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  • Tara Sonin 6:00 pm on 2018/01/18 Permalink
    Tags: , a season with the witch, , , being nixon, , , bullies, , cooked, devil’s bargain, escape from camp 14, , , how google works, how we got to now, in the garden of beasts, , it’s okay to laugh, , , mistress of the vatican, muslim girl, Night, nonfiction, orientalism, radium girls, , , shrill, silent spring, , stamped from the beginning, the autobiography of malcolm x, the blood of emmett till, the crown, the immortal life of henrietta lacks, the new jim crow, the origins of totalitarianism, the six wives of henry viii, the subtle art of not giving a f*ck, , , victoria the queen, we should all be feminists, we were eight years in power, welcome to the universe, what happened, , world without mind, year of yes,   

    50 Nonfiction Books that Will Make You Smarter in 2018 

    It’s 2018, and we’ve all heard the phrase “New Year, New You”…but here’s the thing: being you is actually the best, because you’re the only you there could ever be! So instead of trying to reinvent yourself, why not read some nonfiction books to help yourself be the smartest, most interesting, well-informed person you could be? (Also, you’ll know so much it will be impossible not to impress people at parties.)

    1776, by David McCullough
    Hamilton fans, if you can’t get enough of Revolutionary history, this book is your next read. It follows both the North American and British sides of the conflict, and focuses on two leaders in particular: George Washington, and Red Coat commander William Howe. Factual but fun to read, American history that won’t put you to sleep.

    Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow
    Another mandatory pick for Hamilton fans; the book the musical is based on! Follow Hamilton’s haunting upbringing as a poor, but brilliant kid in the Caribbean who travels to America with the hope of changing the world…and the downfall he could not recover from.

    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacksby Rebecca Skloot
    This true story confronts the collision of science and systemic racism with the story of Henrietta Lacks, whose cells were taken without her consent for study…and are still living today.

    In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex, by Nathaniel Philbrick
    If you want to impress with facts from forgotten tales, this riveting thriller details the shipwreck of the Essex, the boat that inspired Moby Dick!

    The Origins of Totalitarianism, by Hannah Arendt
    History can certainly inform the present….that is, if we the people aren’t informed. This book starts in the 1800’s and continues through World War I. No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, history is history, and it never hurts to remember it.

    The Six Wives of Henry VIII, by Alison Weir
    On to a more scandalous historical figure…or six of them, actually! The wives of Henry VIII had interesting lives before they met him, and his impact on their lives—and in some cases, their deaths—altered history. Full of juicy details, this reads like a novel.

    Cleopatra, A Life, by Stacy Schiff
    Who WAS Cleopatra, a woman built into life by myth and legend? Historian Stacy Schiff gives you access to her palace and a world that you MUST read to believe: incest, murder, poison, infidelity, and more…why isn’t there a TV show about her again?

    MAUS I, by Art Spiegelman
    I first read this book when I was young, but the story has stayed with me forever. The author shares the story of his father’s experience during the holocaust in graphic novel form, using animals instead of humans to detail the horrifying experience.

    We Were Eight Years In Power, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
    This collection of essays that follow President Obama’s two terms is a fascinating deep-dive into how race impacted Obama’s presidency and the ensuing 2016 election.

    The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander
    Here’s an uncomfortable truth: The ripple effects of slavery and Jim Crow are still here due to a systemic mass incarceration problem, essentially enslaving millions of black men and women behind bars. Learn about this system of oppression in this difficult, but important book.

    Night, by Elie Wiesel
    This classic autobiography of one man’s journey to survive the Holocaust is a gripping portrait of both the depths of evil—and the precipice of hope—that human beings are capable of.

    How Google Works, by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg
    With terms like “net neutrality” leading in the news, it’s important to become informed on the intersection of tech and government…and where best to start than with Google? Learn about their founding history, philosophy, and what it takes to succeed there.

    Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert
    If tech isn’t your thing, but art, writing, dance or performance are, definitely check out Elizabeth Gilbert’s treatise and lifestyle guide for living creatively.

    How We Got to Now, by Steven Johnson
    The modern world wasn’t built in a day, but it did innovate to evolve. This book is great for history buffs and factoid-finders (and maybe a reluctant reader or two, because there are illustrations!).

    The Crown, by Robert Lacey
    Season Two of the hit Netflix TV show has aired, you’ve marathoned it already, and you want more! Check out the book the show is based on and relive all the shocking and emotional moments, this time on the page.

    Mistress of the Vatican, by Eleanor Herman
    This salacious non-fiction history delves into the sordid and secretive history of the Vatican, and the forgotten woman who helped a man become Pope.

    The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, by Mark Manson
    Look, 2017 was a rough year. So maybe the secret to success is not caring so much? Read this book and pass along the gospel of not giving a f*ck to your friends.

    Love Warrior, by Glennon Doyle
    Glennon Doyle shares the heartbreaking story of learning her husband was unfaithful, and how she took her broken marriage and used the opportunity to piece herself back together again.

    It’s Okay to Laugh, by Nora McIerney
    This memoir about a woman’s journey through becoming a young, widowed mother (and losing her father shortly after her husband’s death) is surprisingly hilarious. That’s what Nora does: she uses dark humor to guide herself through grief, and if you could use a little bit of that, this book is for you.

    The Autobiography of Malcolm X, by Malcolm X
    A definitive figure of the Civil Rights Movement, Malcom X’s biography is essential reading when it comes to understanding current race relations in the United States. Learn about his upbringing, his conversion to Islam, and his activism.

    Devil’s Bargain, by Joshua Green
    Moving from the past political situation to the present, this book is essential reading for newfound politicos who want to enter 2018 informed and engaged. It details Steve Bannon’s relationship with President Trump, and what it took to get him elected.

    Spark Joy, by Marie Kondo
    We all need a little more joy in our lives, so consult organizational specialist Marie Kondo for the ways you can get rid of clutter and make room in your heart for objects and people that make you happy.

    Bullies, by Alex Abramovich
    A fascinating story of a man who befriends his childhood bully later in life, this story can teach you about reaching beyond your bubble, finding common ground in common pain, and the importance of forgiveness.

    Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly
    Math is not my thing, but reading the story of the brilliant black women who got us to the moon totally is. These women worked as “human computers” and calculated what we would need to win the space race, but their stories have been lost to history until now.

    Stamped from the Beginning, by Ibram X. Kendi
    Be an informed citizen and read this detailed account of racism in America. Using the stories of prominent American intellectuals to frame the debates of assimilationists, segregationists, racists, and allies.

    Being Nixon, by Evan Thomas
    Learn about the man behind the Watergate scandal: his background with a troubled older brother, his service in the Navy, and his political ascent. We tend to define historical figures by one event, and this biography shares the whole picture.

    In the Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larson
    Imagine being an American in the government….working with Adolf Hitler. This fascinating true story follows the Ambassador to Hitler’s Third Reich, William E. Dodd, and his family, as they enter the garden, are charmed by the snake, and witness the atrocities firsthand.

    Escape from Camp 14, by Blaine Harden
    We know most things about Hitler’s Germany, but North Korea’s totalitarian regime is still, in many ways, a mystery. This is the haunting story of a person born inside a North Korean prison camp who escaped—after witnessing the executions of his family, being taught to distrust his fellow prisoners, and even fighting his mother for food.

    Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson
    The definitive text on the urgency of man-made harm to planet Earth, this book follows the banning of DDT and the sweeping reform that followed.

    Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, by Elena Favilli
    This book rides the border between fiction and non-fiction, but I’ll allow it, because it’s so cool. Reinvented stories about amazing women throughout history using fairytales as a framing device? Read this book yourself, then get it for everyone you know.

    What Happened, by Hillary Clinton
    Have you been living under a rock, or are just too busy/depressed/overwhelmed to deal with politics? Start 2018 on an informed note by reading the first female candidate for President’s account of the 2016 election.

    World Without Mind, by Franklin Foer
    Technology is the defining innovation of our time…but is it also the greatest threat? This book tracks the history of technological innovation, especially on the internet, and how it presents unseen dangers we need to prepare ourselves for.

    The Blood of Emmett Till, by Timothy B. Tyson
    We see stories of police brutality daily, but this story of civilian brutality had inexorable consequences on the Civil Rights Movement. Who was Emmett Till? And why has his murder shaped American history?

    Shrill, by Lindy West
    This memoir-slash-lifestyle guide for how to be a loud feminist who takes up space in a world that often wants women to be quiet, sweet, and invisible, is full of true stories about the importance of speaking out, showing up, and not caring if people call you “shrill.”

    Sex Object, by Jessica Valenti
    This book, on a similar theme, explores the impacts of sexism on the day-to-day lives of women.

    Muslim Girl, by Amani Al-Khatahtbeh
    This painful and beautiful memoir details the reality of growing up Muslim in the wake of 9/11, and how Amani struggling with the impact of Islamophobia before launching her groundbreaking website.

    Orientalism, by Edward Said
    The origins of the problematic view of “orientalism” still persists, but this classic book breaks down the cultural and political perspectives of the Middle and Near East, aiming to combat prejudiced western philosophy.

    Welcome to the Universe, by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Michael A. Strauss, and J. Richard Gott
    Something for the science nerd! (Or, aspiring science nerd.) Take a tour of the universe (literally) with renowned scientists explaining planets, aliens, and so much more.

    Salt: A World History, by Mark Kurlansky
    Have you ever thought of the history of things we use every day, and totally take for granted? I never thought of salt as having a history, but it does, and this interesting book details where it comes from, and why it matters so much.

    Cooked, by Michael Pollan
    This memoir is one of the most unique on the list, structurally and content-wise! It follows a food writer’s journey through exploring the different ways we cook things—with fire, water, air, and earth—and mastering the techniques we use to perfect our food.

    Yes Please, by Amy Poheler
    A funny memoir by one of the best comediennes ever, read about Amy’s (rough) beginnings in Hollywood, her persistent optimism, and why she loves being funny.

    Bossypants, by Tina Fey
    If you read Amy’s memoir, you have to read her BFF’s! Tina Fey is wry, witty, and has lots to say on what it takes to succeed as a woman in a man’s world in this hilarious book.

    Wild, by Cheryl Strayed
    When your life collapses and there’s nothing left, where do you go? For Cheryl Strayed, to the Pacific Crest Trail, to figure out what she wants and who she wants to be by putting her body to the ultimate physical test.

    Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand
    The story of a pilot brought down during World War II begins with a boy who would become an Olympian, despite a difficult childhood with a tendency towards defiance. It’s that defiance which saved his life years later in the Pacific Ocean, with only a life raft to guide him home.

    Victoria the Queen, by Julia Baird
    She was fifth in line for the throne, and only a teenager, but she became Queen. The second longest-reigning Queen in history, Victoria led a fascinating, passionate life: all of which is detailed in this book!

    A Season With the Witch, by J.W. Ocker
    Salem is an infamous place, ground zero to the 1692 Witch Trials. So when this writer decided to move his family to Salem in 2015 to experience Halloween in the most infamous stomping ground for witches.

    Radium Girls, by Kate Moore
    Radium is everywhere; in everything, and considered an essential ingredient to the beauty industry during World War I. But there is a dark underbelly to this element, experienced by girls working in factories to produce it who suddenly become ill.

    Year of Yes, by Shonda Rhimes
    Part how-to guide, part memoir, this uplifting (and short, perfect for commutes!) read by showrunner and TV writer extraordinaire Shonda Rhimes is the guide to positivity you need going into 2018.

    We Should All be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    Based on her incredible TED Talk, this book explores the intersections of women’s issues, politics, and race using the author’s own experience against the backdrop of history.

    Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
    Roxane Gay’s essays on what it means to be a woman of color in the modern age are funny and profound, and touch upon everything from pop-culture, how Hollywood approaches rape, privilege, and much more. You’ll certainly impress at a cocktail party with some insights from this one.

    The post 50 Nonfiction Books that Will Make You Smarter in 2018 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Joel Cunningham 5:00 pm on 2017/12/14 Permalink
    Tags: , fire on the track, nonfiction, roseanne montillo, the wilderness of ruin   

    Barnes & Noble Reads 2017-12-14 17:00:43 

    The booksellers who sit on the selection committee for our Discover Great New Writers program had a blast reading Roseanne Montillo’s Fire on the Track: Betty Robinson and the Triumph of the Early Olympic Women—and that includes booksellers who aren’t runners. Like Seabiscuit and The Boys in the Boat, Fire on the Track is an incredible—and timely—read, a perfect combination of well-researched history and inspirational storytelling.

    We asked Roseanne to take readers behind the scenes of Fire on the Track, and this is what she said…

    After watching figure skater Katarina Witt skating to Bolero during the 1988 Calgary games, I quickly signed up for figure skating classes. But I learned just as quickly that an icy surface, an ungainly figure, and a deep hatred for the cold would bring about the end of my short-lived Olympic dreams. Still, I continued to admire athletes: their discipline, their drive to succeed despite hurdles in their ways, and their devotion to hard work. Despite my lack of athletic ability, I identified with those qualities (in my case, those attributes would have to be channeled elsewhere).

    Eagerly, I tried to impart those same objectives to my students. Although most of the classes I taught were geared toward men and women, one in particular (called Love and Eroticism in Western Civilization) was primarily attended by female students. We mostly discussed works with female protagonists and as such, we talked about the issues that women encountered in literature and in life. Our discussions often spilled beyond the classroom; energized by the themes in our books, the students felt at ease speaking with me about gender and sexuality, misogyny in the workplace, poverty, racial bias, illness, abuse.

    Against the backdrop of these weighty conversations, I was also finishing another book, The Wilderness of Ruin. I was then not searching for a new subject, but looking thorough some archival material, some interesting articles caught my eye. One was from 1928, announcing that the Olympic trials would be held in Newark, New Jersey, during the Fourth of July weekend. It appeared that for the first time, the IOC, the International Olympic Committee, would allow female athletes to participate in Track and Field. The excuses for this lack of participation had been many, from the silly to the sinister. Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the modern founder of the games, argued that the Games should be, as they had been originally in Greece, a stage solely for the display of male athleticism. Others had feared that the women’s reproductive organs would drop out of their bodies mid-course, disrupting the race; some even suspected the women would morph into men before the audience’s eyes.

    As I read how these young women were being depicted, not so much for their athletic abilities, but because they were women, I was offended. But just as offensive was the fact that these names were completely unknown to me, that they had been forgotten from most Olympic history. There was Helen Filkey alongside Nellie Todd, both from the Chicago contingent; Anne Vrana, from California; Jean Shiley, from Pennsylvania; Elta Cartwright, also from California and already so well known, she had earned the nickname of “Cinder-Elta.” And Betty Robinson, hailing from a Chicago suburb, a young woman who had been running for only a few short months, but of such exceptional abilities that people expected she would win the title.

    The young athletes shared a great deal of optimism, even after overcoming what seemed like insurmountable odds: from parents who wished their daughters would give up on these so-called masculine sports, to male coaches and teammates who hadn’t wanted them on their teams. In a not-so-subtle way, their concerns, expressed nearly a century earlier, reminded me of the same ones my students expressed. I came to admire the athletes for thinking not only about their own individual skills and future prospects, but their understanding that they were part of a team, working together for other young female athletes everywhere.

    Why hadn’t I heard about these athletes before? They had obviously made great strides for women in sports; why hadn’t I, and my students, been exposed to their achievements or their lives as shining examples of what women could do? Digging deeper, I noticed that part of the issue was that male athletes had been given more exposure in general, whether in newspapers or in magazines, and even when female athletes had been featured, they had been judged not on their scores and achievements (and if they were, they were often compared to the men; reporters were quick to point out how women came up short), but on how they looked. Things only got worse once the athletes got to the Olympics.

    Female athletes were appraised on whether they looked feminine enough in shorts and spiked shoes; whether their faces, in the throes of reaching the finish line, made them look too sexually unappealing; whether one of the medals should have been awarded to the athlete who came in fourth, as her blonde hair and pleasing figure would have made her a better Olympic representative. It didn’t take long for me to realize that these debates were still raging today. They weren’t even confined to sports. A college campus, as I discovered, was just as ripe.

    Fire on the Track is the culmination of my research. The book brings to life the personal lives and achievements of the athletes who paved the way not only in sports, but in other areas, too, empowering women with their strength, resolute character, and fearless determination.

    Fire on the Track is available now.

    The post appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Sarah Skilton 4:00 pm on 2017/09/18 Permalink
    Tags: , , nonfiction   

    6 Funny, Awkward Memoirs By Funny, Awkward Women 

    The last ten years have seen a surge of funny lady memoirs. When you want the literary equivalent of drinking wine with an old friend—the one who’s always finding herself in awkward situations and turning them into hilarious anecdotes—Tina and Amy (and Amy) are there for you. Inspired by those queens of comedy, we’ve compiled a list of other snort-inducing books guaranteed to keep you cringing, laughing, nodding your head in recognition, and reaching for another glass.

    The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, by Issa Rae
    After producing an award-winning web series, but prior to launching her successful HBO show Insecure (now in its second season), Rae published a collection of clever and entertaining essays about her inability to act, feel, or be cool. This inability bothered her, because society told her coolness is supposedly intrinsic to black people. As a guide for fellow Awks, she covers race and relationships, her introverted style, her parents’ divorce, and how to deflect unsolicited questions and opinions.

    You’ll Grow Out of It, by Jessi Klein
    As a tomboy who, despite the title, has never actually “grown out of it,” Klein’s highly relatable memoir analyzes the modern trappings of femininity, from the cult of bathing to the difficulty in finding women-friendly porn to the pressure placed on pregnant women to endure “natural births.” Her discovery of standup comedy as a refuge, passion, and calling takes her far in life. From SNL to Inside Amy Schumer (for which she won an Emmy as Head Writer), Klein never loses sight of what it means to be a woman today, whether you’re a poodle or a wolf.

    Shockaholic, by Carrie Fisher
    Prior to her death last December, the iconic actress authored four novels, three memoirs, and a one-woman stage show, all at least partially drawn from events in her (relentlessly surreal) existence in a galaxy close to home. (“I wish I could—and armed with that explanation, somehow excuse—the seemingly unending, ongoing…pathetic fixation I have with my feelings.”) You might think the topics of drug use and mental illness would feel heavy to read about, but Fisher never once lost her sense of humor about what life threw at her. Shockaholic is in some ways a love letter to her notoriously unreliable father, Eddie; a detailed family history (splayed out in the tabloids when Fisher was a child); and a depiction of the memory-erasing side effects of electroshock therapy.

    The Broke Diaries, by Angela Nissel
    As a broke student in the late ’90s at the University of Pennsylvania, Nissel and her friends used their creativity and smarts to find ways around their financial troubles, such as posing as teaching assistants on the phone and ordering free copies of the “Educator’s Edition” of expensive textbooks. She occasionally went on dates with crazy dudes for the free food. Now a TV writer (past credits include Scrubs, upcoming ones include Tyler the Creator’s The Jellies, for Adult Swim), her story has a happy ending, but when she wrote the book, her future was up in the air. A very funny storyteller with a compelling, wry, down to earth tone, she’ll have you rooting for her every broke step of the way.

    I Don’t Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star, by Judy Greer
    As the ultimate character actress (see: Arrested DevelopmentArcher, etc.), Greer has an extensive list of credits. Known mainly for her comedy chops, she’s just as adept at drama (see: The Descendants). If you’ve ever wondered about the charming woman perpetually cast as “the quirky guest star,” “the awkward/sexy weirdo,” or “the lead actor’s best friend,” you’re in for a treat with this memoir. Growing up in Detroit as an only child, Greer maintains both an insider and outsider’s view of Hollywood, which she happily invites readers to share.

    Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)by Mindy Kaling
    A self-deprecating writer and comedian (she refers to herself as “a vain flake” and “a timid chubster afraid of her bike” who’s perplexed by hookup culture) Kaling’s conversational tone and hilarious point of view over modern life, including life as a woman and a minority, will keep you smiling from start to finish. This memoir, and her newest one (Why Not Me?) prove beyond a doubt that anyone who has the option of hanging out with Mindy (jelly!) would never dream of leaving her behind.

    The post 6 Funny, Awkward Memoirs By Funny, Awkward Women appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Sarah Skilton 4:00 pm on 2017/09/18 Permalink
    Tags: , , nonfiction   

    6 Funny, Awkward Memoirs By Funny, Awkward Women 

    The last ten years have seen a surge of funny lady memoirs. When you want the literary equivalent of drinking wine with an old friend—the one who’s always finding herself in awkward situations and turning them into hilarious anecdotes—Tina and Amy (and Amy) are there for you. Inspired by those queens of comedy, we’ve compiled a list of other snort-inducing books guaranteed to keep you cringing, laughing, nodding your head in recognition, and reaching for another glass.

    The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, by Issa Rae
    After producing an award-winning web series, but prior to launching her successful HBO show Insecure (now in its second season), Rae published a collection of clever and entertaining essays about her inability to act, feel, or be cool. This inability bothered her, because society told her coolness is supposedly intrinsic to black people. As a guide for fellow Awks, she covers race and relationships, her introverted style, her parents’ divorce, and how to deflect unsolicited questions and opinions.

    You’ll Grow Out of It, by Jessi Klein
    As a tomboy who, despite the title, has never actually “grown out of it,” Klein’s highly relatable memoir analyzes the modern trappings of femininity, from the cult of bathing to the difficulty in finding women-friendly porn to the pressure placed on pregnant women to endure “natural births.” Her discovery of standup comedy as a refuge, passion, and calling takes her far in life. From SNL to Inside Amy Schumer (for which she won an Emmy as Head Writer), Klein never loses sight of what it means to be a woman today, whether you’re a poodle or a wolf.

    Shockaholic, by Carrie Fisher
    Prior to her death last December, the iconic actress authored four novels, three memoirs, and a one-woman stage show, all at least partially drawn from events in her (relentlessly surreal) existence in a galaxy close to home. (“I wish I could—and armed with that explanation, somehow excuse—the seemingly unending, ongoing…pathetic fixation I have with my feelings.”) You might think the topics of drug use and mental illness would feel heavy to read about, but Fisher never once lost her sense of humor about what life threw at her. Shockaholic is in some ways a love letter to her notoriously unreliable father, Eddie; a detailed family history (splayed out in the tabloids when Fisher was a child); and a depiction of the memory-erasing side effects of electroshock therapy.

    The Broke Diaries, by Angela Nissel
    As a broke student in the late ’90s at the University of Pennsylvania, Nissel and her friends used their creativity and smarts to find ways around their financial troubles, such as posing as teaching assistants on the phone and ordering free copies of the “Educator’s Edition” of expensive textbooks. She occasionally went on dates with crazy dudes for the free food. Now a TV writer (past credits include Scrubs, upcoming ones include Tyler the Creator’s The Jellies, for Adult Swim), her story has a happy ending, but when she wrote the book, her future was up in the air. A very funny storyteller with a compelling, wry, down to earth tone, she’ll have you rooting for her every broke step of the way.

    I Don’t Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star, by Judy Greer
    As the ultimate character actress (see: Arrested DevelopmentArcher, etc.), Greer has an extensive list of credits. Known mainly for her comedy chops, she’s just as adept at drama (see: The Descendants). If you’ve ever wondered about the charming woman perpetually cast as “the quirky guest star,” “the awkward/sexy weirdo,” or “the lead actor’s best friend,” you’re in for a treat with this memoir. Growing up in Detroit as an only child, Greer maintains both an insider and outsider’s view of Hollywood, which she happily invites readers to share.

    Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)by Mindy Kaling
    A self-deprecating writer and comedian (she refers to herself as “a vain flake” and “a timid chubster afraid of her bike” who’s perplexed by hookup culture) Kaling’s conversational tone and hilarious point of view over modern life, including life as a woman and a minority, will keep you smiling from start to finish. This memoir, and her newest one (Why Not Me?) prove beyond a doubt that anyone who has the option of hanging out with Mindy (jelly!) would never dream of leaving her behind.

    The post 6 Funny, Awkward Memoirs By Funny, Awkward Women appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Heidi Fiedler 6:00 pm on 2017/09/13 Permalink
    Tags: , craft, how to be a writer, nonfiction, ,   

    20 Books That Belong on Every Writer’s Bookshelf 

    Like painting, wine, and the human condition, writing is something that can stand up to a lifetime if study. Wherever you are in your journey as a writer, it’s essential to keep your bookshelves well stocked with inspiring mentor texts and reference books that will help you develop your craft. The books on this list will enrich your writing life and deepen your skills, while also lifting your spirits and reminding you why writers devote their hearts and minds to this exceptional art form. Write on, writers! Write on!

    [ean1]The Elements of Style, by William Strunk and E.B. White
    In general, it makes sense to leave the editing to editors, and instead focus your time and energy on developing your craft. But the most compelling stories are easy to read, and this master class in being clear, succinct, and sensible on the page is essential reading for any writer.

    [ean2]The Plot Whisperer, by Martha Alderson
    For those struggling to give your story a compelling beginning, middle, and end, Alderson guides writers to a deeper understanding of the universal story structure driving everything from fairy tales to multiverse sci-fi operas. You might even learn something about the story of your own life.

    The Art of Character, by David Corbett
    Ask editors what they’re looking for, and they’ll likely say some variation on, “I’ll know it when I see it.” But if pressed, they may admit they’re searching for books with characters readers will fall in love with so hard they’ll want to follow them anywhere. Develop your ability to create memorable, relatable characters with author David Corbett’s practical and inspiring guide.

    [ean4]Wonderbook, by Jeff VanderMeer
    Fantasy and sci-fi writers will love this illustrated guide to world building and storytelling. Filled with maps, advice, essays from writers like Neil Gaiman and George R.R. Martin, plus online extras, it’s a book you will return to again and again.

    Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert
    When you need a dose of been-there-done-that courage, this wise, warm exploration of creativity will guide you. It’s filled with actionable advice, thoughtful metaphors, a deep understanding of the creative process, and, yes, maybe even the little bit of magic that’s needed to spark your own creative spirit.

    [ean6]The Emotion Thesaurus, by Angela Ackerman
    As humans, our emotional vocabulary may be woefully underdeveloped, but writers can’t afford to blur the lines between anger and annoyance. This reference book parses the nuances between everything from desperation and disappointment to scorn and smugness. Each entry includes body language suggestions and more. Sure to inspire psychological debates—and better drafts!

    Still Writing, by Dani Shapiro
    Part writing memoir, part craft book, all infused with a creative spirit any artist can relate to, this is a modern classic that belongs on every writer’s bookshelf. Divided into Beginnings, Middles, and Ends, it’s really the title that drives the message: against all odds, Shapiro is still writing and encourages you to keep writing too.

    Zen in the Art of Writing, by Ray Bradbury
    The master of succinct, precise writing lets loose with essays on the creative process. His love for writing is soaked into every page, and you’re sure to finish this book feeling inspired and reassured that the effort you put into your work is worth it.

    [ean9]The Art of Slow Writing, by Louise DeSalvo
    Ah now, doesn’t the title just make you feel better? Slow writing. What a lovely idea in a world that regularly promises you can write a book in thirty days or crank out a bestseller every year. DeSalvo’s wise and practical book is deeply comforting as she lights the way, away from insanity and toward a creative process that’s mysterious, meaningful, and rewarding.

    [ean10]Story Genius, by Lisa Cron
    With an intriguing refusal to take a side with the pantsers or outliners, Cron recommends a new approach to storytelling that promises exciting plotlines, meaningful themes, and strong early drafts. Her secret? New research into brain science that shows how writers can engage readers at a fundamental, deeply compelling level.

    [ean11]The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron
    Millions of artists, dancers, and, yes, writers, swear by Cameron’s immersive approach to creativity. Whether you’re feeling stuck, want to take your work to the next level, or are looking to experiment with a new technique, this twelve-week program will inspire you to do more than write. It will inspire you to live like a writer.

    [ean12]On Writing, by Stephen King
    More than a how-to guide written by a serial bestselling author, this is a master class in the craft of writing, as well as a celebration of its power. Generous, warm, helpful, and entertaining, this is a book that’s a pleasure to read and a delight to return to.

    [ean13]Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg
    Written with humor and wisdom, this is a practical guide to developing your craft. There are exercises for developing your voice (and your ear), establishing a routine, overcoming self-doubt, and more. Find out why this book has been in print for over thirty years.

    [ean14]The Writing Life, by Annie Dillard
    In her trademark poetic prose, Dillard explores what it means to be a writer. Give this to someone who doesn’t understand their late-night bursts of inspiration or someone who is secretly a writer but doesn’t yet know it.

    [ean15]Reading Like a Writer, by Francine Prose
    One of the fastest and most enjoyable ways to become a better writer is to read more and analyze the books you love. Prose’s guide to reading will help you make the most of your time, with tips on using your favorite books as inspiration in your own writing.

    [ean16]Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott
    Filled with memorable metaphors and reassuring imagery, this is the book that’s on every writing syllabus. It leaves readers feeling braver, smarter, and more dedicated to their craft. And if you’re not yet in a writing class, it will help you be your own best teacher.

    [ean17]Drawing Your Own Path, by John Simon
    Sometimes to grow, writers need to take a break from words. This collection of meditative drawing exercises will help you tap into your intuition and write more mindfully. (If it’s good enough for Ruth Ozeki, it’s good enough for us!)

    [ean18]Letters to a Young Writer, by Colum McCann
    The books on this list are as much about mindset as method, and this collection of lessons on how to be a writer (and an interesting human) is a lovely combination of the two approaches all on its own. A call to empathy, poetry, truth, and light, this is a rallying cry for new and old writers alike.

    [ean19]The Art of X-Ray Reading, by Roy Peter Clark
    Time spent with a masterpiece is never wasted, especially when you’re analyzing it carefully. From The Great Gatsby to The Bluest Eye, Clark invites readers to glean meaning and inspiration from the classics in a way that will inform your writing for years to come.

    [ean20]Scratch, by Manjula Martin
    At some point, after you develop your craft, you’ll probably be eager to start earning money. This book tackles taboos and digs into the nitty-gritty detail of how writers make a living with essays from Cheryl Strayed, Jonathan Franzen, Roxane Gay, and more, making it essential reading for any writer who hopes to be paid for the privilege of making art.

    The post 20 Books That Belong on Every Writer’s Bookshelf appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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