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Sophie Kinsella Talks About Our Social Media Obsessions
Posted by Cybil on February 09, 2017



The first installment of Sophie Kinsella's wildly popular Shopaholic series, Confessions of a Shopaholic, introduces Becky Bloomwood, a financial journalist whose "perfect life" is tenuously supported by crushing credit card debt. The bestselling author has revisited her endearing protagonist over the course of seven more novels.

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In her latest novel, My Not So Perfect Life, Kinsella has a new heroine, Katie Brenner, and examines our present-day obsession with social media and the impulse to project a perfect life through a carefully curated online presence. The following is an excerpt from our full interview that appeared in our February newsletter.

Goodreads: My Not So Perfect Life explores the theme of perception versus reality through the lens of social media. Where did the idea come from?

Sophie Kinsella: I've always written what I see around me. When I started writing Shopaholic, it was because I saw everybody shopping too much, including myself. I've always had radar, whether it's workaholism, whatever the topic is, and I've been fascinated by the explosion of social media.

I think it's brought out a part of us that's always been there. We've always wanted to put our best foot forward and give a good impression. People used to have their portraits painted—this is nothing new, the instinct has always been there. But I think with social media you add a new dimension. You can hide behind it, you can present a front, and it can be that the people you're connected with never see you in person, so these little fictions—which we all indulge in—they never get put straight.

In contrast, we're humans and are built to pick up signals, so you might meet a friend and she starts off saying everything is wonderful, but you pick things up from her expression, or her eyes, or her nervous laugh, and you can get to the truth behind this image. But with social media you don't have that; you just have the image. And it just seems to be the convention that we relentlessly put out information and images, and no one seems to break that convention. So we're stuck in this cycle of "isn't this great?" There's nothing wrong with that, except that it becomes the perception that this is what reality is, and I think if you're feeling insecure, rather than see someone's holiday pictures and think, Well, that's only one side of the story, you can think that's the whole story. It can lower your own self-esteem.

GR: In your latest book, the main character emulates her boss whom she imagines to have the perfect life. Was there anyone you emulated when you were just starting out? Do you ever think about that person now with fresh eyes?

SK: There was nobody in particular I looked at and wanted their whole package, but there were definitely people I would look at—there was an editor on the circuit when I was a journalist, and she was renowned for taking over her magazine at the age of 25. Everybody thought she was amazing, and I got slightly obsessed. How did she do that, and could I be like her? I was nothing like her, which shows how ridiculous it is. And I didn't even really want to be an editor for a financial magazine.

I think it's natural to latch onto people and think, Well, this is my role model, and I'm going to see what they did because you need some sort of guide. Other people I've looked at who have had their children before me, and I've looked at them and thought, What have they done, what decisions have they made? I look at somebody who has been there before me and try to map myself from them. Which can be useful, or it can be really stupid or irrelevant because their life is nothing like my own, and I've learned that. I think I have a natural propensity to compare and contrast. It's such a natural instinct, and can be useful, and can be a red herring.


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GR: I read that you have five children and that there's a 15-year age gap between the youngest and eldest. What differences, if any, have you encountered in raising them? Has technology made it easier or harder? How has parenthood changed from then to now?

SK: I'm far more relaxed! Your first child, you're absolutely paranoid. Every phase you think will last forever—they'll cry forever, you'll breastfeed forever—but you get such perspective after 15 years, and now I'm just so superrelaxed, whatever goes on. They'll all learn to read, they'll all learn to do up their buttons, they'll end up eating vegetables one day. I remember my third in particular, I remembered thinking, "This is fun. I have a baby, and I'm not freaking out."

And obviously the world has changed, and I think I'll have to be more vigilant about technology than I was with the first children because it's just a different matter. I haven't really let them have technology very young. I'm afraid we're the mean parents who wouldn't let them play the computer games or have a phone very early. It's a fascinating topic. I wrote a young adult book called Finding Audrey, and there's a secondary character called Frank, the brother, who's completely addicted to computer games and has an ongoing battle with his mother about it, which is the comic release. And let's just say I've had some family research on that.

Read the full interview with Kinsella here. Missing out on our newsletters? Be sure to sign up!


And check out more recent blogs:
The Books Victoria Aveyard Recommends for Her Own Heroine
Rereading Is Here! Let's Say It Again. Rereading Is Here!
36 Romantic Book-to-Movie Adaptations
The Best Inspirational Quotes from Books
A Rebel's Reading List: The Books Victoria Aveyard Recommends for Her Own Heroine
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on February 07, 2017



Books contain a great deal of power. No one knows this better than Victoria Aveyard, author of the Red Queen series which brings superhero-like abilities into a YA fantasy world. As King's Cage, the third entry in the series, hits bookshelves, Goodreads asked Aveyard to share the books that would help her beleaguered heroine, Mare, rise up against her tormentors.


When Glass Sword ended, Mare was left in chains as a sacrifice to save her friends, a prisoner to protect a rapidly expanding rebellion. Her path to imprisonment was fraught with fatal missteps and horrific choices. She is, after all, a teenager barely keeping her head above water. She is bound to fail, to fall. And hopefully, eventually, move forward. Rise. Resist.

There is no greater weapon in the world than words, and now, with all Mare's other weapons taken away, they are the only ones left to her. If given the chance, she would leap for books to strengthen her mind, her heart, and her determination to survive. Against a broken boy king, in the face of a totalitarian government bent on dividing, conquering, and controlling her world, Mare might find solace in a few books familiar to us.


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Within Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling, the boy wizard faces a world like Mare's, under the tyrant thumb of Professor Umbridge, and the willfully ignorant, ineffectual Ministry seeking to deny the growing terrors of Voldemort's return. Though it features the last rays of sunlight before night falls on the Wizarding World, there is hope in this book, and hope will keep Mare alive.



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Between the pages of Wolf by Wolf and its sequel, Blood for Blood, both by Ryan Graudin, Yael, a rare survivor of the Holocaust has extraordinary powers. He is the key to overthrowing a victorious Nazi Reich and the Empire of Japan. Her courage, strength, and constant struggle with her own morality would comfort Mare, who also seeks balance between becoming a hero and becoming a monster.



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William L. Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, chronicles the seeds of Hitler's Nazi empire through the end of World War II. It holds necessary wisdom for Mare…and for anyone who believes in understanding history so that it might never be repeated. Recognizing the gathering clouds of tyranny is the best way to weather, and defeat, the coming storm.



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An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir would be more than welcome in Mare's imprisonment, another testament to rebellion, resistance, and the indomitable strength of women who fight back in every way they can. In Laia, a daughter of a people subjugated by another crushing empire, Mare would find not just comfort and determination, but understanding. They are both flawed in their pursuit of freedom, and in this, there is no shame. There is great importance in the flawed female. A phrase that, in truth, means, the real female. A real person. For there is nothing and no one without flaw or imperfection. To see that reflected in An Ember in the Ashes would be a gift to Mare, one that might help her heal scars inside and out.




Victoria Aveyard's King's Cage is on sale now. Add the entire series to your Want to Read shelf!

Red Queen
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Glass Sword
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King's Cage
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What books would you recommend to Mare? Share them with us in the comments.

And check out more recent blogs:
Rereading Is Here! Let's Say It Again. Rereading Is Here!
36 Romantic Book-to-Movie Adaptations
The Best Inspirational Quotes from Books

Rereading Is Here! Let's Say It Again. Rereading Is Here!
Posted by Cybil on February 07, 2017








How much do we love rereading? Let us count the ways…for those days when you just want to spend time with your favorite characters; or when you want to revisit a beloved classic; or maybe you want to brush up on a series before the next installment comes out (we're still waiting, George R.R. Martin and Diana Gabaldon), the list goes on! Rereading is such a core part of many of our readers' lives that having a better way to keep track of the times you've read a book has been your number one feature request. Starting today, that wish has been granted—no more missing out on rereads being counted for your Reading Challenge!

How Do I Start Using the Rereading Feature?
Next time you decide to reread a book that you've already marked as Read on Goodreads, simply mark it as Currently Reading. When you are done, just mark it as Read. You can do this from the Goodreads iOS and Android apps and on Goodreads.com, as well as in the About the Book feature on Kindle (if you have connected your Goodreads and Amazon accounts - click here to connect your accounts). We take care of marking it as a reread for you. Bonus, it will also automatically be included in your Reading Challenge.

Rereading Rolling Out In Stages
While it sounds like a simple thing to add, rereading turned out to be a complex engineering challenge that involved our entire database. To give you a sense of that scope, our 60 million members have added more than 1.7 billion books to their shelves! That's why we're rolling out rereading in stages. So, if you're not seeing it yet, you will soon!

How Do I Know If I Have the New Rereading Feature?
Go to Goodreads.com on desktop, choose a book you have already read, and click Edit on the My Activity area of the Book Page. At the bottom of the review section, you'll see the following:

Rereading

How Do I Add All The Times I've Reread My Favorite Books?
On Goodreads.com on desktop, use the brand-new "Add read date" button in My Activity on the Book Page to enter when you read the book; then hit save! (You don't have to have a start date, but you must have a finish year for the book to count toward your Reading Challenge.)

What Happens If I've Been Keeping Track of My Rereads With The "Number of Times Read" Option?
If you previously used the "Number of times read" field, don't worry, we've already done the work for you and all your rereads are still there. If you added a number, it automatically shows in the new feature. If you used text, we've included it in the private notes section of your review. Simply click on edit Review, to change any dates or add more information.

I've Been Using Different Editions to Track Rereads, What Happens Now?
Our new rereading feature takes that into account! Rereads are comprehensive of all editions. When you view your review, it will indicate that you have also read another edition and include that in the total count.

Rereading

Wondering which are the books Goodreads members most love to reread? Here are some of the most revisited books:

Harry Potter
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The Hunger Games
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Twilight
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Pride and Prejudice
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The Hobbit
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The Fault on Our Stars
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Divergent
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The Great Gatsby
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City of Bones
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The Fellowship of the Ring
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The Lightning Thief
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Jane Eyre
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Which book have you reread the most? Tell us in the comments!

Top 10 Contemporary Romance Books on Goodreads
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on February 06, 2017


Romance Week is brought to you by the latest book in Helen Hardt's Steel Brothers Saga, Burn.

Give your love life a dose of reality with the top contemporary romances on Goodreads. From business moguls to college dropouts, from athletes to artists, the unforgettable characters in these books are people you could meet in your everyday life. (Don't give us that look—it is possible.) How many of these modern love stories have you read?


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Bared to You
by Sylvia Day

Give in to obsession with Gideon and Eva. The bestselling Crossfire series ended last year, and this is the book that started it all.



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Hopeless
Colleen Hoover

From the back-to-back Goodreads Choice Award winner for Best Romance comes a bewitching tale of new love, old secrets, and hard truths.



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The Notebook
by Nicholas Sparks

Grab the tissues! Sparks has a gift for bittersweet tearjerkers (e.g., A Walk to Remember), but the love story of Allie and Noah is arguably his best.



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Fifty Shades of Grey
by E.L. James

Don't pretend—you know all about this one. Christian Grey will see you now, whether you're into reading about him or watching him on the big screen.



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Easy
Tammara Webber

After a hellish frat party, Jacqueline struggles with trust. But with her friends' encouragement, she gives the nice guy in her econ class a chance.



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The Rosie Project
by Graeme Simsion

Don has a problem: He doesn't know if he's capable of love. Enter Rosie, who dismantles all of his preconceived notions about himself and his future.



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Beautiful Disaster
Jamie McGuire

They don't call him a Walking One-Night Stand for nothing. Good thing Abby's not falling for that sort of guy anymore. Well, maybe.



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Him
by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Ryan's had a crush on Jamie for years, but one night ruined everything. As they prepare to face off on the hockey rink, Ryan hopes for a second chance.



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Thoughtless
S.C. Stephens

What's the best remedy for a broken heart? For Keira, it's a seemingly meaningless fling with local rockstar Kellan.



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Addicted
by Zane

Exploring the line between passion and addiction, Zoe fights to save her business, her marriage, and her life.




Still looking for love? Sign up for the best deals on romance ebooks and more!

What's your favorite contemporary romance book? Share it with us in the comments! And be sure to check out more of our Romance Week coverage here.

Burn

Top 10 Paranormal Romance Books on Goodreads
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on February 06, 2017


Romance Week is brought to you by the latest book in Helen Hardt's Steel Brothers Saga, Burn.

Want love stories with…bite? We rounded up the top paranormal romances on Goodreads just for you! Whether it's falling for the werewolf next door or hunting sexy vampires by moonlight, these books will transport you to worlds of danger, intrigue, and passion. How many have you read?


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Dark Lover
by J.R. Ward

The last purebred vampire on earth falls for an innocent half-breed woman in this irresistible introduction to the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.



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Moon Called
by Patricia Briggs

Welcome to Mercy Thompson's world. The full-time mechanic and part-time werewolf has her hands full with work, romance, and literal monsters.



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Darkfever
by Karen Marie Moning

Attempting to solve her sister's murder, Mac travels to Ireland for answers—and finds unexpected allies and diabolical foes.



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Halfway to the Grave
by Jeaniene Frost

Can vampires be good? Catherine doesn't think so until a vampire bounty hunter named Bones captures her. (It's a long story.)



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The Darkest Night
by Gena Showalter

Ashlyn comes to Budapest for peace. What she gets instead is Maddox, a dangerous warrior and the first of the irresistible Lords of the Underworld.



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Fantasy Lover
by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Julian is cursed to be a love slave for all eternity. Two thousand years in, he meets Grace, the only woman who wants to set him free.



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Angels' Blood
by Nalini Singh

Hired by an archangel, vampire hunter Elena mixes business with pleasure on a precarious quest to stop an ancient evil.



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Pleasure Unbound
by Larissa Ione

He's a demon, and she's a demon slayer. Sworn enemies, they give in to temptation, risking both their lives.



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Kiss of Midnight
by Lara Adrian

When a night out turns deadly, vampire Lucan reluctantly saves a mortal woman by binding himself to her. Now their fates are tied…forever.



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The Warlord Wants Forever
by Kresley Cole

With war breaking out around them, a vampire general and a Valkyrie engage in a cat-and-mouse game fueled by revenge and lust.





And for a limited time, grab this incredible deal on The Darkest Torment, the latest book in the Lords of the Underworld series!


What's your favorite paranormal romance book? Share it with us in the comments! And be sure to check out more of our Romance Week coverage here.

Burn

Top 10 Historical Romance Books on Goodreads
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on February 06, 2017


Romance Week is brought to you by the latest book in Helen Hardt's Steel Brothers Saga, Burn.

Love isn't what it used to be. Head back to the good ol' days of steamy courtships and extravagant wardrobes—corsets and kilts and bonnets, oh my!—with our roundup of the top historical romances on Goodreads. How many have you read?


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The Duke and I
by Julia Quinn

Their courtship is a sham…or is it? As Daphne and the Duke fake a romance, real feelings begin to emerge, much to their mutual chagrin.



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Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen

It's the classic tale of bad first impressions! Fall in love with Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth all over again as the two meander their way to happily ever after.



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Mine Till Midnight
by Lisa Kleypas

Cam Rohan wants to leave London and return to his uncivilized roots. Then he meets Amelia. Suddenly, "being civilized" doesn't seem so bad.



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Outlander
by Diana Gabaldon

The beloved story of Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser begins here. The year is 1945—until a brush with fate sends Claire hurtling back in time to 1743.



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The Bride
by Julie Garwood

At his king's decree, Alec takes an English bride. To his immense surprise, he ends up liking her. Too bad she suspects he killed his first wife.



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Jane Eyre
by Charlotte Bronte

Full of heart and heartbreak, the love story between plain, spirited Jane and arrogant, brooding Mr. Rochester is one for the ages.



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Through the Storm
by Beverly Jenkins

With her life in peril, escaped slave Sable chooses to put her trust in Union Officer Raimond, a man she once betrayed…and still loves.



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Into the Wilderness
by Sara Donati

In a remote New York mountain village, a young teacher befriends a mysterious man, known to the Mohawk people as Between-Two-Lives.



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A Kingdom of Dreams
by Judith McNaught

It begins with an abduction. Headstrong Jennifer vows to make life miserable for her captor until one night changes everything.



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North and South
by Elizabeth Gaskell

Whisked away to the north of England, Margaret Hale begins a tempestuous relationship with a mill owner in this classic of Victorian literature.




Still looking for love? Sign up for the best deals on romance ebooks and more!

What's your favorite historical romance book? Share it with us in the comments! And be sure to check out more of our Romance Week coverage here.

Burn

It's Romance Week on Goodreads
Posted by Cybil on February 06, 2017


Romance Week brought to you by the latest book in Helen Hardt's Steel Brothers Saga, Burn.

It's time for love stories, sweet 'meet cute' tales, steamy guilty-pleasure reads, and favorite heartfelt novels. Yes, it's time for the Goodreads Romance Week.

All week we will be bringing you the best in romance leading up to Valentine's Day, including top romance authors (we're talking J.R. Ward, Nalini Singh, Kristen Ashley, and many more) writing 14-word love stories! Check out their very short (and very clever) stories below.

Check back for more Romance Week!
Visit your favorite author's Goodreads page for their Romance Week updates and follow along on social media using #RomanceWeek.



14-Word Love Stories From Goodreads Top Romance Authors

"'How can I not love you?' I said to Channing Tatum as he blushed."
J.R. Ward

"Mistaken text. Not mistake, but fate. It was you. When we met I knew."
Katy Evans

"Courtesan spy and celibate warrior priest save realm, fall in love. Oops, goodbye celibacy!"
Jacqueline Carey


"She was a woman he couldn't claim. He was a man she couldn't tame."
Brenda Jackson

"An altar-dumped groom tricks his best man and worst enemy into honeymooning together."
Damon Suede

"Blind date to forever: Glances, smiles, holy-forearms, killer-legs, laughter, lips, hands, beds, walls…love."
Emma Chase


"She rescued a wounded wolf…and woke to a man. He smiled. She fell."
Nalini Singh

"See him. Laughter. Conversation. Butterflies. Kisses. Floating. Merging. Terror. Falling. Held. Courage. Forever lifemate."
Christine Feehan



"They met at 17, fell in love. Married at 21, lived happily ever after."
Karen Rose

"The heart drawn on the paper coffee cup that I held until it cooled."
C.S. Pacat



"Black eye. He moved to her, cautious. She looked to him. He was lost."
Kristen Ashley

"Violet shed her rights, Viggo shed his—for what use was freedom without love?"
Bella Forrest

"Every day
Same train
Empty seat
He sits
We talk
We miss our stop."
Kylie Scott

Tell us what you're reading in observance of Romance Week!

Burn

36 Romantic Book-to-Movie Adaptations
Posted by Cybil on February 06, 2017


Romance Week is brought to you by the latest book in Helen Hardt's Steel Brothers Saga, Burn.

Where would romantic movies be without Jane Austen? Or John Green? And what about Nicholas Sparks? Some of the most beloved big screen love stories began as books.

From the sweeping epics to the quirky couples to the ugly-cry tearjerkers, these 36 romantic novels went from page to screen. Which adaptations are your favorites?

Pride and Prejudice
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The Princess Bride
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Gone With the Wind
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How Stella Got Her Groove Back
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The Fault in Our Stars
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Me Before You
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Twilight
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Fifty Shades Darker
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Dear John
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Atonement
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Slumdog Millionaire
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Bridget Jones's Diary
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Brokeback Mountain
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The Time Traveler's Wife
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The Notebook
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The English Patient
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Love Story
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Out of Africa
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Remains of the Day
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A Room with a View
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Legends of the Fall
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The Graduate
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Sense And Sensibility
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Water for Elephants
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Circle of Friends
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Emma
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The Accidental Tourist
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Carol
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Like Water for Chocolate
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Fifty Shades of Grey
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Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
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Carol
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The Silver Linings Playbook
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Waiting To Exhale
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Love in the Time of Cholera
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Wuthering Heights
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Still looking for love? Sign up for the best deals on romance ebooks and more!


What's your favorite romantic movie adaptation? Tell us in the comments! And be sure to check out more of our Romance Week coverage here.

Burn

Your Super Bowl Reading List
Posted by Cybil on February 03, 2017



Are you ready for some football…reading? Before Sunday's Super Bowl kicks off, Lady Gaga performs the halftime show, and the Puppy Bowl distracts us briefly from the score, why not catch up on on some great books about this American tradition?

What's your favorite book about the great game of football? Tell us in the comments.


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Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger:

The book that launched the movie that launched the television show, this look at the 1988 Permian High School Panthers out of Odessa, Texas, is an unflinching look at the game and the culture around it.


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The Blind Side by Michael Lewis:

Another football classic that was made into a movie, this is a story of a young man who—with the love of a found family—defied the odds stacked against him to become a professional football player.


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When Pride Still Mattered : A Life Of Vince Lombardi by David Maraniss:

You simply can't write about football without mentioning the sport's guru. Lombardi took the sport and made it into an American experience. This biography takes a look at the man behind the myth.


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Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices & Priorities of a Winning Life by Tony Dungy:

Dungy, a former NFL player and coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Indianapolis Colts, was the first African American head coach to win the Super Bowl. Here the even-keeled coach tells us the keys to his success.


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Paper Lion: Confessions of a Last-String Quarterback by George Plimpton:

This journalist is better known as a literary editor who helped found The Paris Review. But here Plimpton recounts how he talked his way into training camp…not as a reporter but as a player with the Detroit Lions.


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Instant Replay: The Green Bay Diary of Jerry Kramer by Jerry Kramer:

When Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Jerry Kramer decided to keep a journal of his tenth year with the team, he had no idea that his diary would end up capturing an insider's view of an epic 1967 football season that would end with the 'Ice Bowl' against Dallas.


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The Education of a Coach by David Halberstam:

Love them or hate them, the New England Patriots tend to dominate the competition. Here Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Halberstam focused on Coach Bill Belichick for this profile in leadership.


And check out more recent blogs:
'I Am Not Your Negro' Filmmaker Wants Readers to Discover James Baldwin
Great Books to Read Aloud During National Storytelling Week
Audiobooks With Great Casts

'I Am Not Your Negro' Filmmaker Wants Readers to Discover James Baldwin
Posted by Cybil on February 02, 2017



A new documentary based on James Baldwin's unfinished book "Remember This House" is introducing one of America's great writers to a new generation of readers. The movie I Am Not Your Negro explores the United States' history of race relations through Baldwin's personal memories of three very different civil rights leaders: Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X.

The film is garnering numerous accolades including an Academy Award nomination for best documentary feature. The Guardian called the film "a cinematic seance, and one of the best movies about the civil rights era ever made." And Variety said it's "the rare movie that might be called a spiritual documentary."

But for Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck, this movie is a love letter to his favorite author and a hope that more people will now discover Baldwin's writings.

"I read Baldwin when I was very young. The Fire Next Time opened up the whole world for me," Peck said. "Not only that, I’ve given more than a thousand of Baldwin's books to other people—to friends, to family, to students. And, over all these years, Baldwin has been not only a companion but an incredible instrument for understanding the world."


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The 64-year-old director says that because all of this films are personal, he knew that one day he would make a movie about Baldwin. He said he felt the time was right to make the film because he thought Baldwin's writing was being erased from people's minds.

"I think that moment came when I felt something was missing, a voice was missing. And I saw how over the years some people were either trying to push Baldwin aside or trying to reduce him to a minor writer, which is unacceptable," Peck said.

"Knowing what I know about Baldwin and how he played such an extraordinary role in who I am today, I knew it was an obligation to make sure his words will [resonate] forever. And through the medium of film, younger people will have access to it and ultimately go back to reading."

For those unfamiliar with Baldwin's writing, Peck recommends beginning with The Fire Next Time.

"It’s an incredible book and once you read it, you’ll want to read more. Then after that you can read all of his essays, you can read one or two a day. It’s like medicine, you should take it bit by bit. But you can’t stop, these are texts you can keeping coming back to," said Peck.

Baldwin Quotes

More of James Baldwin's Work:
The Fire Next Time
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Go Tell It on the Mountain
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Giovanni's Room
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The Ninth Configuration
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The movie I Am Not Your Negro was widely released in theaters on February 3. Add James Baldwin's books to your reading list.

And check out more recent blogs:
Audiobooks with Amazing Casts
Great Books to Read Aloud During National Storytelling Week
Year of the Rooster Reader: Top Books from 'Rooster' Authors

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