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Joan Didion

Liam Callanan on Bookstores, Travel and Magic of Paris

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Who doesn’t love Paris? Whether it’s the language, the culture, the food, or just that element of je ne sais quoi, there’s something magnetic about the city. With so many different words that could be used, it’s telling that perhaps the most common word to describe the city is magic. And no one, it seems, understands that better than author Liam Callanan. His latest novel, Paris by the Book (Dutton), is set in city and thoroughly explores the ways that Paris not only changes you, but allows you to change within it. When Leah’s husband disappears, leaving behind only airplane tickets to Paris for her and their two daughters, Leah makes a spur of the moment decision and puts them all on the plane. There,…

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Kathleen Hill’s Favorite Memoirs To Help Get You Through the Last Days of Our Writing Contest

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Inspired by an interview and memoir written by Kathleen Hill, BookTrib is hosting our first writing contest where anyone with a story to tell can write  for a chance to be a 2018 BookTrib Contributor.  Hill, who is also a professor of writing at Sarah Lawrence College will be judging the contest  along with Walt Gragg, author of The Red Line, and James R. Hannibal, author of The Fourth Ruby. We know many of you are looking forward to entering your work an need inspiration, but others, still, just want a list of recommended memoir to add to your collection. Here, we can oblige everyone with a list of suggested memoirs from Hill’s own personal collection along with her observations and recollections. Autobiography of…

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Early Bird Books: 13 Books Our Favorite Celebrities Love

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Stars—they read like us! We’ll be the first to admit that we love a bit of celebrity gossip—especially when it involves what’s on people’s shelves. Lately, stars like Reese Witherspoon and Emma Watson have been hopping on the book club train, selecting titles each month and leading thoughtful reading discussions with their fans. It’s been a great way to highlight the latest debut authors, or bring old, forgotten gems back into the limelight. We’re all about using fame to the benefit of a good book. Below, you’ll find recommendations that come straight from the mouths of our favorite celebrities. From childhood classics to later-in-life discoveries, these are the reads that have made lasting impressions on Academy Award winners, singers, and more. Tom Hanks Blood on…

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Early Bird Books: 10 of Our Favorite First Lines in Literature

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From Melville to Didion, these first sentences created lasting and notable impressions. Some of literature’s most iconic lines come to us within the first paragraphs of our favorite novels. They are the hooks onto which we latch, and the springboards that launch us further into the narrative. There’s a reason these words make up some of the most quotable lines in literature—readers simply can’t get them out of their heads. Take a look below to see some of our favorite opening lines. While first impressions can be tough, they won us over in just a single sentence. “You better not never tell nobody but God.”  The Color Purple By Alice Walker Set in the 1930s, The Color Purple details the…

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Bruce Springsteen, Carrie Fisher, Reality Stars and More:  50+ Memoir Deals for Under $16 

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Are you interested in reading about how some of your favorite actors and musicians became famous? Or maybe you want to know what it’s like to grow up in the White House. Whatever your interest, there is definitely a personal story here that will not only be worth your dollar, they may even inspire you to write your own! Here’s a great list of over 50 memoirs for Kindle, all under $16 (and some are even free)!   Famous Icons Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen Becoming Grandma, Lesley Stahl Turning the Tables, Teresa Giudice The Princess Diarist, Carrie Fisher The Heroin Diaries, Nikki Sixx Unqualified, Anna Faris Growing Up Fisher, Joely Fisher Whoa, Baby!, Kelly Rowland We’re Going to Need…

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*New Releases*: New York Magazine Turns 50, Joan Didion Gets a Second Look and ‘Girl Logic’ Rules!

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In addition to a host of political books released on election day,  we’re celebrating the release of a new book on the 50th anniversary of the New York Magazine with one of the most culturally-relevant coffee tables books, as well as comedian Iliza Shlesinger’s first book, Girl Logic (watch out for giveaways starting this Thursday!). Of course, we would be remiss to not mention the re-publication of Joan Didion’s non-fiction essays, a stunning collection full of everything we love about her writing. From non-fiction essays, some classic suspense novels, a famous vlogger taking on mental health with brutal honesty, and comedians taking on “a man’s world” with intelligence, grace, and hilarity, here are eight of the best new releases for the week. Highbrow, Lowbrow,…

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‘The Center Will Not Hold’: 24 Joan Didion Quotes That Strike a Nerve

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On the heels of its New York Film Festival premiere, Griffin Dunne’s Joan Didion documentary, The Center Will Not Hold, comes to Netflix on October 27. The film is a retrospect of the literary giant’s career, from her earliest successes to more present-day milestones—like the publication of her National Book Award winner, The Year of Magical Thinking. I saw the documentary during a screening at the film festival earlier this month. At the risk of sounding cliche, I laughed (Didion’s solution to writer’s block is putting manuscripts in the freezer), and I cried (a lot of time is dedicated to her late husband and daughter). For the first time, we get an intimate glimpse at a woman who, for the…

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Sex, Voyeurism, A Legendary Journalist And The Thin Line Between Fact And Fantasy

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Ever go to a hotel and wonder if anyone is watching you? Voyeur, a documentary shown this weekend at the Hamptons Film Festival about well-known journalist Gay Talese and motel owner Gerald Foos, the voyeur who chose him to write his story. It started more than thirty years earlier when Foos wrote a letter to Talese. Foos owned a small motel in Aurora Colorado that he turned into a laboratory designed specifically to spy on his clientele. In April, 2016 a controversial excerpt from Talese’s upcoming book The Voyeur’s Motel was published  in The New Yorker. Just before the book’s release, The Washington Post ran a story stating the book had factual inconsistencies threatening to destroy the story Talese was working on…

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An Excerpt of Joan Didion’s ‘Play It As It Lays’: Heart of the American Dream

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BookTrib is partnering with Early Bird Books to bring you more great content, including this article and excerpt from Joan Didion’s Play It As It Lays. Read on for more! An excerpt from the literary icon’s novel about loneliness and life’s unanswerable questions. The name Joan Didion is synonymous with a lot of things: the West Coast, a barely-there smile, a distanced but prescient prose. In fact, it’s impossible to read a line from, say, Slouching Towards Bethlehem without knowing exactly who you’re reading—and yet Didion herself has always remained something of an enigma. Though mostly known for her nonfiction, she’s the author of several screenplays and novels. Her fiction debut came in 1963 with Run, River, a book that was edited by her then-future husband,…

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Books for Mad Men addicts waiting for Season 7

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It’s been a little over a month since the mid-season finale of Mad Men, and I still can’t get “The Best Things in Life are Free” out of my head. Actually, I can’t stop thinking about Mad Men in general. It’s a show that always keeps you guessing – just when you think everything is a little too calm, someone gets run over by a lawn mower. This season was no exception. From the quiet moments (like Don and Peggy’s moving dance), to the explosive ones (like Peggy getting a hacked-off nipple as a present), Mad Men never disappoints. The second half of Season 7 won’t air until 2015, and I can’t even begin to guess where the show will…

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Taking care of our parents, and ourselves

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“In any given year, almost 30% of the U.S. population will be caring for an ill, disabled, or aging friend or family member.” So we are informed by Ariel Gore in her new memoir The End of Eve (Hawthorne Books, March). She goes on to explain: “The typical caregiver, it turns out, is me: An adult female with children of her own caring for her widowed mother.” Gore is the publisher and editor of the alternative parenting magazine Hip Mama and the author of seven previous works of fiction and nonfiction. Her latest book about caring for her mother is not a how-to. While she beautifully details the turbulent years after her mother, Eve, was diagnosed with Stage IV lung…

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Here’s to you, Mr. Mailer

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It’s high praise when Joan Didion declares you the only person capable of writing a particular story. This is a woman who knows from voice. In her review of Norman Mailer’s 1979’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Executioner’s Song, Didion says, “I think no one but Mailer could have dared this book. The authentic Western voice, the voice heard [here], is one heard often in life but only rarely in literature.” Mailer, who died in 2007 at age 84, helped spearhead a movement known as “new journalism,” a term often used to describe the work of Truman Capote and Tom Wolfe, wherein the storytelling techniques of a novel are grafted on to real life. It’s not quite fiction and it’s not…

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