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Patti Callahan Henry shares an excerpt from The Stories We Tell

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From Booklist: Eve Morrison owns a successful letterpress studio known for a greeting card line she and her sister, Willa, devised while growing up in a fundamentalist household. Her marriage to old-money southern gentleman Teddy is already under stress, but the tension ratchets up unbearably when Teddy is involved in a car accident in which Willa is seriously injured. Eve can’t figure out what actually happened that night. Is Teddy having an affair? Were the two involved in the death of a homeless man? Was Willa, a recovering alcoholic, drinking? Henry paints an intriguing portrait of a woman surrounded by people who may have something to hide. Eventually, Eve is forced to recognize and face the problems in her marriage…

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Exploring San Francisco’s Fairyland with Alysia Abbott

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When Alysia Abbott’s mother died in a car accident, her father Steve took his 3-year-old daughter to San Francisco, where he could be out and proud as a poet and gay activist in the 1970s and ’80s. In her memoir, Fairyland (released in paperback on June 2nd, and recently named a 2014 Stonewall Honor Book), Alysia reflects on her unorthodox upbringing. “It’s a bad kind of life you’re giving Alysia, growing up around queers,” one of Steve’s boyfriends remarked. Yet Alysia strangely relished being “the only child among adults and the only girl among men.” There was something very special about the Abbotts’ relationship: “There were no models. For better and for worse, my father was making up the rules…

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Holy Mother of Dragons — scaly beasts are hot, hot, hot!

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Lately it seems like dragons are everywhere. Whether you’re turning on the television, picking up a book, or heading to the movies, you’re almost guaranteed to see a fire-breathing, scale-wearing, high-flying creature. Not that we’re complaining. Dragons are a staple of the world of fantasy, way more badass than unicorns and certainly more interesting than fairies. We say bring on the dragons! And here are some of the best that have recently caught our eye: How to Train Your Dragon 2 The first movie was a feel-good adventure about a boy named Hiccup and the dragon he befriends. The sequel, out in theaters now, promises to be even better. Hiccup and his friends have come of age, and with maturity…

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Jonesin’ for a Fix: Books for TV Addicts — Bates Motel edition

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Always mind your mother. Sometimes this old adage fades as we get older and rebel but not for our geeky, albeit murderous, anti-hero, Norman Bates. He sticks close to his mother, the equally murderous Norma. In Bates Motel’s first season, we saw the closer-than-they-should-be mother and son duo dispose of a body (remember Norma’s killer tendencies? It’s best not to give her knives) and keep local law enforcement from unearthing it. Side plots abounded, as they do in the best shows: Norman flirted with his first sexual encounter (you can guess Norma’s feelings on the matter); Norma cozied up to a sheriff’s deputy, ostensibly to keep tags on the murder investigation (and surely you can guess Norman’s feelings seeing his…

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Jonesin’ for a Fix: Books for TV Addicts — Once Upon a Time edition

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Have you finally thawed out from Once Upon a Time’s icy cold cliff-hanger? Well, actually, it was less of a cliff-hanger and more of a total fairy-tale tease. We’re not quite sure if we’re OK with how things ended with our misguided heroes—Emma in the arms of Hook, a man she had been adamant on NOT ending up with, Regina finding love only to have her world crushed like Graham’s heart circa Season One by the return of Robin Hood’s used-to-be dead wife, and don’t even get us started on the lack of substantial consequences to Emma traveling back in time and almost erasing her entire family line. How about those last 45 seconds? Were you expecting Disney’s newest Princess-turned-Queen…

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Jonesin’ for a Fix: Books for TV Addicts (Agents of SHIELD edition)

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Hail Hydra! No, just kidding. We’re on the SHIELD team all the way, although to be technical right now it’s more like Agents of NOTHING. When we last left our heroes at the season finale of Marvel Agents of SHIELD, Phil Coulson—agent extraordinaire and their fearless leader—had gone all Sheldon Cooper and was writing on the walls. We’d like to tell you it was a scientific formula except we have no idea. We also have no idea just what alien secrets lurk in agents Coulson and Skye, whether sudden mega-human John Garrett will stay dead, if engineer Leo Fitz will ever be himself again and if Melinda “the Cavalry” May will ever admit her affection for Coulson. And what about…

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Video: Missed It? Interview with Andrew Gross and No Way Back

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No Way Back is a thrilling page-turner from Andrew Gross, the New York Times bestselling author of15 Seconds and The Blue Zone. One woman is framed for a horrific crime, and desperate to prove her innocence. A chance meeting with a stranger in a hotel ends in a shocking murder. Wendy Gould is an average mom—and the only witness. Nanny Lauritzia Velez knows a shocking secret that could prove to be deadly. Both of their lives in danger, this unlikely pair must work together against a network of dangerous men who want nothing more than to see them dead. A fast-paced, riveting tale with strong, compelling characters, No Way Back is an edge-of-your-seat read with nonstop action and a complex mystery.…

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Jonesin’ for a Fix: Books for TV Addicts — Walking Dead Edition

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TV addiction is real! It is a condition I’m plagued with every day of my life. Now that we’ve established I have a compulsion to watch television on a daily basis (raise your hand if you suffer from this, too), it’s no surprise that I go a bit mad when my shows, in this case, The Walking Dead, finishes up for the season. Why do you do this to us, AMC? It’s torture! Hiatuses are such a drag, especially when you’re invested in a post-apocalyptic world where the dead are trying to eat your brains and the people that you love, or just tolerate, are dropping like flies. Have no fear, Books for TV Addicts are here! The break between…

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Video: Missed It? Interview with M.J. Rose, Author of The Collector of Dying Breaths

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THE COLLECTOR OF DYING BREATHS Florence, Italy—1533: An orphan named René le Florentin is plucked from poverty to become Catherine de Medici’s perfumer. Traveling with the young duchessina from Italy to France, René brings with him a cache of secret documents from the monastery where he was trained: recipes for exotic fra­grances and potent medicines—and a formula for an alchemic process said to have the poten­tial to reanimate the dead. From the internationally bestselling author, a lush and imaginative novel that crisscrosses time as passion and obsessions collide In France, René becomes not only the greatest perfumer in the country, but also the most dangerous, creating deadly poisons for his Queen to use against her rivals. But while mixing herbs…

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STEAL THE NORTH is vocally graceful and fearlessly intimate

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Vocally graceful and fearlessly intimate, STEAL THE NORTH is a striking portrait of modern identity, faith, family, and love in all of its forms. In their starred review, Booklist said of the book’s plot and characters: “Bergstrom’s magnetic debut resonates on several levels, but first and foremost it is a poignant story of the love between two mismatched teens… The reader becomes involved in this thoroughly engaging first novel’s denouement because of how perceptively Bergstrom has drawn her central characters.” With visceral writing and engaging characters, reminiscent of Ann Patchett and Sue Monk Kidd, Heather Brittain Bergstrom has delivered a novel that will appeal to literary and commercial readers alike, especially those who enjoy YA and Women’s fiction. “Bergstrom has…

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Video: Missed It? Live Interview with Ariel Lawhon, Author of THE WIFE, THE MAID, AND THE MISTRESS

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    “More meticulously choreographed than a chorus line. It all pays off.” –THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW     THE WIFE, THE MAID, AND THE MISTRESS A wickedly entertaining novel that reconstructs one of America’s most famous unsolved mysteries–the disappearance of Justice Joseph Crater in 1930–as seen through the eyes of the three women who knew him best: his wife, his maid, and his mistress. Representing three very different walks of life, Stella, Ritzi and Maria reveal a New York City brimming with seediness and contradictions, a place where women are second-class citizens and greed and desire permeate the lives of those who live on both sides of the law. “Inspired by a real-life unsolved mystery, this mesmerizing novel features characters…

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Gabrielle Zevin’s enchanting tale of love, books and second chances

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Occasionally you find a book that is so sweet and charming that you can’t help but fall in love. This happened for me on a flight to Dallas in January. I read THE STORIED LIFE OF A.J. FIKRY, by Gabrielle Zevin, in one giant gulp and found myself laughing and crying simultaneously in the baggage claim area of DFW while I waited for the my ride. It is the story of a widowed book seller who finds new love and new life when a stranger leaves a surprise package in his bookstore one afternoon. But the book is more than that. It’s a love song to books and those who sell them. It’s filled with the joy and wonder and…

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Video: Missed It? Interview with Jason Mott, Author of THE RETURNED, inspired the new ABC series “Resurrection”

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“In his exceptional debut novel, poet Mott brings drama, pathos, joy, horror, and redemption to a riveting tale.” -Publishers Weekly, starred review “This book offers a beautifully written and emotionally astute lens at our world gone awry….Poet and debut author Mott has written a breathtaking novel that navigates emotional minefields with realism and grace.” -Kirkus, starred review “Jacob was time out of sync, time more perfect than it had been. He was life the way it was supposed to be all those years ago. That’s what all the Returned were.” Harold and Lucille Hargrave’s lives have been both joyful and sorrowful in the decades since their only son, Jacob, died tragically at his eighth birthday party in 1966. In their…

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There’s pie all over Adam’s Grove

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Here in southern Virginia where I’m from, it’s tradition to celebrate a holiday with food. And I don’t mean just some holidays, I mean every little holiday that pops up on the calendar. Even a few that don’t! Take Pi day, for instance. Seems perfectly obvious to me celebrate Pi day with pie. And if I must make a math calculation out of it, I’ll gladly cut my homemade blender custard pie into 3.14 slices and share it with a couple of y’all. (As long as I’m not the one with the .14 bite!) I know I’m not the only one who’d rather eat pie than do math. Mac Honeycutt, owner of Mac’s Bakery in the fictional town of Adams…

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Live Interview with Wiley Cash, Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author

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The critically acclaimed author of the New York Times bestseller A Land More Kind Than Home—hailed as “a powerfully moving debut that reads as if Cormac McCarthy decided to rewrite Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird” (Richmond Times Dispatch)—returns with a resonant novel of love and atonement, blood and vengeance, set in western North Carolina, involving two young sisters, a wayward father, and an enemy determined to see him pay for his sins.   WILEY CASH March 18, 2014 at 1:00 PM (ET) This Dark Road to Mercy After their mother’s unexpected death, twelve-year-old Easter and her six-year-old sister Ruby are adjusting to life in foster care when their errant father, Wade, suddenly appears. Since Wade signed away his legal…

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