What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Comments

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Tag

In the past 30 days

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing Blog: BOOKFINDS, Most Recent at Top
Results 1 - 25 of 533
Visit This Blog | Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
Blog Banner
The Best Source for Book Reviews and News
Statistics for BOOKFINDS

Number of Readers that added this blog to their MyJacketFlap: 4
1. Talking Books with Oprah



0 Comments on Talking Books with Oprah as of 9/8/2014 6:40:00 PM
Add a Comment
2. Interview with Author Susan Gloss on VINTAGE


Susan Gloss is the author of the debut novel VINTAGE (William Morrow/HarperCollins), a charming story about friendship set in a vintage clothing shop. Each item of clothing has a story behind it and so do the women who find themselves drawn together in this emotionally complex and beautiful novel. Gloss let us into the world she created for VINTAGE and all the “what ifs” she found along the way.

Tell us the story behind the story. How did VINTAGE come to be?

The idea for the novel grew from many hours spent in thrift stores, antique shops, and flea markets. At first, I was buying a lot of items from those places, simply because they fascinated me–a box of baby clothes from the 1950s, a pair of Ferragamo shoes in a size I could never wear. At some point, my storage space and my cash flow couldn’t take this “fascination” anymore. So instead of compiling items, I began compiling the stories I imagined they contained. My husband and I joke that, if I hadn’t written VINTAGE, I would have ended up on the TV show Hoarders.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing VINTAGE?

Writing from multiple points of view. Each shift in viewpoint is also a shift in generation and background. There’s Violet, a divorced shop owner in her late thirties; April, a pregnant teenager; and Amithi, an Indian-American woman facing an empty nest. Getting each of these characters’ voices right, without letting one story drown out the others, was a balancing act.

What is the message you want readers to take away from your book?

At its heart, Vintage is a story about second chances. In our consumer culture, there’s an emphasis on whatever is new and flashy and unblemished. We use things up and throw them away. The same “use and toss” attitude ends up getting applied to people, too. With this novel, I wanted to explore the idea that a person’s history and imperfections make her beautiful, just like with a vintage gown.

Describe your writing schedule. Do you outline? Any habits?

My only true writing habit is coffee, and lots of it. I write whenever I can, wherever I can—early mornings, late nights, and weekends. I have a toddler at home, so I often have to get out of the house to make any real progress on a manuscript. I spend a lot of time at coffee shops and know what time all the ones in my neighborhood close.

What books are on your nightstand? What are you currently reading?

Right now I’m reading Bread & Butter by Michelle Wildgen, a novel about three brothers, two restaurants, and all the back of the house drama that unfolds when customers are out of earshot. I have to make sure I don’t pick it up on an empty stomach, though. The food descriptions are incredibly vivid.

Next up is Fallen Beauty by Erika Robuck, a historical novel about the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. I’m a sucker for stories about the lives of writers.

Which authors inspire you?

Emma Donoghue for her incomparable ability to keep readers turning the pages, Jhumpa Lahiri for her heartbreakingly beautiful prose, Isabel Allende for the magical worlds she creates, and Helen Fielding for laugh-out-loud humor.

What have you learned from this experience?

Writing a novel is a solitary experience, but the process of launching it out into the world shouldn’t be. I’ve been lucky to be part of a group blog for first-time authors called The Debutante Ball. The blog is in its seventh year, and past members include bestselling authors Sarah Jio, Eleanor Brown, and Sarah Pekkanen. Every September the torch gets passed to a new batch of five debut authors. The group has been a lifeline for me while riding the ups and downs of publishing a first book. Each of the five “debs” posts once a week on the blog, but the real value takes place behind the scenes, where we have daily sanity checks via email.

What is your advice for aspiring writers?

My advice for writers comes from a Wallace Stevens quote I have framed next to my desk: “After the final no there comes a yes / And on that yes the future world depends.”

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

My grandfather told me that the most important skill is learning how to listen. He was right. And I’m still learning.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on a second novel, a standalone title set in the wine country of Spain. It’s slated to come out in summer of 2015.

Joan Didion famously explained that she writes “entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.” Why do you write?

I write because I have a very busy mind. I’m constantly asking “what if?” On the page, I can explore the “what ifs” in a productive way, rather than simply letting them spin around, gerbil-wheel style, in my head.

Susan Gloss

This interview originally appeared on The Huffington Post.

0 Comments on Interview with Author Susan Gloss on VINTAGE as of 8/13/2014 6:44:00 AM
Add a Comment
3. Interview with Author Allison Winn Scotch on The Theory of Opposites


Allison Winn Scotch‘s debut novel, The Department of Lost and Found, put her on the map as a smart and talented addition to the women’s fiction genre. She then followed up her stellar success with hits like Time of My Life and The One That I Want. Her high-concept novels take compelling plots (“What if you could go back in time and fix your mistakes? What if you woke up one day and all of your dreams had come true?”) and mixes them with well-drawn-out characters and realistic settings. In our interview, Allison talks about her latest novel, The Theory of Opposites. She discusses her decision to self-publish, the need for risk taking and the importance of finding your own voice.

Where did the idea or spark of inspiration come from for ‘The Theory of Opposites’?

I think it started by, well, just getting a little older and taking a look around and seeing some random, very difficult things happen to friends or people I know. Illness, accidents… things that none of us can prepare for and seem to happen at random. Parenthood certainly also played a role in my inspiration: As a mother, I like to think I can control everything that happens to my family, to me, in terms of keeping us safe and sound and happy and protected. But sometimes, life just happens… and whether that is fate or bad luck… that’s what I hoped to explore.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing ‘The Theory of Opposites?’

I took about a six-month break between writing the first few chapters and returning to the manuscript. I had almost lost my passion for writing due to outside pressures of the industry, and I sincerely thought that I was done with novel-writing completely. It was a hard time for me professionally: I really had to consider who I would be if I weren’t writing fiction, and I also had to decide how much my career contributed (or not) to my personal happiness. So this was certainly the most challenging aspect of the book: Do I write it at all? Did I want to put myself out there again? Slowly, over those six months, I gained some perspective and sort of re-strengthened my backbone, and eventually, I remembered this little book that I had started and left dwindling on my computer. I sat down and reread it, and it made me laugh and relit my passion. From there, honestly, the rest was pretty easy. I fell completely in love with these characters and just wanted to spend time with them every day. So I wrote almost daily and had a finished first draft (which then went through lengthy revisions!) within a few months.

What is the message you want readers to take away from your book?

That finding your own voice matters. That choice matters. That there is always an option to be your own best advocate. It’s probably not coincidence that this is the message of the book when I had to reteach myself that too.

You have been very public about your decision to go the independent publishing route. What has been the best and worst part of your journey?

Gosh, to be honest, and I’m not trying to be all Pollyanna-ish about this, but from start to finish, the experience has been almost entirely amazing. I was truly terrified of taking this route, but I also knew that, much like my answer above, if I didn’t, if I didn’t try to fix a system that had broken for me (traditional publishing), and I just sat around and complained about said broken system, that I’d be selling myself short. But to answer your question: I guess the best part of the journey has been the control that I now have over the book. Everything about this book was mine. The cover, the pricing, who I hired to work with me — the editors, the designers, all of that. It doesn’t mean that it has been perfect — I found some typos in the finished book and freaked out! (and corrected them) — but that ownership and the pride of ownership — is HUGE. In the past, I’ve filed a manuscript, and then it’s sort of ushered downstream by a team of people, some of whom are fantastic at their jobs, some of whom are not. But I just had to sit back and watch it go. No longer. I suppose the downside of indie publishing is that it is still very difficult to break into store space. In the past, I’ve had a presence at places like Target and Costco (and of course Barnes and Noble), and while we’ve had some initial conversations with these outlets, they are still unlikely to carry an indie book. So that stinks. Because of the low price point of Theory ($2.99), most of the book sales are e-books, which is totally fine, but it would be great to get the paperback out there in stores as well, not just via online outlets.

Describe your writing schedule. Do you outline? Any habits?

I don’t outline. I’ve tried that in the past, and it just does NOT work for me because I find myself backed into a corner with where I thought my characters should go… when in fact, they should go somewhere else entirely. I usually start with an idea — forTheory, it was: how much control do we have over our own lives — and then I develop my protagonist: who is she, how has she found herself in her current circumstances. And then, I just write. It sounds almost crazy, but this method works for me. When I’m writing a manuscript, I write every day except for weekends, though sometimes, I write then too. I like to take a long walk in the morning or go for a run, which always helps settle my brain and also fuel my creativity, and then by about 10 a.m., I sit down and just write, write, write for a few hours. If I’ve reached my designated word count for the day (somewhere between 1000 – 2000), I give myself permission to quit. Sometimes I do, sometimes, I don’t. But writing every day gets you in the habit of it, much like exercising every day. And then it doesn’t feel like a chore. And when I’m not working a manuscript, I surf a lot of gossip blogs. :)

What books are on your nightstand? What are you currently reading?

I have so many books that I’m dying to get to! I just bought Golden State by Michelle Richmond, The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick, and Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse. Oh, and The Moon Sisters by Therese Walsh — just finished that, and it’s fantastic.

Which authors inspire you?

I have a long list of authors whose work has helped me over the years — everyone from Stephen King to Judy Blume to Jonathan Tropper to Nick Hornby to Laura Dave. But right now, authors who inspire me are those who are trying to challenge themselves a bit in their writing and their work: I love reading an author who surprises me. It doesn’t matter if they’ve written one book or 20. If I’m surprised by what happens and what I’m reading on the pages, it’s a home run.

What have you learned from this experience?

That taking a risk is worth it. In fact, this is really another big theme of the book too. There are so many times in our lives when it is just easier to accept the status-quo, to give into inertia, but for me, that wasn’t enough, and it wasn’t making me happy. If you want to make yourself happier, you have to work for it. There’s nothing wrong with that.

What is your advice for aspiring writers?

Keep writing; don’t think that your first draft is good enough… in fact, don’t think your fourth draft is good enough. Be open to constructive criticism: It works for a reason. Take your ego out of the equation: The best writers know that there is always room for improvement.

What are you working on now?

I’m actually working on some film stuff, which is fun because it’s a totally different experience and muscle. And I do celeb interviews for a few magazines, so I have a few of those in the pot. Oh my gosh, I moved to L.A. last year. How L.A. is this answer? :)

Find out more about Allison at her website and don’t forget to check out her blog for compelling information on the publishing industry.


This interview originally appeared on The Huffington Post

0 Comments on Interview with Author Allison Winn Scotch on The Theory of Opposites as of 8/6/2014 8:34:00 AM
Add a Comment
4. For The Chick Lit Newbie

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every week they post a new topic/top ten list and invite everyone to share their own answers. Here is my TOP TEN TUESDAY:

Top 10 Books I’d Give to Readers Who Have Never Read Chick-Lit!



Watermelon by Marian Keyes

Marian Keyes can do no wrong. In my opinion all of her books are absolutely delightful and worth a read. But if you are looking for a starting off point, Watermelon was her first and it introduces readers to the Walsh family. This is a book I could certainly re-read (always a good sign)!


For Better, for Worse by Carole Matthews

Once upon a time Kelly Ripa started a book club. It was short lived but it was so much fun to watch her have authors sit at a round table and discuss their work. She only picked “Chick Lit” titles and the conversations were so fun. I wish they did more of this type of programming on television today. Carole Matthews was one of Kelly’s first picks and ever since then I have always picked up her latest book. She is quite prolific and so much fun to read.

Confessions of a shopaholic

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Oh my god. I love these books. The movie doesn’t do them justice. And word has it that there is a NEW Shopaholic book scheduled for the fall. I. Can’t. Wait!


Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner

I’m not sure how Jennifer Weiner would feel being put in the “chick lit” label. She has been very outspoken about women not receiving the same respect as their male counterparts and I really hope this doesn’t bother her. But honestly, I can’t make a favorite chick lit list and NOT include Jennifer Weiner. I will say that her writing is deep and authentic and her characters are flawed and wonderful. Chick lit, women’s fiction, literary fiction, fiction. Who cares how you label it as long as you read it and enjoy!


Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

Obviously this title goes without saying. What would a chick lit list be without our beloved Bridget? Fielding recently revisited Bridget in MAD ABOUT THE BOY. She did not disappoint. Many people were shocked by the current situation for Bridget, but the story rang true and I think Fielding did a fantastic job.


See Jane Date by Melissa Senate

Harlequin had a book subscription service years ago (sort of like a book-of-the-month club) called Red Dress Ink. You could get a new chick lit title delivered to your door each month. It was so wonderful and every title was fantastic. I believe See Jane Date was the inaugural title so it holds a warm place in my heart.


Jemima J by Jane Green

I love Jane Green. I love everything she writes. She’s brilliant and funny and smart. I just finished her latest, Tempting Fate, and she has yet to disappoint. Jemima J was her first and it has such a lovable heroine and a great story.


The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank

This one topped bestseller lists across the country when it was released in 1998. Again, I think this was one of the earlier titles in the chick lit genre and really helped kickstart the public’s interest in the lives of single, spunky women.


Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin

Emily Giffin’s books are delightful. They are fun to read and light and yet they always ask difficult questions. She puts her characters in compromising positions and you can’t turn the pages fast enough to find out how they are going to fix whatever mess they have gotten themselves into.

The_Devil_Wears_Prada_coverThe Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

An inside look at the magazine world (specifically, VOGUE) by a woman who was there. Last summer the sequel, REVENGE WEARS PRADA, was released.

1 Comments on For The Chick Lit Newbie, last added: 8/6/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
5. Summer Reading: Emily Giffin’s THE ONE & ONLY


In her eagerly awaited new novel, beloved New York Times bestselling author Emily Giffin returns with an extraordinary story of love and loyalty—and an unconventional heroine struggling to reconcile both.

Thirty-three-year-old Shea Rigsby has spent her entire life in Walker, Texas—a small college town that lives and dies by football, a passion she unabashedly shares. Raised alongside her best friend, Lucy, the daughter of Walker’s legendary head coach, Clive Carr, Shea was too devoted to her hometown team to leave. Instead she stayed in Walker for college, even taking a job in the university athletic department after graduation, where she has remained for more than a decade.

But when an unexpected tragedy strikes the tight-knit Walker community, Shea’s comfortable world is upended, and she begins to wonder if the life she’s chosen is really enough for her. As she finally gives up her safety net to set out on an unexpected path, Shea discovers unsettling truths about the people and things she has always trusted most—and is forced to confront her deepest desires, fears, and secrets.

Thoughtful, funny, and brilliantly observed, The One and Only is a luminous novel about finding your passion, following your heart, and, most of all, believing in something bigger than yourself . . . the one and only thing that truly makes life worth living.



0 Comments on Summer Reading: Emily Giffin’s THE ONE & ONLY as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment

THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU stars Jason Bateman as Judd Foxman, who’s in the midst of dealing with his wife’s affair when his sister Wendy (Tina Fey) calls to tell him their father has suddenly died.

After the funeral, Foxman matriarch Hillary (Jane Fonda) tells her four children (Bateman, Fey, Adam Driver and Corey Stoll) their father’s last wish was to have his kids under the same roof for one week. So the siblings remain at their childhood home — with visits from Rose Byrne, Dax Shepherd, and Connie Britton along the way. (via Buzzfeed)

Based on the novel by Jonathan Tropper.


0 Comments on Trailer for THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU as of 6/4/2014 2:27:00 PM
Add a Comment
7. Cover Love: Celebrity Edition

Two new books coming out by two VERY funny people. Check out the covers and descriptions for Amy Poehler and Neil Patrick Harris’ forthcoming books.



SICK of deeply personal accounts written in the first person? Seeking an exciting, interactive read that puts the “u” back in “aUtobiography”? Then look no further than Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography! In this revolutionary, Joycean experiment in light celebrity narrative, actor/personality/carbon-based life-form Neil Patrick Harris lets you, the reader, live his life. You will be born in New Mexico. You will get your big break at an acting camp. You will get into a bizarre confrontation outside a nightclub with actor Scott Caan. Even better, at each critical juncture of your life you will choose how to proceed. You will decide whether to try out for Doogie Howser, M.D.You will decide whether to spend years struggling with your sexuality. You will decide what kind of caviar you want to eat on board Elton John’s yacht.

CHOOSE correctly and you’ll find fame, fortune, and true love. Choose incorrectly and you’ll find misery, heartbreak, and a guest stint onCelebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. All this, plus magic tricks, cocktail recipes, embarrassing pictures from your time as a child actor, and even a closing song. Yes, if you buy one book this year, congratulations on being above the American average, but make that book Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography! On sale October 14, 2014.





Amy Poehler’s Today Show Reveal

As a veteran of beloved television series like “Saturday Night Live” and “Parks and Recreation” and major motion pictures like “Mean Girls” and “Baby Mama,” Amy Poehler, actress, producer, comedian extraordinaire, has some advice to dish — and we can’t wait to read it.

On October 28, 2014, Dey Street Books will publish Poehler’s highly anticipated literary debut, “Yes Please.” 

True to form, Poehler’s first foray into publishing will tackle a variety of topics, from friendship and parenting to advice on love and life, all done with her inimitable wit. On Sale October 28, 2014

It looks like it will be a very funny Fall. Which one do you think you will pick up first?


0 Comments on Cover Love: Celebrity Edition as of 5/28/2014 2:40:00 PM
Add a Comment
8. Book Review: Hidden by Catherine McKenzie



While walking home from work one evening, Jeff Manning is struck by a car and killed. Two women fall to pieces at the news: his wife, Claire, and his co-worker Tish. Reeling from her loss, Claire must comfort her grieving son as well as contend with funeral arrangements, well-meaning family members, and the arrival of Jeff’s estranged brother, who was her ex-boyfriend. Tish volunteers to attend the funeral on her company’s behalf, but only she knows the true risk of inserting herself into the wreckage of Jeff’s life.
Told through the three voices of Jeff, Tish, and Claire, Hidden explores the complexity of relationships, the repercussions of our personal choices, and the responsibilities we have to the ones we love.


“Catherine McKenzie’s latest book may be her finest. HIDDEN explores the intersecting lives of a man, his wife, and a woman who may or may not be his mistress. Imaginatively constructed, filled with nail-biting tension and gracefully written, HIDDEN is a winner.” — Sarah Pekkanen, author of These Girls and Skipping a Beat

“What I love about this deft, intimate novel is that here are no angels or demons here, just adults—husbands, wives, mothers, fathers—leading complex, messy, very human lives. They all struggle to weigh desire against obligation, what they want against what is right. I found myself in the impossible, wonderful position of rooting for all of them—and of missing them when the book was over.” — Marisa de los Santos, author of Belong to Me and Love Walked In

“Using distinct narrative voices, Catherine McKenzie has crafted a compelling novel that kept me turning pages at a breakneck speed. Heartbreakingly honest and real, Hidden is a wonderfully relatable tale.” — Tracey Garvis Graves, New York Times bestselling author of On The Island


HIDDEN is a captivating and emotionally complex story. Told from the point of view of  three main characters (Jeff, Tish, and Claire), this is the story of life, death, love, deceit, family, and the bonds that tie us all together. HIDDEN reads like a riveting mystery with a well-drawn out plot and believable characters. A fantastic story from a great new voice in fiction.

0 Comments on Book Review: Hidden by Catherine McKenzie as of 5/14/2014 6:30:00 PM
Add a Comment
9. Lit Links



This weekend is the Newburyport Book Festival in Newburyport, MA. Author Andre Dubus III will be attending along with Caroline Leavitt, Jenna Blum, Hallie Ephron, Wally Lamb, Jessica Keener, Claire Messud, and many more. The festival was founded in 2005 and has steadily grown into a wonderful literary event. What are your plans for the weekend? Here are some interesting Lit Links from around the web.

15 Most Expensive Books in the World.

Trip to the Library = Happiness.

Writing advice from James Patterson.

Third Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Movie.

Amazon’s 100 Best Thrillers and Mysteries to Read in a Lifetime.

Alicia Silverstone Pens Parenting Book.

J.K. Rowling’s CASUAL VACANCY Miniseries.

Reading 100 years of bestsellers.

The best time to write.

Edgar Allen Poe statue coming to Boston.

The Junglebook coming to the big screen in live action form.

Six Degrees of Education.

0 Comments on Lit Links as of 4/25/2014 11:57:00 AM
Add a Comment
10. Lit Links

Morgan Library

What books are you planning on diving into this weekend? Any exciting plans? I am hopefully finishing up the Pulitzer Prize winning THE GOLDFINCH and then jumping into ASTONISH ME by Maggie Shipstead. We are also gearing up for the Boston Marathon that will be broadcast on Monday. Here are a few interesting literary links from around the web…

Books that grab from page one according to Kirkus.

Great interview with Judy Blume for American Libraries Magazine.

Donna Tartt “surprised” by Pulitzer for The Goldfinch.

Editor with string of hits is joining Little, Brown.

7 Brilliant Ways Authors Build Buzz.

World Read Aloud Day.

A literary couple at home.

Flatiron Books to publish Oprah in September.

ROOM by Emma Donoghue headed to the big screen.

21 female authors you should be reading. Will ReadWomen2014 change our collective reading habits?

Image via.

0 Comments on Lit Links as of 4/18/2014 7:45:00 AM
Add a Comment
11. Giuliana Rancic Pens Memoir


According to Publisher’s Weekly, Giuliana Rancic sold world rights to her memoir to Crown Archetype. Rancic is currently co-anchor of E! News and also stars in the reality show, Giuliana and Bill with her husband, Bill Rancic. According to Crown the book will be an inspiring one, touching on everything from Rancic’s childhood, growing up poor in Naples, to her more recent battles with infertility and breast cancer.

There are many things that my fans, my friends, even my family never knew about my private struggle. I hope by writing this book and sharing my journey, I can be an inspiration to those facing their own personal turmoil.

0 Comments on Giuliana Rancic Pens Memoir as of 4/17/2014 11:29:00 AM
Add a Comment
12. Happy National Poetry Month


April is National Poetry Month. The Academy of American Poets, celebrates its 80th anniversary this year.

In 2011, Samantha Reynolds started Bentlily, a site where she documents her goal to write one poem-a-day.

I pledged to write one poem a day. Not to rack up reams of poetry — that was just a lovely side effect. No, the real goal was to train me to see the world constantly with the eyes of a poet, which means to slow down, savour, take delight in, and note the very essence of the world around me.

Poets.org has a poem-a-day for the entire month of April.

0 Comments on Happy National Poetry Month as of 4/17/2014 11:29:00 AM
Add a Comment
13. Ben Affleck Stars in Gone Girl

Anticipation is steadily growing for the film adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s bestselling thriller, GONE GIRL. The studio has just released the first trailer and it certainly captures the essence of the book. Ben Affleck stars as Nick Dunne, a man who has become a suspect in the disappearance (murder?) of his wife.

Have you read the book? Are you excited about seeing the film?

0 Comments on Ben Affleck Stars in Gone Girl as of 4/15/2014 12:43:00 PM
Add a Comment
14. Why I Write: Mary Gaitskill

I would like to start a new segment of the site where I allow authors to answer the simple question “Why do you write?” I recently found a post about the author Mary Gaitskill on Brainpickings. Maria Popova (Brainpickings creator) found this gem in the book WHY I WRITE by Bill Blythe.

To satisfy a basic, fundamental need. I think all people have this need. It’s why children like to draw pictures of houses, animals, and Mom; it’s an affirmation of their presence in the corporeal world. You come into life, and life gives you everything your senses can bear: broad currents of animal feeling running alongside the particularity of thought. Sunlight, stars, colors, smells, sounds. Tender things, sweet, temperate things, harsh, freezing, hot, salty things. All the different expressions on people’s faces and in their voices. For years, everything just pours into you, and all you can do is gurgle or scream until finally one day you can sit up and hold your crayon and draw your picture and thus shout back, Yes! I hear! I see! I feel! This is what it’s like! It’s dynamic creation and pure, delighted receptivity happening on the same field, a great call and response.
Mary provides another reason for why she writes:

To give form to the things we can sense but not see. You walk into the living room where your father is lying on the couch, listening to music. You are small, so he doesn’t hear or see you. His face is reacting to the music, and his expression is soft, abstract, intensely inward. It is also pained. It is an expression that you have never seen. Then he sees you and smiles, but the music still fills the room with that other expression…

0 Comments on Why I Write: Mary Gaitskill as of 2/28/2014 5:34:00 PM
Add a Comment
15. Weekend Reading Plans



From the New York Times bestselling author of The Middle Place comes a new memoir that examines the bond—sometimes nourishing, sometimes exasperating, occasionally divine—between mothers and daughters.

When Kelly Corrigan was in high school, her mother neatly summarized the family dynamic as “Your father’s the glitter but I’m the glue.” This meant nothing to Kelly, who left childhood sure that her mom—with her inviolable commandments and proud stoicism—would be nothing more than background chatter for the rest of Kelly’s life, which she was carefully orienting toward adventure. After college, armed with a backpack, her personal mission statement, and a wad of traveler’s checks, she took off for Australia to see things and do things and Become Interesting.

But it didn’t turn out the way she pictured it. In a matter of months, her savings shot, she had a choice: get a job or go home. That’s how Kelly met John Tanner, a newly widowed father of two looking for a live-in nanny. They chatted for an hour, discussed timing and pay, and a week later, Kelly moved in. And there, in that house in a suburb north of Sydney, 10,000 miles from the house where she was raised, her mother’s voice was suddenly everywhere, nudging and advising, cautioning and directing, escorting her through a terrain as foreign as any she had ever trekked. Every day she spent with the Tanner kids was a day spent reconsidering her relationship with her mother, turning it over in her hands like a shell, straining to hear whatever messages might be trapped in its spiral.

This is a book about the difference between travel and life experience, stepping out and stepping up, fathers and mothers. But mostly it’s about who you admire and why, and how that changes over time.

Advance praise for Glitter and Glue

“Kelly Corrigan’s heartfelt homage to motherhood is every bit as tough and funny as it is nostalgic and searching. It’s a tale about growing up, gaining wisdom, and reconciling with Mom (something we all must do eventually), but it’s also an honest meditation on our deepest fears of death and abandonment. I loved this book, I was moved by this book, and now I will share this book with my own mother—along with my renewed appreciation for certain debts of love that can never be repaid.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love

“In this endearing, funny, and thought-provoking memoir, Kelly Corrigan’s memories of long-ago adventures illuminate the changing relationships between mothers and children—as well as everything else that really matters.”—Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project

“Kelly Corrigan parses the bittersweet complexities of motherhood with humor and grace. Her writing has depth and buoyancy and light. It’s a river on a summer day. You slip into the current, laughing, and are carried away by it. Glitter and Glue is a perfect gift for anyone with a mother.”—Mary Roach,New York Times bestselling author of Stiff and Spook

“In Glitter and Glue, Kelly Corrigan gives us a lovely and insightful lesson in what it means to be both a mother and a daughter. This book will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and I know that you will gobble it up in a single day, just like I did.”—Ayelet Waldman, New York Times bestselling author of Bad Mother

0 Comments on Weekend Reading Plans as of 2/28/2014 5:34:00 PM
Add a Comment
16. Interview With Author Emily Liebert on YOU KNEW ME WHEN


Debut author Emily Liebert has burst onto the scene with her new novel, You Knew Me When. At the heart of this charming debut is the concept of friendship; what it means, how it grows and how it can change you. Emily Liebert answers a few questions about her writing process, her inspiration and what’s next for her writing career.

Tell us the story behind the story. How did you come up with the plot for You Knew Me When?

I’ve always been interested in the bonds of female friendship. When I was younger, I had a best friend who dumped me when I met my first serious boyfriend. And I’ve had other friends who’ve either been disappointing or quite the opposite — who’ve stuck by me through the best and worst of times. I wanted to explore this. I also wanted to present two women — one with a husband and child, who was unhappy with her job and the other with a big career, but no family to speak of. It raises the age old question — can women really “have it all”?

What was the most challenging aspect of writing You Knew Me When?

The most challenging aspect, for me, of writing any book is actually sitting down at the computer and starting to write. Some days you just don’t feel it. And every now and then, that’s ok. But you can’t slack off all the time! So I push myself to start writing and, usually, once I do the words start flowing.

What is the message you want readers to take away from your book?

That friends and family are more important than anything else. That’s not to say that building a career and life for yourself isn’t important, but you have to remember to cherish the people that were there for you in the beginning.

Describe your writing schedule. Do you outline? Any habits?

I always write a thorough outline and brief character descriptions before I start writing a book. It’s a chapter by chapter outline. Sometimes I’ll end up going in a different direction, but I find that it’s much easier to sit down and write when you have a plan. When I’m in writing mode, which is about six months or so out of the year (the rest is spent on publicity, partnerships, editing etc…), I typically write about four hours/day. I try to wrap up the writing by 4pm, so I can return emails and deal with other work items.

What books are on your nightstand? What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading These Girls by Sarah Pekkanen. I only read one book at a time.

What authors inspire you?

Judy Blume, Jennifer Weiner, Jill Kargman, Emily Giffin, Jane Green, Sarah Pekkanen, and Elizabeth Noble

What have you learned from this experience?

That writing a book isn’t just about the writing. You could pen a masterpiece and if no one knows about it, you’re in trouble! Marketing and publicity are a huge piece of the publishing success puzzle.

What is your advice for aspiring writers?

Develop a thick skin. You will have doors slammed in your face. But when those doors are slammed in your face, kick them in!

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Don’t sweat the small stuff. I’m not sure I’ve followed that advice, but it’s good nonetheless!

What are you working on now?

I just finished writing the first draft of my next novel, The Love That Lies Ahead. So I’ll be in the editing phase of that soon. And I’ll be chatting with my editor next week about my idea for novel number three!



This interview originally appeared on Huffington Post Books.

0 Comments on Interview With Author Emily Liebert on YOU KNEW ME WHEN as of 2/28/2014 2:36:00 PM
Add a Comment
17. Alice Hoffman: Cover Designer

The Wall Street Journal recently profiled Alice Hoffman and focused on the input she has on the covers of her books. We live in a society that certainly does judge books by their covers and the art of cover design is one that is highly scrutinized from all angles (sales, design, art, appeal). Authors typically do not have a say in the covers of their books. Oftentimes they are sent a cover (possibly a few versions if they are lucky) and are told this is how their book will look. According to Nan Graham, senior vice president and publisher at Scribner, “Never in the history of the world does the author come up with the perfect cover, and certainly not the day you get the manuscript.”

In 2010, when Hoffman sent her editor the draft for her historical novel, “The Dovekeepers,” set during the siege of Masada in ancient Israel, she included a photograph by Joyce Tenneson she found while writing the book. The image, of a long-haired woman with a white bird on each shoulder, became the novel’s cover.

This week, Ms. Hoffman’s newest novel, “The Museum of Extraordinary Things,” was published with another cover she proposed. The glowing image is of a creature that appears part-fish, part-fairy, with a long tail, wings and the suggestion of a human torso. Ms. Hoffman found it in a coffee-table book while browsing a New York bookstore. “As soon as I saw it, I thought, this is the photograph I always wished I’d taken,” said Ms. Hoffman, who submitted it along with her draft. (via Wall Street Journal)


Mesmerizing and illuminating, Alice Hoffman’s The Museum of Extraordinary Things is the story of an electric and impassioned love between two vastly different souls in New York during the volatile first decades of the twentieth century.

Coralie Sardie is the daughter of the sinister impresario behind The Museum of Extraordinary Things, a Coney Island boardwalk freak show that thrills the masses. An exceptional swimmer, Coralie appears as the Mermaid in her father’s “museum,” alongside performers like the Wolfman, the Butterfly Girl, and a one-hundred-year-old turtle. One night Coralie stumbles upon a striking young man taking pictures of moonlit trees in the woods off the Hudson River.

The dashing photographer is Eddie Cohen, a Russian immigrant who has run away from his father’s Lower East Side Orthodox community and his job as a tailor’s apprentice. When Eddie photographs the devastation on the streets of New York following the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, he becomes embroiled in the suspicious mystery behind a young woman’s disappearance and ignites the heart of Coralie.

With its colorful crowds of bootleggers, heiresses, thugs, and idealists, New York itself becomes a riveting character as Hoffman weaves her trademark magic, romance, and masterful storytelling to unite Coralie and Eddie in a sizzling, tender, and moving story of young love in tumultuous times. The Museum of Extraordinary Things is Alice Hoffman at her most spellbinding.


What are your thoughts on book cover design? Do they impact your decisions? Do they play into your overall perception of a book?

0 Comments on Alice Hoffman: Cover Designer as of 2/28/2014 1:52:00 AM
Add a Comment
18. Motherless Brooklyn Headed to the Big Screen


According to Deadline, Edward Norton will star, direct and write the film version of Jonathan Lethem’s MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN. Brett Ratner and James Packer’s RatPac Entertainment have stepped in to fully finance the film for a late 2014 production start in New York. While Lethem’s novel is contemporary, Norton has set the story in New York in 1954, a time of great change in the city. He plays Lionel Essrog, a lonely private detective afflicted with Tourette’s syndrome, who tries to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend. Armed only with few clues and an obsessive mind, Lionel slowly unravels closely guarded secrets that have major ramifications. It leads him through Harlem jazz clubs, Brooklyn slums and sets him against thugs and Gotham power brokers to honor his friend and save a woman who might his own salvation.

This will be Norton’s second time behind the camera after he made his debut on Keeping The Faith. He set this up at New Line as the book was published, right after Norton got an Oscar nomination there for his mesmerizing performance in American History X. Norton currently stars in the Wes Anderson-directed The Grand Budapest Hotel, and most recently wrapped the Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu-directed comedy Birdman, both for Fox Searchlight. He’s repped by UTA and attorney Robert Offer.

“We all know Edward Norton is one of the most compelling actors of our generation, but I also know he’s an exceptional writer and filmmaker,” said Ratner, who directed Norton in the 2002 adaptation of the Thomas Harris novel Red Dragon. “As soon as I read his script for Motherless Brooklyn I knew this was a project I wanted to get involved with and am thrilled to partner up with Edward and Class 5. Edward’s script has melded elements of Jonathan Lethem’s terrific novel with an original story that at once feels classic and entirely fresh. And with Edward playing Lionel Essrog, the brilliant private detective with Tourette’s Syndrome, this will be a tour de force performance.”

Here is more information about MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN:

From America’s most inventive novelist, Jonathan Lethem, comes this compelling and compulsive riff on the classic detective novel.

Lionel Essrog is Brooklyn’s very own self-appointed Human Freakshow, an orphan whose Tourettic impulses drive him to bark, count, and rip apart our language in startling and original ways.  Together with three veterans of the St. Vincent’s Home for Boys, he works for small-time mobster Frank Minna’s limo service cum detective agency. Life without Frank Minna, the charismatic King of Brooklyn, would be unimaginable, so who cares if the tasks he sets them are, well, not exactly legal. But when Frank is fatally stabbed, one of Lionel’s colleagues lands in jail, the other two vie for his position, and the victim’s widow skips town. Lionel’s world is suddenly topsy-turvy, and this outcast who has trouble even conversing attempts to untangle the threads of the case while trying to keep the words straight in his head.  Motherless Brooklyn is a brilliantly original homage to the classic detective novel by one of the most acclaimed writers of his generation.

0 Comments on Motherless Brooklyn Headed to the Big Screen as of 2/28/2014 1:52:00 AM
Add a Comment
19. Today Show Picks a New Book



The Today Show Book Club has made a new selection, UNDER THE WIDE AND STARRY SKY by Nancy Horan, author of the wildly popular LOVING FRANK.

Here are some details of their latest pick directly from the Today Show’s website:

The third TODAY Book Club pick is “Under the Wide and Starry Sky,” the second novel by Nancy Horan, the celebrated author of “Loving Frank.” Share your thoughts about Horan’s windswept romance by joining the TODAY Book Club community, a fresh and interactive digital discussion series. RSVP to the Google Hangout with Nancy Horan, happening Thursday, Feb. 27 at 11 a.m. ET., follow @TODAYsBooks and stay up to date with the TODAY Book Club newsletter. 

Book worms, get ready for a little romance: TODAY Book Club’s latest pick is Nancy Horan’s historical fiction, “Under the Wide and Starry Sky.”

Remember the old adage, behind every great man, there’s a great woman? In Robert Louis Stevenson’s case, it was true. Horan’s sweeping book centers around the famed “Treasure Island” author’s life with his wife and muse Fanny Van de Grift.

“I am led to great women by first becoming interested in the men, the artist,” Horan told TODAY’s Natalie Morales.

That was the seed for her first novel, “Loving Frank,” the best-selling portrait of Frank Lloyd Wright’s complicated relationship with one of his clients, Mamah Borthwick Cheney. Both were married when they met.

Horn uncovers a similarly complex and unconventional love affair in her latest book, which delves into the profound impact Van de Grift had on Stevenson’s writing.

“They had a remarkable romance that truly led to some great creations of literature that are still influencing our lives today,” Marissa Schleicher, executive director of the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum, told TODAY.

At the start of the novel, 35-year-old Van de Grift, a mother of three, leaves her philandering husband behind in San Francisco — an incredible feat for a woman in the 1870s. She travels to Europe, where she eventually meets the young but sickly Scottish writer. Once divorced, she moves around the world with Stevenson, from Switzerland to New York to Australia. Van de Grift becomes one of her husband’s toughest critics — but Stevenson wasn’t always receptive to his modern wife’s criticisms.

“She was adventurous. She was game,” Horan said. “She had a lot of grit. She was very inventive.”

Horan drew heavily from the couple’s letters and Stevenson’s writings to paint a realistic portrait of their relationship, based on both fact and fiction.

“What I did with this book and also with the previous book is take the journey with these couples,” she told Morales.

Published by Ballantine Books, “Under the Wide and Starry Sky” hit bookstores on Jan. 21. Join in on the conversation by tweeting your thoughts with the hashtag #TODAYBookClub, and RSVP for a Google Hangout with author Nancy Horan and Natalie Morales on Feb. 27.

0 Comments on Today Show Picks a New Book as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
20. Want Not by Jonathan Miles

WANT NOT by Jonathan Miles (Houghton Mifflin)
Waste not, Want not: that’s the idiom that the title of Jonathan Miles new novel, Want Not, comes from. It’s about the psychology of waste. It can be human, toxic, food, debt and sickness. Jonathan Miles tells the story through three narratives: a young freegan couple Talmadge and Micah, who met at Burning Man. They are squatters who live off of things they find in dumpsters. While Talmadge comes from money, Micah, grew up poor in Appalachians and had to scrounge for food to survive.
The second story is about Elwin Cross Jr., a professor of applied linguistics, who is morbidly obese and his wife has just left him. He has a job in New Mexico where he has to create a warning sign that will last generations to let people know there is an underground crypt where radioactive waste will be stored.
The third narrative is about Sarah, Dave, and Alexis. Sarah has lost her bond broker husband on 9/11. Since then she has married Dave, a cruel debt collector who makes a lot of money forcing people to pay unnecessary credit card debt. Alexis is Sarah’s daughter from her first marriage.
It’s a funny novel that is also dark just like his brilliant debut novel, Dear American Airlines, and reminds me of another literary Jonathan: Mr. Franzen. It’s a book that will make you think about waste and being wasteful. Highly recommended.

0 Comments on Want Not by Jonathan Miles as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
21. January Picks


On Such a Full Sea by Chang-Rae Lee

Known for his realistic fiction about immigrants in modern America, Lee has decided to go the dystopian fiction route. Here he imagines a future United States where immigrants have come from China because conditions at home have become unlivable. Downtown American cities like Baltimore, where the novel is set, becomes labor settlements of these “New Chinese,” where they fish for food for the wealthy living in communities outside the cities. Fan, a diver, looks for her missing boyfriend and ventures out of the confines (and safety) of her home to the outlaw “outer countries” and to the wealthy enclaves of the “Charters.”


Andrew’s Brain by E.L. Doctorow

Ragtime author Doctorow has written his 12th novel, about a cognitive neuroscientist who we think is his therapist. The novel is a series of conversations that makes it very “Waiting for Godot” like talking about subjects like consciousness, the reliability of memory and existence of free will. The more Andrew talks we learn more about his past and his regrets. It’s a departure both in time and style for this masterful writer.

Alena by Rachel Pastan

Pastan’s third novel is modern day retelling of Daphne Du Maurier’s classic Rebecca. Even echoing the novel’s famous opening lines “Last night I dreamed of Manderlay again.” But this novel is set at a cutting edge art museum on Cape Cod called the “Nauk.” The unnamed narrator is an assistant curator from the Midwest who is visiting the Venice Biennale, where she meets an enigmatic founder of a Massachusetts art museum and gives her the job of the curator. It’s been two years since the tragic death of the beloved former curator Alena and our narrator finds herself in over her head, when the staff stifles her creative vision in favor of honoring Alena’s legacy.

0 Comments on January Picks as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
22. Happy Bookidays! Giveaway Day 1


image via Media Tinker

Starting today and running right into the New Year we will be hosting a Holiday Book Giveaway. Today’s BOOKIDAY GIVEAWAY is for Mary Kay Andrews CHRISTMAS BLISS.



From the New York Times bestselling author of Summer Rental comes a novella that celebrates love, the holidays, and antiques. Christmas is coming, but Savannah antique dealer Weezie Foley is doubly distracted both by her upcoming wedding to her longtime love, chef Daniel Stipanek and also by the fact that her best friend and maid-of-honor BeBe Loudermilk is due to give birth any day and is still adamantly refusing to marry her live-in-love Harry. Listeners have come to love these characters in Mary Kay Andrews’ three previous Savannah novels: Savannah Blues, Savannah Breeze, and Blue Christmas. Christmas Bliss offers Andrews’ legions of fans the best of many things: familiar characters, a new novella for Christmas, and a celebration of Mary Key Andrews’ own favorite pastime-antiquing. Blue Christmas was a fan favorite, and now Christmas Bliss is sure to fly off store shelves and into the hands of Andrews fans in bestselling numbers.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

0 Comments on Happy Bookidays! Giveaway Day 1 as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
23. What We’re Reading: The Signature of All Things

Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest release, THE SIGNATURE OF ALL THINGS was selected as an Amazon Best Book of the Month for OCTOBER 2013. Here’s a great interview with Elizabeth for BookPage in which she talks about the inspiration behind THE SIGNATURE OF ALL THINGS and what she has planned next.


A glorious, sweeping novel of desire, ambition, and the thirst for knowledge, from the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love and Committed

In The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction, inserting her inimitable voice into an enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery. Spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker—a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia. Born in 1800, Henry’s brilliant daughter, Alma (who inherits both her father’s money and his mind), ultimately becomes a botanist of considerable gifts herself. As Alma’s research takes her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, she falls in love with a man named Ambrose Pike who makes incomparable paintings of orchids and who draws her in the exact opposite direction—into the realm of the spiritual, the divine, and the magical. Alma is a clear-minded scientist; Ambrose a utopian artist—but what unites this unlikely couple is a desperate need to understand the workings of this world and the mechanisms behind all life.

Exquisitely researched and told at a galloping pace, The Signature of All Things soars across the globe—from London to Peru to Philadelphia to Tahiti to Amsterdam, and beyond. Along the way, the story is peopled with unforgettable characters: missionaries, abolitionists, adventurers, astronomers, sea captains, geniuses, and the quite mad. But most memorable of all, it is the story of Alma Whittaker, who—born in the Age of Enlightenment, but living well into the Industrial Revolution—bears witness to that extraordinary moment in human history when all the old assumptions about science, religion, commerce, and class were exploding into dangerous new ideas. Written in the bold, questing spirit of that singular time, Gilbert’s wise, deep, and spellbinding tale is certain to capture the hearts and minds of readers. (via Amazon)

0 Comments on What We’re Reading: The Signature of All Things as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
24. The Painted Girls Heading to the Small Screen

According to Deadline.com, the CW and CBS TV Studios are working on adapting THE PAINTED GIRLS by Cathy Marie Buchanan into a television show. “THE PAINTED GIRLS is set in 1880′s Paris against the backdrop of the turbulent and exciting world of “La Belle Epoque” – decadence, poverty, sex, drugs and a serial killer running rampant through tht ecity. It revolves aroudn three sisters studying at a top ballet academy, one of whom becomes the muse for Egard Degas and his famed paintings of ballerinas.” via Deadline. No word on casting yet but we will keep you updated.


THE PAINTED GIRLS by Cathy Marie Buchanan


A gripping novel set in Belle Époque Paris and inspired by the real-life model for Degas’s Little Dancer Aged Fourteen and a notorious criminal trial of the era.

Paris. 1878. Following their father’s sudden death, the van Goethem sisters find their lives upended. Without his wages, and with the small amount their laundress mother earns disappearing into the absinthe bottle, eviction from their lodgings seems imminent. With few options for work, Marie is dispatched to the Paris Opéra, where for a scant seventy francs a month, she will be trained to enter the famous ballet. Her older sister, Antoinette, finds work—and the love of a dangerous young man—as an extra in a stage adaptation of Émile Zola’s naturalist masterpiece L’Assommoir.

Marie throws herself into dance and is soon modelling in the studio of Edgar Degas, where her image will forever be immortalized as Little Dancer Aged Fourteen. Antoinette, meanwhile, descends lower and lower in society, and must make the choice between a life of honest labor and the more profitable avenues open to a young woman of the Parisian demimonde—that is, unless her love affair derails her completely.

Set at a moment of profound artistic, cultural, and societal change, The Painted Girls is a tale of two remarkable sisters rendered uniquely vulnerable to the darker impulses of “civilized society.


0 Comments on The Painted Girls Heading to the Small Screen as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
25. Divergent Trailer Released

The theatrical trailer for Veronica Roth’s dystopian tale DIVERGENT has been released and is sure to appeal to fans of THE HUNGER GAMES.

Here’s the summary of DIVERGENT for anyone who is new to the game and hasn’t yet been swept under the tidal wave of fan love for Roth’s story.

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her.

Divergent hc c(2)

0 Comments on Divergent Trailer Released as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts