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Michael Chabon

Laurie Petrou’s Sibling Rivalry on Steroids

in Thrillers by

In Laurie Petrou’s Sister of Mine (Crooked Lane Books), the lives of two orphaned sisters, Hattie and Penny, begin to fray as longstanding resentments, sibling rivalry and unpaid debts overflow and the ties of sisterhood start to snap. It’s a fast-paced thriller by Petrou, a debut novelist who also is an Associate Professor at Ryerson’s RTA School of Media and speaks on topics such as gender and rejection. See what she has to say about her first work, family relationships, and her own literary journey. BookTrib: You’ve said you never set out to write suspense. How did Sister of Mine evolve into the thriller it is? Laurie Petrou: In order for the sisters’ relationship to be put to a test, there…

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Who Says Size Matters?: Short Story Collections That Belong on Every Novel-Reader’s Shelf

in Fiction by

On the difference between short stories and novels, Stephen King described the former as “a kiss in the dark from a stranger.” His meaning? While they may lack the length of traditional novels, short stories certainly aren’t lacking in depth—just as a kiss carries its own special magic, without the commitment of a serious relationship. The collections below are testaments to the unique power of the short story. Individual snapshots of husbands and wives, sons and daughters, are connected by central themes—whether those be love, grief, hope, or loneliness. Together, they form a cohesive whole that portrays the ups and downs of the human experience, while packing the emotional punches you’d find in the best novels. A Model World, Michael…

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13 Novels That’ll Take You Back to School

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When we think of our school days, we remember hours spent in the library, lecture halls that sat hundreds, and all-night study sessions before semester exams. But beyond our academic pursuits, we also encountered plenty of interesting characters. Whether it was a dorm room neighbor, an eccentric professor, or a fellow classmate, the people we met—and the lessons we learned—helped shape who we are today. The campus novel has always been a staple of literature, but the 13 books listed below are at the top of the class. Whether they follow a junior’s coming-of-age journey or satirize elitist academics, each one explores the formative—and sometimes crazy—antics that can happen within the hallowed halls. Less Than Angels, Barbara Pym Though Catherine…

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3 Books That Would Make Great Movies for Hanukkah

in Fiction by

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is watching the multitude of Christmas movies we’ve spent our lives with. I love A Charlie Brown Christmas, I cry like a baby at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life, and each year sparks a new debate over which is the best version of A Christmas Carol. For me, holiday movies are as much a part of the season as eggnog and lights on the tree. The problem, however, is that I have a son who’s Jewish. And while he celebrates both holidays, I always feel bad that there are so few quality movies that help him celebrate Hanukkah. Sure, there’s Eight Crazy Nights, Full-Court Miracle and even The Hebrew…

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