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  • Jeff Somers 4:00 pm on 2019/03/15 Permalink
    Tags: Books You Need to Read, picks of the month   

    Barnes & Noble’s Must-Read Books of March 

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    March is a month with a lot going on, but for book nerds it’s the month when your reading-related New Year’s Resolutions smack into reality, and you realize you’re never going to get through all the books you promised yourself you’d read. That’s why we’re here, to help cull that to-be-read list down to the best of the best. From an oral history of the best seventies band you’ve never heard of, to  for the month of March.

    Beautiful Bad, by Annie Ward
    For a must-read mystery, look no further than Ward’s latest. In Meadowlark, Kansas, police officer Diane Varga responds to a 911 call made from the home of Ian and Maddie Wilson. She finds the house empty, the kitchen trashed and bloody, and no sign of the couple or their young son. As Varga investigates, flashbacks tell the story of how Ian and Maddie met, their often rocky relationship, Ian’s work as a security consultant in Nigeria, his struggles with PTSD, as well as Maddie’s own battle with anxiety and depression following a terrible accident. The story slowly builds up to revelations about what actually went on in the house before and after the cut off emergency call, and how it all relates back to the very beginnings of the relationship.

    Doing Justice: A Prosecutor’s Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law, by Preet Bharara
    If your must-read decision tree leans toward politics and current events, this is the book for you. Former federal prosecutor Bharara offers a thoughtful exploration of the modern role of the criminal justice system and the prosecutors working within it. Through a series of in-depth reviews of his own cases—including high-profile prosecutions like Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square bomber—Bharara underlines the complexities of investigating crimes in the modern age. He’s refreshingly honest about his own uncertainties and regrets. It’s rare to see a high-level public official admit to mistakes, and Bharara’s candor lends weight to his insights into our criminal justice system and to the conclusions he draws about the specific cases he worked on.

    Daisy Jones & The Six, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
    Reid’s story of a brilliant, privileged woman thrust into the go-go world of 1960s and ’70s sex, drugs, and rock and roll is a must-read. Narrated by a mysterious, unnamed figure, this is the tell-all story of Daisy Jones, who emerges from a neglected bohemian childhood to become a wild child on the Sunset Strip, drinking and drugging at fourteen—and how she crash landed into upstart rock band the Six, and its tormented frontman. Come for the tea, and stay for the twisting “behind the music” tale, populated by fascinating characters who each have their secrets and their part to play. You’ll want to know how everyone’s lives turn out, which loves are built to last, and who’s telling the story—and why.

    The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood and Renee Nault
    In this graphic novel adaptation of Atwood’s classic, Nault’s amazing visuals reinvent the story, adding a depth and startling immediacy to Atwood’s most tragic and nightmarish images, from the soaking reds that infuse every inch of the Handmaids’ lives to the gruesome punishments they endure. Atwood’s words have always exploded off the page with near-physical force, and Nault’s work amplifies that power, making this an absolute must-read—this month and ever after.

    Supermarket, by Bobby Hall
    This first novel written by Bobby Hall—aka, rap star Logic—is a dense, dark thriller that will keep surprising you. Flynn is a depressed young man who takes a job at a supermarket because he needs something—anything—to give him a reason to get out of bed in the morning and leave his mother’s house. At the store he journals, observing the weirdos and freaks he works with, the customers, the adorable coworker he’s falling for. When a horrible crime is committed at the supermarket, everything changes, and Flynn begins questioning his reality.

    Cemetery Road, by Greg Iles
    If books that combine twisty puzzles and deep, dark secrets tend to float to the top of your reading pile, Iles’ latest is your perfect pick. Marshall McEwan escaped Bienville when he was young, heading off to Washington, D.C., to become a journalist. When his father’s death and his family’s struggling newspaper force him to return home, Marshall finds a transformed town flush with sketchy money and controlled by Max Matheson’s shadowy Bienville Poker Club—and discovers his old flame Jet has married Max’s son. After Max is implicated in the murder of his wife, he insists Jet serve as his defense lawyer. She secretly teams up with Marshall to investigate the whole web of lies, corruption, and murder, acting as a confidential informant to the journalist. Soon, the whole town seems to turn against Marshall, refusing to deal with the horrifying truth he’s threatening to reveal. The B&N exclusive edition includes a note from Greg Iles to his readers.

    Soldier, Sailor, Frogman, Spy, Airman, Gangster, Kill or Die: How the Allies Won on D-Day, by Giles Milton
    History should always make up a healthy portion of everyone’s must-read piles, and this is one of those books that changes how you view one of the most famous events in modern history. Milton meticulously outlines the awe-inspiring level of planning, detail, and cooperation that D-Day’s Operation Overlord required to pull off the largest sea invasion ever staged. From the harried officers struggling to get an official green light from disparate commanders, to the German intelligence agent who made an astoundingly accurate prediction of what was about to happen, only to have his report ignored, the machine of D-Day only becomes more impressive when you learn the details. Interspersed with the high-altitude view are gritty stories of individuals—the soldiers and members of the French Resistance—whose acts of personal bravery and sacrifice triumphed over insurmountable odds.

    The American Agent, by Jacqueline Winspear
    In the fifteenth Maisie Dobbs novel, Maisie is in London in 1940, trying to help in any way she can as the city is pummeled by German bombers during the Blitz. She meets American journalist Catherine Saxon, and the two immediately share a friendly bond. When Catherine is found murdered the next day, Maisie is asked by Scotland Yard to help solve the crime—and the list of suspects becomes disturbingly long. As usual, Winspear deftly weaves multiple threads into a lushly detailed story that’s equal parts mystery, adventure, and history.

    Mama’s Last Hug: Animal and Human Emotions, by Frans de Waal
    De Waal is one of the most famous animal researchers on the planet, and in this book he explores something we know surprisingly little about: the emotional lives of animals. De Waal uses the famous, viral moment when biologist Jan van Hoof visited chimpanzee Mama as she lay dying—receiving a joyous, intimate embrace from the animal, who was obviously delighted to see her friend one last time—as the jumping-off point to a fascinating exploration of just how much emotional language we share with animals. The implications for the world in general and humanity specifically are profound, and this is the sort of book you will carry with you forever.

    The post Barnes & Noble’s Must-Read Books of March appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Nicole Hill 4:00 pm on 2019/02/26 Permalink
    Tags: anuradha bhagwati, Books You Need to Read, brittney cooper, , eloquent rage: a black feminist discovers her superpower, gloria steinem, good and mad: the revolutionary power of women's anger, mallory farrugia, , outrageous acts and everyday rebellions: third edition, , ruth bader ginsberg, , the future is feminist: radical funny and inspiring writing by women, unbecoming: a memoir of disobedience,   

    Change the World: 11 Must-Reads for International Women’s Day 

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    March 8 is International Women’s Day, a time to shine a light on the unique (and consistently undervalued) contributions of half of the world’s population. It’s a time to learn—and a time to be loud.

    In honor of the occasion—and to celebrate this Women’s History Month as a whole—we’re highlighting 11 feminist-forward nonfiction reads that elevate forgotten voices of the past or shout modern truths from the rooftops.

    Educated, by Tara Westover
    Shortlisted for the B&N 2018 Discover Awards and an occupant on just about every best-of list last year, Westover’s memoir of resilience details her extreme upbringing in rural Idaho. Raised by survivalist parents, Westover didn’t step foot inside a classroom until she was 17. The story of how she taught herself enough to get into college—and then onto Cambridge—is fascinating, affecting, and relatable to even those without such an unusual childhood.

    My Own Words, by Ruth Bader Ginsburg
    Maybe you’ve read her legendary dissents or seen one of the recent throng of films about her life. Now, take some time to hear from RBG herself on the topics dearest to her legacy. In carefully curated writings, Ginsburg discusses gender equality, life on the Supreme Court, interpreting law, and her own Jewish identity. It’s a must-read from one of America’s most influential women.

    Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger, by Rebecca Traister
    Traister explores the current atmosphere of female rage, putting the #MeToo movement, the Women’s March, and other manifestations of this anger into historical context. Woven in with histories of suffragette, abolitionist, and other women-led rights movements are reflections on the current mood and the nature of emotions long-considered “unfeminine.”

    Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower, by Brittney Cooper
    A bold collection of intersectional essays, Eloquent Rage has been recommended by just about everyone (Roxane Gay! Emma Watson! America Ferrera!). In a wide-ranging look at her own feminist evolution, Cooper critiques the traditional “whiteness” of mainstream women’s rights movements and underscores the remarkable results of channeling black women’s anger.

    Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions: Third Edition, by Gloria Steinem
    Timeless since they were first released in 1983, Steinem’s personal essays start a new chapter with a third edition featuring new writing from the author and a foreword by Emma Watson. Clear, witty, and classic, the works here run the gamut of women’s experiences, including Steinem’s infamous exposé, “I Was a Playboy Bunny.”

    Unbecoming: A Memoir of Disobedience, by Anuradha Bhagwati
    Remarkable and radical in all the best senses, Bhagwati’s life is presented unfiltered. The daughter of Indian immigrants, Bhagwati graduated from Yale and took an unconventional next step: the U.S. Marine Corps. Here, she chronicles the abuses and indignities of a bisexual woman of color in the military, as well as her subsequent equal-rights advocacy and efforts to hold those in power accountable for sexual assault of service members.

    The Future Is Feminist: Radical, Funny, and Inspiring Writing by Women, edited by Mallory Farrugia
    This anthology is stuffed to the gills with leading writers, activists, actors, and thinkers, including Roxane Gay, Salma Hayek, Audre Lorde, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Naomi Alderman, and many more. The previously published works collected here are united in sentiments but take divergent looks at feminism’s past, present, and future.

    Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China, by Jung Chang
    This engrossing bestseller reveals one woman’s role in shaping world history. In 1852, a 16-year-old girl named Cixi became a concubine to China’s Emperor Xianfeng. When he died nine years later, Cixi’s young son took the throne, and she quickly took action to do away with the court officials who would seek to manipulate the child, instead positioning herself as China’s ruler in all but name. Though she has often been vilified by history, Jung Chang draws on new sources to offer a different perspective, arguing that Cixi’s reign—and her embrace of industry, railways, electricity, and a strong military—ushered China into the modern world.

    Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History, by Sam Maggs
    As engaging and informative as it is fun, Maggs’ collection profiles a diverse group of unsung heroines from around the world, from a chemist who developed a treatment for leprosy, to a rocket scientist who helped send the first U.S. satellite into orbit. Readers of all ages will enjoy learning about these barrier-busting women’s contributions to fields ranging from medicine to espionage; young readers in particular may be inspired to pick up the torch and make their own contributions.

    We Should All Be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    Based on an essay by the same name, this book tackles the issue of feminism head on. Exploring everything from race and gender to sex and power dynamics, this incredible book is perfect for those just starting to break down the definition of feminism and how it applies to their lives.

    We Are Displaced, by Malala Yousafzai
    The Nobel Peace Prize winner and Pakistani author, herself a displaced person, shares what it felt like to be forced from her home in Swat Valley. Malala also pulls together heart-wrenching yet hopeful oral histories from other young women and girls who’ve been relocated because of regional and global conflicts. Each refugee has an important story to tell, and the distinct viewpoints and brave, personal revelations will move and educate you on a wealth of underrepresented news stories.

    The post Change the World: 11 Must-Reads for International Women’s Day appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Jeff Somers 4:00 pm on 2019/02/11 Permalink
    Tags: , Books You Need to Read, brideshead revisited, , carry on, , , , , , , , , , , , , soon i will be invincible, , , the dresden files, , the name of the wind, the night circus, the paper magician, the shades of magic series, v.e. schwab   

    Your Reading List for the Return of The Magicians 

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    It’s official: Lev Grossman’s fantastic book series The Magicians has inspired one of the best adaptations on television. The series based on Grossman’s books has managed the trickiest of all balancing acts, both honoring its source material and going beyond it in satisfying, intriguing ways. Grossman’s books are aggressively meta, a brilliant deconstruction of fantasy books that merrily wears the deconstruction on its sleeve—the brilliance of Quentin Coldwater discovering that magic is as tedious, difficult, and dense as advanced physics or maths is balanced with the childlike joy Grossman manages to convey concerning the actual use of it, and the discovery of a very real Narnia-esque portal world. Overall it’s a childhood fantasy pushed through an adult lens, and there’s no better way to celebrate the show’s return than by diving into some other fantasy worlds.

    The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis & The Harry Potter Series, by J.K. Rowling
    Let’s get these out of the way: if you somehow haven’t read the Narnia books, which are the inspiration for Fillory and the ur-portal fantasy of a billion childhoods, or the Potter books (which, seriously, how?), you’re not only missing some of the fundamental building blocks of Grossman’s universe, you’re likely missing something fundamental from your reading life. These two series are how The Magicians came to be—even if you have read them, reading them again—or, you know, for a fifth or sixteenth time—is never a bad idea.

    Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
    Grossman cited this stone-cold classic as one of the most important books in his life, and aside from its general greatness (seriously, read this book) it’s easy to see where it’s folded into the foundations of The Magicians, as it’s primarily a story of college grads and their fates after school. Lyrical, beautiful, sad, and somehow existing in a unique fictional universe despite being a realistic novel, there are grace notes of Waugh throughout Grossman’s books that you’ll suddenly see after you read this.

    Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
    Grossman himself recommends Clarke’s neo-classic when people ask what they should read after The Magicians. A thousand-page riff on Victorian literature and fairy tales, it’s set in a 19th century world where magic has recently returned after a long absence. A fateful rivalry develops between stuffy, bookish magician Mr. Norrell and showy upstart Jonathan Strange, with world-changing consequences. It is one of the most unusual works of fantasy you’ll ever read, filled with epic detail and a writing style that brings names like Dickens and Austen to mind. It’s a masterpiece, and nothing short of remarkable, and it is a perfect companion piece to Grossman’s books, exploring the theme of what happens when magic is discovered to be real in a totally different but complementary way that Grossman fans will appreciate.

    The Paper Magician, by Charlie N. Holmberg
    The story kicks off after young Ceony graduates from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined and is assigned to her apprenticeship—in paper magic, about as far from her desired specialty, metal, as she can get. But just as Simon finds that the hard work and late nights required to master magic in his universe are worth it, Ceony finds that putting the work in with her charming mentor, Emery Thane, yields amazing results. But there’s forbidden magic in this world, blood magic that operates on flesh and bone, and Ceony is forced to rely on her imperfect mastery to save Thane, and possibly the world. It’s a perfect series for fans of Grossman’s books.

    The Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher
    It’s pretty simple math: while they’re different beasts in terms of tone and plot devices, the fact is that folks who love The Magicians will probably love Jim Butcher’s detective-cum-wizard Harry Dresden, who brings a hard-boiled edge to his investigations of paranormal and magical events and crimes. It’s easy to imagine someone graduating Watford and slowly evolving into Harry; although the magic systems are completely different, the tone matches up well, making this an ideal series to dive into when you need a new adventure that combines magic, sass, and plenty of great plot twists.

    Soon I Will be Invincible, by Austin Grossman
    Superheros instead of magicians, but Lev’s twin brother Austin has written one of the most fun and enjoyable comic-book subversions ever. As Doctor Impossible plots his escape from prison and questions his life choices, the league of heroes known as The Champions patrol the world against wrongdoers and struggle with their own existential crises and personal failings as they deal with the disappearance of their greatest member. It’s hilarious, and captures the tone of comic books with pitch-perfect skill while offering an augmented view of the world that will appeal to fans of The Magicians.

    The Shades of Magic Series, by V.E. Schwab
    If part of what appeals to you about The Magicians is the idea that magic is hidden—but could be around any corner—than Schwab’s fantastic Shades of Magic is required reading. The story spans four alternate Londons—White London, soaked in and consumed by magic, Red London, where magic is used reasonably and intelligently, Grey London (our world) where magic has been all but forgotten, and Black London, where magic has crushed the life out of everything. Its elemental magic system isn’t very similar to Grossman’s realistically arcane discipline, but the dense storytelling and joy of magic is right in line and the perfect way to prime your imagination for the TV show.

    The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern
    Dreamy, lush, and romantic, at first glance this might not seem like it has much in common with Grossman’s story. The crucial link, again, is the way magic is presented as hidden in plain view—the Night Circus is truly magical, but obscures its nature simply by performing its spells for people’s entertainment, as part of the circus act. This allows the two rival magicians traveling with it to wage a proxy war of magic right in front of amazed audiences, who never suspect what they’re actually seeing even as they rave about the trick. It’s ultimately concerned with the human heart, and is exactly the sort of book that Simon would have read and loved.

    The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss
    Rothfuss’s modern classic is very different in tone from Grossman’s work, and is set in an epic fantasy universe instead of an urban one. That said, it’s a modern classic for reasons, not the least of which is that the whole “school of magic” aspect is just one part of the story—the legendary warrior, bard, and magician Kvothe’s life story is already pretty epic by the time he sets his sights on gaining admission to the University. This is one of those stories where the destination is the journey, and not only will it serve as a great alternative flavor in stories about people learning the secrets of the universe, it will also addict you to a whole book series.

    Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell
    If it’s the meta-ness of The Magicians that you groove on, it simply doesn’t get more meta than Rowell’s first foray into fantasy literature. The story of Simon Snow, the Chosen One finishing his final year at Watford School of Magicks and his roommate (or maybe more) Baz Grimm-Pitch began life as a fictional book series modeled on Harry Potter in Rowell’s Fangirl, seen largely through a slash fan-fic being written by a character in that book. So this is the real novel based on the fan-fic based on the fictional novels in the fictional world of a totally separate novel. Got that? Doesn’t matter—it’s actually a fun, bouncy riff on the whole ‛kids in magician school’ trope that offers a wonderful accent to your Magicians meal prep.

    The post Your Reading List for the Return of <i>The Magicians</i> appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Diana Biller 4:00 pm on 2018/08/20 Permalink
    Tags: all the real girls, Books You Need to Read, , ,   

    4 New Books from Women You Want To Be Friends With 

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    Imagine this: you’re invited to a party planned by Reese Witherspoon, in immaculate Southern fashion. Chrissy Teigen brings the food. Busy Philipps brings the laughs, and Eva Chen tells you exactly what color lipstick to wear for your complexion and lets you try on her gorgeous designer heels. Are you imagining? Then you’ve got the essence of this fall’s packed slate of releases from the cool girls of pop culture—four books promising to entertain and inspire while also teaching you how to throw an amazing party of your own.

    Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing Up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love, and Baking Biscuits, by Reese Witherspoon
    Inspired by her childhood in the South and by her grandmother Dorothea, this book is a sort of road map of Witherspoon’s favorite things. From fried chicken recipes to tips on entertaining in a BIG way, Whiskey in a Teacup shares little tips to make life more special. Not the entertaining type? It also includes a “fail-proof” guide to getting the perfect Reese Witherspoon hair.

    Cravings: Hungry for More, by Chrissy Teigen
    I loved Cravings, Teigen’s first cookbook. It’s funny and well designed, and the recipes are both interesting and delicious. I also just don’t understand why she won’t magically appear in my kitchen and gossip with me while we cook together. But it seems the closest I’ll get is her sequel cookbook, Cravings: Hungry for More, and it’s a pretty good substitute: it focuses on the recipes she has been relying on since becoming a mom, with more of the great commentary that made Cravings such a delight.

    This Will Only Hurt a Little, by Busy Philipps
    There are a lot of places Busy Philipps might have made you laugh. To name a few: Freaks and Geeks, Cougartown, or Instagram, where she’s something of a sensation. Her autobiography, This Will Only Hurt a Little, will be another one. Tracing her life from Scottsdale, Arizona, to motherhood and Instagram, Philipps’ bracingly honest book takes the reader on a funny, occasionally painful, and ultimately inspirational journey.

    Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes, by Eva Chen, illustrated by Derek Desierto
    Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes has perhaps the most adorable premise of all time. Juno Valentine is a little girl who stumbles into an amazing closet, filled with the shoes of amazing women throughout time—think Cleopatra and Serena Williams—that unlock a series of amazing adventures. Written by Eva Chen, former editor-in-chief of Lucky and very fashionable cool girl, this delightful little book is a great gift for a child in your life…or just for yourself.

    The post 4 New Books from Women You Want To Be Friends With appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Jeff Somers 1:30 pm on 2018/05/16 Permalink
    Tags: alayna schroeder, big life changes, black & decker the book of home how-to, Books You Need to Read, buying a home: the missing manual, egypt sherrod, , home buying, home buying made slightly more simple, , , ilona bray, jack guttentag, jay anson, keep calm...it's just real estate, marcia stewart, , mark montano, , nancy conner, nolo's essential guide to buying your first home, real simple: the organized home, the amityville horror, the big ass book of home decor, , the mortgage encyclopedia   

    10 Books Everyone Should Read Before Buying a Home 

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    Buying a home remains a huuuuge step in anyone’s life. While younger generations feel less pressure to hurry up and buy their own home, it’s still the ultimate goal of many of us to eventually own their own home. Homeownership is more than just a signal that you’re all grown up and ready to be an adult. It can also serve as an essential component of your net worth, retirement goals, and financial stability—not to mention a place where you can keep all of your stuff.

    But buying a house is scary—and it should be. It’s probably the single most expensive thing you’ll ever buy, the single largest loan you’ll ever take on, and one of the biggest responsibilities you’ll ever accept. Before you dive into mortgage brokers and real estate agents, open houses and the endless paperwork, here are ten books you should take some time to read in order to ensure you know exactly what you’ll be getting yourself into.

    Buying a Home: The Missing Manual, by Nancy Conner
    Start with some brass tacks. This book is a step-by-step guide that covers all the nuts-and-bolts aspects of buying a home, from choosing the house you want to assembling a real estate team ideal for your needs, figuring out mortgages and financing options, and dealing with inspections and other due diligence. If you think buying a home is a complex and overwhelming process, this book will take away much of the intimidation factor and mystery that surrounds many of the steps along the way.

    Nolo’s Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home, by Ilona Bray, Alayna Schroeder, and Marcia Stewart
    It’s always good to get a second opinion, and this guide covers similar ground to Conner’s book while offering a different perspective. Instead of one expert’s advice, this guide collects the wisdom of dozens of real estate professionals from every facet of the business—Realtors, loan officers, investors, landlords, buyers, and sellers. The end result is a plethora of advice, facts, and useful true stories from various perspectives that really make it easy to understand how things work and the impact of certain specific mistakes.

    Keep Calm … It’s Just Real Estate, by Egypt Sherrod
    If all the talk of mortgages, putting down roots, and dream homes is getting you anxious, you might want a more comforting tone. Sherrod, host of HGTV’s Property Virgins, offers a great mix of advice, facts, and humor in this book. The main takeaway from her advice is that buying your first home doesn’t have to be a stressful horrorshow if you take the time to do some research and be thoughtful in your choices. While this book isn’t as heavy on the facts and figures as the other guides mentioned, it’s a friendlier, kinder, and gentler approach that makes it easier to get your head around such a big decision while also making the process seem a lot easier and less frightening than it otherwise might.

    The Mortgage Encyclopedia, by Jack Guttentag
    The biggest part of the homebuying decision for most people is the mortgage, which is just a fancy term for “huge loan.” Many first-time buyers are stunned to discover how much they can borrow—or or how little—and mortgages come in so many shapes and sizes (and loan officers can be surprisingly creative in putting together financing packages) that it’s easy to worry that you’re going to get pressured into a bad deal. This comprehensive reference work offers everything you need to know about how mortgages work and the different options you’ll encounter, giving you the expertise you’ll need when figuring out how to finance your dreams.

    Real Simple: The Organized Home
    One thing many people fail to think about when searching for their first home is how they’ll organize it. Sometimes the problem is moving from a studio apartment to a 3,000 square foot home means you’ve got a card table in the dining room and absolutely nothing in the spare bedroom. Sometimes the problem kicks in when you clear out your storage units and discover you have turned your second bathroom into a place to store your boxes full of comic books. Either way, thinking about how you’ll organize your home before you move in will save you a lot of stress.

    The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo
    Similarly, Kondo’s runaway bestseller will get you into a crucial frame of mind: keeping things neat. A tidy, organized home will always seem bigger, newer, and in better shape than a disorganized, cluttered space. But when going from a relatively small space (or a space where cleaning and tidying duties were shared with others) to a larger space that’s all your own, keeping things neat can seem wearying and impossible. Let Marie Kondo show you the way before you move in.

    The Big Ass Book of Home Decor, by Mark Montano
    Something else you should start thinking about before you buy your first home is what you want it to look like. While some people grow up cutting out photos from magazines and collecting fabric swatches, just as many step into their first home and realize they have no idea how to choose paint colors, upholstery, and other home decor basics. Get a head start and reduce that first-week stress load by boning up on home decoration basics, while also getting a load of information about how to re-purpose items and otherwise make your new home pretty without spending a lot of money—money you probably don’t have because you just bought a house.

    Black & Decker The Book of Home How-To
    Once you’re in the house, trust us: no matter how comprehensive your home inspection was, things will go wrong. Repairing and maintaining your new house is an essential part of protecting your investment, and if you want to save yourself a boatload of money along the way, learning how to do at least some basic stuff is an absolute must. This book offers easy-to-follow guides on all the basics you’re going to face, offering an overview of everything that gives just enough information without overwhelming you with complicated details you simply don’t need to know about. Having this book packed up in a box before you move will give you some peace of mind.

    Finally, house-hunting can be so exciting you overlook some of the possible problems, so here are a couple of books to remind you to consider everything that can go wrong—or at least to deflate that sense of optimism that might lead you to buy more house than you can handle, or to ignore downsides. In the horror classic The Amityville Horror, by Jay Anson, you’ll get a good dose of house-hunting paranoia as the Lutz family is driven from their dream home in just a month by a malevolent force they maintain was very real. And in Mark Z. Danielewski’s modern classic House of Leaves a family discovers that their house is larger on the inside than the outside—something that might be cause for celebration when you’ve just finished calculating your price-per-square foot, but which serves as a reminder that no matter how much due diligence you do, a house is a place of secrets.

    Now that you’ve done the reading, go ahead and start house-hunting. Just remember the biggest lesson from those TV shows: don’t fret about the colors on the walls. Paint is cheap.

    What books would you recommend to potential homebuyers?

    The post 10 Books Everyone Should Read Before Buying a Home appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

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