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Summer Celebrations: The 6 Wildest Parties in Literary History

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From music festivals to beach bashes, summer gives us the freedom to frolic outside and enjoy a margarita…or six. Summer really is all about the evenings of partying until the early morning with friends, or afternoons in the park, reading in the sun. We decided to combine these two fantastic summer activities by giving our take on the six wildest parties in literary history for you to fantasize about and maybe be inspired to throw your own summer bash. Matt’s Picks: The Acid Tests from Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe (Picador Reprint, 2008) “Everything in everybody’s life is…significant. And everybody is alert, watching for meanings.” Journalist Tom Wolfe following a group of degenerate hippies searching for ‘truth’ through the…

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Lidia Yuknavitch’s TED Talk and Telling the Stories Only You Can Tell

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Being a misfit isn’t easy. Author Lidia Yuknavitch, however, insists that the people who don’t quite “fit” into society are the ones whose stories we most desperately need to hear. In this moving talk from TED2016, Yuknavitch tells the story of her initial foray into “being a writer” after winning a prize for one of her early short stories. Part of the prize won her the opportunity to meet with fabulous authors and well-to-do publishing executives – but, as Yuknavitch describes, she was so busy being frozen with indecision that she failed to get the book deals that were lining up right in front of her. Unpacking this experience in the context of her tumultuous life, Yuknavitch relates that some…

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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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Race Relations in America: 3 Books to Grow Your Empathy Muscles

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We don’t live in a post-racial America, no matter how much we might wish it were true. To understand what people of color live with on a daily basis, and to begin the kind of deep listening that might lead to change, The Elliott Bay Book Company recommends three books that explores topics so brilliantly discussed by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Located in the heart of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood business district, Elliott Bay is home to more 150,000 titles. They’re known for their readings by famous authors and literary events throughout the year. Here are their recommendations: The Making of Asian America: a History by Erika Lee (Simon & Schuster, 2015) Recommended by bookseller Karen Allman: “The Making of Asian America brings…

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Man Booker Prize 2015 Shortlist Announced

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On Tuesday, September 15, six novels were chosen and put on the shortlist that are currently in contention for the 47th Annual Man Booker Prize. On October 13, the winner will be chosen at the annual ceremony taking place at London’s Guildhall and will be broadcast by BBC. A Brief History of Seven Killings, Marlon James (Oneworld Publications, September 2015)             Satin Island, Tom McCarthy (Jonathan Cape, February 2015)             The Fishermen, Chigozie Obioma (Pushkin Press, April 2015)           The Year of the Runaways, Sunjeev Sahota (Picador, June 2015)             A Spool of Blue Thread, Anne Tyler (Chatto & Windus, February 2015)             A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara (Picador, March…

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Jonesin’ for a Fix: Books for TV Addicts – Sherlock edition

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The San Diego Comic-Con is officially upon us and, as you’d expect, with it comes a slew of mind-blowing announcements. Not the least of which is sure to be an update on the series that made Benedict Cumberbatch a star, Sherlock. Now if you haven’t been watching this show, you really need to pull a Dr. Phil and get a hold of your life. Fans are hungry for any information they can get on Season 4 and, hopefully Comic-Con will bring with it many Doyle-esque revelations. More likely what we’ll get is a trailer for the upcoming special set in Victorian London. Regardless, it will be a while before we get any new, substantive Sherlock content. So we here at…

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Terrifying true bridesmaid tales — and dresses

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In the last ten years, I have been a bridesmaid five times. I wore periwinkle organza in New Hampshire, purple taffeta in Washington DC, navy cotton in Mexico, navy silk at a yacht club outside New York City, and magenta chiffon on a farm in upstate New York. I have planned showers and bachelorette parties, delivered some eloquent toasts, and some not-so-eloquent ones, packed emergency bridal kits, stood in receiving lines, helped to make flower arrangements, and herded wedding guests, Pied Piper style, to cocktail hour by playing a kazoo. I have been an emotional bridesmaid, a take-charge bridesmaid, an embarrassingly drunken bridesmaid, and a stone sober pregnant bridesmaid. I suspect that my stint last summer, as my younger sister’s…

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