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  • Tara Sonin 6:00 pm on 2018/01/18 Permalink
    Tags: , a season with the witch, , , being nixon, , , bullies, , cooked, devil’s bargain, escape from camp 14, , , how google works, how we got to now, in the garden of beasts, , it’s okay to laugh, , , mistress of the vatican, muslim girl, Night, , orientalism, , salt: a world history, , , silent spring, , stamped from the beginning, the autobiography of malcolm x, the blood of emmett till, the crown, , the new jim crow, the origins of totalitarianism, the six wives of henry viii, , , , victoria the queen, , we were eight years in power, welcome to the universe, what happened, , world without mind, year of yes, yes please   

    50 Nonfiction Books that Will Make You Smarter in 2018 

    It’s 2018, and we’ve all heard the phrase “New Year, New You”…but here’s the thing: being you is actually the best, because you’re the only you there could ever be! So instead of trying to reinvent yourself, why not read some nonfiction books to help yourself be the smartest, most interesting, well-informed person you could be? (Also, you’ll know so much it will be impossible not to impress people at parties.)

    1776, by David McCullough
    Hamilton fans, if you can’t get enough of Revolutionary history, this book is your next read. It follows both the North American and British sides of the conflict, and focuses on two leaders in particular: George Washington, and Red Coat commander William Howe. Factual but fun to read, American history that won’t put you to sleep.

    Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow
    Another mandatory pick for Hamilton fans; the book the musical is based on! Follow Hamilton’s haunting upbringing as a poor, but brilliant kid in the Caribbean who travels to America with the hope of changing the world…and the downfall he could not recover from.

    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacksby Rebecca Skloot
    This true story confronts the collision of science and systemic racism with the story of Henrietta Lacks, whose cells were taken without her consent for study…and are still living today.

    In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex, by Nathaniel Philbrick
    If you want to impress with facts from forgotten tales, this riveting thriller details the shipwreck of the Essex, the boat that inspired Moby Dick!

    The Origins of Totalitarianism, by Hannah Arendt
    History can certainly inform the present….that is, if we the people aren’t informed. This book starts in the 1800’s and continues through World War I. No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, history is history, and it never hurts to remember it.

    The Six Wives of Henry VIII, by Alison Weir
    On to a more scandalous historical figure…or six of them, actually! The wives of Henry VIII had interesting lives before they met him, and his impact on their lives—and in some cases, their deaths—altered history. Full of juicy details, this reads like a novel.

    Cleopatra, A Life, by Stacy Schiff
    Who WAS Cleopatra, a woman built into life by myth and legend? Historian Stacy Schiff gives you access to her palace and a world that you MUST read to believe: incest, murder, poison, infidelity, and more…why isn’t there a TV show about her again?

    MAUS I, by Art Spiegelman
    I first read this book when I was young, but the story has stayed with me forever. The author shares the story of his father’s experience during the holocaust in graphic novel form, using animals instead of humans to detail the horrifying experience.

    We Were Eight Years In Power, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
    This collection of essays that follow President Obama’s two terms is a fascinating deep-dive into how race impacted Obama’s presidency and the ensuing 2016 election.

    The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander
    Here’s an uncomfortable truth: The ripple effects of slavery and Jim Crow are still here due to a systemic mass incarceration problem, essentially enslaving millions of black men and women behind bars. Learn about this system of oppression in this difficult, but important book.

    Night, by Elie Wiesel
    This classic autobiography of one man’s journey to survive the Holocaust is a gripping portrait of both the depths of evil—and the precipice of hope—that human beings are capable of.

    How Google Works, by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg
    With terms like “net neutrality” leading in the news, it’s important to become informed on the intersection of tech and government…and where best to start than with Google? Learn about their founding history, philosophy, and what it takes to succeed there.

    Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert
    If tech isn’t your thing, but art, writing, dance or performance are, definitely check out Elizabeth Gilbert’s treatise and lifestyle guide for living creatively.

    How We Got to Now, by Steven Johnson
    The modern world wasn’t built in a day, but it did innovate to evolve. This book is great for history buffs and factoid-finders (and maybe a reluctant reader or two, because there are illustrations!).

    The Crown, by Robert Lacey
    Season Two of the hit Netflix TV show has aired, you’ve marathoned it already, and you want more! Check out the book the show is based on and relive all the shocking and emotional moments, this time on the page.

    Mistress of the Vatican, by Eleanor Herman
    This salacious non-fiction history delves into the sordid and secretive history of the Vatican, and the forgotten woman who helped a man become Pope.

    The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, by Mark Manson
    Look, 2017 was a rough year. So maybe the secret to success is not caring so much? Read this book and pass along the gospel of not giving a f*ck to your friends.

    Love Warrior, by Glennon Doyle
    Glennon Doyle shares the heartbreaking story of learning her husband was unfaithful, and how she took her broken marriage and used the opportunity to piece herself back together again.

    It’s Okay to Laugh, by Nora McIerney
    This memoir about a woman’s journey through becoming a young, widowed mother (and losing her father shortly after her husband’s death) is surprisingly hilarious. That’s what Nora does: she uses dark humor to guide herself through grief, and if you could use a little bit of that, this book is for you.

    The Autobiography of Malcolm X, by Malcolm X
    A definitive figure of the Civil Rights Movement, Malcom X’s biography is essential reading when it comes to understanding current race relations in the United States. Learn about his upbringing, his conversion to Islam, and his activism.

    Devil’s Bargain, by Joshua Green
    Moving from the past political situation to the present, this book is essential reading for newfound politicos who want to enter 2018 informed and engaged. It details Steve Bannon’s relationship with President Trump, and what it took to get him elected.

    Spark Joy, by Marie Kondo
    We all need a little more joy in our lives, so consult organizational specialist Marie Kondo for the ways you can get rid of clutter and make room in your heart for objects and people that make you happy.

    Bullies, by Alex Abramovich
    A fascinating story of a man who befriends his childhood bully later in life, this story can teach you about reaching beyond your bubble, finding common ground in common pain, and the importance of forgiveness.

    Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly
    Math is not my thing, but reading the story of the brilliant black women who got us to the moon totally is. These women worked as “human computers” and calculated what we would need to win the space race, but their stories have been lost to history until now.

    Stamped from the Beginning, by Ibram X. Kendi
    Be an informed citizen and read this detailed account of racism in America. Using the stories of prominent American intellectuals to frame the debates of assimilationists, segregationists, racists, and allies.

    Being Nixon, by Evan Thomas
    Learn about the man behind the Watergate scandal: his background with a troubled older brother, his service in the Navy, and his political ascent. We tend to define historical figures by one event, and this biography shares the whole picture.

    In the Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larson
    Imagine being an American in the government….working with Adolf Hitler. This fascinating true story follows the Ambassador to Hitler’s Third Reich, William E. Dodd, and his family, as they enter the garden, are charmed by the snake, and witness the atrocities firsthand.

    Escape from Camp 14, by Blaine Harden
    We know most things about Hitler’s Germany, but North Korea’s totalitarian regime is still, in many ways, a mystery. This is the haunting story of a person born inside a North Korean prison camp who escaped—after witnessing the executions of his family, being taught to distrust his fellow prisoners, and even fighting his mother for food.

    Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson
    The definitive text on the urgency of man-made harm to planet Earth, this book follows the banning of DDT and the sweeping reform that followed.

    Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, by Elena Favilli
    This book rides the border between fiction and non-fiction, but I’ll allow it, because it’s so cool. Reinvented stories about amazing women throughout history using fairytales as a framing device? Read this book yourself, then get it for everyone you know.

    What Happened, by Hillary Clinton
    Have you been living under a rock, or are just too busy/depressed/overwhelmed to deal with politics? Start 2018 on an informed note by reading the first female candidate for President’s account of the 2016 election.

    World Without Mind, by Franklin Foer
    Technology is the defining innovation of our time…but is it also the greatest threat? This book tracks the history of technological innovation, especially on the internet, and how it presents unseen dangers we need to prepare ourselves for.

    The Blood of Emmett Till, by Timothy B. Tyson
    We see stories of police brutality daily, but this story of civilian brutality had inexorable consequences on the Civil Rights Movement. Who was Emmett Till? And why has his murder shaped American history?

    Shrill, by Lindy West
    This memoir-slash-lifestyle guide for how to be a loud feminist who takes up space in a world that often wants women to be quiet, sweet, and invisible, is full of true stories about the importance of speaking out, showing up, and not caring if people call you “shrill.”

    Sex Object, by Jessica Valenti
    This book, on a similar theme, explores the impacts of sexism on the day-to-day lives of women.

    Muslim Girl, by Amani Al-Khatahtbeh
    This painful and beautiful memoir details the reality of growing up Muslim in the wake of 9/11, and how Amani struggling with the impact of Islamophobia before launching her groundbreaking website.

    Orientalism, by Edward Said
    The origins of the problematic view of “orientalism” still persists, but this classic book breaks down the cultural and political perspectives of the Middle and Near East, aiming to combat prejudiced western philosophy.

    Welcome to the Universe, by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Michael A. Strauss, and J. Richard Gott
    Something for the science nerd! (Or, aspiring science nerd.) Take a tour of the universe (literally) with renowned scientists explaining planets, aliens, and so much more.

    Salt: A World History, by Mark Kurlansky
    Have you ever thought of the history of things we use every day, and totally take for granted? I never thought of salt as having a history, but it does, and this interesting book details where it comes from, and why it matters so much.

    Cooked, by Michael Pollan
    This memoir is one of the most unique on the list, structurally and content-wise! It follows a food writer’s journey through exploring the different ways we cook things—with fire, water, air, and earth—and mastering the techniques we use to perfect our food.

    Yes Please, by Amy Poheler
    A funny memoir by one of the best comediennes ever, read about Amy’s (rough) beginnings in Hollywood, her persistent optimism, and why she loves being funny.

    Bossypants, by Tina Fey
    If you read Amy’s memoir, you have to read her BFF’s! Tina Fey is wry, witty, and has lots to say on what it takes to succeed as a woman in a man’s world in this hilarious book.

    Wild, by Cheryl Strayed
    When your life collapses and there’s nothing left, where do you go? For Cheryl Strayed, to the Pacific Crest Trail, to figure out what she wants and who she wants to be by putting her body to the ultimate physical test.

    Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand
    The story of a pilot brought down during World War II begins with a boy who would become an Olympian, despite a difficult childhood with a tendency towards defiance. It’s that defiance which saved his life years later in the Pacific Ocean, with only a life raft to guide him home.

    Victoria the Queen, by Julia Baird
    She was fifth in line for the throne, and only a teenager, but she became Queen. The second longest-reigning Queen in history, Victoria led a fascinating, passionate life: all of which is detailed in this book!

    A Season With the Witch, by J.W. Ocker
    Salem is an infamous place, ground zero to the 1692 Witch Trials. So when this writer decided to move his family to Salem in 2015 to experience Halloween in the most infamous stomping ground for witches.

    Radium Girls, by Kate Moore
    Radium is everywhere; in everything, and considered an essential ingredient to the beauty industry during World War I. But there is a dark underbelly to this element, experienced by girls working in factories to produce it who suddenly become ill.

    Year of Yes, by Shonda Rhimes
    Part how-to guide, part memoir, this uplifting (and short, perfect for commutes!) read by showrunner and TV writer extraordinaire Shonda Rhimes is the guide to positivity you need going into 2018.

    We Should All be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    Based on her incredible TED Talk, this book explores the intersections of women’s issues, politics, and race using the author’s own experience against the backdrop of history.

    Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
    Roxane Gay’s essays on what it means to be a woman of color in the modern age are funny and profound, and touch upon everything from pop-culture, how Hollywood approaches rape, privilege, and much more. You’ll certainly impress at a cocktail party with some insights from this one.

    The post 50 Nonfiction Books that Will Make You Smarter in 2018 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Tara Sonin 3:30 pm on 2016/09/15 Permalink
    Tags: rogues, , yes please   

    5 Reasons to Love a Rogue 

    The Rogue

    A rogue by any other name would not be nearly as secretive, solitary and downright sexy. Rogues have had a long history in romance novels; you’ve seen plenty bodice-ripping covers with that word in the title…but what actually IS a rogue, and why should you consider making one your next book (or IRL) boyfriend?


    1. Rogues are the original bad-boys.






    You know a rogue when you see one; he’s the guy across the room, usually cloaked in literal (and metaphorical) darkness. He’s got a certain authority (aka swagger) to his step, but every move he makes practically screams “caution, hot flame: stand back or you’ll get burned.” But part of you definitely wants to feel the heat.


    2. Rogues have dangerous, sordid—and sometimes, secretly heartbreaking—pasts.





    All rogues wear a mask; a protective exterior to shied them from being hurt as they have been in the past. Some of my favorite rogues like Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind, St. Vincent in Devil in Winter, and Christian in Flowers from the Storm have something in common: a dark past, shrouded in mystery and heartbreak, that only the heroine can heal them from. It’s up to you to figure out what’s behind the rogue’s façade and bring him into the light.


    3. Rogues have money and power—but have often overcome social prejudices to attain it.







    Everyone likes a self-made man, don’t they? Rogues can be Lords and Dukes and Nobles….but a lot of the time, they’ve achieved their means of wealth and power by the virtue of their own skill. No one handed Simon Hunt from Secrets of a Summer Night his wealth; he was born the son of a butcher and worked his way up in the ranks of society, making some enemies along the way. A man who has to stand up to others and fight for what he’s earned is attractive, indeed. (As is a rich gentleman who can buy you pretty things.)


    4. Rogues know their way around the bedroom (and your body.)









    Rogues get their reputations from somewhere, don’t they? Anthony Bridgerton in Julia Quinn’s The Viscount Who Loved Me even has the gossip columnists of 1814 wondering which woman he’d bed next. But just because a man is experienced in the art of lovemaking doesn’t mean he isn’t true and faithful once he meets his match, which brings me to…


    5. Rogues will stop at nothing to defend what belongs to them.








    Once a rogue has decided to leave his rakish ways behind and claim the heroine for his own, nothing had better get in his way. He will lie, steal, even kill to keep you, because you have become more precious to him than his money, or his reputation. (SWOON.)

    Why do you love a good rogue?

    The post 5 Reasons to Love a Rogue appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Jen Harper 2:00 pm on 2016/07/12 Permalink
    Tags: , divorce, , heartbreak and healing, , , yes please   

    7 Books to Help Get You Through Your Divorce 

    Amy Poehler is full of sage—and hilarious—wisdom, but even she turns to pals for advice when it comes to situations as tough as divorce. In her book Yes Please, she writes, “As my dear friend and relationship sponsor Louis CK has noted, ‘Divorce is always good news because no good marriage has ever ended in divorce.’”

    While that may be true, it’s often difficult to see any silver linings when facing your own crumbling marriage. It can, however, help to know that others have made it through and even come out better on the other side. We’ve rounded up some books about divorce and struggling through difficult times—fiction, memoir, and some self-help—that might just help guide you through.

    Heartburn, by Nora Ephron
    Going through a divorce means trudging through some dark days, but beloved author Nora Ephron managed to find humor and levity in her own split from her second husband, Carl Bernstein, through Heartburn, the autobiographical novel based on their relationship. In it, cookbook writer Rachel Samstat is seven months pregnant when she discovers her husband, Mark, is having an affair with a woman with “a neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb and you should see her legs.” Ephron serves up plenty of laugh-out-loud moments in less than 200 pages.

    Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar, by Cheryl Strayed
    Sometimes adult problems like facing a divorce can leave you feeling like a lost child just wanting one of the real grown-ups to come in and tell you exactly what you’re supposed to do. Enter Wild author Cheryl Strayed—aka Sugar—the formerly anonymous online columnist for literary website The Rumpus. Blending self-help and memoir, Strayed advises readers on topics like sex, love, family, and grief in this collection of advice from her Dear Sugar column with compassionate insight and her own heartbreaking stories. Tiny Beautiful Things may not give you the solutions for your own unique situation, but it will offer the opportunity for a cathartic cry and even some hope for the future.

    Yes Please, by Amy Poehler
    Sometimes an unfortunate situation leaves you with only two choices—to laugh or to cry. And inevitably when going through a divorce, you’ll find the need to do both at some point. When you’re ready to laugh, pick up comic genius Amy Poehler’s first book Yes Please, a collection of personal stories, lists, and even a haiku that’ll definitely put a smile on your face. Poehler doesn’t dedicate a lot of space to her own divorce from Will Arnett, calling it “too sad and too personal,” but the insight on splitting up she does offer will have you nodding right along with her as she writes, “getting a divorce really sucks.”

    Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World, by Rita Golden Gelman
    Getting a divorce definitely marks an end—the end of a relationship, the end of a direction you thought your life was headed in—but it can also mark the beginning of a new life like it did for author Rita Golden Gelman. In her memoir Tales of a Female Nomad, Gelman finds herself at 48 facing a divorce from her husband of 20 years. She opts to leave behind her lavish Los Angeles lifestyle, selling her possessions and embarking on a nomadic existence that leads her from a Zapotec village in Mexico, to the Galapagos Islands, to a palace in Indonesia. Gelman’s tale is an inspiring one about starting over and learning what it really means to live at large in the world.

    How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed: A Memoir of Starting Over, by Theo Pauline Nestor
    Theo Pauline Nestor’s divorce story itself isn’t that out of the ordinary—she confronts her husband about his massive gambling debt, not the first breach of trust she’s endured with Kevin but certainly the last as far as their marriage is concerned. It’s the approachable, raw, and even funny way she relives her story on the page and the revelatory doorway it opens into her family’s past that make her tale extraordinary. “I’m from a long line of stock market speculators, artists of unmarketable talents, and alcoholics. The higher, harder road is not our road,” she writes. “We move, we divorce, we drink, or we disappear.” Readers will see themselves in Nestor’s honest reflections and maybe even find some healing in the process.

    When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, by Pema Chödrön
    When life throws its worst at you, one of the main things you need above all else is for someone to grab you by the shoulders, look you in the eyes, and tell you, “You’re going to be OK.” And American Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön has a knack for doing just that, with her teachings like those found in When Things Fall Apart. A collection of talks she gave between 1987 and 1994, the book doesn’t just offer sympathy—Chödrön gives readers useful advice and real-deal action items for what to do now and where to go from here, which is something we could all use in difficult times.

    High Fidelity, by Nick Hornby
    Most breakup books focus on a woman left by/leaving a man, but Nick Hornby gives readers a fresh perspective in his novel-turned-film High Fidelity. Sarcastic and self-deprecating record store owner Rob Fleming has just been dumped by his girlfriend Laura, leading him to track down former girlfriends for a thorough examination of his five most memorable breakups. In this funny read, Rob discovers that what he seeks isn’t in his past—it’s what awaits him in the present.

    What books would you recommend to help someone get through a divorce?

  • Ella Cosmo 3:00 pm on 2015/06/26 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , the friendly skies, yes please   

    5 Great Books To Read When You Are Stuck At The Airport 

    Summer is often a time for visiting faraway friends and family. If you are one of the brave souls embarking on the Kafkaesque waiting game that is modern air travel, add snagging a good book to your travel to-do list. Books are, in the words of Stephen King, a “uniquely portable magic,” offering a lovely mental escape from uncomfortable seats, bland airport food, that layover that never ends, and the relentless blaring of departure and arrival announcements. Oh, and a paperback book never needs to be recharged. So if you’re one of the fearless who will be traveling by air this summer, here are five great distractions to grab before you go:

    Yes Please, by Amy Poehler
    Poehler’s career has been on fire since her debut on Saturday Night Live in 2001, and she has enjoyed massive success on both the big and small screens. And with Yes Please, Poehler follows in the tradition of fellow funny women Tina Fey and Lena Dunham by givig us a touching and hilarious semi-memoir. Poehler is not the most deft of writers, something she freely admits in her preface, but she is a wildly entertaining one, and she makes the very smart choice of interspersing her own writings with that of her mother, father, and even former SNL castmate Seth Meyers. Ultimately it’s Poehler’s brutal honesty about many aspects of her life, from childbirth to that time she rubbed up on Justin Timberlake, that makes reading Yes Please a perfect distraction from your three-hour flight delay.

    Revival, by Stephen King
    After plunging into the world of crime thrillers with Mr. Mercedes, King made a triumphant return to the horror genre in Revival. His 55th (55th!) novel tells the story of two men whose lives are inextricably intertwined. Jamie Morton is only a child when he first meets the Reverend Charles Jacob. Charming and engaging, the Reverend quickly settles into Jamie’s small East Coast hometown, which welcomes him with open arms. But events take a dark turn, culminating with Charles turning his back on both the town and his faith. Years later the two men meet again. Jamie is now an adult with a bleak future, and the reverend is a bitter and broken man with a terrifying obsession. King draws strongly from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, as Revival explores both the horrifying consequences of man’s attempt to play God and a dark, unbreakable connection between two people whose lives are destined to be intertwined.

    Gray Mountain, by John Grisham
    Samantha Kofer is young, smart, and ambitious. Armed with a law degree, a cushy job at New York’s largest law firm, and a shot at partner in her sights, Samantha practically has a sign over her head that flashes “Going Places.” Only she’s not; at least not in the way she expects. When the 2008 financial meltdown hits, Samantha’s job is one of the first casualties. Before long, a desperate Samantha finds herself in Brady, Virginia, home to the Mountain Legal Aid Clinic and a community ravaged by the greed of coal mining companies. And there are some evil doings going on, involving a coal company that will stop at nothing (and I mean nothing) to protect its own interests. Gray Mountain already stands on the strength of its storytelling as a really good legal thriller, but what makes it one of Grisham’s most impressive novels is the searing light it shines on some of the worst practices of corrupt coal mining operations.

    An Innocent Abroad: Life Changing Trips From 35 Great Writers, by Don George
    An Innocent Abroad: Life Changing Trips From 35 Great Writers is everything a travel anthology should be, ranging from funny to touching to heartbreaking while always remaining engrossing. The anthology features a diverse and wide ranging number of contributors, from writers Dave Eggers and Ann Patchett to seasoned travel chroniclers like Jan Morris. The collected vignettes offer readers the best of both worlds: a glimpse into all corners of the earth, and great stories. To achieve this balance, Lonely Planet asked contributors to write about a time they discovered or experienced something new while traveling—and the result is an amazing collection of nonfiction. While I enjoyed all of the personal narratives, my favorite was British writer Marina Lewycka’s Mauve. Let’s just say I never want to go to Russian summer camp.

    Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon
    I know, I know, Gabaldon’s Outlander series is already a worldwide bestseller and has been adapted into a wildly popular TV series, but don’t be wary of the hype: Outlander is popular because it’s really good…and weird. Weird in an interesting way, as it crosses both multiple time streams and genres. The series begins in 1945, with former combat nurse Claire Randall and her husband, Frank, taking a much deserved second honeymoon in Inverness, Scotland. All is going swimmingly until Claire decides to collect plant specimens near the mythical stones of Craigh na Dun. In the midst of her gathering, Claire hears a buzzing sound and faints…then wakes up having time traveled to 1743. If that doesn’t trigger the “I may have to stay up for the next 24 hours and finish this book” part of your brain, I don’t know what will. It’s not just the unexpected plot twists that make Outlander’s historical romance/science-fiction/adventure premise so good; Gabaldon is also a terrific writer, and she gives readers a heady mix of time travel, battles, romance, heartbreak, intrigue, and drama.

  • Shaun Byron Fitzpatrick 4:00 pm on 2014/12/15 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , yes please   

    10 Bookish Gifts for Your Favorite College Kids 

    Moleskine Voyageur NotebookThe holiday season is here again, and while most of our friends are asking for new gadgets and designer gear, we college-aged book lovers are writing a slightly different Christmas list. Sure, we all love a new iPad, but when it comes down to it all we really want is something reading-related. This can make shopping for us a little bit tricky for our family and friends who aren’t literary fanatics, but never fear! I’m here to help make your book-themed Christmas list simple. Here are some awesome gift ideas for the collegiate book nerd, whether that’s you or someone you know. As someone who spent five years of her undergrad and graduate career pretty much exclusively reading and talking about books, I can say I would have been crazy excited to receive any of these (and still would be, in case anyone is looking for a last-minute present for me).

    Moleskine Voyageur Traveller’s Nutmeg Brown Hardcover Notebook
    The perfect gift for anyone getting ready to study abroad. It has spaces for tickets, maps, and itineraries (aka, the things most important to your trip and the things most likely to get lost), as well as pages for you to write. So if you’re sitting under the Eiffel Tower or looking out a train window at the Tuscan countryside and start to feel inspired, you have a place to jot down your thoughts. Plus, there’s just something about a Moleskine notebook that makes you feel like a real writer.

    Jeff Fisher Lincoln/Erasmus Quotes Tote
    When it comes to expressing your love of books while on the go, let your bag do your talking. This tote is perfect for hauling your stuff to and from class. Plus, it lets the world know exactly what type of person you’re interested in: the kind that will give you more books.

    Pen is Mightier Than the Sword Resin Pen Cup
    It’s no real contest between the two, is it? We know the pen wins every time! So keep your favorite battle gear sheathed in this awesome pen cup. Putting it on your desk sends a pretty clear message: don’t mess with me, because I have a pen and I know how to use it.

    Doctor Who Clip-on TARDIS Book Light with UV Pen
    Raise your hand it you’re not a Doctor Who fan. To the one person who raised their hand: you can show yourself out now. For all us normal people who are are dangerously obsessed with the Doctor, let’s talk about this beautiful marriage of two of the best things in the world: Doctor Who and reading. You’ll never have to worry about keeping your roommate up while you finish “just one last chapter” ever again. Instead, just use this adorable Tardis reading light and read for as long as you want!

    Scholar Composition Book Folio Case for iPad
    Technology is great and helpful and the internet is not just a passing fad, despite my father’s continued insistence. But sometimes you want to kick it old school (or, more specifically, middle school). Combine your bygone school-days method of writing notes in your black-and-white composition book with your new tech-savvy style of taking down information with this awesome iPad case.

    642 Things to Write About Journal
    Every aspiring novelist/poet knows the feeling: you want to write, but you don’t know what to write about. This journal is full of prompts to get your creative juices flowing and provide some much-needed inspiration. Who knows, these fun exercises might just turn into the seeds of the next great American novel!

    Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck
    One of the most important lessons you learn in college happens outside the classroom and inside the kitchen. Unless you’re living exclusively on dining hall meals and takeout (ew), you should probably learn a few go-to recipes. Thug Kitchen gives you easy ways to incorporate veggies into your diet and step up your cooking game. As they say, “Sh*t is about to get real.”

    Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist, by Tim Federle
    This one’s for the college student 21 and over, of course, so all you underage folks will have to wait a bit for this one. But for the legal crowd: are you a fan of cocktails but wish they could be more literary? Learn how to make such classics as the title’s “Tequila Mockingbird” or “The Pitcher of Dorian Grey Goose.” Because who doesn’t love alcohol and book puns?

    Yes, Please, by Amy Poehler
    Everyone tries to give you life advice when you’re in college, but Amy Poehler is one of the few people you might actually want to listen to. Combine her fabulous new book with copies of books by fellow funny ladies Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling for a real trifecta.

    Game of Thrones 5-Book Boxed Set (A Song of Ice and Fire series), by George R.R. Martin
    We know you have a ton of reading to do for school, but sometimes it’s nice to take a break and fit some pleasure reading into your busy schedule. Relax with a boxed set of your favorite new series, like the uber popular Song of Ice and Fire series. Nothing will take your mind off your upcoming paper faster than the saga of the Starks. If you were really good this year, maybe you’ll even get a couple seasons of the hit TV show to go with it.

    What are you giving to the college kid in your life?

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