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  • Kat Sarfas 4:00 am on 2020/06/24 Permalink
    Tags: ann m. martin, page to screen, the baby-sitters club   

    Friends, Best Friends: The Baby-Sitters Club is Coming to Netflix 

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    There’s a sort of solidarity among those who read The Baby-Sitters Club novels growing up. We all know the members, and if asked could instantly identify which character we embody the most. Long before they were a Samantha or Carrie, girls around the world saw themselves as a Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne, Stacey, Dawn, Mallory or Jessi (a solid Dawn/Claudia mix over here). Kids across generations related to these characters because they saw themselves reflected back, and it’s a true testament to the writing and those bonds of sisterhood that the original book series produced over a hundred original stories, spin-off series, new graphic adaptations, a movie and now a new Netflix original series set to release on July 3rd. The club is back, and with all this new BSC buzz going around we decided to take a trip down memory lane and explore how a whole new generation of readers is set to inherit a fresh new take on a beloved series.

    Kristy’s Great Idea (The Baby-Sitters Club Series #1) 

    The book that started it all! Told through the perspective of Kristy Thomas—president and founder of the BSC—this story not only introduces readers to the club and its four founding members (Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne and Stacey), but also dives straight into the real-life issues modern kids were—and are still—grappling with today. Ann M. Martin sought to make the BSC a space for real conversations not just around female friendships and empowerment, but of race, family structures, sickness and death. In Kristy’s Great Idea we see Kristy personally dealing with the fallout of her parents’ divorce, while also exploring her entrepreneurial spirit with her best friends—which is why the BSC is so much more than just a club. This new edition reveals fresh new cover art and debuted this past spring. The first seven are out now, with more coming later this summer, and Kristy’s Great Idea (BSC #1) is also included in the Barnes & Noble Summer Reading giveaway program this summer.

    Claudia and Mean Janine: Full-Color Edition (The Baby-Sitters Club Graphix Series #4) 

    Claudia Kishi is iconic—and we’re not just talking about her chic style and impeccable taste. As one of the very few Asian American characters in mainstream fiction when this series first debuted, Claudia—a Japanese American teen who loves art, fashion and junk food—would go on to inspire a generation of Asian American writers and creators. Claudia was just cool, and a far cry from the “model minority” stereotype often depicted across literature and popular culture. It’s one of the many reasons this character has been lifted to cult-like status and was even the focus of the Kickstarter-funded documentary, The Claudia Kishi ClubClaudia and Mean Janine is one of the first four Baby-Sitters Club graphic novels published by Graphix that were adapted and illustrated by the amazing Raina Telgemeier, bestselling author of Smile and Sisters. This wildly popular series is breathing new life into the original stories with vibrant, energy-filled illustrations and clever panel transitions. There are currently twelve graphic novel editions with more on the way.

    Karen’s Witch (Baby-Sitters Little Sister Graphix Series #1) 

    With the success of The Baby-Sitters Club Graphix Series it was only a matter of time before Baby-Sitter’s Little Sister, the adorable spin-off of The Baby-Sitters Club, was adapted to this fun and accessible medium. If you’re not familiar with Karen Brewster, she’s the spunky and headstrong little stepsister of BSC founder Kristy Thomas, and never shies away from a great adventure. Here in Karen’s Witch, Karen Brewster is on the case to uncover the secretive comings and goings of her mysterious neighbor, Mrs. Porter. Little Sister was perfect for younger readers who wanted a taste of the BSC when it first published in 1988, and this new graphic novel adaptation is set to do the same for a whole new generation of readers. The second installment of this fresh new series, Karen’s Roller Skates is out on 7/7.

    The post Friends, Best Friends: The Baby-Sitters Club is Coming to Netflix appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Kat Sarfas 4:00 am on 2020/06/19 Permalink
    Tags: , page to screen,   

    Catching the Killer: Read I’ll Be Gone in the Dark Before it Hits HBO 

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    It’s okay to admit: Most of us are guilty when it comes to our collective obsession with true crime. What was once reserved for cheap paperbacks, late-night TV movies and Dateline is now a cultural phenomenon that stretches across multiple platforms. You’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who hasn’t heard of podcasts like Serial and My Favorite Murder, or who hasn’t binged streaming documentaries like Making a Murderer, or more recently Tiger King and Wild Wild Country. It’s even the inspiration for popular TV shows like American Crime Story and The Act—it’s literally everywhere you look.

    I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, the bestselling book turned six-part documentary premiering on HBO June 28th, is the haunting true story of the “Golden State Killer” and one woman’s relentless search for justice. Michelle McNamara died tragically while still investigating the case and writing this book, but her obsessive attention to detail and ability to link cases together eventually led to the killer’s arrest two years later. Hailed as a modern true crime classic, Stephen King probably described it best when he wrote that “what readers need to know—what makes this book so special—is that it deals with two obsessions, one light and one dark. The Golden State Killer is the dark half; Michelle McNamara’s is the light half. It’s a journey into two minds, one sick and disordered, the other intelligent and determined. I loved this book.”

    So, if you’re one of the few who has yet to indulge in this addictive genre, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark might just be the perfect place to start. And if you’re already an armchair detective, we’ve got a few more that you can add to your list.

    Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit 

    Speaking of streaming documentaries, Mindhunter is now a Netflix original series and follows the harrowing career of Special Agent John Douglas. In case that name doesn’t mean anything to you, he was the model for the character of Jack Crawford in The Silence of the Lambs. So, now that you’ve got that image in your head, know that this was the man responsible for pursuing some of the most notorious serial killers of our time. While this read is not for the faint of heart, the detailed account of Douglas’ interview techniques and processes are fascinating and forever changed the way we profile killers today.

    Chase Darkness with Me: How One True-Crime Writer Started Solving Murders 

    So, you’ve read the books, listened to the podcasts, watched the documentaries … now what? If you’re ready to solve the case for yourself, then this might be the read for you. After fifteen years investigating unsolved murders, journalist Billy Jensen came up with a plan to solve them himself. Rolling Stone says, “Part memoir, part how-to guide, Chase Darkness With Me includes rules for responsible citizen detective work.” Jensen continues to pour all his resources into crowdsourcing ongoing murder investigations and has helped solve ten open homicides to date. Now in paperback, this edition includes a behind-the-scenes conversation between Billy Jensen and retired detective Paul Holes on their favorite cold cases.

    Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide

    And for something a little different, the voices behind the hit podcast My Favorite Murder turn their attention on themselves while still fiercely advocating the importance of personal safety. With the same dry humor you’d expect if you’re a fan of the podcast, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark are like your two best girlfriends dishing out great advice while also filling you in on all the relevant true crime stats you need to know. Patton Oswalt, husband of the late Michelle McNamara and bestselling author of Silver Screen Fiend, raves that “Kilgariff and Hardstark bring a much-needed dimension to our current, true crime fever dream—an empathetic, slangy dose of acidic humor, weary compassion, and nervous hope.”



    The post Catching the Killer: Read <i>I’ll Be Gone in the Dark</i> Before it Hits HBO appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Tara Sonin 4:00 pm on 2019/11/13 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , find me, , josh malerman, malorie, , , page to screen, , , , , to be continued   

    6 Sequels and Series Continuations We’ve Been Waiting For 

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    The only thing better than loving a book is knowing the story isn’t over—that’s what sequels and companion novels are for! This year and next, we’re being gifted with a number of returning characters and continuing stories. Here’s a sampling of these second helpings, which range from the aftermath of a young, tragic love story to the fall of a dystopian regime.

    Find Me (Sequel to Call Me By Your Name), by André Aciman
    Some romances—and some novels—change us forever. Broken hearts around the world rejoiced at the news that Call Me By Your Name was getting a sequel (perhaps in part due to the success of the movie?) that would reveal what happened to Elio and Oliver in the years after their love affair. In sensual, heartrending prose, Aciman reveals that Elio has become a classical pianist who lives in Paris, and Oliver a college professor tempted to seek Elio out after all this time apart. Readers will be left breathless by the story’s end.

    Olive, Again (Sequel to Olive Kitteridge), by Elizabeth Strout
    The follow-up to the Pulitzer prize-winning novel Olive Kitteridge once again returns to the town of Crosby, Maine, and follows Olive (and her family, neighbors, and friends) as they navigate the ups and downs of everyday life. Readers fell for Olive’s cantankerous, imperfect personality as she strived to understand her distant but loving husband, connect with her son, and eventually, move on from a major loss. This time around, Olive has found happiness in the aftermath of that grief, but life always finds a way of messing with a sure thing. With unforgettable characters who return for an encore as well as new faces who help Olive find her way, this sequel may restore your faith in humanity.

    Royal Holiday (Wedding Date #4), by Jasmine Guillory
    Romcom lovers, rejoice in another Jasmine Guillory story just in time for the holidays. This one stars Maddie’s mom (from The Wedding Party) Vivian as she embarks on a no-strings-attached fling while accompanying Maddie on a work trip to England. The catch? The work trip is with royalty, and the fling is the Queen’s trusted aide. What begins as a low-stakes romance evolves into a serious choice Vivian must make about whether she’s ready to make a holiday treat into a real-life love affair.

    The Testaments (Sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale), by Margaret Atwood
    On the heels of the incredible third season of the hit Hulu show, Atwood released a sequel to her original dystopian tale meant to answer the most popular questions she received in the three decades since: What happened to Gilead? How did it rise, and who orchestrated its eventual fall? Following the perspectives of three women, two inside the regime, and one in Canada, The Testaments answers those questions with unfolding tension and characters in contradiction, ultimately giving readers a satisfying conclusion (or second chapter?) to a gripping saga.

    Starsight (Skyward #2), by Brandon Sanderson (11/26/19)
    In Skyward, a YA sci-fi fantasy novel by renowned adult novelist Brandon Sanderson, we met Spensa, one of the last survivors of an alien war, who wants to be a pilot. When she comes into contact with a ship that seems sentient, she decides to pursue this dream at all costs—and by the end, those costs have come crashing down on her, and she learns some terrible truths that will impact her fate. This novel builds on Spensa’s journey towards carving her own destiny in the stars despite a great betrayal unearthed from the past.

    Malorie (Sequel to Bird Box), by Josh Malerman (7/21/20)
    The much-anticipated sequel to the sci-fi thriller Bird Box arrives soon! Details on the plot of Malorie are being kept under blindfolds, so all we know is that she is the star. It picks up in the aftermath of the previous story (which was also adapted into a Netflix movie starring Sandra Bullock) where Malorie, Boy, and Girl have reached the colony of people secluded from the mysterious creature attacks that have taken down modern society. Will we learn the origins of the creatures? Will Malorie remain with Boy and Girl? We’ll find out next May!

    What new sequels are you excited for?

    The post 6 Sequels and Series Continuations We’ve Been Waiting For appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Tara Sonin 2:00 pm on 2019/09/23 Permalink
    Tags: , fake like me, , , , , necessary people, page to screen, , straight man, temper, , very nice, white tears,   

    12 Books to Read Before Binge-Watching Netflix’s The Politician 

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    Picture this: a high-stakes election, a pathologically-ambitious politician, sex, scandal, violence, and social media…and no, I’m not talking about our IRL political climate. I’m talking about Ryan Murphy’s Netflix show, The Politician, airing September 27th and starring Ben Platt (of Dear Evan Hansen fame) with a star-studded cast including Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Lange, Zoey Deutsch, and many more. If the trailer is any indication, it promises to be high-stakes, horrific, and even a bit hilarious. Until all the episodes drop, here’s a list of thrilling reads—political, psychological, domestic, and criminal— to keep your darker impulses at bay.

    Election, by Tom Perrotta
    It may be the most linear comparison to the upcoming Netflix show, but this novel about a (female) pathologically ambitious high-school politician willing to do whatever it takes to win inspired the movie of the same name starring Reese Witherspoon. Tracy Flick is unlikeable but seemingly unstoppable in her pursuit of power over the student body until a teacher intervenes and convinces a student to run against her. The book may be over twenty years old now, but it may ring more true today than ever before in this age of competition, social media comparison, and the cut-throat college application process.

    Fake Like Me, by Barbara Bourland
    Fraud. Sounds fun, right? Not to the protagonist of this art-themed thriller in which an up-and-coming artist has a terrible decision to make when her studio burns down with the majority of her next gallery collection within it. With only three months until the opening and her entire career (not to mention a lot of money) on the line, she decides to conceal the truth of what was damaged in the fire and re-create the ruined pieces without anyone finding out. That involves a trip to an exclusive and secretive artist’s commune where one of her artistic idols—who died of suicide—created her work. That’s as much as I can say about the plot without spoiling the twists I never saw coming. It is a fascinating commentary on the value of art, and the dangers of it.

    Necessary People, by Anna Pitoniak
    The line between best friends and enemies is a just-sharpened blade, and this novel cuts deep. When two girls from different backgrounds collide, their friendship is so propulsive that even Stephen King blurbed this book, saying he “couldn’t stop reading.” Stella is the heiress who has everything she wants; Violet is used to cleaning up everyone’s messes, especially Stella’s. Until now, when Stella starts to infringe on the purposefully separate career Violet has cultivated for herself. Now, Violet wants her “friend” to stop taking credit for the work she’s done behind the scenes, and realizes it might be necessary to bring the privileged down a peg in order to truly shine on her own.

    Very Nice, by Marcy Dermansky
    The scenario of this novel is my personal nightmare in book form: a creative writing student, her professor, and her mother engage in a twisted love triangle. Here is how it happens: Rachel seduces her creative writing professor, who also happens to be a well-known author. When he goes home to visit a relative, she takes care of his dog at her own childhood home…where her mother, a beautiful woman mourning her marriage, takes to it. So when Zahid, the professor, shows up and finds himself falling for Rachel’s mother instead…chaos ensues. A book that examines wealth, privilege, and creativity, Very Nice seems to be about what happens when “nice” people take off their veneer and reveal their true selves.

    Macbeth, by Jo Nesbo
    Shakespeare’s Macbeth is one of the original political thrillers, about a man who kills his king in order to ascend to power. In this retelling by one of the preeminent Scandinavian crime noir writers, the 1970’s get the Shakespearean treatment when Duncan, the chief of police, believes he can rid a small town of its unshakeable drug problem. Macbeth leads SWAT, and through a manipulation by one of the town’s own drug lords, finds himself sinking to the lowest of possible lows in order to establish himself. If the Bard himself has always felt intimidating but you want to give Macbeth a try, this is the retelling to start with.

    Furious Hours, by Casey Cep
    My one nonfiction pick for this list, Furious Hours tells the story of a vigilante murderer who was acquitted for killing a preacher accused of killing his own family. If that weren’t fascinating enough, add this to the mix: Harper Lee, the celebrated author of To Kill a Mockingbird, was researching the murders. The intersections of fiction, revenge, drama, celebrity, and truth all make for a deeply-researched and narratively compelling tale that asks as many questions about humanity as it answers.

    White Tears, by Hari Kunzru
    When Seth records a musician in the park, and Carter puts it online, they never expect a response. After all, they claim the recording is ancient, and sung by a musician who doesn’t exist, whose name they just made up. Except, according to a music collector, he does exist. The two white boys are plunged headfirst into what is either a ghost story, a crime, or both—and raises questions about race, identity, and who music actually belongs to; those who make it, or those who consume it?

    The Secret History, by Donna Tartt
    What are the consequences of excellence? That’s one of the main questions in this part murder-mystery, part coming-of-age novel in which a group of college students are influenced by a Classics professor. From the very beginning, you know one of them ends up dead, but the who, how, and why of it all is told through the eyes of Richard, a blue-collar West Coast transplant to the college who wants to fit in. As part of their curriculum, they enmesh themselves in the rituals of the ancient Greeks, which is all well and good in theory, until an accidental death becomes an actual murder. How they process what they’ve done and why leads for a shivering tale of friendship.

    Luckiest Girl Alive, by Jessica Knoll
    Ani has rid herself of the past: her reputation, her insecurities, and even her old name, TifAni. Now a successful writer at a magazine with a powerful, rich fiancé, she believes she’s armored herself with everything she needs to get through her upcoming wedding—and a documentary around her scandalous past—unscathed. But Ani, while ambitious, cut-throat, and determined, has forgotten one thing: that while she can coat the past in candy, biting into it will break her teeth. The truth will out in this non-linear New York Times bestselling psychological suspense in which the reader races towards the truth Tif/Ani has tried so hard to bury, especially as her need to control the narrative (like, some might say, a politician) threatens to destroy her present. My favorite thing about this thriller? That by the end, we completely understand why Ani did what she did—and maybe, in fact, wish she’d gone even further in her cold-blooded pursuit of power.

    Temper, by Layne Fargo
    What is politics if not theater on a grander scale? That’s why I’m recommending this thriller that takes place in the Chicago theater scene. An ambitious actress meets her match in a controlling theater executive director as they both vie for the affection and approval of the mercurial lead actor. Tension lingers on every page as the characters propel themselves into passionate, and sometimes violent, circumstances, all the while justifying their falls from grace as being necessary for the success of their upcoming performance.

    Wonder Boys, by Michael Chabon
    They were once the “wonder boys”; full of potential and certain to live up to it. Now, Grady is a professor who can’t seem to finish his novel the way he’s finished three of his marriages, and Terry is an editor with a bit of a #MeToo problem. The possibility and promise that was once theirs has descended to a new generation. What is there to do with all that wasted time but find yourself implicated in a crime? A celebrated writer explores what happens when your youth was spent being celebrated, and your adulthood is spent making more mistakes than you ever thought you’d be capable of.

    Straight Man, by Richard Russo
    Witness the unraveling of a man in this impossible to put down novel about an English Department chair who loses everything—including it—in the span of a single week. Like The Politician’s trailer, with its dark humor interspersed with moments of character catastrophe, this novel tackles one man’s undoing with equal amounts slapstick and suspense.

    Are you excited for The Politician?

    The post 12 Books to Read Before Binge-Watching Netflix’s <i>The Politician</i> appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Brian Boone 3:00 pm on 2019/03/04 Permalink
    Tags: , , , jack sparrow: the coming storm, james kirkwood j.m. barrie, , page to screen, peter and wendy, ps your cat is dead, , rob kidd, , the wild things   

    5 Notable Novels That Are Adaptations of Movies and Plays 

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    Movies are magical and wonderful of course, presenting us with eye-popping, realistically-rendered scenarios of adventure, action, romance, and intrigue. But where do the screenwriters behind those movies get their ideas? Well, sometimes they make them up, because writers are wired that way. But frequently, a movie is an adaptation of a work from another medium, like, say, a book, stage play, or TV series.

    Oddly enough, it goes both ways. Some of the most beloved and/or notable novels in the Western literary canon are actually based on pre-existing material. These are some books that were adapted from other media…and not the other way around.

    Peter and Wendy, by J.M. Barrie
    Few childhood stories are as enduringly popular and universally beloved—and well-known—than the saga of Peter Pan. He’s the boy who would never grow up, living on and around Neverland (because he could fly), with London girl Wendy and cantankerous fairy Tinkerbell around to help him defeat nefarious pirate Captain Hook. Peter Pan, or Peter and Wendy as the first book by Barrie is more properly known, is the perfect book to read with your kids (or for kids to read themselves) at bedtime, because it’s got everything a bedtime story needs—pirates, fairies, rebellion, romance, and flying. J.M. Barrie created the Paniverse with the tastes of some children he knew in mind, except he didn’t write it as a novel or collection of stories. The first iteration of Peter Pan was a stage play. While Barrie mentioned baby Peter in his 1902 book The Little White Bird, the permanent-child Pan became the main character in his smash hit 1904 play Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up.


    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
    Perhaps the greatest sci-fi saga ever written—and certainly the funniest—it’s hard to believe that The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy didn’t initially pour forth from Adams’ witty mind into prose-filled pages. There’s just so much exposition, omniscient narration, and wry comment as the reader plows through the adventures of Arthur Dent, forced to traipse around the known universe after the Earth is destroyed, along with his best friend/spaceman Ford Prefect, unhinged galaxy president Zaphoid Beeblebrox, sad robot Marvin the Paranoid Android, and all manner of exceptionally bureaucratic and hostile creatures from other words. While THGTHG has been a British TV show, a video game, and a feature film in addition to a novel series, the first time the world experienced this unique comic universe was as a radio play, broadcast on BBC 4 in 1978.

    The Wild Things, by Dave Eggers
    In 2009, the classic children’s book, Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are, finally got the big-screen adaptation it deserved after more than 45 years in print as one of the most memorably illustrated and written kid titles of all time. But like other slim children’s books turned long feature films (The Cat in the Hat, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day), screenwriters had to significantly bulk up the story’s plot, themes, and characters to fill in all that extra time. The result was not a bright and happy kids movie, but a sad, melancholy story for adults about the pain of growing up and being different. It so wildly veered from Sendak’s source material that co-screenwriter Dave Eggers, known for genre-defying works like A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, adapted the screenplay into a pensive, downbeat novel called The Wild Things.

    Jack Sparrow: The Coming Storm, by Rob Kidd
    Here’s the rare case in which a book series was based on a movie…which in turn was based on an amusement park ride. Back in 2003, Disney took a chance when it made a pirate movie—the form hadn’t been popular for decades—and gave it a title taken from one of the most popular attractions at Disneyland, Pirates of the Carribbean. Thanks to Johnny Depp’s bonkers portrayal of unrepentant antihero pirate Captain Jack Sparrow, the film is now a five-film strong, billions-earning blockbuster juggernaut. People love Jack Sparrow, and Disney, which has a books division, gave the people what they want, or rather the young readers, with a prequel series of adventure novels about a not-yet-captain Jack Sparrow, a teenage adventurer engaging in thrilling adventures on the high seas.

    PS Your Cat is Dead, by James Kirkwood
    Hitting shelves in 1972, P.S. Your Cat is Dead was pretty provocative for the time, what with its plot points about depressed actor Jimmy who, coming across a burglar in his not-great apartment, beats him within an inch of his life and then ties him up…before befriending him, and then falling in love with him. Then the two sell some drugs and live happily ever. (Oh, and also—spoiler alert—Jimmy’s cat dies.) Kirkwood’s darkly comic novel is so brash and zany, and takes place in so few locations, that of course it was based on a play, although it didn’t see broad success until it was staged after the novel version caused a stir.

    What is your favorite novel that was actually an adaptation of a play?

    The post 5 Notable Novels That Are Adaptations of Movies and Plays appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

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