Listack Rec: An Unnecessary Woman & How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia

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An Unnecessary Woman, by Rabih Alameddine “I like outsiders,” Aaliya Sohbi tells us, “phantoms wandering the cobwebbed halls of the doomed castle where life must be lived.” The narrator of Rabih Alameddine’s An Unnecessary Woman, is herself an outsider, a reclusive, seventy-two-year-old bibliophile who lives alone in the Beirut apartment she’s inhabited since the fifties. [….]

Litstack Recs: Speedbumps: Flooring It Through Hollywood & American Born Chinese

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Speedbumps: Flooring It Through Hollywood, by Teri Garr Each year, the Academy Awards always generates memorable images, and this year was no exception. There was Billy Porter on the red carpet in his spectacular tuxedo gown, Regina King’s moving acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress, and Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s fascinating performance of “Shallow.” [….]

LitStack Recs: The End of All Things & The Death of the Heart

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The End of All Things, by John Scalzi Full disclosure:  I adore John Scalzi. I enjoy his writing, which I find adroit and entertaining. As a social media persona, I find him quick witted and refreshingly candid. As a person, I find him lovable and genuine. So it probably is not surprising that I devoured [….]

2019 Nebula Award Nominees

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The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) has announced its nominees for its 54th annual Nebula Awards taking place in Woodland Hills, CA  on May 18th. The following nominees include selections for the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, the Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book, and the [….]

Litstack Rec: How to Write an Autobiographical Novel & The Cost of Hope

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How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays, by Alexander Chee “Writing is a way of going to the depth of Being,” wrote Marguerite Yourcenar, and the sixteen essays that make up Alexander Chee’s 2018 memoir are at their heart about writing—but they are also about striving to succeed as a writer, reconciling the pain and [….]

Litstack Rec The Goldfinch, & The Dead Lands

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The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt The reception Donna Tartt garnered for her third novel—her first in twelve years—was called a phenomenon and went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2014 (among other honors). The story centers on young Theo Decker, whose mother is killed in a terrorist attack at the Metropolitan Museum of [….]

Release Blitz and Giveaway: King Me by Season Vining

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Title: King MeAuthor: Season ViningGenre: Contemporary Romance SuspenseRelease: January 29, 2019Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43190887-king-me Blurb: Delaney Mills is haunted by darkness. Not of a spiritual kind, but a terrible past that all the rum in the world cannot chase away. Enter Valentine King, a sexy and irresistible man with connections to the world of Voodoo—a world that [….]

LitStack Rec: A House For Mr Biswas & Hild

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A House For Mr Biswas by V.S. Naipaul This past week, we lost a giant when V.S. Naipaul died in London at the age of 85. My rec this week looks at his 1961 novel, “A House for Mr Biswas,” which has appeared in different posts here at LitStack over the years. “A House for [….]

The Least Predictable Books We’ve Read

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Sometimes, it isn’t all that difficult to sort out what will happen in a novel. It does, of course, depend solely on “who” you’re reading and, perhaps, your personal ability to pick up hints, to notice what has been foreshadowed. But sometimes, when the plot is thick and the author is clever, smarties among the [….]

Litstack Rec: The Boys of My Youth & Aurora

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The Boys of My Youth, by Jo Ann Beard When it was released in 1998, I somehow missed Jo Ann Beard’s debut collection of essays, but as luck would have it, I recently fell down an Internet rabbit hole and ended up here, at the first publication of her now iconic essay, “The Fourth State [….]

Litstack Recs: Fairyland & Scribe

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Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father, by Alysia Abbott “The truth is,” Alysia Abbot writes in her debut memoir, Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father, “I did want to be my dad’s poem. I wanted to be his drawing, his novella, his most refined work of art. I wanted him to shape me with his [….]

Litstack Recs: Arranged Marriage & This Case Is Gonna Kill Me

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Arranged Marriage: Stories, by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni Acclaimed poet, novelist, and story writer Chitra Banerjee Divrakaruni’s first book of fiction was published in 1995, and the eleven stories in Arranged Marriage demonstrated her gift for chronicling female cultural dislocation and the compound identities that come with leaving one place—with its engrained customs and beliefs—for another. [….]

Book Endings We’d Like to Change

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It’s happened to you before. You’re invested in a great book, in the flux and flow of a twisting plot, of multidimensional characters that make you mad, make you cry, maybe even make you scream out loud. Then, after all the hours you’ve invested in the book, all the possibilities, the hopes, the resolutions that [….]

12/31/18: December Giveaway – Finding Juniper by Sadia Ash

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TITLE – Finding Juniper AUTHOR – Sadia Ash GENRE – Romance GIVEAWAY – Five E-booksSUMMARY – From London with love… or indifference?  “I have loved Kyle Paxton since I met him a year ago. We’ve gone through a lifetime of love and breakups. I can’t be with him. But I can’t keep away. I need to [….]

12/31/18: December Giveaway – Juniper Smoke by Sadia Ash

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TITLE – Juniper SmokeAUTHOR – Sadia Ash GENRE – Romance GIVEAWAY – Five E-booksSUMMARY – Juniper and Kyle meet when she is dangling forty feet from a museum scaffolding, hanging on for dear life. Juniper is a sassy, nerdy curator at the History Museum of Ann Arbor. Her life has been one big sacrifice for others. [….]

Our 2018 Favorite Reads

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From my reading of the past year, some favorites—here a memoir-in-essays and three story collections. How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays by Alexander Chee “Writing is a way of going to the depth of Being,” wrote Marguerite Yourcenar, and in the sixteen essays that make up Alexander Chee’s 2018 memoir, the author dives deep, [….]

12/28/18: December Giveaway – Keystone by Dannika Dark

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TITLE – Keystone AUTHOR – Dannika Dark  GENRE – Urban Fantasy GIVEAWAY – Two E-booksSUMMARY – Raven Black hunts evildoers for fun, but her vigilante justice isn’t the only reason she’s hiding from the law. Half Vampire, half Mage, she’s spent years living as a rogue to stay alive. When a Russian Shifter offers her a [….]

12/28/18: December Giveaway – Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

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TITLE – Trail of Lightning AUTHOR – Rebecca Roanhorse  GENRE – Contemporary Fantasy GIVEAWAY – One E-bookSUMMARY – While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters. Maggie [….]

12/27/18: December Giveaway – The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

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TITLE – The Silence of the Girls AUTHOR – Pat Barker GENRE – HistoricalGIVEAWAY – One Print Copy (US Only)SUMMARY – The ancient city of Troy has withstood a decade under siege of the powerful Greek army, who continue to wage bloody war over a stolen woman–Helen. In the Greek camp, another woman watches and waits for [….]

12/27/18: December Giveaway – The Accidental War by Walter Jon Williams

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TITLE – The Accidental War AUTHOR – Walter Jon Williams GENRE – SciFiGIVEAWAY – One Print Copy (US Only)SUMMARY – Blending fast-paced military science fiction and space opera, the first volume in a dynamic trilogy from the New York Times bestselling author of The Praxis, set in the universe of his popular and critically acclaimed Dread Empire’s Fall series—a [….]

12/26/18: December Giveaway – Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas

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TITLE – Birthday GirlAUTHOR – Penelope Douglas GENRE – Contemporary RomanceGIVEAWAY – Two E-book Copy (International)SUMMARY – From New York Times Bestselling author Penelope Douglas comes a new forbidden love story… JORDAN He took me in when I had nowhere else to go. He doesn’t use me, hurt me, or forget about me. He doesn’t [….]

12/26/18: December Giveaway – The Wish Collector by Mia Sheridan

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TITLE – The Wish Collector AUTHOR – Mia Sheridan GENRE – Magical RealismGIVEAWAY – One E-book Copy (International)SUMMARY – New Orleans, a city of mystery and magic, of secrets and dreams, and a history drenched in both love and the deepest of heartache.  When ballet dancer Clara Campbell arrives in New Orleans, lonely and homesick, [….]

12/24/18: December Giveaway – Nailed Down Series by Chelle Bliss and Eden Butler

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TITLE – Nailed Down SeriesAUTHOR – Chelle Bliss and Eden ButlerGENRE – Contemporary RomanceGIVEAWAY – Audio CDs of Nailed Down and Tied Down (US Only)SUMMARY – Nailed Down (Book One) Kit Carlyle isn’t just some woman. Beautiful? Yep. Seductive? Damn straight. She’s also my best friend and my co-worker. But, hell, I’m a guy with [….]

12/24/18 – December Giveaway: Blackbird Summer by Em Shotwell

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TITLE- Blackbird Summer AUTHOR-Em Shotwell GENRE-Fantasy GIVEAWAY- One signed paperback copy of Blackbird Summer SUMMARY Meet Tallulah. Gifted. Magical. Cursed. When the world fears you, being Gifted is a curse. In the cornerstone of the rural south, Brooklyn, Mississippi, no one dares make eye contact with the strange Caibre family. Until the rewards are worth [….]

12/21/18 – December Giveaway: The High Court by Christopher Ledbetter

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TITLE- The High Court AUTHOR- Christopher Ledbetter GENRE- Fantasy GIVEAWAY-One signed copy of to US readers. SUMMARY High atop Mount Olympus, as dawn breaks on a new academic term, normalcy returns to campus following a harrowing expedition into The Underworld to rescue kidnapped students.  Zeus and his fellow Olympians now prepare to testify in The [….]

12/21/18 – December Giveaway: Sky Throne by Christopher Ledbetter

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TITLE- Inked AUTHOR- Christopher Ledbetter GENRE- Fantasy GIVEAWAY- One signed copy of Sky Throne to US readers. SUMMARY- When the family of young Zeus is attacked by Hyperion, Zeus’s mother is knocked unconscious and his best friend is left for dead. Stacking epic insult upon fatal injury, Zeus discovers the woman who raised him is not [….]

Litstack Rec: My Misspent Youth & Santa 17

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My Misspent Youth, essays by Meghan Daum My introduction to Daum and her essays was Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House, her account of wanting, finding, losing and finding the ideal home. It’s a memoir of coming into one’s own in regard to matters of money—real estate, mortgages, income and outflow. [….]

12/20/18: December Giveaway – Long Live the Beautiful Hearts by Emma Scott

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TITLE – Long Live the Beautiful HeartsAUTHOR – Emma ScottGENRE – Military RomanceGIVEAWAY – Signed Print Copy, International  SUMMARY –  Never again would I allow my heart to become the plaything of someone else. Never again would I let a man (or men) come between me and my goals. Never again would I love without feeling the fullness of [….]

12/20/18: December Giveaway – Bring Down the Stars by Emma Scott

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TITLE – Bring Down the StarsAUTHOR – Emma ScottGENRE – Military RomanceGIVEAWAY – Signed Print Copy, International  SUMMARY –  I fell for Connor Drake. I didn’t want to; I fought against it, but I fell in love with him anyway. With his words. With his poetry. With him. The gentleness and beauty of his soul that speaks [….]

12/19/18: December Giveaway – Kill the Farm Boy: The Tales of Pell by Kevin Hearne & Delilah S. Dawson

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TITLE – Kill the Farm Boy: The Tales of PellAUTHOR – Kevin Hearne & Delilah S. DawsonGENRE – FantasyGIVEAWAY – One e-book SUMMARY –  Once upon a time, in a faraway kingdom, a hero, the Chosen One, was born . . . and so begins every fairy tale ever told. This is not that fairy tale. [….]

12/19/18: December Giveaway: The City of Lost Fortunes by Bryan Camp

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TITLE – The City of Lost FortunesAUTHOR – Bryan CampGENRE – Urban FantasyGIVEAWAY – Signed Print Copy, US  SUMMARY –  The fate of New Orleans rests in the hands of a wayward grifter in this novel of gods, games, and monsters. The post–Katrina New Orleans of The City of Lost Fortunes is a place haunted by its history [….]

12/18/18: December Giveaway – Purgatory’s Angel by B. Hughes-Millman

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TITLE – Purgatory’s AngelAUTHOR – B. Hughes-MillmanGENRE – Paranormal RomanceGIVEAWAY – Two Signed Print Copies, USSUMMARY –  Jaime Connor was once one of the mightiest archangels in heaven. Sent to earth to stop demons from claiming another victim in their sleep, she has battled far too long. Tired of all the killing, she awaits the [….]

12/18/18: Once Bitten by Heather McCorkle

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TITLE – Once BittenAUTHOR – Heather McCorkleGENRE – Paranormal RomanceGIVEAWAY – E-book or Print, Winners ChoiceSUMMARY –  After a hot night turns into something out of a horror movie, Sonya wakes up on her bathroom floor with a chunk taken out of her neck and her body going through some very strange changes. The only [….]

12/17/18: December Giveaway – Lipstick Voodoo by Kristi Charish

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TITLE – Lipstick VoodooAUTHOR – Kristi CharishGENRE – Urban FantasyGIVEAWAY – Signed Print Copy, US and Canada (When available) SUMMARY –  Kincaid Strange, not your average voodoo practitioner, is back in the freshly imagined and hugely entertaining second installment of Kristi Charish’s urban fantasy series. Kincaid Strange cannot catch a break. After dealing with a spate [….]

12/17/18: December Giveaway – The Voodoo Killings by Kristi Charish

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TITLE – The Voodoo KillingsAUTHOR – Kristi CharishGENRE – Urban FantasyGIVEAWAY – Signed Print Copy, US and Canada SUMMARY –  For the first time since launching Bitten by Kelley Armstrong, Random House Canada is thrilled to announce the debut of a new urban fantasy series. Kristi Charish’s The Voodoo Killings introduces Kincaid Strange, not your average voodoo practitioner… [….]

12/14/18 – December Giveaway: Inked by Christopher Ledbetter

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TITLE- Inked AUTHOR- Christopher Ledbetter GENRE- Fantasy GIVEAWAY-One signed copy of Inked to US readers. SUMMARY You’re not truly alive until you know what you would die for… Cameron Shade and Farrah Spangled survived a near-death experience together. Now, their us-against-the-world relationship thrives despite pressure from their families, as well as cultural and social obstacles. [….]

12/14/18 – December Giveaway: Drawn by Christopher Ledbetter

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TITLE- Drawn AUTHOR- Christopher Ledbetter GENRE- Fantasy GIVEAWAY-One signed copy of Drawn to US readers. SUMMARY Caught between the sweltering fall landscape of Wilmington, NC beaches and southern illusions and expectations, all sixteen-year-old Cameron Shade thinks about is art. That, and for Farrah Spangled to view him as more than just a friend. Cameron hopes [….]

LitStack Recs: Author -Portraits of Beowulf Sheehan & The Jesus Cow

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Author: The Portraits of Beowulf Sheehan. By Beowulf Sheehan. Foreword by Salman Rushdie. If you need a gift for the book lovers on your list, this is the coffee table book everyone’s talking about—at least those who love books and their writers. Beowulf Sheehan, the literary world’s foremost photographer, has a newly collected volume of [….]

12/13/18 – December Giveaway: Crimson Cover by Eden Butler

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TITLE – Crimson CoveAUTHOR – Eden ButlerGENRE – Paranormal RomanceGIVEAWAY – Three E-booksSUMMARY –  Ten years ago Janiver stole a kiss from the meanest boy in school.  He never forgot.  Senior year.  One minute before the tardy bell rang, Bane Illes would slip through the door.  He never smiled.  He never spoke.  Each day, that [….]

12/13/18 – December Giveaway: Reader’s Choice by Toni Aleo

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If you’re like us, you are a sucker for great sports fiction, especially Toni Aleo’s amazing hockey stories. Her stories are funny and sweet and swoon-worthy. In today’s giveaway, Toni is offering up FOUR e-book copies of ANY of her books so make sure you comment to qualify.  Not convinced? We’ll let Toni tell you [….]

12/12/18 – December Giveaway: Reader’s Choice by Kele Moon

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We have another wonderful reader’s choice giveaway from a long-time friend of the site.   Many of you are familiar with the super talented Kele Moon, but if you aren’t, we encourage you to pick up her remarkable books. Learn more about Kele and her novels below and comment to qualify for one of FIVE e-books [….]

12/12/18 – December Giveaway: Deirdre’s True Desire by Heather McCorkle

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TITLE – Deirdre’s True DesireAUTHOR – Heather McCorkleGENRE – Historical RomanceGIVEAWAY – E-book or Print, Winners ChoiceSUMMARY –  Seeking the pot of gold at California’s end  She married rich, but not well. Now, with the Civil War ended and her husband gone, Deirdre must make her own way in the world. The golden, untamed valleys [….]

12/11/18 – December Giveaway: Roughing the Kicker by Eden Butler

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TITLE – Roughing the KickerAUTHOR – Eden ButlerGENRE – Romantic Suspense/SportsGIVEAWAY – Two E-books and One singed print copy, internationalSUMMARY –  Reese Noble chased this dream for a decade. Now it was here. The NFL. A pro career. All eyes on the league’s new kicker. Millions of people expecting her to fail. But Reese wasn’t a novelty [….]

12/11/18 – December Giveaway: Winner’s Choice from Brenda Rothert

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We’ve got something extra specila for you guys today. Our good friend, Brenda Rothert is offering up ONE signed print copy of ANY of her books to your US readers.  Comment below to qualify. Here’s more about Brenda and her work: Brenda Rothert is an Illinois native who was a print journalist for nine  years. [….]

12/10/18 – December Giveaway: Chasing Destiny by Sydney Ashcroft and Dani Nichols

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TITLE – Chasing DestinyAUTHOR – Sydney Ashcroft and Dani NicholsGENRE – Urban FantasyGIVEAWAY – One E-bookSUMMARY –  Meet Akantha. Protector. Destined. Cursed.If there was anything Akantha hated more than the Nazis, it was Damianos. For twenty-four hundred years, Akantha has dedicated her life to defending mortals from destruction, yet the Nazis are determined not just [….]

12/10/18 – December Giveaway: Billionaire’s Wake-up Call Girl by Annika Martin

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TITLE – Billionaire’s Wake-up Call GirlAUTHOR – Annika MartinGENRE – Romantic ComedyGIVEAWAY – One E-bookSUMMARY –  When my manager assigns me the task of finding a new wake up call service for our CEO, I think, how hard can this be? Answer: practically impossible. It turns out that no wake-up call company in the world [….]

12/7/18 – December Giveaway: Maneuver by Chelle Bliss

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TITLE- Maneuver  AUTHOR- Chelle Bliss GENRE- Romance GIVEAWAY- One print copy US and Canada SUMMARY This isn’t how fairy tales typically begin, but it’s where mine starts… No money, no phone, and abandoned on the streets of Chicago. With my baby in my arms, I wander into a bar in a shady neighborhood and ask to [….]

12/7/18 – December Giveaway: Sorrow’s Lie by Danielle DeVor

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TITLE- Sorrow’s Lie AUTHOR- Danielle DeVor GENRE- Paranormal GIVEAWAY- One Signed Print Copy US Only SUMMARY Only an Exorcist Can Confront His Demons Jimmy Holiday, exorcist extraordinaire, is about to embark on his most unusual case yet—a baby that may be possessed by the demonic…or worse, a true demon spawn. The Order wants him to make sure [….]

12/6/18 – December Giveaway: Love in Hiding by Diane Holiday

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TITLE- Love in Hiding AUTHOR- Diane Holiday GENRE- Romance GIVEAWAY- One e-book and one pair of horse earrings. SUMMARY Running from danger, caught by love. With her life at risk, Sarah Cooper hangs up her ballet shoes and flees her glamorous career in San Diego. She assumes a new identity and takes refuge at a horse ranch [….]

Litstack Rec: Earn It! and Viva Frida

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Earn It! by Cinders McLeod This is the perfect gift for young readers on your list, because it’s never too soon to learn financial literacy. Knowing how money works, and having the skills to make informed decisions about personal money matters, is said to be a concept best started early. The financial wisdom runs that [….]

12/6/18 – December Giveaway: Best Laid Plans by LK Farlow

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TITLE- Best Laid Plans AUTHOR- LK FarlowGENRE- Romance GIVEAWAY- One Paperback, US Only SUMMARY The summer before my senior year of high school I had only one goal: to make Alden Warner see me as more than his best friend’s annoying little sister. Finally, my wish came true and he noticed me. In a big way. Too [….]

12/5/2018 – December Giveaway: Forbidden by Faith by Negeen Papehn

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TITLE- Forbidden Faith AUTHOR- Negeen Paehn GENRE- Contemporary GIVEAWAY- 3 e-books SUMMARY Sara knows her life would be easier if she married a man of her faith, but when has love ever been easy?  Raised by her immigrant Iranian parents, she’s been taught that a good daughter makes decisions based on her family’s approval, and [….]

12/5/18 – December Giveaway: Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish

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TITLE- Owl & The Japanese Circus AUTHOR-Kristi Charish GENRE- Urban Fantasy GIVEAWAY- One signed print copy, US and Canada SUMMARY Ex-archaeology grad student turned international antiquities thief, Alix—better known now as Owl—has one rule. No supernatural jobs. Ever. Until she crosses paths with Mr. Kurosawa, a red dragon who owns and runs the Japanese Circus Casino [….]

12/4/18 – December Giveaway: The 12 Dares of Christmas by Leigh W. Stuart

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TITLE-The 12 Dares of Christmas AUTHOR- Leigh W. Stuart GENRE- Christmas/Contemporary GIVEAWAY- One signed paperback, Worldwide SUMMARY Lauren Hall has one wish for Christmas this year—raise money to build a new, no-kill animal shelter for the town of Sycamore Cove. And she is prepared to do anything to make it happen. Even dare a man she [….]

12/4/18 – December Giveaway: Forget Me Not by Em Shotwell

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TITLE- Forget Me Not AUTHOR-Em Shotwell GENRE-Fantasy GIVEAWAY- One signed paperback copy of Forget Me Not SUMMARY Meet Rex and Evelyn. Can Love Survive in the Midst of War? Maybe dating the good guy, isn’t so bad. When Rex Somersby’s family matchmaker sets him up with the famous Evelyn Cadeau, he can’t believe his luck. [….]

12/3/18 – December Giveaway: Blood and Magic by Melissa Sercia

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TITLE- Blood and Magic AUTHOR- Melissa Sercia GENRE- Fantasy GIVEAWAY- 3 e-book copies SUMMARY Meet Gray. Dhampir. Undead. Cursed.  With supernatural powers and an insatiable need for blood, her existence is cursed.  When Gray awakens from a three-year spell induced coma, she not only discovers her lover as the one responsible, but that he has [….]

12/3/18 – December Giveaway: Chaos and Control by Season Vining

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Welcome, LitStackers to our annual December giveaway! For those of you new to the site, each year since our inception, we’ve spent the entire month of December offering up print, e-book and sometimes audio copies of some of your favorite and new titles. We hope you’ll stop by the site every day this month for [….]

LitStack Rec: Barbarian Days & Alif the Unseen

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Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life, by William Finnegan William Finnegan’s 2016 memoir begins with an epigraph from Edward St. Aubyn’s novel Mother’s Milk: “He had become so caught up in building sentences  that he had almost forgotten  the barbaric days when thinking was like a splash of colour landing on a page.” It’s a fitting [….]

Litstack Rec: Dreams From My Father & Time Salvager

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Dreams From My Father, by Barack Obama Stories that center on fathers have a distinct place in the memoir genre. For better or worse, fathers hold a place that intersects with the world and experience in a way far different from that of a mother’s. As in Jung’s archetypes, fathers are symbols of worldliness and [….]

Litstack Recs: The Romanoffs & The Burning Light

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The Romanoffs, by Matthew Weiner The thing I love most about linked story collections is the strategy of slow accrual. We are shown an idea, or character, or setting from different points of view and  varied points in time and space, and as with the novel, the narrative facets develop to a full and satisfying [….]

Litstack Recs: An Unnecessary Woman & Lethal White

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An Unnecessary Woman, by Rabih Alameddine   “I like outsiders,” Aaliya Sohbi tells us, “phantoms wandering the cobwebbed halls of the doomed castle where life must be lived.” The narrator of Rabih Alameddine’s An Unnecessary Woman, is herself an outsider, a reclusive, seventy-two year old bibliophile who lives alone in the Beirut apartment she’s inhabited [….]

LitStack Review: Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock

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Catching Christmas Terri Blackstock Thomas Nelson Release Date: October 9, 2018 ISBN: 978-0310351726 The last thing Finn Parrish wants is involvement. Unhappy with life in general and disappointed with himself, in particular, Finn just wants to pay his rent and get through the crazy holiday season with as little fuss as possible. Sydney Batson is too stressed to [….]

Litstack Recs: Two New Titles from WTAW Press & Us

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Two New Titles from WTAW Press Northern California’s newest independent press has just released its 2018 titles: Unnatural Habitats and Other Stories, a debut collection by Angela Mitchell, and Hungry Ghost Theater:  A Novel, by Sarah Stone. From the publisher: Unnatural Habitats and Other Stories, by Angela Mitchell This collection of seven connected stories set [….]

Litstack Rec: Bridge & The Stargazer’s Sister

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Bridge, by Robert Thomas “Welcome to the prayer-strewn pews of my brain,” Alice, the narrator of Bridge tells us, and quickly, we understand that this intellectually gifted young woman sees the world, and herself, in unconventional, and often dangerous ways. Robert Thomas’s powerful debut novel (BOA Editions 2014) takes place in fifty-six brief chapters that [….]

Release Blitz: Broken Protocol by Eden Butler

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Title: Broken Protocol Series: Part Two of the Protocol Series Author: Eden Butler Genre: Romance Release Date: October 2, 2018   They call me America’s Widow.   They expect me to mourn forever.   But, I’ve taken a lover.    Someone fierce.   Someone irresistible.   Someone dangerous.   The closer I get to Cruz, the [….]

LitStack Rec: Life Drawing & A City Dreaming

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Life Drawing, by Robin Black “Nobody outside a marriage can understand it,” the narrator of Life Drawing tells us. In Robin Black’s first novel, Augusta Edelman is a painter, married to Owen, a writer, and they have moved to the Pennsylvania countryside to live in the quiet and pursue their work. The Edelmans have been [….]

Bond Instead of Ban

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I confess that I was one of those mothers. You know the type, the one who screened everything my kids read, watched, and listened to. Even up to their mid-teens, my son and daughter (bless their hearts) had to ask permission to listen to certain music, read certain books, watch certain movies, or play certain [….]

Release Blitz: Against Protocol by Eden Butler

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Title: Against Protocol Series: The Protocol Series #1 Author: Eden Butler Genre: Romance Release: September 25, 2018       Everyone has secrets, even the leader of the free world. Even his wife. I was Ophelia Harris, America’s youngest First Lady. Now I’m America’s Widow, and my husband’s secrets continue to haunt me. They continue [….]

A Few Thoughts on Banned Books Week

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This is Banned Books Week, and we here at Litstack applaud all the buzz that it’s gotten on social media. The very idea of banning books is the antithesis to an educated and progressive society, and yet some of our most cherished classics have been subject to challenge:  The Grapes of Wrath, To Kill a [….]

Litstack Recs: Fear: Trump in the White House & The Bone Clocks

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Fear: Trump in the White House, by Bob Woodward It’s been called a bookend to the Nixon story, a tale of hubris, an account akin to a ticking clock. Of Bob Woodward’s Fear, George Packer wrote in the New Yorker, the book “belongs on a shelf with the literature of mad kings, next to Robert [….]

LitStack Review: Mecha Samurai Empire by Peter Tieryas

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Mecha Samurai Empire  Peter Tieryas Ace/Penguin Random House Release Date: September 18, 2018 (USA) ISBN 9780451490995 Mac is a teenager living in Los Angeles in 1994 whose greatest desire is to become a pilot. But his test grades are mediocre, he’s not in the best of shape, and he’s a foster kid, so there’s no [….]

Our Favorite Film Adaptations

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We’ve all heard it before: “Books are always better than the films they’re based on.” The book vs film debate is likely never to be resolved. From the British Vivien Leigh taking on the role of the very southern Scarlett O’Hara to Will Smith portraying a completely different version of Robert Neville in I Am [….]

LitStack Recs: By Nightfall & The Wanderers

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By Nightfall, by Michael Cunningham Peter and Rebecca Harris are forty-something New Yorkers, well-off, hip, empty-nesters. Peter is an art dealer, Rebecca an editor, and their twenty year-old daughter Beatrice has fled her parents’ downtown loft for an unstylish life in Boston, working in a hotel bar and living with a puzzling roommate, a middle-aged [….]

LitStack Rec: Little Failure & United States of Japan

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Little Failure: A Memoir, by Gary Shteyngart “In order for me to be born,” Gary Shteyngart says early on in his memoir, “all four branches of my family have to end up in Leningrad, trading in their tiny towns and villages for that somber, canal-laced cityscape. Here’s how it happens.” Voice, more than anything, can [….]

LitStack Recs: Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries & Brotherhood of the Wheel

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The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries, by Emma Thompson There’s enough left of summer to fit in at least one more light read, and Emma Thompson’s diary of the making of the award-winning Sense and Sensibility is a perfect choice. The 1995 film, directed by Ang Lee, would garner seven nominations at the 68th [….]

LitStack Rec: Barack Obama’s Summer Reading List & Shotgun Lovesongs

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Barack Obama’s Summer Reading List In uncertain times, we look to the familiar things, and this past week, it was great to see a  summer reading from President Barack Obama. One of our most literary presidents, and a prolific reader and writer, he began a tradition of posting his summer list while at the White [….]

Why Do People Read Bad Books?

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Recently I’ve been reading What Makes This Book So Great, by Hugo and Nebula Award winning author Jo Walton.  In it, she takes various essays regarding the science fiction/fantasy genre originally blogged on Tor.com, and incorporates them under a single cover.  It’s a fascinating read from a well versed and extremely well read woman who [….]

LitStack Recs: Desperate Characters & Mortal Bonds

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Desperate Characters, by Paula Fox This classic of literary fiction, written in 1970, is also a classic example of a book that was lost to readers, then found. In 1999, when this novel—and all Paula Fox’s adult novels—fell out of print, interest in the author and her work was almost singlehandedly revived by Jonathan Franzen, [….]

National Lighthouse Day – August 7th

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Lighthouses are endlessly suggestive signifiers of both human isolation and our ultimate connectedness to each other. ~ Virginia Woolf Perhaps that’s what fuels our modern-day fascination with these stalwart structures and makes them an ideal backdrop for stories of love and loss. The following books will give you the perfect opportunity to step back in time [….]

Litstack Recs: The Tall Book of Make-Believe & The Last Days of New Paris

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The Tall Book of Make-Believe ed. Jane Werner Illustrated by Garth Williams Well beyond the age it’s intended for, this collection of stories has stayed with me. This American classic of children’s stories and poems was compiled by Jane Werner in 1950, and from the start this book captured my imagination. By the age of [….]

Release Blitz: Roughing the Kicker by Eden Butler

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Title: Roughing the Kicker Series: Sinners and Saints #1 Author: Eden Butler Genre: Contemporary Romance Release Date: July 31, 2018 Reese Noble chased this dream for a decade. Now it was here. The NFL. A pro career. All eyes on the league’s new kicker. Millions of people expecting her to fail. But Reese wasn’t a novelty and the [….]

LitStack Recs: Blood Will Out & The Adjacent

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Blood Will Out, by Walter Kirn In Preston Sturges’  romantic comedy, “The Palm Beach Story,” Claudette Colbert plays Gerry, reluctant divorcee of husband Tom (Joel McCrea) who’s bankrupted when his dream of building an airport fails. On a train to Palm Beach, Gerry meets eccentric millionaire John D. Hackensacker III, America’s richest man. He’s Sturges’ [….]

Litstack Rec: The Refugees & The Hummingbird

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The Refugees: Stories, by Viet Thanh Nguyen Fans of The Sympathizer, Nguyen’s debut novel that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2016, will find much of what they loved in the author’s second book of short stories. Where The Sympathizer explores the effects of the Vietnamese War, and the experience of refugees’ displacement through the taut [….]

LitStack Recs: How to Read to Read a Sentence and How to Write One & American Elsewhere

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How to Read to Read a Sentence and How to Write One, by Stanley Fish For writers, the sentence is the coin of the realm, the catch that holds a reader fast to a story. And I love that Stanley Fish wrote a book just about sentences.  A professor of law and dean emeritus at [….]

Of Words and Dogs and Little Fishes*

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I feel so blessed that I can “work” from home as a book reviewer, essayist and occasionally as a literary editor, and to comfortably say that I read for a living.  It’s like living the dream (well, until the bills come in, but that’s neither here nor there). But I didn’t realize just how many [….]

LitStack Recs: The Good Soldier & Sweetbitter

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The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford If this novel had been published under the title the author selected, The Saddest Story, contemporary readers might have had a difficult time locating a copy. Fortunately, Ford Madox Ford agreed to his publisher’s title suggestion of The Good Soldier, and with that, the now-classic post-World War I [….]

LitStack Rec: Cutting Teeth & Wait Till Next Year

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Cutting Teeth, by Julia Fierro When my daughter was little, there was a sentiment among the parents I knew. We referred to  summer as the busy season, when the steady routine of the school year fell away and the schedule went overtime. Still, when your kids are small, there’s a lovely innocence to summer—its sprinklers [….]

Release Blitz: Jackal by Tarryn Fisher & Willow Aster

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Jackal is LIVE and FREE on Kindle Unlimited! Are you ready to meet the next End Man? Amazon US: http://bit.ly/JackalUS Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/JackalUK Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/JackalAU Amazon CA: http://bit.ly/JackalCA   Jackal Emerson has never taken himself seriously. Dubbed the “orgy king,” he’s renowned for his reputation as the wild End Man. But with the uprising [….]

No Nonsense Writing Advice from Folks Who ‘Know’

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When you put yourself out ‘there’ as a writer, when you lasso the title of ‘writer,’ inevitably you are asked your opinion. You are also confronted by a litany of folks who make excuses. Now, I’m not adverse to the excuse bit. I hear and speak them daily. But what I’ve discovered in my brief [….]

Cover Reveal: Roughing the Kicker by Eden Butler

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Title: Roughing the Kicker Series: Sinners and Saints #1 Author: Eden Butler Genre: Contemporary Romance Release Date: July 31, 2018   Reese Noble chased this dream for a decade. Now it was here. The NFL. A pro career. All eyes on the league’s new kicker. Millions of people expecting her to fail. But Reese wasn’t a novelty and [….]

LitStack Recs: A Time of Gifts & Wolf in White Van

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A Time of Gifts: On Foot to Constantinople, by Patrick Leigh Fermor A classic of the travel memoir genre, A Time of Gifts is Patrick Leigh Fermor’s account of his trek by foot from the Netherlands to Turkey in 1933-34. Though, famously, Fermor didn’t actually write the book until decades later. Published in 1977, the [….]

In Remembrance – Four Years Gone: An Interview with Jay Lake

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            “I love whom I love, and I am loved by more people than I will ever know. Love keeps me going through the pain and loss. This is not a desert, just a tired landscape overwritten by years of struggle and the footprints of a thousand people who helped [….]

LitStack Recs: Women in Their Beds & Luna: New Moon

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Women in Their Beds — Gina Berriault To cap off #ShortStoryMonth, my rec this week revisits a collection by one of my favorite story writers, Gina Berriault. Her admirers span Richard Ford, Grace Paley, and Robert Stone, but American fiction writer Berriault may be one of most revered writers you’ve never heard of. Cynthia Ozick [….]

Release Blitz: Folsom by Tarryn Fisher and Willow Aster

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The nation as we know it is a thing of the past. With the male species on the verge of extinction, a society called the End Men is formed to save the world. Folsom Donahue is one of twelve men whose sole purpose is to repopulate the Regions. The endless days spent having sex with [….]

Persistence and the Writer’s Road: Lauren Alwan’s “An Amount of Discretion”

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When you are a creative type, staying in your own lane leads you places. For me, that meant moving in circles that opened paths to relationships with other writers. I’ve done writer’s workshops with New York Times bestsellers before and after they hit the “Big” list. I’ve helped friends edit and revamp stories and queries [….]

LitStack Recs: Who Do You Love & Glow

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Who Do You Love: Stories, by Jean Thompson In my favorite short stories, something singular happens to a character, usually out of nowhere, a setting that is exceptionally vivid—almost a character in itself—and a narrator who can see the world in the deepest parts of the character as well as from a godlike distance. Jean [….]

Tied Down by Chelle Bliss and Eden Butler: Cover Reveal & Excerpt

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  TITLE: Tied Down AUTHORS: Chelle Bliss & Eden Butler RELEASE: 12th June GENRE: Romantic Suspense SUMMARY: Cara Carelli is a silver-tongued mafia princess, master manipulator, and the only woman I’ve ever loved. But she’s also smokin’ hot and my ex-wife. When Cara led me straight into a trap and pleaded for my help, I couldn’t [….]

Litstack Recs: The Refugees & All the Light We Cannot See

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The Refugees: Stories, by Viet Thanh Nguyen In celebration of #ShortStoryMonth, this week’s rec looks at another great story collection I’ve read and recommended this year. Fans of The Sympathizer, Nguyen’s debut novel that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2016, will find much of what they loved in the author’s second book of short stories. [….]

LitStack Rec: The Empty Family & Company Town

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The Empty Family, by Colm Tóibín  For #ShortStoryMonth, I’m recapping some favorite story collections—and chief among the story writers I admire is Colm Tóibín. And his 2011 collection, The Empty Family is one I always keep close by, dipping into the pages to take in the voices of its starkly vivid narrators. Tóibín’s stories mine [….]

LitStack Rec – The Coast of Chicago & Red Rising

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The Coast of Chicago by Stuart Dybek May is Short Story Month, so this month I’ll be looking at story collections that have thrilled, taught, and changed me. This week, I’m starting with a classic of the contemporary short fiction. I can still recall first reading Stuart Dybek’s classic short story “We Didn’t” in Antaeus [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe – Inspiration in Transitions

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Today at the dog park, one of the topics discussed by us “8:30 regulars” included high school graduations.  It is, after all, that time of year, for mortarboards and diplomas and college visits and looking forward.  Some of the folks at the park have kids who are graduating in a few weeks, or next year; [….]

LitStack Recs: Passage to Ararat & Borderline

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Passage to Ararat, by Michael J. Arlen Tuesday, April 24, marked a sober anniversary, 103 years since the Armenian genocide, when 1.2 million Armenians systematically died at the hands of the Ottoman Turkish Government. In Little Armenia, in Los Angeles, marches and observances gave voice to the painful legacy of the genocide for the ancestors [….]

Cover Reveal: Folsom by Tarryn Fisher and Willow Aster

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We are so excited to reveal the cover for Folsom by writing duo Tarryn Fisher and Willow Aster coming on May 29th! The nation as we know it is a thing of the past. With the male species on the verge of extinction, a society called the End Men is formed to save the world. [….]

LitStack Review: Earn It! by Cinders McLeod

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Earn It! by Cinders McLeod (Nancy Paulsen Books, 2017) Teaching children financial literacy—knowing how money works and having the skills to make informed decisions about personal money matters—is said to be a concept best started early. The financial wisdom runs that parents should introduce the subject when children are young, and talk often, keeping an [….]

LitStack Rec: Two Award-Winning Titles from WTAW Press & Born A Crime

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And There And There was Evening And There Was Morning, Essays on Illness, Loss, and Love, by Mike Smith The Truth About Me: Stories, by Louise Marburg WTAW Press, a new independent nonprofit publisher, hit a home run last week when their two inaugural titles, released in 2017, each received top prizes from the Independent [….]

Litstack Rec: Patrimony & Biggie

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Patrimony: A True Story, by Philip Roth Roth’s 1991 memoir charts the illness and death of his father, Herman Roth, from an inoperable brain tumor, as it retraces the man’s life and the relationship between father and son. Roth’s account unfolds in his trademark penetrating and melancholy style, and in a decidedly un-Rothian way, offers [….]

LitStack Review: The City of Lost Fortunes by Bryan Camp

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The City of Lost Fortunes A Crescent City novel Bryan Camp Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Release Date:  April 17, 2018 ISBN 978-13-2881-079-3 Every year, a crop of new books come out, with imaginative plots and memorable characters, deftly written and wonderfully wrought. A very few rise to become exceptional. The City of Lost Fortunes is one [….]

LitStack Recs: Green Thoughts & Nightwise

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Green Thoughts: A Writer in the Garden, by Eleanor Perényi If you’re a writer who gardens, Eleanor Perényi writes in her foreword, “sooner or later you’re going to write a book about the subject—I take that as inevitable.” And indeed, there are some heavy-hitting precedents to Pereyni’s classic of the writer-in-the-garden genre. Charles Dudley Warner’s [….]

Shakespeare and the Original Pronunciation

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Check out this very cool clip on the original pronunciations of Shakespeare’s sonnets and plays. From Open University: An introduction by David and Ben Crystal to the ‘Original Pronunciation’ production of Shakespeare and what they reveal about the history of the English language.

LitStack Recs: The Death of the Heart & God’s War

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The Death of the Heart, by Elizabeth Bowen Even though it’s spring, there may be snow and frigid temperatures outside your window, and in Elizabeth Bowen’s 1938 novel, there’s likewise cold temperatures, of the emotional sort: “That morning’s ice, no more than a brittle film, had cracked and was now floating in segments. These tapped [….]

Release Blitz: Nailed Down by Chelle Bliss and Eden Butler

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      Nailed Down by Chelle Bliss & Eden Butler Release Date: 20th March Genre: Contemporary Romance     Buy the Book Amazon→ http://amzn.to/2sBII3OiBooks→ https://apple.co/2ByK8PENook→ http://bit.ly/2HlieXOKobo→ http://bit.ly/2o1Wc45Amazon UK→ http://amzn.to/2C3hbMKAmazon CA→ http://amzn.to/2HmY4fZAmazon AU→ http://amzn.to/2Cr1Px2   Goodreads TBR→ chellebliss.com/nd-tbr  #naileddown   Buy the Paperback & get the ebook FREE >>>>>> http://amzn.to/2C3dwye   Synopsis Kit Carlyle isn’t just some woman. Beautiful? Yep. Seductive? Damn straight. [….]

LitStack Rec: Out of Place & Miranda and Caliban

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Out of Place: A Memoir, by Edward Said Edward Said, the prolific author, political activist, pianist,  and music critic rose to academic stardom in 1978 with the publication of the seminal Orientalism, a critique of the appropriations and misrepresentations that founded Western study of the East. Said, who died in 2003 after battling a rare [….]

LitStack Rec: Arranged Marriage: Stories & This Case Is Gonna Kill Me

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Arranged Marriage: Stories, by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni Acclaimed poet, novelist, and story writer Chitra Banerjee Divrakaruni’s first book of fiction was published in 1995, and the eleven stories in Arranged Marriage established her as a master of imagery in the short form. They also demonstrated her gift for chronicling female cultural dislocation, and the compound [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe – Seeing the Story

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In the first telling of the tale, I don’t pick up the book at all. It is a very short story. The next time around, the book is lying around, in a place where I need to while away some time. I pick it up, idly flipping through the pages. The photos are black and [….]

LitStack Rec: Epilogue: A Memoir & Hounded

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Epilogue: A Memoir, by Will Boast Both a remembrance and a elegiac account of the loss of a family, Boast’s 2014 memoir (a recipient of The Rome Prize) tracks the tragic early death of his mother Nancy, the untimely death of his younger brother Rory, and the family secret left behind after his father Andrew’s [….]

Litstaff Rec: The Oysters of Locmariaquer & Longbourn

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The Oysters of Locmariaquer, by Eleanor Clark Late in Eleanor Clark’s extraordinary book, she tells us the oyster needs the same landscape that a plein air painter does: a certain air, light, chemistry. “The explanation,” she writes, “might be quite simple, not esoteric at all—in some common equation of factors and atmospheres.” Only a writer [….]

Coming to the Stacks: February 2017

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SCI-FI/FANTASY Author of THE WOLF OF THE NORTH trilogy and THE SOCIETY OF THE SWORD trilogy Duncan Hamilton’s DRAGONSLAYER, the first in a new trilogy about an ancient dragon that awakens and lays waste to the countryside, a mage fleeing being burned at the stake by her neighbors, and an ex-chevalier who needs to find [….]

Cover Reveal: Nailed Down by Chelle Bliss & Eden Butler

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COVER REVEAL AND PREORDER ALERT! Release Date: March 20th Authors: Chelle Bliss & Eden Butler Cover Designer: Lori Jackson Designs PREORDER NOW: AMAZON ★ IBOOKS NOOK ★ KOBO PAPERBACK ★ RELEASE ALERT GOODREADS TBR BLURB: Kitty Carlyle isn’t just some woman. Beautiful? Yep. Seductive? Damn straight. She’s also my best friend and my co-worker. But, [….]

LitStack Rec: I Hate to Leave This Beautiful Place & Siege Line

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I Hate to Leave This Beautiful Place: A Memoir, by Howard Norman Howard Norman’s memoir, I Hate to Leave This Beautiful Place, is a collection of five long essays, each connected by a time and event of what the author calls an “arresting strangeness.” A Midwest summer of working in a bookmobile and an encounter with [….]

Emerging Author Interview & Excerpt: Stephen Michell

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Welcome to the site, Stephen Michell who’s new novel, Only the Devil is Here released in December. We had an opportunity to sit down and chat with the Toronto native about his writing, his influences and struggling with rejection. Be sure to check out the excerpt of Only the Devil is Here below.   LS: [….]

LitStack Rec: The Films in My Life & Slow River

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The Films in My Life, by Francois Truffaut The revered French filmmaker, who would have been eighty-six this year, is the subject of numerous books that cover his life and work, and we are lucky that Truffaut was also a prolific critic who wrote scores of essays. One of the founders of the French new [….]

Release Blitz: BEG By Eden Butler

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Title: Beg Series: God of Rock #2 Author: Eden Butler Genre: Erotic Romance Release Date: February 6, 2017 I am a liar. My words were poison and everything I touched got filthy. Except Iris.    She was the best part of who I was. The only bright spark in my dull, gray world.    But [….]

Litstack Rec: Thunderstruck & Other Stories & Kitchens of the Great Midwest

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Thunderstruck & Other Stories, by Elizabeth McCracken Early on in Elizabeth McCracken’s extraordinary story collection, Thunderstruck, a grieving mother instructs her seventeen year-old son to seal up the room of his dead sister. This, she imagines will somehow purge the house of the evil that caused her daughter’s lymphoma. “Don’t touch a thing. Just seal [….]

Litstack Rec: Selected Stories & Gemini Cell

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Selected Stories, by William Trevor A volume of stories by William Trevor is a reader’s must-have, and this 2009 collection brings together some of the great writer’s best—48 classic stories, many of which were first published in The New Yorker, Harper’s, and literary magazines such as Glimmer Train and the late, great, Antaeus. Trevor, who [….]

Litstack Rec: Spielberg, Truffaut and Me & The Wanderers

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Spielberg, Truffaut and Me: An Actor’s Diary, by Bob Balaban In the summer of 1976, during the first weeks of the filming of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Francois Truffaut, who played the extraterrestrial specialist Claude Lacombe, was at work on a book about actors—tentatively titled Hurry Up and Wait. The legendary auteur-director and [….]

Litstack Rec: The Refugees: Stories & All Our Wrong Todays

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The Refugees: Stories, by Viet Thanh Nguyen Fans of The Sympathizer, Nguyen’s debut novel that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2016, will find much of what they loved in the author’s second book of short stories. Where The Sympathizer explores the effects of the Vietnamese War, and the experience of refugees’ displacement through the taut [….]

LitStack Rec: Werewolves in Their Youth & Safe From the Sea

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Werewolves in Their Youth: Stories, by Michael Chabon Not all scary stories are for Halloween. Michael Chabon’s, Werewolves in Their Youth isn’t a horror or sci-fi, though Chabon is a fan. The collection, which appeared in 1999, assembles nine stories that feature characters who move about in the placid light of day, and for whom some [….]

Featured Author Interview: Kristen Ashley

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Thanks so much to Kristen Ashley for spending the month with us as our Featured Author. Be sure to check out all the reviews for her fantastic works that we’ve posted this month and be sure to follow her on social media. Thanks again, Kristen! LS: Hi Kristen and welcome to LitStack! We’re honored to [….]

Release Blitz: Whore by Willow Aster

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Whore by Willow Aster is now LIVE!!! PURCHASE YOUR COPY OF WHORE TODAY! Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2B0fsEe Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2yY5D83 B&N: http://bit.ly/2iQYB1U iTunes: http://apple.co/2yZTvHV Kobo: http://bit.ly/2xx0EL8 “I need a reason to exist.” Beautiful, intelligent, independent, strong-willed, wealthy—Lilith Fontenot seems by all appearances, to have it all. But that’s not how the highest paid prostitute in New [….]

Featured Author Review: Unfinished Hero by Kristen Ashley

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An Unfinished Hero Series Kristen Ashley Titles: Knight, Creed, Raid, Deacon and Sebring Summary: An Unfinished Hero Series is a break from the straight romances Kristen Ashley writes; the chief concern in these novels is the couple, the romance and how they all come together, but the steam is hotter and the description of the [….]

LitStack Recs: Life Drawing & Viva Frida

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Life Drawing, by Robin Black “Nobody outside a marriage can understand it,” the narrator of Life Drawing tells us. Augusta Edelman is a painter, married to Owen, a writer, and they have moved to the Pennsylvania countryside to live in the quiet and pursue their work. The Edelmans have been together for over two decades, [….]

What’s Under Our Tree: Six Great Books to Give This Holiday Season

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There’s only eight days left until the big day and if you’re anything like us, you’re still scrambling for gift ideas. Don’t worry, some of our favorite authors and publishers have pulled out all the stops for the season’s buying public. From new editions of our favorite books, to compendiums of the series we love, [….]

Featured Author Review: The Hookup by Kristen Ashley

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TITLE:The Hookup AUTHOR: Kristen Ashley GENRE:Contemporary Romance Kristen Ashley knows people. That much is clear in the effortless way she depicts relationships–all of them. But what she truly shines at, is the slow, sweet tumble to love and the many ways in which her characters find it. In The Hookup, Kristen relies on a familiar [….]

LitStack Recs: Top reads & Winterdance

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Are books, and stories, getting better? That is, are they getting richer, stronger, and more compelling? My answer is an unequivocal yes. Stories and voices we haven’t heard before are being published, and familiar stories, like those of love and relationships, are being told in a new way, with fresh eyes. This year contained all [….]

Featured Author Review: The ‘Burg Series by Kristen Ashley

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The ‘Burg Series Kristen Ashley Titles: For You, At Peace, Golden Trail, Games of the Heart,   The Promise Hold On Kristen Ashley sets her ‘Burg series in a town she knows well–Brownsburg, Indiana, the author’s hometown. But the characters in the series led very different lives than that of the talent writer. The six-book series centers around the townspeople [….]

LitStack Recs: Speedbumps & The Human Division

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Speedbumps: Flooring It Through Hollywood, by Teri Garr Think of Teri Garr, the legendary actress turns 70 on December 11, and likely it’s as the outspoken girl next door, the slightly off-kilter girlfriend, wife, or mother—characters she played in Tootsie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Young Frankenstein. Even when Garr is playing it [….]

12/1/17 December Giveaway: Once Bitten by Heather McCorkle

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It’s that time again! Welcome, LitStackers, to our annual December giveaway. This month, you’ll have the opportunity to enter to win scores of books and goodies from your favorite authors. Check back every day for our daily giveaways and make sure you comment on the giveaways you’re interested in winning to qualify. Good luck to [….]

Featured Author Review: Complicated by Kristen Ashley

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Welcome, LitStackers, to our December Featured Author segment. We love compelling voices and character-driven stories that take us away from the tedium of our lives and this month’s featured author is an expert at doing just that. Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA. She nearly killed her mother and herself making it into [….]

LitStack Rec: Anna May Wong & We Were Liars

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Anna May Wong: From Laundryman’s Daughter to Hollywood Legend, by Graham Russell Gao Hodges Don’t be misled by the tabloid nature of the title. Hodges’ biography is a meticulously researched and carefully constructed account of one of early cinema’s most notable icons. You could be forgiven for not knowing the work of Anna May Wong, [….]

Fictional Family Ties

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It’s been said that families are like fudge—mostly sweet with a few nuts. If we’re lucky, the balance between the two is just right, but even then, we have moments when we wonder what it would be like to have a different set of relatives. Reading gives us that opportunity. For the span of a [….]

Litstack Rec: The Goldfinch & Doctor Sleep

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The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt The reception Donna Tartt garnered for her third novel—it washer first in twelve years—was called a phenomenon and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2014 (among other honors). The story centers on the childhood and youth of Theo Decker, an ordinary boy living in New York City with his mother, until [….]

LitStack Rec: Jerusalem: A Cookbook & Exit West

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Jerusalem:  A Cookbook, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi Some cookbooks are defined by a generation. Your grandmother’s shelf likely held The Joy of Cooking or Julia Child’s The  French Chef. Your mother’s, The Silver Palate or The Moosewood Cookbook. Jerusalem is a cookbook that has similarly struck a culinary-cultural nerve, tapping into an unbridled [….]

LitStack Rec: Out of Place & Landscape with Invisible Hand

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Out of Place: A Memoir, by Edward Said Edward Said, the prolific author, political activist, pianist, and critic who would have been eighty-two yesterday, rose to academic stardom in 1978 with the publication of Orientalism, the seminal critique of the cultural bias that founded the Western study of Eastern culture. Said, who died in 2003 [….]

Litstack Rec: Blood Will Out & Vinegar Girl

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Blood Will Out, by Walter Kirn In Preston Sturges’  romantic comedy, “The Palm Beach Story,” Claudette Colbert plays Gerry, reluctant divorcee of husband Tom (Joel McCrea) who’s bankrupted when his dream of building an airport fails. On a train to Palm Beach, Gerry meets eccentric millionaire John D. Hackensacker III, America’s richest man. He’s Sturges’ [….]

LitChat Interview: Samantha Wekstein, Writer’s House

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  Samantha is a Junior Agent at Writers House.  She graduated from the University of Maryland in 2012 with a B.A. in English with a concentration in creative writing.  She interned at Rowman & Littlefield and Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency before landing at Writers House in 2013 with an internship. There, she was the [….]

LitStack Rec: Manhood for Amateurs & The Last Good Man

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Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son, essays by Michael Chabon You know a book on fatherhood is going to be interesting when the title includes the word amateurs. The trope of fatherly wisdom, borne of experience and dispensed with measured calm, is a wonderful thing, but how realistic [….]

What We’re Listening To: The Daily, Podcast Review

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New York Times’ Aptly Named “The Daily” Podcast Delivers Consistent High Quality Back in 2016, during the height of the presidential campaign, I decided that when the election was over and Hillary Clinton was waiting to become president, I would engage in more responsible news media consumption. My mind actually used the word “responsible”, and [….]

Litstack Rec: Barbarian Days & The Echo

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Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life, by William Finnegan William Finnegan’s 2016 memoir begins with an epigraph from Edward St. Aubyn’s novel Mother’s Milk: “He had become so caught up in building sentences  that he had almost forgotten  the barbaric days  when thinking was like a splash of colour landing on a page.” It’s a fitting [….]

Flash Review: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

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The Buried Giant Kazuo Ishiguro Alfred A. Knopf Release Date:  March 3, 2015 ISBN 978-0-307-27103-7 It’s the dusk of Arthurian England; an uneasy peace lies over the land.  Britons Axl and Beatrice, an elderly couple, leave their village to travel to the town where they believe their estranged son lives.  Their memories are cloudy, but [….]

LitStack Review: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North & Erica Henderson

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The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Ryan North and Erica Henderson Marvel Everyone should read the ongoing Marvel Comics series “The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, written by Ryan North with art by Erica Henderson. Squirrel Girl is the alter ego of Doreen Green, teenage computer science student with the powers of both squirrel and girl. She has the [….]

LitStack Rec: Little Failure: A Memoir & Back Roads and Frontal Lobes

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Little Failure: A Memoir, by Gary Shteyngart “In order for me to be born,” Gary Shteyngart says early on in his memoir, “all four branches of my family have to end up in Leningrad, trading in their tiny towns and villages for that somber, canal-laced cityscape. Here’s how it happens.” Voice, more than anything, can [….]

What We’re Watching: A Ghost Story by David Lowery

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A Ghost Story by David Lowery Fair warning, if you haven’t actually watched the movie, walk away now because I’m about to spoil the whole thing. Otherwise, read on. Just don’t get peeved with me … you’ve been given ample time to make a substantial change in your trajectory. A Ghost Story, David Lowery’s latest [….]

LitStack Exclusive: Good and Bad Writing Advice

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As writers, new and seasoned, there’s one truth that seems to be universal: everyone has advice for you. The problem occurs when those “everyones” don’t quite know what they’re talking about. You’re going to get good and bad advice as you navigate your way learning the writing craft. There will be people who tell you [….]

Litstack Rec: The Lesson of the Master and A Land More Kind Than Home

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The Lesson of the Master, by Henry James Colm Tóibín, in his introduction to the 2007 edition of Henry James’ classic novella, cites a note James made in 1888—an idea that came to him after reading the memoir of a colleague: “…it occurred to me that a very interesting situation would be that of an [….]

Travels and Travails of Small Minds – Excerpt

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Travels and Travails of Small Minds Daniel_Falatko Ardent Writers Press Travels and Travails of Small Minds follows the sideways trajectory of an unambitious career temp worker occupying the most nowhere of nowhere jobs. Nathan spends many a hungover morning and afternoon fetching coffee for his senile slumlord boss in a dust-choked office on the Lower [….]

Litstack Rec: The Hermit in the Garden & A City Dreaming

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  The Hermit in the Garden: From Imperial Rome to Ornamental Gnome, by Gordon Campbell You may not know it, but those winsome garden gnomes decorating the neighbor’s (or your own) lawn, have a distinguished lineage. In Gordon Campbell’s latest book, he draws a clear line of descent. It’s a fascinating history that blends religion, [….]

Cover Reveal: Brave by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Brave, A Wicked Saga, Book 3 Jennifer L. Armentrout Release: December 11th 2017 Ivy Morgan hasn’t been feeling like herself lately. Not like anyone can blame her. After all, being held captive by a psychotic fae prince hell-bent on permanently opening the gates to the Otherworld is bound to leave some mental scars. It’s more [….]

LitChat Interview: Kelly Peterson, Corvisiero Literary Agency

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 Kelly has her B.S.Ed. in English and originally became a teacher. She quickly found out that the teaching profession wasn’t for her and followed her passion for books instead. After working for Corvisiero Literary Agency over the last two years, Kelly has come to find that she’s extremely picky, a tough editor, and an even greater [….]

Etsy’s Book Inspired Bags

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Count it as a good thing whenever books make a crossover into the everyday. And that would include this recent Top 10 list from Book Riot, featuring the best of Etsy’s Book Inspired Bags. Handbags, that is. From clutches to cross-bodies, there’s some classic inspirations here, from Austen to Hogwart’s to The Princess Bride. In [….]

LitStack Review: Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee

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Raven Stratagem (Machineries of Empire, Book 2) Yoon Ha Lee Solaris Release Date:  June 13, 2017 ISBN 978-1-78108-537-0 In 2016, Yoon Ha Lee’s debut novel, Ninefox Gambit, burst on the scene and established itself as the newest entry in the trend towards imaginative, complex, norm-bending science fiction (think Ann Leckie’s Ancillary series, Kameron Hurley’s The [….]

LitStack Rec: Blue Nights and Under Heaven

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Blue Nights, by Joan Didion Joan Didion’s books have had a titanic effect on me, but when Blue Nights came out in 2011, I couldn’t bring myself to read it. The memoir is a counterpart to Didion’s 2005 memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking, which tracks the aftermath of her husband John Gregory Dunne’s unexpected death in 2003. [….]

LitStack ‘In Case You Missed It’ Review: The City & the City by China Miéville

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The City & the City China Miéville Del Rey Release Date:  May 26, 2009 ISBN 978-0-345-49751-2 I enjoy exploring literary works whose titles have been short-listed for awards in my preferred genre; the Hugos and the Nebulas, the World Fantasy Awards.  Doing so has led me to many talented authors and dozens of entertaining novels [….]

Five Surprisingly Banned Books

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As book lovers, we don’t really understand the purpose of censorship. We certainly don’t support an effort to ban any books because we believe that readers should be able to judge for themselves the appropriateness of a given book. But sometimes, even the best books are pulled from the shelves. Some of the following were [….]

LitStack Rec – The Marriage Plot & Leviathan Wakes

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The Marriage Plot, by Jeffery Eugenides “Heartbreak is funny to everyone but the heartbroken.” That ironic reflection comes early the Jeffrey Eugenides’ lively 2011 novel. The observation is made by Madeleine Hanna, one of three central characters, all of whom are students at Brown University. We meet them on the morning of graduation in 1982, [….]

Cover Revamp: The Voodoo Killings by Kristi Charish

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Congrats to our good friend,  Kristi Charish  on the cover revamp of her spectacular novel, The Voodoo Killings: A Kincaid Strange Novel (The Kincaid Strange Series). Vintage Canada issued this gorgeous revamped cover in preparation for the release of the second Kincaid Strange series novel. Be sure to pick up your copy today! For starters, she’s only [….]

LitStack Rec: Speedbumps: Flooring It Through Hollywood & American Born Chinese

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Speedbumps: Flooring It Through Hollywood, by Teri Garr Think of Teri Garr, and likely it’s as the outspoken girl next door, the slightly off-kilter girlfriend, wife, or mother—characters she played in Tootsie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Young Frankenstein. Even when Garr is playing it straight, as in Mr. Mom and Oh God!, [….]

Cover Reveal: The City of Lost Fortunes by Bryan Camp

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We’re ridiculously proud to introduce you LitStackers to The City of Lost Fortunes, the debut novel from former LitStack contributor, Bryan Camp. Be sure to add this amazing title to your pre-order list. Congrats, Bryan! Title: The City of Lost Fortunes Author: Bryan Camp Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Release Date: April 17, 2018 ISBN: 9781328810793 [….]

The Writers We Lost Too Soon

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Death and taxes, as the old cliche goes. Both are unavoidable, and while we won’t give you our political opinions on paying taxes, we will say that it’s never easy or expected when we lose someone we love. Even if that “someone” is known to us from afar, from the words we read in their [….]

LitStack Rec: Cutting Teeth & The Dead Lands

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Cutting Teeth, by Julia Fierro For those who have young children, there’s a lovely innocence to summer—its sprinklers and days at the beach, its long days and late evenings. Julia Fierro’s debut novel, Cutting Teeth, captures that sense of fleeting summer pleasure, as well as the pleasures and the challenges of navigating parenthood. On a [….]

Celebrities Who Are Book Nerds

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In the past, we’ve shown you LitStackers a brief glimpse of some of classic Hollywood’s most eager bookish celebrities. Now, here’s a few shots of some of the “younger” generation’s biggest book nerds. Some of these may surprise you. Some, not so much. Feel free to tell us all about your favorite celebrity book nerds [….]

LitChat Interview: Laura Zat, Red Sofa Literary

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Laura Zats graduated from Grinnell College with degrees in English and anthropology. She began working in the publishing industry in 2011, joining Red Sofa Literary in 2013. As an agent, she specializes in children’s fiction, science fiction and fantasy, and romance. She is also one-half of the weekly publishing podcast, Print Run. In her free time, Laura serves on the [….]

LitStack Rec: Vivian Maier: Street Photographer & Private Diary of Mr. Darcy

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Vivian Maier: Street Photographer by Vivian Maier (Author), John Maloof (Editor), Geoff Dyer (Contributor) For forty years, Vivian Maier worked as a nanny in Chicago and took photographs on her days off. That may not seem extraordinary, but her work is quickly proving to be our era’s preeminent artistic discovery—the kind that comes along once [….]

Our Favorite Timeless Plots

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  There are seven stories in the world.   It’s a well used maxim and not necessarily true. (Kipling, for example, claimed there were sixty-nine stories in the world). But the truth remains that various plots have been invented and reinvented since the beginning of the press. Some have been re-imagined so often that they [….]

LitStack Review: ROAR by Cora Carmack

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Roar (Stormheart #1) Cora Carmack Tor Teen ISBN-10: 0765386313 In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them. Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom [….]

Litstack Rec: An Unnecessary Woman & Extraordinary Adventures

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An Unnecessary Woman, by Rabih Alameddine “I like outsiders,” Aaliya Sohbi tells us, “phantoms wandering the cobwebbed halls of the doomed castle where life must be lived.” The narrator of Rabih Alameddine’s An Unnecessary Woman, is herself an outsider, a reclusive, seventy-two year old bibliophile who lives alone in the Beirut apartment she’s inhabited since [….]

Why We Love Our Genres

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The best thing about running a site like LitStack is the diversity of folks you meet. Our writers come from all walks of life; their ages vary from those still in college, to a granny or two. With this diversity comes a variety of tastes and preferences, a fact that is exhibited in the wide [….]

LitStack Rec: The Good Soldier & Pride’s Spell

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The Good Soldier, by Ford Madox Ford If this novel had been published under the title the author selected, The Saddest Story, contemporary readers might have had a difficult time locating a copy. Fortunately, Ford Madox Ford agreed to his publisher’s title suggestion of The Good Soldier, and with that, the now-classic post-World War I [….]

OpEd: Young Adult Lit and the Classroom

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A few years back I was asked by a dear friend if I teach the classics and I answered with an emphatic “No!” He scrunched up his face, tilted his head to the side and replied “Why not?” I sighed and then prepared myself for explaining why I feel like some of the writings of [….]

Book Love Pins

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Ah, Pinterest, how we love thee. The virtual pin board is a great place to find recipes, fitness inspiration, motivational quotes and the best in new book releases. It also is a superb source of book love memes. Here are just a few of our favorites. Go ahead, share them on your Twitter or Facebook [….]

LitStack Rec: Desperate Characters & The Last Days of Magic

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Desperate Characters, by Paula Fox This classic of literary fiction, first published in 1970, serves too as a classic example of a novel that was lost to readers, then found. In 1999, when this—and all Paula Fox’s adult novels—fell out of print, interest in the author and her work was almost single-handedly revived by Jonathan [….]

LitStack Review: The Standard Grand by Jay Baron Nicorvo

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The Standard Grand Jay Baron Nicorvo St. Martin’s Press Release Date:  April 24, 2017 ISBN 978-1-25010-894-4 It’s rare when an author is able to take characters that are not exactly admirable, and makes them beautifully memorable, especially when the author does not shy away from that which makes them, well, objectionable. It’s also rare to [….]

LitStack Recs: Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History & Blue Nights

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Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History, by Stephen Jay Gould A book about the 1909 discovery of fossilized prehistoric multi-celled creatures in a rocky outcrop in the Canadian mountains?  Really?  That’s what’s being recommended? Really.  Completely and utterly, yes. Stephen Jay Gould was a brilliant paleontologist and evolutionary biologist, a skilled [….]

LitStack Rec: Commonwealth & All the Birds in the Sky

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Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett Of divorce, Nicole Krauss wrote, “One of us held on to the ambition of the one idea far longer than was reasonable, whereas the other, passing a garbage can one night, had casually thrown it away.” That’s how ending a marriage can feel, especially for the spouse who’s left behind, an [….]

LitChat Interview: Executive Editor David Pomerico, Harper Voyager

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David Pomerico joined Harper Voyager in Spring 2014 as Editorial Director, coming from Spectra, Del Rey, and, most recently, 47North, where he helped launch the imprint. He is focused on all things science fiction and fantasy and very excited to be heading up Harper Voyager US! He’s currently working with authors such as Richard Kadrey, [….]

LitStack Review: The Last Good Man by Linda Nagata

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The Last Good Man Linda Nagata Mythic Island Press Release Date:  June 20, 2017 Oh my, does Linda Nagata know how to write thrilling military science fiction, or what? (The answer is an unequivocal “yes.”) Following her superlative The Red trilogy (The Red: First Light, The Trials, Going Dark), Ms. Nagata returns to military science [….]

LitStack Rec: The Portable Veblen & Wait Till Next Year

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The Portable Veblen, by Elizabeth McKenzie By way of Anne Lamott, we know the novelist Ethan Canin once remarked, “Nothing holds a story together better than a likable narrator.” Lamott went further (in the slim but influential memoir of writing, Bird by Bird), that a likable narrator is comparable to someone you love spending time [….]

LitStack Rec: Stoner & Cradle to the Stage

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Stoner, by John Williams John Williams’ 1965 novel went out of print after selling only 2,000 copies, but since its re-release by Vintage in 1995, this novel of a Midwestern academic’s insular life has appeared on bestseller lists in Europe and Israel, and has since sold over 100,000 copies. Stoner seems at first an unlikely [….]

LitChat Interview with Sarah Bedingfield, Levine, Greenberg, Rostan Literary Agency

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Prior to joining LGR in 2016, Sarah began her publishing career in trade fiction editorial at Crown and Hogarth. There, she worked with a range of bestselling and award-winning novels, including Han Kang’s HUMAN ACTS and Man Booker International Prize winning debut, THE VEGETARIAN, as well as the New York Times bestselling novel, THE LITTLE [….]

Celebrating the Mighty Wonder Woman

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Wonder Woman Unbound – The Curious History of the World’s Most Famous Heroine Tim Hanley Chicago Review Press Release Date:  April 1, 2014 ISBN 978-1613749098 College level English classes are one my daughter’s least favorite scholastic experience, but I love ’em, because I get to play research assistant for her papers.  She learns organization, thesis [….]

LitStack Rec: Central Station & Green Thoughts

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Central Station by Lavie Tidhar It’s kind of hard to describe Lavie Tidhar’s Locus- nominated, Clarke-shortlisted book Central Station. It’s definitely science fiction. Absolutely futuristic. Sometimes surreal and sometimes quite practical. But it’s also decidedly unique, a touch bizarre, evidencing a future Earth that is both believable and terrifying in its nonchalance. Central Station, rising [….]

Lending a Hand – My Conversation with Paolo Bacigalupi

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One of the reasons I jumped at the chance to attend the recent NerdCon: Stories convention was the opportunity to meet a number of authors that I have admired for years.  One of those authors is Paolo Bacigalupi. I first encountered Mr. Bacigalupi’s writing in 2010, after his book, The Windup Girl, won both the [….]

LitStack Recs: Passage to Ararat & War for the Oaks

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Passage to Ararat, by Michael J. Arlen “It’s a dangerous business,” writes Clark Blaise in this book’s introduction, “going into the underworld of history and ethnicity to discover one’s father, yet it seems one peculiar duty in our time of identity politics.” The observation is an apt one in which to begin Michael J. Arlen’s [….]

Release Blitz: Infinite Us by Eden Butler

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  Title: Infinite Us Author: Eden Butler Genre: Contemporary Romance Release Date: May 23, 2017    Love is timeless… Nash Nation loves zeroes and ones, over-sized monitors and late office hours. He’s too busy taking over the world to make time for relationships—that is, until his new neighbor Willow O’Bryant barges into his life, and [….]

LitStack Interview: Meredith Wild

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Meredith Wild is a #1 New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of romance. After publishing her debut novel Hardwired in September 2013, Wild used her ten years of experience as a tech entrepreneur to push the boundaries of her “self-published” status, becoming stocked in brick-and-mortar bookstore chains nationwide and forging relationships with the major retailers. In 2014, Wild founded [….]

2016 Nebula Award Winners Announced

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On Saturday night, the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America announced the recipients of the Nebula Awards for works published in 2016. The Nebula Awards are voted on and presented by the active members of SFWA for outstanding science fiction and fantasy. Here is a list of nominees and winners: NOVEL WINNER: All the [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe – Gimbling into the Sunset

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Back in November 2012, I wrote my very first Gimbling in the Wabe. It was the brainchild of LitStack’s Editor-in-Chief, Tee Tate, and she told me that with this new weekly feature, I could write about anything I wanted, even if it had little to do with literature. I took her at her word, and [….]

LitStack Recs: The Oysters of Locmariaquer & Relics

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The Oysters of Locmariaquer, by Eleanor Clark Late in Eleanor Clark’s extraordinary book, she tells us the oyster needs the same landscape that a plein air painter does: a certain air, light, chemistry. “The explanation,” she writes, “might be quite simple, not esoteric at all—in some common equation of factors and atmospheres.” Only a writer [….]

LitStack Review: Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

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Borne Jeff VanderMeer Farrar, Straus and Giroux Release Date:  April 25, 2017 ISBN 978-0-3741-1524-1 Jeff VanderMeer is an author who defies easy categorization. His fiction is easier to describe by adjective rather than genre: strange, complex, unsettling, and yet familiar, affecting, literate. Of Annihilation, the first book in his Southern Reach trilogy (soon to be [….]

Sale Blitz – Ohana Legacy by Eden Butler

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#SeriesBundle #Giveaway ☛ Ohana Legacy: The Complete Thin Love Series by Eden Butler is #LIVE #AvailableNow #OneClick   👉Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2qgcIQ5 👉Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2r6rgTj 👉Kobo: http://bit.ly/2reDq8O 👉Itunes: http://apple.co/2reCO3g   Goodreads ➽ http://bit.ly/2m7jKVa Giveaway ➽ http://bit.ly/2qGdbfe   📚Blurbs📚 THIN LOVE (Book 1) Love isn’t supposed to be an addiction. It isn’t supposed to leave you [….]

2017 Locus Awards Finalists Announced

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On Friday, the Locus Science Fiction Foundation has announced the top ten finalists in each category of the 2017 Locus Awards, which are driven by reader input. Winners will be announced on June 25, during the Locus Awards Weekend in Seattle WA. SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL Company Town by Madeline Ashby The Medusa Chronicles by Stephen [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe – What I Want for Mother’s Day

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I was watching television the other day when an ad came on informing me that for this Mother’s Day, “smart phones trump flowers”, suggesting that in order to show your mother how much you appreciate her, you need to give her not flowers, but a smart phone.  Another ad on another day shows women being [….]

LitStaff Recs: The Empathy Exams & Three Parts Dead

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The Empathy Exams: Essays, by Leslie Jamison The Empathy Exams blends memoir, literary, cultural and moral investigation, and its essays are rich, astute, and candid. This is Jamison’s second book (following a 2011 novel The Gin Closet), winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize that went on to the New York Times bestseller list. Jamison [….]

LitStack Review: A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab

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A Conjuring of Light Shades of Magic, Book 3 V. E. Schwab Tor Books Release Date:  February 21, 2017 ISBN 978-0-7653-8746-2 If you like magic, if you like epic fantasy, if you enjoy tales of magicians both light and dark, of brothers and kings, of thieves and pirates, then you really must be reading Victoria [….]

2016 Shirley Jackson Awards Nominees Announced

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If you are a reader of horror stories, or those that invoke psychological suspense, then you probably know the name Shirley Jackson. Ms. Jackson wrote such classic novels as The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, as well as the well known short story, “The Lottery.” To honor the legacy of Shirley [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe – My Beautiful Addiction

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Hi, my name is Sharon.  I’m a library request addict. It used to be I would only request a few books a week from my local library. Books I’d been wanting to read for a while or books that friends had recommended, occasionally a title I’d read about in the Sunday “Books” section of my [….]

LitStack Recs: Books About Actors and Film & Ancillary Justice

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As the summer film season approaches, here are three books—a memoir, a novel, and a book-length interview—that offer a look behind the camera. Spielberg, Truffaut and Me: An Actor’s Diary, by Bob Balaban Spielberg, Truffaut and Me: An Actor’s Diary was published in 2002, and it’s a fascinating look behind the curtain of how the [….]

2017 Arthur C. Clarke Award Shortlist Announced

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  The Arthur C. Clarke Award is given for the best science fiction novel first published in the United Kingdom during the previous year. The award was established with a grant given by Sir Arthur C. Clarke, an icon in British science fiction (Childhood’s End, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Rendezvous with Rama), and continues in [….]

2016 Bram Stoker Award Winners Announced

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Named after the author of the quintessential horror novel, Dracula, the Bram Stoker Awards are overseen by the Horror Writers Association (HWA), a “nonprofit organization of writers and publishing professionals around the world, dedicated to promoting dark literature and the interests of those who write it.”  Founded in 1985, the foundation has been handing out [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe – “The Journey” by Mary Oliver

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For the final Gimbling in the Wabe of this year’s National Poetry Month, I am highlighting a poet who, to me, epitomizes the music that swells inside of us, that is both deeply personal and yet encompasses the omniscience of the beauty and solace of the natural world: Mary Oliver. Winner of both the Pulitzer [….]

LitStack Rec: How to Grow Old Disgracefully & Life on Mars

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How to Grow Old Disgracefully: An Autobiography, by Hermione Gingold If you’re a fan of classic films, say, Vincente Minnelli’s 1958 musical, Gigi, or classic stagings of Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, you already know Hermione Gingold, the earthy actress with the husky voice and wicked sense of irony. Otherwise, Gingold is likely a mystery, [….]

LitStack Review: Skullsworn by Brian Staveley

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Skullsworn (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne series) Brian Staveley Tor Books Release Date: April 25, 2017 ISBN 978-0-7653-8987-9 One of the major strengths of Brian Staveley’s Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne epic fantasy series (The Emperor’s Blades, The Providence of Fire, The Last Mortal Bond), is his characters. While often they sit comfortably in a [….]

LitStack Review – Yvain: The Knight of the Lion by M. T. Anderson, Illustrated by Andrea Offermann

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Yvain: The Knight of the Lion M. T. Anderson Illustrations by Andrea Offermann Candlewick Press Release Date:  March 14, 2017 ISBN 978-0-7636-5939-4 Don’t be swayed by the publisher’s information: Yes, M. T. Anderson’s graphic novelization of Chrétien de Troyes’s 12th century Arthurian legend is aimed at ages 12 and up, grades 7 and up. Yes, [….]

Book Launch: The Sky Throne by Christopher Ledbetter

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Title: THE SKY THRONE Author: Chris Ledbetter Pub. Date: April 18, 2017 Publisher: Month9Books Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | TBD | iBooks Duality dwells at every turn, and an adolescent Zeus will learn that all too well when Hyperion attacks his family on Crete. When the dust settles, his mother is unconscious and his best friend [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe – “Renascence” by Edna St. Vincent Millay

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Edna St. Vincent Millay was already a published poet in her teen years, but it was at age nineteen when she submitted her poem, Renascence, to a contest run by The Lyric Year that the world sat up and took notice – not because it won, but because it didn’t. Ms. Millay’s work – clearly [….]

Litstack Recs: Anna May Wong & The Hatred of Poetry

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Anna May Wong: From Laundryman’s Daughter to Hollywood Legend, by Graham Russell Gao Hodges Don’t be misled by the tabloid nature of the title. Hodges’ biography is a meticulously researched and carefully constructed account of one of early cinema’s most notable icons. You could be forgiven for not knowing the work of Anna May Wong, [….]

LitStack Review: Brother’s Ruin by Emma Newman

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Brother’s Ruin Industrial Magic, Book #1 Emma Newman Tor.com Release Date:  March 14, 2017 ISBN 978-0-7653-9396-8 It’s probably not politically correct to illustrate something literary by using a television reference, but I couldn’t help but think what a wonderful TV pilot Emma Newman’s first book in her Industrial Magic series, Brother’s Ruin, would make. This [….]

LitStack Review: Phantom Pains by Mishell Baker

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Phantom Pains The Arcadia Project, Book 2 Mishell Baker Saga Press Release Date: March 21, 2017 ISBN 978-1-4814-8017-8 Millie Roper, the central character in Mishell Baker’s Arcadia Project urban fantasy series, is a very intriguing hero, not because of her virtues, but because she perseveres despite her challenges. In the initial book in the series, [….]

2016 Aurealis Awards Announced

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The Western Australian Science Fiction Foundation has announced the winners of the 2016 Aurealis Awards. Aurealis is an Australian speculative fiction magazine which was launched in 1990 with the purpose of providing a market for Australian speculative fiction writers, as well as aiming to raise those authors’ public profiles; in 1995, they instituted the awards. [….]

LitStack Review: The Malice by Peter Newman

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The Malice Peter Newman Harper Voyager Release Date:  March 7, 2017 ISBN 978-0-00-820103-6 The Malice, the second book in Peter Newman’s Vagrant Trilogy, picks up shortly after where the first book, The Vagrant, left off. (While it’s not necessary to read The Vagrant before The Malice, you’ll miss a lot of exposition and some wonderful [….]

2016 BSFA Award Winners Announced

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The results are in! On Saturday at the 68th Eastercon in Birmingham, West Midlands, England, the British Science Fiction Association revealed the winners of the 2016 BSFA Awards. The BSFA Awards have been presented annually since 1970, honoring works in the sci-fi genre. This year’s winners are: BEST NOVEL WINNER: Europe in Winter by Dave [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe – “Home” by Warsan Shire

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April is National Poetry Month, and in honor of that I am stepping a bit out of my comfort zone and posting poems that have spoken to me personally. This week, I give to you a powerful and heart breaking poem by Warsan Shire, a poet and activist who was born in Kenya to Somali [….]

LitStack Rec: Changing My Mind & Hunger Makes the Wolf

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Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays, by Zadie Smith This collection of essays came about by accident, Zadie Smith tells us in the foreword, but the voice and curiosity behind it makes this read seamless and satisfying. My hope, as a reader of essays, is to learn something, whether the topic is snow camping or religious [….]

LitStack Review: Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

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Exit West Mohsin Hamid Riverhead Books Release Date:  March 7, 2017 ISBN 978-0-7352-1217-6 Immigration is a hot burner issue right now – who to welcome, who to keep out, if to welcome at all. What gets lost in the discussion, often, is the individual element of those fleeing war, fleeing poverty, looking for a better [….]

2017 Pulitzer Prize Winners Announced

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On Monday, the 170th anniversary of the birth of benefactor Joseph Pulitzer, the 2017 winners of the Pulitzer Prizes were announced. Established 100 years ago in 1917, winning a Pulitzer Prize still stands as one of the most coveted honors for those in journalism and the arts. While 14 of the 21 Pulitzer categories covered [….]

LitStack Review: The Wanderers by Meg Howrey

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The Wanderers Meg Howrey G. P. Putnam’s Sons Release Date:  March 14, 2017 ISBN 978-0-3995-7473-4 This book…wow. I read a lot of books; a lot of good books. But this one? Wow. The Wanderers is a work of fiction but it feels real, taking place in the imminent present day surrounding the final training simulation [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe – Allowables by Nikki Giovanni

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It’s April, which has been declared National Poetry Month; a celebration of poetry created in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets as a way to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States. I’m not a poetry aficionado; much of it is way over my head. But some of it – oh, [….]

LitStack Recs: Crash Course & Ninefox Gambit

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Crash Course: essays from where writing and life collide, by Robin Black The third book from short story writer and novelist Robin Black collects her recent essays, many of which first appeared on the great, and sadly erstwhile literary blog, Beyond the Margins. Crash Course, subtitled essays from where writing and life collide, is aptly [….]

2017 Hugo Award Finalists Announced

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The Hugo Award is one of the major awards for sci-fi and speculative fiction novels, shorter stories, magazines, editors, dramatic presentations (movies and TV shows) and other works; having “Hugo Award Winner” splashed across the top of a book or on an author’s bio is a really helpful thing when it comes to attracting the [….]

LitStack Review: The Night Ocean by Paul La Farge

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The Night Ocean Paul La Farge Penguin Press Release Date:  March 7, 2017 ISBN 978-1-1019-8108-5 I cracked open the cover of Paul La Farge’s novel The Night Ocean in trepidation, because Lovecraftian dark fantasy is not something I actively seek out. I will read a work if it’s considered “Lovecraftian” as long as I have [….]

LitStack Review: Within the Sanctuary of Wings by Marie Brennan

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Within the Sanctuary of Wings A Memoir by Lady Trent Marie Brennan Tor Books Release Date:  April 25, 2017 ISBN 978-0-7653-7765-4 What a lovely way to end a wonderful fantasy series! Since 2013, with the publication of Lady Trent’s first installment of her memoirs in A Natural History of Dragons, author Marie Brennan has given [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe: “What our Orgasm Type says About our Personality” (and other cheap ways to get attention)

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Wait….what? Did I just read what I just read? An “article” in my Facebook feed that was titled “What our Orgasm Type says About our Personality”? I mean, despite the horrendous capitalization, was this “article” for real? Unfortunately, it was – or at least, it thought it was. And, I assume, so did at least [….]

Litstack Recs: Life Would be Perfect if I Lived in That House & A Natural History of Dragons

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Life Would be Perfect if I Lived in That House, by Meghan Daum The moral of this story might run be careful what you wish for, especially if the house you get doesn’t live up to the fantasy you’ve been harboring. For Meghan Daum, novelist, essayist, L.A. Times columnist and extreme home aficiondo, the pursuit [….]

Featured Author Interview: Tiffany Reisz

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Thanks so much to Tiffany Reisz for spending the month hanging out with us. We’ve enjoyed hosting her as our Featured Author. Be sure to check out the previous reviews of her backlist and the review of her brand new release, The Night Mark. To conclude our March Featured Author segment, we chat with Tiffany [….]

LitStack Review: The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley

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The Stars Are Legion Kameron Hurley Saga Press Release Date:  February 7, 2017 ISBN 978-1-4814-4793-5 Kameron Hurley does not write pretty stories. But they are pretty darned amazing. Her newest work, the space opera The Stars Are Legion, is somewhat easy to summarize: in a system of decaying worldships known as the Legion, a struggle [….]

LitStack Review: Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout by Laura Jane Grace

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Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout Laura Jane Grace Hatchette Books Release Date:  November 15, 2016 ISBN 978-0-3163-8795-8 In 1997, seventeen year old Tom Gabel dropped out of school and decided to become a punk rock musician. In his Gainesville, Florida bedroom he recorded ten original songs using an acoustic guitar, an [….]

LitStack Review: Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey

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Miranda and Caliban Jacqueline Carey Tor Books Release Date:  February 14, 2017 IBSN 978-0-7653-9704-1 As a student of Shakespeare, I became familiar with the incredible complexity of many of the Bard’s characters, enlivened by diverse and imaginative interpretations. But some characters are problematic; inchoate, yet peevish if over-analyzed. Ophelia, for example, or Jaques in As [….]

LitStack Rec: Barbarian Days & A Taste of Honey

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Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life, by William Finnegan William Finnegan’s 2016 memoir begins with an epigraph from Edward St. Aubyn’s novel Mother’s Milk: He had become so caught up in building sentences  that he had almost forgotten  the barbaric days  when thinking was like a splash of colour landing on a page. It’s a fitting [….]

Featured Author Review: The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz

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  The Night Mark Tiffany Reisz MIRA Publication Date: 3/28/74 She has nothing to live for in the present, but finds there’s something worth dying for in the past… From Tiffany Reisz, the international bestselling storyteller behind The Bourbon Thief and The Original Sinners series, comes an enthralling new novel about a woman swept away [….]

LitStack Review: Universal Harvester by John Darnielle

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Universal Harvester John Darnielle Ferrar, Straus and Giroux Release Date:  February 7, 2017 ISBN 978-0-37428-210-3 Full disclosure:  I grew up in Iowa, so John Darnielle’s new novel Universal Harvester has home field advantage in a play for my loyalty. After all, I already knew that Nevada, Iowa is pronounced Neh-VEY-dah, so I had the inside [….]

LitStack Review: The Vagrant by Peter Newman

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The Vagrant Peter Newman Harper Voyager Release Date:  April 2015 ISBN 978-0-007593-0-88 The Vagrant is a very interesting book.  No, no, hear me out.  I don’t mean “interesting” because I’m casting around to find something nice to say, and “interesting” is a pretty safe word to do that.  I mean, “interesting” in that, although it [….]

LitStack Review: Avengers of the Moon by Allen Steele

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Avengers of the Moon A Captain Future Novel Allen Steele Tor Books Release Date:  April 11, 2017 ISBN 978-0-7653-8218-4 In 1940, a new pulp science-fiction series debuted:  Curt Newton – known as Captain Future – was a young, handsome adventurer as well as a brilliant scientist and intrepid inventor. From 1940 to 1951, Captain Future [….]

National Book Critics Circle Awards Winners

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The National Book Critics Circle has announced the winners of their  2016 awards, with Louis Erdrich winning the Fiction award for her novel, LaRose. This is the second time Ms. Erdrich has won the award; she won for her celebrated novel, Love Medicine, in 1984. Here is the complete list of winners and finalists: AUTOBIOGRAPHY [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe – Be Nice to Josie Day 2017

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Monday is  “Be Nice to Josie Day.” For me, it’s not the first day of Spring, or the 20th of March, it’s the day that, 11 years ago, I took my daughter, Josie, into the doctor’s office for what I thought was the lingering flu. She was pasty, and shaky, she had no energy and although [….]

LitStack Recs: Paris Stories & Norse Mythology

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Paris Stories by Mavis Gallant When the great story writer Mavis Gallant died, I thought of a story from her 2002 collection, Paris Stories, Mlle. Dias de Corta. Madmoiselle is the boarder of a financially strapped Parisian widow, a distant yet fascinating immigrant actress who withholds secrets but whose actions have a kind of addictive [….]

Featured Author Review: The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz

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The Bourbon Thief Tiffany Reisz ISBN #0778319423 When Cooper McQueen wakes up from a night with a beautiful stranger, it’s to discover he’s been robbed. The only item stolen—a million-dollar bottle of bourbon. The thief, a mysterious woman named Paris, claims the bottle is rightfully hers. After all, the label itself says it’s property of [….]

LitStack Review: Idle Ingredients by Matt Wallace

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Idle Ingredients A Sin du Jour Affair- Book 4 Matt Wallace Tor.com Release Date:  February 7, 2017 ISBN 978-0-7653-9003-5 Idle Ingredients is the fourth book in the Sin du Jour series, which follows the exploits of a premiere paranormal catering company based in Long Island.  These quick, witty novellas by Matt Wallace have indeed been [….]

Release Blitz: Ohana Legacy by Eden Butler

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  Today we celebrate the launch of Eden Butler‘s Thin Love series bundle, Ohana Legacy. This bundle includes all three full-length Thin Love novels, the My Beloved novella, and My Always, a deleted scene story, all of which encompass the Thin Love series.     Pick up your copy of Ohana Legacy and the Thin [….]

Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction Releases Its 2017 Longlist

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The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction is the UK’s most prestigious annual literary award for fiction written by a woman. Founded in 1996, the Prize was set up to celebrate excellence, originality and accessibility in writing by women, publishing in English, throughout the world. This year’s list includes three previous winners, four second novels and [….]

LitStack Review: Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty

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Six Wakes Mur Lafferty Orbit Books Release Date:  January 31, 2017 ISBN 978-0-316-38968-6 Mur Lafferty’s Six Wakes is a science fiction novel about clones and a space mission gone awry.  But it’s also a murder mystery, with many moving parts. Both aspects of the book feed off the other, and both are equally riveting. Crewman [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe – It’s On Us

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Poor Emma Watson! She shows some skin in a fashion photo shoot – yes, decidedly evocative skin- and suddenly she’s being slut shamed and screeched at and labeled a false feminist. Thank heaven she’s not backing down. Thank heaven she’s being candid and honest in her reaction. While others may gnash their teeth and rend [….]

LitStack Review: A City Dreaming by Daniel Polansky

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A City Dreaming Daniel Polansky Regan Arts Release Date:  October 4, 2016 ISBN 978-1-68245-038-3 I knew nothing of author Daniel Polansky when, on the recommendation from a friend, I picked up a copy of his novel Low Town. It turns out I enjoyed that book so much that I sought out more. Now that I [….]

LitStack Rec: Bridge & The Ballad of Black Tom

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Bridge, by Robert Thomas “Welcome to the prayer-strewn pews of my brain,” Alice, the narrator of Bridge tells us, and quickly, we understand that this intellectually gifted young woman sees the world, and herself, in unconventional and often dangerous ways. Robert Thomas’s powerful debut novel, published last year by BOA Edition, takes place in fifty-six [….]

Featured Author Review: The Saint by Tiffany Reisz

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The Saint: (The Original Sinners: White Years #1) Tiffany Reisz Harlequin MIRA In the beginning, there was him. Gutsy, green-eyed Eleanor never met a rule she didn’t want to break. She’s sick of her mother’s zealotry and the confines of Catholic school, and declares she’ll never go to church again. But her first glimpse of [….]

PEN/Faulkner Makes a Statement With Its 2017 Fiction Award Finalists

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PEN/Faulkner is a nonprofit literary organization that promotes a lifelong love of reading and a connection to writing through public events, in-school education and public promotion of exceptional literary achievement. They annually administer the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, one of the highest honors available to American fiction writers; on Tuesday, they announced the finalists for [….]

Cover Reveal: Worship Me by Chelle Bliss

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  Book: Worship Me Series: Men of Inked #7 Genre: Romantic Suspense Release Date: May 9, 2017 Cover Photo: Eric Battershell Photography Cover Models: Colleen McMahon & Alfie Gordillo Cover Design: Chelle Bliss SYNOPSIS James Caldo needs to control everything in his life, even his wife, Izzy Gallo. But she’s headstrong and has a need [….]

LitStack Review: Shadow Run by Adrianne Strickland and Michael Miller

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Shadow Run Adrianne Strickland and Michael Miller Delacorte Press Release Date:  March 21, 2017 ISBN 978-0-399-55253-3 “Firefly meets Dune in this action-packed sci-fi adventure about a close-knit, found family of a crew navigating a galaxy of political intrigue and resource-driven power games.” Uh, oh. Anytime you invoke sci-fi classics – especially pop culture classics – [….]

LitStack Review: All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

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All Our Wrong Todays Elan Mastai Penguin Random House LLC Release Date:  February 7, 2017 ISBN 978-1-1019-8513-7 Most of us have read stories about future dystopias; for a while it seems like they dominated the speculative fiction landscape. Some of the stories would chronicle our descent from the present to the dilapidated future, but often [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe – On Paul Virilio, Integral Accidents, the Internet, the Olympics, Doctor Who, Feral Kittens and Not Going to Sea Without a Life Jacket

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Recently, I read Elan Mastai’s novel All Our Wrong Todays, and in it he referenced cultural theorist Paul Virilio, who championed the idea of the “integral accident.”  This belief basically states that every time you introduce a new technology, you also introduce the accident of that technology. Therefore, while the benefit of a new thing [….]

LitStack Review: The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

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The Wonder Emma Donoghue Little, Brown and Company Release Date:  September 20, 2016 ISBN 978-0-316-39387-4 It’s 1859, and English nurse Lib Wright has been hired to travel to the Irish Midlands to observe a pending miracle – a young girl who for four months has supposedly subsisted only on “manna from heaven.” Lib is skeptical, [….]

LitStack Recs: The Pink Suit & On Memoirs of Place

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The Pink Suit, by Nicole Mary Kelby Few garments have come to define a moment in history as the pink Chanel suit that Jackie Kennedy wore on that fateful November day in 1963.  That bright suit and its accompanying pillbox hat immediately conjures up tragedy – and strength. Author Nicole Mary Kelby takes this iconic [….]

Featured Author Review: The Siren by Tiffany Reisz

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We can think of no one better to help us kick off our Featured Author segment after such a long hiatus than one of our favorites, Tiffany Reisz. Tiffany Reisz is the author of the internationally bestselling and award-winning Original Sinners series for Mira Books (Harlequin/Mills & Boon). Tiffany’s books inhabit a sexy shadowy world [….]

Penguin Random House Will Publish Books by Both Barak and Michelle Obama

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Fun news! Penguin Random House has announced that they have won the bidding war, and will be publishing books by both former President Barak Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama. They also shared that they will donate one million books in the Obama family’s name to First Book, a nonprofit organization that provides books [….]

LitStack Review: The End of All Things by John Scalzi

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The End of All Things John Scalzi Tor Books Release Date:  May 31, 2016 ISBN 978-0-7653-7607-7 Full disclosure:  I adore John Scalzi. I enjoy his writing, which I find adroit and entertaining. As a social media persona, I find him quick witted and refreshingly candid. As a person, I find him lovable and genuine. So [….]

And the Oscar Goes To….

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Last night, amidst all the glitz, glitter and glamour, the 89th Annual Academy Awards – the “Oscars” – were handed out in a star studded ceremony in (where else?) Hollywood, California. Among the statuettes handed out, two were for writing excellence:  Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Screenplay. Just in case you were in the [….]

2016 Bram Stoker Awards Preliminary Ballot Announced

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Named after the author of the quintessential horror novel, Dracula, the Bram Stoker Awards are overseen by the Horror Writers Association (HWA), a “nonprofit organization of writers and publishing professionals around the world, dedicated to promoting dark literature and the interests of those who write it.”  Founded in 1985, the foundation has been handing out [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe – Say It Ain’t So

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With all that’s happening in the world today, with everything that deserves attention and activism, this diatribe of mine may seem trite. But dang it, you don’t get a tetanus shot because you plan to step on rusty nails, you get it because you never know when you might get scratched by one. So I’m [….]

2016 Aurealis Awards Finalists Announced

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Americans have the Nebula Awards.  The Brits have the BSFA Awards. And the Australians have the Aurealis Awards. Aurealis is an Australian speculative fiction magazine which was launched in 1990 with the purpose of providing a market for Australian speculative fiction writers, as well as aiming to raise those authors’ public profiles, and in 1995 [….]

LitStack Recs: The Places In-Between & Vicious

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The Places In-Between, by Rory Stewart In 2002, Rory Stewart made a walk across Afghanistan from Herat to Kabul. A scholar of Afghan history and language, he was wellgrounded the country’s ancient history, and in the grave first years after 9/11, sought to learn “what [Afghanistan] was like now.”  Part memoir, part political and cultural [….]

2017 Writers Guild Awards Winners Announced

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Many folks know about the SAG Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Awards. There’s lots of hoopla surrounding it, lots of stars dressed up in designer clothes, a red carpet and fawning correspondents. Some of you might even watch the ceremony. But did you know there are also major industry awards given out by the Writers [….]

2017 Gemmell Awards Longlists Announced – Go Vote!

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Have you ever seen the nominees for a literary award and wished that you could have a say in who won, but weren’t a member of the organization parceling out the votes? If so, do we have a deal for you! David Gemmell was a bestselling British fantasy writer who wrote over 30 novels and [….]

Cover Reveal: END OF EDEN by S.L. Jennings

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We’re excited to bring you the cover & blurb for the highly anticipated sequel to BORN SINNER! Take a look at book two in the Se7en Sinners series, END OF EDEN by New York Times bestselling author S.L. Jennings! We’re also unveiling the brand new cover for BORN SINNER! Read on for all of the [….]

SWFA Announces the 2016 Nebula Awards Nominees

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On Monday, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) announced the nominees for the 51st Annual Nebula Awards, the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation and the Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book. The Nebula Awards recognize the best works of science fiction and fantasy published [….]

2016 BSFA Awards Shortlists Announced

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This weekend, the British Science Fiction Association announced the shortlists for its 2016 BSFA Awards. The BSFAs have been presented annually since 1970, honoring works in the sci-fi genre; winners are chosen by BSFA members and attendees at the annual Eastercon convention. This year’s shortlisted works include: BEST NOVEL Daughter of Eden by Chris Beckett [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe – Something New Every Second

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The other day I was reading Michael Gibney’s Sous Chef:  24 Hours on the Line, an engaging look at a day in the trenches of a fine dining restaurant in New York, and I came across this passage: Cooking is an exercise in kinetic awareness, economy of movement, mastery of the senses. You can smell [….]

LitStack Rec: Out of Place & Dead Lands

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Out of Place: A Memoir, by Edward Said Edward Said, the prolific author, political activist, pianist, and critic rose to academic stardom in 1978 with the publication of the seminal Orientalism, a critique of the cultural bias that founded Western study of the East. Said, who died in 2003 after battling a rare form of [….]

LitStack Review: Nicotine by Nell Zink

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Nicotine Nell Zink Ecco Publishing Release Date:  October 6, 2016 ISBN 978-0-06-244170-6 I get it. Not all books are going to appeal to all people. But I have to admit, I don’t see what all the fuss is about when it comes to Nell Zink’s latest novel, Nicotine. Oh, it’s pleasant enough. Quirky enough, poignant [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe – For Our Grape Vines, Now Gone

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I’ve been grappling with some big ideas lately, hoping to use them in this week’s Gimbling in the Wabe, but so far I’ve been stymied trying to wrestle them into anything even approaching clear and concise. Rather than force the issue, I’m sharing an earlier post which in turn is based on an even earlier experience, [….]