Tagged: holidays Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Jeff Somers 3:02 pm on 2017/04/10 Permalink
    Tags: , , , holidays,   

    A Book for Every Kind of Mom 

    Every mother is different, and those of us with a good mom in our lives know how lucky we are to have her. While it can take an entire lifetime to truly appreciate your mom, Mother’s Day is a great reminder to show your love. Whether you’re celebrating your own mother, or another wonderful woman in your life, here are some suggestions for the perfect books to buy her. Because she deserves a gift that not only matches her personality, but demonstrates a deeper bond than any bath set or sweater can manage. Books, as usual, to the rescue.

    For the Book Devourer, try Into the Water, by Paula Hawkins
    Your mom has read everything. Ev-ery-thing. She’s a member of six book clubs and is known as the mom who shows up for every social occasion, school board meeting, and volunteer effort with at least one book in her voluminous tote bag. Finding a book for your mom isn’t a matter of nipping down to the local Barnes and Noble and picking something that looks good—you need to be cutting edge. Hawkins’ follow-up to the mega-smash The Girl on the Train hits shelves May 2, meaning you have decent odds of giving her a book she hasn’t read yet.

    For the Fun Mom, try Terms of Endearment, by Larry McMurty
    Your mom has always been a party-planning, sleepover-hosting, cookie-baking mistress of merriment. There’s never a dull moment with her, whether we’re talking one too many glasses of wine with her pals or movie night in the family room. For your effervescent mom, Terms of Endearment is not only a classic novel by one of the best living American writers, it’s also a character study of a mother and daughter who both suffer from a severe overabundance of personality.

    For the Den Mother, try Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
    Your mom is everyone’s mom. Your best friend called your mom first to tell her about the engagement, and your boss refers to her by her first name. She’s the sort who magically makes everything better by effortlessly caring for everyone in her line of sight. For her, the evergreen classic Little Women will resonate, with its story of Mrs. March and her devotion to her daughters, while also offering a subtle hint that you totally get how great she is.

    For the Master Planner, try Where’d You Go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple
    Your mom always has a plan. Every day has been organized, scheduled, and prepared for. As a kid your lunches were precise works of science. As an adult, you know exactly when your mom will call, and how long you’ll speak with her. Where’d You Go Bernadette might seem an unlikely choice at first, but its story of a mom who tries to control every aspect of her life until she simply can’t any more will work for the uber-organized as both catharsis and escape.

    For the Wanderlust Mom, try Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
    Your mom plans vacations years in advance, and every time you watch TV together she pays more attention to the location shoots than the story. Every country mentioned on the news, she wants to go to. Eat, Pray, Love is the perfect choice, both because it takes you on a journey to some of the loveliest places in the world, and because it totally gets the power and transformative magic of travel.

    For the Brainy Mom, try What If?, by Randall Munroe
    Your mom knocks out crossword puzzles in her spare time and has long-running online beefs with strangers over deep philosophical matters and string theory. What If? is the brainchild of ex-NASA scientist Munroe, who draws the brilliant online comic at xkcd.com. Readers often send him hypothetical “what if?” style questions, which he answers with rigorous scientific discipline and hilarity. These have been collected here, and your brainy mom will love it.

    For the Exhausted Career Mom, try The Chilbury Ladies Choir, by Jennifer Ryan
    For as long as you can remember, your mom was a harried blur pulling on heels as she exhorted you to get your school stuff, a woman who came home late with her laptop and a raft of files under one arm. What she needs is some escapist fare that isn’t dumb or fluffy—and The Chilbury Ladies Choir is ideal. Ostensibly a cozy story of women in a World War II–era town who are dismayed—then resistant—when informed that with all the men serving in the army the local choir should shut down, it’s really a charming, delightfully complex look at small-town life and the female friendships that drive it.

    For the Merry Retiree, try A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara
    Your mom did her work, raised her kids, and is enthusiastically romping through her golden years. Too often we assume that anyone over a certain age—especially women—just want to sit around and nap all day, but there’s plenty of living to be done. So forget books with an “appropriate” theme for a retiree—instead, think about a book like A Little Life, that was maybe too long for her to get around to when it was first released. Now she has the time and the attention for this absorbing, fascinating, brilliant character study.

    For the Marathon Yoga Mom, try Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty
    Your mom is always in yoga pants, and has a collection of marathon medals. She’s rocking a body all of her friends—and you—are jealous of. Don’t go too on the nose with some book about yoga, but dive headfirst into the zeitgeist with Moriarty’s fantastic thriller. The moms in this novel are your mom (minus the murder, we hope): they run every day, go to yoga, try to eat sensibly, and live well, with a side of some serious drama.

    For the Artistic Mom, try Love in a Cold Climate, by Nancy Mitford
    Your mom always has a paint-splattered apron on, or her hands are always slightly pink from clay. Mitford’s lovely writing is ideal for any mom—or any person who likes to read. But the dreamy, sharp humor of this novel will be ideal for your arty mom, as will the character of the Bolter, based on a real-life society woman who scandalized everyone at the time with her habit of fleeing her many marriages.

    The post A Book for Every Kind of Mom appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Jenny Kawecki 4:00 pm on 2016/12/22 Permalink
    Tags: , , happy holidays?, holidays   

    Put Your Holiday Drama Into Perspective with the Worst Holidays in Fiction 

    Despite being full of extra days off during which to read and (hopefully) the gift of some beautiful new books, sometimes the pressure of being surrounded by everyone we know and love means the holidays aren’t as enjoyable as we wish they were. But for every dull office party you attend and every well-intentioned relative asking about your plans for the future, there’s a fictional character who has got it much, much worse. So any time you’re surrounded by off-key carolers wearing intentionally ugly sweaters, just remember: at least you’re not stuck in one of these terrible holidays.

    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J.K. Rowling
    Our favorite boy wizard’s first ten Christmases with the Dursleys were undoubtedly less than magical, but his fifth holiday at Hogwarts is even worse. Harry, who has been plagued by dreams of Voldemort all year, sees Arthur Weasley get attacked by Voldemort’s snake. Worse still, Harry sees it from the snake’s perspective—and it’s not a dream but a vision of a real event. The Weasleys spend the first half of the holidays worried about their patriarch, who’s recovering at St. Mungo’s, while Harry deals with his guilt over Arthur’s attack. Not exactly a joyous occasion.

    The Corrections, by Jonathan Franzen
    All Enid wants is to have her whole family together again for the holidays. Unfortunately for Enid, her husband’s health is rapidly declining due to Parkinson’s, her oldest son can’t convince his wife or children to make the trip, her daughter is in the middle of an affair, and her youngest son’s life is falling apart. Undaunted by resistance on every front, Enid sets about to advance her mission, armed with nothing but a serious ability to guilt trip. After all, nothing says Christmas like desperately trying to make your life appear perfect in front of your closest relatives.

    Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens
    Great Expectations opens on Christmas Eve, as orphaned Pip visits the graves of his parents and siblings. While there, he’s accosted by a recently escaped convict, who bullies Pip into stealing food and a file to get rid of his handcuffs. Later, instead of thanking Pip for his help, the convict gets violent, and Pip runs home to spend Christmas Day stewing in guilt over the whole affair. Life gradually improves when Pip starts visiting creepy Miss Havisham, falls in love with her ward Estella, and starts receiving money from a mysterious benefactor, but still. Not the best holiday memory for a seven-year-old.

    The Secret History, by Donna Tartt
    When Richard joins an eccentric group of close-knit Classics students at an elite college, he doesn’t expect to wind up complicit in the death of a classmate. The Secret History is Richard’s memories of the year leading up to his classmate’s killing and the splintering that occurs in the aftermath. But woven into the middle of the story is an account of Richard’s terrible Christmas, spent alone on campus in a freezing warehouse, where he nearly dies of hypothermia before being hospitalized—a miserable holiday to precede an even more miserable spring semester.

    The post Put Your Holiday Drama Into Perspective with the Worst Holidays in Fiction appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Dell Villa 8:00 pm on 2016/12/14 Permalink
    Tags: all hands on deck, , , , holidays,   

    8 Great Cookbooks for Holiday Cooking with Kids 

    Throughout the holiday season, there are plenty of opportunities for solitude. Think about the pre-dawn hours you spent circling the mall parking lot on Black Friday, or trying to wrap gifts in your freezing garage with mittens on, or cramming AA batteries into a clearly marked AAA compartment for that last toy that belongs beneath the tree. If you’ve had enough of forced “me time” in the wee hours, I’ll tell you where you shouldn’t be alone: the kitchen! Preparing nourishing entrees and baking your family’s favorite treats is a highlight of the holidays, so invite your little elves in to help. (Just think of the conversations you can have while whisking, whipping, and stirring your way to your next great meal!)

    To get you started on your multigenerational cooking adventure, we’ve handpicked a few of our favorite cookbooks for kids; they’re not only kitchen-tested and kid-approved, but all of them are available on our newest, lightest, smallest NOOK ever. The NOOK Tablet 7″ is just $49.99 this Christmas, and perfect for little hands to hold—so long as they’ve already been licked clean. Happy cooking!

    Cooking Class: 57 Fun Recipes Kids Will Love to Make (and Eat!), by Deanna F. Cook
    If you’ve ever imagined mashed potato clouds and fruit flowers in your dreams, then you need to wake up and check out this cookbook, because they’re real! Every page features a recipe that’s simple, healthy, and adorable—and the whole thing is written in kid-ese, so there won’t be any muddling, braising, or butterflying lost in translation.

    The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids, by Ruby Roth
    If, like so many parents, you have a hard time getting your kids to consume more than a cracker at mealtime, you might want to try this unorthodox method: empower them to prepare their own fresh meals! Roth has created an ultra-engaging, informative book that provides fun facts and mouthwatering recipes every step of the way. It might just inspire your kids (and you, too!) to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day!

    The Everything Kids’ Cookbook, by Sandra K. Nissenberg
    As the title suggests, this cookbook is stuffed with easy-to-follow recipes for delicious weeknight meals, holiday treats, and puzzles and games to keep even the most recalcitrant mini-chef entertained. Try the World’s Best Brownies for dessert tonight!

    The Berenstain Bears’ Holiday Cookbook: Cub-Friendly Cooking with an Adult, by Mike Berenstain
    When you have holiday cooking on the brain, chances are your cubs do too—so bring them into the kitchen to help! The Berenstain Bears have brought so many delicious recipes to the table in this brand-new cookbook, it’s difficult to keep track. But one thing’s for sure: Mama Bear’s Pumpkin Pie and Papa Bear’s Paw-Lickin’ Good Chicken Wings will be instant favorites at your next gathering.

    The Forest Feast for Kids: Colorful Vegetarian Recipes that are Simple to Make, by Erin Gleeson
    This kid-friendly follow-up to The Forest Feast is as much a meal for the eyes as the plant-based recipes will be for your tummies. Let’s be honest here—the cover alone will have you drooling! Kids will be encouraged to set off on a vegetarian adventure, and they’ll soon be scooping pomegranate seeds and rinsing quinoa like professionals. Step side and prepare to be wowed!

    Mary Poppins in the Kitchen: A Cookery Book with a Story, by P.L. Travers
    There’s much more than a spoonful of sugar in this fantastic little volume. Mary the Wonder Nanny and the kids have taken over the kitchen for a week, and they’re reviewing all the essential cooking terms, from A to Z. All of your favorite Poppins characters are here, too, sharing their favorite recipes.

    Science Experiments You Can Eat, by Vicki Cobb
    We’ve always known it, but this book makes it plain—cooking is science. So lead your crazy hungry chemists into the kitchen and turn the place into your laboratory for the weekend; trade your aprons for lab coats and start hypothesizing! You can learn how coagulated protein constitutes custard, among many more strange and wonderful kitchen facts—and at the end of each experiment, you’ll have a delightful dish to consume with your favorite scientists.

    Wookiee Cookies: A Star Wars Cookbook, by Robin Davis and Frank Frankeny
    A Jedi warrior must be calm, and a Jedi warrior must not watch a pot while it boils. In addition to being full of delectable dishes intended for dining on earth as well as on space stations, this quirky cookbook is also a primer on Jedi culinary skills. If you have any Star Wars mega-fans in your house, get them to the kitchen to start cooking dinner with Boba Fett-Uccine and Princess Leia Danish Dos tonight!

    The post 8 Great Cookbooks for Holiday Cooking with Kids appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Melissa Albert 7:45 pm on 2016/12/09 Permalink
    Tags: , , , great gifts, holidays,   

    40 of the Best Books to Give This Holiday Season 

    Looking for a gift for your favorite bookworm—or a gift to reward yourself after a long day of holiday prep? There’s something for every fiction lover on the list below, from picture books to share at bedtime, to wonderful chapter books to tuck into a backpack, to teen reads both moving and magical, to some of the best fiction books to hit shelves this year. These are the books they’ll want to start reading before the wrapping paper has even been tossed.



    Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi
    This remarkable, bold debut, which spans 250 years, is a heartbreaking and thought-provoking look at seven generations of descendants from the Fante and Asante tribes of Ghana. Kicking off the story are half-sisters Effia and Esi, whose disparate lives remain linked, despite the fact that they’ve never met. Their children and grandchildren live on different sides of the Atlantic, but whether they’re involved in the Gold Coast slave trade of Africa or suffering under its effects in America, it’s the personal, smaller stories within that framework—stories of hardship, transcendence, wealth lost, and love gained—that will deeply move you.

    The Girls, by Emma Cline
    “These long-haired girls seem to glide above all that was happening around them, tragic and separate. Like royalty in exile.” Can you blame Evie, a bored, restless, 14-year-old, for becoming entranced by the group of young women (and their Manson-esque cult leader, Russell) she spies in the park in the late 1960s? Evie is especially fixated on Suzanne (a stand-in for Manson’s most famous “girl,” Susan Atkins), and recounts their interactions from the (relatively) safe distance of adulthood. Her rapt audience: a modern teen, Sasha, whose troubles and yearnings mirror Evie’s from years past. Psychologically astute and perfectly rendered.

    The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
    In this year’s tour de force National Book Award winner, acclaimed essayist, novelist, and nonfiction writer Whitehead imagines a pre–Civil War United States in which the Underground Railroad isn’t a metaphor but an actual train that carries slaves to safety. A brilliant genre mashup that combines elements of sci-fi and historical fiction, it’s an astonishing, must-read tale about a female slave on a Georgia plantation whose escape route takes her not just from South to North but through space and time as well.

    Another Brooklyn, by Jacqueline Woodson
    Though Woodson is perhaps best known for her children’s literature (especially the extraordinary, award-winning biographical book in verse Brown Girl Dreaming), her new book for adults is lyrical and poetic, too. Through the lens of an anthropologist who has come home for the first time in decades, it addresses the coming of age of August and her three best friends growing up in 1970s Brooklyn. “We tried to hold on. We played double Dutch and jacks. We chased the ice cream truck down the block, waving our change-filled fists.” Their journey into womanhood is fraught with tragedy, abuse, and betrayal—and a reminder that friendship can tie people together tighter than family.

    The Nix, by Nathan Hill
    Eleven-year-old Samuel didn’t notice when his mother began to leave him. It started with a “slow burglary”—a photo missing from an album, a dress gone from the closet—and culminated in abandonment: “Slowly, her presence in the house grew thinner.” As an adult living in Chicago, Samuel is an adjunct professor and writer whose heyday is behind him (according to the publishing world, that is). When his long-lost mother makes national headlines for a notorious act, he’s forced to confront the realities of the woman who left him behind. A humorous, satirical look at pop culture, social media, Norwegian myths, online gaming, and American politics, The Nix is a compelling, entertaining, and (even at 640 pages) fast read.

    A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
    A follow-up to Rules of Civility (which tackled 1930s Manhattan), Towles’ latest historical novel takes place in Russia and depicts the life of Count Alexander Rostov, an “unrepentant aristocrat” sent by the Bolsheviks in 1922 to live out the rest of his days in the attic storage room of the Metropol hotel. As the world outside (he’s across from the Kremlin) passes him by, he adjusts to an existence devoid of the arts, leisure, and fine dining he is accustomed to. Yet in other ways his life is expanded immeasurably, as he creates an exquisite new world for himself. His relationships with the hotel staff, and a life-altering friendship with a child, breathe transcendent joy into every page.

    Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett
    A marriage-destroying kiss at a christening sets off events that include an outsider’s controversial retelling of the incident (the book-within-a-book is also titled Commonwealth) as well as a film adaptation of said book. Six stepchildren, left to their own devices during long summer months, are affected by their parents’ couplings and uncouplings in different ways, until they can no longer imagine a life in which their respective families weren’t blown apart. Moving back and forth through time, the novel, Patchett’s seventh, crackles with intelligent, memorable discourse and a wide variety of sympathetic viewpoints.

    Today Will Be Different, by Maria Semple
    Following her wildly successful sophomore book, Where’d You Go, Bernadette, Semple’s latest begins with a to-do list gone haywire. A modern, middle-aged wife and mother has taken stock of her supposed shortcomings and has decided to control, alter, or annihilate them for just one day. The results are hilarious, disastrous, and far-reaching. (What else can you expect from a television writer whose credits include Arrested Development, and whose engaging narrator, Eleanor Flood, admits, “I’ve been to nine shrinks in twenty years and I’m still like, ‘Wait…what?'”)

    News of the World, by Paulette Jiles
    Longlisted for the National Book Award, News is set in 1870s Texas, where elderly war vet and vagabond Captain Kyle Kidd finds himself traveling 400 long and dangerous miles to San Antonio with an “uncivilized” 10-year-old girl. The girl was captured and raised by the Kiowa tribe after they murdered her parents and sibling. As such, she speaks no English and doesn’t remember a time before the Kiowas took her in. Kidd intends to return her to her family, but as their journey subtly shifts from a relationship of survival into a true and heartfelt meeting of souls, he may not be ready to leave her with a group of strangers, even if they’re kin. Though Jiles’ research must have been extensive, it effortlessly enhances the narrative rather than bogging it down, and in an age of Westworld, it’s tremendously satisfying to root for the white hats to win the day.

    Swing Time, by Zadie Smith
    An unnamed narrator living in North London and her best friend Tracey, both biracial, navigate childhood dreams of becoming dancers. Only Tracey has the talent to succeed, but her star burns out quickly. Meanwhile, our narrator works as an assistant for a wealthy white pop star from Australia who’s obsessed with all things West African (from “saving” a village to adopting a child). Though her pivotal friendship with Tracey falls apart when the women are in their 20s, its effects never truly leave either of them, for good or ill. “I wanted to believe that Tracey and I were sisters and kindred spirits, alone in the world and in special need of each other,” the narrator says. A worthy successor to Smith’s previous novels, this is a brilliant narrative on identity, culture, race, and class.



    Young Adult

    Lady Midnight, by Cassandra Clare
    Clare kicks off her hotly anticipated new Dark Artifices series, set in the world of the Mortal Instruments, with Lady Midnight, centering on the Los Angeles Shadowhunters and bringing in characters old and new. Bound Nephilim warriors Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn, grieving the tragedies of their pasts, must navigate both new supernatural challenges and old grudges in a deadly, alluring world readers are itching to return to.

    The Last Star, by Rick Yancey
    This month, Yancey’s bestselling Fifth Wave trilogy concludes with The Last Star. At the start of book one, The 5th Wave, four waves of alien attack—from pestilence to mind control—have left over 90 percent of humans dead. Orphaned survivor Cassie, separated from her brother while waiting for the fifth wave, sets out on a deadly trek to retrieve him. In follow-up The Infinite Sea, she joins forces with a hardened group of fellow survivors, including mysterious, deadly marksman Ringer. In The Last Star, the remnants of Earth’s population have a choice, between holding onto their humanity and doing whatever it takes to survive.

    The Crown (The Selection series #5), by Kiera Cass
    Across four books and two storylines, Cass has created the world of the Selection, in which American Singer and Prince Maxon fell in love, married, and had daughter Eadlyn, the first princess to choose her husband in a Selection of her own. Eadlyn’s story began in last year’s The Heir, and concludes with fifth and final book The Crown, in which Eadlyn must select her husband from among the remaining contendors—a choice that becomes more difficult than she could have imagined.

    Glass Sword, by Victoria Aveyard
    In Red Queen, 17-year-old Mare Barrow’s red blood made her a member of the powerless peasant class, in a world where the silver-blooded have both position and supernatural powers—until she’s revealed to have immense abilities of her own, despite the red in her veins. Aveyard’s sequel picks up right where its predecessor left off: reeling from a brutal betrayal and covered in the blood of battle, Mare Barrow sets out to recruit an army of her own, to fight back against her people’s Silver oppressors.

    This Is Where It Ends, by Marieke Nijkamp (January 5)
    The world can change in a minute. Nijkamp’s taut debut covers 54 of them, from just before a school shooting begins to its harrowing aftermath. Narration is shared among four students, both in and outside of the auditorium where the shooting occurs, all of whom have some link to the shooter. The cast is diverse, and their lives realistically tangled, in a story that combines almost painful tension with flashbacks that ground the sadly topical drama in an attempt at answering the question everyone asks: Why?

    The Sun Is Also a Star, by Nicola Yoon
    Yoon’s stupendous sophomore novel takes some of the themes she introduced in her best-selling debut Everything, Everything—the power of human connection, love’s ability to both save and destroy—and expands on them to tell the fast-burning, possibly doomed love story of Daniel, a dreamy Korean American teen on his way to an alumni interview, and Natasha, a girl on a last-minute mission to save her family from deportation to Jamaica. The two meet in a record store and have an epic stop-and-go romance all stuffed into a single day that might be Natasha’s last in New York. Told in alternating narration, the book also makes room for a whole chorus of other voices and perspectives, transforming it into a big compassionate tapestry of New York City, life, and everything. It’s an absolute knockout.

    A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J. Maas
    In 2015 series starter A Court of Thorns and Roses, a huntress trying to feed her starving family becomes key to saving the faerie realm of Prythian. After Feyre kills a wolflike beast in the woods bordering Prythian and the human world, a frightening fae comes to collect: her life for the life she took. But living with gorgeous faerie lord Tamlin isn’t the doom she thought it would be—nor is Prythian as settled as she once believed. In follow-up A Court of Mist and Fury, Feyre is more powerful than ever, but has sacrificed much to return to the Spring Court. The dark deal she made with the Night Court still hangs over her head, and the safety of herself, her love, and her two-realm world are far from secure.

    Salt to the Sea, by Ruta Sepetys
    In Sepetys’s hands, a footnote of World War II history—the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, the biggest and perhaps most undersung naval tragedy in history—becomes a moving tapestry of lives and voices, of four people whose fates will converge onboard the doomed ship. Joana is a nurse and Lithuanian refugee attempting to outrun horrible guilt. Florian is a German art restorer with a secret, bent on avenging one small corner of the Nazis’ atrocities. Emilia is an orphaned Polish teen who carries her worst memory on her body, and who sees Florian’s heroic qualities even if he doesn’t. And Alfred is a Nazi sailor whose moral disease runs deeper than his uniform. After a headlong race across the frozen East Prussian landscape in the twilight days of the war, the three refugees believe passage on the Gustloff means salvation. But the worst is yet to come, and some scars never fade. Sepetys finds moments of grace, humanity, and sacrifice amid tragedy, while never eliding the costs of war or the brutal truths of the survival instinct.

    Stars Above, by Marissa Meyer
    Meyer’s best-selling Lunar Chronicles ended last year with Winter, but fans can get their steampunk fairytale fix with this collection of stories from the series’ vast world. Its nine tales, including five previously unpublished, explore the origins, transformations, and becoming of beloved characters including Cinder and Winter. And a bonus for readers who can’t wait to see what Meyer does next: the collection includes an excerpt of forthcoming Wonderland-set tale Heartless.

    Scythe, by Neal Shusterman
    Shusterman has a gift for marrying high concepts with great compassion and grippingly intelligent payoff; he sees his ideas through to their broadest conclusions in fascinating, right, and always relevant ways. Scythe imagines a future in which scientific advancement has defeated death, but may have birthed something even more frightening: a world free of consequences, aging, and foreseeable ends. Its people can turn back the clock on their bodies whenever they want, and live lives nearly devoid of intense passions—except when a Scythe comes to visit. Scythes are a highly trained force of public servants who deal out death according to quotas and within a strict set of rules: rules of studied randomness doing its best to imitate the indifference of true death. When an exemplary Scythe takes on two teen apprentices, Citra and Rowan, both seem suited to the job. But after their mentor dies under mysterious circumstances, the teens’ paths diverge: Citra is assigned to another noble Scythe, but Rowan finds himself re-apprenticed to a psychopath who threatens to upend the Scythehood for his own ends. This series starter is as haunting and eerily believable as Unwind.


    Books for Young Readers

    Ghosts, by Raina Telgemeier 
    Raina Telgemeier is back with her signature graphic novel style in this new fictional tale about teenager Catrina, who is moving with her family to a coastal town in Northern California in hopes that the new setting will help her sick little sister. Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from Bahía de la Luna’s sea air. But as the sisters soon learn, the weather isn’t the only creepy thing about this town—there are ghosts! Maya really wants to meet one, but Catrina wants no part of it. Can she push past her fears to help her sister?

    Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts I & II, by J. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany
    The tale of the Boy Who Lived continues in this eighth original Harry Potter story—the first to be presented as a stage play, premiering in London’s West End on July 30, 2016. Set 19 years after the conclusion of the final book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the new story finds Harry now an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and a father of three children. And his youngest son, Albus, is struggling with the weight of his family’s legacy, as both father and son are forced to face some unfortunate dark truths in this highly anticipated release.

    Serafina and the Twisted Staff, by Robert Beatty
    Serafina defeated the Man in the Black Cloak in her 2015 debut novel, but she’s having to face a new evil in this equally suspenseful follow-up. One evening, Serafina is attacked by a group of vicious wolfhounds in the forest near her home at Biltmore Estate. The animals seem to be under the control of a terrifying creature—and Serafina believes this stranger isn’t acting alone. Someone else is wreaking havoc at Biltmore—and it’s up to Serafina to put a stop to it.

    Pax, by Sara Pennypacker 
    Bestselling author Sara Pennypacker’s latest is a beautiful and heartbreaking story about a 12-year-old boy named Peter and his beloved fox, Pax. Peter rescued Pax as an orphaned kit and has raised him as a pet since Peter’s own mother’s sudden death five years earlier. But now Peter’s father is heading to the frontlines of a raging war and is forcing his son to release his pet fox into the wild before Peter goes to live with his grandfather. The ensuing chapters alternate between the boy’s and fox’s perspectives as they each learn how to survive without the other.

    Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, by J. K. Rowling
    Consider this one a companion to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. That book came about as a way to bring the final(?) Potter story to the bookshelves of fans who may not be able to get tickets to a London theatrical production, and as a satisfyingly bookish way to complete the series for those of us reared on the novels. Likewise, the hardcover of Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts screenplay means readers get to enjoy the latest magical adventure in a form akin to the way we originally enjoyed Harry’s story. The thought of a new Potterverse story not somehow finding a spot on my bookshelf just feels wrong.

    Demigods & Magicians: Percy and Annabeth Meet the Kanes, by Rick Riordan
    Ancient Greek and Egyptian mysticism are swirling together to form a force to be reckoned with in this new collection of crossover stories from author Rick Riordan. Demigods & Magicians: Percy and Annabeth Meet the Kanes is comprised of three crossover short stories all published together for the first time—The Son of Sobek, The Staff of Serapis, and The Crown of Ptolemy—in which powerful magicians Carter and Sadie Kane meet demigods Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase, just as strange creatures begin showing up in unexpected places.

    An Author’s Odyssey (The Land of Stories Series #5), by Chris Colfer
    The fifth book in Chris Colfer’s popular modern-day fairy tale series finds twins Alex and Conner Bailey facing the realization that the only way to get to the Masked Man and his army is in Conner’s own short stories. The pair will need the help of all their friends and allies—some crafted from Conner’s very own imagination—to defeat the menacing masked one. Bonus: This Barnes & Noble exclusive edition contains an excerpt from The Mother Goose Survival Guide.

    Dog Man (Captain Underpants: Dog Man Series #1), by Dav Pilkey
    Dav Pilkey is back with a new hero for Captain Underpants fans. Is it a dog? Is it a man? No! It’s Dog Man! George and Harold’s latest heroic creation is part dog, part man, and all about biting, er, fighting crime! Greg used to just be a regular police dog with a normal human police companion, but after an injury in the line of duty, the pair undergo a life-changing surgery that combines the head of a dog and the body of a human, resulting in the titular character who’s all set to sniff out the bad guys. This Barnes & Noble exclusive edition includes a Dog Man poster inside.

    Return to the Isle of the Lost (Descendants series #2 B&N Exclusive Edition), by Melissa de la Cruz
    Author Melissa de la Cruz is returning to Disney’s Isle of the Lost with this stellar second book in the Descendantsseries. Now living in Auradon and dating King Ben, Mal thought she had left her villainous roots behind her. But she and her friends Evie, Carlos, and Jay have all received menacing messages demanding they return to the Isle of the Lost—and they suspect that their parents are the ones sending them. Maleficent, Evil Queen, Cruella de Vil, and Jafar won’t rest until their kids are back in their clutches and Auradon is destroyed, so the teens are sneaking back to the island to put a stop to it. But will Mal discover she’s still wicked at her core, or has she truly turned over a new leaf?

    The Hidden Oracle (Trials of Apollo series #1, B&N Exclusive Edition), by Rick Riordan
    “How do you punish an immortal?” Riordan ominously asks in the description of the first book in the new Trials of Apollo series. “By making him human.” Naturally, Zeus is the punisher here, and his son Apollo, god of the sun, is on the receiving end after angering dear old dad. But rather than being sent to his room, the 4,000-year-old deity is cast down to Earth, landing in New York City as a regular teenage boy. He now has to: 1) learn how to survive, 2) find a way to get back in Zeus’s favor, and 3) dodge his many god, monster, and mortal enemies—NBD. This Barnes & Noble exclusive edition includes a camp letter from Apollo to Zeus.





    Picture Books

    Ada Twist, Scientist, by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts
    Bringing diversity, ingenuity, and hilarity to a picture book—in equal measure, no less—is no easy task, but Beaty and Roberts have teamed up again to make it possible. Tenacious Ada Twist is a self-identified scientist, with no fear of failure. So when she has a problem, she’s on her way to fixing it before you can say “failed experiment.” Read this to your favorite little chemist tonight!

    Bedtime for Batman, by Michael Dahl and Ethen Beavers
    When darkness falls, the real work begins. After changing into his costume and cleaning up the city, Batman can climb into bed. But even from the shadows, he is watching, and waiting—a hero’s job is never done. Parallel narratives show a boy preparing for bedtime, and the Dark Knight taking care of business—the result is an eye-popping, highly engaging tale for the little superhero at your house!

    Milk Goes to School, by Terry Border
    Border, who tickled readers with Peanut Butter & Cupcake and Happy Birthday, Cupcake!, has returned with another surefire read-aloud hit. Milk has a bedazzled backpack and adoring, supportive parents, but she’s still pretty nervous about the first day of school. And it gets even worse when Waffle—a would-be pal—accuses her of being spoiled. Whether you giggle or groan at the near-constant puns, readers of all ages will appreciate the attention to detail and sweet resolution in this charming story.

    The Thank You Book, by Mo Willems
    Introverted Gerald is a worrier, while affable Piggie is carefree. Gerald and Piggie are best friends, but their approach to life couldn’t be more different. In this charming conclusion to Willems’ bestselling Elephant & Piggie series, Piggie is thanking EVERYONE, but Gerald is afraid that his brash pal is going to forget someone very important along the way.

    What Do You Do With a Problem?, by Kobi Yamad
    If you’ve every had a problem and chosen to ignore it, chances are it hasn’t gone away. Instead, it’s gotten bigger—and likely more persistent. This follow-up to What Do You Do With an Idea? shows us, quite simply, the life cycle of a problem. Readers of all ages are reminded that a challenge makes us more courageous, and when we are encouraged to confront our predicament head-on, we often find that it’s less daunting than we originally perceived it to be.

    Pete the Cat Storybook Collection: 7 Groovy Stories!, by James Dean
    Fans of James Dean’s groovy feline Pete the Cat will love this collection of seven of his most beloved tales—including Cavecat Pete, Pete’s Big Lunch, and Too Cool for School! With his friendly demeanor and laid-back attitude, Pete is one cool character, and kids will love reading about his adventures.

    Good Morning Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Wake Up Story, by Mariam Gates
    Re-energize your AM routine with a one-of-a-kind morning story that will help you and your little reader lead a more intentional day. Filled with breathing exercises, welcome stretches, and a mindful narrative that goes down easier than a bowl of oatmeal, Good Morning Yoga creates the perfect opportunity to greet the day—and honor its journey—with those we love best.

    If You Give a Mouse a Brownie, by Laura Numeroff
    Our favorite mouse is back, but we’ll warn you—only read this hilarious tale on nights dessert has been served. Brownies obviously lead to ice cream, and one helping—like one reading—is never enough! You’ll definitely want to add this sweet indulgence to your beginning reader’s collection!

    River Rose and the Magical Lullaby, by Kelly Clarkson
    New mom and beloved singer/songwriter Kelly Clarkson has brought us a tender, soothing story—starring her very own daughter, River Rose. It’s the night before the big trip to the zoo, and River Rose cannot fall asleep—nothing’s working! Will a special lullaby from Mommy help? You’ll enjoy the bonus story and bonus CD for many too-excited-to-sleep nights to come.

    Our Great Big Backyard, by Laura Bush and Jenna Bush Hager
    Released in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, Our Great Big Backyard showcases the wild natural beauty of our fascinating country. It’s an expansive story that starts with Jane, who dreams of a screen-filled summer—and gets a road-trip with the family instead. From jutting rocks to gator-filled swamps, Jane gets a taste of every sort of outdoors, and somewhere along the way—she starts to enjoy herself. Quench your wanderlust with this early summer treat!

    The post 40 of the Best Books to Give This Holiday Season appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Jen Harper 7:45 pm on 2016/12/06 Permalink
    Tags: , , happy bookmas, , holidays,   

    How to Throw a Book Nerd Holiday Party 

    The holiday season just has a literary air about it—maybe it’s the chilly weather, perfect for curling up in front of a fireplace with a good book; perhaps it’s the many memorable holiday scenes in literature from books like Little Women and Harry Potter; or it may just be a desire to unplug from the 100th airing of It’s a Wonderful Life. Whatever the reason, books and the holidays go together like hot cocoa and little marshmallows. So what better way to celebrate the season and your book nerdiness than with a bookish holiday party? Here’s everything you need to throw the perfect holiday lit fest for you and your book nerd pals!

    Literary theme
    You can get as specific or general as you want. On the specific end of the spectrum, you could have a Harry Potter–themed Yule Ball and have everyone don their finest dress robes or a Dickensian-style fete filled with mirth and merriment. The super-general It’s a Holly Jolly Book Nerd Holiday Party theme works too—but yes, the title does need a little work. We think you can take it from here.

    Bookish decor
    Get thee to Pinterest and start searching for DIY book trees—they’re super-easy to construct, and they won’t leave pine needles all over your floor. Making a DIY menorah can be a little trickier, since books and fire don’t make a great combo—unless your party theme is Fahrenheit 451. Set up holiday-themed books on end tables and the mantle, and hang some bookish ornaments from the tree to get everyone in the book nerd holiday spirit.

    Book-themed beverages
    Your options for party drinks—both alcoholic and non—are endless. There are so many awesome recipes for butterbeer, you can give the Three Broomsticks some serious competition. Plus, there are lots of fun lit-themed cocktail recipes like Are You There God? It’s Me, Margarita and The Last of the Mojitos from Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist. And for wine lovers, we can’t forget about literary-labeled wines like Ex Libris and Well Read (which is, well, red).

    Festive food
    You can cook to the theme of your party—a nice roast beast from How the Grinch Stole Christmas, anyone? Or have guests contribute a fave dish from literature—like Turkish Delight from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe or Key lime pie from Nora Ephron’s Heartburn. Or encourage attendees to come up with a book-punny dish—One Flew Over the Couscous Nest or Lord of the Fries perhaps?

    Lit gifts
    Everyone loves party favors, but you don’t have to handle them for the whole crowd. Have everyone bring a wrapped book as a gift—and party attendees can either take one at random as they leave or swap them White Elephant–style. Or you can have the giver attach a “blind date with a book”–type note to the wrapped book with the genre and a brief review (that doesn’t reveal the plot), and everyone can just take the one that tickles their fancy.

    The post How to Throw a Book Nerd Holiday Party appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

compose new post
next post/next comment
previous post/previous comment
show/hide comments
go to top
go to login
show/hide help