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Biography

Review: ‘Song of a Captive Bird’ is a Stunning Account of Famed Iranian Poet Forugh Farrokhzad’s Life

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Not quite historical fiction and not quite biography, there’s a genre that exists halfway in between and Jasmin Darznik’s Song of a Captive Bird: A Novel fits perfectly. While the book is fiction, it documents the real life and times of Forugh Farrokhzad, the Iranian poet. Forugh led a fairly controversial life for her time – fiercely independent, she wrote from a strong feminist perspective; her poetry was considered to be so controversial that it remained banned for about ten years after the Iranian Revolution. Now, she is thought of as one of Iran’s most famous and influential poets and an early advocate for feminism, women’s rights and independence. Jasmin Darznik’s novel tells the story of Forugh’s childhood and life in Tehran.…

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Best of BookTrib 2017: 2009 VMA Run-in with Kanye West Did Not Damage Taylor Swift’s ‘Reputation,’ Says Fan Fav Biography

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Today we take a look at previous BookTrib posts that engaged hundreds to thousands of readers this past year. We’re taking a look back at some of your favorite posts before we kick off the new year! The most unforgettable and bizarre year in VMA history was 2009. Michael Jackson was dead, Lady Gaga was gross, Brittany Spear’s made a comeback and Hip-Hop ruled. However, the one thing that is forever etched in the annals of VMA history was the moment Kanye West jumped on stage and interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for Video of the Year. Swift seemed genuinely shocked, as were most people in the audience and at home.  This single incident could have ended of both careers,…

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2017 Goodreads Choice Award Winners Are Here! How Did Our Picks Match Up?

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Yesterday, Goodreads announced their 2017 Choice Award Winners. If you recall, BookTrib’s Senior Editor, Aisha K. Staggers, and Contributor, Rachel Carter, shared their picks from their list of nominees. Here are the winners of the Goodreads Choice Awards for 2017, see how our picks match up! 2017 Winner in Fiction Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng Aisha: We featured a lot of the books nominated here on BookTrib, so it was a difficult choice. I chose Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. I have a teenage daughter and so I could relate to the main character being a single mom and raising a daughter at that stage in her development. What really was interesting to me was how boldly the author addressed the transracial adoption;…

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‘The Voice’ Star Blake Shelton Named People’s 2017 #SexiestManAlive

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As lovers of all things romance, we can’t help but to salivate over People Magazine‘s annual #SexiestManAlive cover story. People has been nominating each year’s #SexiestManAlive since 1985, starting Mel Gibson. This year’s winner is country singer Blake Shelton who said, “Ya’ll must be running out of people” in that fluttery southern drawl that is to die for! Today, honor seven of the #SexiestMenAlive from 1985 to present day with steamy, sexy bios and memoirs.   1985: Mel Gibson: Man on a Mission, Wensley Clarkson In 1985, the first year of #SexiestManAlive came out in People Magazine, and rugged, sexy Mel Gibson was the star! Just reaching fame in the Mad Max movies, Mel was a bit uneasy about his growing place as a celebrity. In this biography by…

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From Kennedys to (Rat) Kings: 7 New Releases with a Twist

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This week’s list of new releases is one of the most diverse book suggestions we’ve given so far— full of bold writing and interesting topics.  Some of these are new to print and others are re-issues, re-tellings and new translations. MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews returns with a new book on Bobby Kennedy; Wicked author Gregory Macguire invites readers to explore another twist on an old tale; Kate White’s beloved Bailey Weggins reappears; and the first novel from Madagascar has been translated into English. Grab a handful of Halloween candy and treat yourself to one of these new reads. Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit, Chris Matthews The Kennedys have been in the news recently, with the last of the files on…

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Prince, John Grisham, Anna Faris, Oliver Sacks and Nikki Giovanni Reign!: New Books, Old Favs

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If there was ever a list of new releases that displayed the kind of diversity and breadth that we love about books, it would be this list. We have one of the most intimate books of the personal life of Prince (you never forget your first time hearing a Prince song), as well as the diary entries of Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx, following his spiral down into heroin addiction, paranoia, and efforts to draw himself back up; the Bush twins, Jenna and Barbara (#BestSisterEver) have documented their time growing up in the White House, with Secret Service agents following them to college, and Oliver Sacks’ last book that he was working on before his death. If you’re looking for a…

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‘A Private View’: Afshin Shahidi’s New Book Gives a Rare Glimpse into Prince’s Private Life

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One of my favorite pictures of Prince is the cover photo of Afshin Shahidi’s book, Prince: A Private View, which was released today. One of the reasons I am so enamored of this picture is due to the striking contrast of black and white in Prince’s clothing against the simplistic set— what appears to be a plain hallway. What is even more endearing to me as a 30+ year fan is that Prince, who was of a smaller stature, even in the most ordinary of spaces was ginormous. He was a larger than life figure in life and in his passing his absence has left a chasm that no artist now or in the future will be able to fill.…

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‘Unbelievable’ New Releases You Can’t Wait to Read!

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Two weeks into September and it’s finally starting to feel like fall, and with the new season, comes new books! From riveting autobiographies and intense dramas, to provoking sci-fi and secret love, here are eight new books just released this week. The wide variety of genres ensures that there’s something for everybody to read. Forest Dark: A Novel, Nicole Krauss From acclaimed author Nicole Krauss comes her latest novel, a vivid story centered around the lives of two very different people, one an older, recently retired partner of a law firm, and the other a young, well-known novelist going through both personal and professional troubles. Both find themselves in Israel, desperately searching for something they haven’t been able to find. Full of…

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2009 VMA Run-in with Kanye West Did Not Damage Taylor Swift’s ‘Reputation,’ Says Fan Fav Biography

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The most unforgettable and bizarre year in VMA history was 2009. Michael Jackson was dead, Lady Gaga was gross, Brittany Spear’s made a comeback and Hip-Hop ruled. However, the one thing that is forever etched in the annals of VMA history was the moment Kanye West jumped on stage and interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for Video of the Year. Swift seemed genuinely shocked, as were most people in the audience and at home.  This single incident could have ended of both careers, but it had just the opposite effect. As a result of this awkward situation, both artists were catapulted into into super stardom. Kanye proved he was bad-ass and Taylor Swift became the darling of America and a…

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Gentleman Prefer Books: Flirty Marilyn Monroe Reads

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BookTrib is partnering with Early Bird Books to bring you more great content, including this article on the 55th anniversary of Marilyn’s death. We’re turning to the books that reveal the woman behind the glamour who led a troubled, but extraordinary life. In June of 1926, a girl named Norma Jeane was born to an unknown father and flapper mother. Within a span of ten years, she became an orphan—shuffled around the California foster care system. But by the mid-1940s, she started signing contracts with Hollywood’s most famous studios. This marked the end of Norma Jeane, the orphan, and herald the arrival an American icon and sex symbol: Marilyn Monroe. It’s been 55 years since Marilyn died, but time has done nothing to weaken her hold…

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‘Mick Jagger: Primitive Cool’ is Sure to Give You “Satisfaction”

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It’s 2017, Mick Jagger just turned seventy-four on July 26th, and the music from The Rolling Stones is still rocking and rolling. What does that mean for you? It means that you, dear reader, have to check out Mick Jagger: Primitive Cool by Christopher Sandford. The book originally came out in 1993, around Jagger’s fiftieth birthday. It, among other things, tracks the last fifty years of him and the Stones. Well, since it is his birthweek again, twenty-four years later, we think this book deserves an encore. In this interesting read, Sandford sugarcoats nothing. Everything is raw and real. While writing this book, Sandford had access to Jagger’s school records, old friends, and even Tom Keylock, the Stones’ “fixer.” Obviously, this…

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BOOK NEWS ROUNDUP: A Jumanji First-Look; Ghost Rider on Agents of SHIELD; Bruce Springsteen’s New Memoir

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Time for a mid-week book news roundup! Each week BookTrib is bringing you quick commentary regarding news from across the web, from TV to comics to books galore, if it has a literary twist– it’s on our radar. Take a look at this week’s book-related picks: Jumanji is happening folks, deal with it. Chris Van Allsburg’s 1981 children’s picture book sure has had an exciting run, and it’s still inspiring new works 36 years later. The 1995 film starring the late Robin Williams, Bonnie Hunt and a young Kirsten Dunst, became an instant classic; one I wish they never touched—but still, a continuation is underway. The newest film will star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and everyone’s (OK, my)…

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Video: Interview with Gary Vikan and Sacred and Stolen: Confessions of a Museum Director

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Sacred and Stolen is the memoir of an art museum director with the courage to reveal what goes on behind the scenes. It lays bare the messy part of museums: looted antiquities, crooked dealers, deluded collectors, duplicitous public officials, fakes, inside thefts, bribery, and failed exhibitions. These back stories, at once shocking and comical, reveal a man with a taste for adventure, an eagerness to fan the flames of excitement, and comfort with the chaos that often ensued. This is also the story of a Minnesota kid who started out as a printer’s devil in his father’s small-town newspaper and ended up as the director of a the Walters, a gem of an art museum in Baltimore. Of his quest…

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Go Team USA: Inspiring Books to Get You in the 2016 Summer Olympics Spirit!

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Ahhh, the Olympics: the magical time of year when you’re allowed to chant “USA! USA! USA!” un-ironically with your face painted like Old Glory. But while this week marks the kick off of the 2016 Summer Olympics, this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro seem a little different, amidst controversy about the water in Rio, concerns about the Zika Virus, debates about nation-wide bans due to doping and anxiety over event security, these Games seem more than a little hectic and apprehensive. Despite the (valid) trepidations many have over the Summer Olympic Games, fundamentally, the Olympics are a time to celebrate. The world is already pretty crazy, so it’s helpful to remember that people are, in fact, capable of coming…

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Get Dolled Up For These Giveaways!

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Comment for a chance to win one of this week’s brand spanking new titles. Do Big Small Things by Bruce Poon Tip Armed with this rough-and-tumble field journal, prepare to embark on a wondrous, eclectic journey packed with inspiration and activities from around the globe. Page by page, it will challenge you to write, rip, make, and share as you blast out of your comfort zone, dream big, and pay it forward. Wherever you find yourself—on a plane, trekking through Nepal, or in your living room—this book will inspire you to create a vibrant record of your adventures and to push the limits of your mind. The result is a deeply personal gallery of shared surprises, hidden treasures, sudden epiphanies,…

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Video: Missed It? Interview with Rupert Isaacson and The Long Ride Home

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When his son Rowan was diagnosed with autism, Rupert Isaacson feared they might never communicate. But when he discovered Rowan responded to horses, they traveled to Mongolia–the spiritual home of the horse–where shaman banished the tantrums, the incontinence, and the hopeless isolation. A year later, Rowan started regressing. Only then did Rupert remember the shaman had told him that they must make three more healing journeys. So they went: to the Bushmen of Namibia and Australia’s coastal rainforests, and to America’s Navajo reservation, discovering new ways of connecting with autistic children using nature, movement, and animals, unlocking children from their most severe symptoms and developing two internationally known programs: Horse Boy Method and Movement Method. The Long Ride Home is…

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