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  • Joel Cunningham 8:00 pm on 2019/12/04 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , on the come up, pumpkinheads, rainbow rowell, , , , , , ,   

    Barnes & Noble Booksellers’ Favorite Young Adult Books of 2019 

    The past year has been an amazing one for young adult literature—and no one knows that better than Barnes & Noble’s team of experienced booksellers, who each day make it their mission to connect every reader with just the right book. We wanted to know what YA books to put on our year-end must-read lists, so we asked them. These are our booksellers’ favorites of the year—and, we wager, they’ll soon be yours too. (Explore all of our booksellers’ 2019 favorites.)

    The Toll, by Neal Shusterman
    Neal Shusterman’s bestselling series about a boy who inherits the blade of the grim reaper and decides he doesn’t want the job comes to a triumphant close. Citra and Rowan awaken three years after the events of the last book, and soon find themselves on the run from Scythe Goddard’s allies and everyone who would see Rowan burn for the destruction of Endura. The Thunderhead is still in charge, but won’t communicate with anyone other than Greyson Tolliver, also known as the Toll. As you can imagine, things are pretty complicated, and moving quickly toward a world-altering climax. New readers will definitely want to start with Scythe (the B&N YA Book Club pick for December), and prepare themselves for a journey into one of the most compelling worlds its award-winning author has ever created.

    The Queen of Nothing, by Holly Black
    The final installment of Holly Black’s Folk of the Air trilogy, The Queen of Nothing brings us back to the world of the high fae—or in Jude’s current state of affairs, the mortal world. Exiled immediately after being crowned Queen of Faerie, Jude is killing time, waiting for the opportunity to return to her court and take back everything that has been stolen from her. When her twin sister Taryn seeks her out in need of a favor, Jude finally gets the chance to reunite with her king and reclaim her power. Words cannot express how satisfying this trilogy is, and it comes to an end in one last book of betrayal, love, and faerie spies (but don’t read it until you’ve finished The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King).

    Children of Virtue and Vengeance, by Tomi Adeyemi
    Tomi Adeyemi stunned the world with Children of Blood and Bone, her hugely successful fantasy debut set in a world inspired by her West African heritage. At the close of that volume, its fearsome heroines Zélie and Amari succeeded in carrying out a powerful ritual that restored magic to the lands of Orïsha. But the spell had powerful consequences they never expected, returning magic not only to their people, the maji, but to all the power-hungry nobles with magic in their blood as well. Rather than lifting up those who were being subjugated, the ritual has only set the stage for a far deadlier conflict, as Zélie attempts to unite the maji and secure Amari’s place on the throne in the face of opposition from the military and the powers-that-be. The stakes or only higher, and the worldbuilding is only more imaginative, in this epic continuation of the Legacy of Orïsha trilogy. Available in a Barnes & Noble exclusive edition featuring an interview with the author and a double-sided poster.

    Wayward Son, by Rainbow Rowell
    Simon Snow returns in the unexpected sequel to Carry On, and he’s feeling at a loss for what to do with his life. After all, if you’ve already fulfilled your purpose—in chosen-one young magician Simon’s case, that would be defeating the legendary evil force he was destined to face—in high school, where does one go from there? British boarding school kid Simon’s decides on America, and embarks on a great road trip across the western U.S. alongside bestie Penny and Baz, the object of his fraught romantic obsession,to figure it out. Along the way, they encounter all manner of scary creatures, wrong turns, and a glimpse into the rest of their lives. For a series that started out as a fanfiction experiment, Rainbow Rowell’s ode to wizarding fantasies is fast becoming one of the best series in the genre.  Listen to Rainbow Rowell discuss the book on the B&N YA Podcast.

    On the Come Up, by Angie Thomas
    Thomas’s debut The Hate U Give has spent its entire shelf life (more than one hundred weeks) near the top of the New York Times bestseller list, so anticipation was understandably sky-high for the author’s sophomore effort. Rest assured, Thomas has proven herself more than up to the challenge—not unlike On the Come Up’s protagonist, aspiring performer Brianna Jackson. As a young black woman accustomed to being underestimated, profiled, and dismissed, Bri knows she’ll have to do “double the work to get half the respect” if she’s going to make it as a rapper. She pours everything she’s feeling—about her life, her neighborhood, her family’s struggles, and her problems at school—into lyrics so good you’ll wish the book came with a soundtrack. It’s a book every bit as immediate, every bit as searing, and every bit as endearing as THUGListen to Angie Thomas discuss the book on the B&N YA Podcast.

    Starsight, by Brandon Sanderson
    In Skyward, Brandon Sanderson introduced us to Spensa, a girl trapped on Detritus, a planet constantly under siege by alien starfighters. Haunted by her dead father’s legacy as the pilot who abandoned his people in a crucial battle, Spensa determined to become a pilot and make a new name for herself. Accepted—begrudgingly—into flight school, Spensa stumbled upon an outdated starshipand set off into space—a place that proved more terrifying than Spensa expected. The action picks up without missing a beat in Starsight, which is every bit the page-turner, revealing shocking truths about the wider galaxy this young woman has entered into. Spensa will stop at nothing to prove herself and save humanity from extinction, and you’ll stop at nothing until you’ve read every page.

    Cursed, by Thomas Wheeler and Frank Miller
    It’s no wonder the buzz started building early for this one: an illustrated epic fantasy novel for teens, based on the ancient legends of King Arthur, featuring the artwork of legendary comics creator Frank Miller, and destined to be an original Netflix series starring Katherine Langford? Cursed arrived pre-sold, by the hype machine, and the book satisfies every expectation with the story of Nimue, who grew up an outcast, banished for her connection to magic. Her destiny changes when her dying mother charges her with reuniting an ancient sword with a legendary sorcerer, forcing her to team up with a mercenary named Arthur and the fey folk who have fled across Englnad. Who needs a king? Here, the Lady of the Lake is the true hero—a knight worthy of us all. The book features 8 full-color and 30 black-and-white pieces of original artwork. Read an interview with Thomas Wheeler and Frank Miller on the B&N Teen Blog.

    Supernova, by Marissa Meyer
    In the first installment of the Renegades series, readers met Nova and Adrian, superheroes on opposite sides of the war between the publicly adored Renegades and the villainous Anarchists. While tackling questions of vengeance versus justice, and the responsibilities of those with special powers, fantasy expert Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles), brought a complex love story to the mix. In sequel Archenemies, Nova infiltrated the Renegades and stole Ace Anarchy’s helmet, while readers wondered if she and Adrian would ever uncover each other’s secret identities. As Nightmare and The Sentinel, they loathe each other, and Supernova begins with Nova’s reluctant return to her role as spy extraordinaire even as she wishes she could shout the truth about her alter ego. Meyer proves as adept at twisting sci-fi tropes as the beats of familiar fairytales, making for a supremely satisfying science fantasy saga.

    Pumpkinheads, by Rainbow Rowell, Faith Erin Hicks (Illustrator)
    The author of Eleanor & Park and the artist behind Comics Will Break Your Heart (whose work can be seen in multiple award-winning graphic novels) joined forces for this delightful tale of friendship with heavy Can’t Hardly Wait vibes. “Seasonal besties” and Omaha teens Deja and Josiah spend every fall together as co-workers at the local pumpkin patch. Now that they’re high school seniors, feeling bereft about their last shift on their last night on the job, outgoing Deja decides it’s time for reticent Josiah to stop speculating about his crush (aka Fudge Girl) and do something. Soon they’re taking full advantage of their surroundings—not just sampling every delectable treat and attraction at the patch, but possibly learning new things about each other and the ways in which they relate. It’s a seasonal romance as sweet and comforting as a pumpkin spice latte.

    Call Down the Hawk, by Maggie Stiefvater
    Although some characters—and love interests—were introduced in Maggie Stiefvater’s earlier series the Raven Cycle, this series-starter is enormously satisfying all on its own. Ronan Lynch is a dreamer who can pull elements of his dreams into the real world, an ability that causes him no end of problems. He wants nothing more than to visit his boyfriend Adam at college, but his lack of control he has over his abilities keep him sequestered on the family farm. Elsewhere, art thief Jordan can’t risk falling into REM sleep, and government operative Carmen is tasked with preventing a dreamer-instigated apocalypse. When all of these characters’ lives intersect, it makes for an addictive series opener. Listen to Maggie Stiefvater discuss the book on the B&N YA Podcast.

    These are the B&N booksellers’ favorite YA books of 2019. What are yours? 

    The post Barnes & Noble Booksellers’ Favorite Young Adult Books of 2019 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Joel Cunningham 8:00 pm on 2019/12/04 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , on the come up, rainbow rowell, , , , , , ,   

    Barnes & Noble Booksellers’ Favorite Young Adult Books of 2019 

    The past year has been an amazing one for young adult literature—and no one knows that better than Barnes & Noble’s team of experienced booksellers, who each day make it their mission to connect every reader with just the right book. We wanted to know what YA books to put on our year-end must-read lists, so we asked them. These are our booksellers’ favorites of the year—and, we wager, they’ll soon be yours too. (Explore all of our booksellers’ 2019 favorites.)

    The Toll, by Neal Shusterman
    Neal Shusterman’s bestselling series about a boy who inherits the blade of the grim reaper and decides he doesn’t want the job comes to a triumphant close. Citra and Rowan awaken three years after the events of the last book, and soon find themselves on the run from Scythe Goddard’s allies and everyone who would see Rowan burn for the destruction of Endura. The Thunderhead is still in charge, but won’t communicate with anyone other than Greyson Tolliver, also known as the Toll. As you can imagine, things are pretty complicated, and moving quickly toward a world-altering climax. New readers will definitely want to start with Scythe (the B&N YA Book Club pick for December), and prepare themselves for a journey into one of the most compelling worlds its award-winning author has ever created.

    The Queen of Nothing, by Holly Black
    The final installment of Holly Black’s Folk of the Air trilogy, The Queen of Nothing brings us back to the world of the high fae—or in Jude’s current state of affairs, the mortal world. Exiled immediately after being crowned Queen of Faerie, Jude is killing time, waiting for the opportunity to return to her court and take back everything that has been stolen from her. When her twin sister Taryn seeks her out in need of a favor, Jude finally gets the chance to reunite with her king and reclaim her power. Words cannot express how satisfying this trilogy is, and it comes to an end in one last book of betrayal, love, and faerie spies (but don’t read it until you’ve finished The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King).

    Children of Virtue and Vengeance, by Tomi Adeyemi
    Tomi Adeyemi stunned the world with Children of Blood and Bone, her hugely successful fantasy debut set in a world inspired by her West African heritage. At the close of that volume, its fearsome heroines Zélie and Amari succeeded in carrying out a powerful ritual that restored magic to the lands of Orïsha. But the spell had powerful consequences they never expected, returning magic not only to their people, the maji, but to all the power-hungry nobles with magic in their blood as well. Rather than lifting up those who were being subjugated, the ritual has only set the stage for a far deadlier conflict, as Zélie attempts to unite the maji and secure Amari’s place on the throne in the face of opposition from the military and the powers-that-be. The stakes or only higher, and the worldbuilding is only more imaginative, in this epic continuation of the Legacy of Orïsha trilogy. Available in a Barnes & Noble exclusive edition featuring an interview with the author and a double-sided poster.

    Wayward Son, by Rainbow Rowell
    Simon Snow returns in the unexpected sequel to Carry On, and he’s feeling at a loss for what to do with his life. After all, if you’ve already fulfilled your purpose—in chosen-one young magician Simon’s case, that would be defeating the legendary evil force he was destined to face—in high school, where does one go from there? British boarding school kid Simon’s decides on America, and embarks on a great road trip across the western U.S. alongside bestie Penny and Baz, the object of his fraught romantic obsession,to figure it out. Along the way, they encounter all manner of scary creatures, wrong turns, and a glimpse into the rest of their lives. For a series that started out as a fanfiction experiment, Rainbow Rowell’s ode to wizarding fantasies is fast becoming one of the best series in the genre.  Listen to Rainbow Rowell discuss the book on the B&N YA Podcast.

    On the Come Up, by Angie Thomas
    Thomas’s debut The Hate U Give has spent its entire shelf life (more than one hundred weeks) near the top of the New York Times bestseller list, so anticipation was understandably sky-high for the author’s sophomore effort. Rest assured, Thomas has proven herself more than up to the challenge—not unlike On the Come Up’s protagonist, aspiring performer Brianna Jackson. As a young black woman accustomed to being underestimated, profiled, and dismissed, Bri knows she’ll have to do “double the work to get half the respect” if she’s going to make it as a rapper. She pours everything she’s feeling—about her life, her neighborhood, her family’s struggles, and her problems at school—into lyrics so good you’ll wish the book came with a soundtrack. It’s a book every bit as immediate, every bit as searing, and every bit as endearing as THUGListen to Angie Thomas discuss the book on the B&N YA Podcast.

    Starsight, by Brandon Sanderson
    In Skyward, Brandon Sanderson introduced us to Spensa, a girl trapped on Detritus, a planet constantly under siege by alien starfighters. Haunted by her dead father’s legacy as the pilot who abandoned his people in a crucial battle, Spensa determined to become a pilot and make a new name for herself. Accepted—begrudgingly—into flight school, Spensa stumbled upon an outdated starshipand set off into space—a place that proved more terrifying than Spensa expected. The action picks up without missing a beat in Starsight, which is every bit the page-turner, revealing shocking truths about the wider galaxy this young woman has entered into. Spensa will stop at nothing to prove herself and save humanity from extinction, and you’ll stop at nothing until you’ve read every page.

    Cursed, by Thomas Wheeler and Frank Miller
    It’s no wonder the buzz started building early for this one: an illustrated epic fantasy novel for teens, based on the ancient legends of King Arthur, featuring the artwork of legendary comics creator Frank Miller, and destined to be an original Netflix series starring Katherine Langford? Cursed arrived pre-sold, by the hype machine, and the book satisfies every expectation with the story of Nimue, who grew up an outcast, banished for her connection to magic. Her destiny changes when her dying mother charges her with reuniting an ancient sword with a legendary sorcerer, forcing her to team up with a mercenary named Arthur and the fey folk who have fled across Englnad. Who needs a king? Here, the Lady of the Lake is the true hero—a knight worthy of us all. The book features 8 full-color and 30 black-and-white pieces of original artwork. Read an interview with Thomas Wheeler and Frank Miller on the B&N Teen Blog.

    Supernova, by Marissa Meyer
    In the first installment of the Renegades series, readers met Nova and Adrian, superheroes on opposite sides of the war between the publicly adored Renegades and the villainous Anarchists. While tackling questions of vengeance versus justice, and the responsibilities of those with special powers, fantasy expert Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles), brought a complex love story to the mix. In sequel Archenemies, Nova infiltrated the Renegades and stole Ace Anarchy’s helmet, while readers wondered if she and Adrian would ever uncover each other’s secret identities. As Nightmare and The Sentinel, they loathe each other, and Supernova begins with Nova’s reluctant return to her role as spy extraordinaire even as she wishes she could shout the truth about her alter ego. Meyer proves as adept at twisting sci-fi tropes as the beats of familiar fairytales, making for a supremely satisfying science fantasy saga.

    Pumpkinheads, by Rainbow Rowell, Faith Erin Hicks (Illustrator)
    The author of Eleanor & Park and the artist behind Comics Will Break Your Heart (whose work can be seen in multiple award-winning graphic novels) joined forces for this delightful tale of friendship with heavy Can’t Hardly Wait vibes. “Seasonal besties” and Omaha teens Deja and Josiah spend every fall together as co-workers at the local pumpkin patch. Now that they’re high school seniors, feeling bereft about their last shift on their last night on the job, outgoing Deja decides it’s time for reticent Josiah to stop speculating about his crush (aka Fudge Girl) and do something. Soon they’re taking full advantage of their surroundings—not just sampling every delectable treat and attraction at the patch, but possibly learning new things about each other and the ways in which they relate. It’s a seasonal romance as sweet and comforting as a pumpkin spice latte.

    Call Down the Hawk, by Maggie Stiefvater
    Although some characters—and love interests—were introduced in Maggie Stiefvater’s earlier series the Raven Cycle, this series-starter is enormously satisfying all on its own. Ronan Lynch is a dreamer who can pull elements of his dreams into the real world, an ability that causes him no end of problems. He wants nothing more than to visit his boyfriend Adam at college, but his lack of control he has over his abilities keep him sequestered on the family farm. Elsewhere, art thief Jordan can’t risk falling into REM sleep, and government operative Carmen is tasked with preventing a dreamer-instigated apocalypse. When all of these characters’ lives intersect, it makes for an addictive series opener. Listen to Maggie Stiefvater discuss the book on the B&N YA Podcast.

    These are the B&N booksellers’ favorite YA books of 2019. What are yours? 

    The post Barnes & Noble Booksellers’ Favorite Young Adult Books of 2019 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • BN Editors 1:00 pm on 2019/11/08 Permalink
    Tags: ali wong, books to treasure, dear girls, , demi moore, elbow grease vs. motozilla, face it, Holiday 2019, , inside out, john cena, jonathan van ness, mike rowe, , over the top, rainbow rowell, , signed editions, sisters first, , , the tyrant's tomb, the way i heard it,   

    A Signed Book Is the Perfect Gift for Every Reader on Your List 

    Books make the best presents (we may be bit biased here), and for fans of a particular author or series, a signed edition makes for an even more meaningful gift.

    To simplify your holiday shopping and to help you surprise and delight the bookworms in your life this year, we’re gathering together dozens of gifty signed editions, from picture books and YA right up through adult memoirs. There’s something on the list for every reader! Below are just a few highlights—get an early look at all of our signed editions here.

    The books will be available online and in stores on November 16, in limited quantities and only while supplies last.

    Inside Out: A Memoir, by Demi Moore
    She earned fame for her iconic movie roles (St. Elmo’s FireGhostIndecent Proposal, etc.), broke barriers in pay for actresses in Hollywood, and led a personal life highlighted by tabloid-ready marriages to Bruce Willis and Ashton Kutcher. Throughout all of this, just under the surface of her glamorous Hollywood life, Demi Moore battled life-long insecurities, barely concealed childhood trauma, and addiction. In her new memoir, she lays it all on the line, from her complicated relationship with her mother, to the ins-and-outs of her acting career, to the challenges of raising a family under the watchful gaze of the paparazzi. It’s potent reminder that even the biggest celebrities are people too—and with Moore’s signature inside, the connection feels all that much more personal.

    Dear Girls: Intimate Tales Untold, Secrets, and Advice for Living Your Best Life, by Ali Wong
    Actress, writer, and comedian Ali Wong has had an incredible 2019, co-writing and starring in the breakout Netflix hit romantic comedy Always Be My Maybe with Randall Park and Keanu Reeves and releasing this, her first book. Dear Girls is a hilarious memoir-meets-guide to life, filled with stories that feature Wong’s penchant for egoless oversharing about everything from sex to personal grooming. But it also fills in all the gaps in her “overnight success” story, from her time spent studying abroad in her mother’s native Vietnam (an experience with broadened her cultural and culinary horizons) to her early days as a struggling comedian, trudging from one open-mic night to the next. Intimate, confessional, and gut-bustingly funny, a signed edition makes a perfect gift for anyone in you life seeking inspiration, or a few laughs.

    Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love, by Jonathan Van Ness
    The current Netflix run of Queer Eye has gone well beyond a makeover show for the fashionably clueless, layering in heartwarming and poignant stories of overcoming prejudice that are inspired by a cast that’s not afraid to get to the heart of the issues in the lives of the show’s subjects. That’s certainly the case for grooming and self-care expert Jonathan Van Ness, whose message has been that taking care of yourself comes from the inside out. During his childhood in a small Midwestern town, he was misunderstood by just about everyone—over-the-top and very gay even as a child, he was an easy target for the ridicule and judgement of his peers. Those early experiences shaped his unapologetic positivity and compassion, and he shares that journey in this personal and raw account of the journey to self-acceptance.

    The Way I Heard It, by Mike Rowe
    On his hit TV shows Dirty Jobs and Somebody’s Got to Do It, Mike Rowe explores the lives and day-to-day jobs—from the unusual to the downright messy—of people from all walks of life. But for this book, based on his popular podcast of the same name, his subjects are much more well known: each episode of the show tells you things you don’t know about a person who you’ve definitely heard of, from movie stars, to presidents, to infamous villains, and the book collects the best stories from the series so far. In sharing these unknown details, Rowe reveals something about himself too, whether an event in his personal life or a chapter of his stories career. After spending countless hours watching his TV shows and listening to his podcast, his fans feel like they know him—and they’ll certainly appreciate a signed edition of his latest work.

    Face It: A Memoir, by Debbie Harry
    Few rock harder than punk icon Debbie Harry, who led the band Blondie, a fusion of rock, punk, disco, and hip-hop incarnate. The deeply private artist’s new memoir revisits the gritty music scene in 1970s New York, an era when some of the greatest bands of all time were on the verge of becoming legends. Through drug addiction, heartbreaks, and breakups, Harry evolved from rock star to activist to icon, busting down barriers and making great music all the while. The Blondie obsessed won’t want to miss out on their chance to get a signed copy of this iconic rocker’s very personal story.

    Elbow Grease vs. Motozilla, by John Cena and Howard McWilliam
    Elbow Grease, the little monster truck with a big heart (and family!), is back in the second book in John Cena’s hilarious series. This time Elbow Grease must face off against giant monster truck Motozilla, and it feels like the odds are against him. Fortunately his four big brothers have got his back, and they’re ready to show Elbow Grease (and their huge foe) that teamwork conquers all! Fans who love Elbow Grease (as well as multitalented actor, pro wrestler, television host and now author John Cena) will love having an author-signed copy of this sweet, funny story.

    Sisters First, by Jenna Bush Hager, Barbara Pierce Bush, and Ramona Kaulitzki
    An earnest young girl wishes fervently for a little sister, but once the baby arrives, the tiny little bundle isn’t much fun (a story that’s all-too-familiar to older sibs—and parents—everywhere). Once she’s a little older though, the adventures start, and the magic doesn’t stop! This loving tribute to sisterhood, unconditional love, and the close bonds of friendship that siblings form will treasure a copy that has been signed by former first daughters (and twins!) Jenna and Barbara Bush.

    The Tyrant’s Tomb (The Trials of Apollo Series #4), by Rick Riordan
    In Rick Riordan’s popular The Trials of Apollo series, Zeus has cast down his son Apollo to earth to punish him, forcing Apollo to live as an awkward human teenager named Lester Papadopoulos. In order to reclaim his godly existence, Lester has to restore five Oracles that have gone dark. He’s three down with two to go in this fourth exciting book in the series, and this time, he’s off to Camp Jupiter in San Francisco where the Roman demigods are preparing to take on the evil Triumvirate of Roman emperors. Can Apollo help them survive the battle and restore the fourth oracle? Bonus: This Barnes & Noble–exclusive edition includes a full-color poster of a scene from the book and diary entries of a Camp Jupiter “probatio.” It goes without saying that a Rick Riordan fan, whether they’re Team Trials of Apollo, a Percy Jackson devotee, or a die-hard Magnus Chase aficionado, will adore a signed edition of one of his voicey, adventure-packed novels.

    The Queen of Nothing, by Holly Black
    The final installment of Holly Black’s Folk of the Air trilogyThe Queen of Nothing brings us back to the world of the high fae—or, in Jude’s current state of affairs, the mortal world. Exiled immediately after being crowned Queen of Faerie, Jude is killing time, waiting for the opportunity to return to her court and take back everything that Cardan stole from her. When her twin sister, Taryn, seeks her out in need of a favor, Jude finally gets the chance to reunite with her king and reclaim her power. Author Holly Black is a titan of YA fantasy, and receiving a signed edition of the conclusion of her spellbinding series will make any fan’s holiday memorable.

    Wayward Son, by Rainbow Rowell
    The lovable Simon Snow (who was first introduced in quirky love letter to fanfiction Fangirl and was given a story all his own in the delicious fantasy Carry On) is back in a tale that dares to ask, “What happens after you’ve saved the world, proven your Chosen One bonafides, and kissed your vampiric roommate?” For Simon, life post-battle is not what he hoped or expected. It’s less HEA, and more ennui. Luckily, Penny and Baz are on top of the problem. Perhaps a trip across the pond to the U.S. for an epic road trip will pull Simon from his slump? Rainbow Rowell is one of those authors whom fans are certain they’d become besties with if they could only manage to meet her; receiving a signed edition of one of her books isn’t exactly the same thing, but it’s still a nice to have.

    The Toll (Arc of a Scythe Series #3), by Neal Shusterman
    The third and final book in Shusterman’s bestselling series has arrived just in time for the holidays, and when it opens, things are looking grim. We find Citra and Rowan awaking three years after the events of the last book, and on the run from Scythe Goddard’s allies and everyone who would see Rowan burn for the destruction of Endura. The Thunderhead is still in charge, but won’t communicate with anyone other than Greyson Tolliver, a.k.a. the Toll. Will our heroes defeat him? And will an edition of this beauty signed by Shusterman himself be the perfect gift for a die-hard fan? We’re betting the answer to both questions will be yes.

    Check out the complete list of signed editions available at Barnes & Noble this holiday season. The books will be available starting November 16.

    The post A Signed Book Is the Perfect Gift for Every Reader on Your List appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 4:00 pm on 2019/02/11 Permalink
    Tags: , , brideshead revisited, , carry on, , , , , , , , , , , , rainbow rowell, soon i will be invincible, , , the dresden files, , the name of the wind, , the paper magician, the shades of magic series,   

    Your Reading List for the Return of The Magicians 

    It’s official: Lev Grossman’s fantastic book series The Magicians has inspired one of the best adaptations on television. The series based on Grossman’s books has managed the trickiest of all balancing acts, both honoring its source material and going beyond it in satisfying, intriguing ways. Grossman’s books are aggressively meta, a brilliant deconstruction of fantasy books that merrily wears the deconstruction on its sleeve—the brilliance of Quentin Coldwater discovering that magic is as tedious, difficult, and dense as advanced physics or maths is balanced with the childlike joy Grossman manages to convey concerning the actual use of it, and the discovery of a very real Narnia-esque portal world. Overall it’s a childhood fantasy pushed through an adult lens, and there’s no better way to celebrate the show’s return than by diving into some other fantasy worlds.

    The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis & The Harry Potter Series, by J.K. Rowling
    Let’s get these out of the way: if you somehow haven’t read the Narnia books, which are the inspiration for Fillory and the ur-portal fantasy of a billion childhoods, or the Potter books (which, seriously, how?), you’re not only missing some of the fundamental building blocks of Grossman’s universe, you’re likely missing something fundamental from your reading life. These two series are how The Magicians came to be—even if you have read them, reading them again—or, you know, for a fifth or sixteenth time—is never a bad idea.

    Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
    Grossman cited this stone-cold classic as one of the most important books in his life, and aside from its general greatness (seriously, read this book) it’s easy to see where it’s folded into the foundations of The Magicians, as it’s primarily a story of college grads and their fates after school. Lyrical, beautiful, sad, and somehow existing in a unique fictional universe despite being a realistic novel, there are grace notes of Waugh throughout Grossman’s books that you’ll suddenly see after you read this.

    Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
    Grossman himself recommends Clarke’s neo-classic when people ask what they should read after The Magicians. A thousand-page riff on Victorian literature and fairy tales, it’s set in a 19th century world where magic has recently returned after a long absence. A fateful rivalry develops between stuffy, bookish magician Mr. Norrell and showy upstart Jonathan Strange, with world-changing consequences. It is one of the most unusual works of fantasy you’ll ever read, filled with epic detail and a writing style that brings names like Dickens and Austen to mind. It’s a masterpiece, and nothing short of remarkable, and it is a perfect companion piece to Grossman’s books, exploring the theme of what happens when magic is discovered to be real in a totally different but complementary way that Grossman fans will appreciate.

    The Paper Magician, by Charlie N. Holmberg
    The story kicks off after young Ceony graduates from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined and is assigned to her apprenticeship—in paper magic, about as far from her desired specialty, metal, as she can get. But just as Simon finds that the hard work and late nights required to master magic in his universe are worth it, Ceony finds that putting the work in with her charming mentor, Emery Thane, yields amazing results. But there’s forbidden magic in this world, blood magic that operates on flesh and bone, and Ceony is forced to rely on her imperfect mastery to save Thane, and possibly the world. It’s a perfect series for fans of Grossman’s books.

    The Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher
    It’s pretty simple math: while they’re different beasts in terms of tone and plot devices, the fact is that folks who love The Magicians will probably love Jim Butcher’s detective-cum-wizard Harry Dresden, who brings a hard-boiled edge to his investigations of paranormal and magical events and crimes. It’s easy to imagine someone graduating Watford and slowly evolving into Harry; although the magic systems are completely different, the tone matches up well, making this an ideal series to dive into when you need a new adventure that combines magic, sass, and plenty of great plot twists.

    Soon I Will be Invincible, by Austin Grossman
    Superheros instead of magicians, but Lev’s twin brother Austin has written one of the most fun and enjoyable comic-book subversions ever. As Doctor Impossible plots his escape from prison and questions his life choices, the league of heroes known as The Champions patrol the world against wrongdoers and struggle with their own existential crises and personal failings as they deal with the disappearance of their greatest member. It’s hilarious, and captures the tone of comic books with pitch-perfect skill while offering an augmented view of the world that will appeal to fans of The Magicians.

    The Shades of Magic Series, by V.E. Schwab
    If part of what appeals to you about The Magicians is the idea that magic is hidden—but could be around any corner—than Schwab’s fantastic Shades of Magic is required reading. The story spans four alternate Londons—White London, soaked in and consumed by magic, Red London, where magic is used reasonably and intelligently, Grey London (our world) where magic has been all but forgotten, and Black London, where magic has crushed the life out of everything. Its elemental magic system isn’t very similar to Grossman’s realistically arcane discipline, but the dense storytelling and joy of magic is right in line and the perfect way to prime your imagination for the TV show.

    The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern
    Dreamy, lush, and romantic, at first glance this might not seem like it has much in common with Grossman’s story. The crucial link, again, is the way magic is presented as hidden in plain view—the Night Circus is truly magical, but obscures its nature simply by performing its spells for people’s entertainment, as part of the circus act. This allows the two rival magicians traveling with it to wage a proxy war of magic right in front of amazed audiences, who never suspect what they’re actually seeing even as they rave about the trick. It’s ultimately concerned with the human heart, and is exactly the sort of book that Simon would have read and loved.

    The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss
    Rothfuss’s modern classic is very different in tone from Grossman’s work, and is set in an epic fantasy universe instead of an urban one. That said, it’s a modern classic for reasons, not the least of which is that the whole “school of magic” aspect is just one part of the story—the legendary warrior, bard, and magician Kvothe’s life story is already pretty epic by the time he sets his sights on gaining admission to the University. This is one of those stories where the destination is the journey, and not only will it serve as a great alternative flavor in stories about people learning the secrets of the universe, it will also addict you to a whole book series.

    Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell
    If it’s the meta-ness of The Magicians that you groove on, it simply doesn’t get more meta than Rowell’s first foray into fantasy literature. The story of Simon Snow, the Chosen One finishing his final year at Watford School of Magicks and his roommate (or maybe more) Baz Grimm-Pitch began life as a fictional book series modeled on Harry Potter in Rowell’s Fangirl, seen largely through a slash fan-fic being written by a character in that book. So this is the real novel based on the fan-fic based on the fictional novels in the fictional world of a totally separate novel. Got that? Doesn’t matter—it’s actually a fun, bouncy riff on the whole ‛kids in magician school’ trope that offers a wonderful accent to your Magicians meal prep.

    The post Your Reading List for the Return of <i>The Magicians</i> appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

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

    These 20 Books Are Absolute Dorm Room Essentials 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What books should every college student read?

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

     
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