, love.” Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium, by Seneca the Younger
    In this collection of 124 letters that Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC–AD 65) wrote late in life, he quotes this sage and simple love advice, which he attributes to stoic philosopher Hecato of Rhodes. Two thousand years later, it still rings true.

    Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs/ Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes.” –Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare
    However lovelorn a teen might be, there’s no way he’s as lovelorn as Romeo and Juliet. Here’s a line in which Romeo muses about the nature of love while chatting with his cousin Benvolio.

    “The heart has reasons that reason cannot know.” –Pensées, by Blaise Pascal
    Seventeenth-century French philosopher, mathematician, and inventor Blaise Pascal was big on logic and reason, but as one of the most famous lines in his Pensées suggests, he threw logic out the window when it came to love.

    “It is best to love wisely, no doubt; but to love foolishly is better than not to be able to love at all.” –The History of Perdennis, by William Makepeace Thackeray 
    Thackeray was a British novelist during the Victorian era, best known for his novel Vanity Fair, first published as a serial from 1847 to 1848. He followed it up with another serial, The History of Perdennis (18481850), which includes this nugget of wisdom.

    “Love flowers best in openness and freedom.” –Desert Solitaire, by Edward Abbey
    Edward Abbey is best known as a cranky defender of nature, not a writer given to pondering love, but this line from 1968’s Desert Solitaire is as mushy as they come. Abbey’s rep remains intact, though—he was talking about desert plants, not people. The full quote: “The extreme clarity of the desert light is equaled by the extreme individuation of desert life forms. Love flowers best in openness and freedom.”

    “Don’t ever think I fell for you, or fell over you. I didn’t fall in love, I rose in it.” –Jazz, by Toni Morrison
    Toni Morrison shows she knows a thing or two about love—forbidden, brutal, sweet, selfless, and otherwise—in her many fine novels. Forbidden love turns violent in this unforgettable novel set in Harlem in the 1920s.

    The post 7 Lines from Classic Literature for Incurable Romantics appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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