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Jim Alkon

Jim Alkon has 18 articles published.

Jim Alkon
Jim Alkon is Editorial Director of BookTrib.com and Senior Director, Marketing and Strategy, for BookTrib creator Meryl Moss Media. Jim is a veteran of the business-to-business media and marketing worlds, with extensive experience on both the business development and content sides. But Jim is a writer at heart – whether a book review, blog, white paper, corporate communication, marketing or sales piece, it really doesn’t matter as long as he is having fun and someone is benefitting from it.

The “Breaking Bad” of Books: Gailey’s “The Guilt We Carry”

in Thrillers by

As author Samuel W. Gailey introduces one seedy character after another to a troubled teenager trying to find herself in his latest novel, The Guilt We Carry (Oceanview Publishing), one can only hope there’s a payoff down the line – for the characters and for the readers themselves. Believe me, there is. Called the “Breaking Bad” of books, The Guilt We Carry, overloaded with downtrodden personalities and sprinkled with a few noble ones, is a fast-paced and enthralling thriller in which a duffel bag stuffed with $91,000 is the hot potato of happiness for many of the players, in particular protagonist Alice O’Farrell. For much of the story, the sack of cash represents escape from life on the run for Alice,…

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No Plot, Just Lots of Laughs & Tips on Sex and Dating

in Save The World by

When I first heard about Lost the Plot, the innovative imprint publisher of Australian firm Pantera Press that is making its foray into the United States, I thought: cute name, cuter logo, and left it at that….until tasked with the assignment of reviewing two of its titles about dating and sex. Suddenly it all made sense. Consider: Just the Tip: Sex Tips for Chicks by Gay Dudes, and #Single: Dating in the 21st Century by nobody in particular. But first things first: let’s consider Lost the Plot. “Imagination unplugged. Prepare to enter a world that straddles the lines of art, luxury, gauche and gross,” their website reads. “Lost the Plot tackles topics that affect and engage the next generation of…

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What, Me Worry? Jen Epstein Tackles Her Inner Demons

in Nonfiction by

If Jen Epstein wasn’t worrying about something, we’d all be worried. Such is the life of a born worrier. As a child she worried her uvula would break off and she would swallow it and choke to death. Then she worried high voltage wires would get her. Eventually, she was diagnosed with learning disabilities and later, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. All this fits into a nice, tidy package called Don’t Get Too Excited: It’s Just About a Pair of Shoes and Other Laments From My Life (Green Writers Press), in which Jen, with her self-depreciating humor, exposes her inner demons with stories that are sometimes heartbreaking and always deeply personal, tapping into the minutiae of her life with distinctive style and themes…

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Before Your Hurl Your Phones Into the Trash, Think Again

in Save The World by

Despite pleas to the contrary, technology has not created a monster in our society. Many would argue that the technology that was supposed to connect us to an easier, better-informed life has tipped us in the other direction, creating unnecessary stress and distance in our lives. Consider: The average person touches his or her mobile device more than 2,600 times a day. Digital entrepreneur Tanya Goodin, in Off: Your Digital Detox for a Better Life (Abrams Image), believes it isn’t about reverting to a tech-free way of life – it’s about balance. Off serves as a guide that will free up hours of your time, help you learn to cultivate a healthier relationship with your digital devices, and lead you…

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“Golden Handcuffs:” The Secret History of Trump’s Women

in Nonfiction by

Has any president in the history of the United States had a more fraught relationship with women than Donald Trump? He flagrantly cheated on all three of his wives, brushed off multiple accusations of sexual assault, publicly ogled his eldest daughter, and bought the silence of a porn star and a Playmate. How does he get away with this behavior in the era of #MeToo and #TimesUp? And what are the roots of this profound misogyny? Golden Handcuffs: The Secret History of Trump’s Women (Gallery Books) by Newsweek national politics correspondent Nina Burleigh, answers these questions by examining the six most important women in Donald Trump’s life – his mother and grandmother, his three wives, and his first-born daughter. The…

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Take Me Out To The Book Club, A Reader Celebration

in Girly Book Club by

“My drinking club has a book problem,”  said a wise humorist somewhere. As the hours wind down on National Reading Group Month, we have this to say to anyone who is not a member of a book club: our deepest sympathies. But of the many subscribers to the BookTrib newsletter and visitors to our website, chances are greater you belong to multiple book clubs than to none at all. Statistics indicate that well more than five million Americans belong to a book club. People join book clubs for many reasons: discuss books, socialize, get introduced to new authors and genres, escape household chores, eat, drink, assess neighbors’ design tastes, improve your quality of life, you name it. Whatever your reason,…

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What You Could Never Understand About the Universe

in Save The World by

This is not your mother’s coffee table book. Yes, Space is Cool as Fuck (Lost The Plot) is indeed a coffee table book, likely finding a permanent home in millennial living rooms around the globe. But it’s more than a hefty ornament – it’s everything you thought you could never understand about the universe explained in plain-old filthy English. It’s a visually astounding and creatively written book in which artists and scientists collide on the magical, wonderful infinity and possibilities of space. Space is Cool as Fuck, available this month in the U.S. from Lost the Plot, the innovative imprint of Australian publisher Pantera Press, provides a brief history of the universe that will leave you scratching your head and gazing…

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Love, Faith, and Writing: A Chat with Herb Freed

in Fiction by

We recently sat down with Herb Freed to discuss his new book Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants, now available for purchase. Herb Freed started his adult life as an ordained rabbi and became the spiritual leader of Temple Beth Shalom in Lake Mahopac, NY, while producing and directing three shows at the Maidman Playhouse in New York City. Eventually, he resigned his pulpit to become a movie director. He has directed and produced 15 feature films, most of which have psychological, spiritual and/or social themes in spite of their commercial categories. He is best known for Subterfuge, a major action film; Tomboy, a teenage romp; the psychological drama Haunts starring Mae Britt; and CHILD2MAN, a story of survival during the Watts riots. Want more BookTrib? Sign up NOW for…

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Life Stories Help Others Connect To Peace and Wisdom

in Nonfiction by

In 2011 Polly Wirum ran her last marathon. It had been part of her lifestyle, part of her identity. But struggling with her health, she spent almost a year seeking answers and eventually was diagnosed with a circulatory issue. That propelled her on another journey to seek different answers. “I found myself having to let go of everything in my life and have faith that I would live to raise my children,” says Wirum, a life coach and intuitive, in her new book Gateways 2 Peace (Gatekeeper Press). “My ability to live with faith brought me to my current life experience. It was during my many hours of resting that I found myself slipping into meditation. I also found myself praying.”…

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Books on the Subway Gets the Breast of Both Worlds

in Save The World by

Books on the Subway is one small typo away from being Boobs on the Subway. That recent realization sparked a unique and fascinating campaign to promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. Books on the Subway since 2013 has been leaving their favorite books on the New York subway with the mission to help people fall in love with reading again and make the subway a more friendly and enjoyable experience. When a friend of the organization pointed out the effect of the one-letter difference, the group had an idea they felt could make a bigger difference than just one letter. Books on the Subway’s monthly book club was reading The Bucket List (Atria) by Georgia Clark. “The idea was simple…

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Murakami: Putting Normal Characters in Weird Situations

in Fiction by

I first heard of Haruki Murakami a decade ago and instantly knew we had a connection. It was while reading the first pages of his tome 1Q84, in which a young woman riding a taxi on an elevated expressway in bumper-to-bumper traffic realizes she is going to miss an important meeting, grabs her shoulder bag, steps out of the cab, and negotiates the fully jammed expressway by foot until she can make her way to the nearest ramp. I try to picture someone doing this on the Long Island Expressway. What a concept, my kind of weirdness — and I had 1,174 pages to go! That book – and many others by Murakami– should have prepared me for Killing Commendatore…

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Writers Remember Pat Conroy in a Collection of Essays

in Nonfiction by

“You get a little moody sometimes, but I think that’s because you like to read. People that like to read are always a little f____d up.” So wrote bestselling author Pat Conroy in The Prince of Tides. Despite the amusing reference in one of his classic tales, Conroy, who died in 2016, must have had an inkling of his impact on so many readers, not to mention on so many lives. That would have been confirmed for him if he had the chance to see the treasure chest of essays in the just published work, Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy (The University of Georgia Press), edited by Nicole Seitz and Jonathan Haupt. Want more BookTrib? Sign up NOW for…

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Justine Bateman Dissects the Odd Phenomenon of Fame

in Nonfiction by

Ever wonder what it’s like to be famous? Of course you have. But would you sacrifice everything for the notoriety and fortune, or be content to avoid the baggage and stare from afar? Entertainment shows, magazines, websites, and other channels continuously report the latest sightings, heartbreaks, and triumphs of the famous to a seemingly insatiable public. Millions of people go to enormous lengths to achieve fame. And yet, is fame even real? Contrary to tangible realities, fame is one of those “realities” that we, as a society, have made. Why is that, and what is it about fame that drives us to spend so much time, money, and focus to create the framework that maintains its health? Now for those on…

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1,000 Books To Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List

in Potpourri by

If you visit the BookTrib.com website primarily for book discovery, we’re here to tell you about a book that can only be described as the consummate book discovery source. What’s so much fun about 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List (Workman Publishing) is you can start reading it on any of its almost 900 pages, and you don’t even have to finish it to thoroughly enjoy it. Want more BookTrib? Sign up NOW for news and giveaways! It took author and veteran bookseller James Mustich 14 years to compile and write 1,000 Books, which leads to an obvious question: why only 14 years? Understand up front this was not conceived as a book of the 1,000 Greatest Hits…

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Real-Life Mysteries Set Stage for “Black Diamond Fall”

in Fiction by

The disappearance of a college student. The vandalism of a famous poet’s residence. Throw in a frightful skiing accident and you’ve got the setup for Black Diamond Fall, a literary mystery by Joseph Olshan (Polis Books), best known for his works Clara’s Heart and Cloudland. The story takes place in wintry Vermont, where the author spends much of his time, and the book’s central themes are drawn from his own real-life experiences. Olshan offered some insight into the book, the plot, the characters and his writing in this BookTrib interview: BookTrib: Black Diamond Fall is based on two real events that happened in Vermont. Tell us about those events and how you tread the line between facts and literary fiction. Joseph…

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“The Mapmaker’s Daughter” Sheds a New Light on History

in Girly Book Club by

The Mapmaker’s Daughter (Delphinium Books) is one of the charter participants this month in BookTrib’s Book Club Booster Program with The Girly Book Club. Here’s a BookTrib Q&A with author Katherine Nouri Hughes  shortly after the book debuted last year. In her debut novel, The Mapmaker’s Daughter, Katherine Nouri Hughes gives insight into the historical tale of Cecilia Baflo Veniero, later known as Nurbanu, Queen Mother of the Ottoman Sultans. In a dramatic deathbed confessional, Nurbanu recounts a tragic life story from her beginnings as an illegitimately born child who was abandoned by both parents despite being given both the advantages of her mother’s intellect and her father’s nobility. Her relationship with Suleiman the Magnificent and the birth of their…

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