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Alison MacLeod’s ‘All the Beloved Ghosts’ is Short Story Gold

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all the beloved ghosts review

“Short stories are like pots on a potter’s wheel”, said Alison MacLeod in an interview for Matter Magazine. “They seem slippery and mysterious when I write them: I don’t know how they’re going to take shape (or if they will) but I trust my instincts and I trust the story to arrive at the shape it needs to be.” She also said that she is “intrigued by the dovetailing of fact and fiction.” This is very evident in all the stories in All the Beloved Ghosts where fact and fiction are woven together, often with iconic figures at the center of an imaginative vision. A sequence of photographs taken on Princess Diana’s last day form the basis of ‘Dreaming Diana:…

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The To-Read Shelf on Goodreads Catalogues My Future Self

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As an avid reader, I adore using Goodreads. It’s the perfect place to organize all of my books and reviews, to place books on my to-read shelf, to vote in their annual book awards, and to get recommendations for the latest reads in genres I love. As an author, it’s also a great place to connect with readers, and to get the true pulse of what the reading community has to say about your work. No other site brings readers and authors together in quite the same way, breaking down barriers and allowing the whole literary community to take part in discussing their favorite books. Did I mention the to-read shelf? It’s one of my favorite features of Goodreads, as…

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So, You Want to be a Writer? Keep Reading!

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I’m sampling canapés at a party when someone walks up with a J.K. Rowling gleam in their eye. “I hear that you’re an editor. I have this great idea for a book, but I’m not sure how to get started. What do you recommend?” As I stifle the urge to fling the hummus in their general direction, I recommend those classics that I’ve long used for classes, writing workshops and myself: On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction (Harper Perennial, 2006) by William Zinsser, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott (Anchor, 1995), and Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg (Shambhala, 2005). For guys, I’ll usually toss in Stephen…

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The Books on Bridget Jones’s Imaginary Bookshelf

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It’s hard to fully encapsulate the amazingness that is Bridget Jones’s Diary. Helen Fielding’s book is fantastic, and the movie is even better. (Seriously, come at me). Between the most relatable female heroine ever, the objectively least-crazy-most-sensible-while-still-being-attractive leading man, and quite possibly the greatest, least graceful fight scene in movie history, 2001’s Bridget Jones’s Diary is my favorite romantic comedy film. It will never be beaten. It will never be surpassed. It is flawless. The sequel was bitterly disappointing. Let’s not talk about it. However, whether we like it or not, Bridget Jones is having a baby. Preliminary reviews for the new film are fairly positive, which I’m taking as a good sign. It’s being directed by the original film’s…

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Heat Index: 5 Hot New Books with Beautiful Covers

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: great covers can get me to read almost any genre. There’s something about a beautifully designed cover that just reaches out to me and I want — no, need — that physical book in my hand. So for this week’s Heat Index we’re absolutely judging these books by their covers. But it’s important to note that an attractive cover is not the only thing each of these books have going for them. The stories that live on the pages between the covers are just as beautiful, poignant and rich. So judging by these five hot new beautifully designed covers, I already knew I was going to go crazy for the tales they tell. Boy, was I right!…

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From TV to Books: We’re Currently Obsessed with Beauty and the Beast

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Lately it seems like Beauty and the Beast retellings are everywhere. First there’s the live action reboot starring Emma Watson that’s scheduled to come out next year. And then there’s The CW’s Beauty and the Beast, which premiered its fourth and final season on June 2. Not that I’m complaining; I love a good fairy tale retelling, and The CW version, starring Kristin Kreuk and Jay Ryan, is definitely one of my current TV obsessions. It took until last year for me to try out the crime romance, but now I’m hooked. I won’t pretend that it’s the best show on The CW, but Beauty and the Beast is romantic, heartfelt and just campy enough to be fun. Kreuk stars…

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2016 Book-To-Movie Adaptations that Lived Up to its Literary Counterpart

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You know the saying, “never judge a book by its cover?” Well, I’m going to shake it up a bit and throw this one out to you: how about never judge a book by its movie adaptation. For most people, the book is almost always better than the movie—typically you prefer to read a book before seeing the story in its movie form and that’s usually the case for most movie goers. But, every so often you stumble upon some hidden gems in the entertainment world that don’t totally screw up its literary counterpart. They’re just as good, if not better, than the book it’s based off of. Now, I’m not saying that every single movie on this list knocked it…

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The Top 10 April Books We’re Crazy About

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If you live in a cold climate, April is that heartbreak month where you’re ready for warm weather but you just keep getting dumped with rain and snow. Luckily, there are some great new books coming out soon to warm us up while we desperately pray for spring flowers, sunshine and warmth. Here are 10 April releases that we’re pretty crazy about: One with You: A Crossfire Novel by Sylvia Day (St. Martin’s Griffin, April 5) Day’s Crossfire series has captivated fans across the world, becoming an international bestseller and a phenomenon that just can’t seem to quit. One with You is the final book in the series, wrapping up the romance between the two damaged soulmates, Eva and Gideon. Often compared to 50…

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