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  • Jeff Somers 4:00 pm on 2018/09/13 Permalink
    Tags: , the b&n book club   

    Nerdfighters Unite: Hank Green’s An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is the Next B&N Book Club Pick 

    Of the many wondrous effects the rise of internet culture has had on the world, perhaps the most delightful is the Rise of the Nerd, led by folks like Hank Green. Along with his brother, John (author of smash hit YA novels including The Fault in Our Stars), Hank has racked up nearly two billion YouTube views across sixteen separate web series, include Vlogbrothers, Crash Course, and SciShow—all while running the hugely popular Nerdfighteria web page and newsletter and several other blogs and companies, all of which share that Big Nerd Energy that is the Green brand.

    Unlike his older brother, Hank hasn’t published a novel—until now. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing hits bookstore shelves on September 25, and it’s coming in hot with a lot of advance excitement. Because we know it’s going to be a book everyone will be talking about, and because we want to be in on that discussion, we made it our next Book Club pick. Here’s why we can’t wait to read and discuss An Absolutely Remarkable Thing—and why you should join us.

    The Plot

    Twentysomething April May encounters a bizarre sculpture resembling a Transformer wearing samurai armor. Her friend Andy records her climbing onto it and posts it to the internet. By morning, April has become #famous as the first person to discover the statues—eventually dubbed “Carls”—which have mysteriously appeared all over the world. Her life changes rapidly as she’s swept into the whirlpool of viral fame—and into the quest to discover where the Carls came from, and what they might mean. Green, no stranger to being internet famous, is exploring how that fame twists and chops reality and peoples’ lives, and we can’t wait to read his take.

    The Influences

    Green has cited Frank Herbert’s classic science fiction novel Dune as a major influence on the book; considering that what we know of the plot isn’t so Dune-like, we can’t wait to analyze where Herbert’s novel might have guided Green’s hand. Green has also said that since the book is, at its core, a mystery, he read a lot of Harry Bosch novels to prepare, and that he got a lot of advice from none other than fantasy author Patrick Rothfuss.

    The Design

    To start with, the cover is awesome, but the book’s appeal as a physical object goes beyond that: Hank had a lot of input into its overall design, recruiting artist Jason Markow (known as TEKSTartist) to design its endpages. (Markow detailed how that happened and how he developed the final work over at his blog). It’s rare for an author to be that involved in the visual presentation of their work, and makes having a physical copy of it even more rewarding

    So, color us excited. We want to download this book directly to our brains and then spend the next few weeks eating snacks and discussing it with everyone. The third B&N Book Club is scheduled for Wednesday, October 24—see you there!

    The post Nerdfighters Unite: Hank Green’s <i>An Absolutely Remarkable Thing</i> is the Next B&N Book Club Pick appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jenny Shank 5:00 pm on 2018/04/02 Permalink
    Tags: , the b&n book club   

    Why Meg Wolitzer’s The Female Persuasion Is the Ideal Book Club Pick 

    Meg Wolitzer’s The Female Persuasion is a great, big bear hug of a feminist novel, a book to linger over and lose yourself in. It’s a book that touches on so many issues and emotions for people in all stages of life that you’ll want to discuss it with someone as soon as you’ve finished it. That’s why we’ve made it the first selection of the new Barnes & Noble Book Club, meeting at stores across the country on May 2.

    This engrossing novel follows the trajectory of Greer Kadetsky, a smart, ambitious young woman who lost her chance at attending Yale because her pot-smoking parents didn’t fill out the financial aid forms correctly. Instead, she finds herself at Ryland, her safety school, when glamorous, famous feminist Faith Frank (“a couple of steps down from Gloria Steinem”) comes to give a talk to the students. Shy Greer screws up her courage to talk to Faith afterward. Faith gives Greer her business card, and with it a possible path forward toward a professional future.

    Meanwhile, Greer tries to sustain her romance with her charming high school boyfriend while he studies at Princeton, and makes a fast friend in Zee, a young woman who has always thrown herself into political causes, including feminism. Although part of the fun of book clubs can be arguing over who liked the book and who didn’t and why, The Female Persuasion is as close as it gets to a guaranteed crowd pleaser. We hope you’ll pick up a special book club edition of the book—including a Reading Group Guide and an essay by the author—and sign up now to join us in stores on May 2. Here’s why we think it’s the perfect pick for a great conversation…over coffee and cookies, of course.

    It’s timely

    In light of our nation’s growing focus on social justice causes and the power of protest—in particular around issues centering on women, among them the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements—Wolitzer’s book is certain both to spur chatter and to advance conversations you may already be having. And tracking Greer’s path from innocence to experience, from stars in her eyes to a weary understanding of the fallibility of even the idols among us, is a theme that will never grow old.

    It’s sharp

    Read this one with Post-Its: you’ll want to flag something on every page. Wolitzer’s evocative, specific prose includes lines like this one, on the kind of nasty cocktails imbibed by undergrads since time immemorial: “It was the pastel pink of bug juice, but immediately had a muscular, slugging effect on Greer Kadetsky.” Or this line, perfectly evoking that post-college moment when new graduates are feeling their way toward what the future may hold: “Jobs made you sit up straighter and scheme, trying to think of any connections you had ever made and could now use.”

    It’s delicious

    Appropriate for a book that starts out in college, more than one of its scenes take place around pizza (“Pizza would be their consolation prize, two girls alone late at night with the soft solace of warm dough”). It evokes the self-consciously fancy finger foods of upscale feminist seminars (“gemological tuna tartare slicked with yuzu gelée”). And it pokes fun at the food that, via Big Advertising, has become synonymous with packaged feminine actualization (“the international symbol of female food: yogurt”). It’s a good thing book club attendees will get a free coffee and cookie at B&N Cafés: this book will make you hungry.

    It’s inspiring

    The Female Persuasion‘s focus on women’s empowerment and its characters’ quests to make a difference in the world might inspire you and your fellow attendees to engage in some group activism. Don’t let the conversation stop at the bookstore doors: take up a collection for a charity that helps women, or write postcards together to support a cause people care about. Though you’ll be a little wiser, perhaps, in where you put your energies after following Greer on her journey.

    The post Why Meg Wolitzer’s <i>The Female Persuasion</i> Is the Ideal Book Club Pick appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • BN Editors 3:00 pm on 2018/03/21 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , the b&n book club   

    The First Barnes & Noble Book Club Selection Read It Now and Join Us in Stores on May 2 

    People think of reading as a solitary activity—curling up with a book in a lonesome spot, a cup of tea nearby, a cat or two napping in your lap. But one of the great joys of reading books is talking about them: getting insights, arguing over characters and plot twists, swapping recommendations for another half-dozen you just have to read. Despite our tendency to get lost in a good book, readers are a deceptively chatty and social bunch.

    We have long been proud to serve as unofficial host to readers’ book clubs around the country. And now, to celebrate our readers and the power of shared book love, we’re announcing the launch of the Barnes & Noble Book Club.

    The first meeting will be held on May 2, 6–7 p.m., with local discussions hosted at all 630 stores in 50 states and led by our expert booksellers. The book club is free to all, and participants will be treated to a free tall, hot or iced coffee and cookie from the café. The first selection is in a special Barnes & Noble Book Club edition, which includes a Reading Group Guide and an essay by the author. One signed copy of the book will be given away at the book club.

    Our first B&N Book Club pick? The Female Persuasion, by Meg Wolitzer. The author of books including The Wife and The Interestings, Wolitzer packs her books with provocative ideas and unique views of the world. The Female Persuasion centers on idealistic but painfully shy college freshman Greer Kadetsky, who, after attending a lecture by feminist icon Faith Frank, is both electrified and intimidated by Frank’s intelligence, ferocity, and commitment to the cause. After graduation, Greer is thrilled to land a job with Frank’s foundation—but when her new life begins to crumble around her, Greer finds herself reevaluating her entire worldview, including her understanding of Frank and of what it means to be a feminist in the modern age.

    In other words, this is the sort of book you can talk about for days. Like all the best book club picks, it’s both a must-read and a “must talk about over coffee and cookies.”

    You can preorder your B&N Book Club Edition of The Female Persuasion in advance of its April 3 release, and sign up for the club at your local B&N. (If your local happens to be our location on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, get ready for author Wolitzer herself to join in the conversation!)

    We’ll be hosting book club meetings four times a year, so watch out for details on our next pick. And don’t forget to join us May 2 for an exciting evening of book nerdery, new friends, and Wolitzer’s fantastic new novel.

    The post The First Barnes & Noble Book Club Selection Read It Now and Join Us in Stores on May 2 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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