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  • Tara Sonin 7:00 pm on 2018/01/10 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , breath of magic, crystal cove, , daughter of the blood, , erika mailman, , , , , , , , , naomi novik, neil gaiman, , paula brackson, practical magic, , , , , the witches of east end, the witching hour, the witchs daughter, the witchs trinity, toil and trouble, uprooted, , wicked deeds on a winters night, witch and wizard   

    16 Witchy Books You Need This Winter 

    You may think Autumn is the only time for witchery, but we say winter and witches go together like snowflakes and hot cocoa! If January has been keeping you cold, here are some witchy reads that will excite…and maybe even scare you a bit, too.

    A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness
    When factions of supernatural creatures set their sights on a document that could give them the upper hand in a war, a reluctant witch must seek the protection of an equally reluctant vampire, her supposed mortal enemy. Witch stories have a tendency to emphasize the importance of family…but in this case, it could be her own family that wants her dead. Can true love between two warring beings prevail?

    Practical Magic, by Alice Hoffman
    The Owens sisters are cursed: the men that they love will always die. But with that curse comes unique abilities—magic—that on more than one occasion, they have used to try and prevent others that they love from falling prey to the same fate. Gillian and Sally grew up as outsiders, always trying to escape the rumors about their family. One of them married, and the other ran away, determined never to do so. But when tragedy brings them together again, the curse is always there to welcome them home…

    Dark Witch, by Nora Roberts
    In this witchy trilogy, Iona Sheehan travels to Ireland to connect with family she has always yearned to know. Reunited with her cousins in the home of her ancestors, Iona is hopeful she’s found everything she’s been looking for. And then she meets Boyle MacGrath: a cowboy with no ties, except the one winding its way around her heart.

    Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night, by Kresley Cole
    In the fourth installment in this paranormal romance series, Mariketa the witch has been stripped of her magic, leaving her with no choice but to seek the protection of her greatest enemy, Bowen MacRieve. Bowen is a tortured werewolf determined never to let his heart belong to another—especially Mari—but soon enough, they cannot deny the passion between them. Forbidden love, evil forces, and magic combine for a riveting tale.

    Breath of Magic, by Teresa Medeiros
    Arian Whitewood is a witch from the seventeenth century…which means she does not belong three hundred years in the future, but alas, that’s where a mysterious amulet takes her. She meets Tristan Lennox, a billionaire with no faith in magic…and so he never expected his reward of 1 million dollars to the person who could prove its existence to ever come true. Outlander fans will love this reverse-time-travel billionaire romance.

    Crystal Cove, by Lisa Kleypas
    Friday Harbor has been a good home to Justine; here she’s found the stability she never had with her untamable mother, Marigold, and she enjoys the safety in her mundane life of running a small hotel. But then, her world is rocked by the truth that her lack of love is the result of a dark curse cast on her at birth.

    The Witch’s Daughter, by Paula Brackston
    One of the most fascinating and engrossing witch tales I’ve ever read: you will not be able to look away from the tale of Elizabeth Hawksmith, a witch who has survived over three-hundred years in loneliness, only to discover a Witchfinder from her past has been stalking her through time, determined to collect on a debt. But this time, Elizabeth can’t run: she has a teenage girl under her care, and something more important than her own immortality to protect.

    The Witches of East End, by Melissa De La Cruz
    The Beauchamp witches try to live a normal life; the fact that they are forbidden to practice magic makes that slightly easier. But when murder and mystery find them in their solitude, they decide the time has come to defy the rules and do what must be done to defeat the evil in their midst.

    Daughter of the Blood, by Anne Bishop
    This high fantasy in which power is manifested through magical gems stars a mysterious Queen who will rise to a power stronger even than Hell itself. Three men seek to find and control the girl who is destined to ascend the throne in a ruthless quest of corruption, greed, and lust.

    Wicked, by Gregory Maguire
    The story of the Wicked Witch of the West begins at birth—born green, an outcast in society, she is nonetheless destined to wield a magic that will make her infamous. This villain origin story is action-packed, beautiful, and romantic.

    The Witch’s Trinity, by Erika Mailman
    This fascinating tale of witchcraft, fear, and history begins in 1507 when a German town is struck by a famine…which one friar believes is the result of witchcraft. Güde Müller has been tormented by visions that she cannot explain…and soon she realizes that her position in the town is compromised, perhaps even by her own family.

    The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman
    This unique story is difficult to describe, but incredibly ethereal, dark, and haunting. A man comes home to Sussex for a funeral, and is drawn to the mysterious house at the end of the road where, as a child, he met a mysterious girl and something magical and dangerous happened to him as a child.

    The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, by Katherine Howe
    Connie’s summer is full to the brim with research for her PhD. But when her mother asks her to help handle the sale of her grandmother’s house, Connie finds herself pulled into a dark mystery involving a family bible, an old key, and a name: Deliverance Dane. Who was she? And why is Connie suddenly having visions of the Salem Witch Trials?

    Uprooted, by Naomi Novik
    A terrifying wizard known as The Dragon kidnaps girls in a small town every ten years—and soon, Agnieszka’s best friend will be chosen. That is, until a twist of fate results in her being chosen instead.

    Witch and Wizard, by James Patterson
    In a dystopian world of governmental control, Wisty and Whit Allgood are siblings accused of being a witch and wizard. Young people everywhere have been torn from their homes and forced to face judgment for this “crime” of magic.

    The Witching Hour, by Anne Rice
    This lush, dark, and gorgeously gory paranormal series introduces readers to the Mayfair witches, whose stories have been told for centuries by the Talamasca. This time, Rowan Mayfair is a neurosurgeon who never knew of her abilities until one day when she brings a man back from the dead. Cursed (or gifted, or both) with the ability to see the dark realm and the evil spirit who wants to come through to the mortal realm, Rowan must find a way to defeat him and protect the world—and people—she loves.

    What witchy books do you love?

    The post 16 Witchy Books You Need This Winter appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Ross Johnson 8:30 pm on 2016/09/23 Permalink
    Tags: , , director's cut, , neil gaiman, , raymond carver, , , version 1.0   

    Our Favorite Book “Director’s Cuts” 

    For better or worse, the “director’s cut” has become ubiquitous in film. It’s almost a given that the home version of a popular film will squeeze in a few extra minutes of material cut from the theatrical release (thank George Lucas for sparking the trend). Once in a while, though, these are more than simple attempts to encourage viewers to check out a movie a second time: in rare cases, director’s cuts offer a superior, and markedly different, experience, deepening the plot and enriching the characters.

    This phenomenon has been known to occur in the book world too, albeit much less often (editors do occasionally know what they’re talking about). We were fascinated by Harper Lee’s controversial Go Set a Watchman, apparently a very early version of her classic To Kill a Mockingbird. While Watchmen has virtues all its own, and makes for a very interesting class in the development of a novel, few would argue with the notion that Lee’s editor made an extraordinary contribution to 20th century literature when he asked for that rewrite.

    Still, there are plenty of reasons why an author (or her heirs) might want an alternate version to see the light of day: changing standards might mean once controversial material will sit better with the contemporary public; hot button topics might have cooled; an author’s popularity might mean that a book that once seemed unmarketable for its length might be a bestseller all over again. Here are a few instances in which a book’s “director’s cut” (or, sometimes, the “author’s preferred text”) makes a case for eclipsing the original.

    American Gods and Neverwhere Anniversary Editions, by Neil Gaiman
    For the 10th anniversary edition of American Gods, he  went back to tweak and adjust things with which he wasn’t thrilled in the published edition, largely by reinserting material cut upon initial publication. The additions run to something like 12,000 words, but it’s almost all material that had been cut in order to make for a more reasonably sized book. Given time and trust, we readers will frequently invest more time in an author whom we love, so size becomes less of an issue.

    American Gods wasn’t the first time Gaiman used the very fine excuse of a milestone anniversary to refine an earlier edition of one of his books. In Neverwhere, the differences are more focused. Simply put, Gaiman was never entirely satisfied with the changes he made in order to make the book more palatable to American audiences. For the U.S. edition, he’d added several thousands words, frequently to clarify the British setting and slang, and cutting other bits to compensate. He was also asked to curtail or remove much of the humor, the publisher feeling it would go well over the heads of us Yanks (the same thing happened with Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy—jokes deemed too obscure for Americans were frequently altered to make them simply nonsensical). Gaiman’s preferred version restores and revises much of that added material, tweaking the book while restoring it to a purer state. He also added back a deleted prologue, and tacked on a new story. All in all, the author’s preferred edition is the largely the superior text.

    The Stand, by Stephen King
    The Stand was never a small book. When originally published in 1978, King’s post-apocalyptic horror adventure clocked in at around 800 pages. (That was the edited version.) King was a well-established figure even back then, but it was apparently felt his original manuscript would actively discourage readers from picking it up (perhaps literally). By 1990, things were quite a bit different: The Stand was already considered a classic (one soon to become a TV miniseries), and King was more than just a bestselling author—he was a living legend. Suddenly, buying a giant book by one of the most popular writers of his generation felt less like a chore and more like a bargain. King went back to his original text to selectively add back in scenes and scenarios, also throwing in a few “contemporary” pop culture references and updating the setting to the 1990s. The revised edition is some 400 pages longer, and good luck finding the originally published version today—it’s been out of print for decades, making comparing the two an exercise in trolling used book dealers.

    Twilight Tenth Anniversary/Life and Death Dual Edition, by Stephenie Meyer
    This one isn’t exactly a “director’s cut” in the usual sense of the term. The anniversary edition of Stephenie Meyer’s sparkly vampires saga includes the original novel, unchanged, but adds an extra 400-ish pages that take the story in a whole new direction—replacing main characters Bella and Edward with Beau and Edyth, gender-swapped versions of the romantic leads. Indeed, almost every character gets switched with one of the opposite gender, including physical powerhouse Emmett, who becomes the similarly imposing Eleanor. It’s essentially a whole new novel, even if the story beats (and the majority of the text) are largely the same, and controversial for all sorts of reasons. It’s a unique experiment, and a fun way to give fans a little something extra.

    A Farewell to Arms: The Hemingway Library Edition, by Ernest Hemingway
    There’s only one A Farewell to Arms, but here’s one instance where Hemingway has something in common with Stephenie Meyer: each of their books is available in editions which allow you to have a taste of what might have been. A recent edition of Farewell to Arms offers not just one different take, but several dozen—47, to be exact, one for each of the notoriously deliberate writer’s attempts at a conclusion. (Spoilers ahead!) In the original, Frederic Henry steps ambiguously into the rain, having lost his lover Catherine along with his stillborn son. But that was just one of the possibilities Hemingway considered; in others, the son lives. Some offer uplifting, deliberately religious messages of hope. Some are deeply romantic. Not one matches the power of the ending ultimately selected, but it’s fascinating to see the author posthumously working out a conclusion—and a reminder that much of the magic of writing is in rewriting.

    Stranger in a Strange Land: The Original Uncut Version, by Robert A. Heinlein
    Despite not arriving on shelves until three years after the death of its author, the expanded edition of Robert Heinlein’s free-love classic is generally regarded as superior, to the tune of around 60,000 extra words. In 1961, Heinlein produced what he felt was a tightly plotted and complete novel, and which his publisher criticized as way too long and filled with far too much sex and religious commentary. Given the controversy and impact that the abridged version generated, perhaps Putnam was right. In the early ’90s, Heinlein’s widow Virginia was able to secure the book’s copyright and set about procuring the original manuscript and publishing a version that matched her husband’s intent more closely. Typically we frown upon family members who revise classic novels once an author has passed, but in the case, few doubt the expanded version is the book that Robert Heinlein planned all along.

    A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
    In Heinlein’s case, his manuscript was trimmed in order to produce something slightly tamer, any good publisher’s goal being, of course, to produce something people will actually want to buy. Though it was approximately contemporaneous, American publishers had a different goal in mind when bringing Anthony Burgess’ dystopian classic of ultraviolence and behavior modification to the U.S.: they wanted something darker than what they’d found in the original UK version. (Spoilers ahead!) As originally released, the book included a 21st chapter not found in American editions until 1986. Legend has it that director Stanley Kubrick wasn’t even aware of the intended conclusion when he made his film version. In that last chapter, anti-hero Alex discovers the error of his ways and seeks to change his life for the better. Without that last bit, the book ends with Alex having given in to his darkest impulses. It’s possible that the American publisher felt Alex’s redemption undercut the book’s dystopian vision. Or, maybe, they just thought it was cooler without the happy ending.

    What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, by Raymond Carver
    Another interesting alternate edition, and a stand-in for many authors whose work was mercilessly edited against their will. Carver was a short story writer whose work in the 1970s and 1980s—its deliberately spare prose style, chronicling the trials of the American working class—served to remind everyone that short fiction can be as thoughtful and probing as novels. The short story collection What We Talk About…was his breakthrough work, earning him critical acclaim and mainstream attention. It was overseen by legendary editor Gordon Lish, with whom Carver clashed over extensive edits, particularly to the title story. The Library of America edition includes the published text, as well as the original manuscript of the story, then called “Beginners.” Some of the changes are inexplicable but inconsequential, as when “Carl” became “Ed.” Others are more interesting: the edited version is significantly shorter, cutting out whole subplots to create a tighter narrative, but one lacking some of the depth of the original. Both have their virtues, and it’s fascinating to compare them.

    What’s your favorite “director’s cut” book?

    The post Our Favorite Book “Director’s Cuts” appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Diana Biller 2:50 pm on 2015/07/28 Permalink
    Tags: alexander pushkin, , , , neil gaiman, , ,   

    8 Book Recommendations for Our Favorite Avengers 

    It’s a tough job, saving the world, and when you have to do it with the regularity that the Avengers do, well, I can only imagine it wears you down. Between all the rescuing and the heartbreak and the creation of new and ever more dangerous villains, it’s hard for Earth’s mightiest heroes to get the R&R they deserve.

    Because absolutely no one wants to deal with an Avenger in the middle of a mental breakdown, we’re going to do the public a solid and offer 8 book recommendations tailored to each Avenger’s (the movie team, not the current comics one) reading preferences. So go ahead, guys, take a break. Draw yourself a bubble bath, put some jazz on, and lose yourself in an awesome book. We’ll call you if we need you.

    Captain America/Steve Rogers
    Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon
    You can’t convince me the good Captain doesn’t like curling up with a sweeping love story at the end of the day, and the Outlander series provides that in spades. He’ll also identify with the protagonist, a nurse from his own original World War II era who accidentally steps through time to 18th-century Scotland, and likely will find her attempts to acclimate to her new environment both absorbing and familiar. Even better, he’ll be able to enjoy the Outlander television series from Battlestar Galactica‘s Ronald D. Moore—maybe he and Agent 13 can have viewing parties?

    Iron Man/Tony Stark
    The Wicked + The Divine, by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie
    Tony Stark lives a fast-paced, glamorous sort of life, and so he needs a fast-paced, glamorous sort of read for when he’s hanging out on the corporate jet. Enter The Wicked + The Divine, one of the buzzier comic titles of the last year, best described as being about rockstar gods who incarnate/merge with humans every ninety years, then die two years later. Filled with razor-sharp dialogue, stylish pop art, and the occasional bit of gruesome violence, this is sure to please Stark—who, let’s face it, is pretty sure he’s a rockstar god himself.

    Thor
    American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
    Thor is going to have many thoughts when he’s done with Gaiman’s hugely popular road-trip novel about new and old gods struggling for power across America—probably mostly about what the author got wrong, which he’ll detail in a lengthy and verbose letter to Mr. Gaiman himself. And then for the next month he’ll be horrible at parties, because he’ll buttonhole people to ask if they’ve read the book and then explain to them, whether they’ve read it or not, exactly how the characters of Odin and Loki diverge from the originals. But listen, he was always going to read it, and it’s better to get it out of the way sooner rather than later.

    Hawkeye/Clint Barton
    The Outlaws of Sherwood, by Robin McKinley
    Hawkeye enjoyed The Hunger Games so much we thought we’d suggest another story about a famous archer, this time McKinley’s excellent retelling of the Robin Hood story. Of course, he fancies himself a bit of an Everyman hero as well, which makes Outlaws right up his alley: when Robin is forced to go into hiding, he and his friends (including several awesome female characters either not present or sadly undersold in the original tale) find themselves drawn into a resistance movement opposing the greedy and corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham. Maybe once Hawkeye’s done with that he can move on to yet another important archer: a certain Green Arrow.

    Black Widow/Natalia Romanova, aka Natasha Romanoff
    Eugene Onegin: And Other Poems, by Alexander Pushkin
    Natasha doesn’t have a lot of time for reading, but when she does, she likes to make it count. In honesty, most of her reading material consists of things like stolen top-secret documents and weapon manuals, but she also has a soft spot for the man frequently referred to as the Russian Shakespeare: Alexander Pushkin. With this in mind, we think she’ll enjoy this collection of his poetry, centering around Eugene Onegin, a novel in verse and one of Pushkin’s most famous works.

    Bruce Banner/Hulk
    The Color of Magic, by Terry Pratchett
    With his passion for science, wry sense of humor, and very serious need for diverting and uplifting entertainment (you saw what happened in the last movie—dude needs some fun reading), Bruce seems like a perfect match for Sir Terry’s works, so you can imagine our surprise when we learned he has not yet been introduced to them. The Color of Magic is a good place to start for those wanting to enter the Discworld series: it’s the first book Pratchett wrote in it, and introduces us to the inept wizard Rincewind, a man so bad at magic he’s referred to as “the magical equivalent to the number zero.”

    What books would you recommend to the Avengers?

     
  • Jenny Kawecki 4:30 pm on 2015/06/12 Permalink
    Tags: , , lang leav, , neil gaiman, noelle stevenson, put it on the list, , , ,   

    7 Books That Should Be on Your Required Summer Reading List 

    Required summer reading: occasionally awesome, but more often than not, a stack of unexciting books that sits around gathering dust until the very last possible moment. Can’t we all agree it’s time to add some new ink to the list? If I had my way, you’d all have to read these this summer (and hand me a 500-word book report on the first day of school. I’m nice, not a pushover)

    American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
    Shadow is expecting to be released from prison and return home to his beautiful wife. Instead, he learns his wife has died in an accident, and he enters the employ of a strange man named Mr. Wednesday. Soon, he’s entrenched in a battle between the old and new deities of the world, dealing with some of the most powerful tricksters of all time. Not only is American Gods an excellent read, it’s also an educational foray into various ancient religions of the world—a book that’s sure to make you just as interested in the myths behind them as you will be in now reading every Neil Gaiman book ever.

    Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
    Cal’s family has a secret: a little trick of DNA that’s enough to turn Calliope, a nice Greek girl, into Cal, an American living in Germany who’s telling us his story. Over the course of three generations, he reveals how traits got passed down along his family tree, making him the man he is today—and not the girl his family originally thought he was. With loads of history and medical information to spare, Middlesex explores the world of personal transformation and self-discovery in a way that’s both fascinating and relevant.

    Love and Misadventure, by Lang Leav
    Because no summer reading list would be complete without a bit of poetry, right? Lang Leav’s Love and Misadventure is the perfect choice for a wide audience. The writing is simple and unassuming, an easy segue into poetry for the non-poetic, and the topic is universal: love. It’s an easy-to-follow narrative, tackling the ups and downs of infatuation and heartbreak and everything in between. Bonus: there are even a few illustrations.

    Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson
    Reverend John Ames knows he’s not going to see his son grow up, so he’s writing him letters. As he explores his own life and the lives of his father and grandfather before him, Ames records his musings on life and love and faith, often choosing to focus on how beautiful and strange the world is. Gilead fills the dark and brooding spot on your required reading list—something to remind us you can be perfectly confused and lost and still feel an extreme amount of joy and wonder.

    Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson
    Meet Nimona, the shape-shifting sidekick of Lord Ballister Blackheart, villain extraordinaire. Together, they aim to reveal the dubious nature of the kingdom’s most well-loved heroes, especially Blackheart’s friend-turned-nemesis, Sir Ambrose Goldenloin. Why read it? Because in between all the hilarity and color, there are some important thoughts on the nature of good and evil and what it really means to have morals. (Yes, villains can have rules, too.) Plus, okay, it’s just fun to read.

    On Beauty, by Zadie Smith
    Meet the Belseys, an interracial family living in a very white, collegiate town. With their marriage on the rocks and their children set on chasing after very different (somewhat problematic) lives, Howard and Kiki hardly know which issue to pursue first, especially now that Howard’s arch-rival has moved to town. Caught between two very different cultures, each of the Belseys has to decide which standard of beauty they’re going to live for—because what else is there? It’s an important look at how our perceptions of what’s ideal affect how we treat ourselves, and what’s it’s like to feel out of place in a homogenous world.

    Slouching Towards Bethlehem, by Joan Didion
    Rounding off your new required reading with a little bit of nonfiction, Joan Didion’s essay collection Slouching Towards Bethlehem explores the world of 1960s California, contrasting lifestyles that are at opposite ends of the political, financial, and social spectrum—and yet still, somehow, eerily similar. Understanding without judging, Didion shows you can disagree and still respect the common thread of humanity that runs through us all. It’s not only a fascinating look at recent history, but also a glimpse at the joy of well-honed writing, with nothing extra to get in the way of the facts.

    What books do you think everyone should read this summer?

     
  • Jeff Somers 5:30 pm on 2015/05/21 Permalink
    Tags: , , , neil gaiman, robert louis stevenson, , small packages, , tim o'brien   

    The 5 Best Single-Author Anthologies 

    Novels tend to get all the attention. Sure, they can absorb us for long periods of time, but short stories are often more challenging to write, because writers have much less room to develop a setting and characters or outline a plot. There are many anthologies of great stories by multiple writers—but those who can create enough successful short works to fill an anthology all their own deserve to be celebrated. Here are five single-author anthologies that will keep your attention as long as a novel does, but offer you a variety of stories, styles, and ideas.

    Skeleton Crew, by Stephen King
    Stephen King is consistently one of the most entertaining and surprising writers in the world. He’s also a master of the short story—in fact, he launched his early career selling short works to magazines of a distinctly adult nature. It’s no surprise he has several anthologies out there, but for our money, his best collection remains the awesome Skeleton Crew, which contains three of the most chilling short stories ever penned: “The Mist,” “The Jaunt,” and “Survivor Type,” the story that ruined the McDonald’s jingle for everyone.

    Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde and Other Stories, by Robert Louis Stevenson
    Want to feel classy and entertained at the same time? Pick up a copy of this collection of Robert Louis Stevenson’s works. Not only will you get to read one of the world’s most famous stories, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” you’ll also get several of Stevenson’s best shorter works, including “Lodging for the Night,” “The Suicide Club,” “Thrawn Janet,” “Markheim,” and famous story “The Body Snatcher,” which offers up an ending that’s still pretty shocking today, more than a century after it was written.

    Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders, by Neil Gaiman
    One of the great things about anthologies is that they collect stories from a wide range of sources into one convenient, affordable place. Neil Gaiman is, of course, a global treasure, and his short stories pop up all over the place—which makes tracking them down difficult. That is, until they’re collected in an awesome anthology like Fragile Things, which contains some of Neil himself’s best short work, like “The Problem of Susan,” which explores Susan Pevensie’s absence from C.S. Lewis’s The Last Battle, and the Locus and Hugo Award–winning stories “How to Talk to Girls at Parties,” “Sunbird,” and “A Study in Emerald.”

    The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien
    You know what’s also great about short stories? They’re short. Tim O’Brien’s reality-based, metafictional exploration of the Vietnam War and the men who fought and died in it is at turns brutal, grim, hilarious, and thoughtful—often all at once—and his approach to the semi-autobiographical material is singular, as is his voice, which recedes so far into the background you have the illusion of being the person thinking the thoughts on the page. Absolutely American, rightfully lauded, and still taught in many schools, this is definitely an anthology you should read at least once in your lifetime.

    The Complete Stories, by Flannery O’Connor
    Put simply, Flannery O’Connor is the greatest modern short story writer, and if you’re unfamiliar with her work, you’re doing yourself a disservice. O’Connor wrote two novels—both tellingly assembled from shorter works, making them essentially tightly bound anthologies—but it’s her 32 published short stories that remain among the best ever written. This anthology won the 1972 National Book Award for good reason: it contains her most famous works (“A Good Man is Hard to Find” and “The Life You Save May be Your Own”) as well as several lesser-known stories that don’t appear in other anthologies. If you’re going to read one book this year, make it this one.

     
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