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  • Tara Sonin 7:00 pm on 2018/01/10 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , breath of magic, crystal cove, , daughter of the blood, deborah harkness, erika mailman, , , , , , , , , naomi novik, , , paula brackson, practical magic, , , , , the witches of east end, the witching hour, the witchs daughter, the witchs trinity, toil and trouble, uprooted, , wicked deeds on a winters night, witch and wizard   

    16 Witchy Books You Need This Winter 

    You may think Autumn is the only time for witchery, but we say winter and witches go together like snowflakes and hot cocoa! If January has been keeping you cold, here are some witchy reads that will excite…and maybe even scare you a bit, too.

    A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness
    When factions of supernatural creatures set their sights on a document that could give them the upper hand in a war, a reluctant witch must seek the protection of an equally reluctant vampire, her supposed mortal enemy. Witch stories have a tendency to emphasize the importance of family…but in this case, it could be her own family that wants her dead. Can true love between two warring beings prevail?

    Practical Magic, by Alice Hoffman
    The Owens sisters are cursed: the men that they love will always die. But with that curse comes unique abilities—magic—that on more than one occasion, they have used to try and prevent others that they love from falling prey to the same fate. Gillian and Sally grew up as outsiders, always trying to escape the rumors about their family. One of them married, and the other ran away, determined never to do so. But when tragedy brings them together again, the curse is always there to welcome them home…

    Dark Witch, by Nora Roberts
    In this witchy trilogy, Iona Sheehan travels to Ireland to connect with family she has always yearned to know. Reunited with her cousins in the home of her ancestors, Iona is hopeful she’s found everything she’s been looking for. And then she meets Boyle MacGrath: a cowboy with no ties, except the one winding its way around her heart.

    Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night, by Kresley Cole
    In the fourth installment in this paranormal romance series, Mariketa the witch has been stripped of her magic, leaving her with no choice but to seek the protection of her greatest enemy, Bowen MacRieve. Bowen is a tortured werewolf determined never to let his heart belong to another—especially Mari—but soon enough, they cannot deny the passion between them. Forbidden love, evil forces, and magic combine for a riveting tale.

    Breath of Magic, by Teresa Medeiros
    Arian Whitewood is a witch from the seventeenth century…which means she does not belong three hundred years in the future, but alas, that’s where a mysterious amulet takes her. She meets Tristan Lennox, a billionaire with no faith in magic…and so he never expected his reward of 1 million dollars to the person who could prove its existence to ever come true. Outlander fans will love this reverse-time-travel billionaire romance.

    Crystal Cove, by Lisa Kleypas
    Friday Harbor has been a good home to Justine; here she’s found the stability she never had with her untamable mother, Marigold, and she enjoys the safety in her mundane life of running a small hotel. But then, her world is rocked by the truth that her lack of love is the result of a dark curse cast on her at birth.

    The Witch’s Daughter, by Paula Brackston
    One of the most fascinating and engrossing witch tales I’ve ever read: you will not be able to look away from the tale of Elizabeth Hawksmith, a witch who has survived over three-hundred years in loneliness, only to discover a Witchfinder from her past has been stalking her through time, determined to collect on a debt. But this time, Elizabeth can’t run: she has a teenage girl under her care, and something more important than her own immortality to protect.

    The Witches of East End, by Melissa De La Cruz
    The Beauchamp witches try to live a normal life; the fact that they are forbidden to practice magic makes that slightly easier. But when murder and mystery find them in their solitude, they decide the time has come to defy the rules and do what must be done to defeat the evil in their midst.

    Daughter of the Blood, by Anne Bishop
    This high fantasy in which power is manifested through magical gems stars a mysterious Queen who will rise to a power stronger even than Hell itself. Three men seek to find and control the girl who is destined to ascend the throne in a ruthless quest of corruption, greed, and lust.

    Wicked, by Gregory Maguire
    The story of the Wicked Witch of the West begins at birth—born green, an outcast in society, she is nonetheless destined to wield a magic that will make her infamous. This villain origin story is action-packed, beautiful, and romantic.

    The Witch’s Trinity, by Erika Mailman
    This fascinating tale of witchcraft, fear, and history begins in 1507 when a German town is struck by a famine…which one friar believes is the result of witchcraft. Güde Müller has been tormented by visions that she cannot explain…and soon she realizes that her position in the town is compromised, perhaps even by her own family.

    The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman
    This unique story is difficult to describe, but incredibly ethereal, dark, and haunting. A man comes home to Sussex for a funeral, and is drawn to the mysterious house at the end of the road where, as a child, he met a mysterious girl and something magical and dangerous happened to him as a child.

    The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, by Katherine Howe
    Connie’s summer is full to the brim with research for her PhD. But when her mother asks her to help handle the sale of her grandmother’s house, Connie finds herself pulled into a dark mystery involving a family bible, an old key, and a name: Deliverance Dane. Who was she? And why is Connie suddenly having visions of the Salem Witch Trials?

    Uprooted, by Naomi Novik
    A terrifying wizard known as The Dragon kidnaps girls in a small town every ten years—and soon, Agnieszka’s best friend will be chosen. That is, until a twist of fate results in her being chosen instead.

    Witch and Wizard, by James Patterson
    In a dystopian world of governmental control, Wisty and Whit Allgood are siblings accused of being a witch and wizard. Young people everywhere have been torn from their homes and forced to face judgment for this “crime” of magic.

    The Witching Hour, by Anne Rice
    This lush, dark, and gorgeously gory paranormal series introduces readers to the Mayfair witches, whose stories have been told for centuries by the Talamasca. This time, Rowan Mayfair is a neurosurgeon who never knew of her abilities until one day when she brings a man back from the dead. Cursed (or gifted, or both) with the ability to see the dark realm and the evil spirit who wants to come through to the mortal realm, Rowan must find a way to defeat him and protect the world—and people—she loves.

    What witchy books do you love?

    The post 16 Witchy Books You Need This Winter appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Molly Schoemann-McCann 3:30 pm on 2014/08/12 Permalink
    Tags: , deborah harkness, endless, , , , , , , , , ,   

    4 Sequels That Are Finally Here 

    EndlessThere’s nothing quite as satisfying as being knee-deep in a great series. It is that much easier to immerse yourself in your favorite characters, their world, and their exploits when you’re accompanying them through several books. Granted, a series is not without its downsides, such as the despondent feeling you get when you finally finish it; or when you realize, as you close the latest installment, that the release of the next book is months—possibly years—away. But we are here to celebrate, not lament, for this has been a glorious summer full of long-awaited next books in several beloved series! All hail the arrival of the following 4 novels, and may they help us forget, in our joy, those periods of waiting.

    The Book of Life, by Deborah Harkness
    Fans of Harkness’s bestselling All Souls trilogy have been waiting two long years for its final volume—but fortunately for them, The Book of Life has proven to be well worth the wait. The concluding novel continues the riveting love story of a sexy vampire scientist and an all-powerful witch, who return to the present from a fraught trip to the 16th century to deepen their search for a magical manuscript that must be kept out of evil hands. The cast of compelling characters that readers grew to love in A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night returns (along with plenty of new friends and enemies) in an action-packed finale that will thrill longtime fans and inspire new readers finally to tune in.

    The Silkworm, by J.K. Rowling
    We may have finished the Harry Potter series with a heavy heart, but luckily for us, J.K. Rowling is hard at work on her captivating mysteries. The second novel in Rowling’s Cormoran Strike series featuring the hard-bitten detective finds him infiltrating the literary world in search of author Owen Quine. Quine’s latest unpublished work is so venomous towards so many people that when he goes missing, his long-suffering wife, Leonora, suspects foul play. When her husband does in fact turn up dead, the victim of a decidedly ghastly murder, it is up to Strike to track down the killer in order to protect Leonora (whom he believes innocent) from the growing suspicions of the police. The relationship between the surly Strike and his capable assistant Robin Ellacott, who chose to continue working with him at the end of The Cuckoo’s Calling, grows more complex along with the convoluted mystery.

    Top Secret Twenty-One, by Janet Evanovich
    As fans of Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series know, these books just keep on getting better. Top Secret Twenty-One finds Stephanie on the hunt for used-car dealer Jimmy Poletti, and protecting former frenemy Randy Briggs, who has gotten himself tied up in Poletti’s dirty dealings, in the process. Although it’s never business-as-usual where Miss Plum is is concerned, things go even more topsy-turvy when the inimitable Ranger finds himself the target of an assassination attempt. Will this be what finally makes Ranger open up to Stephanie about his mysterious existence? Probably not, but a girl can dream. A pack of feral Chihuahuas round out this wonderfully weird installment in a long-running series that will never fail to appear in a lineup of top romantic-mystery-thrillers.

    Endless, by Kate Brian
    The third novel in Brian’s eerie Shadowlands series, Endless continues the unsettling story of Rory Miller and her sister, Darcy. Rory, once the target of a determined and terrifying serial killer, managed to hide away on Juniper Landing, a picturesque island with a dark secret. The truth behind Rory’s new adopted home—and her relationship with the handsome, enigmatic Tristan Parrish—finally begins to be revealed in Endless, but it may be more than Rory and her family can handle. Readers who enjoy smart, layered YA mysteries should definitely pick up this series, starting with the sinister Shadowlands.

    What long-awaited series are you diving into this week?

  • Joel Cunningham 6:00 pm on 2014/07/24 Permalink
    Tags: at home in the world, beth macy, crash course, deborah harkness, , everything connects, factory man, , , paul ingrassia, remarkable creatures, the alliance, , the mockingbird next door: life with harper lee, , , , , ,   

    What to Read Next if You Liked The Book of Life, The Mockingbird Next Door, The Signature of All Things, The Alliance or Factory Man 

    IMG_7207By now you’ve no doubt torn through The Book of Life, the concluding volume in Deborah Harkness’ trilogy about a historian whose discovery of an ancient manuscript clues her in to a reality of witches, vampires, time travel, and a whole hidden world of monsters and mayhem (you’d think those ancient manuscripts would have warning labels). If you’re looking for a book that will extend the magic a little further, try Katherine Howe’s The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, about a graduate student who stumbles upon a host of witchy family secrets and a magical tome called a “physick book,” a volume that holds terrible lost secrets from hundreds of years in the past (seriously, people just leave these things lying around?).

    The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee, by Marja Mills, recounts the writer’s years living in the house next door to one of the world’s most famously reclusive authors. It has become a must read not only for the promise of revealing details about why Lee never published anything after To Kill a Mockingbird, or because of the controversy it’s generated (the ailing Lee has denied agreeing to participate), but also because it paints a vivid picture of a changing South. If you’re looking for another book that provides an unusual window into the life of a great, reluctantly famous writer, Joyce Maynard’s memoir At Home in the World includes details of her relationship, at age 18, with then-53-year-old J.D. Salinger, and caused a similar furor when first published.

    With The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) proves herself as adept a novelist as a memoirist. Rich in historical details of the 18th and 19th centuries, the book follows the life of Alma Whittaker, the daughter of a wealthy botanist who becomes a scientist in her own right, unearthing discoveries that challenge the way people think about the world. For another story of a woman who defied the thinking of her time, not just about science but about what a woman could accomplish in a world built for and by men, Tracy Chevalier’s Remarkable Creatures recounts how Mary Anning, a girl living in rural England in the early 1800s, became one of the world’s greatest fossil hunters, her discoveries of ancient dinosaur bones changing much about Victorian ideas of science and religion. (For the record, Alma is fictional, but Mary was the real deal.)

    The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age, by LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, and Chris Yeh, is an essential handbook for dealing with the challenges of managing an ever more connected, ever more mobile workforce. For more insights into sparking creativity and innovation in a world that is redefining the idea of “career,” look to Everything Connects, by Faisal Hoque and Drake Baer.

    Amid omnipresent headlines of companies closing down manufacturing in the U.S. and moving jobs overseas, Factory Man, by Beth Macy, reveals how one dedicated businessman managed not only to keep his hundred-year-old Virginia furniture business’s doors open, but actually managed to grow it even while competing with cheaply manufactured imports. For a less colorful but still fascinating look at the way the global economy has changed American industry, read Paul Ingrassia’s Crash Course, a comprehensive review of what led to the near-collapse of the U.S. auto industry, and how, post-bailout, it has begun to thrive again.

    What are you reading and recommending this week?

  • Joel Cunningham 7:00 pm on 2014/07/16 Permalink
    Tags: , book of life, , , deborah harkness, , , , hannu rajaniemi, , joe abercrombie, , lisa jensen, max gladstone, , , , , the last policeman, tom holt   

    July Sci-Fi/Fantasy Roundup: Quantum Entanglement, Supernatural HR, and Captain Hook’s Side of the Story 

    Trippy sci-fi books

    In this roundup of July’s most exciting sci-fi and fantasy titles, you’ll discover adventures that will take you pretty much anywhere you want to go, from inside the bowels of a quantum computer, to a postapocalyptic survivalist community, to a world facing extinction, and even…a magical HR department? (Like I said, anywhere.) Here are your can’t-miss SF/F titles for the month:

    The Causal Angel, by Hannu Rajaniemi
    The next installment in the Finnish mathematical physicist’s Jean le Flambeur series, following The Quantum Thief and The Fractal Prince, concludes the adventures of gentleman thief Jean, the mercenary Meili, and her sentient ship, Perhonen, as they seek to overthrow a galaxy-ruling dynasty of formerly human hive-minded, godlike beings. The first two volumes proved Rajaniemi does mind-bending hard sci-fi better than pretty much anyone out there (I mean, just parse that last sentence), inventing fantastically probable future technology and a whole new take on what human consciousness will look like in a few thousand years without sacrificing compelling characters or engaging prose. All the series’ hallmarks are here, including maddeningly complex plotting that will basically force you to enjoy it twice. (Available July 15 in hardcover, audiobook, and NOOK)

    The Book of Life, by Deborah Harkness
    The conclusion to the best-selling All Souls trilogy (following A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night) is finally here! Back in the present after a harrowing trip through time, bookish witch Diana Bishop and her vampire scientist husband, Matthew, must hunt down a crucial missing manuscript that may reveal hidden knowledge from the past—and just might save the future. Fans should be satisfied by the twisty, action-filled climax, featuring vampiric family squabbles, a vengeful killer, and a climactic birth. (Available July 15 in hardcover, audiobook, and NOOK)

    Half a King, by Joe Abercrombie
    So the guy who burst onto the fantasy scene with a super-violent trilogy starring an amoral, bloodthirsty barbarian warrior is writing a YA novel? Haha, yeah right. Does it come out on April 1? But no—Abercrombie really has (somewhat) tamed his penchant for lopped-off limbs (and foul-mouthed killers) in the first installment of a new trilogy aimed at the younger set, but filled with the complex characters and political machinations (oh yeah, and violence) that longtime readers expect. Born with half a hand, Prince Yarvi trained for life as a scholar, never expecting to take the throne. Yet circumstances change when his father and brother are killed, forcing the once peaceful boy to pick up a blade, vow revenge, and defend his kingdom. (Available July 15 in hardcover and NOOK)

    California, by Edan Lepucki
    Even if you think you’re burned out on postapocalyptic lit, you won’t want to miss this one. Lepucki’s acclaimed debut novel explores a bleak landscape that isn’t suffering from vampire plague, zombie virus, or atomic fallout, but merely lacks the comforts and structures of civilization we’ve come to depend on. Struggling to survive as the world falls away around them, Cal and Frida are forced to leave the isolated refuge they’ve managed to build for themselves when Frida discovers she’s pregnant. Venturing to the nearest community of survivors, they face a greater threat than mere forces of nature. (Available July 8 in hardcover, audiobook, and NOOK)

    Magic Breaks, by Ilona Andrews
    The latest installment of the Kate Daniels series offers up more supernatural intrigue from one of the best urban fantasy authors around. While fending off the looming threat of a fearsome figure from her past, mercenary-turned-investigator Kate must balance the politics of the wolf pack with her relationship with its leader, the Beast Lord, all while hunting down the murderer of one of the Masters of the Dead—or risk an all-out supernatural war. So, no pressure or anything. (Available July 29 in hardcover and NOOK)

    World of Trouble, by Ben H. Winters
    In the concluding volume of Winters’ Philip K. Dick Award–winning, genre-destroying pre-apocalypse mystery series The Last Policeman, Detective Hank Palace has finally holed up in a safehouse with the remaining members of the Concord police force to await impact by the world-ending asteroid hurtling toward Earth when, once again, the lure of solving one last case, and righting one last wrong, proves too strong. Despite the looming extinction of the human race, Palace is determined to save his endangered sister, at least for a little while. A satisfying, elegiac conclusion to a truly unique take on the detective genre. (Available July 15 in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK)

    The Outsorcerer’s Apprentice, by Tom Holt
    Tom Holt publishes high-concept, hilarious, convention-skewering genre novels faster than I can read them. Following the quantum theory sci-fi comedies Doughnut and When It’s a Jar, he makes the jump into fantasy territory with a book about the clerical work that goes on behind the scenes of your average sword-and-sorcery epic. If you’ve ever wondered who manages HR responsibilities for legions of goblins or helps coordinate insurance coverage for the risky job of dragon slaying, this book will answer all your questions, as well as reveal what happens when the system breaks down and parallel worlds start colliding. (Available July 15 in paperback and NOOK)

    Full Fathom Five, by Max Gladstone
    Max Gladstone once again manages to mix seemingly unpalatable flavors in the latest installment of his loosely connected legal procedural–meets–urban fantasy series. In a world where paying tribute to all-powerful beings drives politics and the economy, Kai is a literal godmaker, constructing made-to-order deities. When one of her creations begins to waste away, Kai’s risky, ultimately doomed attempt to rescue it is used as an excuse by her enemies to paint her as mentally unstable. But who are those enemies, exactly? Part of a larger conspiracy, no doubt. I see you’ve read a book before. Another fast-moving, funny entry in perhaps my favorite ongoing series. (Available July 15 in hardcover and NOOK)

    Alias Hook, by Lisa Jensen
    History is written by the victors, which means you’ve likely never encountered the real story of one Captain James Benjamin Hook, a highly educated privateer (don’t call him a pirate) cursed to continually play the villain in an endless conflict with a malicious forever-child named Peter Pan. Like Wicked, Jensen’s imaginative novel pokes holes in a story everyone knows to reveal the “true” motivations lurking beneath. (Available July 8 in hardcover and NOOK)

    What sci-fi and fantasy titles are you reading this month?

  • Nicole Hill 5:00 pm on 2014/07/15 Permalink
    Tags: , all souls trilogy, deborah harkness, , , , shadow of night,   

    The Book of Life’s 7 tips on Maintaining a Successful Marriage 

    The Book of Life

    Brace yourselves, gird your loins, and stow your erotic Gallowglass fan fiction! Yes, it’s time. Those troublemaking de Clermonts and meddlesome Bishops are back again, and this time they’re wrapping everything up in another continent-hopping magical romp with the final installment of Deborah Harkness’s All Souls trilogy.

    All your favorite characters return (be they corporeal or not) in The Book of Life, and it’s a good thing, too, because there’s still much bewitching debris to sort out after freakily handsome vampire Matthew and accidentally all-powerful witch Diana return from their working vacation in 1590.

    For one thing, Matthew and Diana are still on the hunt for two missing pages of Ashmole 782, the all-purpose origin story for the world’s creature population. Secondly, the Congregation remains hot on their tail, and no less forgiving of this forbidden romance than before the power couple’s time-traveling holiday. Third, Diana’s got great big new powers, even bigger news, and a persnickety firedrake to handle.

    That’s a lot to unpack, so thank heavens it’s all hands on deck, with even the Bishop house and a crackerjack team of Yale researchers pitching in.

    In the center of this storm is, of course, the vampire-witch union of Matthew and Diana, which is as strong and achingly felt as ever. Surrounded by stressors, the Bishop-Clairmont marriage is a thing of wonder. Thus, to honor the final chapter of their love (that we’re privy to), we proudly present:

    How to Maintain Your Marriage: A Manual, by Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont

    1. Surround yourselves with loved ones, no matter their species or temporal state.
    Because what are a few ghosties or daemon accountants among family? When we pick up with our magical mystery tour in The Book of Life, we begin at Sept-Tours, the de Clermont familial homestead that has been transformed into a turreted Mystery Machine with its ragtag band of vigilantes and rabblerousers. As it should beso long as no one gets under Marthe’s feet.

    2. Understand your partner’s pressure points, and know what might set them off on a homicidal rampage.
    Matthew’s blood rage affliction is front and center once again, and finding the root of its genetic existence is crucial. At the same time, one must manage the condition, or else the body count starts climbing rapidly, and these books are already on the chunky side. Luckily, Diana’s become pretty intuitive when it comes to vampiric rage, one of the traits that very importantly endeared her to Philippe de Clermont.

    3. Care for your partner’s fire-breathing Charizard familiar and bloodsucking pals as if they were your own.
    In marriage, you don’t just get a mate, you get all the baggage that comes with them. And when there’s a 1,500-year-old vampire and a time-traveling weaver involved, there are tremendous amounts of baggage, most of it in the form of inconvenient associates, eccentric relatives, and the odd firedrake.

    4. Remember: stepchildren can be fun!…And not so fun.
    The charismatic Marcus is great! And look what he’s done with the Knights of Lazarus! Some of Matthew’s other psychotic children? Less so. But you take the good, you take the bad.

    5. It’s important to make an effort to get on with your in-laws.
    Even if that means bending time over backwards to seek them out. After all, there’s often much to learn from their example (e.g., Philippe and Ysabeau, Rebecca and Stephen, Sarah and Em).

    6. Take time to read.
    Don’t think it’s any coincidence that Diana and Matthew are happy together and spend half their time in libraries?

    7. Do not ever hang out with Christopher Marlowe.  

    Are you excited to read The Book of Life?

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