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  • BN Editors 2:00 pm on 2018/07/16 Permalink
    Tags: , bear town, beneath a scarlet sky, cecelia ahern, , , educated, , franklin graham, , , helen hoang, , mark sullivan, , , summer reading, , the gift, , , , therese ann fowler, through my father's eyes,   

    Cottage by the Sea Author Debbie Macomber Shares Her Summer Reading List 

    Filled with memorable characters and set in gorgeous locales, bestselling author Debbie Macomber’s novels about family, friendships, and love, will help even a staycation feel like an escape. And while her stories are perfect for reading any time of the year (her Angel series and Christmas novels are delightful to cozy up with during the holidays), summer is the perfect time to lose yourself one of her lush, heartwarming stories. In her newest novel, Cottage by the Sea, a woman who has experienced great trauma travels to the Pacific Northwest, a place where she has happy memories from childhood, to recover. There she begins building a new life for herself, despite her grief, discovering her own community and even finding romance—until she finds herself at the crossroads of an important and life-defining decision. Ms. Macomber was kind enough to share her own summer reading list with B&N Reads—and it is filled with fascinating stories, from nonfiction to historicals, that are sure to find their way onto your own summer to-be-read pile! Enjoy her ten picks below (and don’t miss her interview with the B&N Podcast here!).

    Beneath a Scarlet Sky, by Mark Sullivan
    I’m actually half way through this book about an Italian youth working for the resistance in World War II, which I’m finding to be fascinating. It’s based on a true story and compelling reading.

    Through My Father’s Eyes, by Franklin Graham
    With the death of Billy Graham earlier this year I have this book on my bookshelf and am eager to read about the man himself.  I personally attended two of his crusades and am a great admirer of this godly man.

    The Gift, by Cecilia Ahern
    This is actually a Christmas book that I’ve been wanting to read since the holidays.  If I wait much longer it will be the season so I’ve moved it to my “to-be-read” pile.

    The Kiss Quotient, by Helen Hoang
    There’s been quite a bit of industry buzz about this book.  I found the premise intriguing, an autistic woman who is eager to understand what it is to fall in love.

    The High Tide Club, by Mary Kay Andrews
    Her beach reads are something I look forward to each summer season. This story is full of romance, and even has a surprising twist that I did not expect!

    All We Ever Wanted, by Emily Giffin
    It’s a thought provoking and relatable novel that involves complex social issues we face in today’s society. This is definitely one of her best, and who doesn’t love the cobalt blue cover!

    The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah
    Many people know Kristin from her book The Nightingale, but this stand alone is just as amazing! The Great Alone is set in Alaska which is wild in nature. This setting mixed with the dysfunction of the family creates a downfall of events. Each dark moment seems to get darker and darker. This story digs deep, and the character development is incredible. Your heart will be intertwined and invested not only with Leni and her parents, but the community who embraces this family.

    Bear Town, by Fredrik Backman
    The tragedies that befall this community and the families there are much like you’d experience in any small town. When you finish this book, you know there is more to this story. I was thrilled to see the follow up Us Against You was just released.

    Educated, by Tara Westover
    This is a truly gripping story about a girl struggling for an education. It pulled at my heart strings as I read through each page. This book is moving and demonstrates the power in someone’s life that an education holds.

    Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, by Therese Ann Fowler
    With her highly anticipated new book coming out this October, A Well-Behaved Woman: A Novel of the Vanderbilts, I decided to reread this one.  It was just as good if not better the second time. It takes you back in time to the roaring twenties and the Jazz era. Re-reading this book made me anxious for her next debut.

    Cottage by the Sea is on B&N bookshelves July 17.

    The post <i>Cottage by the Sea</i> Author Debbie Macomber Shares Her Summer Reading List appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 8:00 pm on 2018/06/18 Permalink
    Tags: , books to get sandy, , summer reading   

    The Best New Books to Read on the Beach 

    When it comes to sticking your toes in the sand and your nose in some prose, not every book measures up. A Beach Read is a book that brings certain things to the table: it should be fast-paced, twisty, and surprising, and above all it should be the sort of book that’s capable of distracting you from the sun, the sand, and the sea for a little while. If you find yourself constantly looking up from the page to watch dogs catching Frisbees, you might be reading the wrong book.

    We got you. Here are eight books so absorbing you might need extra sunblock, because you are going to lose track of time when you’re reading them.

    The Cast, by Danielle Steel
    Steel is an expert at casually constructing stories that suck you into their gossipy, oh-no-they-didn’t drama. In The Cast, Kait Whittier is a magazine columnist who has put two marriages behind her and is in no rush to try her hand at a third, preferring instead to enjoy the company of her children and the challenge of her work. When she meets a television producer by chance, she pitches him an idea for a TV series based on her own grandmother’s remarkable life—and the producer loves it. Suddenly Kait finds herself plunged into a Hollywood production, meeting the cast and crew that will bring her grandmother’s story to the screen. Kait quickly bonds with them, from the icy director to the quietly suffering lead actress, and they become her second family—just in time to help Kait through one of the greatest personal challenges of her life.

    The Perfect Couple, by Elin Hilderbrand
    Here’s a beachy hook for your summer reading: a perfect wedding in glamorous Nantucket hits some rocks when the Maid of Honor is found dead in the ocean the morning of the big day. Hilderbrand is at the top of her game as she introduces the bride, Celeste Otis, who has a bag packed and is ready to bolt from her own wedding when social media influencer Merritt Monaco is found dead, despite the fact that her would-be husband, Benji, seems wonderful. Mixed up in everything is novelist Greer Garrison, who’s hit a bit of a midlife crisis as her publisher is asking for a complete rewrite of her latest novel. Hilderbrand is a master at combining the beachy fun of a location like Nantucket with some serious thriller and mystery chops—this is a beach read you won’t be able to put down, we promise.

    All We Ever Wanted, by Emily Giffin
    This emotionally complex story centers on a social media controversy that spirals out of control. Nina is a former middle-class girl who married rich, confident Kirk and moved to Nashville. Their son, Finch, is headed for Princeton, and life seems perfect, even as Nina begins to question her husband’s character and her own choices. Tom is a single dad raising spirited Lyla, who gets a scholarship to the exclusive Windsor Academy. When a photo of Lyla at a party, unconscious and vulnerable, hits the internet, the whole town is thrown into an uproar—especially since it seems like Finch is the one who took the photo. Giffin has a gift for making other people’s problems very real and very compelling. While all your stress drains away on the beach, nothing beats reading about other people’s stress—so bring the popcorn and your sunglasses and start turning those pages.

    Calypso, by David Sedaris
    Sometimes the beach requires bite-sized fiction you can pick up and put down without breaking the thread. If you’re sharing a beach house this summer, this one is ideal for you: Sedaris collects a whopping twenty-one essays in this volume, all centered on the beach house he purchased a few years ago and that has served as a central gathering place for his family ever since. With his usual self-deprecation and sharp wit, Sedaris chronicles the arguments, discussions, and adventures he gets into both with and without his family, and continues to fearlessly explore his mother’s death and his sister’s suicide as well as issues including whether Jesus was attractive or not. Laugh-out-loud funny in places and incredibly moving in others, Sedaris continues to prove he’s one of our greatest living essayists with this fantastic collection.

    Shelter in Place, by Nora Roberts
    Beachy reading doesn’t have to be breezy and light. Roberts spins a tense story about the survivors of a mass shooting event at the DownEast Mall. College student Reed Quartermaine managed to save a child during the chaos, and meets first responder Essie McVee, who inspires him to follow that instinct and become a police officer. High school student Simone Knox is the first to call 911 and becomes famous, and uses that fame to launch a career as an artist, honoring the victims she couldn’t save by sculpting them. Three years after the attack, Reed notices that people who were there that fateful day are being murdered—and then he’s attacked himself, by the sister of one of the shooters, or someone everyone believes to be the shooter. The truth slowly unspools as Reed risks everything to investigate, falling for Simone in the process in this fast, pulse-pounding story with a lot of heart.

    The High Tide Club, by Mary Kay Andrews
    If you’ve ever let your mind wander while sitting on the beach, wondering what might happen if adventure suddenly dropped into your vacay, this is the book for you. Andrews starts off her newest with an intriguing mystery, then pulls off a twist that makes it even more interesting. Brooke Trappnell is a struggling attorney and single mother, so she’s elated, if mystified, when local millionaire Josephine Warrick invites her to her island compound just off the coast of the small Georgia town they call home. Josephine, 99, is dying, and she wants her estate to go to three old friends she has been estranged from for years. Two of the self-named High Tide Club have passed away, but Brooke is charged with tracking down the last survivor and the descendants of the others and arranging for them to come to Josephine so she can make amends and change her will. Brooke knows Josephine isn’t telling her everything—and there’s an old unsolved murder in the mix—but before anything can be figured out Josephine dies without changing her will. Brooke and the High Tide Club are left scrambling to save the estate, follow her wishes, and solve the mysteries surrounding her.

    Love and Ruin, by Paula McLain
    The past is often more romantic than the present, so if your current beach experience isn’t particularly cinematic, here’s a book that’ll bring the drama you’re missing. McLain returns to Hemingway’s life with a thrilling focus on his third wife, the independent, brilliant Martha Gellhorn. Already famous in her own right for her journalistic work during the 1930s, Gellhorn meets the older Hemingway and their romance sizzles—for a time. McLain masterfully brings these historical figures to life, depicting the neediness and instability Hemingway brought to the table, traits that slowly ruin their love and marriage. Gellhorn makes her break from Hemingway in dramatic fashion, stowing away on a hospital ship bound for Normandy on D-Day, becoming the first journalist of either gender to report back from the massive invasion of Fortress Europe. The story’s twists and turns wouldn’t be believed if it wasn’t based on real people—real people unlike any you may have known.

    By Invitation Only, by Dorothea Benton Frank
    In this charming new Lowcountry story, Fred, a South Carolina farmer, and Shelby, daughter of a wealthy Chicago couple, are getting married. Fred’s mother, Diane, has lived on a small island off the coast her whole life and is planning the engagement party in her typically low-key way. When she invites Shelby’s parents, Susan and Alejandro, to attend, what follows is a collision of two worlds and two very different styles, as Susan and Diane get along like oil and water. Back in Chicago, Susan throws a second party, kicking off a struggle of wills as Susan keeps trying to make the wedding bigger and more elaborate and the kids keep trying to scale it back. A family tragedy only accelerates the pace—and anyone who has lived the stress of planning a wedding will find Frank’s delightful treatment of the two families to be extremely entertaining.

    The post The Best New Books to Read on the Beach appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • BN Editors 6:00 pm on 2017/08/21 Permalink
    Tags: , , , summer reading   

    My Not So Perfect Life Author Sophie Kinsella Shares Her Summer Reading List 

    Sophia Kinsella’s latest, My Not So Perfect Life, centers on the FOMO-drenched existence of office drone and unlikely heroine Katie Brenner. Her obsession with the seemingly enviable life of her hip, brilliant boss, Demeter, crashes and burns after she’s fired without warning, sending her into a tailspin. Katie picks herself up and heads to her family farm in Somerset, where she’ll help set up a new business, find her footing again, and come face to face with Demeter again, learning more about the truth behind the image and setting a course to pursue her own (not so) perfect life.

    My Not So Perfect Life is a thoroughly perfect summer read, and here’s Kinsella to share six more of her own picks for the season.

    My Not So Perfect Life is a book about women, the workplace, the pressures of social media, life in London and the draw of the countryside. The books I’ve chosen all inform or entertain in one of these areas.

    The Circle, by Dave Eggers
    This chilling view of where social media might take us is a must-read.

    Read an excerpt on B&N Readouts >

    The Hating Game, Sally Thorne
    This is a great study of the ultimate love/hate work relationship.

    Read an excerpt on B&N Readouts >

    Not Working, Lisa Owens
    I loved this tale of modern not-office life – very fresh and funny.

    Read an excerpt on B&N Readouts >

    Ctrl, Alt, Delete: How I Grew Up Online, by Emma Gannon
    I love this memoir about growing up in the age of social media.

    A Room with a View, E.M. Forster
    This has the best love scene in the countryside ever!

    Far from the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
    An sweeping, atmospheric novel set in the English countryside, with strong passions and even stronger characters.

    The post My Not So Perfect Life Author Sophie Kinsella Shares Her Summer Reading List appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Molly Schoemann-McCann 6:27 pm on 2017/07/12 Permalink
    Tags: , how to bang a billionaire, mature content, off base, p.s. your cat is dead, real love: the art of mindful connection, , , summer reading, suzanne brockman, , the ship beyond time, under rose-tainted skies   

    The Joy of Diversity! A Summer Reading List from Some Kind of Hero Author Suzanne Brockman 

    Characters in modern romance novels come in all shapes, sizes, ages, colors, creeds, abilities, and orientations! Reading stories about people who don’t look, act, and think exactly as we do allows us to step into a different (or perhaps not so different) life, and experience both challenges and joys we otherwise might’ve missed—widening our world-view even while keeping us wildly entertained.

    Here’s my summer reading list of diverse—and wildly entertaining—books:

    How to Bang a Billionaire, by Alexis Hall.
    Confession: I find nothing appealing about billionaires these days, so it’s nice to see that the first person hero of this romance—a funny, charming, adorable undergrad at Oxford—is well outside of his comfort zone, too, as he collides with his billionaire love interest. Still, I’ll gladly go anywhere Hall leads me. If he writes it, I’ll love it—he’s just that good. (Also…? Gotta love that title!)

    Trust Me, by Farrah Rochon
    The latest romance in Rochon’s popular, Louisiana-set Holmes Brothers series has a kickass heroine who’s running for mayor and a freelance journalist (and Holmes Brother) hero! I’m already in love!

    Mature Content, by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell
    I’m a huge fan of Erickson and Hassell’s funny, edgy Cyberlove series of romances, and this is long-awaited book number four. All set in the same fast-paced (mostly on-line) world, these searingly h-h-hot and heart-wrenchingly emotional books can be devoured in any order.

    The Ship Beyond Time, by Heidi Heilig
    The sequel to The Girl From Everywhere, which I loved madly, merges time travel and fantasy with history and adventure. I’m so glad I’ll have a chance to spend more time with Nix, the book’s brilliant YA heroine who, like Heilig herself, hails from Hawaii.

    Under Rose-Tainted Skies, by Louise Gornall
    Yet another intriguing YA romance—with a heroine who has agoraphobia and OCD, yet manages to connect with the super-cute boy-next-door. According to a review from Library Journal, Gornall “(draws) from her own experiences” to tell this story. But it’s this line from the book’s blurb that made me click the buy-now link: “Norah can’t leave the house, but can she let someone in?I can’t wait to take this complicated journey with her!

    An Extraordinary Union, by Alyssa Cole
    I recently read and loved Alyssa Cole’s An Extraordinary Union, set during the Civil War, and immediately went to see when her next book (a sequel, called A Hope Divided) comes out. It’s not until November, but that’s okay, because Cole’s backlist of historical romances is deliciously diverse. I’m eager to read both Be Not Afraid for its Revolutionary War time-period (and that awesome cover), and Let it Shine, set during the Civil Rights era in 1961.

    P.S. Your Cat is Dead, by James Kirkwood
    Originally published in the early 1970s, I was sixteen when I first plucked this book from the paperback rack at the grocery checkout—on the day that my best friend’s cat was killed by a car in front of her house! That fateful encounter was the start of my lifelong love of Jim Kirkwood—who went on to co-write the book for A Chorus Line before AIDS stole his genius from the world. I can’t wait to do a reread of this life-changing story, and hope that all of Kirkwood’s novels comes back into print soon.

    Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection, by Sharon Salzberg
    Yes, it’s non-fiction, but Salzberg’s classic Loving Kindness is a go-to book for me in these troubling, turbulent times. I’m looking forward to this new release from a mindfulness expert whose easy-to-read voice is that of a loving, compassionate friend.

    Off Base, by Annabeth Albert
    I’ve heard great things about Albert’s military romances, and decided to start with this romance featuring a closeted (even to himself) Navy SEAL, and his journey towards love, light, and truth. That’s the kind of HEA I simply can’t resist.

    The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas
    Lyrically poetic, heart-breaking, sharply funny, and breathtakingly tragic, this YA novel about a girl who witnesses the violent death of a friend in a police shooting is the must read of 2017. (And probably 2018, 2019, and 2020, too.) I read it earlier this year when it first dropped into my e-reader, but I’ll definitely be reading it again this summer.

    Suzanne Brockmann’s latest book, Some Kind of Hero, is available on B&N bookshelves now! 

    The post The Joy of Diversity! A Summer Reading List from Some Kind of Hero Author Suzanne Brockman appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Melissa Albert 7:00 pm on 2017/07/11 Permalink
    Tags: , summer reading   

    Swell Author Jill Eisenstadt Shares Her Picks for Essential Summer Reading 

    Jill Eisenstadt’s debut, From Rockaway, was bound by the nihilistic routines of a trio of lifeguards who spend their summers surveying New York’s Rockaway Beach. Though still young, their lives already seem decided, split between watching the waves and working blue-collar jobs in the cold months. Her latest, Swell, returns to the shore thirty years later, in the story of a family with some serious baggage, moving into a Rockaway house that’s haunted in more ways than one. An unwanted houseguest and the return of a character who first appeared in From Rockaway round out this darkly funny, sympathetic tale.

     

    Both books make for perfect beach reading, set seaside but far from candy-colored. Here’s Eisenstadt to share a list of more ideal waterfront reads, for your summer enjoyment.

    What makes a good beach read? For me, it’s mainly about practicality. Leave the heavy tome at home. Avoid the minuscule print (though that’s advice for everywhere). Don’t bother with anything you’d care about getting stained with sunscreen or sandwich drippings. Wind, wet, sand, salt – such conditions require a book you can wrangle. Break the spine, throw the sopping towel over accidentally, or fold down pages when your bookmark vanishes. Other than that, it’s a matter of your current mood. So have a good assortment handy – old and new, serious, light, something in between. Content-wise, I tend to go for sweltering settings or themes, but that’s personal. There can be no bad beach books because, thank Poseidon, books don’t need charging or batteries.

    Some for Summer 2017:

    Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, with an Eligible, by Curtis Sittenfeld, chaser
    Like beaches, Jane Austen is a place to escape from the news. Curtis Sittenfeld’s modern take is pure fun, an inside joke for the outdoors.

    Men Without Women, by Haruki Murakami
    Short stories work well on the beach, particularly ones that tend toward the spare and philosophical. Between stories you can take a swim or stare out to sea wondering why Murakami used a Hemingway title, whether the men in the book could be weirder, and ultimately what it all means.

    The Soul of an Octopus, by Sy Montgomery
    If you haven’t heard, octopuses are in. And no, it’s not octopi, as you’ll learn if you read this. Includes many other fascinating insights into these intelligent, emotional beings.

    The Member of the Wedding, by Carson McCullers
    “It happened that green and crazy summer when Frankie was twelve years old. This was the summer when for a long time she had not been a member. She belonged to no club and was a member of nothing in the world. Frankie had become an unjoined person who hung around in doorways, and she was afraid.”

    Endless Love, by Scott Spencer
    I haven’t looked at this novel in decades but nor have I forgotten it. And I just recounted to verify….yes, the sex scene is 36 pages long! Definitely high time to revisit.

    The Talented Mr. Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith
    Psychological thrillers do not get better than this. Exciting and intelligent and set in fabulous sometimes beachy locales (the Ligurian coast). Never will you find yourself more fervently rooting for a sociopath.

    Tiny Beautiful Things, by Cheryl Strayed
    Lie on the sand on a big soft towel and listen to your daughters (or friends) take turns reading advice aloud. This book, culled from columns originally run in the Rumpus, written by the once anonymous and shockingly wise Cheryl Strayed, is a guaranteed conversation starter. When and if you gather the will to finally take a walk, there’s also a handy spinoff podcast with the wonderful Steve Almond.

    Sea Grapes, by Derek Walcott
    Poetry on the beach is essential. Because, as Walcott himself writes in the title poem of his most famous collection, “The classics can console. But not enough.”

    The post Swell Author Jill Eisenstadt Shares Her Picks for Essential Summer Reading appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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