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Early Bird Books
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Early Bird Books: 6 Must-Read Historical Fiction Books by Rumer Godden

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The prolific British author deserves a place on your bookshelf. Rumer Godden (born Margaret Rumer Godden) authored more than 60 books in her lifetime. Most notable is her novel Black Narcissus, which was adapted into a 1947 film starring  Deborah Kerr. The British author was born in Sussex in 1907, but grew up in what is now known as Bangladesh. Though she was sent to England for schooling, her parents brought her back to India at the start of World War I. Before writing novels, Godden trained as a dancer and even opened a dance studio in Calcutta in 1925. While still running the studio, she published her first novel in 1936 and continued to write—often basing her books on real-life experience. Interested in…

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Before He Was Muhammad Ali: The Amateur Boxer Who Won Gold at the 1960 Olympics

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The boxer won the Light Heavyweight gold medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome when he was just 18 years old. Early on in his career, Muhammad Ali went by his given name: Cassius Clay. As one of the most significant athletes of the 20th century, Ali has held his fair share of titles—notably winning heavyweight titles at the age of 22—but one of his first was that of Olympic gold medalist. During the 1960 Summer Olympic Games in Rome, Ali beat out Polish boxer Zbigniew Pietrzykowski for the gold before turning professional later that year. But there’s much more to Ali than just his career as a boxer. In addition to his athletic accomplishments, Ali was also an…

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11 Unforgettable Female Friendships in Literature

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Celebrate the unsung heroine of books: friendship. Though Valentine’s Day typically evokes the idea of celebrating romantic relationships, it is slowly but surely evolving to include friendship as well, with the cheesy, yet appropriate, identifier: Galentine’s Day. Regardless of if you’ll be spending this year with a significant other, these literary female friendships will inspire you to be thankful for those devoted, trustworthy friends who always have your back. In literature, shared experiences—be it living under the same harsh conditions or experiencing love for the first time—form the foundation for female friendship. Whether the story takes place 200 years in the past or here in the 21st century, between mothers and daughters or college girlfriends, one thing remains true in…

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Early Bird Books: In Conversation with Alice Walker

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The author of “The Color Purple” reads three of her poems and answers reader questions about her work, life, and views on society. On February 9, 1944, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker was born in Georgia. Walker lived under Jim Crow laws that were present during that time in the South. But her parents resisted such segregation, refusing to subject their children to working in the fields for white plantation owners. Growing up listening to stories her grandfather would tell, Walker began writing when she was just eight years old. She published her first poetry collection, Once, in 1968, and her debut novel The Third Life of Grange Copeland in 1970. In 1982, she published her award-winning novel The Color Purple. The iconic book…

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For MaddAddam Fans: Another Margaret Atwood Adaptation Is In The Works

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Paramount TV has acquired the rights to the MaddAddam Trilogy, a dystopian series by “The Handmaid’s Tale” author.   Just last week, Variety revealed that the MaddAddam Trilogy is joining the ranks of anticipated Margaret Atwood adaptations. Like Hulu’s Emmy-winning drama, The Handmaid’s Tale,and Netflix’s Alias Grace, the three novels—Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood, and MaddAddam—will soon be venturing to the small screen. Paramount TV, which was formerly Spike TV and is currently the home of Waco, has secured the rights. The MaddAddam Trilogy adaptation will likely be as riveting—and as frighteningly plausible—as Atwood’s other works that have already received the small screen treatment. Set in a dystopian future, the last human on Earth, “Snowman” née Jimmy, recounts the the fall of humanity while…

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Early Bird Books: 13 Books Our Favorite Celebrities Love

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Stars—they read like us! We’ll be the first to admit that we love a bit of celebrity gossip—especially when it involves what’s on people’s shelves. Lately, stars like Reese Witherspoon and Emma Watson have been hopping on the book club train, selecting titles each month and leading thoughtful reading discussions with their fans. It’s been a great way to highlight the latest debut authors, or bring old, forgotten gems back into the limelight. We’re all about using fame to the benefit of a good book. Below, you’ll find recommendations that come straight from the mouths of our favorite celebrities. From childhood classics to later-in-life discoveries, these are the reads that have made lasting impressions on Academy Award winners, singers, and more. Tom Hanks Blood on…

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11 Must-Read Feminist Books from the Past 100 Years

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What does feminism mean to you? Over the years, the definition of the word “feminism” has changed. For the record, that definition, according to Webster’s Dictionary, is: “the belief that men and women should have equal opportunities.” That seems simple enough, but for some, feminism has become a controversial—even unnecessary concept. Whatever feminism means to you, it’s worth taking a look back at how and why the movement developed, beginning as far back as the early 1900s, and the writers and feminist books that continue to influence our lives today—whether we know it or not. With so much feminist literature out there, this list is not exhaustive. Add your go-to feminist book to the comments. Together We Rise, The Women’s March…

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7 Donald Trump Books Written By Authors from Both Sides

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A lot has been said about our POTUS, Donald J. Trump—some of it good, much of it terrible, and a whole lot in between. But whether you’re Red or Blue, it’s impossible to deny his hold over the American public (nay, the entire world). His brash ‘all-Americanness’ and decidedly unpresidential behavior is something his supporters and his detractors simply can’t look away from. Like our Twitter feeds and television screens, bookstore shelves are also bursting with tales of Trump. Countless authors have offered their two cents—but which books are most worth reading? From biographies written by his closest friends to the read-of-the-moment, Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury, we’ve included a balanced selection of the best Donald Trump books to help…

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Who Says Size Matters?: Short Story Collections That Belong on Every Novel-Reader’s Shelf

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On the difference between short stories and novels, Stephen King described the former as “a kiss in the dark from a stranger.” His meaning? While they may lack the length of traditional novels, short stories certainly aren’t lacking in depth—just as a kiss carries its own special magic, without the commitment of a serious relationship. The collections below are testaments to the unique power of the short story. Individual snapshots of husbands and wives, sons and daughters, are connected by central themes—whether those be love, grief, hope, or loneliness. Together, they form a cohesive whole that portrays the ups and downs of the human experience, while packing the emotional punches you’d find in the best novels. A Model World, Michael…

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Early Bird Books: 10 of Our Favorite First Lines in Literature

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From Melville to Didion, these first sentences created lasting and notable impressions. Some of literature’s most iconic lines come to us within the first paragraphs of our favorite novels. They are the hooks onto which we latch, and the springboards that launch us further into the narrative. There’s a reason these words make up some of the most quotable lines in literature—readers simply can’t get them out of their heads. Take a look below to see some of our favorite opening lines. While first impressions can be tough, they won us over in just a single sentence. “You better not never tell nobody but God.”  The Color Purple By Alice Walker Set in the 1930s, The Color Purple details the…

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20 of the Best New York Times Notable Books

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Every December, the New York Times releases their annual “Notable Books” list, which celebrates the year’s greatest literary achievements. Studded with big names and remarkable first-time authors, it represents the cream-of-the-crop in literary talent, and serves as a touchstone for what—or whom—belongs in everyone’s TBR piles. Earlier this month, the Times announced their 2017 honorees. Among the 100 chosen were Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Book of Joan and Naomi Alderman’s The Power—both of which echo the year’s biggest pop culture talking point, The Handmaid’s Tale. Recent award-winners also made the list: Lincoln in the Bardo (Man Booker Prize), Sing, Unburied, Sing (National Book Award, Fiction), and The Future is History (National Book Award, Nonfifction) all earned spots. At the same time,…

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See the Eerie First Trailer for Adaptation of ‘The Terror’

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Dan Simmons’ British Fantasy Award-nominated novel The Terror sails onto the small screen this spring on AMC.   Based on the real-life disappearance of the Captain Sir John Franklin mission in 1845, Simmons’ critically acclaimed book imagines what might have befallen the men of the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror during their doomed quest for the Northwest passage. Although brief, the trailer captures the atmosphere of claustrophobic mystery that makes Simmons’ epic about ice-locked, desperate crews stalked by a mysterious creature so unmissable. If the series holds true to the novel, it will likely appeal to history buffs as well as fans of horror and fantasy. Simmons’ richly detailed book relies heavily on meticulous research about the real-life members of…

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13 Novels That’ll Take You Back to School

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When we think of our school days, we remember hours spent in the library, lecture halls that sat hundreds, and all-night study sessions before semester exams. But beyond our academic pursuits, we also encountered plenty of interesting characters. Whether it was a dorm room neighbor, an eccentric professor, or a fellow classmate, the people we met—and the lessons we learned—helped shape who we are today. The campus novel has always been a staple of literature, but the 13 books listed below are at the top of the class. Whether they follow a junior’s coming-of-age journey or satirize elitist academics, each one explores the formative—and sometimes crazy—antics that can happen within the hallowed halls. Less Than Angels, Barbara Pym Though Catherine…

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New ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ Trailer is Meg-nificent

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During the American Music Awards on November 19th, Disney debuted the second trailer for the upcoming movie of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. Like our first look at the film, this latest trailer highlights the battle of light vs. darkness that young Meg Murry (Storm Reid) is thrust into while trying to find her absent father. This time around, we also get to hear more from Meg herself and see her fantastic brain and heart in action. RELATED: The Re-Read: A Wrinkle in Time A Wrinkle in Time looks aesthetically stunning, and I’m confident that the movie, like the book, will help young girls realize they can be capable heroes like Meg — always a nice change of pace…

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Gloria Steinem Biopic Will Bring the Icon’s Memoir to Life

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Julianne Moore is set to star as Steinem, with director Julie Taymor at the helm. As acclaimed masters in their fields, both women bring as much to the table as the feminist icon herself. Moore had an Oscar-winning turn in Still Alice, the film of Lisa Genova’s novel about early-onset Alzheimer’s. Likewise, Taylor is the brains behind a Tony Award-winning production of The Lion King—though biopics are also familiar territory. In 2002 she directed Frida, in which Salma Hayek played the artist Frida Kahlo. “When I read the book, it demanded that it be a film,” Taymor said of Steinem’s memoir. “It’s so vividly cinematic.” My Life on the Road, Gloria Steinem My Life on the Road is Steinem’s coming-of-age…

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9 Books for Fans of ‘Murder on the Orient Express’

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The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express has finally hit theaters. Actor Kenneth Branagh stars as the iconic French sleuth Hercule Poirot, whose train journey is derailed by the murder of a notorious passenger. As one might expect from an adaptation of the Queen of Crime’s works, there are as many red herrings as there are potential suspects, and such close quarters creates a palpable sense of menace. Once violence breaks out on board, there’s nowhere to run—forcing predator and prey to sit side by side. The release has gotten us thinking about our other favorite mysteries—especially those set on trains. From a Patricia Highsmith classic to Poirot’s very first investigation, these books are perfect reads…

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