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  • 11/13/14--06:00: Movember, Mystery-Style
  • As days lose an extra hour and trees lose their leaves, there are two things that you should be excited to gain this November: a thick, robust mustache and a book to go along with it. For it’s not just November—it’s Movember, when men grow mustaches to raise awareness and funds for men’s health charities. What better motivation to start growing that mustache—and maybe even start writing your first novel—than the books of some of the mustachioed greats? Read about our hirsute mystery authors below.

     


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    We are pleased to share this guest post from children’s author and illustrator Randa Handler on her book, The Thanksgiving Dinner Platter. Here she emphasizes the importance of educating children on different cultures, traditions, and ideas, and provides suggestions for how to use the book in your classroom.

    When we meet people from other cultures and with distinctive beliefs, ideally we would realize that we are all quite similar despite our differences, and that people around the world have similar aspirations and experience joys and pains in a basically similar fashion. Sadly, sometimes differences trigger conflicts and fear, and, without knowing it, parents may cultivate these same sentiments in young minds.

    As a children’s book author and illustrator, I believe kids are stronger if they are helped early on to understand a bit more of the world around them. If they are taught to be more receptive to differences in traditions and ideas, they are more likely to be confident and interactive adults.

    Having grown up around the Mediterranean, I was taught that family and holiday celebrations go hand in hand. My mother looked forward to festive celebrations of Christmas and Easter, and planned them for months. I have fun childhood memories of such festivities where a fleet of young siblings and cousins were running around, playing games, whispering, arguing, and laughing together. The older kids helped with the cooking and the setting of the glorious dinner table, and the younger ones basked in awe of all the colorful commotion.

    I think of those festive days and their warm glow flows over me once again. My book The Thanksgiving Dinner Platter is about a special family holiday, Thanksgiving; a holiday I did not experience when I was growing up, but one that I wholeheartedly adopted once I settled in the U.S. I absolutely love its true premise of “giving thanks!” There is so much wisdom and joy embedded in these very simple words.

    My challenge when I started working on this book was to relay the message of these words to kids with clarity—and a big smile. I admit that this story has educational goals in its effort to highlight diversity and inspire tolerance, but it was conceived primarily as a joyous tale of two children having a unique Thanksgiving experience.

    TheThanksgiving Dinner Platter features the friendship between a Native American boy and a Japanese-American girl. And, for fun, I set the entire book in 1941 and included a simple recipe for cornbread! The recipe is based on the first Thanksgiving dinner eaten by the pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians at Plymouth Plantation. I threw in a few Japanese words for good measure, and concluded with the kids sharing their special bread with veterans at the VA and a true historic reference to how Thanksgiving became a national holiday. TheThanksgiving Dinner Platter makes great material for family reading time or for launching discussions about Thanksgiving, its history and traditions.  

    Here are a few suggestions for using The Thanksgiving Dinner Platter in your lesson plan and for discussing Thanksgiving in the classroom. 

    • Kids can be instructed to imagine themselves at the first Thanksgiving dinner and asked what kind of cooking utensils were used at the time. Bring grinding tools and pound dried corn kernels as was once done to make cornmeal. Ask students how they think the turkey was cooked, and discuss the differences between life then and now. Kids can participate by reading the story out loud, and by following the cornbread recipe.
    • Research, either together or prior to class, whether or not other countries have similar celebrations. Is there a Japanese Thanksgiving? Spanish? Russian? Is similar food served? Does the holiday mean the same thing? They can look at pictures of different festive dishes and discuss their different ingredients. This site includes exotic recipes, and I’m sure there are many more!
    • The Thanksgiving Dinner Platter can be read out loud to showcase Japan’s Day of Thanks and clippings from Japan’s celebration can be shared. Discovering Japan’s way of celebrating, as with other cultures, will not only open minds but prove to be fun, too!
    • Discuss what Takari learned in the course of the story, and how and why she began to appreciate blessings, big and small. Ask your students: How did her snapping at her dog make her understand her mom’s anger? Use the true historic vignette at the end of the book to discuss when and how Thanksgiving became a national holiday.

    I have purposefully stretched the word count in my books to be between 2,500 and 3,000 words, trying to go after early readers. I think there is a forgotten zone between picture books for toddlers and chapter books. There are kids (5 to 9 years of age) who are still interested in picture books, but want a higher word count than what the typical picture book offers. I’m hoping to entice them into more reading by retaining their attention with fun and bright illustrations.  

    Happy reading, Happy Thanksgiving, and bon appétit!

    —Randa

    Randa Handler is an author, international journalist, publicist, and publisher. Her interview with actor Rock Hudson (his last) was published worldwide. Her expertise in public relations made many products and personalities household names. Browse her collection of ebooks here.


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    Today is a big day here at Open Road: For the first time in twenty years, there is a brand-new story featuring our favorite ninja, Nicholas Linnear, presented by the one and only Eric Van Lustbader. Eric is an expert at writing thrillers—so much so, he is the continuing author of the New York Times bestselling Jason Bourne series. How cool is that?

    Our very own Whitney read The Death and Life of Nicholas Linnear and is thrilled to share her thoughts:


    {buybutton id=16450/}

    It feels like every thriller by Eric is better than the last, and The Death and Life of Nicholas Linnear is no exception. In a video for Open Road, Eric Van Lustbader said, “A great thriller is like a roller coaster: Every time you go up, you ratchet up the tension a little bit more.” Lustbader starts us off with a bang—our hero is buried alive in a coffin four feet underground and must escape. What’s so great about this novella is that, while the urgency is there from the very beginning, it just keeps building and building until the very end with a truly satisfying climax . . .  and most original, shocking plunge to the finish. 

    I am a lover of short fiction and novellas—but can be picky when it comes to feeling like the characters and stories are fully developed—and The Death and Life of Nicholas Linnear truly has it all!


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    Carrie Bradshaw meets Sherlock Holmes in the Robin Hudson mysteries—a series of novels revolving around a third-rate newscaster (and her celebrity cat, Louise Bryant) as she strugglesto find love and solve murders in New York City’s East Village. And while the vivacious, sassy, and sexy sleuth made her debut all the way back in 1993 (before Alicia Silverstone was totally Clueless and before Romy and Michele attended their high school reunion), Hudson’s still sparkles today. Here’s why:

    1. She adds humor and lightness to a genre that’s typically fraught with darkness, morbidity, and gloom. Don’t take this the wrong way. Hudson is definitely a serious sleuth, capable of solving some gritty crimes—but she does so with wit and sass that one might not find from James Bond or Jason Bourne. Sparkle Hayter’s created a character as funny and sharp and she is skilled in the art of espionage. This makes her endlessly likable and timelessly cool.
    2. She talks about sex. Robin Hudson likes sex, and she’s not afraid to talk about it. Hayter’s novels cover everything from Hudson’s lusty flings with younger men to sadism and masochism in the bedroom...and more. If sex was big back in the ’90s, then it’s gigantic now—the perfect time to appreciate the allure and frank nature of Hayter’s novels today.
    3. She’s a feminist. Robin Hudson may not be the new Katniss Everdeen, but there’s no denying her status as a strong female heroine. She’s successful and outspoken, and has an unabashed love for the opposite sex; she talks back and stands up for herself. And although she can be dependent on men at times, she’s no damsel in distress.
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    In a time when dark, grim mysteries run amok, Sparkle Hayter’s Robin Hudson series is a refreshing change of pace for anyone who enjoys their mysteries with an extra helping of humor and a side of romance.

    “Enough fun here to make us beg for another installment.” —Vogue

    “Robin Hudson should be Stephanie Plum’s goilfriend.” —Janet Evanovich, #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Top-Secret Twenty-One

     

     


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    On December 4th, NBC is bringing the magic of Broadway to your living room with a televised holiday production of Peter Pan LIVE!starring Academy Award winner Christopher Walken as Captain Hook, and multi-talented Girls star Allison Williams as Peter Pan. Peter Pan LIVE! gives students an opportunity to explore the fantastic world of Neverland and adventure with the mischievous boy who never grows up!

    Peter Pan Lesson Plan

     

    Thanks to Young Minds Inspired, educators can plan their lessons around this special event. Their comprehensive teacher’s kit includes a list of critical thinking questions for various grade levels, two scaled classroom activities, and a Common Core Standards Alignment for English and Language Arts. With it, students of all ages can interact and engage with the production on an academic level.

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    For teachers who want to take their lesson plans to the next level, encourage your students to read J. M. Barrie’s original Peter Pan, newly released by Open Road Media in ebook format, with cover art from NBC’s televised production. Readers can experience the excitement of Neverland for themselves with Wendy, John, Michael, Nana, and of course, Peter Pan.

    J. M. Barrie created the character of Peter Pan to entertain a young family he regularly saw in Kensington Gardens. Over the course of two novels and a play, he turned a whimsical idea into one of the most cherished literary characters of all time. 

    Peter Pan LIVE! will air on NBC December 4th, at 8/7c. Tune in for this unforgettable holiday spectacular event!


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    “If I had a quarter for every time I heard or read someone say ‘she was like a best friend to me, though we never even met,’ I’d be rich!”

     Colwin and her family in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, where Rosa was born and raised

    Rosa Jurjevics’ mother, beloved novelist and food writer Laurie Colwin, was one of those writers who drew readers in and made them feel like a part of her world. Though today the web is full of food bloggers who inject cooking stories and recipes with their own personalities, many would say that they owe this distinctive style to Colwin’s witty, anecdotal approach to food writing (pre-Internet).

     

    To celebrate Colwin’s works being republished by Open Road Media, Rosa sat down with us to discuss her mother’s legacy and distinctive writing style.

     

    What kinds of books and authors did Laurie read growing up? Which had the greatest impact on her and her writing style?

    My mother was always drawn to “novels of manners,” but, more than that, she adored stories about smart, observant, and flawed-but-good people. It was character-driven books about those who chafed ever so slightly at convention (or their taciturn relationship to it!) that interested her most. Her favorite book of all time wasMiddlemarch, which she reread frequently.

    She always loved books, and read to me every chance she got during my childhood—mostly stories about plucky, inventive children (and animals) who, no doubt, inspired the characters she herself dreamed up.

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    I can still remember the day we arrived home to find boxes containing my mother’s entire childhood library, shipped from her mother in Philadelphia. There they all were: the scraggly, scrappy, and good-hearted kids who needed to be taught a lesson in Betty MacDonald’s Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series; Maud Hart Lovelace’s Betsy, Tacy, and Tib—a fierce trio of best friends who had adventures throughout their neighborhood; Kipling’s independent feline in The Cat Who Walked by Himself; those free-wheeling Jumblies set to sea in a sieve by Edward Lear…

    Many of these books are on my shelf at this very moment, including each and every volume in the Wizard of Oz, Winnie-the-Pooh, and Mary Poppinscollections. It’s really a shame that many people don’t know that there are more than one or two volumes in each of those series.


    What is her legacy? Where do you see her influence in the world today?

    Someone once described my mother as “the first foodie blogger,” even decades before blogs (and the Internet) existed, and I think that’s an acute observation. My mother made food writing and cooking accessible, and tied it to American culture in such a rich and poignant way that her writing is easy to relate to on many levels. I think that in particular is what makes her work timeless. My mother is so vibrant on the page that she almost leaps out of her writing and into people’s kitchens.

    If I had a quarter for every time I heard or read someone say “she was like a best friend to me, though we never even met,” I’d be rich!

    Why do you think it might be important for younger generations to read her work?

    My mother had the kind of sharp eye and quick wit that doesn’t dull with the passing of time. Though the periods in which her characters appear are in the past, the issues they wrestle with—infidelity, restlessness, self-confidence, and so on—are very present in the lives of the millennial generation coming of age right now.

    The triumphs, desires, longings, and aspirations of her characters remain immediate and real, so much so that people often comment how relieved, uplifted, and less alone they feel after they read them. She crafted her characters with compassion, too, and I think that’s harder to find in literature these days. My mother really knew these fictional people, inhabited them, and—dare I say—loved them. This comes across so strongly in her books, and I think it will make contemporary readers sit up and pay attention.

    How do you feel about the fact that the Laurie Colwin catalog will now be available in ebook format?

    I’m really, really excited! It will certainly be a trip to see her words on Kindles and Kobos and Nooks (oh, my!). E-readers would have confused my mother to no end—she didn’t even have a computer, but did all her work on a Hermes Baby Rocket typewriter (which was the color of mint-green chewing gum). But I bet she’d have come around.

    Reading was important to her, personally and obviously professionally, so I think ultimately she’d be happy to know all the digital bookworms had access to her writing.

    Every so often I daydream about what it would have been like to teach my mother how to use an iPad or a Kobo, and the witty and astute things she’d have to say about today’s technology—with respect to reading in particular. There’d be a New York Times or The Atlantic op-ed from her about it, I’m sure!

     

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    Which of her works speak most to you personally, and why?

    Home Cooking and More Home Cooking, hands down. Our life together is in those pages, and my mother’s depiction of it rings so true. Most of the places (and some of the people) are long gone—our family home, my grandparents, some dear friends, our neighborhood haunts, our neighborhood—but they’re so vivid in my mother’s writing. I consider myself beyond lucky to have those memories, and I’m grateful that we shared them.

     



    Open Road Media is proud to present Laurie Colwin’s works in ebook format. Read Rosa’s favorite, Home Cooking, or browse Laurie Colwin’s other works.


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    With NaNoWriMo a little over halfway through, veteran romance author Sandra Kitt returns with some thoughts on what it was like for her to accomplish this feat years ago. 


    NaNoWriMo CrestNovember is NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month. In short, writers are invited to spend the month—30 days—drafting and completing a full-length novel. It’s an intriguing challenge, and one that probably strikes, initially, at the ego of many of us who are writers. 

    I first heard of the concept a year ago. For a nano-second, I was excited at the prospect of throwing my time and imagination into the ring, instantly dragging from my mental storage bin a number of ideas that I’d filed away until they were ready to be written. It didn’t take long to realize attempting such a project at that time in my life was a sure path to emotional and creative disaster. 

    Putting the breaks on my eagerness to be part of the rush to the finish line generated two feelings in me: one was a profound sense of relief and the other was disappointment. But what saved me from the quick adrenaline rise to a sure crash and burn was the knowledge that I’d already been there and had done that.

    It was a number of years ago, in the middle of my writing career, when I found myself alone, faced with writing a novel in just one month.  What motivated my solo self-imposed competition was 1) a contract deadline and 2) having put off writing the book until the eleventh hour. In hindsight, it was a foolish risk to take, betting the farm (i.e. my reputation), that I could pull it off.    

    And I did. But there was a price to pay. I had no social life; I virtually disappeared from the facSandra Kitte of the earth. I pulled several all-nighters and was sleep deprived. I was also working a day job that itself was an enormous responsibility. 

    What made writing under these circumstances even remotely possible was that I knew the story I was going to write. I knew the characters, intimately. I knew how the story was going to begin, how it was going to end, and some of the important transition scenes that drove the action forward. 

    For a month, I wrote to fill in all the spaces in between with narration, dialogue, plot twists, and description. By the time I approached the last week of the month, I knew I was going to slide into home base, safe.

    I did worry, however, that an 80,000-word novel written in such a short amount of time might read as such—a novel that had been written in a very short time. I’m pleased to report that was not the case. My book received wonderful reviews and, my confidence was thus bolstered. I pulled off the same sleight of hand a year later, with the same outcome. I’d written two novels that I was proud of because I’d known, going in, what the story was all about.

    This year, I wasn’t sure I wanted to push my luck and recapture my past glory. I definitely had a “quit while I’m ahead attitude.” I didn’t want to begin something that instinct told me I couldn’t do, this time around. 

    But, who knows? Next year I might feel differently…


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    Las voces del laberinto, del periodista español Ricard Ruiz Garzón, es un libro que da voz a quienes habitualmente no la tienen. A aquellos que, extraviados en el laberinto de la enfermedad mental, sufren el rechazo de una sociedad presuntamente cuerda. Basados en quince testimonios reales sobre el padecimiento de la esquizofrenia, los relatos recogidos en Las voces del laberinto transmiten el dolor, el desconcierto, la impotencia y también la esperanza de quienes buscan una salida a la encrucijada que ofusca su existencia. Más que un tratado de psiquiatría, un ensayo sociológico o un manual de autoayuda, Las voces del laberinto es un testimonio, una recreación de casos reales que privilegia el punto de vista de los enfermos para romper tópicos, ahuyentar prejuicios y contribuir a la destrucción del estigma que el mal llamado esquizofrénico padece aún en nuestra sociedad.

    Este es un fragmento de uno de los testimonios del libro. 

    Esquizofrenia

    Estoy seguro de que no me creen, y de que tampoco creen que creo lo que afirmo. Son libres de creerme o no, pero al menos crean esto: no estoy bromeando.

    Las voces del laberinto{buybutton id=17174/}

    En ocasiones, oigo ecos. Ecos de voces eléctricas, ultrasónicas, crepitantes, preñadas de interferencias. No evocan voces humanas, ni de muertos ni espíritus. Parecen reverberaciones sobrenaturales, pero son códigos cifrados, señales de otra dimensión que sólo a veces alcanzo a interpretar. Se manifiestan a través del ruido, en los rugidos de los motores, en las notas de música, en el murmullo del viento y el agua de los grifos… Hablan en grupo, en tropel, unas veces con tono agudo, como de pitufo, y otras con la gravedad de un ser omnipotente. Las escucho en el baño, por la calle, al encender el televisor… Son como las risas enlatadas de las series antiguas: no están ni vivas ni muertas, habitan un extraño limbo desde el que contactan conmigo. Y yo no soy creyente, ni me atrae el esoterismo. No sé si existe el más allá, ignoro si hay extraterrestres y lo cierto es que todos estos temas me la traen, je, je, bastante floja. Preferiría no escuchar nada, disfrutar del silencio y dedicarme al cómic, que es lo que da sentido a mi vida. Pero las voces no descansan, llevan ahí más de siete años y me temo que aún les queda cuerda para rato.

    No sé qué pretenden, la verdad; pero he de confesarle que ya han ganado una batalla: la de obligarme a parecer un pirado para que nadie crea que existen.

    Llegaron cuando yo tenía veinticinco años. Había estudiado dibujo artístico, pero trabajaba de teleoperador. Vivía con mi madre enferma y mis cuatro hermanos, todos mayores que yo, y tenía una novia con la que editaba un fanzine titulado, ji, ji, El Protegido. Salía los fines de semana, a emborracharme, y en los ratos libres imitaba a mis autores favoritos: Richard Corben, Moebius, Carlos Pacheco, Miguelanxo Prado… A Prado sobre todo. Diría que llevaba una vida, pshé, bastante corriente, un poco disipada pero similar a la de otros amigos. Y entonces, broooom, todo empezó a precipitarse: se me acabó el contrato, cerré el fanzine, corté con mi novia, me quedé sin blanca y, para colmo de males, mi madre falleció.

    Yo estaba muy unido a ella, tal vez porque mi padre nos había abandonado siendo yo el más pequeño, o quizá porque la mujer, aunque sola y enferma de sida, se había sacrificado para sacarnos adelante. Cuidarnos fue su máxima aspiración, el sentido de su lucha. Por eso, ejem, por eso sufrimos tanto su deterioro, su pérdida de peso, sus espasmos y sus visitas a urgencias… No voy a aburrirle con nuestras miserias, pero sepa usted que la muerte, su muerte, se volvió una obsesión para mí. Pensaba en ello a todas horas y me sentía impotente, frágil. Vulnerable. Veía a la gente andando por la calle y pensaba en cómo morirían todos; me miraba en los espejos y comprendía que yo también acabaría pudriéndome, entregando mi vida como un zombi. Fui cayendo en un pozo cada vez más hondo y empecé a beber. Supuse que así lo resistiría mejor, pero ocurrió al revés: el entierro de mi madre me pulverizó, me sacudió, blam, como un mazazo, como si no llevara años anticipándolo. Acudí a mis hermanos, pero ellos fueron rehaciendo sus vidas y al final me quedé solo en aquella casa-tumba, que al menos era de propiedad.

    Como no tenía ingresos, empecé a trabajar en una lavandería de Argüelles. Y allí, je, je, allí las oí por primera vez. Frías, vidriosas, insensibles… Recuerdo que era lunes por la tarde, estaba vaciando unos cestos y de pronto empezaron a manifestarse nítidamente en el zumbido de las centrifugadoras: cling-cling-cling… Eran como un coro metálico, una especie de enjambre chisporroteante y acelerado que transmitía hechos históricos desconocidos y los vinculaba a mí. Los mensajes eran abstractos, no lograba traducirlos, ni hoy podría. No me llamaban, ni decían mi nombre, pero leían mi pensamiento con tal claridad que antes de formular ninguna pregunta me había llegado ya su respuesta. Entendía sólo algunos fragmentos, como si el canal de conexión escogido estuviese oxidado por no haberlo usado jamás. Pero no tuve ninguna duda: aquello no podía ser el ruido de las lavadoras. Llevaba semanas escuchándolo y nunca había tenido esa misma sensación, esa congoja. Me asusté, claro, sobre todo porque al principio mostraban cierta armonía, pero su martilleo era cada vez más caótico, más delirante, y llegó un momento en que aquel torbellino ensordecedor se me hizo insoportable: clonc-clonc-clonc-clonc-clonc… Sentí que el cerebro me iba a explotar, así que escapé corriendo de la lavandería y no volví jamás, ni siquiera a buscar el finiquito. De hecho, no he vuelto a pasar por allí, y si alguna vez me acerco, je, je, si lo hago siento aún escalofríos.

    El médico dijo que había tenido un conato de pánico. Me encerré en casa durante meses, viviendo como un indigente y bebiéndome hasta el agua de fregar. Me alimentaba de yogures, no me cambiaba de ropa, no limpiaba jamás e iba acumulando desechos por las habitaciones como en un vertedero. Si salía era para beber, de noche, cuando el ruido era menor y parecía amortiguarse el peligro de que las voces regresaran. Sólo en algún breve momento de lucidez me planteé si podían ser voces de ultratumba, voces que me pudieran conducir hasta mi madre. Pero lo rechacé enseguida, y de hecho, hmmm, de hecho creo que jamás han mencionado nada que me recordase a ella. En aquellos días, además, yo creía que podía negar las voces, olvidar su repiqueteo; por eso dormía días enteros, hasta que me desvelaba y volvía a emborracharme para poder caer de nuevo en la inconsciencia. Luego supe que algún vecino me encontró más de una vez tirado en el portal, entre mis propios vómitos… Así pasé un año, hasta que una tarde llegó mi hermano, me pilló en la cama y al ver que no había agua ni luz, que todo estaba como si hubiese caído una bomba, decidió llevarme con él.

    Para entonces, hmmm, sí, para entonces las voces eran tan cotidianas como la luz del sol y yo las combatía como podía. Más tarde me dediqué a analizarlas, aunque se resistían, y así pude ver que las había distintas. Estaban, ji, ji, estaban las cachondas, ji, ji, ji, como de diablillos… Son las que se han impuesto. Se repiten mucho, pero no ofrecen posibilidad de respuesta, juegan con los dobles sentidos hasta apabullarte y tenerte en sus manos. A veces no me dejan dormir, imitan voces de niños pequeños y les dan velocidad, ñic-ñic-ñic-ñic-ñic-ñic, como en un disco pasado a más revoluciones. Al principio eran muy divertidas, me hacían gracia, pero con los años se han vuelto perversas, muy despectivas, y ahora sólo me hablan de sexo y me cuentan guarradas. Cuando me niego a escucharlas, insisten y me acaba doliendo, me acaba doliendo mucho. Pero puedo asegurarle que nunca me dan órdenes. A lo más que llegan, ya sabe, es a sugerir que tal persona puede ser, je, je, o que seguro que es, mmm, una fiera en la cama…

    También hay voces de buena gente, voces que parecen dirigirse a mí para cuidarme. No son distintas a las anteriores, les ocurre como a nosotros: pueden ser buenas o malas en función del momento. Yo a veces lo entiendo como una evolución: está la vida, está la muerte y está, fíuuu, está esa otra dimensión donde residen las voces. Quién sabe si nosotros no seremos también voces algún día, ecos de pensamientos dispersos por el universo, a la espera de que alguien los capte, como yo ahora. Y ahí podremos tener mala leche, o ser ingenuos como niños, o desear a alguien, igual que en esta realidad. Y ahí podremos dar consejos, como esas voces sabias que me ayudan a ser mejor, a superarme, a evolucionar hacia ellas… Esas voces pacientes que prometen, ay, recompensas…

    Y luego está, buf, luego está Dios, que es otra cosa. Sé que hay voces que hacen votaciones para decidir los pasos que he de seguir y otras que me dicen que todos tenemos una flor que defender, y cosas así. Esas voces me mosquean, porque yo no sé nada de flores y en cambio, je, je, en cambio oigo nombres reales, hasta en latín, flores que existen y son sexuales porque se entregan en actos de amor. Pero lo de Dios, uf, lo de Dios es otra cosa. Lo llamo Dios porque no sé cómo llamarlo, pero no es el Dios de los cristianos. Tiene una voz ronca, muy grave, y suele manifestarse a través del viento. Le encanta decirme que hay un orden y que se lo salta para mí. Y no es el viento, utiliza el viento como soporte. Una vez me dijo que debía dejar de fumar. Y eso, hmmm, eso no lo hace el viento. Me lo dijo de forma solemne y me tranquilizó, me dijo que todo estaba bien, que sólo había que entrenarme. A veces me cansa, porque yo no quiero saber nada de todo esto, y a veces me dice cosas tan elevadas que no las entiendo. Pero en general me hace sentir bien, como si esto de la enfermedad fuese sólo una máscara, un juego de ventrílocuos, un descanso para cuando llegue la hora de demostrar lo que estoy aprendiendo. Eso Dios no me lo dice, eso lo deduzco yo. Pero podría ser diferente, hmmm, muy diferente; la verdad es que no estoy seguro del sentido que tiene todo esto. A veces pienso que los ecos son modos de contacto de un mis mo ente o residuos de cosas que nunca se dijeron; y a veces, je, je, a veces creo que soy yo el que tiene como un sexto sentido que me permite acceder a ellos. Pero la mayor parte del tiempo prefiero no pensar en nada de esto, me olvido y me pongo a dibujar, o a jugar al ping-pong o a ver una película… A hacer mi vida, que no tiene nada que ver con las voces. Si tuviera que explicárselo en una frase le diría que esto es, sssssí, es como soñar: al soñar podemos vivir otras realidades, algunas increíbles, y sus nexos con la vida, por asombrosos que sean, no nos impiden seguir con el día a día; pues a mí me ocurre algo así con las voces: me transportan a otra dimensión de mi conciencia, pero luego me despierto, desconecto y vuelvo al dichoso día a día. Usted, je, je, usted podría hacer lo mismo, supongo. Si supiera contactar, si no se quedara sólo en los ruidos, en esos zzzzz…, grrrrr…, fffff…



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    ebook-sale-daredevil-pilots 

    Take to the skies – and the stars – with this collection of high-octane ebooks starring daring pilots. These heroes and heroines defy fate and impossible odds as they defy gravity, performing stunts that could bring them victory…or hasten their end. Strap yourself in for a wild ride!

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    Angel of Europa by Allen Steele: For centuries, scientists have wondered what strange alien life forms may lurk beneath the frozen surface of Jupiter’s most mysterious moon. Two scientists go down to the surface of Europa in a small craft piloted by the beautiful, fiery Evangeline Chatelain. After an accident on the surface, only she returns. Her crewmembers suspect her of murder, but Evangeline tells a wild tale of an attack by a terrifying space monster. The astronaut charged with investigating the incident must decide: Is she a crazed killer, or has she just made the greatest scientific discovery in history?

     

     


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    Bolt Action by Charlie Charters: Tristie Merritt leads a renegade band of ex-soldiers. Their daring scam will take millions from a furious British government and give it to veterans’ charities—if MI5 doesn’t catch up with them first. But faced with the ultimate terrorist outrage at 36,000 feet, MI5 and the CIA find that Merritt is their one hope of preventing global disaster.

     

     

     


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    Burning Bright by Melissa Scott: Governed by two political rulers, the planet Burning Bright is the location of the biggest virtual reality game in the universe. It’s been spaceship pilot Quinn Lioe’s dream to design the game’s scenarios, but her determination might put her in the middle of a war between two empires.

     

     

     

     

     


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    Expendableby James Alan Gardner: Festina Ramos is assigned to escort an unstable admiral to planet Melaquin. Little is known about Melaquin, for every explorer who’s landed there has disappeared. It’s come to be known as the “planet of no return,” and the High Council has made a habit of sending troublesome admirals there in an attempt to get rid of them. It’s clear that this is intended to be Ramos’s last mission, but she doesn’t plan on dying, no matter how expendable she may be.

     

     

     

     


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    Fool’s War by Sarah Zettel: Katmer Al Shei has done well with the starship Pasadena, cutting corners where necessary to keep her crew paid and her journeys profitable. But there are two things she will never skimp on: her crew—and her fool. For a long space journey, a certified Fool’s Guild clown is essential. Her newest fool, Evelyn Dobbs, is a talented jester. But does she have enough wit to save mankind? In the computers of the Pasadena, something is emerging. The highly sophisticated software that makes interstellar travel practical is playing host to a new form of artificial intelligence, one with its own mind, its own needs, and its own desperate fears. 

     

     

     


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    Geodesica Ascent by Sean Williams and Shane Dix: The year is 2438. The far-flung Arc Systems struggle under the yoke of their rulers, whose monopoly on faster-than-light communication gives them absolute control of the interstellar empire. Revolutionary Melilah Awad might be able to find a way to free her people, but only with the help of pilot Palmer Eogan, a lover she thought was long lost.

     

     

     


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    Jet Ace by Tedd Thomey: He likes his jets fast and his women faster. Hotshot test pilot Jack Barth faces off against the unknown in his F-120 super jet, the Air Force's fastest plane ever. The tremendously talented Tedd Thomey brings Barth’s world of steel nerves and life at the edge of the envelope to you with the afterburners on full.

     

     

     


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    Man in a Cage by Brian Stableford: Harker Lee has been used in experiments in reading minds. Now he is brought forth to endure the ultimate test: to fly a spaceship through hyperspace to the stars. Starflight destroys the minds of sane men…but Harker Lee is not sane. In him now lies the hope that man might break out of the greatest of all cages: the void of empty darkness that enfolds the Earth.

     

     

     


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    Midshipman’s Hope by David Feintuch: In the year 2194, seventeen-year-old Nicholas Seafort is assigned to the Hibernia as a lowly midshipman. The destination: the thriving colony of Hope Nation. But when a rescue attempt goes devastatingly wrong, Seafort is thrust into a leadership role he never anticipated. The other officers resent him, but Seafort must handle more dangerous problems, from a corrupted navigation computer to a deadly epidemic.

     

     

     


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    A Passage of Stars by Kate Elliott: Willful as well as physically brave, Lily Ransome is dissatisfied by the options available to her on Unruli: She can either join her family’s lucrative mining business or begin procreating. When Heredes, her beloved martial arts instructor, tutor, and father figure is kidnapped by alien bounty hunters, Lily spurns the expectations of her home planet and ventures into space to find him.

     

     

     


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    Shooting Stars by Christopher Watson: Astronaut Mac Harrison is the only survivor of a catastrophic accident. When the formidable owner of a failing moon colony asks him to attempt the impossible—an audacious “skydive” from the highest altitude ever attempted, the moon—he has no choice. But the colony’s rivals have other plans…

     

     

     


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    Wingman by Mack Maloney: The Big War started in Western Europe with a Soviet nerve-gas attack that laid waste to France, Germany, and Spain. Two years after the nuclear holocaust, pilot Hawk Hunter gets a message to report to his old commander. America is in pieces: Pirates rule the skies, and an airborne armada is plotting to attack. The armada is made up of criminals flying state-of-the-art jets, and even though the government can only offer Hunter his old F-16, he will do whatever it takes to reclaim his ravaged homeland.


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    holiday ebooks

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    It’s the most wonderful time of the year . . . for a steamy romance! When the wind grows colder and the snow starts falling, it’s time to turn up the heat with a sweltering romance novel and a side of hot cocoa. Nothing pairs better with a good book than a hot cup of wintry warmth, and that’s why we’ve decided to offer up some suggested book and beverage pairings that are perfect for the holiday season. So grab a novel, gather your favorite holiday mugs, and snuggle up by the fire this holiday season.

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    Some people ask for a new blender for Christmas; others ask for a fake bride. In A Christmas Bride, Timothy Crawford seeks the latter in order to convince his grandfather he’s worthy of his inheritance. When he finds an injured beauty left disoriented after her carriage overturns, Timothy convinces the amnesiac woman to play the role of his fiancée. Before long, “Serenity,” as she’s come to be known, finds herself falling for a man she knows she can never wed. As her past begins to re-emerge, will Serenity be able to hold onto her new life and the man she’s come to love?

    Suggested cup of wintry warmth: White hot chocolate. Like Ferguson’s novel, your hot cocoa needs a twist. Plus, what’s a wedding without lots of white?

     

     


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    If you enjoy historical romances, The Miracle at St. Bruno’s is for you. Author Philippa Carr transports readers back to 16th-century England to tell a coming-of-age romance story set in a time when Henry VIII ruled and love was a war to be won. Carr writes the story of a young woman, Damask, who falls for a mysterious orphan and experiences both fervid love and shattering betrayal. 

    Suggested balmy beverage: Hot Apple Cider. It’s sweet and simple like Damask, and time-period appropriate. Spice it up with some liquor, if you’d like . . . we know Henry VIII would.

     

     

     


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    Time-travel, romance and history collide in Christmas Moon when a single pregnant history teacher finds herself transported to the past and at the door of legendary Wyoming lawman J.D. McNulty, a man she’s studied for years. In no time our heroine is falling for J.D. The only caveat? She knows he only has two weeks left to live.

    Suggested lovely libation: J.D. would definitely love a hot toddy—a mixed drink comprised of whiskey, sugar, spice and boiling water. Not a drinker? Try making a zesty cup of tea by splashing in some honey, lemon, or a cinnamon stick.

     

     

     


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    In Moonlight and Mistletoe, a heartbroken cop happens upon two beautiful sisters, a secret, and a Christmas miracle he never saw coming. Warm and kind, sisters Scarlet and Farrie may be just what our cold cop needs to thaw his frozen heart. 

    Suggested Christmas concoction: Hot cocoa. It’s warm, it’s sweet, and it’s a holiday classic. A treat this sweet could warm up anyone in need of a nice thawing.

     

     

     

     


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    In Forbidden Dreams, Shell Landry opens her door in the middle of a December storm to find a mysteriously familiar stranger at her door. Could he be the mischievous man that Shell had fallen in love with many summers ago, or is his striking resemblance to a past love pure coincidence? When the mysterious man asks Shell to help him take down a cunning criminal, she’s wary. Is she willing to take a risk for another chance at love?

    Suggested delicious drinkable: Hot horchata. Yes, we know horchata is a drink typically served chilled. But like the mysterious man of Forbidden Dreams, your holiday drink choices shouldn’t always play by the rules. Spicy, sweet, and cinnamony, hot horchata pairs perfectly with the mischievous mystery of Shell Landry’s story.

     

     


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    Forbidden love takes on a different, much younger form in Holly in Love, the story of a cold weather–hating 17-year-old senior who’s got the hots for a 16-year-old boy named Jamie Winter. And I thought my senior year was confusing. Author Caroline B. Cooney creates a wonderfully comical, heartwarming tale that reminds readers that no matter how hard you try, you can’t run away from love.

    Suggested holiday hot drink: Cappuccino. Holly is all about exuding maturity and confidence; she’d totally skip a hot chocolate in favor of a much more sensible cappuccino, no doubt in the hippest coffee shop she could find.

     

     

     


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    In the second installment of the Chalet Girls series, Slippery Slopes finds three best friends—Melissa, Harley, and Lily—balancing love, life, and work in Europe’s most exclusive ski resort. When the holidays hit, secrets and long-distance relationships put the Chalet Girls’ friendship at risk, creating the slipperiest of slopes in what’s supposed to be the merriest of seasons. Find out how the girls navigate some bumps on the slopes in book two of Emily Franklin’s delightful series.

    Suggested ski-slope sipper: Eggnog. It’s a holiday classic that’s remained a staple for years thanks to its sweetness and inexplicable zest. Like horchata, eggnog can be served either cold or hot, making it a perfect pairing to a long day of skiing, scheming, and seduction on the slopes.


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  • 12/01/14--08:17: World AIDS Day

  • December 1, 2014 marks the 26th World AIDS Day. Each year, World AIDS Day serves as a reminder that, although we have come a long way in fighting the AIDS epidemic, there is still plenty of work to be done. The AIDS epidemic changed gay literature, introducing the gay culture to the general population and changing the way it was perceived. The 2014 theme for World AIDS Day is “Getting to Zero”. The World Aids Day video below highlights many of our well-known LGBT authors and their books that focus on the real, devastating effects of AIDS.







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    Someone Was Here, George Whitmore
    Someone Was Here profiles the lives of three men and women grappling with the devastating effects of AIDS between 1985 and 1987. Jim Sharp fights his battle with AIDS and finds support with Edward Dunn, who volunteers with the Gay Men’s Health Crisis organization in New York City. Nellie drives cross-country to bring home her suffering son as he struggles with the vicious disease. George Whitmore also tells the stories of the doctors and nurses tirelessly working to treat AIDS afflicted patients in a South Bronx hospital. Whitmore’s portrait of the AIDS epidemic is raw and real.





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    Borrowed Time, Paul Monette
    The tragic love story of Paul Monette and Roger Horwitz, Borrowed Time, is a candid portrait of love and loss. Monette and Horwitz spent more than a decade together until Horwitz’s death from complications from AIDS in 1986. Paul Monette beautifully traces his relationship with Roger, the long, painful battle with AIDS, and the grief and recovery he experienced following Roger’s death.





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    In the Shadow of the American Dream, David Wojnarowicz
    In the Shadow of the American Dream is the deeply intimate collection of chapters from Wojnarowicz’s personal diaries. His writing spans two decades, through his troubled adolescence to his success as a famed artist and activist. His personal accounts of AIDS in New York City is an honest tribute to the painful realities the gay community faced.





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    Other Entertainment: Collected Pieces,
    Ned Rorem
    Ned Rorem, one of the greatest composers of art songs, crafts a beautiful and insightful collection of essays, interviews, and commentaries in Other Entertainment. Rorem interviews artists, musicians, and activists, including journalist and AIDS activist Larry Moss in this moving collection of essays.





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    At Risk, Alice Hoffman
    When eleven-year-old Amanda is diagnosed with AIDS, her otherwise typical family is thrown into turmoil. As they struggle with the devastating diagnosis, Amanda’s parents must learn to cope with the grief and uncertainty, her brother vies for attention, and Amanda must let go of her dreams of becoming an Olympic gymnast. At Risk is a moving story of family coping with the realities of love and loss.







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    Nightswimmer,
    Joseph Olshan
    When Will Kaplan’s lover goes missing after a night swim in the Pacific Ocean, Will spends a decade struggling to understand the mysterious disappearance. In the AIDS-stricken world of New York’s gay culture, Will meets the similarly troubled Sean Paris, and together, they share their doubts and learn to form new relationships in an uncertain world.






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    In Memory of Angel Clare, Christopher Bram
    When filmmaker “Angel Clare” dies of an AIDS-related illness, his friends find themselves caring for Angel’s young lover, Michael. Resistant at first, the group must learn to cope with grief, friendship, and forgiveness.






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    Afterlife, Paul Monette
    Afterlife follows the lives of three men, widowed by the AIDS epidemic, struggling to live and love again. Steven, Sonny, and Dell all lost their lovers to AIDS related illnesses within a week of one another. They are also all HIV positive. Each man searches for a way to move beyond the past and face the future head-on.






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    The Uncle from Rome, Joseph Caldwell

    While grieving after the AIDS related death of his lover, American opera singer, Michael Ruane, is offered the role of “uncle from Rome” in a production of Tosca. As tradition, the presence of the uncle from Rome bestows prestige on the family. Michael is soon thrown into a drama more trying than any role he has played on stage.

     

     

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    Night Kites, M.E. Kerr
    What do you do when your whole world is blown apart? A 17-year old confronts love, betrayal, and his brother's illness in this brave, deeply compassionate novel. Erick is stunned when he finds out Pete has AIDS; he didn't even know his brother was gay. It was Pete who told a five-year-old Erick that night kites don't think about the dark, that they're not afraid to be different. How Erick and his parents deal with Pete's illness are what make this book so unforgettable Fearless and profoundly affecting, it will stay with you long after the last page is turned.


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  • 12/02/14--05:00: Hooray for Hollywood!
  •  

    Here are 10 novels inspired by the glamorous—and tumultuous—life of the Hollywood movie industry. From the silent film era to the present day, these novels all capture the remarkable moments throughout Hollywood’s unique and illicit history.

     

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    A Way of Life, Like Any Other by Darcy O’Brien

    His mother was a goddess of the silver screen. The family enjoyed the high life on their estate, Casa Fiesta. But his parents’ careers have crashed since then, and their marriage has broken up. And their teenage son? How he struggles, both to keep faith with his family and just to get by—and what he must do in the end to break free—makes a novel that combines keen insight and devastating wit to hilarious and heartbreaking effect.

     

    Behind the scenes: “I told her my father had been a movie star and my mother had been in the movies and on the stage and had made a movie with John Wayne before anybody had heard of him. She hadn’t heard of my parents and she didn’t believe me, but then she did.”

     

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    Moving Pictures by Budd Schulberg

    In this iconic memoir, Schulberg, the son of one of Tinseltown’s most influential producers, recounts the rise of the studios, the machinations of the studio heads, and the lives of some of cinema’s earliest and greatest stars. 

     

    Behind the scenes: “The glamour capital of the world was as tough a company town as could be found in the coal fields of Pennsylvania or West Virginia. The men behind the movies carried brass knuckles and never hesitated to use them in the crunch.”

     

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    City of Mirrorsby Melodie Johnson Howe

    Running out of money, Diana Poole is forced to go back to the only work she knows: acting. Her much-loved husband and movie-star mother have died, and now Diana is over 35. In Hollywood that means she might as well be dead. Still, a few key people remember her talent, and she lands a role in a new movie. But an actress should never get her hopes up, especially when she discovers the female lead’s murdered body.

     

    Behind the scenes: “The parts for women in their early forties were few and usually lousy. And to be honest, if I had not been the daughter of Nora Poole my name would have been forgotten. Hollywood has all the attention span of a coked-up executive producer.”

     

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    Going Awayby Clancy Sigal

    The year is 1956, and a blacklisted Hollywood agent sets off on a cross-country adventure from Los Angeles to New York City. Along the way—stopping at bars, all-night restaurants, and gas stations—the 29-year-old narrator, at once egotistical and compassionate, barrels across the “blue highways” to meet, fight with, love, and hate old comrades and girlfriends, collecting their stories and reflecting on his own life experiences.

     

    Behind the scenes: “I drove out of the agency parking lot, crossed Santa Monica Boulevard north up to Sunset, then slowly west. I turned up Tigertail Road, past the movie star mansions, weaving in and out of the fretwork of twisting roads and streets in that part of Beverly Hills, until I came to Rio de Oro Road and took it to the top, where the cemetery is. I parked under some eucalyptus and folded my arms over the steering wheel and rested my chin.”

     

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    The Biograph Girlby William J. Mann

    Florence Lawrence gets her first big break in vaudeville as a tiny tot who can whistle like a man. By 1910 she’s a legendary movie star, pursued by thousands of rabid fans. Just a few short decades later, she’s all but forgotten. In 1938, she kills herself. Fast-forward 59 years. A 107-year-old woman named Flo Bridgewood is discovered in a nursing home. Could the feisty chain smoker with the red satin bow in her hair be America’s former sweetheart?

     

    Behind the scenes: “The movies offered amusement to the masses. Thousands of new immigrants were pouring into the country every month, and few could afford legitimate theater prices. Many didn’t speak English. The movies were their only option. We spoke a universal language: no words back then, not even subtitles. Just music and pantomime and the delirium of the collective imagination.”

     

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    Blue Movieby Terry Southern

    King B., the world’s most admired filmmaker—winner of a string of Oscars and awards from Cannes to Venice—takes on a new project: the most expensive, star-studded, high-quality, X-rated film ever made. Between the Cardinal’s attempts to sabotage production and the big egos and even bigger libidos behind the scenes, the enterprise plummets into hilarious anarchy.

     

    Behind the scenes:“Although he was thought of as a ‘director,’ he was really a film-maker—in the tradition of Chaplin, Bergman, Fellini—an artist whose responsibility for his work was total, and his control of it complete. In certain instances, however, despite his acclaim, his films had met interference.”

     

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    Evening in Byzantiumby Irwin Shaw

    A middle-aged filmmaker who dazzled audiences during Hollywood’s Golden Age, Jesse Crain is talented, worldly, ambitious, and he knows how to play the game. But beneath his polished exterior, Crain’s life is coming apart at the seams. Now desperate to reignite his career, a hit at any price feels like his only salvation.

     

    Behind the scenes:“‘I’m teaching a seminar at UCLA next year in the art of the cinema,’ Hennessy said. He drawled out cinema mockingly. ‘All this will be in my first lecture. Hey, Craig, how’d you like to be my guest one or two hours and tell the kids how it is in the glamorous world of celluloid?’”

     

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    Amnesiascope by Steve Erickson

    In the apocalyptic Los Angeles of Amnesiascope, time zones multiply freely, spectral figures roam the streets, and rings of fire separate the city from the rest of the country. But in this world, what’s real and what’s merely the conjuring of the protagonist’s imagination—obsessed with dreams, movies, sex, and remembrance—is far from clear.

     

    Behind the scenes:“The air is filled with this odd smell the city has taken on recently, not the common smell of sandalwood and hashish but a different smell I can’t place, and as we sometimes tend to do we point things out to each other—the sites of famous suicides and old Hollywood love affairs—as though we’re tourists, which, like everyone in L.A., we are.”

     

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    Shylock’s Daughterby Erica Jong

    A glamorous Hollywood film star, Jessica Pruitt fears the best days of her career are behind her. Arriving in Italy she hopes to forget her woes by immersing herself in preparations for her starring role in a new cinematic take on The Merchant of Venice. While strolling through the old Jewish quarter, she finds herself in a very different Venice—one that hasn’t existed for 500 years—as the heroine of a new theatrical endeavor by an enigmatic young playwright named Will Shakespeare. 

     

    Behind the scenes:“L.A., the Land of LaLa, my current home, has another rhythm altogether: deceptively calm—with a sort of cocaine frenzy underneath. The air is soft. The palm trees wave. The desert is not far off, and the sea—the great Pacific—is there, glorious as always. But wedged between desert and sea, a strange species of agents and moguls and women, who look like flesh and blood (but are really bionic), have managed to transform the City of the Angels into a city of very minor demons”

     

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    The Celebrityby Laura Z. Hobson

    When Gregory’s latest book is unexpectedly selected for a notable prize, the brothers suddenly find themselves at the center of a publicity frenzy. With talk of a movie deal in the air, Gregory moves out to California—but it’s Thorn who really rises to the occasion, thriving on and encouraging the attention, while Gregory toils away dutifully at scripts and rewrites. At last, Thorn feels he is in his element—but what happens when the brothers’ 15 minutes are up?

     

     Behind the scenes:“Suddenly then, across the entire screen, came THE GOOD WORLD and Gregory’s eyes filled and his ribs could not contain his heart. The ‘cards,’ as he had learned to call them in Hollywood, now appeared in due and hallowed sequence; they were a dancing brightness, he could not read them.

     

    Browse our Hooray for Hollywood sale here!


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    Best Picks for Book Club Discussions: War From a Woman's Perspective

    Welcome to our series on book clubs! At the beginning of every month, we’ll present our top recommendations for your club, as well as tips on how to shape your discussion and fun extra stuff to keep the conversation going. Many of us here belong to book clubs, and Open Road even has its own employee reading group. We love nothing more than book talk. So tune in, and read on!

     

    From the lives of soldiers to the effects on society, war throughout history has provided inspiration for some of the most classic and revered works of literature. But often missing from these narratives is the war from a woman’s perspective. We’ve gathered novels that feature strong women at the center of some of history’s most pivotal events—from the battlefield to the home front—and they are all on sale from $1.99 and up.

     

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    Tomorrow Is Forever by Gwen Bristow

    World War II

    Also for the fans of Old Hollywood, Bristow’s novel is an emotional tour de force about a woman haunted by her past in World War I. For two decades, Elizabeth Herlong has been a devoted Hollywood wife, watching as her husband Spratt built an empire in the motion picture industry. But part of her still yearns for her first husband, who perished in France during World War I. As a second great war rages in Europe, something happens that will draw Elizabeth back to the old days, awakening feelings and longings that she thought she would never experience again.

     

     

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    The Angry Wifeby Pearl S. Buck

    The American Civil War

    From a legendary author better known for her novels about China, this book offers a riveting portrait of post–Civil War America. Lucinda Delaney is a Southern belle ruled by a vision of life that no longer exists. The Civil War has come and gone and her side lost, yet she is determined to proceed as if nothing has changed. Over the years, her racist feelings and fears only intensify, and when it’s time for her own daughter to marry, her chief concern is the color of the children.

     

     

     
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    The Legacy by Howard Fast

    The Vietnam War and Israel’s Six-Day War

    Fast’s novels on the fictionalized Lavette family was both one of his most personal and bestselling works. The fourth installment of the Immigrants saga, follows Barbara Lavette, the daughter of a self-made Italian immigrant, through the turmoil of the 1960s, including the Vietnam War, the feminist and civil rights movements, and Israel’s Six-Day War with Egypt.

     

     

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    The Camomile Lawnby Mary Wesley

     

    World War II

    Set in the summer of 1939, Wesley’s bestselling coming of age tale continues to impact readers today. At an elegant manor house high above the sea, five cousins gather for their annual holiday. As Calypso, Walter, Polly, Oliver, and 10-year-old Sophy explore the limits of blood, friendship, and their blossoming sexualities, war looms on the horizon. This will be the last summer that they spend together; it is a season marked by the heady joys of self-discovery, the agonizing pain of betrayal, and a world on the edge of conflict.

     

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    The Dreaming Suburbby R. F. Delderfield

    World Wars I and II

    Centered on the lives of four families living on Manor Park Avenue in an English suburb during the two great wars, Delderfield showcases women surviving through unbelievable tragedy. Eunice Fraser, at Number Twenty-Two, must deal with the loss of her soldier husband, which left her and her eight-year-old son Esme to fend for themselves. At Number Four, Edith Clegg takes in lodgers and looks after her sister, Becky, whose mind has been shattered by a past trauma.

     

     

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    Introducing Shirley Braverman by Hilma Wolitzer

    World War II

    Focusing on the effects of war on the younger generations, this novel centers on a sixth-grader from Brooklyn battling adolescence while war rages on. Even while the air-raid sirens blare, Shirley Braverman isn’t worried. Her father is the air-raid warden for their apartment house, and she knows he will keep them safe. There is a war on the other side of the ocean, but here in Brooklyn, life goes on. 

     

     

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    Raquela: A Woman of Israelby Ruth Gruber

    World War II, the Arab-Israeli War, and Israel’s Six-Day War

    This National Jewish Book Award–winning biography is a fascinating look at the life of pioneering nurse, Raquela Prywes. She delivered babies in a Holocaust refugee camp and on the Israeli frontier. She crossed minefields to aid injured soldiers in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and organized hospitals to save the lives of those fighting the 1967 Six-Day War. Along the way, her life was a series of triumphs and tragedies mirroring those of the newly formed Jewish state.

     

     

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    Kimberly’s Flight by Anna Simon

    The Iraq War

    A heartfelt narrative told through nearly 50 interviews, personal emails, and Kimberly N. Hampton’s mother, this book traces Captain Hampton’s life from her illustrious career to her untimely death. On January 2, 2004, Captain Hampton was flying an OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter above Fallujah, Iraq. A little past noon, her helicopter was wracked by an explosion. A heat-seeking surface-to-air missile had knocked off the helicopter’s tail boom, causing the chopper to crash.

     

     

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    Shade It Blackby Jessica Goodell

    The Iraq War

    During the Iraq War, an often important yet ignored question was: How did the remains of American service men and women get from the dusty roads of Fallujah to the flag-covered coffins at Dover Air Force Base? With sensitivity and insight, Jessica Goodell describes her job retrieving and examining the remains of fellow soldiers lost in combat in Iraq, and the psychological intricacy of coping with their fates, as well as her own.

     

     

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    The New Meaning of Treasonby Rebecca West

    World War II and the Cold War

    Rebecca West’s characteristically gripping journalism is on display with her chronicle of traitors during World War II and the Cold War. Filled with real-world intrigue and fascinating character studies, West’s gripping narrative connects the war’s treasonous acts with the rise of Communist spy rings in England and tackles the ongoing issue of identity in a complex world.

     


    Browse all of our Women in War novels here.

     


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    On December 16, the eight-day Jewish holiday Hanukkah will begin. Also known as the Festival of Lights or Feast of Dedication, the holiday commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem during the second century BC. Observed by lighting a candle on a menorah each night, the holiday consists of various festivities and oil-based meals.

    In order to commemorate Hanukkah, as well as Jewish Book Month, we have compiled a list of our favorite ebooks that represent the multiple aspects of Jewish culture.

     

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    The Rabbiby Noah Gordon

    Michael Kind is raised in the Jewish cauldron of 1920s New York, familiar with the stresses and materialism of metropolitan life. Turning to the ancient set of ethics of his Orthodox grandfather, with a modern twist, he becomes a Reform rabbi. Along the way he falls deeply in love with and marries the daughter of a Congregational minister; she converts to Judaism and they have two complex, interesting children. Gordon’s picture of a brilliant and talented religious counselor—who at times is as bereft and uncertain as any of his congregants—is a deeply moving and very satisfying novel.

     

     

     

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    A World Full of Strangersby Cynthia Freeman

    From the ghettos of New York to the golden hills of San Francisco, Cynthia Freeman tells the story of a family: Katie, who must rely on the kindness of strangers in a strange land, yet never forgets her roots; David, who turns his back on his Jewish heritage to find his way in a world that treats him like a pariah; Mark, who embraces everything his father has rejected; and Maggie Kent, who completes David’s transformation, setting in motion a series of events that will affect the lives of this American family for years to come.

     

     

     

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    Judithby Lawrence Durrell

    Durrell’s posthumous novel was originally conceived as a screenplay. It is the eve of Britain’s withdrawal from Palestine in 1948, a moment that will mark the beginning of a new Israel. But the course of history is uncertain, and Israel’s territorial enemies plan to smother the new country at its birth. Judith Roth has escaped the concentration camps in Germany only to be plunged into the new conflict—one with stakes just as high for her as they are for her people.

     

     

     

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    The Mandelbaum Gateby Muriel Spark

    Barbara Vaughn is a scholarly woman whose fascination with religion stems partly from a conversion to Catholicism, and partly from her own half-Jewish background. When her boyfriend joins an archaeological excursion to search for additional Dead Sea Scrolls, Vaughn takes the opportunity to explore the Holy Land. But this is 1960, and with the nation of Israel still in its infancy, the British Empire in retreat from the region, and the Eichmann trials in full swing, Vaughn uncovers much deeper mysteries than those found at tourist sites.

     

     

     

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    Everyday Jewsby Yehoshue Perle

    Mendl’s impoverished and dysfunctional family struggles to survive in a nameless Polish provincial town. In this unsettled world, most ordinary people yearn to be somewhere else—or someone else. As Mendl journeys to adulthood, Perle captures the complex interplay of Christians and Jews, weekdays and Sabbaths, town and country, dream and reality, against a relentless and never-ending battle of the sexes.

     

     

     

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    O My America!by Johanna Kaplan

    In 1972, 64-year-old Ezra Slavin’s heart gives out. A contentious and irascible Jewish American writer, he leaves behind a large extended family of ex-wives, lovers, and children. Out of the entire family, only one daughter, Merry, a journalist, can remember her father with her own critical, conflicted understanding, a saddened sympathy approaching love. As the day of his memorial approaches, she attempts to make sense of the puzzle of Ezra’s life.

     

     

     

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    Banana Roseby Natalie Goldberg

    Nell Schwartz is a Brooklyn-born Jewish girl who reinvents herself in the communes of Taos, renaming herself Banana Rose—because she’s “bananas.” While living in New Mexico, Nell falls in love with and marries a free-spirited horn player named Gauguin. They travel east to experience city life, and then to the Midwest to be closer to family, but their tempestuous relationship cools as Nell’s free-spiritedness and Jewishness seem under constant scrutiny. Nell is slowly transformed by love, loss, and art, gaining a new sense of self.

     

     

     

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    Kissing Cousinsby Hortense Calisher

    In this evocative memoir, Hortense Calisher recalls herself as a teenager: peppy, earnest, and a bit self-important. She documents her family’s surprising history as Southern Jews adrift in New York. Finding her new city and school boorish, the young Calisher takes solace in the enduring friendship she develops with Katie Pyle, a gregarious nurse turned “kissing cousin” 15 years Calisher’s senior.

     

     

     

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    Judah the Piousby Francine Prose

    The Polish monarch has outlawed a portion of the Jewish funeral rite, and none of the community’s lawyers, judges, or scholars will come forward to defend the custom before the crown. Only one man dares challenge the sovereign: the spindly old Rabbi Eliezer of Rimanov, whose eccentric habits conceal the mind of a dreamer and the curiosity of a child. They make a bet: If the rabbi can convince him that there is more to the universe than meets the eye, the funeral rite will be restored. 

     

     

     

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    The One-Star Jewby David Evanier

    New York writer Bruce Orav is crumbling. Every time his father speaks—“I thought there was a chance you’d have a bestseller sometime. I guess that’s dead, huh?”—Bruce loses another piece of himself. With nowhere safe to turn, what is Bruce to do? Keep living, because the future—fingers crossed—is almost guaranteed to be better than the past. And, just as important, keep laughing.

     

     

     

     

    Hanukkah Sameach to everyone!

     


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    Open Road is pleased to announce the addition of 32 new ebooks to our publishing partnership with Philosophical Library. These works from some of the 20th century’s most prominent intellectuals are now available in elegant ebooks editions.

    Ten of the new titles are highlighted below. Browse our full collection here.

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    Bertrand Russell's Dictionary of Mind, Matter and Morals by Bertrand Russell
    Containing more than 1000 selections from over 100 of Russell’s books and articles, this dictionary serves as an introduction to Russell’s brilliance in analysis, argument, and exposition.


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    A Treasury of Albert Schweitzer by Albert Schweitzer
    Collected here in a single volume are the most important philosophical writings of Albert Schweitzer, one of the greatest thinkers and humanitarians of our time. Carefully chosen from among his many written works, the selections in this anthology illuminate and amplify Dr. Schweitzer’s cardinal principle of belief—a reverence for life.


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    German Existentialism by Martin Heidegger
    One of the most controversial texts available today. Heidegger, a German Nationalist and proud Nazi, thoroughly examines the history, the philosophy, and the rise to power of the Nazi movement in Germany.


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    Kafka by René Marill-Albérès
    In this examination of one of the most recognized writers in history René Marill-Albérès and Pierre de Boisdeffre explore the historical significance, literary currents, and the personal details affecting the development of Kafka’s genius.


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    The Road to Inner Freedom by Baruch Spinoza
    The seventeenth century Dutch philosopher views the ability to experience rational love of God as the key to mastering the contradictory and violent human emotions.


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    The Crazy Ape Albert Szent-György
    Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Szent-Györgyi, questions the stability of man in The Crazy Ape. Dr. Szent-György explains the social and psychological deterioration of humans as technology progresses and poses the idea that the youth are the key to changing this trajectory.


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    The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals by Charles Darwin
    Here Charles Darwin traces animal origins of human characteristics and outlines what he believes is the genetically determined aspects of behavior. Together with The Descent of Man (1871), it sketches out Darwin’s main thesis of human origins.


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    Buddhist Texts through the Ages by Edward Conze
    This stunningly ambitious collection presents the premier anthology of Buddhist texts and scriptures, tracing the development of Buddhism through the ages. This edition also includes a glossary of English and foreign terms.


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    Art and Faith. Letters between Jacques Maritain and Jean Cocteau
    The meaning of poetry and the sociological and political significance of art are dealt with in these letters.


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    Scientific Autobiography by Max Planck
    This fascinating autobiography from one of the foremost geniuses of twentieth-century physics makes accessible Planck’s scientific theories as well as his philosophical ideals, and his thoughts on ethics and morals.

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    At the age of 27, Doris Grumbach unexpectedly encountered a “feeling of peace so intense that it seemed to expand into ineffable joy.” The Presence of Absence is her story of the 50-year journey to recapture that experience. Those who are familiar with the search for transcendent clarity—that elusive, higher spiritual power—will be able to closely relate to Doris as she seeks an all-consuming peace.

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    In her search, Doris encounters pain and disease, as well as people and beliefs from all walks of life. This not only makes her question her own beliefs, but also helps her redefine what she is in search of. While Doris claims she has never been deeply religious, she uses the word “God” to describe what she is looking for, but realizes that the word means something different to everyone. The word “God” doesn’t have to hold the traditional meaning of a heavenly being—it can mean “calm,” or “spiritual presence,” or, simply, “peace.” For Doris, it is all of these things.

    You’ve heard it before, but oftentimes the journey is more important than the destination, and nowhere is that truer than in Doris Grumbach’s The Presence of Absence. Through her nearly lifelong journey, she relentlessly seeks God, in any form, but perhaps finds something more astonishing: She had been interacting with God the entire time.

    Doris Grumbach has been a literary editor of the New Republic, a nonfiction columnist for the New York Times Book Review, and a book reviewer for National Public Radio. Throughout her prolific career, she has been hailed as a feminist novelist, essayist, critic, and memoirist on issues facing women, homosexuality, and the elderly.

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    Today only, Such Devoted Sistersby New York Times bestselling author Eileen Goudge is available for $0.99 from Early Bird Books. This novel was inspired by Eileen's romance with chocolatea tale which she has delightfully shared with us!


    Chocolate.

    The word alone evokes strong sense memories. Coming in from the cold to hot cocoa with marshmallows.  Christmas stockings lumpy with Hershey’s Kisses. The chocolate cake Mom baked every year for Dad on his birthday. Slumber party fudge consumed by the ton. The first time I bit into a Parisian truffle and thought I’d died and gone to heaven. The rapture of my first bite at La Foret, in Napa Valley.

    Love of chocolate was what inspired Such Devoted Sisters, the novel I pennedChocolate Cake after wondering what I could possibly write to follow up my first novel, Garden of Lies, which was a New York Times bestseller. Write what you know—that’s what I kept coming back to. The theme of tangled sister relationships came from growing up one of five sisters. My sisters and I squabbled, teased one another mercilessly, played endless games of Monopoly and staged musical productions written and directed by me. We also collectively baked loads of cookies and brownies. Those were the best times: when we had our aprons on, banging around the kitchen on Saturdays and filling it with delicious scents. I figured I couldn’t go wrong combining the two: sisters and sweets, in the form of chocolate for the purposes of my story.

    Oh, the fun I had researching! I visited boutique chocolate shops and factories on two continents, watched and learned what goes into the making of gourmet chocolates and  the meaning of such terms as “liquor milling,” “cocoa pressing” and “conching.”  I sampled my way out a dress size and onto a treadmill.

    It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it.

    Wendy herman of La ForetI was given a private tour, by Monsieur Linxe himself, of the original La Maison du Chocolate on Rue de St. Honore in Paris. Back then, his chocolates were made on the premises, so down a steep set of stairs we went to the basement kitchen, where copper cauldrons of ganache infused with exotic flavors were being stirred on the stove by white-jacketed workers, to be poured over an old, repurposed door in the center of the room to cool. The cooled ganache would then be cut into squares.  Imagine it: a door-sized slab of chocolate and your tour guide hacking pieces from it for you to taste. That was when I decided I had the world’s best job. One that allowed me to eat chocolate, guilt-free, in the name of research. 

    I also had fun visiting the Li-Lac chocolate shop and factory in New York City, where I live. A family-owned business, established in the 1920’s, it’s catered to the sweet tooth of generations of New Yorkers and offers specialty chocolate for every occasion or persuasion. Where else can you get a chocolate typewriter?

    What I remember best about that visit, aside from the mind-boggling array of taste treats and loving care with which they’re made, were the two elderly women on the line who’d been dipping chocolates for three decades.  They were cheerful and in no hurry to retire.

    Back at my desk, dividing my time between the treadmill and my keyboard, I wroteSuch Devoted Sisters, titled after the Irving Berlin song from White Christmas.  Dipped and infused, is how I would describe it. A story rich in entangled relationships, coated in chocolate and spiced with flavors, some with nuts (both of the family and tree variety).  Twenty some years later, it still delights, judging from the many comments I’ve received from readers tChocolate Typewriterhe world over. Just last weekend, an older woman approached me at a Broadway matinee during intermission. “Are you the author, Eileen Goudge?” she asked. I confirmed I was indeed, and she explained that she’d recognized me from the photo on the book jacket of her favorite novel of mine, one she’d read and reread more than once. The novel was Such Devoted Sisters.

    Warning: Do not read without chocolate on hand. This can lead to extreme behavior such as begging on doorsteps of perfect strangers late at night or bouts of hysterical weeping outside shuttered storefronts.     


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    There are actually 1,928,361,724 reasons to start reading books by author Sergei Lukyanenko. But to keep this short, and to help you keep your sanity, we’ve chosen the top 15 reasons why you should put this incredible Russian sci-fi author on the top of your reading list.

    #1. Terry Pratchett is his favorite writer.

    #2. He smokes a pipe exactly like this famous detective:

    Sergei LukyanenkoSherlock Holmes

    #3. He practically invented urban fantasy in Russia with his Night Watch series. (Or, at least, that’s what the reviewers say.)

    #4. Sergei Lukyanenko can write you a book and be your therapist: He was training to be a psychiatrist before becoming a full-time writer.

    #5. He managed to publish books and complete medical school at the same time. (He might be a genius.1)

    #6. Sergei “The Doctor” Lukyanenko’s books have been translated into more than 20 languages.

    #7. His first novel, Knights of the Forty Islands, was published in 1990 when he was just 22 years old.

    #8. He’s the youngest person to ever win the Aëlita Award, the most prestigious fantasy award in Russia. 

    #9. The Aëlita Award is one of the coolest looking awards you will ever see so, by default, this picture with Sergei holding the one should also be one of the coolest things you have ever seen.

    #10. There is an entire secret message in his book The Genome that says: “This novel is a parody of space opera and cyberpunk. The author values your sense of humor...”

    #11. Then, just for kicks, he wrote another secret message 2 years later, in his novel Spectrum.

    #12.1Correction: He is a genius.

    #13. He is happy to share his wisdom with us: “… the writer should not be detached from his own society and culture. If a Russian starts writing like an American, for example, he isn’t going to get translated in the United States – there are enough American writers there. It’s important that writers strike a balance between what’s interesting to people of different cultures, while not forgetting their own.”

    #14. Did we mention that he’s Russian (he was born in Kazakhstan)?

    #15. A spacecraft just landed on a comet last month. Super-exciting stuff. What better time to start reading science fiction books and see which other predictions they might just get right – especially novels from a Russian doctor-turned-writer genius with a sense of humor named Sergei Lukyanenko. Ура!

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