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Leo Tolstoy

Real-Life Mysteries Set Stage for “Black Diamond Fall”

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The disappearance of a college student. The vandalism of a famous poet’s residence. Throw in a frightful skiing accident and you’ve got the setup for Black Diamond Fall, a literary mystery by Joseph Olshan (Polis Books), best known for his works Clara’s Heart and Cloudland. The story takes place in wintry Vermont, where the author spends much of his time, and the book’s central themes are drawn from his own real-life experiences. Olshan offered some insight into the book, the plot, the characters and his writing in this BookTrib interview: BookTrib: Black Diamond Fall is based on two real events that happened in Vermont. Tell us about those events and how you tread the line between facts and literary fiction. Joseph…

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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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Presenting: The Real Housewives of Classic Literature!

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Everyone loves The Real Housewives! OK, to be fair, not everyone is aware of how magical the Real Housewives can be on occasion. While a lot of people find them irritating, where else are you going to find crazy moments where weird rich women debase themselves like insane animals in a menagerie for we the people to marvel at? No matter what your opinion is on The Real Housewives franchise, it’s hard to deny that they’re a bonafide cultural phenomenon. Love them or hate them, their hilarious quips, wild cat fights and generally unblinking attitude towards affluence are here to stay. So, if we were to cast a new season of Real Housewives, populated by some of the most desperate…

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My dear, you SHOULD give a damn

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Lists are everywhere. Books are everywhere. So it makes sense that lists about books are omnipresent. There are lists of the best books ever written, the worst books ever written, the books you should read before you die, the books you should read to make sure you never die (immortal vampires, anyone?), and everything in between. I hate to be the one to break it to you that it is impossible for you to read all the books currently in publication, let alone the thousands coming down the pike. Even with that new-fangled app that purports to let you read a novel in 90 minutes (that’s a gripe for another time), you simply won’t get to turn every page of…

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