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

    10 Books Everyone Should Read Before Buying a Home 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What books would you recommend to potential homebuyers?

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

  • Sarah Skilton 3:30 pm on 2018/03/26 Permalink
    Tags: , , Home & Seasonal   

    10 Perfect Picks to Book Club With Your Mom This Mother’s Day 

    Brunch is great, chocolates and flowers are lovely, but for a gift that keeps you talking (and debating) long after Mother’s Day, consider buying a book for your mom, and a copy for yourself, for a buddy read that celebrates your bond. These recent selections center on fascinating women both real and fictional—and discussing them may even inspire you to learn something new about the woman who raised you.

    Love and Ruin, by Paula McLain
    After depicting the life of Hadley Richardson in her bestselling The Paris Wife, McLain sets her sights on Hemingway’s third wife, acclaimed war correspondent Martha Gellhorn. Her connection to Hemingway begins in Key West, Florida, in the late 1930s and ramps up against the invigorating, terrible backdrop of the Spanish Civil War. Two stars are on the rise—journalist and novelist, equal in skill—but one must eclipse the other. 

    Eunice: The Kennedy Who Changed the World, by Eileen McNamara
    Overshadowed by her brothers’ political fortune and fame, Eunice Kennedy Shriver quietly and determinedly forged her own path in a world that wasn’t looking at her. Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Eileen McNamara (The Boston Globe) aims to change that with a book that turns the spotlight on Eunice’s accomplishments and struggles, notably her desire to help children and persons with mental disabilities. As a founder of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, as well as Camp Shriver (which evolved into the Special Olympics), Eunice improved the lives of countless Americans and people all over the world.

    The Female Persuasion, by Meg Wolitzer
    Wolitzer’s timely new book combines elements of her previous bestsellers The Interestings (with its theme of youthful expectations versus the realities of middle age) and The Wife (a dark tale of subverted female ambition). The central relationship in Persuasion is between Greer Kadetsky, a young, shy, liberal arts–educated woman, and her mentor, Faith Frank, a 60-something pioneer of the feminist movement. Greer’s childhood sweetheart and best friend have their own compelling narratives as well, and the quartet of fully realized characters will pull you in even as the connections between them are at risk of being torn apart. 

    Varina, by Charlies Frazier
    As was his stunning, National Book Award–winning Cold Mountain (also a film starring Nicole Kidman and Jude Law), Varina is set during the Civil War. The novel is structured as an oral memoir by its titular heroine, Jefferson Davis’s much-younger wife, whose views of the conflict did not necessarily match those of the Confederate President. Little has been written about the First Lady of the Confederacy, and the story depicted here is full of rich and often unexpected details about the antebellum south, as well as Varina’s post–Civil War life in New York. 

    Alternate Side, by Anna Quindlen
    A bestselling novelist (Miller’s ValleyObject Lessons) and advice giver (A Short Guide to a Happy LifeBeing Perfect), Quindlen centers her latest novel on an elite neighborhood in Manhattan. Nora and Charlie Nolan and the rest of their secluded, close-knit community, are thrown into chaos when an act of violence with racial undertones forces them to take stock of who and what they really are. This provocative new novel will provide fodder for many conversations to come.

    You Think It, I’ll Say It: Stories, by Curtis Sittenfeld
    In her first collection of short stories, bestselling novelist Sittenfeld’s talent for lifting the curtain on the apparent successes of others is on full display. Protagonists irritated by social media perfection and chipper volunteers (not to mention the politics of the day) are fully relatable and lovable in their snarkiness. If you enjoyed “The Prairie Wife” (first published in the New Yorker last year), in which a wife and mother considers upending the perfect social media empire of a former love, you’ll adore the nine additional tales waiting for you here.

    Far from the Tree, by Robin Benway
    A young adult novel with infinite crossover appeal, this National Book Award winner twines the stories of three teens connected by a birth mother, who meet for the first time after middle sister Grace gives up her own baby for adoption. Youngest child Maya is dealing with issues herself, as her adoptive family disintegrates under the force of her mother’s alcoholism, and Joaquin, the only one of the three who wasn’t adopted as a baby, finds himself detonating the good things in his life, pulling away from both his beloved girlfriend and the foster parents who want to adopt him. Benway examines love, belonging, and different definitions of family through a delicate network of connections—platonic and romantic, blood and otherwise—as the three work up the courage to seek out the mother who cut off all contact when she gave them away.

    An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones
    Newlyweds Roy and Celestial find their marriage tested after a cruel twist of fate sends Roy to prison in another state for a crime he didn’t commit. As the years of separation drag on, Celestial turns to her friend since childhood, Andre, for comfort, and Andre’s perspective provides new insight into her painful situation. Letters sent between husband and wife further illuminate this incredible contemporary study of marriage, loyalty, and racial injustice. A thoughtfully rendered, realistic drama that will have you desperate to discuss it the moment you reach the end.

    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions, by Mario Giordano (translated by John Brownjohn)
    Determined to spend her twilight years drinking wine and enjoying the beauty of Sicily, sixty-year-old Auntie Poldi, a former costume designer with a wide variety of wigs, quickly discovers that a relaxing retirement is not in the cards. Eager to solve the mystery of her handyman’s disappearance, she throws herself into the official search, despite her lack of investigative credentials. It doesn’t hurt that the lead detective, Vito Montana, is dashingly handsome. The first in a decidedly cozy series, Lions is filled with humor, heart, and stunning locales.

    A Fine Romance, by Candice Bergen
    With the most welcome news of a Murphy Brown revival, it’s a perfect time to read series star Bergen’s second memoir from 2016 (her first memoir, Knock Wood, came out in 1984, several years before she landed her most iconic role). The romance of the title refers to a lullaby Bergen would sing her daughter, Chloe, the product of Bergen’s marriage to the late, great filmmaker Louis Malle (Au Revoir Les Enfants; My Dinner with Andre). With good-humored, honest prose, fun name-drops, and self-deprecation, Bergen reflects on her extraordinary life, including plenty of surprises regarding her relationships. For one thing, her father, puppet master Edgar Bergen, didn’t leave her an inheritance—but he did provide for his ventriloquist doll, Charlie McCarthy. She juggled motherhood, widowhood, and TV stardom during a time of social and political upheaval (remember Dan Quayle?), and she presents as both an aspirational and relatable figure to women and moms everywhere.

    The post 10 Perfect Picks to Book Club With Your Mom This Mother’s Day appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • BN Editors 7:30 pm on 2018/03/21 Permalink
    Tags: , Home & Seasonal   

    7 Ways to Build a Better Easter Basket 

    Kids love Easter baskets—and, if truth be told, we do, too! To make them as much fun to put together as they are to unpack, we have some tips from the Easter basket experts at Barnes & Noble to help you Spring into Easter! 

    1. Share Books with Little Bunnies

    Start with a children’s classic that speaks to the season but will be a year-round favorite, like the Pat the Bunny Board Book. Or choose from a wide selection of other Easter board and picture books.

    2. Invite Everyone’s Favorite Rabbit

    As his recent appearance on the big screen proves, Beatrix Potter’s playful Peter Rabbit never grows old. What youngster wouldn’t love our GUND Classic Peter Rabbit Plush? For more bunny fun, shop our Peter Rabbit boutique!

    3. Find Adventures for Beginning Readers 

    Every season is reading season—a good time to encourage young book lovers with new tales. Try Pete the Cat’s Big Easter Adventure, or check out the best current releases for older kids.

    4. Don’t Forget Easter Fun & Games

    From Hatchimals CollEGGtibles to a wide variety of other toys, games, and activities, Barnes & Noble is your go-to place for basket-building fun.

    5. Plant Seeds of Spring

    Our Organic Sunflower Grow Kit is the perfect way to add a touch of spring to your Easter giving. For a limited time, you can get any Organic Grow Kit for just $7.95 with the purchase of any item, while supplies last.

    6. Rejoice! 

    Of course, Easter is a time for rejoicing and reflection, too. Patricia A. Pingry’s Easter Story is an excellent picture book introduction to the meaning of the holy day. Don’t miss our selection of more inspirational religious books.

    7. Remember the Thought That Always Counts

    A Barnes & Noble Gift Card is the perfect addition to complete your Easter basket!


    The post 7 Ways to Build a Better Easter Basket appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Ross Johnson 5:00 pm on 2017/12/29 Permalink
    Tags: david zinczenko, fresh starts, Home & Seasonal, , keenan mayo, meditation for fidgety skeptics, melissa hartwig, , , the super metabolism diet, the whole30 fast & easy cookbook, the wisdom of sundays: life-changing insights from super soul conversations   

    7 Books for a New Year, New You 

    January is almost here! Now’s the time to get your resolutions on the fast-track with 7 books that will help you achieve a happier, healthier 2018.

    The Whole30 Fast & Easy Cookbook: 150 Simply Delicious Everyday Recipes for Your Whole30, by Melissa Hartwig
    Whole30 is all the buzz lately when it comes to fitness and healthy eating, refining a diet style based around eating unprocessed foods with minimal carbs, and eliminating sugars and alcohol. Which will be a lot easier now that the holidays are over, am I right? This new cookbook focuses on convenience, with recipes from Whole30 co-creator Hartwig designed to get you feeling right with minimal time in the kitchen.

    Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-to Book, by Dan Harris, Carlye Adler, and Jeffrey Warren
    Science has begun to back up the promise of meditation, with benefits that many of us could be enjoying. There are a lot of barriers, though, from misconceptions to confusion about where to begin. ABC News anchor Harris teams up here with meditation teacher Warren to take a cross-country journey exploring some of the myths that keep people from trying it out and interviewing people who’d like to try about why they haven’t. From it all emerges some simple, practical instructions about how to get started and why.

    The Whole30 Day by Day: Your Daily Guide to Whole30 Success, by Melissa Hartwig
    If you’ve started on the Whole30 program of eating minimally processed foods and cutting out sugars, or if you’re just interested, this book is designed to make it easy. It’s intended by program co-creator Hartwig as a daily guidebook to healthy eating; sort of like a portable eating coach. It’s got day-to-day reminders, tips, guidelines, as well as inspiration and ideas for tracking your progress and staying motivated.

    Bobby Flay Fit: 200 Recipes for a Healthy Lifestyle, by Bobby Flay, Stephanie Banyas, and Sally Jackson
    Bobby Flay’s method here is less about eliminating anything from your diet, and more about making the most of each meal. The idea being that you can make satisfying, flavorful recipes using lean protein, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables by knowing how to use your spice drawer. The balanced recipes utilize low-calorie flavor enhancers like rubs and marinades to jazz up meals, and Flay also offers up some satisfying breakfast, snacks, and smoothies as well as some fitness tips to keep your energy up and the weight off.

    The Little Book of Lykke: Secrets of the World’s Happiest People, by Meik Wiking
    Inspired by the happiness habits of his homeland of Denmark, Wiking set out to discover not just what makes Danes so generally happy, but what secrets could be found in other parts of the world. Focusing on six factors—togetherness, money, health, freedom, trust, and kindness—Wiking looks at what makes people content and satisfied all over the world, whether it’s by savoring a meal or dancing a tango. It’s full of tips based on Wiking’s journeys and research into what makes people happy, and how we can apply those lessons to our own lives.

    The Super Metabolism Diet: The Two-Week Plan to Ignite Your Fat-Burning Furnace and Stay Lean for Life!, by David Zinczenko and Keenan Mayo
    Eat This, Not That! author Zinczenko joins Keenan Mayo to provide a complete guide to getting your metabolism going in 2018. Many of us are feeling pretty sluggish this time of year, so it’s a good time to get things cranking. The book includes recipes and menus for keeping that engine going in-between meals, along with shopping guides and workouts. The focus is on balanced proteins and carbs as a way to feel full and full of energy.

    The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations, by Oprah Winfrey
    Going beyond just our bodies in 2018, Oprah’s new book collects some of the most extraordinary moments of insight and inspiration from her Super Soul Sunday television show. Authors, teachers, writers, and celebrities—people like Shonda Rhimes, Thich Nhat Hanh, Wayne Dyer, and Arianna Huffington share what they’ve learned about finding purpose and making connections in a busy world. The book includes several photographs, as well as an intimate essay from Oprah herself.

    What’s on your new you to-do list?

    The post 7 Books for a New Year, New You appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Madina Papadopoulos 3:00 pm on 2017/09/27 Permalink
    Tags: allie ogg, anne e. briated, cheese & beer, , goodnight brew: a parody for beer people, Home & Seasonal, janet fletcher, jeff alworth, joshua m. bernstein, patrick dawson, the american craft beer cookbook: 155 recipes from your favorite brewpubs and breweries, the beer bible, the complete beer course: boot camp for beer geeks, vintage beer: a taster's guide to brews that improve over tiime   

    Celebrate Oktoberfest by Drinking Up Beer Books 

    The second half of September through the beginning of October rings in the fun folk festival of Oktoberfest. The tradition originates from Germany, and the beer-drinking party is so popular that it has spread through many cities around the world. For those who caught the beer bug at the festival, or for those who can’t make it out, celebrate Oktoberfest in the comfort of your own home with a generous serving of books and beer.

    The Beer Bible,by Jeff Alworth
    Just beginning your beer adventures? bee The Beer Bible is a great place to start. Beer expert and author Jeff Alworth artfully pens the big book of beers and explains all beers—breaking the book up into four sections (ales, lagers, wheat beers, tart & wild ales) and then delving into the taste, process, and history of each brew. Though the book discusses complex subjects, Alworth’s tone is inviting—just like a satisfying pint.

    The Complete Beer Course: Boot Camp for Beer Geeks: From Novice to Expert in Twelve Tasting Classes, by Joshua M. Bernstein
    Swishing, sniffing, and sipping are usually reserved for wine tastings. But tasting beer can also be quite profound (and much less intimidating). As the title of this book promises, The Complete Beer Course will take readers from newbie to connoisseur in 12 tasting classes. The book is available in hardcover—the beers are sold separately.

    Cheese & Beer, by Janet Fletcher
    With The Beer Bible and The Complete Beer Course under your belt, it’s now time to take enjoyment of beer to the next level: pairing. Pairing a certain drink with a certain food creates a mix in the mouth that draws particular characteristics out of each. And honestly, which food is better to pair than cheese? After explaining the tenets of pairing, this appetizing book takes on the beautiful task of telling readers exactly which beers to pair with which cheeses.

    The American Craft Beer Cookbook: 155 Recipes from Your Favorite Brewpubs and Breweries, by John Holl
    Beyond pairing beer with food, cooking with beer can also be a delicious adventure. Prolific food and beer writer John Holl serves up 155 dishes that have been shared by beloved brewpubs and breweries. With recipes like American Wheat Beer Steamed Clams and Chocolate Jefferson Stout Cupcakes, this book is ideal for the beer aficionado and experimental chef alike.

    Vintage Beer: A Taster’s Guide to Brews That Improve Over Time, by Patrick Dawson
    This book makes a great addition to a veteran beer drinker’s collection. Taking on the cryptic world of aged beer, it discusses what brews make great vintages, how to find them, and what to look for when tasting them. The author even gives a guide to creating a home beer cellar, complete with which beers to buy and the process of how to age beer.

    Goodnight Brew: A Parody for Beer People, by Ann E. Briated and Allie Ogg
    While this book is a play on the classic children’s story, Goodnight Moon, this parody is intended for a slightly older readers (ideally those 21 and over). It includes clever lines like, “goodnight, wildebeest and yeast”, and playful illustrations like pictures on the wall of ‘chocolate stout’. While it won’t put beer lovers to sleep, it will put them in a good mood. Best when read aloud to a group of beer-loving friends over a pint.

    What books are you raising this Oktoberfest?

    The post Celebrate Oktoberfest by Drinking Up Beer Books appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

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