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Audiobooks

Audiobooks!: December 1, 2016

rha-176-snowman-1080px-instaThis week’s Audiobooks! Newsletter is sponsored by TryAudiobooks.com.

Traveling for the holidays? Make your trip more enjoyable with an audiobook! Plug into a bestseller to catch up on some reading or play a title the whole family can enjoy! Visit TryAudiobooks.com for a full free download for your listening pleasure.


Hello, audiobook friends! My family just got back from a whirlwind Thanksgiving road trip, and I was in charge of picking the audiobook. “David Sedaris,” I thought, feeling like a genius, “You can’t go wrong with David Sedaris, everyone loves that guy.” And truly, Sedaris is a brilliant audiobook pioneer far ahead of his time.

santaland-diariesSo I congratulated myself for being a genius and queued up Holidays on Ice, a short collection of six Christmas-themed essays that opens with an excerpt from The Santaland Diaries, in which a young Sedaris moves to New York as an aspiring soap opera writer and instead winds up as a department store elf. We were all on board, everyone was laughing, great pick Rachel, high five! Then came the second essay. Ah yes, the second essay. The second essay of Holidays on Ice is ACTUAL FANFICTION about David Sedaris’s favorite soap opera, One Life to Live, in the form of a scheming matriarch’s Christmas newsletter. Suddenly, not everyone in the car was still on board with my audiobook choice. (Their loss.)

The takeaway, dear readers, is this: sometimes everyone is game to listen to experimental soap opera fanfiction together. And sometimes they are not. Best wishes with wherever your group listening takes you this winter!

10 Adventure Audiobooks That Will Make You Clutch Your Heart As Time Soars By

infomocracyLook, we all like audiobooks here, we’re in on the secret that they can suspend time and transport you to a new world. Add an adventure story to the mix, and you’re in for an adrenaline-pumping, heart-pounding, shortest-car-ride-ever trip of your life. I thought you guys could use a roundup of some of my faves, from super-powered female assassins to secret nuclear cities and everything in between. Still with me? Great, hang on and keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times!

There’s a Lesbian Audiobooks Facebook Group, You’re Welcome

Two happy teenage girls lying on the grass sharing earphones

PSA, PSA! One of my fellow Book Rioters just casually mentioned a Lesbian Audiobooks Facebook group the other day, and I was all, 1) Wait a second. 2) Rad! 3) MUST TELL MY AUDIOBOOK PEOPLE, THEY NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS. (Sorry for the all-caps, I am just that excited about it.) The group is closed to protect from trolls and spammers, so just click the “Join Group” button and they’ll welcome you in <3

We Heart Rachel McAdams as Anne of Green Gables

rachel-mcadams-headshotDid any of you catch the new adaptation of Anne of Green Gables on PBS last week?! I am HERE for Anne and all her shenanigans on Prince Edward Island, butting heads with the uptight Cuthberts who thought they were adopting a boy to help on the farm. (Really, Cuthberts, that’s how you’re going to play this?) A new AoGG mini series is in the works at Netflix, too, written by Moira Walley-Beckett of Breaking Bad.

Ergo, there’s no time like the present to brush up on the original! And you’re in luck because Rachel McAdams of True Detective reads a brand-new audiobook version that just came out last week. Listen to an excerpt here to see if you love her interpretation of Anne as much as I do! (You will probably love it.) Bonus: McAdams is Canadian, aww yis.

Categories
Giveaways

Win a Copy of SEARCHING FOR JOHN HUGHES by Jason Diamond

We have 10 copies of Jason Diamond’s Searching for John Hughes to give away to 10 Riot readers!

For as long as Jason Diamond can remember, he’s been infatuated with John Hughes’ movies. From the antics in National Lampoon’s Vacation to the teenage angst in The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink to the insanely clever Home Alone, Jason could not get enough. And so the seed was planted in his mind that he should write a biography of his favorite filmmaker. It didn’t matter to Jason that he had no qualifications, training, platform, or direction. Thus went the years-long, delusional, earnest, and assiduous quest to reach his goal. What he did get was a coming-of-age story that fills the pages of this unconventional, hilarious memoir.

To enter for a chance to win a copy, go here, or just click the cover image below. Good luck!

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Categories
Riot Rundown

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Today’s Riot Rundown is sponsored by Playster.

playster_logo_200wPlayster is the world’s first all-in-one entertainment service. It takes care of everything — ebooks, audiobooks, music, movies, TV shows and games — and gives you unlimited access to millions of titles for one flat monthly fee. That’s right! Playster lets you enjoy unlimited audiobooks and ebooks — no restrictions, no credit systems.

The service is accessible through all web browsers, and Playster’s Android and iOS apps, on virtually any device. What’s more, the offline mode lets you save all of your favorites for on-the-go reading when there’s no Internet access around. Sign up today to get your free 30 day trial!

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Swords and Spaceships

Swords and Spaceships: December 2 2016

Greetings, nerd-friends and geek-fellows!

This week’s newsletter is sponsored by us!

No need to mince words here: we are giving one lucky Book Riot reader $250 to blow at Amazon. Overstuff those stockings or get a jump on your New Year reading pile–up to you. Go here to enter.

$250 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

There’s a lot of geeky movie/TV news in the offing, but before we dive into that I invite you to explode your to-read lists along with me thanks to this piece from The Guardian on 2016’s best SF/F. Obviously big fan of Jemisin and Chiang over here, and I adored Zen Cho’s book. There are several titles mentioned in that piece I’ve had on my TBR for ages (time to bump ’em up) plus a few I hadn’t heard of at all — always a delightful moment!

And now, to the screens.

– Anyone seen Arrival yet? There are linguists at USCD and Gizmodo who have thoughts. (If you haven’t seen it, their general thoughts about the role of linguistics vs. their very spoilery thoughts about plot are clearly marked, so you’re safe!)

– Anne Rice is planning a Game of Thrones-level TV adaptation of The Vampire Chronicles. While I have many qualms about her personally, I can’t help but think that if it actually happens this could make for some really good (or so-bad-it’s-good) binge-watching.

– In further Tolkien news, J.R.R. himself is getting a movie! A biopic, to be precise. Here I thought I knew a lot about the man (I once memorably won an argument with my 6th grade teacher about whether or not “philologist” was an actual word), but I learned four new things about him from this announcement alone, so I’m on board.

– Apparently Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton fame is a huge Patrick Rothfuss fan!? And is going to be the creative producer for both a Kingkiller Chronicles feature film and a TV series?! And maybe even a stage play!!? Is this the real life?!? (I can’t tell if this is better or worse for my dream that someone will someday adapt Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Legacy series for the screen.)

– I was going to save Michelle Yeoh’s Star Trek: Discovery casting news as “best for last,” but then I saw that while she is playing a captain she is not playing the captain. I have big love for the Kelvin-verse movie franchise (well, at least the first and third installments), but I haven’t watched Star Trek on TV since Voyager. I’m psyched that Yeoh will have some role, but until we get some actual news about the major players, I will remain skeptical.

– Parker Posey to is going to play Dr. Smith in Netflix’s Lost In Space remake, LET’S TALK ABOUT THIS. Because I come from a long line of nerds whose only compatible interests are nerd-things, we went to see the 1998 Gary Oldman/Matt LeBlanc remake in the theaters. (Yes, there were other people in that movie. No, I don’t remember anything about their performances.) In both the original TV series and the movie remake, Smith is a saboteur stuck in outer space with a sometimes obnoxiously good-natured family of scientists and a robot that shouts DANGER! The original concept is already a remake of the Swiss Family Robinson concept (another childhood favorite). So what I am saying is, I was already here for this. And now we’ve got a female saboteur with stellar comic timing, which leads me to believe that Netflix intends for this to retain at least some of the light-heartedness of the original. Put me down officially as “REALLY EXCITED.”

It’s almost like I planned a “space” theme; let’s not waste this segue and go to our first recommendation.

Radiance by Catherynne Valente
Radiance by Catherynne ValenteRecently out in paperback, Valente’s latest is an intergalactic opus and a love letter to cinema. Set in an alternate universe in which the Solar System was colonized via space cannon starting in the late 1800s (think A Journey to the Moon) and silent film retained a hold on the film industry well into the 20th century, it’s both incredibly elaborate and very simple.

The plot is the simple part: a young woman named Severin Unck, daughter of a famous filmmaker and documentarian in her own right, goes to shoot a vanished town on Venus. She disappears, is presumed dead. The elaborate part is the prose and structure of the novel. The book talks to you the reader and/or you the viewer, interweaves transcripts and script excerpts and diary entries and monologues. It is profoundly performative, and not what I would call an “easy” read. You have to pay attention to follow the many characters and viewpoints, the jumps back and forth in time and space (literally). It’s a book that teaches you how to read it as you go along; it winks at you, elbows you in the ribs, then spins you around to face in a new direction. You can get a little dizzy in the process, but I enjoyed every twist and turn.

Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Ben Krueger
Last Call at the Nightshade LoungeBailey Chen is whip-smart and has the college degree, the steel-trap mind, and the ambition to prove it. What she doesn’t have is a job. Or rather, a “real” job — currently, she’s the barback at her high school friend’s bar, living with her parents, and failing at networking her way into a better gig. This is her biggest concern until the day she discovers that not only are monsters real, but that an elite cadre of bartenders fights them with magical booze.

There’s no time like the holidays for a page-turning adventure story about cocktails, am I right? Krueger’s got a sometimes wry, sometimes slapstick sense of humor and a knack for creating entertaining characters who eat clichés for breakfast. Indeed, every time I expected the plot to go one way it turned another. Recipes are interspersed between chapters, so one can add it to the mixology shelf as well as fiction. Fun, rompy, and a great book to have in your pocket for the boozehounds on your gift list.

 

Speaking of gifts, the next installment of Swords and Spaceships will skip news so that there’s more room for a Gift Guide for Nerd Pals. See you then!

Categories
New Books

Books I Am Thankful For: The 2016 Edition, Part 1

Yes, Thanksgiving was last week, but new releases are pretty thin on the ground at this time of year, so today I’m listing a few of the books published in 2016 that I am thankful for that you may not have heard enough about. This is part one – I’ll publish part two next week! Meanwhile, you can also hear Rebecca and I discuss some fun bookish whatever on this week’s new episode of the All the Books! We talked about awesome books such as Searching for John Hughes, The Book of Unknown Americans, and The Borden Murders. Also, you should know that the final book in the Queen of the Tearling series is out today! Your wait is over!

noviceThis week’s newsletter is sponsored by The Novice by Taran Matharu.

He can summon demons. But can he win a war?

Fletcher is working as a blacksmith’s apprentice when he discovers he has the rare ability to summon demons from another world. Chased from his village for a crime he did not commit, Fletcher must travel with his demon, Ignatius, to an academy for adepts, where the gifted are taught the art of summoning.

Along with nobles and commoners, Fletcher endures grueling lessons that will prepare him to serve as a Battlemage in the Empire’s war against the savage Orcs. But sinister forces infect new friendships and rivalries grow. With no one but Ignatius by his side, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of the Empire is in his hands. . . .

the gloamingThe Gloaming by Melanie Finn

A wildly strange, fascinating literary thriller, steeped in guilt and superstition.

Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa

Grief, heroics, and violence set amid the 1990 WTO protests in Seattle.

One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

When a ten-year-old boy dies, his estranged father sets out to learn more about him by visiting the boy’s only friend: a 104-year-old woman.

do not say we have nothingDo Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien

This beautiful, all-consuming novel about family, secrets, Mao’s Cultural Revolution, and the Tiananmen Square massacre won the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Grace by Natashia Deón

A brutal, breathtaking story of runaway slaves, the Civil War, and family. This amazing novel has been sorely overlooked.

Children of the New World: Stories by Alexander Weinstein

Like Black Mirror? Like Westworld? Then you’ll love these stories of not-so-far-away future dystopia.

the fire this timeThe Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race edited by Jesmyn Ward

Smart, important essays and poems about race from some of today’s most important voices.

The Clancys of Queens by Tara Clancy

Clancy’s hilarious and heartfelt memoir about growing up in a working class family in Queens.

The Story of a Brief Marriage by Anuk Arudpragasam

Beautifully written story of refugees in Sri Lanka during the Civil War. It is both breathtaking and horrifying.

black appleBlack Apple by Joan Crate

Heartwrenching novel about a young Blackfoot girl who is taken from her family and placed the residential school system on the Canadian prairies.

The Hike by Drew Magary

If Roald Dahl wrote an episode of Tales from the Crypt, you would get The Hike. It’s absoloutely bananapants.

Riverine: A Memoir from Anywhere but Here by Angela Palm

Palm returned to her hometown to confront the ghosts of her past, including the boy she loved who is now in prison for murder.

YAY, BOOKS! That’s it for me today. Stay tuned for next week when I share even more amazing overlooked books of 2016! And if you want to learn more about books (and see lots of pictures of my cats, Millay and Steinbeck), or tell me about books you’re reading, you can find me on Twitter at MissLiberty, on Instagram at FranzenComesAlive, or Litsy under ‘Liberty’!

Stay rad!

Liberty

Categories
This Week In Books

J.K. Rowling Sends Harry Potter Books to Girl in Syria: This Week in Books

A bit of a light week in books and publishing with the Thanksgiving holiday, but a few noteworthy things:

J.K. Rowling Sends Books to Syrian Fan

Bana, a seven-year-old girl live-tweeting her experience in rebel-held Eastern Aleppo, (she has over 141,000 followers!) saw the Harry Potter movie and loved it. Her mom realized she couldn’t get the books in Syria and reached out to Rowling on Twitter–the author responded and sent Bana the ebooks to read. A tiny but bright literary spot out of Syria, where the news is rarely good.

 

Public Library Books Defaced with Swastikas

Evanston public librarians discovered several books about the Middle East had been defaced with swastikas and racial slurs in the days leading up to a public lecture on the Middle East. The library has reported the incident to both the police and the Southern Poverty Law Center, and states that “those who are caught defacing library materials will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.” Hate crimes have been sharply on the rise since Trump’s election, and the fact that they’re moving into our libraries, which should be centers of tolerance and open-mindedness, is very chilling.

 

New Feminist Classics to Read

On the flip side of a rise in hate crimes, the election has also brought about a metric ton of lists of books to read about feminism, immigration, climate change, and other social justice issues. Flipping (or scrolling) through them often brings up the same titles over and over, so this list of 40 new feminist classics–only those published in the last 10 years, both fiction and nonfiction–is refreshing.


Thanks to Searching for John Hughes for sponsoring This Week in Books.

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For as long as Jason Diamond can remember, he’s been infatuated with John Hughes’ movies. From the antics in National Lampoon’s Vacation to the teenage angst in The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink to the insanely clever Home Alone, Jason could not get enough. And so the seed was planted in his mind that he should write a biography of his favorite filmmaker. It didn’t matter to Jason that he had no qualifications, training, platform, or direction. Thus went the years-long, delusional, earnest, and assiduous quest to reach his goal. What he did get was a coming-of-age story that fills the pages of this unconventional, hilarious memoir.

Categories
The Goods

Cyber Monday

Okay, campers. It’s now or never! Today is the last day in the 30% off sitewide sale. This is your last chance for a discount this delicious all holiday season. Shop now!

And don’t forget – you’ll get free shipping on all orders of $40 or more!

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Categories
Giveaways

Win THE NOVICE by Taran Matharu!

We have 10 copies of The Novice by Taran Matharu to give away to 10 Riot readers.

He can summon demons. But can he win a war?

Fletcher is working as a blacksmith’s apprentice when he discovers he has the rare ability to summon demons from another world. Chased from his village for a crime he did not commit, Fletcher must travel with his demon, Ignatius, to an academy for adepts, where the gifted are taught the art of summoning.

Along with nobles and commoners, Fletcher endures grueling lessons that will prepare him to serve as a Battlemage in the Empire’s war against the savage Orcs. But sinister forces infect new friendships and rivalries grow. With no one but Ignatius by his side, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of the Empire is in his hands…

To enter the giveaway, go here, or just click on the cover image below:

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Categories
Unusual Suspects

Calling Veronica Mars Fans, Marcia Clark’s New Series, And More Mystery/Thrillers

The last of the pumpkin pie with chocolate crust has been eaten and I’m comforting myself with books. I have a lot of great books to talk about so I’ll wait a moment while you reinforce your shelves… Ready?

Read this, then that:

the-murder-game-and-fractured-by-catherine-mckenzieCatherine McKenzie’s Fractured is about an author, Julie Apple, who wrote a popular book, has a stalker, and moves to a new home where a neighbor is very intense about how the neighborhood should behave. The name of the book that the fictional character Julie Apple wrote is The Murder Game, which is now a real book—Meredith has to prosecute a friend from law school accused of murder whose defense lawyer is Meredith’s ex-boyfriend from law school. It’s a bit confusing BUT I recommend reading them backwards for a few reasons, including avoiding spoilery things, because they were great mystery page-turners. So read The Murder Game by Julie Apple and then Fractured by Catherine McKenzie (they’re both really written by McKenzie).

I love Marcia Clark’s new series!

blood-defense-by-marcia-clarkIt reminds me of Scandal/HTGAWM in twists, reveals, and the “good guys” aren’t always good guys. In Blood Defense, Sam is a defense lawyer trying to get her practice to succeed instead of hemorrhaging money and takes the case of a detective accused of murdering two women—one was a TV star. In Moral Defense, Sam, Michelle (her best friend/office manager), and Alex (criminal turned investigator) are back solving the case of a brutal family murder that left one surviving member: the teen daughter.

Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train, has a new book, Into the Water, scheduled for May 2017 release!

Did you know you can cook along with Chief Inspector Gamache? Well, sort of: Recipes from the world of Three Pines.

HBO’s Big Little Lies adaptation has a premiere date!

Calling all Veronica Mars fans:

trouble-makes-a-comeback-by-stephanie-tromlyI usually don’t see the connection when books comp VM, but I can see it with Stephanie Tromly’s Trouble Makes a Comeback (Trouble #2) audiobook. Especially compared to VM’s high school years: there’s the one big plot carried on from the previous season book that takes place outside of the school (the disappearance of Digby’s sister) along with the smaller plot inside the school. Zoe and Digby aren’t Veronica and Logan but the contentious relationship is there, along with the fun elements from the show. The book does a good summary of the previous book if you’re looking to jump in here.

For fiction/nonfiction fans looking for a good spy story and perfect for anyone looking for a non-violent mystery/true crime:

the-spy-who-couldnt-spell-by-yudhijit-bhattacharjeeThe Spy Who Couldn’t Spell: A Dyslexic Traitor, an Unbreakable Code, and the FBI’s Hunt for America’s Stolen Secrets by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee: This read like a spy novel/movie except it was true—which I had to keep reminding myself every time I thought, “That’s not realistic!” Bhattacharjee takes you into the world of a man who spent his life feeling he had to prove his intelligence so once he felt his life sinking he decided to save himself by concocting a plot you’d only see in a spy movie. Unlike fiction you get the real process the FBI has to take when a traitor is suspected amongst them.

Are you a fan of fictional serial killers? Here are 16!

nailbiter-by-joshua-williamsonNailbiter by Joshua Williamson, Mike Henderson (Artist): A dark and awesome graphic novel that takes place in Buckaroo, Oregon where 16 of the world’s most notorious serial killers have come from. Clearly there is something going on! At least that’s what NSA Agent Carroll believes when he calls agent Finch to come meet him. But when Finch arrives Carroll is nowhere to be found… Did I mention the infamous “Nailbiter” has been released from jail?

Adaptations On My Radar:

I wish I could already add the USA Network adaptation of Petra Hammesfahr’s novel The Sinner to my TiVo’s OnePass.

I want the novel and adaptation of Tangerine now!

Peter Cameron’s Andorra has a bookseller main character and the adaptation has cast Gillian Anderson which is all I need to want to read the book and watch the movie.

More Fantastic November Releases!

the-man-who-wanted-to-know-everythig-by-d-a-mishaniThe Man Who Wanted to Know Everything (Avraham Avraham #3) by D.A. Mishani: I love Mishani’s series—for one I don’t think there are many crime/mystery novels coming from Israel and second his novels read as if they’re written with kindness. In the latest of the series Inspector Avraham Avraham (who takes issue with fictional mysteries since he thinks they always get the wrong person) recognizes a murder victim as the victim of rape from a previous case. Told in alternating POV you’re taken into the daily lives of Avraham and Bengtson, a woman in a troubled marriage. Perfect for fans of police procedurals and the exploration of human nature.

under-the-midnight-sun-by-keigo-higashinoUnder the Midnight Sun by Keigo Higashino, Alexander O. Smith (Translator): This begins as a detective mystery—detective Sasagaki is investigating the murder of a pawn shop owner and then a possible suicide—that segues into a crime novel that follows characters connected in some way to the deaths and then ends back with detective Sasagaki who refused to give up on his case. It’s a very dark crime novel, sprinkled with a great detective, and threaded with a whodunnit mystery.

Watch Now!

Tell No One: Adapted from Harlan Coben’s novel is about a couple who are attacked, leaving only the husband, Alexandre, as a survivor with no memory of the event. Eight years later, with Margot’s killer behind bars, two more bodies are found and Alexandre (I like to call him French Dustin Hoffman) finds himself once again a suspect. This had it all: mystery, crime, twists, chases, secrets, deception…
Currently streaming on Netflix.

Until next time, keep investigating! And in the meantime feel free to come talk books with me on Litsy, you can find me under Jamie Canaves.


No need to mince words here: we are giving one lucky Book Riot reader $250 to blow at Amazon. Overstuff those stockings or get a jump on your New Year reading pile–up to you. Go here to enter.

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Categories
Riot Rundown

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We’ve got a sweet little Instagram account. Books, recommendations, and a whole bunch of reader-nerd stuff.
Come check it out:

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