BookTrib http://booktrib.com Find New Novels to Read on Booktrib Mon, 25 Jul 2016 15:43:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Spartan Up! How Jennifer Gilbert Went from Victim to Victor http://booktrib.com/2016/07/spartan-up-how-jennifer-gilbert-went-from-victim-to-victor/ http://booktrib.com/2016/07/spartan-up-how-jennifer-gilbert-went-from-victim-to-victor/#comments Fri, 22 Jul 2016 22:08:43 +0000 http://booktrib.com/?p=250689 Jennifer Gilbert is the first person to tell you she is in no way a victim. Following a horrific assault outside of a NYC apartment when she was 22, Gilbert not only survived but thrived, found her footing and completely changed her life. The former Real Housewives of New York City cast member spoke with Spartan Up’s Joe […]]]>

Jennifer Gilbert is the first person to tell you she is in no way a victim. Following a horrific assault outside of a NYC apartment when she was 22, Gilbert not only survived but thrived, found her footing and completely changed her life. The former Real Housewives of New York City cast member spoke with Spartan Up’s Joe De Sena, founder and CEO of Spartan Race, about her life-altering attack, how she turned the worst moment of her life into a positive, becoming an events entrepreneur and why making decisions out of fear can be a mistake.

For more, watch the podcast above.

ABOUT SPARTAN UP! THE PODCAST:

Every day, Joe De Sena, founder and CEO of Spartan Race and a New York Times bestselling author, inspires millions of people all over the world to get off the couch and take on any obstacle, on an off the course. In Spartan Up! The Podcast, Joe travels the globe to explore what it means to Spartan Up! in all aspects of life.

Spartan

In each episode, Joe interviews different experts—authors, academics, members of the military, athletes, adventurers, CEOs, and thought leaders—about achievement, leadership, grit, goals, and total mind-body well-being. Then, with a panel of colleagues, Joe breaks down the lessons to provide the ultimate blueprint for success.

Spartan Up! The Podcast can be found at www.spartanuppodcast.com, on iTunes, Stitcher, and YouTube.

To find a Spartan Race in your area, visit: www.spartan.com.

Recommended Reading:

spartanupbook

Spartan Up!: A Take-No-Prisoners Guide to Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Peak Performance in Life by Joe De Sena (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014)

Get it done. That’s the underlying message in De Sena’s Spartan Up! book, which prompts the languishing to get off the couch and move. The Spartan Race is tough but life is even tougher, and here’s where De Sena’s advice shines through. It’s all about simply making a goal and tackling it with every ounce of energy and ambition you can muster. Chances are, good things will happen.

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Jonesin’ For a Fix: Books for TV Addicts — Jane the Virgin Edition http://booktrib.com/2016/07/jonesin-for-a-fix-books-for-tv-addicts-jane-the-virgin-edition/ http://booktrib.com/2016/07/jonesin-for-a-fix-books-for-tv-addicts-jane-the-virgin-edition/#comments Fri, 22 Jul 2016 19:07:47 +0000 http://booktrib.com/?p=250745 When I first heard the premise to The CW’s Jane the Virgin, I rolled my eyes and mentally wrote it off. A virgin gets accidentally knocked up? Count me out. I’m a romance novel (and TV) junkie, and I’ve read/watched enough ‘surprise pregnancy’ tropes to know that it’s not my cup of tea. But then I […]]]>

When I first heard the premise to The CW’s Jane the Virgin, I rolled my eyes and mentally wrote it off. A virgin gets accidentally knocked up? Count me out. I’m a romance novel (and TV) junkie, and I’ve read/watched enough ‘surprise pregnancy’ tropes to know that it’s not my cup of tea. But then I saw the cute trailer…


And I decided to at least give the show a try. Two seasons later, I am 100 percent, officially hooked. Yes, there is an accidental pregnancy. But Jane the Virgin is also hilarious, quick, romantic-as-hell and just plain awesome. It’s like nothing I’ve ever watched before, blending traditional romance with over-the-top telenovela-style drama. But the show is highly aware of the campiness, making dry meta-jokes in the voice over and introducing us to hilariously outlandish characters, like Jane’s dad Rogelio (who is the actual star of a telenovela).

Here’s the rundown: Jane is a virgin who lives with her mom and grandmother, works at a hotel, and has a boyfriend named Michael. One day she gets accidentally inseminated with the hotel owner Rafael’s sperm (and the doctor who inseminates her just happens to be Rafael’s sister — see? Telenovela). Since it’s his only specimen (or so he thinks), he begs her to have the baby, claiming that he’ll raise it with his wife, Petra. But their marriage is on the rocks, Petra has a lot of dangerous secrets (and she’s slightly crazy), Jane is starting to fall for Rafael, and Jane’s mother has to deal with her own issues when an old love unexpectedly shows up. From there it goes bonkers: secret crime rings, startling betrayals, evil twins, and plenty of murder. It sounds crazy (and it is!), but it still manages to be heartfelt, moving and a strong family drama at its core.

Season 2 ended in May, and I’m already dying to watch the next episode, which doesn’t air until October 17. When last we left our stars, things were crazier than ever: Jane went through with a wedding, but still holds onto her virgin status. Michael’s life is on the line. Rafael is still in love with Jane, despite the twins he had with Petra not that long ago. It’s a long complicated story, so now is the time to go binge watch the first two seasons if you haven’t already fallen for this hilarious drama.

While I wait out the equally long summer, here are three Jane the Virgin approved books I plan on reading to tide me over:

chasing-lady-ameliaChasing Lady Amelia, Maya Rodale (Avon Books, June 28, 2016) 

Jane’s dream is to become a romance novelist, so we know she’d love Rodale’s latest historical romance. It tells the story of Lady Amelia, an American heiress who’s sick of acting like a proper lady. One night she escapes, only to meet Alistair, a well-known rake. The two spent a magical night together, but things turn sour when Amelia realizes that Alistair has been ordered to marry a wealthy American girl. Now she’s doubting his love, and he’s doing everything he can to convince her of his feelings. Sounds like Jane and Rafael to me!

seduction-and-snacksSeduction and Snacks: Chocolate Lovers, Tara Sivec (EverAfter Romance, 2012)

Like I said, I tend to steer clear of “unexpected pregnancy” books, but Jane the Virgin has convinced me to give them another chance. Which is why I’m ready to read Seduction and Snacks, about a single mother named Claire who’s one-night stand unexpectedly comes back into her life (years after knocking her up). The book came out a few years ago, but readers are still heaping praise on this quirky, funny story of what it means to be a modern mother. I’m sure Jane would approve of this choice, and maybe even try to set up a playdate with Mateo and Claire’s adorable –- though foulmouthed -– son.

 

bare-naked-lolaBare-Naked Lola, Melissa Bourbon Ramirez (Entangled, 2012)

This is the third book in the Lola Cruz Mystery novels, and even though it also came out a few years ago, I still can’t get enough of the fun, “good girl” detective. In her latest adventure, Lola has to go undercover again, this time at a nudist resort. Baring it all might be more than Lola can handle, even if it means catching a killer. She’ll just have to hide it from her traditional family, and her love interest, Jake (who’s pursuing her like crazy this time around!). Since Jane is also a “good girl” with an edge, I’m sure she’d instantly hit it off with Lola.

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Top 3 Summer Harlequin Mira Romances for Thrill Seekers http://booktrib.com/2016/07/top-3-summer-harlequin-mira-romances-for-thrill-seekers/ http://booktrib.com/2016/07/top-3-summer-harlequin-mira-romances-for-thrill-seekers/#comments Thu, 21 Jul 2016 22:16:58 +0000 http://booktrib.com/?p=250717 Anyone who claims they’re not a fan of romance is telling tall tales. It’s essentially a part of every book, film and television show out there. It seems as though it’s less about romance and more about the type of romance that one prefers. To me, the best romance novels are always peppered with a little bit of history, suspense […]]]>

Anyone who claims they’re not a fan of romance is telling tall tales. It’s essentially a part of every book, film and television show out there. It seems as though it’s less about romance and more about the type of romance that one prefers. To me, the best romance novels are always peppered with a little bit of history, suspense and mystery. Fortunately, the new Harlequin titles out this summer from Mira and HQN really deliver.

Here are the top 3 romantic suspense/mystery novels that are piled on my nightstand this summer:

The Bourbon Thief  by Tiffany Reisz (Harlequin Mira, June 28, 2016)

the-bourbon-thief-by-tiffany-reiszThis historical romance first won me over with its splashy cover and continued to impress once I learned that the premise is based around a million-dollar bottle of Bourbon with a 150 year history. Cooper McQueen wakes up from a night with a beautiful stranger and discovers that his bottle of Bourbon has gone missing. The thief, Paris, claims the bottle is hers. The label on the bottle claims that it is property of the Maddox family who owned the Red Thread Bourbon Distillery during the tail end of the Civil War. The company went out of business for reasons unknown — except Paris has the answers and unravels a lurid past filled with wealth, power, lies and sins of omission about Tamara Maddox, heiress to the distillery.

 

 

 

 

Liar’s Key by Carla Neggers (Harlequin Mira, August 30, 2016)

liars-key-by-carla-neggers-198x300No one writes romantic suspense with international intrigue like Carla Neggers! The latest in her acclaimed Sharpe and Donovan series finds our favorite characters Emma and Colin drawn into a new investigation. Emma is surprised when retired Special Agent Gordon Wheelock makes a visit to her office (he also happens to be an art crimes specialist like herself), and tells her that he’s heard rumors about stolen ancient mosaics. Emma refuses to discuss the rumors, since she knows they involve Oliver York, a well-known art thief who also happens to be the criminal that Emma and Gordon’s grandfather chased for a decade. When a shocking death occurs, the evidence points to a conspiracy between Wendell, her grandfather, and Oliver. Colin knows he can’t stay out of this one when Emma’s loyalties are called into play.

 

 

 

Deadly Fate by Heather Graham (Harlequin Mira, July 26, 2016)

Heather_Graham_Deadly_FateI’m a sucker for paranormal suspense and the latest from Heather Graham’s Krewe of Hunters series is not to be missed. Clara Avery is an entertainer on the Alaskan cruise ship the Fate. When she goes to nearby Bear Island, she stumbles upon a bloody scene. She runs into Thor Erikson, a soon to be member of the FBI’s elite paranormal unit, The Krewe of Hunters. Clara and Thor soon realize that they both share an unusual ability: they can communicate with the dead. As their romance blossoms, the ghosts of the victims speak to them and bring them together to solve the case –- and help them to prevent a terrible fate of their own.

 

 

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Chill Out: 5 Books to Distract You from Your Sunburn http://booktrib.com/2016/07/chill-out-5-books-to-distract-you-from-your-sunburn/ http://booktrib.com/2016/07/chill-out-5-books-to-distract-you-from-your-sunburn/#comments Thu, 21 Jul 2016 19:27:40 +0000 http://booktrib.com/?p=250723 As a ginger, I happen to be aware of one of life’s fundamental truths: sunburn seriously sucks. From hot discomfort to peeling like a molting snake in the rain forest, having sunburn is frightfully unpleasant. However, in addition to light exfoliation with a warm wash cloth and gentle soap, I can also recommend a book […]]]>

As a ginger, I happen to be aware of one of life’s fundamental truths: sunburn seriously sucks. From hot discomfort to peeling like a molting snake in the rain forest, having sunburn is frightfully unpleasant. However, in addition to light exfoliation with a warm wash cloth and gentle soap, I can also recommend a book for every occasion to keep your mind off your itchy, fire-engine red skin! Take a look:

A Freezing Thriller:

Cold (A Joe Tiplady Thriller), John Sweeney (Thomas & Mercer, July 1, 2016)

cold-sweeneyYou won’t even think about itching your peeling shoulders while sinking into this espionage thriller, which is cold in more ways than one. This hard-edged novel follows Joe, a special needs teacher with a dark past, as he tries to make sense of a violent, chaotic conspiracy within the Russian government. Both brutal and exciting, this book will make you think, “Yeah, I’m sunburnt, but it could be worse; I could be pursued by a retired Soviet general who thinks I murdered his daughter!”

 

 

 

 

A Desert Fantasy:

Dune, Frank Herbert (Ace, 1990)

dune-frank-herbertThe science fiction novel to end all science fiction novels is exactly what you need to forget your scarlet cheekbones. Set on the desert planet Arakis, also known as Dune, the story follows a young man, Paul, thrust into a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse between warring families, only to discover that he may hold the key to ruling the universe. I know that sounds vague, but trust me, it’s better to come into this story with a clean slate. If it helps, this book is commonly referred to as “Game of Thrones in space,” even though it was written before George R.R. Martin’s hit series. The upside? Your overheated sunburn has nothing on a planet with no water.

 

 

 

A High-Tension Nonfiction Adventure:

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster, Jon Krakauer (Anchor, 1999)

into-thin-air-krakauerThis first-hand account of a mountaineering expedition up Mt. Everest will literally chill you to the bone, which is helpful when your body feels like a boiled lobster. Based on true events, this memoir tells the story of a 1996 trip up the mountain that ended in disaster. While the action itself will take your breath away, the truly amazing thing about this book is Krakauer’s writing. It perfectly balances storytelling with a healthy dose of survivor’s guilt makes this retelling undeniably epic. As haunting as it is engrossing, this is a nonfiction book that you really can not miss.

 

 

 

A Literally Hot Throwback YA Novel:

Holes, Louis Sachar (Yearling, 2000)

holes-sacharWhat? Holes? You might be confused by this one, but hear me out: this YA novel definitely holds up years after a first reading (even if Shia LaBeouf hasn’t –- just kidding, he’s totally fine). If you want a light-hearted throwback read, you can’t do any better, especially considering that reading about sweaty Stanley Yelnats digging holes in the hot sun at Camp Green Lake will give you some perspective on your own burnt plight. Plus, rediscovering the mystery behind the holes themselves will be a fun jaunt back in time for anyone who really loved this novel growing up.

 

 

 

Some Welcomed Advice:

Wear Sunscreen: A Primer for Real Life, Mary Schmich (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2008)

wear-sunscreen-schmichThis might be adding insult to injury, but you wouldn’t be in this predicament if you had just taken Mary Schmich’s famous advice right from the start. This book, based on a column that was initially mis-attributed to Kurt Vonnegut, is chock-full of helpful hints. It reads like a commencement address, except that this time, instead of graduating from college, you’re graduating into your base tan by way of painful redness. Schmich doesn’t really go into this, but we also recommend that you invest in some aloe vera!

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The Perfect Book Boyfriends We Wish Existed in Real Life http://booktrib.com/2016/07/the-perfect-book-boyfriends-we-wish-existed-in-real-life/ http://booktrib.com/2016/07/the-perfect-book-boyfriends-we-wish-existed-in-real-life/#comments Wed, 20 Jul 2016 23:25:17 +0000 http://booktrib.com/?p=250715 Let’s face it: if book boyfriends were like real boyfriends, then I would be a little fast, as my grandmother likes to put it. I have so many book boys that I’ve fallen for over the years, and so many more that I continue to fall for with every new book I read. I’ve even […]]]>

Let’s face it: if book boyfriends were like real boyfriends, then I would be a little fast, as my grandmother likes to put it. I have so many book boys that I’ve fallen for over the years, and so many more that I continue to fall for with every new book I read. I’ve even shared some of them here on BookTrib, including my love for Jace Herondale (swoon) and Jamie Fraser (all the swooning). But since then I’ve read a bunch more books and fallen for a bunch more guys. These are those characters who are hot and caring, strong and sensitive, charming but still gruff. If only book boyfriends existed in real life, amiright?

Without further ado, here are the 4 current book boyfriends I wish I could bring home to meet the parents (or maybe just make out with a little in the driveway):

Gideon Cross: Crossfire Series, by Sylvia Day (Berkley)
2

Matt Bomer as Gideon Cross

I have a weakness for stoic bad boys who fall hard for that one special lady, and Gideon Cross is one of the best. From the moment I met him in Bared to You, the first book in Day’s sexy Crossfire series, Gideon captured my attention. Dark and sultry, he’s the biggest player in town before meeting Eva. Of course he instantly changes his ways, devoting his life to the beautiful but damaged girl. But Gideon isn’t just some one-dimensional hottie. He’s just as damaged as Eva –- both suffered devastating childhood abuse –- and the two have to work hard to make their relationship a success. Gideon proves over and over that he’s worth the struggle, both in the bedroom and out of it. This is one bad boy CEO I would love the chance to tame.

Carlos Fuentes: Rules of Attraction, by Simone Elkeles (Bloomsbury USA)
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Tyler Posey as Carlos Fuentes

Speaking of stoic bad boys, Carlos is a walking ball of anger and angst before he meets good girl Kiara. But he’s also sweet, sensitive, and caring, and he’s literally willing to put his life on the line for the woman he loves. After the events of Perfect Chemistry (his brother Alex’s story), Carlos also finds himself caught up in gang life. Only unlike Alex, Carlos feels right at home in Mexico and resents getting shipped off to Colorado so he can clean up his act. But then he meets Kiara and everything changes. Still, Carlos never loses his humor or his edge, and his devotion to his new girl just makes him even hotter. All of Elkeles’ Perfect Chemistry series is worth a read or two (or ten), but Rules of Attraction will always hold a special place in my heart, as will Carlos, of course.

Will Traynor: Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes (Pamela Dorman Books)
e74006b34b30d4a8efb0a78a665dff67

Sam Claflin as Will Traynor

Me Before You came out years ago, but I didn’t read it until right before the movie premiered in June. Now I wish I’d discovered the heartbreaking love story earlier. At first Will seems pretty unlikeable; he’s left paralyzed after a devastating accident and finds it extremely difficult to adjust to life as a paraplegic. But his sarcastic humor and wit shines through even in his darkest moments, making it clear why his flightless caretaker Louisa eventually falls for him. The two have a pretty moving relationship as they grow together and constantly inspire each other. It’s a tearjerker of an ending, but Will stays crush-worthy through it all.

Ron Weasley: Harry Potter, by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic)
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Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley

Forget Harry. I’ll take everyone’s favorite ginger, please. Ron has always stood out to me as the soul of the group, the one supporting Harry as a hero and encouraging Hermoine (the clear brains of the operation). But he’s also realistically infallible and struggles with playing second fiddle to “the boy who lived.” By the end of the series, Ron has grown into a mature, courageous and funny wizard who’s beyond worthy of hero status. It doesn’t hurt that his on-screen counterpoint, Rupert Grint, also turned into a super hottie. Now that Rowling is releasing her screenplay for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, I can’t wait to see what Ron is up to in his later years.

 

Main image credit: Warner Bros. 

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The Joy of the Food Truck: Books about the Best Traveling Restaurants http://booktrib.com/2016/07/the-joy-of-the-food-truck-books-about-the-best-traveling-restaurants/ http://booktrib.com/2016/07/the-joy-of-the-food-truck-books-about-the-best-traveling-restaurants/#comments Wed, 20 Jul 2016 22:37:34 +0000 http://booktrib.com/?p=250716 Saturday night in Stamford, Connecticut. I had just walked out of Tiernan’s Pub with a sunny disposition at one in the morning. People from all over converged on Columbus Park to hear some independent boy band tear up the small stage. The bar scene was packed and uncomfortable after a while. I wanted to go […]]]>

Saturday night in Stamford, Connecticut. I had just walked out of Tiernan’s Pub with a sunny disposition at one in the morning. People from all over converged on Columbus Park to hear some independent boy band tear up the small stage. The bar scene was packed and uncomfortable after a while. I wanted to go back to my apartment and have a late-night snack that I’d regret in the morning. But then three horrible truths dawned on me: I can’t cook, I don’t have any food to cook with, and I only have five bucks.

As I walked up Broad Street I lamented how I’d have no food. My morning was going to be a rough one. Oh woe is me, what could a young, white, middle-class male with an office job do in the face of such adversity? Well, Fate smiled upon me this evening. As I turned left on Bedford, a big restaurant hub in Stamford, I saw the most beautiful thing these eyes had ever seen. The road was lined with food trucks!

Cheap food! I swear Beethoven’s Ode to Joy played through my head and I’ve never heard that tune before. While I know that last sentence doesn’t make any sense, I’m just going to move on.

Anyways, I saw Bedford riddled with food trucks dedicated to all things greasy. Tacos Locos Tacos cooking the best of…you guessed it. Greek Experience handing out gyros like their candy. And my favorite, this one little spot right outside my apartment that makes meals of all kinds with one little twist, everything’s wrapped in a tortilla. You want buffalo chicken and sweet potato fries, you want that on a white or wheat wrap? I forget the name due to my previously mentioned disposition. Best last five dollars I ever spent.

With the warm weather comes more availability for outdoor activities. Food trucks are the best thing in the world at 1:00 am in the summertime. They are the bastions of Olympus’ nectar. These tiny traveling kitchens going from place to place like gypsy gourmet chefs fill my heart and can make someone’s evening. After a wild night out and wandering around aimlessly, coming across a chili dog or stacked burrito for just a few bucks is just what doctor ordered, but would never recommend.

Here are two books to get you pumped up about the simple joy of being handed a plate of truffle bacon fries from restaurants on wheels:

L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food by Roy Choi (Ecco, November 5, 2013)

Roy ChoiRoy Choi decided to leave the traditional restaurant business as a cook and took his gourmet knowledge to the streets of Los Angeles. Choi recounts how this city and its diverse food culture changed his life, inspired his passion for food and the creation of the Korean taco.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Truck Food Cookbook: 150 Recipes and Ramblings From America’s Best Restaurants on Wheels by John T. Edge (Workman Publishing Company, May 8, 2012)

Food Truck CookbookAny wonder how food trucks make their dishes so quickly while not tasting like the corner McDonald’s? Well now you have over 100 recipes from the best mobile chefs in the country. Follow Edge’s travels through America and the wacky people who run these delicious jalopies.

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A July Playlist: Just Chill on Your Summer Days! http://booktrib.com/2016/07/a-july-playlist-just-chill-on-your-summer-days/ http://booktrib.com/2016/07/a-july-playlist-just-chill-on-your-summer-days/#comments Tue, 19 Jul 2016 23:36:18 +0000 http://booktrib.com/?p=250699 It’s the middle of July, and it’s far too hot outside. The best way to distract people from how much you’re sweating is to appear super cool. There are many ways to appear super cool: conspicuously read a very intelligent-looking book in a coffee shop, wear a Hawaiian shirt to a pool party, win a hot-dog […]]]>

It’s the middle of July, and it’s far too hot outside. The best way to distract people from how much you’re sweating is to appear super cool. There are many ways to appear super cool: conspicuously read a very intelligent-looking book in a coffee shop, wear a Hawaiian shirt to a pool party, win a hot-dog eating contest, et cetera, et cetera. However, it’s a truth universally acknowledged that the coolest person in the room is generally the one who’s listening to the coolest music. So, in the spirit of keeping you cool in more ways than one, enjoy this “Chill-ly” (pronounced “chill”-“lie” like July) playlist, which you should feel free to show off as much as possible.

For example, you can go to the beach and read while listening to this playlist, or you can pretend to read while actually napping under your sunglasses. Whichever works for you!

Full disclosure, this playlist is less this:

And more this:

But to everyone else, you’ll look like this:

 

Full “Chill-ly” pun credit goes to BookTrib staffer Amanda Harkness, who is objectively the coolest person who works here.

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Christmas-Themed Romance Books to Keep You Cool in the July Heat http://booktrib.com/2016/07/christmas-themed-romance-books-to-keep-you-cool-in-the-july-heat/ http://booktrib.com/2016/07/christmas-themed-romance-books-to-keep-you-cool-in-the-july-heat/#comments Tue, 19 Jul 2016 22:43:59 +0000 http://booktrib.com/?p=250704 There’s a shop near my house called The Christmas Loft. It’s built in an old barn, and stepping inside is like walking into a winter wonderland: sparkly cotton snow lines the floors, holiday music twinkles in the background, and Santa rides over your head in a giant sleigh, his plastic reindeer leading the way across […]]]>

There’s a shop near my house called The Christmas Loft. It’s built in an old barn, and stepping inside is like walking into a winter wonderland: sparkly cotton snow lines the floors, holiday music twinkles in the background, and Santa rides over your head in a giant sleigh, his plastic reindeer leading the way across the ceiling. I love visiting the shop during December, but there’s something even more fun about going in the height of summer. As soon as you step inside, the sweltering heat of July disappears and you’re lost in a world of ornaments and presents, of trees and twinkling white lights. Christmas in July might be my new favorite thing.

Which is why I’ve been a little obsessed with Christmas-themed books lately. While my friends lounge around by the pool, I find myself holed up inside, devouring stories about snowball fights and kisses under the mistletoe. Christmas books might not scream ‘beach reads,’ but they will still always have a place in summer (and in our hearts). So here are four Christmas I’m currently obsessed with in July:

The Christmas Café, Amanda Prowse (Head of Zeus, August 1, 2016)

the-christmas-cafeBea Greenstock is in her early 50’s and running a successful Sydney café when her beloved husband of 30 years dies. After pouring herself into the business, in part to assuage her grief, she starts exchanging emails with another café owner in Scotland. As Christmas looms, Bea decides to ditch the sun and sand of Australia in order to meet up with her new friend in Edinburgh. She brings along her teenage granddaughter, and the two explore the snowy streets of a city halfway across the world. Of course there’s an old love in the mix as well –- it wouldn’t be a Christmas book without a little romance. Part of Prowse’s No Greater Love series, The Christmas Café is bound to win over any fan of romance and a little holiday celebration.

 

 

Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses, Jenny Hale (Bookouture, 2015)

christmas-wishes-and-mistletoeHale’s Christmas romance came out almost a year ago, but I’m still obsessed with the sweet tale of true love. Single mom Abbey Fuller is trying to balance her son, Max, and her dreams of becoming an interior designer. When millionaire Nick needs his house decorated in time for the holidays, Abbey jumps at the chance. Only Nick is a little more brooding (and hotter!) than she was expecting, and she suspects she might be in over her head. Sparks and mistletoe fly in this adorable Christmas-themed romance.

 

 

 

 

Kiss Me In Christmas, Debbie Mason (Forever Publishing, February, 2016)

kiss-me-in-christmasMason is the author of the Christmas, Colorado series, about a small town named after our favorite holiday. Kiss Me in Christmas is book six, and it tells the story of Chloe O’Connor, a successful actress who has a hard time leaving her past in the town of Christmas behind. Once seen as the awkward girl, now Chloe is all diva and attitude — something her high school crush, Easton, has a hard time accepting. Can he bring out the sweet girl he remembers without crushing the sparks that still burn between them? Pick up this Christmas romance to find out.

 

 

 

 

The Christmas Angel Project, Melody Carlson (Revell, August 30, 2016)

the-christmas-angel-projectThis story of loss, love and friendship is about a close-knit book club of women who have come to rely on each other over the years. When their leader, Abby, unexpectedly dies, the other four are left to pick up the pieces of their friendship. But Abby has left each of them with an angel ornament to remember her by, which inspires them all to go out into the world to help someone in need. If you’re looking for a heartwarming Christmas tale (not that you need any more ‘warming’ this summer!) then try out Carlson’s latest as soon as it hits shelves.

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This Week’s Featured Stories From AuthorBuzz Authors http://booktrib.com/2016/07/this-weeks-featured-stories-from-authorbuzz-authors-2/ http://booktrib.com/2016/07/this-weeks-featured-stories-from-authorbuzz-authors-2/#comments Tue, 19 Jul 2016 21:32:26 +0000 http://booktrib.com/?p=250638 Dear Reader, See what this week’s authors have to say! In each AuthorBuzz note you’ll receive invitations to join contests, get free books, bookplates or bookmarks, read personal stories, and more. Dear Reader, I envisioned Devoted as a romantic, sexier version of those old Rock Hudson/Doris Day films I grew up loving. You know the type. Handsome […]]]>

Dear Reader,

See what this week’s authors have to say! In each AuthorBuzz note you’ll receive invitations to join contests, get free books, bookplates or bookmarks, read personal stories, and more.

Swash_ornamentdevotedDear Reader,

I envisioned Devoted as a romantic, sexier version of those old Rock Hudson/Doris Day films I grew up loving. You know the type. Handsome and a little shady, the hero plays a game with the heart of gold heroine only to find himself head over heels in love and backed into a corner of his own making. Business can be war, but love’s the ultimate lexi blakeprize in Devoted. I hope you enjoy reading Flynn and Amy’s sexy skirmish as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Please write to 1001DarkNights@gmail.com to win one of five copies.

Lexi Blake

http://www.1001darknights.com/2016-books/lexi-blake-devoted/

 

Swash_ornamentwhiteboneDear Reader:

Faced with the extinction of the African Elephant and White Rhino in the wild, I decided to travel to Kenya to investigate. The result is my new suspense novel, White Bone. During my stay in Kenya I was in Nairobi when a terroristt bomb blew up an open air market, killing 18, and was staying at a safari lodge when a rhino

peabody-head shot

peabody-head shot

was poached less than a mile away. Hopefully White Bone not only keeps you turning pages, but makes you look at the world a little differently.

Send your email to email@ridleypearson.com to be one the five chosen and be submerged among the poachers in Africa alongside John Knox as he searches for Grace Chu in Ridley Pearson’s novel, White Bone.

http://www.ridleypearson.com

Swash_ornament

secretlanduageDear Reader,

Imagine falling in love with someone you can never be with. Not a flesh and blood man but a soldier’s ghost.

It’s Paris, 1918. War is raging. Millions of men have died, millions more have been wounded. Opaline Duplessi, a young jeweler makes mourning jewelry for the mothers, wives, and lovers of those who have fallen.

People say that Opaline’s creations are magical. But magic is a word Opaline would rather not use. The concept is too closely associated with her mother Sandrine, who practices the dark arts passed down from their ancestor La Lune, one of sixteenth century Paris’s most famous courtesans.

mj-rose-newBut Opaline does have a rare gift even she can’t deny, a form of lithomancy that allows her to translate the energy emanating from stones. In her mind, she is no mystic, but merely a messenger, giving voice to soldiers who died before they were able to properly express themselves to loved ones. Until one day, one of these fallen soldiers communicates a message—directly to her.

Enjoy the book that’s my favorite so far of all that I’ve written.

Write me at MJRoseWriter@gmail.com to win one of 5 copies.

https://www.mjrose.com/books/secret_language_stones.asp?BookVar=Praise

Swash_ornamentFor100Days_1000x1500-1Dear Reader,

A temporary house-sitting job at a posh NYC apartment is just the lucky break that Avery Ross needs. What she doesn’t need? A scorching hot seduction by the arrogant billionaire who lives on the top floor. Dominic Baine can have anyone, but the only woman he wants is her.

Although you may know me best for my Midnight Breed vampire series, I’m thrilled to be venturing into sizzling contemporary romance with FOR 100 DAYS!

2013_lara_adrian_snap-1Want a chance to win an autographed copy? Email Lara@LaraAdrian.com with the subject line “I want Dominic Baine!” Five winners will be randomly selected.

Good luck and happy reading,

Lara Adrian

http://www.LaraAdrian.com

 

 

 

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A Summer Book List to Get You Excited for Exploring the Outdoors http://booktrib.com/2016/07/a-summer-book-list-to-get-you-excited-for-exploring-the-outdoors/ http://booktrib.com/2016/07/a-summer-book-list-to-get-you-excited-for-exploring-the-outdoors/#comments Mon, 18 Jul 2016 23:07:01 +0000 http://booktrib.com/?p=250691 I know it’s July and it’s hot as blazes. Many of us just want to sit next to our cool, life-saving window unit, letting the days pass us by. But, come on. Just look outside. There’s a whole world to explore out there! Do you think Lewis and Clark let a little heat hinder their […]]]>

I know it’s July and it’s hot as blazes. Many of us just want to sit next to our cool, life-saving window unit, letting the days pass us by. But, come on. Just look outside. There’s a whole world to explore out there! Do you think Lewis and Clark let a little heat hinder their trek across the American West? You’re damn right, it didn’t. Summer really is the best season for going on outings and adventures.

So get off your love seat, grab a Camelback, and go hiking/camping/skydiving — whatever makes you happy. And to get you in the mood, here are four books to give you that little extra push:

Into the Wild by John Krakauer (Anchor Books, January 20, 1997)

Into the WildRight after graduating college in 1992, Christopher McCandless abandoned his car, donated all his money, burned all the cash in his wallet, and adopted the name Alexander Supertramp. In search for a new life in the remote wilderness of Alaska, McCandless follows in the footsteps of his hero, explorer and author Jack London. Four months later, he is found dead. Legendary nonfiction writer John Krakauer traces his journey, visiting the places he went and talking to the people touched by this enigma of a man. While knowing the main character died might discourage you, I suggest bringing a wallet and phone. No need to be so extreme.

 

 

Walden by Henry David Thoreau (CreateSpace Independent Publishing, May 6, 2016)

WaldenOne of the most uncompromising figures in American history, Henry David Thoreau, author of “Civil Disobedience” chronicles his life living alone in the woods in a cabin he built. First published in 1854, Walden is THE American book on man vs. nature. While also recounting his struggles the activist author also writes on his quest for enlightenment and philosophy. He gave us a gift with this masterpiece. It’s a beautifully written story that is part diary, part economic theory, part philosophical treatise but all quintessentially Thoreau.

 

 

A River Runs Through It and Other Stories by Norman Maclean (University Chicago Press, October 1, 2001)

River Runs Through it

You might recognize this title and think, ‘oh yeah, that movie…the one with Brad Pitt…’ and while it was a good film, I think the book is infinitely better. This collection of stories celebrates the various lives of people living in the great outdoors. I remember reading this when I was 13 and have never been so excited about fly fishing. And I don’t even like to fish. Norman Maclean’s flawless depiction of the American landscape will make you gasp in awe and sigh with pride to live in a land capable of such beauty.

 

 

 

Grandma Gatewood’s Walk by Ben Montgomery (Chicago Review Press, April 1, 2014)

Grandma Gatewood's Walk

Emma Gatewood, a 67-year-old grandmother from Ohio told her family she was going out on a walk. With nothing but a change of clothes and some cash, she literally walks the whole Appalachian Trail (that’s 2,050 miles!) Gatewood is the first woman to traverse the large trail and the first person –- man or woman — to do it three times. Her harrowing journey raised awareness on conservation and preserving the trail’s ecosystem that many credit her for saving Appalachia. So, what’s your excuse? Step out your door and see where your path takes you.

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Just Let It Happen: The Joy of Leaving Your Sh*t All Over the Place http://booktrib.com/2016/07/just-let-it-happen-the-joy-of-leaving-your-sht-all-over-the-place/ http://booktrib.com/2016/07/just-let-it-happen-the-joy-of-leaving-your-sht-all-over-the-place/#comments Mon, 18 Jul 2016 17:37:11 +0000 http://booktrib.com/?p=250681 If you’ve been talking to your clothes while folding them lovingly in an attempt to make your life more “tidy,” you should take a long, hard look at yourself, according to author Jennifer McCartney. Her new book, The Joy of Leaving Your Sh*t All Over the Place: The Art of Being Messy (Countryman, May 24, […]]]>

the-joy-of-leaving-your-shit-all-over-the-placeIf you’ve been talking to your clothes while folding them lovingly in an attempt to make your life more “tidy,” you should take a long, hard look at yourself, according to author Jennifer McCartney. Her new book, The Joy of Leaving Your Sh*t All Over the Place: The Art of Being Messy (Countryman, May 24, 2016) is the perfect guide to free yourself from the shackles of over-organization. McCartney encourages you to give in to your messier urges because being too clean is a sure sign of a dreadfully boring and uncreative personality.

This book is a too-real parody of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which encourages readers to throw out old belongings to help declutter their homes (and, consequently, their brains). However, McCartney completely balks at the prospect of throwing your stuff out just because, rather, she advocates buying even more stuff and leaving it anywhere and everywhere.

Jennifer McCartney; Image via Amazon

McCartney via Amazon

McCartney, who also writes for The Atlantic, Vice Magazine and others, uses rampant expletives, doodles and real-talk language to great effect, essentially tearing down the idea that somehow having an immaculate house means that you have an immaculately clear head. Almost every page of this book has a laugh-out-loud moment, not just at the expense of the clutter-free movement. Nearly every giggle comes from recognizing your own mindlessly messy habits as McCartney sarcastically lauds them as the key to having a stress-free existence. The tongue-in-cheek tone is somewhat ironic, but McCartney’s dedication to just accepting messiness as an everyday element of life is actually really convincing. Basically, this hilarious, quick read is the perfect self-help book for people who hate self-help books.

The home of (presumably) an extremely boring individual

The home of (presumably) an extremely boring individual

So, this summer, instead of struggling to keep your environment cleaner than you are actually capable of, just accept your inner hot mess and leave your sheets rumpled, your clothes on the floor of your closet, and your desk a necessary jumble. As McCartney writes, “Mess cannot be contained. It wants to be free. Embrace it.”

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‘Stranger Things’ is Your New Summer Must-Watch — Plus, a Companion Book List http://booktrib.com/2016/07/stranger-things-is-your-new-summer-must-watch-plus-a-companion-book-list/ http://booktrib.com/2016/07/stranger-things-is-your-new-summer-must-watch-plus-a-companion-book-list/#comments Fri, 15 Jul 2016 22:13:24 +0000 http://booktrib.com/?p=250665 If you’ve watched the trailer for Netflix’s new show Stranger Things eight times like we have, you’re definitely able to see why it’s so magnetic. Also, you might be a little crazy. The E.T. with a super-dark twist vibe is giving us major ’80s nostalgia, and is not something to be missed. And with Winona […]]]>

If you’ve watched the trailer for Netflix’s new show Stranger Things eight times like we have, you’re definitely able to see why it’s so magnetic. Also, you might be a little crazy. The E.T. with a super-dark twist vibe is giving us major ’80s nostalgia, and is not something to be missed. And with Winona Ryder, who is herself “strange and unusual,” how can this show be anything but awesome?

Ryder plays Joyce, single mom of two growing up in small-town Indiana during the 1980s. When her youngest, Will, suddenly disappears, the local police aren’t getting very far due to top-secret government experiments. Will’s buddies take the lead on their bikes to find their missing friend (*cough cough, Goonies, cough, E.T. and Gremlins, cough*).

Guess you’ll have to get ready to bingewatch Stranger Things, which is now available to all Netflix subscribers (we already know our weekend plans).

If, after your binge, you’re craving similar stories, we’ve got the perfect book list for you:

The Tommyknockers, Stephen King (Scribner, January 2016)

The-Tommyknockers-king

Small-town Haven, Maine will never be the same after discovering an alien ship in the woods. The townspeople begin to experience powers far beyond their imaginations. As the citizens of Haven stumble down a path of self-destruction while revealing a mysterious alien artifact, they soon realize they have released a vengeance Haven will deeply regret. Stephen King certainly knows how to bring the science fiction with a hint of pine needles, and The Tommyknockers does not disappoint.

 

 

 

 

The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold (Back Bay Books, April 2004)

the-lovely-bones-sebold

If you haven’t read this tearjerker, this is a must-read for your summer book list. When the book begins we are introduced to the sweet Susie Salmon, but unlike other 14 year olds, Susie’s story doesn’t come from her diary but from her view in Heaven. We begin to find ourselves captured in Sebold’s magical world of Heaven. You may ask, how is this like Stranger Things? Well, similar to Joyce’s storyline, the unknown loss of a child is not an easy experience to swallow. Susie’s family takes the law into their own hands to find how their little girl vanished. This dazzling tale of love, grief and acceptance will have you captured from start to finish.

 

 

 

The Girl With All The Gifts, M.R. Carey (Orbit, 2014)

the-girl-with-all-the-gifts-carey

This creepy, emotionally charged novel follows the story of Melanie, a young girl who’s infected with a zombie-like rage virus – except, unlike a zombie, she has a near-genius IQ and is fully aware of her surroundings. After the scientists researching her are forced to flee their facility with Melanie in tow, a collection of odd discoveries, scientific breakthroughs and heart-pounding drama leads to a truly cataclysmic ending that will surprise and challenge you. And, like Stranger Things, this story is stolen by a charismatic child narrator. Plus, the film adaptation of this novel is set to be one of the sleeper hits of Autumn 2016.

 

 

 

All Is Not Forgotten: A Novel, Wendy Walker (St. Martin’s Press, July 2016)

all-is-not-forgotten-walker

This psychological thriller is equal parts disturbing and heart-wrenching. It concerns a teenage girl, Jenny, who is violently assaulted, except that, hours after her attack, she’s given a drug that medically erases her memory of the experience. She heals from her wounds with no memory of what happened to her, but her family, and her entire small Connecticut town, can not forget. Struggles with revenge, acceptance and tragedy unfurl along with the mystery behind Jenny’s attack, leading to a truly unexpected conclusion that will blow your mind. Sometimes, memories disappear -– but actions never do.

 

 

 

IT, Stephen King (Scribner Reissue, 2016)

it-stephen-king

We’re rounding out our Stranger Things book list with another Stephen King classic, IT, the harrowing tale of the creepiest clown (*cough* alien *cough*) ever, which torments a group of kids who do their best to battle it. Like Stranger Things, the beating heart of this seriously messed up story is a group of kids struggling to battle supernatural forces outside of their control. This book, like the famous movie adaptation, has some freaky images that will stick with you. Plus, you can look forward to an updated film adaptation coming in 2017 (or not, if you’re really afraid of clowns, which is totally reasonable).

 

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July’s Author Crush: Brenda Novak is Queen of the Romance Novel http://booktrib.com/2016/07/julys-author-crush-brenda-novak-is-queen-of-the-romance-novel/ http://booktrib.com/2016/07/julys-author-crush-brenda-novak-is-queen-of-the-romance-novel/#comments Fri, 15 Jul 2016 20:01:40 +0000 http://booktrib.com/?p=250674 Sometimes we fall in love with an author who has written one or two amazing novels. Maybe they put out a book every three years or so, and we patiently wait for that new release to show up on our shelves. If it ever does. And then there are the powerhouses. You know who we’re […]]]>

Sometimes we fall in love with an author who has written one or two amazing novels. Maybe they put out a book every three years or so, and we patiently wait for that new release to show up on our shelves. If it ever does.

And then there are the powerhouses.

You know who we’re talking about; those authors who often put out multiple books a year, who’ve written dozens of bestsellers and who know their audience like the back of their hand. Think Stephen King, Nora Roberts and James Patterson. These are the authors we turn to over and over, trusting that they’ll consistently deliver an awesome read. And as avid readers we need these authors, relying on their prolific nature and their never-ending well of plots and ideas to keep us entertained. So in honor of powerhouse authors, this month we’re celebrating one of our favorites: Brenda Novak.

It sounds trivial to say we have an author crush on Novak, though we certainly do. She’s one of those rare romance writers who seamlessly moves between sub-genres –- contemporary romance, romantic thrillers and historical romance –- and is an expert in all of them. And while we love all of her series (and she has a bunch, trust us), she’s probably most well-known for Whiskey Creek.

Novak’s Whiskey Creek, or “the Heart of Gold Country” as it’s so often referred, is a fictional town set in California. Novak has written 10 novels (and one novella!) about the small town, where everyone knows each other and the secondary characters are just as important as the main romance. We love when authors build a whole community into their work, and Whiskey Creek is one of the best around. If you like romance, quaint settings and well-written stories, then this is the series for you. But if thrillers are more your style, then try Novak’s Department 6 trilogy. Like historical romances instead? Then maybe Of Noble Birth is the right book for you. Whatever you prefer, Novak can fill any of your romance novel needs.

Novak has several books in the works, including a few new print runs of old favorites and two brand new novels to be released this summer. One is The Secrets We Kept, which releases on July 26 and is a sequel to Novak’s beloved novel, The Secret Sister (more on that below!). The other is the first full-length novel in The Evelyn Talbot Chronicles, called Her Darkest Secrets, which comes out August 30. See? We told you she was prolific.

If you haven’t read any Novak novels yet, have no fear. Here are four of her older stories that we just can’t get enough of:

When Lightning Strikes: Whiskey Creek, Book 1 (MIRA, 2012)

when-lightning-strikes

This is the first full-length book in Novak’s series, and it combines all of our favorite romance tropes: a marriage of convenience, a love-hate relationship, and a movie star who falls for a ‘normal’ girl. Gail DeMarco runs a successful PR company, until she fires superstar Simon O’Neal who’s self-destructing after a messy divorce. But he’s not having that, and he takes all her clients with him when he goes. Gail needs him back, and he needs a better image if he wants to get custody of his son. They decide to get married for two years to save both of their futures. But Gail is finding it hard to keep her hands off the sexy actor, and he’s not sure he can keep his good guy persona up for long. These two have chemistry for days, plenty of drama to keep them busy, and a lot of hot kissing scenes that slowly lead to love. Ten Whiskey Creek books later and this is still one of our favorites.

A Winter Wedding: Whiskey Creek, Book 9 (MIRA, 2015)

a-winter-wedding

We love all the Whiskey Creek books, but number nine holds a special place in our hearts. It tells the story of Kyle Houseman, who we first met all the way back in When We Touch, the novella that launched the series. Back then, Kyle’s great love Olivia Arnold married his stepbrother, while he was trapped into marrying her sister. Olivia found true love, but Kyle ended up divorced and wary of falling in love again. It doesn’t help that his former wife is a stalker who can’t seem to let him go. Enter country singer Lourdes Bennett, who comes to Whiskey Creek in order to finish her album (not to fall in love). Obviously, she falls in love. So does Kyle, and these two have the sweetest romance ever. Plus we get to see all of our favorite Whiskey Creek couples and townspeople again (including a wedding!).

Through the Smoke (Montlake Romance, 2013)

through-the-smoke

Out of all of Novak’s historical romances, Through the Smoke is definitely our favorite. When the Earl of Druridge’s wife mysteriously dies, he’s afraid he might have had something to do with it, especially as he just learned that she was pregnant with someone else’s child. But he can’t remember anything about the night she passed away, and if he doesn’t find out the truth quickly he’ll be forced to marry again or tried as a murderer. Rachel McTavish is the daughter of a bookseller, and her brother and father both worked in the Earl’s mines. Like the rest of the townspeople, she sees him as a tyrant who abuses his workers, but she also has information about what happened to his deceased wife. Desperate for answers, the Earl agrees to help Rachel’s sick mother in exchange for her help. But when the two start working together, the mystery -– and the romance! –- starts to build. This story is more layered than your typical romance novel, with characters who are flawed, complex themes and a well-written story that will suck you in from the first page.

The Secret Sister: Fairham Island, Book 1 (MIRA, 2015)

the-secret-sister

If there’s anything we love more than long-lost loves finding each other again, it’s birth secrets that threaten to rock a whole family. Luckily, The Secret Sister has both. This book is so beloved that it’s getting both a reprint and a sequel this year. It follows Maisey Lazarow, a woman who returns to her island hometown after she loses her infant daughter and her life falls apart. She’s there to recover and help her addict brother, while also avoiding her controlling mother. She ends up staying in a rental cabin that just happens to be next door to the boy she lost her virginity to. He has a daughter and a burning desire for Maisey, who is all too happy to meet his needs. But things become complicated when she finds a box of photographs that feature a young girl she’s sure is her sister. Her family and her future are at stake as she works to unravel the mysteries of her childhood. Romantic, smart and thrilling, Secret Sister is Novak at her best.

 

Main image Courtesy Brenda Novak

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I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghost — Except for Spooky Ones in Books! http://booktrib.com/2016/07/i-aint-afraid-of-no-ghost-except-for-spooky-ones-in-books/ http://booktrib.com/2016/07/i-aint-afraid-of-no-ghost-except-for-spooky-ones-in-books/#comments Thu, 14 Jul 2016 21:54:38 +0000 http://booktrib.com/?p=250656 “If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!” On June 8, 1984 the world was introduced to the supernatural comedy known as Ghostbusters. I can still remember my favorite scene of the green blob-slob, Slimer, shoveling a tray of room service sweets down his gullet and onto the floor. But the […]]]>

“If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!” On June 8, 1984 the world was introduced to the supernatural comedy known as Ghostbusters. I can still remember my favorite scene of the green blob-slob, Slimer, shoveling a tray of room service sweets down his gullet and onto the floor. But the most important part of the film is the cast, the classic comedy crew of Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson and Sigourney Weaver just to name a few. Jump forward 30 years and now we find ourselves with a new team of ghost exterminators: Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon lead the pack, shall we say gracefully? This movie may seem like a failure in some critics’ eyes, who think “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But this is an entirely different year and different team, so you go girls and kick the asinine out of those ghosts! We just hope the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man doesn’t get stuck in your nice hairs.

And for those who still have a hunger for ghastly tales, BookTrib recommends these creepy stories of ghosts who need to get busted:

Matt’s Pick

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James (Dover Thrift Editions, January 1, 1991)

Turn of the ScrewWhile I’m more of an Edgar Allan Poe fan, this is one of the scariest stories of all time. At a lavish, secluded estate a governess is haunted by the spirits of the former governess and her lover. Both she and the housekeeper suspect these ghosts have been communicating with the children of the estate, even though they both deny it. So, are the ghosts real? Are the children communicating with the great beyond? Is an evil deal being struck? Are the servants mad? Get immersed in this beautifully written masterpiece of slow-burning horror and psychological torment. You’ll question the reality of everything around you once you’re finished.

 

 

 

Mercedes’ Pick

Diary of a Haunting by M. Verano (Simon Pulse, August 2015)

Diary of a HauntingOne of the scariest books I’ve ever read, Diary of a Haunting plays into the same category of my personal favorite frightening film, Paranormal Activity. Living the typical teenage life in L.A., Paige is forced to move to a small town in Idaho. As if life couldn’t get any worse, the mansion she now calls home seems to have a different plan for her. Besides the typical spiders and flies, her new home begins to act out in many creepy ways, including her brother’s insomnia and her strange neighbor (we all know that’s never a good sign thanks to Horror Film 101). Not to mention the cult that conducted rituals 100 years prior. Either way you’ll find yourself picking up and putting down this book because it’s just scary good!

 

 

Katie’s Pick

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz (Scholastic, 1989)

scary-stories-alvin-schwarts

This might be a throwback book from the annals of any ’90s kid’s childhood, but Alvin Schwartz‘s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is chock-full of ghosts, creepy demons and generally blood-curdling tales that have the actual capacity to frighten adults. Written in the age of children’s content designed to scare the bejesus out of them to a traumatizing degree, Schwartz’s Scary Stories series was made all the spookier by the famous illustrations of Stephen Gammell, which literally look like they were drawn by Satan’s creepiest neighbor. If I were lucky as a kid, the Ghostbusters would have rolled into my room and proton-beamed this book out of my hands, saving me from years of nightmares (Literally, this book is seriously haunted and needs to be put into a non-EPA sanctioned storage facility in a N.Y.C. firehouse).

 

 

 

Maine image credit: SONY 

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