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Before They Become Movies: 8 Books to Read Right Now
April 1, 2015 | 10:25 am

martian-560x224By Julie Ellis Are you planning your next Kindle download? Are you looking for new books to add to your wish list on Good Reads? If you prefer to read a book before it is made into a movie, now is a good time to adjust your reading list. There are several books that are going to be turned into motion pictures in 2015. Take the time to read these now, before you are inundated with spoilers. Here are 8 of these must read books to movies: 1. True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa This memoir, written by Michael Finkel, recounts his downfall...

Taking stock "After Woodstock”
March 19, 2015 | 12:25 pm

after woodstockAge doesn't stop Elliot Tiber from penning his memoirs, and now just about to turn 80, he just keeps writing and writing. His new memoir, "After Woodstock," covers his life after the famous Woodstock concert, from 1969 to 1999 and with an epilogue bringing readers up to the present day. First some background for readers new to Tiber's works. A few years ago, Hollywood director Ang Lee made a movie about American hippies in the late 1960s, titled "Taking Woodstock," about the famous Woodstock music festival in the summer of 1969. The movie was adapted from a book by the Tiber, a new...

Play ball! Batter up!
February 23, 2015 | 2:25 pm

cardboard godsYes, it all begins to come together every year during spring training time in the baseball world. And the best part of spring training for teens and adults -- boys, mostly, of course, and their fathers -- is getting up close and personal with players and coaches and getting autographs and selfies, and watching them practice baseball basics. It's a boy thing. I recently read a very good book about collecting baseball cards, "Cardboard Gods," written by Chicago card fanatic writer Josh Wilker. I found the book in December when I was reading an obituary of the so-called "father of the modern...

Productivity Book of the Month: The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
February 2, 2015 | 4:25 pm

the miracle morningWelcome to a new monthly feature! So many of our readers are writers, aspiring writers, librarians, teachers and other reading and writing professionals. We all want to learn to work better! So I thought I would highlight one book a month which can help us all do that. For my January pick, [easyazon-link asin="0979019710" locale="us"]The Miracle Morning[/easyazon-link], I was inspired by a recent comment Juli made about how she organizes her day: with a series of task lists, one for 'today' and one for 'general.' She said she works through the 'today' list first, then opens the second list and picks...

Japan earthquake at epicenter of new memoir
January 8, 2015 | 6:25 pm

Where the Dead Pause and the Japanese Say GoodbyeMarie Mutsuki Mockett is a Japanese-American writer whose overseas relatives were at the epicenter of the tragic March 11, 2011 killer earthquake and tsunami that devastated the northeast coast of Japan. The author of a novel titled [easyazon-link asin="1555975763" locale="us"]Picking Bones from Ash: A Novel[/easyazon-link], Mockett has written a memoir titled [easyazon-link asin="0393063011" locale="us"]Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye[/easyazon-link] that is set to wash across the pages American readers this spring. As the fourth anniversary of the tragic quake and tsunami that killed some 25,000 people approaches, Mockett's book has been timed to appear at an opportune time for reflection...

Juli’s Best Books of 2014
December 30, 2014 | 12:25 pm

best books of 2014Joanna and Paul have done their best books of 2014 articles, and I thought I should do one as well. This year I used Goodreads to track all of my reading, which made it easy to compile my list. I just sorted my 2014 list by 5 stars, something I give infrequently. Out of 220 books read in 2014, I gave 20 of them 5 stars. Selecting from that list, which included several older books and re-reads, here's my best, in no particular order. [easyazon-link asin="0553418025" locale="us"]The Martian[/easyazon-link] by Andy Weir This was selected as the Goodreads Best Science Fiction of 2014, so...

Publishers should offer e-book bundles for lengthy series
December 25, 2014 | 4:00 pm

ferdelanceMerry Christmas, everyone! If you celebrate it, I hope you’re enjoying it; if you don’t, I hope you’re at least enjoying the day off you probably got on account of someone else’s religion. This year, I gave a number of books to people, including a Nero Wolfe novel to my father. And it got me to thinking about how great it would be to read those books again. A number of years ago, I obtained all 47 of them via means less than completely licit (I was a poor college student in those days), and read through them...

Iceland celebrates the most bookish Christmas going with Jólabókaflóð
December 24, 2014 | 4:25 pm

For yet another year, Iceland is on track to cement its reputation for being the most literary society in Scandinavia's already hugely literate constellation of nations and peoples, with Jólabókaflóð. That, when you've finished trying to wrap your tongue, or even your eyes, around it, is Iceland's annual "Christmas book flood," when Icelandic publishers release a tsunami of new publications onto the local market in time for Christmas. This can make for what sounds like the perfect Christmas for book lovers and writers elsewhere. According to one source, "the book is still the most popular Christmas present in Iceland,” and Publishing Perspectives...

2014 in Review, Part 3: What About Paper?
December 24, 2014 | 12:25 pm

2014 in reviewI have written already about my best e-reads of the year, and about how much they cost me and what devices I read them on. But...what about the paper? Yes, you heard that right! On an eBook blog, why would I be writing about reading paper? Because to me, one of the most annoying Threads That Never Die in the eBook world is the myth that this is a zero-sum game, and either paper or eBook is going to 'win' and that will be that. In my home, as in many, there is a mix of eBook and paper. There are...

2014 in Review, Part 2: Book Spending and Stats
December 23, 2014 | 12:25 pm

book spendingI know we still have a few days left in the year, but we are en route as I write this to pick up our holiday guest, and I know I won't get in much reading time while he's here. So this is as good a time as any to wrap up my year. I have posted already about my best books of the year. But how did those books fit into my larger library collection? What are my stats for spending and cost per book looking like now that I have plowed through 50-odd more books? I am an inveterate...

Joanna’s Best Books of 2014
December 16, 2014 | 4:25 pm

best books of 2014It's that time of year again! There are still two weeks left in the year, and that's time enough to find another great book, I guess. But there was so much I loved about my 2014 reading year! I managed just over 50 books, and they covered a range of genres and styles. What were my top reads of the year? In no particular order, my best books of 2014. [easyazon-link asin="1439102775" locale="us"]The Storyteller[/easyazon-link] by Jodi Picoult: The first of my 'read more Jewish books' project, this book was a can't-put-down, in spite of some minor flaws. I found the modern-day character...

BookCon to showcase diversity in books
December 16, 2014 | 2:25 pm

bookcon2015BookCon is showcasing diversity in its 2015 event in a partnership with We Need Diverse Books. BookCon will take place May 30-31 at the Javits Center in New York City. We Need Diverse Books will hold two panels, the first of which includes Hugo Award winners Kameron Hurley (The Mirror Empire) and Ken Liu (The Paper Menagerie), World Fantasy Award winner Nnedi Okorafor (Who Fears Death), Daniel Jose Older (Shadowshaper) and Joe Monti (Executive Editor of Saga Press). Their panel will be a “moderated conversation about the role diversity plays in the genre, their works and their influences,” according to ReedPOP. The...