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  • Brian Boone 2:00 pm on 2017/08/07 Permalink
    Tags: alison lurie, casey lewis, , , dorm room essentials cookbook, , ethan trex, , , foreign affairs, free stuff guide for everyone, gina meyers, goodnight dorm room: all the advice I wish i got before going to college, harlan cohen, keith riegert, kingsley amix, knack dorm living, , michael chabon, , on beauty, peter sander, , samuel kaplan, school daze, scott dikkers, , streeter seidell, the big u, the college humor guide to college, the idiot, the naked roommate, the pretty good jim's journal treasury, , , , wonder boys,   

    These 20 Books Are Absolute Dorm Room Essentials 

    So you’re headed off to college in the fall. Congratulations! It’s going to be both a lot of work and a tremendous karmic shift! You’ll be on your own, and also living in a very small dormitory room with a person who is, in all likelihood, a complete stranger. Regardless, books are both an escape and an olive branch—the books you’ll need to best understand, appreciate, and enhance the college-going experience.

    The Pretty Good Jim’s Journal Treasury, by Scott Dikkers
    Everyone who went to college remembers it as an exciting time of self-discovery, new friendships, and working really, really hard. We tend to forget about all of the downtime and boredom of college—class is only a few hours a day, after all. This is where the droll comic strip collection by Scott Dikkers, a founder of The Onion, traffics—a guy named Jim does all the boring, mundane stuff one does in college. Much of Dikkers’ “Jim’s Journal” (which ran in lots of college newspapers in the ’90s) concerned the protagonist’s low-stakes experience with higher education.

    Lucky Jim, by Kingsley Amis
    Countless authors, past and present, have also been college professors and academics. And as the old adage goes, you write what you know. The result is the subgenre of the campus novel, which details the unique experience of being in college, either for a few years or forever, including its unique politics, quirks, challenges, and maddening hypocrisies. Kingsley Amis’s Lucky Jim, published in 1954, is among the first major campus novels, and it’s a rightful classic of the genre, detailing the wryly humorous life of an academic who becomes a lecturer at an English university despite not really wanting the job.

    The Secret History, by Donna Tartt
    There are certain things in Donna Tartt’s breakout novel that are universal college experiences: arguing with professors to allow you to take their classes, finding your tribe of like-minded individuals, and looking up to the most charismatic students on campus.

    White Noise, by Don DeLillo
    Don DeLillo’s classic novel is told through the eyes of a contented professor and patriarch of a large, blended, technology-addicted family who leads a small northeastern college’s Hitler Studies program. While the themes of the novel deal with the omnipresence of chemicals in our food, air, and bodies, DeLillo also nails the day-to-day of college life, as well as how it feels to live in a university town, particularly how it’s both charmingly unchanging and always exciting due to the constant influx and outflux of new students and teachers.

    Free Stuff Guide for Everyone, by Peter Sander
    Almost everyone in college is poor. Tuition, books, and living expenses cost a lot of money, and 18-year-olds don’t have much of that, because they lack earning power due to being 18, not-yet-college-educated, and having to spend the majority of their time going to class and studying. To make it through with your health and happiness intact, you’re going to have to get a little scrappy and a little shameless and seek out deals and bargains wherever you can. A book like this one will clue you in to all sorts of free and discounted necessary items.

    Goodnight Dorm Room: All the Advice I Wish I Got Before Going to College, by Samuel Kaplan and Keith Riegert
    Not a parody of Goodnight, Moon, likely because the book Goodnight, Moon is larger than the average dorm room. Rather, this is a swift and funny advice guide to everything “they” won’t tell you about going to college. And it’s important stuff, too, from how to exploit the goodwill of TAs who want you to succeed, to what stuff you should definitely and not definitely bring with you to fill out your tiny, tiny dorm room.

    Dorm Room Essentials Cookbook, by Gina Meyers
    Man or woman cannot survive on cafeteria food and ramen alone. Also, most college dorms don’t allow hotplates. But you’ve gotta eat, and eat well, so you’ve got to get creative. This cookbook shows you how to use the tools at hand and affordable ingredients to prepare all kinds of snacks, meals, and desserts.

    Knack Dorm Living: Get the Room—and the Experience—You Want at College, by Casey Lewis
    That dorm room is small, but this book just might be a good investment of both limited space and money. Written by Lewis when she was a seen-it-all-in-college, done-it-all-in-college college senior, it’s full of easy-to-follow and crucial tips on what to take to college, what to buy when you get there, and how to effectively and efficiently organize what little time, space, and money you’ve got.

    The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College, by Harlan Cohen
    Not only are dorm rooms small, but they have to be shared with another person, who could not only be a stranger, but also literally quite strange. (Hence the title.) Cohen’s book offers pre-emptive advice on all sorts of challenges a naive, inexperienced-to-the-ways-of-the-world college freshman may experience, such as the times when it’s okay to shoot for a C, how to find a campus job, and how to navigate both long-term relationships and more “temporary” ones.

    The College Humor Guide to College, by Ethan Trex and Streeter Seidell
    Nobody these days does college humor better than, uh, College Humor. The comedy website publishes all manner of silly videos and ridiculous articles about the absurd notion of being a young person alive in the world, feeling their way around with almost zero preparation. In many ways, this droll parody of college prep books feels a lot more realistic than the real ones do. This is a good one to have in college if only as a way to share it with others and knowingly laugh at the relatable parts.

    A guidebook about the city where the college is located
    For many, college is the first time to be out there on one’s own. It’s tempting and perfectly acceptable to just kick around campus and the surrounding neighborhoods—there’s certainly plenty for freshmen to do and explore. Or, you can mingle with the townies and check out a bit more of the area that surrounds the college. Getting out there and trying new things is what college is all about, but with a safety net, which is what a guidebook about that college town totally is. It’s a guidebook to fun and adventure!

    Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell
    College isn’t all partying and making new BFFs. At least not for everybody. This marvelous novel by the author of Eleanor & Park is about the difficult segue from teenhood to college life. It’s about a University of Nebraska freshman named Cath with social anxiety disorder, which precludes a social butterfly life and encourages her to stay at home writing fan fiction about a boy wizard…until she realizes that college is the best place to exercise and hone her writing skills.

    On Beauty, by Zadie Smith
    Having a Zadie Smith book on your dorm room’s sole shelf is a great conversation starter, and it’s a clue to others about how cool you are, because you’ve read Zadie Smith. The novel itself is an enlightening look at college—it touches on sexual, identity, and class issues, as well as how professors aren’t always the sage geniuses one would assume they are. It’s also a college-level text, as On Beauty was inspired by the structure and some of the plot points of E.M. Forster’s Howard’s End.

    Wonder Boys, by Michael Chabon
    It’s set in Pittsburgh, as is usually the case with Chabon’s novels, which is a beautiful and perfect college town. That’s just one of the blessings protagonist Grady Tripp takes for granted. He’s essentially a lost college freshman, but all grown up: He’s an established writer and college professor, he smokes too much marijuana, is having relationship trouble, he’s got writer’s block so bad he can’t finish his next book, and he’s just a little bit jealous of the young talent coming up behind him. Chabon’s prose is crackling, and he’s a great place to start in the world of “grown-up” fiction.

    Joe College, by Tom Perrotta
    Ah, the joys of working your way through college. In this dark and yet surprisingly optimistic book from the author of Election and The Leftovers, a Yale student named Danny doesn’t get to go on a debauched Spring Break trip with his friends: He’s stuck driving his dad’s lunch truck in New Jersey. That’s a plot device to get the reader into Danny’s head, where lots of college issues humorously and dramatically wrestle for attention.

    Foreign Affairs, by Alison Lurie
    Time for the semester abroad! Well, at least it is for the two American professors at the heart of this charming, Pulitzer Prize winning campus novel-meets-fish-out-water tale. Vinnie leaves his Ivy League environs to study playground rhymes and winds up in a family tree-tracing project. Fred, meanwhile, abandons his studies of English poetry to pal around with an esteemed actress.

    The Idiot, by Elif Batuman
    This almost stream-of-consciousness novel is told from the point-of-view of a Turkish-American freshman from New Jersey who is extremely happy to be away from her dull home life and attending the glorious Harvard University. This one shows how overwhelming college and all of its assorted social and academic entanglements can be. But, you know, in a good way.

    The Big U, by Neal Stephenson
    No matter how complicated and overwhelming college life gets, it could always be worse. This first novel from sci-fi icon Neal Stephenson demonstrates that. It’s about a Remote Sensing professor named Bud who works at American Megaversity, an eight-tower complex which pretty much makes the college a bubbled world unto itself. Hey, that’s like real college, only real college has way fewer electromagnetic weapons and radioactive rats.

    A second copy of what you’re currently reading
    Talk about an icebreaker. “Hey, what’s that you’re reading,” a roommate, hallmate, classmate, or random person in “the Quad” asks. You tell them, you show them, you lend them your copy because it’s so good. Boom, friends for life.

    A copy of your favorite book from childhood
    For when you’re homesick.

    What books should every college student read?

    The post These 20 Books Are Absolute Dorm Room Essentials appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 6:30 pm on 2017/05/22 Permalink
    Tags: , , michael chabon, norwegian wood, rhythm of life, telegraph avenue   

    5 Novels in Which Music Is a Character 

    Music—varied and endless—is such a part of our lives, most of us barely notice its presence on a conscious level. In our earbuds, in our cars, at home, and at work, music is the common thread that ties all of us together. We’re all constantly curating a soundtracks of our lives. The writers of these five books get that—they understand music isn’t just background noise, it’s part of us, and even sometimes takes on a life of its own, becoming a character in our dramas, our comedies, and our tragedies.

    The Vinyl Detective: The Run-Out Groove, by Andrew Cartmel
    Cartmel’s genius lies in noticing the similarities between the strange, brilliant detectives of traditional mysteries and the men and women who obsessively search out musical rarities. The Vinyl Detective makes a living finding rare recordings for collectors, and in this second outing, he’s hired to find a legendary single cut by a ’60s icon who recently committed suicide—and to locate her kidnapped son, by the way. The song supposedly contains a satanic backward masking, and her estate wants to disprove the rumor. The real fun is the exploration of a subculture that tours us through the tiny record shops and incredible sound systems of people who make the term “music fan” seem a bit quaint.

    High Fidelity, by Nick Hornby
    It seems like the old-school record shop culture has been on the cusp of complete destruction for decades now. Rob Fleming is the ideal example of it: a thirtyish man with an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music and a fetish for reducing everything down to Top Five lists. When he applies his list-making to his personal life, he begins an introspective journey that’s scored to his favorite music. Ironically (brilliantly), Rob rediscovers his love for music as a passion instead of a collection of knowledge as he moves through his past love affairs and figures himself out.

    Telegraph Avenue, by Michael Chabon
    Detailing the lives of the people who own, work at, and try to save struggling record store Brokeland Records in California, Chabon effortlessly ties basically the entire scope of modern American life to the music that we all listen to. The story is big, with plenty of characters, side-plots, pop culture references, and political asides—yet it’s all tied together by music. Chabon doesn’t get into music theory or arguments over genres; instead, he writes a story where music is the silent partner in every scene, commenting on and augmenting every line and description. Put on your favorite playlist and hunker down with this one.

    An Equal Music, by Vikram Seth
    Chamber music isn’t on the charts much, but for those who love it, it can be a powerful experience. Michael Holme is a talented if unexceptional violinist, teaching lackluster students and playing with a successful quartet. One day, he spies an old lover on the bus, a pianist named Julia he abandoned years ago. He pursues her, and the two rekindle their love affair, despite her marriage and encroaching deafness—an affliction that will end her musical career. Seth explores the linked tragedy of a love that exists with an expiration date and the loss of artistic expression, conveying the horror of losing something intrinsic to your very sense of self. Music soaks into every page of the book, forming the connective tissue between characters and events, commenting on every moment, and enriching the reader’s appreciation of the gifts we all get to enjoy, but never truly own.

    Norwegian Wood, by Haruki Murakami
    Using an orchestral version of the Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood” in much the same way Proust used his madeleine, Murakami’s protagonist Toru Watanabe is moved to sink into a reverie about his past. The song is repeatedly referenced throughout the text, as Toru remembers his love affair with beautiful, delicate Naoko. The song becomes a Greek chorus of regret and loss, rising up like a ghost at key moments, altering the tone of the story in unexpectedly powerful ways. You can easily imagine Murakami listening to Rubber Soul on repeat as he wrote; listening to it yourself while reading it creates an incredible sense of looping time and interconnectedness.

    The post 5 Novels in Which Music Is a Character appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Ester Bloom 7:15 pm on 2016/11/28 Permalink
    Tags: , , michael chabon,   

    Michael Chabon enchants with Moonglow 

    It’s unusual for an author to cheerfully refer to his own 400+ page novel as a “pack of lies,” as Chabon does in the Acknowledgements section of his new book Moonglow. But Chabon is an unusual author in many respects. Since winning the Pulitzer Prize for propulsive literary epic The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, he has pushed the boundaries of traditional fiction, trying his hand at experiments of genre, voice, and tone. With Moonglow, he attempts something new and possibly even more radical: he creates a work of “fictional nonfiction” out of what purports to be the story of his own family.

    Moonglow takes us back several generations to the so-called “greatest” one. The true-ish story it tells is not about Chabon himself but about his maternal grandfather, who, as the book begins, lies dying of cancer. As author/narrator Chabon feeds the old man Jell-o, he simultaneously pumps him for stories. And so he learns the tale of his grandfather’s remarkable life, starting in a rundown, working-class Jewish neighborhood in Philadelphia, ending in a ritzy retiree community in Florida, and ranging through setpieces of war, suburbia, office life, and prison. As you might expect, Chabon learns much more than he expected to about his family, and about himself.

    Are these increasingly baroque details of his past believable? Maybe. Why not? As history never tires of reminding us, truth is stranger than fiction.

    At times while telling his grandfather’s story, Chabon is digressive, and at other times, too enthusiastic; see: his zeal for capturing his grandfather’s sexual feelings towards women in general and Chabon’s grandmother in particular. And he zigzags through time in a way that ignores the wisdom laid out in Alice in Wonderland (“Start at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop”).

    Still, the novel is overwhelmingly effective at what it sets out to do. First and foremost, that is to tell the complicated story of a brilliant, introverted engineer who starts out as an odd but well-meaning kid and ends up the adopted father of an odd but well-meaning kid of his own—the daughter of the beautiful, broken European refugee he falls in love with, and shapes the rest of his life around, after World War II.

    Chabon’s grandfather is a magnetic character, and a complicated one. He’s a war hero and a felon. An observer and a brawler. He’s also an obsessive whose life is animated by furious rivalries. Some of these are pedestrian: he feuds with his no-goodnik brother Ray and, later, a pet-eating wild snake in Florida. Others are loftier, even noble: he tracks the Nazi rocket scientist Wernher von Braun across the bombed-out battlegrounds of Germany, only to encounter him decades later, under very different circumstances, near Ft. Lauderdale. But his life is also animated by real tenderness, and not just for the members of his family but for his enemies, too.

    Moonglow‘s other mission is to complicate our relationship to the stories we tell to and about each other and ourselves. At one point during Chabon’s conversations with his grandfather, the old man loses his temper and tells his grandson to stop trying to make an accumulation of “dates, and names, and numbers” add up to a satisfying narrative, one that could help Chabon make sense of their lives. Just as scientists tried and failed to explain the Challenger explosion, Chabon’s grandfather says, “‘The answer was always going to be dates, and names, and numbers….the point was to find out. The meaning was in the inquiry.'”

    Helped out by an unlikely discovery in the flood-damaged boxes in an old therapist’s estate, Chabon does end up with an explanation of sorts for the equivalent of the Challenger explosion in his own history (his grandmother’s madness). It is an explanation fuller than any his grandfather himself ever received; but like many explanations, it still prompts more questions than it answers. That’s okay. The meaning is in the inquiry. Besides, as Chabon has put it together, this inquiry is well-written, engrossing, and emotional. Its professed loyalties may be to the moon, but, like one of his grandfather’s beloved rockets, and like one of his grandmother’s beloved episodes of arson, this story manages to astonish while shedding both light and heat.

    Shop all new releases

    The post Michael Chabon enchants with Moonglow appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 9:04 pm on 2016/11/01 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , inspiration, , michael chabon, , , ,   

    Get Ready for National Novel Writing Month with 5 Fictional Authors 

    It’s that time of year again, the magical, horrible month when authors, aspiring and otherwise, attempt to write an entire novel in 3o days. Some do NaNoWriMo for the challenge, some do it to finally check write novel off of their bucket lists, and some do it just for the experience. Whatever your reasons, it’s always one of the most difficult and most rewarding writing exercises of the year.

    NaNoWriMo is like a marathon: it requires a lot of inspiration to get you over the finish line. This can come in many forms, but every writer knows that fiction itself is the most nourishing thing a writer can take in. Here are five novels about fictional authors that have something to teach anyone trying to crank out a novel-length story between now and November 30.

    Atonement, by Ian McEwan
    Lesson: Fiction is Powerful Stuff

    Spoilers ahead!
    McEwan’s twisty novel tells the tale of Briony Tallis, bestelling author. As a child, Briony commits a terrible act that impacts those around her in awful ways. As time goes by, however, the victims of her immature mistakes recover and go on to live their lives, although they refuse to forgive Briony even as she declares her intentions to do what she can to make things right. The final, devastating twist reveals that Briony has been writing the story all along, and rewriting history to make it happier—in real life her victims never recovered and died young, unfulfilled. The lesson in Briony’s deception is dark and powerful: your experiences are just the inspiration for your stories. Dark or not, the things that inspire you to write don’t have to be rendered accurately. As a writer, you can change everything to suit your purpose, so don’t hesitate to embellish, deceive, and omit.

    Breakfast of Champions, by Kurt Vonnegut
    Lesson: Novels Change Lives
    Kurt Vonnegut was a writer who somehow combined not taking himself seriously with powerful writing that still sparks arguments to this day. In Breakfast of Champions, Vonnegut’s alter-ego, writer Kilgore Trout (who appears in many of Vonnegut’s stories), travels to a low-rent convention in Ohio, where he’s destined to meet an insane fan who believes Trout’s speculative fiction is real. Vonnegut uses this premise, as always, to explore free will and existence in various absurd and darkly humorous ways, but the takeaway for anyone who finds themselves depressed and frustrated on, say, day thirteen of NaNoWiMo, is simple: what you write is like wild magic. Once it’s released into the world, you have no control over how it will affect other people. That sort of crackling, electric possibility should inspire anyone to finish what they’ve started.

    The Ghost Writer, by Philip Roth
    Lesson: Think Before You Write

    Nathan Zuckerman may be Roth’s greatest creation, an author avatar who remains fascinating throughout nine novels. In the first of the Zuckerman Opus, Nathan struggles with something all writers should think about: balancing honesty with artistry. As Nathan struggles with the fallout from writing about his own Jewish community in a negative way (prompting questions of his responsibility to not fan the flames of anti-Jewish sentiment versus his need to be honest in his writing), every author working on a NaNoWriMo book should take the hint and ask themselves some honest questions about their inspiration, motivation, and how their work might affect their intimates and the community around them.

    The Dark Half, by Stephen King
    Lesson: Don’t Shy Away from Darkness

    Writing is confessional. In fact, the more you attempt to obscure the personal demons and angels that inspire your work, the more artificial it will seem to readers. King’s horror novel is, on the one hand, the story of a writer whose public works don’t sell well, but whose trashy crime novels written under a pseudonym sell like hotcakes. When he “kills off” his pseudonym, however, his dark half seems to come to life and launch a violent killing spree. You’ll have to read the book to find out if he’s crazy or if there’s some other explanation, but the takeaway for a NaNoWriMo writer is this: don’t fight your true muse. If there’s daylight between the books you think you should be writing and the books you’re actually inspired to write, use this month to indulge your id and just write whatever your Dark Half wants to write. You’ll be amazed how easy writing suddenly becomes.

    Wonder Boys, by Michael Chabon
    Lesson: Just Finish It

    Chabon, inspired by his own out-of-control manuscript, offers up Grady Tripp, a writer who has been working on his second novel for seven years, amassing more than 2,500 manuscript pages. That Grady Tripp should be the patron saint of NaNoWriMo might not be obvious; after all, the point of this month is to finish a novel. But reading about Grady’s increasingly disorganized and hectic life is precisely the sort of inspiration you need, because in a sense that unfinished novel is the cause of all of Tripp’s problems. Reading Wonder Boys right before NaNoWriMo will offer up all the inspiration you need to ensure that on Day 30, you’ll be typing THE END instead of allowing your novel to spiral off into a madness of endless revisions.

    The post Get Ready for National Novel Writing Month with 5 Fictional Authors appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Sona Charaipotra 8:00 pm on 2016/11/01 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , fannie flagg, , fredrik backman, , michael chabon, , wally lamb,   

    November’s Best New Fiction 

    It’s November, and some delicious dramas are headed for the fiction shelf, along with everygirl allegories and nostalgia trips from heavy hitters. Anne Rice returns with the twelfth tale in her long-running Interview With A Vampire series, and Jeffrey Archer wraps up his Clifton Chronicles series. Fredrik Backman, Wally Lamb and Michael Chabon revive the old man reflecting back on his life genre, while Zadie Smith and Alice Hoffman take on the modern woman. Danielle Steel serves up her sixth book this year, and if you’re in the mood for something sumptuous, add Daisy Goodwin’s latest, Victoria, to your TBR.

    Prince Lestat & The Realms of Atlantis, by Anne Rice
    Before the sparkling teen vampires of Twilight, there was the New Orleans swagger of the Vampire Lestat, the centerpiece of Anne Rice’s so very devourable series about bloodlust and, well, plain old lust, too. Here she presents the twelfth installment in her moody, atmospheric series, this time focusing the old soul as he’s possessed by some even more ancient magic, the Atalantaya, and explores the depths of the long lost city of Atlantis, reckoning with a power that may overcome even the millennia-old vagabond vamp we’ve come to know and love.

    The Whole Town’s Talking, by Fannie Flagg
    Flagg, the author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café (which spawned the Academy Award–nominated movie Fried Green Tomatoes), takes us back into small-town America, this time to the heart of Elmwood Springs, Missouri, where things are anything but dead. In fact, the dearly departed are very much a part of everyday life for the Nordstroms, most especially former mayor Lordor, his head-over-heels mail-order bride, and a clan of interconnected families stretching across generations, more than a century, and four wars. Quirky and quippy, with plenty of heart.

    This Was A Man, by Jeffrey Archer
    The seventh and final book in the Clifton Chronicles series brings the drama to a startling conclusion that starts with shots fired—by whom and why?—and ends with a twist that will leave fans wishing for more. Alliances are created, bent, and shattered, and of course there’s plenty of love and loss. The arrival of the stunning conclusion to Archer’s soapy saga is the perfect time to binge-read the whole series, if you haven’t started it yet.

    The Award, by Danielle Steel
    Shelf staple Steel’s latest—her sixth this year—follows young Gaëlle de Barbet into the thick of German-occupied France in the 1940s, as her best friend Rebekah and her family are carted off to horrific fates. Just a teen, she joins the French resistance, determined to do for others what she could not do for her friend. In the aftermath of war, the novel follows the protégé as she becomes a Dior model, mother, and museum curator, living to honor those who were lost even as she’s wrongfully marked a German collaborator.

    Victoria, by Daisy Goodwin
    A coming of age story about a queen. A thoughtful and thorough companion to Goodwin’s Masterpiece Theater collaboration with PBS, the novelized Victoria draws on the stellar storytelling Goodwin employed in recent bestsellers like The American Heiress and The Fortune Hunter while also borrowing from the diaries of Queen Victoria, which the author began studying as a student at Cambridge University. Luxury, romance, politics, and plenty of drama—fans of Goodwin’s work will eat this one up.

    I’ll Take You There, by Wally Lamb
    Lamb, perhaps best known for his stunning She’s Come Undone, follows a 60something film critic who must reexamine his own history in this flash-backing This Is Your Life-style take on his history. It’s presented to him by two spirited (quite literally, they’re ghosts) Hollywood dames who show him scenes from his life in order to illuminate his future path. These windows onto his past reveal tensions with the women in his life, including his daughter, sister, and a pageant queen with a family connection.

    Swing Time, by Zadie Smith
    Smith’s hotly anticipated return, her first novel since 2013’s NW, is a jazzy, rhythmic rumination on dance and destiny, friendships and fate, following the connection between two mixed-race girls who connect in a class and become intertwined by the love that binds them as not-quite-sisters—bonds of understanding, connection, competition. The unnamed narrator and her best friend, Tracey, are mirrors and foils, and in their relationship find stunning grace and keen hurt. A deeply felt narrative that’s worth the wait.

    And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer, by Fredrik Backman
    From the New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove comes this novella full of hope and history, the story of one man’s life and precious memories, which will soon be lost as he loses his mind’s light. But as they fade, new moments become memories, ones he shares with his son and his grandson, who learn to let go even as they hold on tight to the stories he shares.

    Faithful, by Alice Hoffman
    Hoffman, author of The Marriage of OppositesThe Dovekeepersand other bestsellers, chronicles the story of Shelby Richmond, remarkable only in her ordinariness, until a tragedy strikes that splits her life forever into before and after. A survivor’s story, Faithful is a portrait of a modern young everygirl, one guided and guarded by something special. Grief, faith, healing, and the strength to keep going drive this novel, a sparkling take on an largely unextraordinary life.

    Moonglow, by Michael Chabon
    Pulitizer Prize winner Chabon follows up bestselling Telegraph Avenue with Moonglow, a deathbed confessional inspired by the author’s own grandfather’s tales. Here, he follows narrator Mike’s now-deceased Jewish grandparents through their travails in midcentury America, juxtaposing their love story and the drama of immigration with the details of a country at the edge of war and the technological revolution, creating a bright, vivid portrait rich with detail.

    The post November’s Best New Fiction appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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