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  • Tara Sonin 4:00 pm on 2017/11/03 Permalink
    Tags: ashes in the wind, belgravia, , , epic stories, , john galsworthy, julian fellowes, , , , , penmarric, , sara donati, screen to page, susan howatch, the forsyte saga, the pillars of the earth,   

    8 Books Perfect for Poldark Fans 

    Waves crashing against the rocks, linen skirts blowing in the wind, furtive glances in candlelight, and secrets hidden in the mines are just some of the images that come to mind when thinking of fan-favorite historical drama, Poldark. The story of a soldier returning home to his mining village after defeat in the Revolutionary war only to find that the love of his life has become engaged to someone else, the romantic tension in Poldark is riveting, as over the past three seasons we’ve watched our favorite love triangle—Ross, Demelza, and Elizabeth (and our favorite villain, George)—tangle for the upper hand, and for one another’s hearts. The Season 3 DVD is available soon (check out the trailer below!) and here are eight romances you can read while you wait to binge watch!

    Devil in Winter, by Lisa Kleypas
    Just like Poldark’s Elizabeth and Francis’ marriage is one founded on convenience—to keep money and property in the family, when they assumed Ross was dead—so must Evangeline find a way to secure her future, only this time away from her family. She turns to the infamous Viscount Sebastian St. Vincent, but what begins as a method of escape turns into a marriage of passion.

    Into the Wilderness, by Sara Donati
    Another sweeping epic of unexpected romance begins when Elizabeth Middleton departs England for New York in the 18th century. Just as Poldark confronts the injustices set upon the mine workers in Cornwall, Elizabeth must confront slavery and ill-treatment of Native Americans in the new world…and one man who confounds and ignites her.

    Ashes in the Wind, by Kathleen Woodiwiss
    A classic romance novel about the ramifications of war, in which Alaina escapes turmoil dressed as a boy only to find herself ensnared in the arms of the enemy. Cole, a union soldier, can never know the other secret that rests beneath Alaina’s disguise…that she was accused of spying, and is running for her life. If you love the mystery aspects of Poldark, this one will be hard to put down.

    Wicked Intentions, by Elizabeth Hoyt
    When the London slum of St. Giles is threatened by a savage murderer, it takes a rake equally as savage to uncover the truth, and Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire, is the perfect man for the job. But when he finds himself in cahoots with Temperance, a widow searching for a way to find the killer and save her St. Giles home, he discovers that no mystery has ever been more compelling than the one woman he cannot have. If George Warleggan and Ross Poldark’s ongoing battle for power over and possession of Elizabeth strikes your fancy, don’t miss this romance.

    Penmarric, by Susan Howatch
    Penmarric may as well be Poldark’s sibling; it takes place in the same English town, Cornwall, and involves a devastating conflict over a great family estate. Penmarric is Mark’s birthright, but sometimes getting everything you think you deserve brings misery upon those you claim to love. Secrets, passion, and mystery run amok in this gorgeous epic.

    The Forsyte Saga, by John Galsworthy
    Also an epic romantic drama turned into a mini-series, this book introduces readers to the Forsytes, who are just as mysterious, secretive, and at times, villainous, as the Poldarks. Soames Forsyte narrates the drama as he falls for Irene, a woman who does not love him—and the tragedy that results spans generations.

    The Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett
    In the fictional town of Kingsbridge during the English Middle Ages, a saga is born with the building of a cathedral. One might think construction might not cause the drama, suspense, romance and devastation that it does, but when the book begins with a woman cursing her beloved’s executioner, you know it’s going to be good. A heartbreaking epic of feudalism, ambition, and love.

    Belgravia, by Julian Fellowes
    Historical fiction fans will no doubt be familiar with Downtown Abbey as well—and this novel from its creator lives up to expectations. Set in the 1840’s when the class divide between the old and new money began to collide, conflict erupts between families that the changing tide of society can never undo.

    What novels would you recommend to Poldark fans?

    The post 8 Books Perfect for Poldark Fans appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Melissa Albert 7:30 pm on 2016/12/05 Permalink
    Tags: screen to page, , ,   

    5 YA Books for Westworld Fans 

    After the events of last night’s Westworld finale on HBO (no spoilers here), you may be looking for a great book to fill the futuristic, “robots in the Wild West nightmare waiting to happen” hole in your heart. We’ve got your to-read list right here: Lifelike robots, emotional confusion, viewers getting dragged into intense storylines, the Wild West, and scary theme parks feature heavily in these five YA novels. Welcome to the park!

    Caraval, by Stephanie Garber
    Scarlett is the dutiful sister, Tella the impetuous, headstrong one. So when they receive an invitation from the mysterious Master Legend to attend Caraval—a magical event that lasts days, in which players enter an immersive game they may never leave—it’s Tella who hatches a plan to sneak away from their terrifying father. What neither sister bargains on is Tella getting kidnapped and being made the prize in the game. Just like in Westworld, nothing here is what it seems, and once players get drawn into the Caraval storyline, the danger is real, and anything can happen. Loaded with atmosphere, secrets, and scares, this is a magical, entrancing tale.  (It’s not out till next month, but get your pre-order on today!)

    Cinder, by Marissa Meyer
    You want androids? We got ’em. In this retelling of Cinderella, our heroine is now called Cinder, and she’s a cyborg in New Beijing, a bustling, lawless city crowded with humans and androids living side by side. The world is ravaged by plague, and even Cinder’s adopted family is threatened. When Prince Kai shows up in Cinder’s workshop to get an android repaired, he’s instantly attracted to the not-quite-human Cinder. However, the evil mind-controlling Lunar Queen has other ideas, and she drops in from the moon in order to marry Kai…which kind of leaves Cinder in the middle of an intergalactic war. A little awkward. Full of Cinderella references that have been cleverly translated into a sassy, scrappy sci-fi future.

    Girl Parts, by John Cusick
    David is plugged in. He’s always online, and has friends everywhere. Charlie, not so much. However, David is clinically “disassociated,” and to help him learn how to connect, his parents buy him the newest Companion Bot, a redhead called Rose. David has some ideas about how he’d like to connect, but unlike in Westworld, this robot has strict intimacy protocols (and no “girl parts”), and shocks him whenever he’s being inappropriate. Useful trick. Rose gradually begins to understand what she is, and develops more emotional responses. Which is when she runs away, and runs into Charlie. The story focuses on Rose as she becomes more than a machine, but we also get two very vivid portraits of lonely teenagers struggling to relate to a world they don’t understand in David and Charlie. Friendship, love, and loss mix in this unique sci-fi fable.

    Revenge and The Wild, by Michelle Modesto
    Set in a futuristic Wild West (sound familiar?), Revenge and the Wild follows Westie, a girl with a mechanical arm seeking revenge on the cannibals who took her limb—and her family—seven years ago. She lives in the out-of-control Rogue City, full of magic and darkness. The Wintu people use magic to protect Rogue City from the beasts that roam outside, but their magic is failing, and Westie thinks her family’s killers may have just arrived in town. Westie is determined to get her revenge at all costs, but her adopted family has other ideas. This is a thrilling, dark, and magical adventure that would be a great storyline in the Westworld theme park.

    Full Tilt, by Neal Schusterman
    Brothers Blake (responsible) and Quinn (reckless) get stuck in a scary phantom carnival/amusement park that has a habit of trapping people forever. Not ideal, and it’s all Quinn’s fault. Who goes into a haunted amusement park?! Blake has to go after him to make sure he’s okay…which is when things go horribly wrong. (Seriously, thanks, Quinn.) The demonic Cassandra appears and breaks the news:  Blake has to complete seven supernatural rides (aka, terrifying tasks that are horrendously difficult and challenging on, like, a personal level) before sunrise, or he’ll never be able to leave the park again. It’s the theme park from hell, forcing Blake to face his deepest fears and traumas. Horror, fantasy, and depth of character drive this story to its intense showdown.

    The post 5 YA Books for Westworld Fans appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Sarah Skilton 5:45 pm on 2016/11/08 Permalink
    Tags: , netflix, , screen to page,   

    6 Books to Pair with Your Favorite Netflix Series 

    Over recent years Netflix has ascended to become one of the best sources for quality TV. With its series’ brief (often 10 to 12 episodes) seasons, the quality never wavers—it doesn’t have time! Add stellar writing and casting, and you’ve got a dozen must-watch programs. The only downside is once you’ve binged, you’re left hanging, waiting for the next season to come around. The best way to deal is by reading great books that pair perfectly with your favorites, from sitcoms and superheroes to sci-fi and politics.

    If you love Marvel’s Luke Cage, try Blood Red Blues, by Teddy Hayes
    Easy Rawlins is name-checked in the first episode, and you can never go wrong with Walter Mosley’s classic detective series (now 14 books and counting), set in L.A. during the 1960s and ’70s. But if you’re looking for a crime-and-politics story set in Luke’s Harlem, pick up Harlem noir Blood Red Blues. Devil Barnett’s a former C.I.A. agent who returns to the neighborhood to run his dad’s bar, the Be-Bop Tavern, following his dad’s murder. Soon he’s embroiled in a separate murder case, that of a Japanese diplomat, with men on both sides of the law demanding his help navigating the underworld in which Devil grew up.

    If you love Jessica Jones, try Heroine Complex, by Sarah Kuhn
    Both tales depict damaged women in their twenties who battle bad guys in urban settings (Jones takes place in Hell’s Kitchen, Heroines in San Francisco). The comparisons don’t end there: both are sexy, fast-paced, and full of lovable supporting characters. Best of all, in both stories, female friendships take center stage. In Heroine Complex, Evie Tanaka is personal assistant and BFF to superheroine Aveda Jupiter, San Fran’s favorite daughter and official protector, but behind the scenes, Evie might actually be more powerful than her boss. Their fight against human-hybrid demons culminates in a karaoke battle that’s not to be missed.

    If you love BoJack Horseman try Furiously Happy, by Jenny Lawson
    For those who’ve never seen BoJack, it’s hard to categorize the brilliant show, which is chock full of bonus jokes for people who work in film, TV, or publishing. It’s a comedy about depression, narcissism, substance abuse, relationships, the entertainment industry, and the exquisite frailty of human connection. Each season is deeper, more bittersweet, and more poignant than the last. Furiously Happy, Lawson’s second memoir, delivers on a similar premise—”A Funny Book About Horrible Things”—by striking a tone that encourages hilarity and introspection. After all, Lawson is “crazy like a fox that has really gone insane.”

    If you love Black Mirror, try Notes From the Internet Apocalypse, by Wayne Gladstone
    Those who enjoy Black Mirror’s dark, satirical look at the world’s collective technology addiction will be intrigued by Gladstone’s three-book series. When the web flat-out disappears, forcing everyone to unplug, the Manhattanite main character (also named Gladstone) teams up with an obnoxious blogger and an Australian webcam girl to uncover the where’s, when’s, and why’s of the new world order. Although the loss of the Internet may seem as though it will “bring back a simpler time,” Gladstone quickly realizes it only means “a search for something new to fill the void.”

    If you love Master of None, try Adulting, by Kelly Williams Brown
    The clearest pairing to this Emmy Award–winning show is Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg’s book, Modern Romance, but that would be too easy. So, while you wait for season two, why not honor Dev, Rachel, Arnold, Brian, and Denise—and their quest for fulfillment—by digging into Adulting? The book’s funny, helpful nuggets of advice run the gauntlet from cooking/hosting (“How to make a dope cheese plate,” “Do not fear the puff pastry”) to socializing (“The small-talk bell curve”) to employment (“Do not steal more than three dollars’ worth of office supplies per quarter.”) A self-help book with a little something for everyone.

    If you love House of Cards, try The Hopefuls, by Jennifer Close
    Imagine Frank and Claire Underwood in their 20s, invigorated by the campaign process, eager to make their mark as White House staffers. (Okay, that’s really hard to picture.) Imagine House of Cards minus the cynicism. (Even tougher? All right, you got me: The Hopefuls is the anti-House of Cards.) But for anyone who misses the relatively saner 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns (which are depicted in the book), and anyone who loves funny, boozy, inside-baseball immersion into the world of politics, this book is a delicious feast. Close is a genius at writing contemporary realism. The central relationship, between two young D.C. couples who aspire to greatness, is so real it hurts.

    The post 6 Books to Pair with Your Favorite Netflix Series appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jenny Kawecki 7:09 pm on 2015/03/24 Permalink
    Tags: 20 questions, , paige mckenzie, screen to page, the haunting of sunshine girl,   

    Everything You Need to Know About The Haunting of Sunshine Girl (Plus: The Super-Creepy Book Trailer!) 

    Today The Haunting of Sunshine Girl hits the shelves, with rave reviews from horror masters R.L. Stine and Wes Craven, a creepy, creepy book trailer, and a story that will keep you turning pages late into the night. In case you haven’t seen the hit YouTube series that inspired the book, I’m here to introduce you to both the book and the phenomenon. Let’s play 20 questions!

    1. What is The Haunting of Sunshine Girl?
    It’s a YA book based on the hit YouTube series starring Sunshine Girl/Frances Jones/Paige McKenzie.

    2. Okay, but what’s the book about?
    Sunshine and her mother, Kat, have just moved to a creepy old house in Washington state. Right away, Sunshine senses there’s something weird about the house, but her mother doesn’t believe her. The terror grows as Sunshine starts hearing eerie laughter and seeing ghostly visions—then her mother starts to change, as she’s slowly taken over by the dark forces at play in the house. You’ll find yourself hiding under the covers and jumping at every creak as Sunshine races to save both her mother and herself.

    3. So how does YouTube factor into this?
    Nick Hagen and Mercedes Rose teamed up to create the YouTube series way back in 2010, starring Rose as Kat and her daughter as Sunshine. The show starts off featuring Sunshine taping two-minute videos on her flip camera, talking to her viewers about the mysterious happenings in her house, and attempting to catch her ghost on camera.

    4. Wait. This isn’t a true story, is it?
    No…at least, I really hope not.

    5. Is it scary?
    That mostly depends on what you think is scary. If, like me, you hate being home alone and get petrified in dark hallways and creaky houses, yes. You will almost definitely wet the bed. (Okay, maybe it’s not that scary.) If you’re a totally hardened to horror and don’t even flinch when weird noises come from your closet, The Haunting of Sunshine Girl will probably be a walk in the park. A haunted park full of strange fog and rustling things in the darkness.

    6. There are other things to enjoy besides the scary stuff, right?
    Yep. Creator/mastermind Nick Hagen described it as Paranormal Activity meets Gilmore Girls meets Easy A—so basically three of the world’s best things all rolled into one.

    7. So you’re telling me there’s romance in there?
    In the cute, adorable crush sort of way. Meet Nolan, Sunshine’s best friend/possibly future boyfriend in later installments.

    8. Future installments? So there’s going to be a sequel?
    Yes! According to Sunshine Girl herself (Paige McKenzie), there are going to be at least two books, and possibly more. Considering they’ve got twelve seasons of YouTube videos (and counting!) to work with, I doubt they’ll run out of book material. Book two is scheduled to come out in March 2016.

    9. Should I watch the YouTube videos before I read the book?
    You definitely don’t have to, since the book mostly contains the plot of seasons 1 and 3, so you won’t be missing any information. But I recommend it, if only because Sunshine has some seriously wonderful hair.

    10. Whoa! How is her hair so awesome?
    If only I knew, friends, if only I knew.

    11. Back to the book—will watching the YouTube series right now spoil the book for me?
    I don’t think so, but I tend to reread all my favorite books as often as possible. If you, like me, are tempted to binge-watch the show before you buy the book, I can tell you you’ll probably already know most of the plot…but I don’t think that’s a problem. The writing and the characters are still awesome, and the plot is super engaging.

    12. Eh, I’m not a super big fan of paranormal YA. Will I still like it?
    One of the reasons The Haunting of Sunshine Girl is so awesome is because the main character is so not a cardboard cutout. Sunshine is smart and quirky, but she’s neither overly snarky nor puke-worthy cute. Plus, she actually gets along with her mostly cool mom, so they’re a fun family to watch. In other words, YES, there’s something in it even for non–paranormal fans.

    13. Book series, YouTube series…any other adaptations I should know about?
    Actually, yes. Author/YouTube star Paige McKenzie is set to star in the film adaptation of the The Haunting of Sunshine Girl, although we don’t have a release date yet. She also starred in the spinoff movie Sunshine Girl and the Hunt for the Black Eyed Kids

    14. Author, actress, awesome hair. Is there anything Paige McKenzie can’t do?
    It’s true. If nothing else will convince you, you should read this book just to experience the talent whirlwind that is Paige McKenzie. She began the series at 16 and now, barely out of her teens, is already a successful author. Plus, she’s got Celiac disease and she’s only 5′ 1″, and she doesn’t let that slow her down at all.

    15. Is that her on the book cover?
    Yep, that’s my new hero/inspiration/spirit animal in the flesh!

    16. Are Sunshine Girl and Paige McKenzie the same person?
    Yes and no. According to Paige, they’re very similar, but Sunshine is like a better, more optimistic version of her. (Although I have my doubts about the “better” part.)

    17. Can I be Sunshine Girl when I grow up?
    Maybe—is your bedroom haunted? How good are you with a flip camera?

    18. What else should I know about the book?
    Well, it has a killer ending. Seriously. Killer. (Just kidding. Maybe.)

    19. Sounds good, but what else have you got?
    I seriously recommend you watch the book trailer right now. If this doesn’t have you lining up to get your hands on this book, I don’t know what will.

    20. Should I be excited for this book?
    Yes. Yes, you really should.

    The Haunting of Sunshine Girl is out today!

     
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