Monday, September 25, 2017

Ten books non-geek parents of geeks need to read

At B&N Reads Jeff Somers tagged ten books non-geek parents of geeks need to read, including:
Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein

Heinlein’s influential sci-fi novel isn’t for everyone, but in it he captures the unique combination of brilliance, superiority, terror, and loneliness that defines many geeky folks’ early life experiences. The story of a human raised on Mars by Martians who returns to Earth as the ultimate outsider, it explores that painful outsider status in a way that resonates with many smart kids, while introducing a ton of concepts (and fun words like grok) that have become foundational in geek culture.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Stranger in a Strange Land is among John Bardinelli's five long books that deserve their own movie series, MaryKate Jasper and Charlie Jane Anders's top ten super-weird books that are considered part of the science fiction canon, and Battlestar Galactica creator Ron Moore's favorite sci-fi novels.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Ten Young Adult books that tackle racism

Dhonielle Clayton is the co-author of the Tiny Pretty Things series and the forthcoming The Belles. A former teacher and middle school librarian, Clayton is co-founder of CAKE Literary—a creative development company whipping up decidedly diverse books for a wide array of readers—and COO of the non-profit We Need Diverse Books. At Paste magazine, she tagged ten top YA books that tackle racism, including:
How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon

Black 16-year-old Tariq Johnson is shot and killed by Jack Franklin, a white man. Sound familiar? As Tariq’s community tries to piece their lives back together again, readers will discover that no two accounts of the incident tell the whole truth. Everyone struggles to make sense of how everything went down. But all readers should question the things they think are true about how the media portrays boys who wear hoodies and look like Tariq.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five dark romances for adventurous readers

At B&N Reads Amanda Diehl tagged five gritty and twisted dark romances for adventurous readers, including:
First Touch, by Laurelin Paige

When Emily Wayborn receives a voicemail that her best friend is in trouble, she drops everything to track her down. Her amateur investigation leads her to billionaire hotelier Reeve Sallis. Reeve is rumored to be involved with the mafia and Emily believes he has some sort of involvement in her friend’s disappearance. What follows is an erotic cat and mouse game in the seductive world of the rich and dangerous. Told from Emily’s point of view, First Touch is full of suspense and readers never truly know whether or not Reeve is trustworthy.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Alastair Campbell's six best books

Alastair Campbell was born in Keighley, Yorkshire in 1957, the son of a vet. Having graduated from Cambridge University in modern languages, he went into journalism, principally with the Mirror Group. When Tony Blair became leader of the Labour Party, Campbell worked for him first as press secretary, then as official spokesman and director of communications and strategy from 1994 to 2003. He continued to act as an advisor to Blair and the Labour Party, including during the 2005 and subsequent election campaigns. He is now engaged mainly in writing, public speaking and consultancy and is an ambassador for a number of mental health charities. His new book is Diaries Volume 6: From Blair to Brown, 2005 - 2007.

One of Campbell's six best books, as shared at the Daily Express:
TEAM OF RIVALS by Doris Kearns Goodwin

One of the best books written about politics. It brilliantly tells the story of Abraham Lincoln’s remarkable rise and how he built his administration around his rivals for the Republican nomination. It is a horrible thought that Donald Trump could now sleep in the Lincoln bed and the book’s a great reminder of a very different presidential character.
Read about the other books on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, September 22, 2017

Six memoirs by funny, awkward women

Sarah Skilton is the author of Bruised, a martial arts drama for young adults; and High and Dry, a hardboiled teen mystery. At the B&N Reads blog she tagged six funny, awkward memoirs by funny, awkward women, including:
You’ll Grow Out of It, by Jessi Klein

As a tomboy who, despite the title, has never actually “grown out of it,” Klein’s highly relatable memoir analyzes the modern trappings of femininity, from the cult of bathing to the difficulty in finding women-friendly porn to the pressure placed on pregnant women to endure “natural births.” Her discovery of standup comedy as a refuge, passion, and calling takes her far in life. From SNL to Inside Amy Schumer (for which she won an Emmy as Head Writer), Klein never loses sight of what it means to be a woman today, whether you’re a poodle or a wolf.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Top ten books about consciousness

Adrian Owen is the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience and Imaging at The Brain and Mind Institute, Western University, Canada, and author of Into the Grey Zone: A Neuroscientist Explores the Border Between Life and Death. One of his ten top books about consciousness, as shared at the Guardian:
Consciousness Explained by Daniel Dennett

Probably the best introduction to the central ideas and concepts that have preoccupied all great consciousness thinkers throughout history. It may be a little challenging for a general audience, but Dennett masterfully combines ancient philosophical concepts with more familiar modern analogies (such as “the brain as a computer”) in a book that continues to influence contemporary thought on the human condition more than a quarter of a century after its publication.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Five books about magic

Brad Abraham's new novel is Magicians Impossible.

One of his five top books about magic, as shared at
The Witches: Salem 1692 by Stacy Schiff

Superstition. Paranoia. Bloodlust. The horrible crimes of Salem Massachusetts in 1692 cast a long shadow over an America that seems to fall victim to false accusations and baseless superstition with alarming reiteration. Stacy Schiff’s densely plotted non-fiction look at the witch trials, and the hysteria surrounding them may not seem like a story one wants to know more about. After all, you can read The Crucible anytime you want. But the devil’s in the details; despite the tales of black magic and witches’ covens, and pacts with Satan the workmanlike way the Puritan community set out to accuse, try, and execute nineteen people is a much more chilling potion than any fiction could concoct. The Salem Witch trials echo through the entirety of the three hundred years that followed it, in every culture, in every country as well-meaning but easily led people give in to their baser instincts because they fear what lurks in the dark, and what may be on the other side of that door.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Fifty novels that changed novels

At B&N Reads Jeff Somers tagged fifty novels that changed novels, including:
The Talented Mr. Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith

How It Changed Novels: Sociopaths have been in stories since stories were first told, and there had even been sociopathic protagonists in novels before. But Highsmith made Ripley the hero of her story despite his chillingly manipulative nature and his many crimes. Ripley opened a dark gate and many of the best novels of the last few decades owe his charmingly evil presence a debt.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Talented Mr Ripley is on Olivia Sudjic's list of eight favorite books about love and obsession, Roz Chast's six favorite books list, Nicholas Searle's top five list of favorite deceivers in fiction, Chris Ewan's list of the ten top chases in literature, Meave Gallagher's top twenty list of gripping page-turners every twentysomething woman should read, Sophia Bennett's top ten list of books set in the Mediterranean, Emma Straub's top ten list of holidays in fiction, E. Lockhart's list of favorite suspense novels, Sally O'Reilly's top ten list of novels inspired by Shakespeare, Walter Kirn's top six list of books on deception, Stephen May's top ten list of impostors in fiction, Simon Mason's top ten list of chilling fictional crimes, Melissa Albert's list of eight books to change a villain, Koren Zailckas's list of eleven of literature's more evil characters, Alex Berenson's five best list of books about Americans abroad John Mullan's list of ten of the best examples of rowing in literature, Tana French's top ten maverick mysteries list, the Guardian's list of the 50 best summer reads ever, the Telegraph's ultimate reading list, and Francesca Simon's top ten list of antiheroes.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, September 18, 2017

Six top books about food

Christopher Kimball is the author of Christopher Kimball's Milk Street: The New Home Cooking. One of his six favorite books about food, as shared at The Week magazine:
Apricots on the Nile by Colette Rossant

Memorable for both its gentle sweetness and the writer's portrait of her Egyptian-Jewish grandparents' household in 1930s Cairo. Ahmet the cook prepares a wedding feast with sambusak (small pastries filled with feta), stuffed quail, zalabia (deep-fried dough soaked in honey and orange blossoms), and pistachio-stuffed kunafa (cheese pastry).
Read about the other books on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Eight contemporary YAs set amid high-stakes competition

At the BN Teen Blog Dahlia Adler tagged eight "contemporary YAs [that] lay it all on the line with intense competitions, life-changing prizes, and vicious rivalries," including:
No Good Deed, by Goldy Moldavsky

In a far more lighthearted version of the high-stakes competition setting, Moldavsky’s sophomore follows wannabe do-gooder Gregor to Camp Save the World, a summer camp for teen activists. There, each camper picks a cause to champion. Naturally, Gregor wants to feed the world’s hungry children; how could anyone pick a cause more worthy than that? While the others range from obviously deserving to utterly strange, competition heightens all around when they learn there’s a major internship at stake. Outgooding each other becomes the name of the game in a satire that gently balances support for and mockery of social justice advocacy.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Ten creepy psychological thrillers

Jane Robins is the author of White Bodies: An Addictive Psychological Thriller.

One of her ten favorite creepy psychological thrillers, as shared at Publishers Weekly:
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

The Queen of Crime excelled in concocting complex mysteries–but this, one of the best-selling books of all time–is a superlative read not just because of Christie’s intricate plotting, but also because of the profound sense of menace on every page. Eight people are invited to a house on a remote island off the Devon coast, and two servants are already present. In each bed room an old rhyme is hanging–Ten Little Indians, or in later editions, Ten Little Soldiers. The rhyme describes ten deaths. Then–one by one–the characters are murdered. Given that there are no hiding places on the island, the murderer is evidently one of the ten characters. A masterpiece.
Read about the other entries on the list.

And Then There Were None is among Molly Schoemann-McCann's nine great books for people who love Downton Abbey, Sjón's top ten island stories, and Pascal Bruckner's five best books on guilt.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, September 15, 2017

Seven YA books to beat your back to school blues

At the BN Teen blog, Jenny Kawecki tagged seven YA books to beat your back to school blues, including:
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, by E. Lockhart

Frankie is tired of being underestimated by the men in her life, from her father, who still calls her bunny rabbit, to her boyfriend, who won’t let her in on their boarding school’s secret society. So she takes matters into her own hands, faking her way to the top of the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds. Unbeknownst to its all-male members (including her now-ex boyfriend), Frankie sends the society on a series of pranks, hoping they’ll eventually recognize her genius. I will never get tired of recommending this book; its hilarious hijinks and insistent girl-power make it a feminist must-read.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is among Jenny Kawecki's five kickass feminist YA books, Kayla Whaley's five best opening scenes in YA lit, Sona Charaipotra's five top YA books to read when you're burnt out on love, and Sabrina Rojas Weiss's ten favorite boarding school novels.

--Marshal Zeringue