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  • BN Editors 2:00 pm on 2020/03/03 Permalink
    Tags: , bnstorefront-DiscoverHomepage, , discover great new writers   

    Old Gods and the Spirits of Home: Sharks in the Time of Saviors– Our March Discover Pick of the Month 

    After reading Sharks in the Time of Saviors, I kept coming back to a central theme that cuts to the heart of the story—home is magical and it’s not until you leave that you realize it was there all along.

    We chose this electrifying debut as our Discover Pick of the Month and aren’t the only readers who were drawn to its lore:

    Sharks in the Time of Saviors is the novel you never knew you were waiting for. Old Myths clash with new realities, love is in a ride or die with grief, faith rubs hard against magic, and comic flips with tragic so much they meld into something new. All told with daredevil lyricism to burn. A ferocious debut.”

    Marlon James, author of Black Leopard, Red Wolf

    Sharks in the Time of Saviors bursts with life.  It is bright and beautifully noisy.  It’s so good it hurts and hurts to where it heals. It is revelatory and unputdownable. Washburn is an extraordinarily brilliant new talent. This family saga is shark tooth sharp. Its pages shoot off crackles and sparks, and you come out of it changed. It is sublime.”

    Tommy Orange, author of There There

    Told from multiple points of view, we follow three siblings as they grapple with their present lives—and their family’s future. Their mother encourages her children to follow their dreams, even if it means doing so will take them far from home. One by one, the siblings return to the island where they must reckon with family secrets, grief, and what it means to survive.

    Sharks in the Time of Saviors is an audacious debut, and I can’t wait to see what Kawai Strong Washburn will write next!

    The post Old Gods and the Spirits of Home: <i>Sharks in the Time of Saviors</i>– Our March Discover Pick of the Month appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Miwa Messer 12:00 pm on 2019/04/18 Permalink
    Tags: a bend in the stars, a prayer for travelers, american spy, ayad akhtar, bobby hundreds, , , discover great new writers, felicity mclean, , , , grace will lead us home, h. g. parry, , , jennifer berry hawes, , , , , karen dukess, , , kimi eisele, lesley kara, lights all night long, , ocean vuong, , rachel berenbaum, regina porter, , rikke schmidt kjaergaard, ruchika tomar, sara collins, , sissy, , tembi locke, the blink of an eye, , the darwin affair, the last book party, the light years, the lightest object in the universe, , the rumor, , the travelers, the unlikely escape of uriah heep, the van apfel girls are gone, this is not a t-shirt, tim mason, , ,   

    Announcing the Discover Great New Writers Summer 2019 Selections 

    Summer reading means lots of things to lots of readers: Indulgence and escape and a chance to delight in a new favorite author, mostly, though it’s also a chance for some us to catch up on books we missed earlier in the year. (And admittedly, Summer Reading is synonymous with homework for much of the younger set.) 

    For the booksellers who handpick books for our Discover Great New Writers program year-round, summer is another chance to wow other readers with books from writers who are not yet household names.  We’ve tapped twenty-one outrageously great books for you to experience this summer: Seventeen novels, three memoirs, and a true story of hope and forgiveness that we hope wow you as much as they wowed us.

    Historical Fictionis having a moment and we have four fresh, cinematic takes on the genre covering from 19th Century England to Russia during WWI and the 1960s:  A Bend in the Starsby Rachel Barenbaum, The Confessions of Frannie Langton, by Sara Collins,  The Darwin Affair, by Tim Mason, and First Cosmic Velocity, by Zach Powers.

    Stories of Family and Home are always crowd-pleasers and we have four that readers and reviewers will be talking about all summer: How Not to Die Alone,by Richard Roper, The Most Fun We Ever Had, by Claire Lombardo, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, by Ocean Vuong, The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna, by Juliet Grames, and The Travelers, by Regina Porter.

    We’re not the only ones who love a classicComing-of-Age Story, and we can’t wait to see how other readers respond to The Last Book Party, by Karen Dukess.

    Kidnappings, mysterious disappearances, and the possible identity of a notorious killer drive a quartet of Literary Thrillers, starting withDisappearing Earth,by Julia Phillips, A Prayer for Travelers, by Ruchika Tomar, The Rumor, by Lesley Kara, and The Van Apfel Girls are Gone, by Felicity McLean.

    Escape into a trio of Wildly Inventive Novels grounded in Mayan mythology, classic literature, and the collapse of the world as we know it with Gods of Jade and Shadow,by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep, by H.G. Parry, and The Lightest Object in the Universe, by Kimi Eisele.

    We also have Unforgettable True Stories from streetwear visionary Bobby Hundreds (This is Not a T-shirt) and actress Tembi Locke (From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily and Finding Home); an incredible story of illness and recovery from scientist Rikke Schmidt Kjaergaard (The Blink of an Eye); and an unforgettable story of violence and forgiveness from Jennifer Berry Hawes (Grace Will Lead Us Home).

    If you’re a reader who loves to use the summer to catch up on your reading, our Spring 2019 Discover picks, including novels like American Spy, We Must Be Brave, and Lights All Night Long, plus memoirs like Maid, Sissy and The Light Years are here; the winners and finalists of the 2018 Discover Awards including Kiese Laymon, Tommy Orange, and Tara Westover are here; and our 29-year-old archive, including Pulitzer Prize Winners Ayad Akhtar, Jennifer Egan, Jeffrey Eugenides, and Jhumpa Lahiri, countless National Book Award winners, and Nobel Laureate Kazuo Ishiguro is here. 

    The post Announcing the Discover Great New Writers Summer 2019 Selections appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • BN Editors 7:00 pm on 2019/01/29 Permalink
    Tags: a place for us, american prison, discover great new writers, , fatima farheen mirza, heavy, , , , shane bauer, , there there,   

    Introducing the Life-Changing Finalists for the 2018 Discover Awards 

    For more than 25 years, the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program has worked to identify and amplify the voices of those new authors writing books with the potential to change readers’ lives. Each year, our selection committee, made up of smart, engaged, and incredibly well-read booksellers, pores over piles of new releases to find the books coming to us from writers we believe deserve to become household name.

    In 2018, we championed 52 of them. Now, we have winnowed down that pile to the shortlist of titles that stand head and shoulders above even their vaunted peers. Here are the finalists, in fiction and non-fiction, for the 2018 Discover Awards. The nominees will share among them a cash prize pool of $105,000 ($30,000 for first place, $15,000 for second, and $7,500 for third) and receive special promotion in our stores. The winners will be announced on March 6, 2019.

    Here is the shortlist for the 2018 Discover Awards:


    Only Killers and Thieves, by Paul Howarth
    In 1885, Colonial Australia (where the indigenous people were targeted by the Native Police Force) is as wild and untamed as it will ever be—and this debut novel fully immerses readers in that world. In an outback suffering from devastating drought, two young brothers become caught up in a manhunt for an aboriginal stockman whom they believe has murdered their parents and little sister. But the truth is elusive, and the killing spree against native tribesman that results from their misguided “vengeance” has far-reaching consequences, and may haunt Billy and Tommy the rest of their lives.

    A Place for Us, by Fatima Farheen Mirza
    An Indian American Muslim family of five living in California come together for the eldest daughter’s wedding, an event that forces them to reevaluate their lives together and apart over the past few decades. In particular, youngest son Amar, who has become estranged from his parents and siblings, is reluctant to make peace with his past. Tension between the traditional Muslim culture practiced by parents Rafiq and Layla and the contemporary attitudes of their adult children infuses this highly anticipated debut with plenty of emotion and heart.

    There There, by Tommy Orange
    A powerhouse debut that deservedly earned a spot on countless best of the year lists even before its selection as a B&N Discover New Writers finalist, There There chronicles the coming together of twelve modern-day, urban Native American people at the inaugural Oakland, California, Powwow. Disparate in their ages, goals, hopes, and dreams, some of the twelve hope to connect with their history and/or long-lost family members; some desire to perform traditional dance; and others plan to take advantage of the event for their own purposes. It is a transcendent work, rich in specific cultural detail but with a compelling, human message that is also universal.


    American Prison, by Shane Bauer
    A groundbreaking inside investigation into the private prison industry and the forces that drive it, told by a journalist who was legitimately hired under his own name with no background check to be a guard for $9 an hour. From the history of the industry to the treatment of prisoners to the ugly changes he saw in himself during his employment, this is a gripping story that cannot be ignored.

    Educated, by Tara Westover
    Raised in the rural Idaho mountains by a family of fundamentalist Mormon survivalists, Tara Westover didn’t attend school until she turned 17, and lived out her days preparing for the worst, helping her father salvage scrap to sell and canning food with her mother to get them through the looming apocalypse. She never saw a doctor, despite suffering serious injuries, including violence inflicted upon her by a sibling. Yet one of her brothers did make it out, however, and came back to the mountain one day with tales of college, and opportunities for a better life. Determined to follow in his footsteps, Westover taught herself enough math and science to gain admittance to Brigham University. This is the fascinating story of the strange ties that bind a family together, and the strength it takes to sever them and strike out on your own.

    Heavy, by Kiese Laymon
    We can’t stop thinking about this deeply personal book from a fearless writer. This revelatory memoir not only exposes what a lifetime of secrets, lies, and deception does to a man, it also delivers a powerful story of truth, love, and freedom. Kiese’s fans include Discover alums Lacy Johnson (The Other SideThe Reckonings) and Mychal Denzel Smith (Invisible Man Got the Whole World Watching).

    Learn more about Barnes & Noble’s Discover Great New Writers program.

    The post Introducing the Life-Changing Finalists for the 2018 Discover Awards appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Miwa Messer 6:00 pm on 2019/01/28 Permalink
    Tags: , discover great new writers   

    Introducing the 2018 Discover Award Judges 

    Reading is a deeply satisfying, solitary activity, but we all know books really are best when shared. The booksellers who sit on the selection committee for our Discover Great New Writers program are some of the smartest, most widely read, and certainly most opinionated readers I’ve had the fortune to work with—we’re always on the hunt for the new, the will-be-notable, and the not-to-be-missed, which means our selection committee meetings are never, ever boring.

    Every year we look at roughly one thousand submissions for the program and make our choices from there; in 2018 we tapped 52 books from writers we’d like to see made into household names, put them at the front of all of our stores, and promoted them online (#BNDiscover). But that’s not all we do for the books and writers we include in the Discover Great New Writers program. Each year, we ask six notable, established writers to help us pick six writers from that year’s selections to share a cash prize pool of $105,000. That’s $30,000 for first place, $15,000 for second, and $7,500 for third, for both fiction and nonfiction—and then there’s all of the additional promotion we’ll do in stores, online, and on the B&N Podcast.

    The judges for the 2018 Discover Awards have written some of our favorite books to date—many of which have been major bestsellers—and we’re thrilled they were able to join us to acknowledge some of the best new talent we saw last year. We announced our 2018 Discover Awards shortlist this morning, and the winners will be announced March 6, 2019.


    Paulette Jiles is a novelist, poet, and memoirist. She is the author of Cousins, a memoir, and the novels Enemy Women (a 2002 Discover Great New Writers selection), Stormy Weather, The Color of Lightning, Lighthouse Island, and News of the World.

    Helen Simonson is the New York Times bestselling author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand (a 2010 Discover Great New Writers selection) and The Summer Before the War. She was born in England and spent her teenage years in a small village near Rye, in East Sussex before moving to the United States.

    Jess Walter is the author of eight books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Beautiful RuinsNational Book Award finalist The Zero, Citizen Vince, and The Financial Lives of the PoetsHis work has been published in thirty-twolanguages and his short fiction has won a Pushcart Prize and appeared three times in The Best American Short Stories yearly anthology.



    Mira Jacob is the author of the graphic memoir Good Talk. Her critically acclaimed novel The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing (a 2014 Discover Great New Writers selection) was shortlisted for India’s Tata First Literature Award, honored by the Asian Pacific American Library Association, and named one of the best books of the year by The Boston Globe, Bustle, and more.

    Adrian Nicole LeBlanc is an independent journalist who is best known for her award-winning, bestselling nonfiction book Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx.  She has received a MacArthur Fellowship, among other accolades and residencies, and she has written for many publications including the New York Times Magazine, and the New Yorker.

    Beth Macy is the author of the widely acclaimed and bestselling books Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America, Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother’s Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crown South and Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local, and Helped Save an American Town. Her reporting has won more than a dozen national awards, including a Nieman Fellowship for Journalism at Harvard. 

    The archive of previous Discover Award winners and finalists is here, and you can check out our previous selections here. And while you’re looking at where we’ve been and what we’ve done…we’re looking forward. We’ve already picked twenty-three books for our Spring 2019 list, which covers books publishing from January through April, and as I type this, we’re working on Summer 2019, May-August.

    There’s always something new and wonderful to read, and the Discover Award judges, the Discover Great New Writers selection committee readers, and I are delighted you’ve joined us on a most excellent adventure.

    Miwa Messer is the Director of Barnes & Noble’s Discover Great New Writers program.

    The post Introducing the 2018 Discover Award Judges appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Miwa Messer 8:00 pm on 2018/09/10 Permalink
    Tags: , discover great new writers   

    Discover Great New Writers Fall 2018 Selections 

    We’re terrifically pleased to announce our Fall 2018 Discover Great New Writers selections—our third collection for 2018, another exciting mix of fiction, essays, memoir, and journalism from writers who aren’t yet household names, writers our booksellers believe we’ll continue to read for years to come.

    How it works: Every week, a team of our booksellers from around the country meets to review submissions; we start with roughly 1,000 books each year and select fewer than 60 for the program. We root for all of the books and their authors, waiting for the bookseller who says, “this made the hair stand up on the back of my neck,” or “I missed my subway stop,” or even, “I couldn’t stop holding my breath as I read, and I gave myself the hiccups.”

    What we’re looking for: In a word, WOW.

    We’re looking for stories we can’t stop thinking about, that entertain us, whisk us away to unfamiliar places (real or imagined). Stories that show us who we are in the world. Stories that tattoo themselves onto our DNA. Stories packed with characters we’d like to hang with in real life and don’t want to leave behind, even when we don’t like them very much. Stories spun from vivid imagination, hard work, and marvelous prose. We’re looking for stories that pulse with life and ideas and unforgettable imagery. We’re looking for universal truths in someone else’s details. We’re looking for books that readers can’t wait to press into the hands of other readers with a simple admonition: You’ve got to read this now.

    To check out other 2018 Discover picks, browse our now twenty-eight-year-old archive of past selections, or learn more about our annual Discover Awards, check out bn.com/discover.


    The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock, by Imogen Hermes Gowar
    This incredible debut reminded us of novels by Discover alums Sarah Waters (Fingersmith and The Little Stranger) and Michel Faber (The Crimson Petal and the White) and 2017 Discover pick The Essex Serpent, by Sarah Perry. In 1780s London, a well-to-do merchant finds his life upended in a story of wonder, obsession, and desire. P.S. Madeline Miller, bestselling author of Circe, is also a major fan.

    The Lost Queen, by Signe Pike
    We can’t get enough of epic historical sagas like The Half-Drowned King, Linnea Hartsuyker’s 2017 Discover pick set in Viking-era Norway, a mystical and violent world, and we love Signe Pike’s debut, a story of a lost queen of sixth-century Scotland, the twin of the man who inspired the legend of Merlin, just as much. (Luckily for us, The Lost Queen and The Half-Drowned King are both first in a series.)

    The Tattooist of Auschwitz, by Heather Morris
    There’s so much story packed in this deceptively slim novel. Vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful, this illuminating tale of hope and courage—based on the true story of a prisoner forced to tattoo other prisoners at Auschwitz—is a testament to the endurance of love and humanity. Fans of gripping WW2 fiction like The Boat Runner, by Devin Murphy, won’t want to miss this one.

    The Waiter, by Matias Faldbakken
    There are times we just want to curl up with a dreamy story about wonderful characters, and this novel by a Norwegian artist is a terrific place to start. We were reminded of The Elegance of the Hedgehog and A Gentleman in Moscow as we read this charming and thoughtful story of a middle-aged waiter whose routine at a centuries-old European restaurant is turned upside-down by an unexpected guest.

    All the Colors We Will See, by Patrice Gopo
    My family’s presence in Alaska was a mixture of flavors…Jamaican roots and an American life. Family and faith are the heart of this warm and beautifully written collection of essays about the complex interplay between what it means to be different—and what it means to belong—by an author who has called Alaska, South Africa, and the American South home.

    All You Can Ever Know, by Nicole Chung
    What happens when you stop believing your own family mythology? This unforgettable memoir starts with one woman’s search for her birth parents and becomes a universal story of identity, family, and home. Like Discover alums Leah Carroll, author of Down City, and Sarah Perry, author of After the Eclipse, Nicole Chung turns a painful past into powerful art. Bestselling author Celeste Ng (Little Fires Everywhere) is a fan, too.

    American Prison, by Shane Bauer
    A groundbreaking inside investigation into the private prison industry and the forces that drive it, told by a journalist who was legitimately hired under his own name with no background check to be a guard for $9 an hour. From the history of the industry to the treatment of prisoners to the ugly changes he saw in himself during his employment, this is a gripping story that cannot be ignored.

    The Class, by Heather Won Tesoriero
    The incredible true story of an unconventional class and a band of whiz kids. Like 2015 Discover pick Lab Girl, by Hope Jahren, The Class is as much about the people as it is the science; the caliber of the high schoolers’ work will amaze you, and you’ll be rooting for these unforgettable students and their teacher at every turn. (The book’s editor, sweetly, calls this book “Friday Night Lights with nerds.”)

    Heartland, by Sarah Smarsh
    A perfect companion to 2015 Discover pick Evicted, by Matthew Desmond, this is an eye-opening personal story of working-class poverty, and an uncompromising look at what it means to have less in a country that often confuses personal worth with net worth. “There’s not a false note…This is just what the world needs to hear,” says George Hodgman, bestselling author of another 2015 Discover pick, Bettyville.

    Heavy, by Kiese Laymon
    We can’t stop thinking about this deeply personal book from a fearless writer. This revelatory memoir not only exposes what a lifetime of secrets, lies, and deception does to a man, it also delivers a powerful story of truth, love, and freedom. Kiese’s fans include Discover alums Lacy Johnson (The Other Side, The Reckonings) and Mychal Denzel Smith (Invisible Man Got the Whole World Watching).

    To Shake the Sleeping Self, by Jedidiah Jenkins
    Have you ever wanted to quit your day gig and hit the open road? Jedidiah Jenkins landed his dream job, but still wasn’t happy. So he did what many people only fantasize about doing: he quit his job to travel, bicycling the 10,000 miles from Oregon to Patagonia. This astounding and unflinching story of real-life adventure and self-discovery is also an inspiring call to build a life to believe in.

    The post Discover Great New Writers Fall 2018 Selections appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

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