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Penguin Random House

Applying the Principles of Improv to Break Free

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If you’ve ever spent time watching improvisational comedy, two things might have struck you: (1) this is entertaining and (2) this looks extremely hard. To many, the thought of being thrown an idea and being asked to improvise on the spot is downright scary. Perhaps a little less frightening is the idea of using improv principles and skills to break free from the patterns we believe define us and the stories we’ve been told about who we are. That’s the overriding concept behind Life Unscripted, co-written by Jeff Katzman, MD, and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, and Dan O’Connor, Founder and Artistic Director of the Impro Theater and Co-Founder of LA Theatresports. The…

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4 Bestselling Authors Share Thoughts On Movie Adaptations

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Dedicated readers understand the emotional connection with a book you love, and the piece of your soul that is invested long after you turn the final page. Many can relate to a paternalistic instinct of pride or defense when anyone brings up this title. Whether you are ready to effuse on its brilliance or bitterly smother out the naysayers, you have the agency to speak on this topic with authority. However, when it comes to turning books into movies, the adaptation is out of your power. While the book fan typically rejoices, there’s also trepidation over how filmmakers might alter the original goods. Readers, and the authors themselves, have strong opinions and limited if any influence on how books are…

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Kick A** Characters: Wade Watts of ‘Ready Player One’

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Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film version of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One is now that second biggest film of the year behind Black Panther grossing nearly $400 million worldwide in only two weeks. Ready Player One is “the ultimate geek experience,” according to Super Sci-Fi, and the character Wade Watts is the ultimate geek. Go inside the “geeky, 80’s-loving, heroic, and often virtually simulated” character of Wade Watts from Ready Player One in this Penguin Random House stop-motion tribute edition of Kick A** Characters. Check out a preview of the film:   Want more BookTrib? Sign up NOW for news and giveaways!

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Girls Rock at Math, Says Wonder Years Star Danica McKellar

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New York Times bestselling author Danica McKellar, perhaps best known for playing Winnie Cooper in The Wonder Years, is not only a talented actress, but is also a fantastic writer. All of her books so far have been non-fiction and encourage middle-and high-school girls to succeed in mathematics. McKellar herself actually holds a degree in mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles. This past February saw the publication of Ten Magic Butterflies, the latest addition of McKellar’s books. Others include Kiss My Math: Showing Pre-Algebra Who’s Boss, and Math Doesn’t Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail, among others. This coming June, be sure to look for her book Do Not Open This Math Book: Addition + Subtraction. …

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*NEW COLUMN* Chasing Phantoms: Copenhaver’s Debut, ‘Dodging and Burning’ is an ‘Hommage to Pulp Fiction’

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One of the things that makes BookTrib special is our commitment to connecting readers to writers, editors and experts in the business of books! That is why we have partnered with the International Thriller Writers (ITW) to help discover debut thriller writers. Our new column features reviews by veteran editor, Neil Nyren. Nyren retired at the end of 2017 as the EVP, Associate Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of G.P. Putnam’s Sons (a division of Penguin Random House). He is the winner of the 2017 Ellery Queen Award and over the course of his career,  has edited 294 New York Times bestsellers, including books by Larry King, Andy Rooney, Tom Clancy, Senator Harry Reid and Wayne Gretzky. We are thrilled to have Neil bring…

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Sacred and Complex, Amy Bloom’s ‘White Houses’ Chronicles First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt’s Secret Affair

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One of the highlights of my year, thus far, was interviewing bestselling author, Amy Bloom about her new book, White Houses. Released in time for Valentine’s Day (February 13, Penguin Random House) with rave reviews from the likes of Joyce Carol Oates, White Houses is a love story about a complex affair steeped in our history between a First Lady and a woman— a journalist— that spanned more than three decades. Bloom’s novel is based on the real-life love affair between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena “Hick” Hickok. This story about to women in love is wrought with obvious challenges given the times— when same-sex relationships and extramarital affairs were taboo.  Add substantial class differences between the women and therein lies a story…

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Trending Today: Weeks After Signing Book Deal, Colin Kaepernick Lands GQ Cover

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Since being frozen out of the NFL this season for staging silent protests during the singing of the National Anthem, former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refuses to go gently into that good night. Though it seems his professional football career has stalled, Kaepernick is still making power moves away from the gridiron. Last month, it was announced that he signed a $1 million book deal with Random House imprint, One World. Neither Kaepernick nor One World have commented on what the book will cover, but many speculate the events of the last two years, including how a veteran advised him to take a knee— as opposed to sitting during the anthem— to honor oppressed people killed by the gross systemic…

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VMA Week’s Friday Flashback: 4 Bios of Rock ‘n’ Roll Musicians Who Shaped a Genre

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As we wrap up BookTrib’s VMA Week, we thought we would revisit our article from 2015 about artists who shaped musical genres and were pioneers in the industry. Here is a review of 4 books that are just as relevant as when we first ran this piece. Where would I be without rock ‘n’ roll? I can’t even imagine. Rock ‘n’ roll has been the soundtrack of my life, and the background music to untold millions of people throughout generations. It’s at once a musical joy and a primal shout, a release of defiance, elation, and energy all put to the rhythm of an irresistible backbeat. And in the face of changing millennial musical tastes, I can only answer with…

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Horrifying Reads to Get You Ready for American Horror Story Season 6

in Fiction by

It’s no secret around the office that I’m a huge fan of FX’s American Horror Story (AHS). I even had the once-in-a-lifetime experience of walking around the set of “Coven: Season 3”, meeting the writers and watching the actors film for six hours. Anyways, enough about me. As we all know, fall means Halloween time fun, which correlates to loving everything that is scary, especially a new season of AHS. From a depressing group of ghosts to an insane clown and most recently a group of hungry vampire children, writer Ryan Murphy is certainly not afraid to push the boundaries of television. But this year the AHS marketing team seems to be taking a different route. First of all, season 6 is starting a month earlier…

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Outlander Kitchen Cookbook: Pair Your Favorite Episode with the Perfect Meal

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I can’t say that I’ve ever eaten Scottish food. Actually, aside from haggis, I can’t say that I even really know what Scottish food is (I mean, there’s lots of sausage and potatoes, right?). So when I heard that there was going to be an Outlander-inspired cookbook, I was intrigued. Well, I was pleasantly surprised by Outlander Kitchen: The Official Outlander Companion Cookbook (Delacorte Press, June 14, 2016). Written by Theresa Carle-Sanders with a foreword by Diana Gabaldon herself(!), the cookbook is charmingly put together, pairing different dishes with their mentions in Gabaldon’s novels. There are 17 chapters, each one containing recipes for different meals or types of food. Browse through “Chapter 9: Game,” to learn how to make Venison Stew with Tomatoe-Fruits,…

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The 25 Beach Bag Books You Should be Reading — WIN a Bag FULL of Books!

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There’s nothing quite like being at the beach. Picture it, you’re lying in the warm sun, listening to the waves crash in front of you as the beautiful breeze keeps you cool; it’s pretty much every person’s dream day. The only thing that can make it even better is having the perfect beach read to really help you kick back and relax. Well, get ready because we’ve got the perfect list for all of those gorgeous summer beach days coming up. Here are 25 of the perfect books (in no particular order) that you definitely NEED to have in your beach bag. WIN 12 of the 25 amazing books below and a BookTrib Tote Bag!  Click the bag to ENTER: The Girls In The Garden…

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4 of the Best Fictional Places to Go on a Date — and the Real Life Alternatives!

in Fiction by

Romance is hard. It’s difficult enough finding somebody you like, and it’s even tougher to convince that person to get into your car and let you take them someplace that you swear is nice. However, dating shouldn’t be stressful — it should just be a pleasant time between two people who may or may not kiss at the end of the date. So, in the spirit of helping you put a little spring into your dating life, here’s a collection of the best fictional places from books we’d like to plan a date at, plus a real life alternative you might be able to pull off! Window Shopping in Hogsmeade A little town so perfect that it “looks like a…

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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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