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  • Tara Sonin 5:00 pm on 2018/02/09 Permalink
    Tags: 11/22/63, abraham lincoln vampire hunter, all american girl, american queen, american wife, , , , , , david levithan, dolley, eighteen acres, ellen feldman, eugene burdock, executive orders, failsafe, frost/nixon, , harvey wheeler, , it can’t happen here, jailbird, , jenn marie thorne, joe klein, , , leader of the free world, , lucy, , , mount vernon love story, mrs. President, nicole wallace, peter morgan, , primary colors, , seth grahams-smith, sierra simone, sinclair lewis, stephen carter, , , the impeachment of abraham lincoln, , the plot against america, , the wrong side of right, , wide awake   

    25 Fictional Presidents 

    President’s Day is around the corner, so we compiled a list of 25 fictional presidents for you to read about! If watching the news bums you out, but political intrigue does not, these books are for you.

    Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders
    This haunting novel centers around the true story of Lincoln’s son, who died during his Presidency. While President Lincoln visits the gravesite of his son, the ghosts who have clung to life narrate a deeply moving, complex thread of tales.

    11/22/63, by Stephen King
    This political sci-fi is about a man who travels back in time with one goal—to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. While the President does not “officially” appear in the story, the entire plot centers around Jake Epping managing to stop Lee Harvey Oswald…but will his actions have the opposite impact on American history than he hopes?

    American Wife, by Curtis Sittenfeld
    Loosely based on Laura Bush, this novel stars Alice, a small-town girl who grows up to marry a future President. Follow Alice in her courtship by a dazzling Republican man she finds herself unable to stay away from…but once they enter the White House, she realizes she disagrees with in ways they may be unable to reconcile.

    Jailbird, by Kurt Vonnegut
    Watergate gets even more insidious in this story, told from the perspective of a fictional co-conspirator in the Nixon Administration cover-up. Wry and humorous, but also dark and revealing of the jagged edges of human nature, Vonnegut’s anti-hero shares the story from his perspective years later, after serving his time for the crime.

    Dolley, by Rita Mae Brown
    Dolley Madison was the fourth first lady in American history, and this novel explores her fictional diary. Being the wife of one of America’s founders was both glamorous, full of fashion and parties…and horrendous, as her husband ushers the country into war.

    Primary Colors, by Joe Klein
    Originally published anonymously, this novel takes readers behind the political curtain of presidential campaigns. Based on Bill Clinton’s rise to the presidency, told from the perspective of a lower-level aide, every moment is rife with drama on the verge of scandal.

    Eighteen Acres, by Nicolle Wallace
    Nicole Wallace is a former Communications Director of the White House (and current political pundit) and wrote a novel imagining the first woman president as she weathers a re-election campaign, an infidelity scandal, and an international blunder.

    American Queen, by Sierra Simone
    Now for a very different kind of novel, this erotic romance imagines a completely fictional scenario in which a girl finds herself in love with two men: they just happen to be the President of the United States…and the Vice President of the United States. Confused? Once you meet Greer, Embry and Maxen in this reimagining of Camelot, you’ll be in love.

    The President is Missing, by Bill Clinton and James Patterson
    This book isn’t even available yet, but it’s totally pre-order worthy…because it’s the first novel written by a former President! Bill Clinton teamed up with James Patterson to write a political thriller about what happens when a President vanishes without a trace.

    Failsafe, by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler
    Published in 1962, when tensions between Russia and the US were at an all-time high, this speculative novel imagines a scenario in which American bombers take control of the nuclear weapons and decide to put an end to the conflict once and for all…and the President must act before Russia engages them in all-out war.

    The Dead Zone, by Stephen King
    Stephen King returns to the list with this bestselling speculative novel about a man who wakes up from a coma with the mysterious ability to see people’s futures. But this becomes a problem when he has a vision of a man running for President…and it’s disastrous. Does he intervene to prevent it from coming true?

    Executive Orders, by Tom Clancy
    The worst has occurred: the President, the cabinet, and most of congress is dead. That leaves the VP, Jack Ryan, in charge. President Ryan must govern without a government all the while trying to figure out who is responsible. Riveting and with twists that will leave you breathless, fans of Designated Survivor will love this novel.

    The Inner Circle, by Brad Meltzer
    An adventure of presidential proportions begins when an archivist and his one-time crush find a mysterious dictionary that belonged to the first president, George Washington. They must race against the clock to decipher the meaning of the dictionary, and, once a man ends up dead, hope they don’t end up suffering the same fate.

    The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln, by Stephen L. Carter
    This fascinating novel imagines a world where Lincoln did not die, and instead lived to face the consequences of the Civil War…namely, an impeachment trial for a breach of executive powers. When one of Lincoln’s lawyers is murdered, a young black woman working for his defense team must unravel the mystery.

    Mount Vernon Love Story, by Mary Higgins Clark
    Mystery master Mary Higgins Clark wrote an historical novel about George Washington! Did you know that many people believe Washington, despite being married to Martha, was in love with someone else? Higgins Clark is not one of them; she writes the love story between America’s FIRST first-couple as one of mutual respect, admiration, and affection.

    Lucy, by Ellen Feldman
    In contrast, this novel is about a president who was in love with someone who wasn’t his wife. Before he was President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt loved Lucy Mercer…Eleanor’s social secretary. Through polio, a world war, and two presidential terms, despite his promises to Eleanor, Franklin and Lucy remain connected. Heartbreaking, romantic, and beautiful.

    Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, by Seth Grahame-Smith
    Presidents go paranormal in this fun novel that reveals the true story behind our 16th President. Abraham Lincoln was a vampire hunter, hell-bent on vengeance against the creatures responsible for his mother’s death.

    Mr. President, by Katy Evans
    Matt and Charlotte have known one another since they were kids. He was the son of a President, and vowed never to follow in his father’s footsteps…except now he has, bringing Charlotte along for the ride. The problem? Charlotte loves him, but knows she can never love a President. This erotic romance novel sizzles with political steam.

    The Plot Against America, by Philip Roth
    An Alternative history where FDR loses the 1940 election to isolationist Charles Lindbergh…who strikes a deal with Hitler to stay out of his way. But tensions rise, along with anti-Semintism, and the consequences are seen through the eyes of one boy.

    It Can’t Happen Here, by Sinclair Lewis
    This book was written during the Great Depression, but the subject matter is still relevant today. Featuring another character who unseats Franklin Delano Roosevelt from the Presidency, this novel details the dangers of populist rhetoric with a President who halts progress on all fronts and holds his enemies captive.

    Frost/Nixon, by Peter Morgan
    This play dramatizes the epic showdown between journalist David Frost and President Nixon, in which the former tries to get the latter to confess to his crimes. (You can watch the movie, too!)

    Crooked, by Austin Grossman
    Grossman’s reinvention of Tricky Dick as the inheritor of a presidency imbued with magical powers—a man consistently distrusted and marginalized by the people who could have prepared him for the battles to come—is thoroughly enjoyable. Most importantly, it offers up an idea of a president who has more than a veto up his or her sleeves. Certainly a little black magic would be very welcome in today’s unsettled world.

    All American Girl, by Meg Cabot
    One of my favorite YA novels featuring regular-girl Sam Madison, who saves the president from an assassination attempt. Sam is in love with her older sister’s boyfriend, but as she spends more time with the President’s son—the only person who seems to understand the downsides to her newfound fame—she starts to question both her choice, and whether she could love the kid who lives in the White House.

    The Wrong Side of Right, by Jenn Marie Thorne
    Kate has never known her father, but when her mother dies, he reveals himself: a powerful politician vying for the White House. Suddenly, Kate is embroiled in the world of politics, a new family, and a dangerous first-love…all the while grieving for her mom, and the life she once loved.

    Wide Awake, by David Levithan
    This speculative novel stars the first gay, Jewish President…whose election is promptly declared invalid by a governor of a crucial state. Jimmy and Duncan, a teen couple, decide to lend their support by joining the protests to support him.

    What novels featuring fictionalized presidents do you love?

    The post 25 Fictional Presidents appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Lauren Passell 7:13 pm on 2015/03/23 Permalink
    Tags: , , cathleen davitt bell, david levithan, , , kathryn holmes, kevin emerson, , tanuja desai hidier   

    “We’re Going to Act Out Each Other’s Books:” Teen Authors Unite for YA #BNAuthorEvent 

    YA Authors01 copyOn Friday, March 20, YA authors David Levithan, Cathleen Davitt Bell, Heather Demetrios, Tanuja Hidier, Kathryn Holmes, Scott Westerfeld, Holly Black, and Kevin Emerson gathered in the Union Square Barnes & Noble in Manhattan for an NYC Teen Author Festival event.

    David Levithan jumped up on stage first, announcing, “We’re going to act out each other’s books. Remember, the bar for authors acting should be set very low.”

    For the next hour, the gang read aloud from Levithan’s Hold Me Closer, Davitt Bell’s I Remember You, Demetrios’s I’ll Meet You There, Emerson’s Breakout, Holmes’s The Distance Between Lost and Found, Westerfeld’s Afterworlds, Black’s The Darkest Part of the Forest, and Desai Hidier’s Bombay BluesThey laughed, the swore, they danced, and they acted—pretty well! From the photos and illustrations below, you can tell how much fun they had—and how much fun the audience had. Don’t miss the next #BNAuthorEvent—contact your local store to see who will be stopping by next.

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    Holly Demetrios reading with Kevin Emerson

     

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    Kevin Emerson, Heather Demetrios, Cathleen Davitt Bell, and Kathryn Holmes

     

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    David Levithan and Tanuja Desai Hidier

     

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    All of the authors participated in a group chat of, “We are the parade of ex-boyfriends!” from Levithan’s HOLD ME CLOSER

     

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    Kevin Emerson, Kathryn Holmes, Tanuja Desai Hidier

     

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    Heather Demetrios, David Levithan, Tanuja Desai Hidier

     

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    Holly Black, Scott Westerfeld, David Levithan, Cathleen Davitt Bell, Kathryn Holmes, and Heather Demetrios

     

     

     

     
  • Melissa Albert 6:30 pm on 2015/03/20 Permalink
    Tags: author spotlights, , david levithan, hold me closer, , two boys kissing, will grayson will grayson   

    The Hilarious and Heartfelt Stories of David Levithan 

    There are important books—books everyone should read because of what they teach us about ourselves and others. There are entertaining books—books we delight in reading because they’re so compelling and fun. And then there are books that somehow manage to be both important and entertaining, books like those written by David Levithan.

    Through his own writing and his work as editorial director at Scholastic, Levithan has created a safe space for any reader who has ever felt unsure of where he belongs. He has shown readers it’s more than okay to be different, that everyone is different, and that kindness is the path to happiness.

    Levithan’s true talent lies in taking the most complex of ideas—about love, identity, and the universe—and distilling them into beautiful prose you want to read over and over and over again. Whether his narrator is a generation of gay men, as in Two Boys Kissing, or a nameless entity who speaks with a wisdom achieved from living thousands of lives, as in Every Day, Levithan’s work is filled with brutal honesty about what it means to grow up and fall in love.

    His books are perfect for fans of Lauren Oliver, Libba Bray, and Stephen Chbosky, but his unique story structures and diverse narrators come together into something entirely new, with realistic characters, relevant problems, and empathy that pours off the page. He has collaborated with bestselling authors Rachel Cohn (three times), John Green, and Andrea Cremer, and his short stories have appeared in anthologies including My True Lave Gave to Me and Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd. Now that Levithan’s latest book, Hold Me Closer, has hit the shelves, it’s the perfect time to treat yourself to a reading binge. Here’s where to start.

    Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story
    In this innovative novel written in the form of a musical, Levithan returns to the world crafted in Will Grayson, Will Grayson, his 2011 collaboration with John Green. In this story, Will Grayson’s scene-stealing best friend, Tiny Cooper, answers all our prayers by grabbing the spotlight and turning it firmly in his direction. Over the course of his loud and spectacular autobiographical musical, rife with showstopping lyrics and hilarious stage directions, Tiny tells his story from his birth to coming out to his parade of exes, examining love, heartbreak, and friendship along the way. If you loved Tiny Cooper, this book is obviously for you, but it also stands alone as the life-affirming story of one queer teenager’s quest for love and meaning. Then, after you finish, maybe you can get started putting music to Tiny’s words. This is a show the world needs to see.

    Will Grayson, Will Grayson (cowritten with John Green)
    When Will Grayson crosses paths with another guy named Will Grayson on a cold Chicago night, their lives intersect in unexpected ways, leading to lasting friendships and new love. While one Will Grayson just wants to shut up and not care, the other desperately wants someone to talk to and care about. In alternating chapters, we learn about the two teens’ struggles with love, high school, friendship, and—most importantly—their friend Tiny Cooper’s impending musical. The novel is full of laughs and heart, and the result is just so wonderfully enjoyable it’s hard to feel anything but love after reading it.

    Every Day
    This exploration of identity and the true inner self centers around A, a 16-year-old being who wakes up every day in a new body. Whether that body is male or female, black or white, gay or straight, A experiences what its usual tenant would experience, complete with basic access to the person’s memories. A’s travels from body to body amount to a master course in empathy and the human condition. It’s a lonely life, though A has grown accustomed to it…that is, until A meets Rhiannon, a girl who makes A long for things A can’t have—like a permanent body or a permanent life. At times funny and always smart, Every Day crushes assumptions about love, gender, and sexuality.

    Two Boys Kissing
    Just as the title suggests, two boys kissing play a central part in this uplifting and refreshing tale of identity and community. The book takes place on a high school lawn, where two 17-year-olds try to break a world record for the longest kiss at a 32-hour kissathon. Narrated in first-person plural from the collective voice of a generation of gay men lost to AIDS, the novel’s main duo share the spotlight as other characters move in and out of the narrative, deepening the community feel of the tale. Each character shines brightly for his own reasons, and the total result is as inspiring as it is groundbreaking.

    Shop all teen books >
     
  • Jeff Somers 6:00 pm on 2014/09/10 Permalink
    Tags: , , , david levithan, , , , , , rachel cohn, , , , ,   

    5 Kids’ and YA Books that Transcend the Age Label 

    Nick and Norah's Infinite PlaylistIt’s not your fault. Everyone grows up. Getting older isn’t an achievement, like throwing a no-hitter. It’s just something that happens, like getting a rash. It’s certainly nothing to be proud of, so stop pretending that having aged a few years means you’re too grown up for young adult or children’s fiction. Suddenly you’re carting around Russian novels and drinking interesting coffees and sighing heavily every time someone brings up The Hunger Games. The fact is, “good YA books” are what our ancestors simply called “good books,” a fact that should be obvious in the post–Harry Potter world we live in. And the Potter books are just one astounding example of kid lit that transcends its age label. Here are a few more must-reads aimed at kids that people of all ages will enjoy:

    The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis
    These books are so famous you no doubt know the basic premise: A series of dangerously unsupervised children invade a magical land called Narnia, conquer and rule it as despotic monarchs, then abandon it to dark magic and decline when summer vacation is over and they have to go back to school. That’s the gist of it, anyway.

    Why Adults Will Enjoy It: If you’re one of the few who somehow escaped these books during your obviously flawed childhood, you’ll be surprised at their complexity and humor. Far from dour polemics, the books are filled with moral quandaries and flawed characters, from the traitor Edmund in book one to the mysteriously absent Susan in book seven.

    The Tripods Series, by John Christopher
    Published in the later 1960s, the original trilogy (The White Mountains, The City of Gold and Lead, and The Pool of Fire) are science-fiction classics that have a dystopian premise and mood that any fan of The Hunger Games or Divergent will recognize: more dangerously unsupervised children flee from being “capped” and mind controlled by the aliens who have conquered the Earth. They have a series of adventures as they seek to overthrow the conquerers and learn more about what’s happened to their world.

    Why Adults Will Enjoy It: The story goes far beyond it’s simple sci-fi elevator pitch, exploring themes of conformity, authority, and what it means to be an adult. Told in a simple and engaging first-person narrative, the ideas are still exciting 40 years later. Anyone who likes a good sci-fi story and who still looks at themselves in the mirror and sometimes feels like an awkward 13-year-old kid will find plenty to engage them.

    A Series of Unfortunate Events, by Lemony Snicket
    Daniel Handler (writing as Lemony Snicket) crafted one of the most wonderfully bizarre YA book series ever known, a tale of dangerously unsupervised children (orphans, in fact) flouting adult authority with impunity as they seek to escape their greedy and murderous uncle Count Olaf and investigate the many mysteries surrounding the death of their parents.

    Why Adults Will Enjoy It: From the dedication of the first book (“To Beatrice—darling, dearest, dead”), you can tell these are not your typical children’s books. Sporting a high body count, a relentlessly downbeat mood, and plenty of subtle and even obscure jokes, A Series of Unfortunate Events also has a surprisingly complex metafictional aspect—but if all that makes your eyes glaze over, the books’ hilarious black humor will buoy even the blackest of souls.

    Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
    This tale of still more dangerously unsupervised children (I’m detecting a theme here) running amok all over Manhattan on what is either the worst or best date ever is filled with great little details and a vibrant love of that peculiar freedom found only when you’re in high school and able to stay out all night.

    Why Adults Will Enjoy It: Anyone who has ever experienced that peculiarly terrifying effervescent feeling of an infinite evening that never seems to end will identify with this story of two smart, snarky teens falling in love while having a totally believable adventure in the Big City. The book deals with universal issues of love, doubt, and how music creates such a powerful connection in our lives, and the alternating points of view (male and female) give each gender confirmation of their own experience and glimpses into the other point of view.

    The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton
    The ultimate tale of dangerously unsupervised children who curse, smoke, drink, and stab each other, this book was actually written when Hinton was a teenager herself, which explains the melodramatic nature of much of her debut. The tale of Ponyboy and rival gangs in Tulsa in the 1960s, it remains an explosive (and often banned) book to this day.

    Why Adults Will Enjoy It: Many books capture the sense of being a teenager, but few can convey that sense back to adults the way The Outsiders can. Once you get past some of the outdated slang and period detail, you’re once again fifteen and simultaneously angry, sad, exultant, and confused. While the events of the story go far beyond what most people experience as kids, the emotional sense of the book is 100% accurate.

     
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