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  • BN Editors 3:00 pm on 2017/11/22 Permalink
    Tags: , enemy of the state, , , john grisham, , owen king, ruth wareorigin, , , the lying game, the rooster bar,   

    Gift Guide: Up All Night Reads for the Thriller Obsessed 

    Diving into a gritty thriller and losing yourself in a page-turning story is an inordinately satisfying experience. This holiday season, why not give the gift of sleepless nights—the kind the receiver will actually thank you for? Some of our favorite big name authors (from Dan Brown to John Grisham!) have long-awaited brand new books out, and there’s something for every thriller fan. See the complete list in our Holiday Gift Guide for more ideas for your thrill-seeking friends and family.

    The Rooster Bar, by John Grisham
    Grisham proves he’s still got his finger on the pulse in his newest, telling the story of idealistic but broke law students Mark, Todd, and Zola, who mortgage their future in the form of student loans to attend a third-tier law school. In their third year, the trio realizes they’ve been victims of the Great Law School Scam: the graduates of their school rarely pass the bar and almost never get jobs—and the school’s owner also owns the bank that wrote the paper on their loans. Naturally, smart nearly-lawyers go for the only option they have available: revenge. It’s going to take planning and risks (like dropping out before earning your degree) but it’s the only option if you want a little justice—and the result is an Ocean’s 11 for the LSAT crowd.

    Origin, by Dan Brown
    Brown returns to his most successful character with an all-new Robert Langdon adventure, this time centered in Spain and focusing on more modern art. Langdon starts off the book as the guest of former student-turned-billionaire Edmond Kirsch, who is staging a provocative presentation at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and hinting at the answers to two of the fundamental questions of human existence. Naturally, things go very, very wrong, and Langdon soon finds himself fleeing to Barcelona with museum director Ambra Vidal and working desperately to discover a password Kirsch left behind that will unlock all of the billionaire’s secrets. Their opponent, however, seems to be all-knowing, and firmly rooted in the Spanish royal palace—but there’s no one on Earth more equipped to deal with codes and symbols than Robert Langdon.

    Sleeping Beauties, by Stephen King and Owen King
    King and his son Owen team up for a book with a timely, terrifying premise: what if, in the very near future, most of the women in the world simply went to sleep and didn’t wake up? Covered in cocoon-like white membranes, the women become feral attackers if disturbed. the Kings being Kings, they set the action in a depressed Appalachian town whose main employer is a women’s prison. Men, left to their own devices, don’t react well, and society begins to unravel even as the question of what’s happening with the female half of the population lingers. One woman named Evie who appears immune, and might be a savior—or some sort of demon come to supervise the downfall of man. Filled with smart social commentary and larger-than-life characters, this is a top-notch collaboration from the biggest family name in the business..

    The Lying Game, by Ruth Ware
    Four women—Isa, Kate, Thea, and Fatima—spent their boarding school years at Salten House, sneaking away to hang with Kate’s art teacher father and her dreamy brother and play the Lying Game, a challenge to get people to believe the most outlandish stories they could dream up. It all ends in tragedy, and 20 years later, new mum Isa receives a note from Kate that sends her off on a train and back to the village of Salten, where she meets the rest of the old gang. It seems a bone has been found in the marshes nearby, and the women know all about its origins—and the discovery of a body means all of their lives, and the lies they’re built on, could come apart.

    Enemy of the State, by Kyle Mills
    The 16th Mitch Rapp novel (and third by Mills since Vince Flynn’s passing) finds Rapp enlisted by the president to clean up a growing mess in Saudi Arabia, as rival factions of the royal family and the government fund terrorists and plot against one anther, sowing chaos and supporting ISIS. Rapp employs his usual steady professionalism, assembling the sort of team you can rely on to carry out the high-level maneuvers required—including his lover, Claudia Gould, his former enemy Grisha Azarov, and former army sniper turned drug runner Kent Black. The seemingly impossible mission requires a clever plan, but as usual, readers can rest assured Rapp has one.

    Shop our Holiday Gift Guide, with prefect gifts for everyone on your list!

    The post Gift Guide: Up All Night Reads for the Thriller Obsessed appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Jeff Somers 2:00 pm on 2015/09/24 Permalink
    Tags: john grisham, , order in the court, rogue lawyer   

    5 Reasons We Can’t Wait to Read Rogue Lawyer 

    There’s a reason so many television shows, films, and novels have lawyers for protagonists: we love the way they simultaneously defend the rules that make modern life possible and subvert them in unexpected ways in service to the cause of justice.

    No modern author is better at writing powerful legal thrillers that have attorneys as heroes and the law as their superpower than John Grisham. Grisham has been so consistently great it’s become easy to take his presence on the bestseller lists for granted—but with his 30th novel, Rogue Lawyer, due out in a few weeks, it’s time to remind ourselves how great Grisham can be—and how excited we are for his new one.

    The perfect lawyer character
    Why do we love lawyers in our thrillers? Because they know the secret codes, the passwords, the system. Lawyers can spring people from jail and punish the rich and powerful with some paperwork. They know how to cheat, when necessary, without getting caught. Sebastian Rudd, the “rogue lawyer” in Grisham’s new novel, is a distillation of the perfect lawyer character: he works out of a tricked-out bulletproof van, sleeps in a different hotel room every night, and employs a combination clerk/bodyguard because powerful people on both sides of the law want him dead. Rudd uses his legal powers to pursue justice instead of his career—and doesn’t care if it requires a he cheat a little, or worse.

    The cases
    A character as interesting as Rudd, from a writer like Grisham means one thing: truly interesting cases. In Rogue Lawyer, Rudd takes on cases in which achieving seems almost impossible, no matter what it costs him. He defends a mentally-disabled man accused of murdering two children, who everyone assumes is guilty—not to mention a member of a satanic cult and a sexual deviant. The case is gruesome and the fight for the truth is an uphill battle, but it’s exactly what we want to see our lawyers do: fight for justice instead of simply chasing a partnership.

    A surprising story
    Rudd has other cases on his plate as well, including the defense of both a homeowner who shot at police when they mistakenly raided his house, and a death-row inmate with a fearsome criminal reputation. The plot’s structure promises some great complexity as these seemingly separate stories not only show us exactly what kind of lawyer (and man) Rudd really is, but reveal surprising connections, leading to a finale guaranteed to deliver classic Grisham twists.

    Rudd’s narrative voice
    One thing that Grisham doesn’t get enough credit for is the way his characters pull you in and make you understand exactly who they are and what motivates them. Early excerpts promise that Sebastian Rudd will be hilarious, profane, sarcastic, and brutally honest. A guy whose only friend is the large armed man who drives him around—to whom he refers only as Partner—is someone guaranteed to entertain  us from page one on.

    Grisham’s impact
    John Grisham has never been all about the bestseller lists and the lucrative film deals—his books regularly tackle real-life issues, and thanks to his knowledge of the law and firsthand experience as both a practicing lawyer and a former state legislator, he often brings controversies to light and inspires real-world change; his novels centering on the death sentence, homelessness, and environmental law have raised public awareness and been credited with pressuring the government to change its policies. Rogue Lawyer considers the plight of the wrongly jailed, who often lack the resources to prove their innocence. The promise of digging into a serious, real-world problem—and possibly seeking solutions as a result—makes us want to read it even more.

  • BN Editors 8:48 pm on 2015/09/23 Permalink
    Tags: john grisham, , , , new for fall, , , , ,   

    Exciting New Fall Releases 

    We love summer, and few things are as satisfying as lazing on the beach with a great book, but we must admit, we’re thrilled it’s finally fall again. Cooler weather brings the perfect opportunity to cozy up with a warm cup of cider and an engrossing book. Here are eight releases coming over the next few months that we can’t wait to get our hands on.

    Rogue Lawyer, by John Grisham
    Grisham is a master, and in Rogue Lawyer, he’s created one of his most memorable characters ever: Sebastian Rudd, the title character—sarcastic, brilliant, and single-minded in his pursuit of justice for his clients, who tend to be the sort that everyone else has given up on. Rudd’s tendency to stick his nose in cases no one wants him pursue requires him to employ a full-time body bodyguard, and he never sleeps in the same place twice. His current cases, including the defense of a mentally-challenged young man accused of killing two small girls, aren’t going to make him any more popular. A can’t-catch-your-breath read from one of the best.

    See Me, by Nicholas Sparks
    Sparks is at the top of his game in this deeply human story of starting over and dealing with life’s complexities. Colin Hancock’s past is filled with violence and bad decisions, but he’s committed to turning over a new leaf, pursuing a teaching degree, and living a quiet existence. When he meets Maria Sanchez—a successful lawyer with her own dark past—love springs up despite their mutual hesitation. Their affection is challenged by past secrets, even as ominous events in the present that push them to the breaking point. This deeply emotional book once proves that Sparks understands human nature and relationships as well as anyone writing today.

    Career of Evil, by Robert Galbraith
    The third Cormoran Strike novel kicks off with a gruesome bang as a woman’s severed leg is delivered to the inspector’s office, kicking off a classic mystery (no pun intended). Strike quickly identifies four possible suspects from his past who could be behind such a heinous act. While the police pursue a lead he increasingly believes to be a cold one, he must pursue the likelier culprit himself, even as increasingly violent events increase the pressure. Once again, J.K. Rowling proves that even under an assumed name, she’s a crackerjack plotter, consummately skilled at grabbing readers and refusing to let them go.

    The Crossing, by Michael Connelly
    Nobody does crime novels like Michael Connelly, and the seasoned author’s newest work is on pace to continue his never-miss legacy. Half-brothers Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch try to take it easy, they really do. Yet somehow they always manage to end up right in the thick of L.A.’s hairiest criminal investigations. The ex-LAPD detective and the Lincoln Lawyer find themselves in the red zone once again when Mickey asks Harry to use his insider knowledge of LA’s finest to root out corruption. Bullets fly, tempers flare, and bonds are tested in the latest tour de force read from one of crime fiction’s greatest contemporary authors.

    Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, by Jon Meacham
    Coming on the heels of last year’s 41: A Portrait of My Father, by George W. Bush, comes another consideration of George H.W. Bush’s presidency. Meacham casts new light on the career and legacy of one of our most-soft spoken, resolute politicians, a man whose single-term presidency was, at the time, overshadowed by the controversial men who proceeded and followed him into the Oval Office. Through countless interviews and unparalleled access to Bush’s personal diaries, Meacham has assembled a revelatory look at a man who is increasingly considered one of the last great leaders of an earlier era.

    Binge, by Tyler Oakley
    New media star Tyler Oakley commands a huge audience online, and he hasn’t let his platform go to waste. A warrior for social causes and an LBGTQ advocate, he’s dedicated himself to making the world a better place—and a funnier one. In this candid, hilarious essay collection, he shares the weird, wild, and wonderful stories of his unusual journey to fame, from Hulking out at the Cheesecake Factory, to crashing a car with his entire high school as witnesses, to getting violently ill all over a kindly grandmother. The unofficial spokesman for the no-filter generation, Oakley bares it all, and we couldn’t love him more for doing so.

    The Bazaar of Bad Dreams: Stories, by Stephen King
    The Master of Horror takes a break from novel-length fiction for a short story collection binding up 20 pieces of prose and poetry with personal essays that reveal what inspired their creation. The stories prove King is only getting better with age, as he explores mortality, regret and general human frailty through a lens smeared with a touch of the supernatural and the fantastic. We love King’s novels, but he might be even better in brief, and that’s really saying something.

    The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto, by Mitch Albom
    The author of Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven returns with a novel starring one of the year’s most singular, unforgettable characters. Frankie Presto is verifiably the greatest guitarist of all time (just as Music itself, our narrator). A war orphan shipped off to America with nothing to his name but an old guitar and six precious strings, Frankie’s travels take him across the radio dial of music history, from the jazz era to the birth of rock and roll. Along the way, he meets famous figures from Hank Williams, to Elvis, to KISS, and becomes a star himself—before he realizes that his (literal) gods-given talent has the power to alter the destinies of those around him. It’s another heartfelt reminder from Albom that every person you meet has the power to change the world.

  • Jeff Somers 5:30 pm on 2015/07/07 Permalink
    Tags: day of the jackal, frederick forsyth, john grisham, , , one shot, , the firm, the hunt for red october, ,   

    5 Thrillers that Resist Easy Fixes 

    In the realm of science fiction and fantasy, there’s such a thing as a “handwave,” a problem-solving technology or phenomenon presented without sufficient or believable explanation. The handwave isn’t just for science fiction, though: even ostensibly gritty, realistic thrillers can sometimes resort to a handwave to get themselves out of a jammed-up plot. If you’ve ever read about someone mysteriously “hacking” a computer system in order to access crucial narrative data, or raised an eyebrow at a character’s quick recovery from a grievous injury, you have experienced the handwave. The antidote? These five thrillers, which assiduously avoid such shenanigans.

    One Shot, by Lee Child
    In his ninth Jack Reacher novel, Lee Child offers a pure mystery for his hulking, drifting hero to solve: an expert sniper is accused of murdering several people in a public place, but Reacher uses a combination of his natural detective abilities and a deep knowledge of sniping and weapons to figure out what’s really going on, before it’s too late. Child manages to make pages of detail regarding the science and art of the sniper fascinating, and makes Reacher’s logical leap in solving the mystery 100 percent sound.

    The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
    The rumor is Clancy was so accurate in his depiction of cutting-edge submarine technology and tactics in this 1984 novel, the FBI paid him a visit to inquire how he knew so many classified details. While that may not be true (Clancy always maintained he gleaned all his information from public sources and meticulous research), the fact remains that The Hunt for Red October is one of the least-handwaved military stories in modern times. In this caper about a top-secret (and incredibly powerful) Soviet submarine hijacked by officers intent on defecting to the United States, every event, technological reference, and piece of information is justified with real-world facts and experience.

    The Firm, by John Grisham
    It says something about Grisham’s talent that the conclusion of his 1991 breakthrough novel, about a young lawyer who unwittingly joins a mob-associated firm, centers on the exciting topic of over-billing and mail fraud, and yet remains a nail-biting climax to an exceptional legal thriller. A lawyer writing legal fiction should never have to resort to hand-waving plot twists in the courtroom, but when your whole plot sits on legal maneuvering and minutiae, it’s impressive that not a single aspect of the story is glossed-over or left unclear for the reader.

    Radiant Angel, by Nelson DeMille
    In John Corey, Nelson DeMille has created a thoroughly believable character who happens to be placed at the highest levels of intrigue and adventure. The stories he constructs for Corey aren’t everyday adventures, but they’re crafted with care and an attention to detail that neatly avoid the handwave, giving the reader plenty of reason to believe it could all really happen. DeMille’s newest Corey adventure, Radiant Angel, packs a gritty, old-school Cold War punch, and once again, the author shows his work at every step, ensuring the reader can get on board without having to make any leaps of faith.

    Day of the Jackal, by Frederick Forsyth
    The attention to detail and real-life roots of Forsyth’s 1971 novel are legendary. He was working as a journalist in Paris when he wrote the story about an assassin hired to kill the President of France, and drew on actual events he witnessed or heard about through firsthand accounts, setting many of the novel’s scenes in well-researched places. In fact, rumor has it the assassin’s sniping spot can still be located—with the precise view described in the text. When you can physically visit the settings of the story and inspect them for accuracy, it’s safe to say nothing was handwaved.

  • Holly Ashworth 5:36 pm on 2015/05/15 Permalink
    Tags: , jackson pearce, , john grisham, , maggie siefvater, , spring into reading, , winter morgan   

    May’s Top Picks for Young Readers 

    Now available for young readers to devour: stories of magic powers, hidden treasures, good battling evil, kids joining forces to save the world—and for good measure, a couple of Jeep-sized hot dogs. Boredom, be gone!

    The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan
    If the middle-grade kids in your life aren’t into Percy Jackson yet, the first couple pages of this book ought to do the trick. But odds are, they’re already fans—more than 40 million copies of The Lightning Thief have been sold, entrancing kids all around the world with the story of Percy, Poseidon’s son, who’s on a quest to save the world. In honor of the 10th anniversary of the book’s original release, Barnes & Noble is offering this exclusive edition, with extra content from the author and illustrator, and a specially designed jacket and endpapers.

    Theodore Boone: The Fugitive, by John Grisham
    In the five years since Grisham kicked off the Theodore Boone series, 13-year-old Boone—everyone’s favorite lawyer-in-training—has been bringing justice to anyone who slips through the system’s cracks. In his fifth time out, Boone is on a class trip to Washington, D.C., when he catches a glimpse of Pete Duffy on the Metro. Duffy is Boone’s old adversary, who was accused of murder, jumped bail, and is now a fugitive from the law. The killer on the loose will keep Boone in danger and keep young readers on the edges of their seats.

    Treasure Hunters, by James Patterson
    Time to jump aboard another awesome middle-grade series from bestselling author James Patterson, because this one’s about to leave port. It stars the four Kidd siblings, whose parents have just disappeared, leaving them to take the reins of their family’s treasure-hunting business. They’ll need to fight off pirates, kidnappers, rivals, and other scary adults as they hunt for 10 lost treasures and, ultimately, their lost parents. It’s an exciting read with plenty of heart and humorous bits, and it’s sure to steer middle graders to some fun waters.

    Hit & Miss, by Derek Jeter with Paul Mantell
    Derek Jeter gave middle graders some inspiration last year with The Contract, a fictionalized account of how his parents inspired him to reach the major leagues by channeling his frustrations into hard work, and setting some life rules (like no baseball ’til your homework’s done). Here he returns to the story, as he starts a Little League season in his hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan. We all know where his life story ends up—as a Hall of Fame shortstop—but it’s not until kids read about his challenges as a Little Leaguer that his goal (and, possibly, theirs) is put into perspective.

    Clash of the Creepers, by Winter Morgan
    It’s the sixth and final installment of Winter Morgan’s fun, fast-paced series that began with The Quest for the Diamond Sword, inspired by her son’s obsession with Minecraft. And if you thought a diamond sword was impressive, wait until you join Steve and his friends on this quest—to Mine Mountain, rumored to be packed with endless diamonds. A journey like this doesn’t come without dangers, and on this one, the Unofficial Gamers will have to fight off a major creeper attack, and figure out whether or not they should trust their new treasure-hunting buddies along the way. A lifetime supply of diamonds hangs in the balance, and kids will be hanging on every line of dialogue.

    Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures, by Maggie Stiefvater and Jackson Pearce
    Nine-year-old Pip has a brilliant and enviable talent—she can communicate with magical creatures of all kinds. It’s adults she has trouble talking to. When a misunderstood “Unicorn Incident” results in Pip spending the summer in Georgia with her Aunt Emma, who runs a veterinarian clinic for magical creatures, it seems like a match made in heaven. Unfortunately, Pip’s fun and educational visit is quickly complicated by the appearance of a group of mysterious (and highly flammable) creatures known as Fuzzles. If Pip and her newfound friend Tomas can’t figure out how to keep the Fuzzles from bursting into flames at the slightest provocation, everyone in town is going to be in big trouble. This witty and inventive middle grade series from acclaimed authors Stiefvater and Pearce is sure to appeal to young readers who love magic and animals (so, basically all of them).

    The Secret Treasure, by Winter Morgan
    As the Unofficial Gamer’s Adventure book series comes to a close, it’s time to start the newest series by Winter Morgan, who still has plenty of stories to share with the Minecraft-obsessed (and with those who just like a great adventure). Noah and Violet, a pair of treasure hunters, discover an enchantment book that can give great power to whoever controls it. The duo must protect the book from a group of evil griefers, or else the Overworld will be destroyed—but the griefers are a clever bunch, so it won’t be easy. Jump on this exciting series while it’s just beginning.

    Anna & Elsa #4: The Great Ice Engine, by Erica David
    Is Frozen fever still going strong at your house? Here’s an alternative to playing the soundtrack one more time, and it can help improve reading skills to boot. The adventures of Queen Elsa and her sister Anna continue in this fourth installment by Erica David, and all their friends, including Olaf the Snowman and Kristoff, are along for the ride. It’s fan fiction perfect for the Frozen-obsessed between the ages of 6 and 9.

    The Isle of the Lost: A Descendants Novel, by Melissa de la Cruz
    Before you watch the upcoming Disney Channel original movie Descendants, get to know the characters personally in this prequel. Four adolescent friends with famously evil parents—Maleficent, Cruella De Vil, Jafar, and Snow White’s Evil Queen—have spent their whole life in exile on an island. Magic-less and bored, they band together to steal a magical staff that may help them escape. But as they figure out along the way, just because they come from evil stock doesn’t mean they’re destined to be evil, too. You may recognize Melissa de la Cruz from her bestselling Blue Bloods series; you’ll love this latest dose of the darker side of magic, with a Disney twist.

    Cosmoe’s Wiener Getaway, by Max Brallier
    The author of Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? has cooked up another exciting adventure worth devouring. Cosmoe is the captain of a high-flying food truck called the Neon Wiener, in which he makes Jeep-sized hot dogs, dodges all kinds of galactic bad guys (like zombie space pirates and mutant worm monsters), and provides a service that some would say is even more important than sausages—he protects the galaxy from the Ultimate Evil. The story is told through lively illustrated panels that’ll send readers out to space in no time.

    Inside Out Junior Novelization, by RH Disney
    Inside Out, the new Disney Pixar movie starring Diane Lane and Amy Poehler, will be hitting theaters in June. Scoop up the novelization (written for ages 9 through 12) now so your kid can connect with it on a literary level. The story is one lots of kids will relate to: when Riley’s dad gets a new job, she’s uprooted from her Midwestern life and forced to move across the country to San Francisco. The story’s real drama happens in the Headquarters in Riley’s brain, as personified Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust, and Sadness battle it out for control of her attitude. It’s a lesson in juggling your emotions that all readers, young and old, can learn from.

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