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Harper Perennial

Summer Reading Redemption: English Class Reads that Deserve Second Chances

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High school sucked, right? Totally. Anyway, remember all those books you had to read? Turns out some of them were pretty good! Overcome your pimply PTSD and revisit some classics you may have overlooked back in the day. Matt’s Take Hey, who remembers high school? Because I sure don’t. My terrible bouts of awkwardness and raging hormones made sure I blocked out the majority of those four years. But some memories just stick, like assigned readings, and getting rejected by cheerleading captain Joanna Michaels*. Damn, she was ice cold. If you were at all like me in high school, there were some books you enjoyed and some you flat-out hated. We enjoy doing things on our own time, not when…

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You’re Not Fooling Anyone: Book Bromances That Should Totally Just be Romances

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Ever read a book and wonder why the main characters who are best of friends aren’t just dating each other? Sometimes, if they’re lucky, they will fall in love by the end of the story. However, in many cases, friendship doesn’t always lead to love; which is why we simply call it a bromance. However, let’s step outside of the heterosexual box and take a look at a few literary friendships that, let’s face it, would totally work better as just plain romances. Here, Matt and Katie from the BookTrib staff pick their top three bromances they pretty much consider a relationship: Matt’s Top 3: Frodo and Sam: The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkein (Mariner Books, 2005) Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee are…

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The Top 10 July Books We’re Bringing to the Beach

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There’s nothing like laying out beside a pool on a 90 degree day and enjoying a good book. Or maybe blasting the air conditioner and lounging on the couch is more your summer scene. Either way, we’re officially in the heart of summer, and that means barbecues and boat rides, long vacations where you get more burned than tanned, and a few good books to lazily read by the beach. July is one of the best months to discover new books, as publishers work to put out their best summer beach reads — and we’re more than happy to help you pick through all their offerings. Here are the top 10 new releases you should definitely be bringing to the beach this…

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5 Mind-Bending Books to Read Before Wayward Pines Returns

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It takes a really great show to get me hooked like Wayward Pines did. Just when you think that life in this strange town is settling into normalcy the very last shot of the final episode reveals some deeply disturbing occurrences. I was completely sucked into this series the entire time and I ran out and bought all the novels by Blake Crouch the day after the series finale. Even after I finished those amazing reads, though, I found myself wanting more stories about futuristic, sci-fi, and dystopian communities just to keep me satisfied. I went on a hunt for new books in the same twisted vein as Wayward Pines but I found myself going back to classic books and short…

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8 Books that Inspired Oscar Nominations and 2 Notable Snubs

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The Oscars are just days away! Despite the completely justifiable controversy surrounding the lack of diversity within the nominees that spawned an outcry of disappointment on Twitter, we couldn’t help but notice an unusually high percentage of books represented by this year’s nominees. We’re always thrilled to see great reads on the big screen so here you go, fellow book lovers, our guide to Oscar’s favorite books: Best Picture Nominees: The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, Michael Lewis (Norton, 2011) This star-studded comedy drama about the lead-up to the financial crisis of 2008 is based on a book by Michael Lewis. He also happens to be the author of Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game and The Blind…

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TED Talks: John McWhorter on Why Texting is Good for the Brain

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Do you hate or love the lingo we use while texting? Do the grammatical inaccuracies irk you, or do you delight in the weird way we shorten words and create new ones? In this eye-opening talk from TED 2013, linguist John McWhorter discusses the way texting is revolutionizing the way our brains process language. He calls texting “fingered speech,” and argues that it is an entirely new language that our minds process like speech but enable by typing. Instead of killing language, like many people view the new sloppy-looking writing of texting, McWhorter reveals that texting represents an entirely new way of writing and communicating, and argues that it’s good for our brains. This refreshing, funny and engaging talk reveals…

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Popular ‘Welcome to Night Vale’ Podcast Now Available in Print

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So how’s this for peculiar? There’s a small town in the Southwestern United States where strange things happen. There’s a dog park, but neither people nor dogs are allowed in it. You can go to the Arby’s, but you have to ignore the mysterious lights that are floating above it. The Sheriff’s Secret Police patrol the skies in their friendly blue helicopters—but you want to steer clear of the black choppers. The town described above is the fictional burg of Night Vale, and it’s the setting of the mega-popular podcast Welcome to Night Vale. Described as Lake Wobegon as if it were written by Stephen King, the twice-monthly podcast is a news report narrated by fictional character Cecil Palmer, who…

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Review: From Wall-E to the Terminator, Should We Be Worried About AI?

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When you think of artificial intelligence, what is the first thing that pops into your mind? Wall-E? The Terminator? Should we be worried about machines that think? Some of the most influential scientists and technological pioneers of this era are worried about the prospect of artificial intelligence (AI). Stephen Hawking says the advent of AI could “spell the end of the human race.” Elon Musk calls it an “existential threat.” Bill Gates is “concerned.” Popular culture certainly hasn’t helped quell any fears about evil killer robots taking over the planet and enslaving humanity. From spooky classics like The Terminator to modern hits like Ex Machina, we’ve been conditioned to respond to the notion of AI with hostility and fear. However,…

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Smart Reads: 4 Books to Inspire Awe, Insight and Laughter

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School is back in session and we’re craving the sort of books that fill us with awe and inspiration. As the days cool down we want to curl up with a steaming mug and a book that gives us a feast for thought. We’ve got four great books that are brimming with insight, humor and fresh ideas. Check out the grades next to each book to see how we rank our selections in this new column for nonfiction books called Smart Reads. The Road to Character by David Brooks (Random House, April 2015) “[The Road to Character is] a hyper-readable, lucid, often richly detailed human story. . . . In the age of the selfie, Brooks wishes to exhort us back to…

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