Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
Mar08

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen I’ve only seen Bruce Springsteen live, in concert once, during the 1988 Amnesty Internatonal Human Rights Now! Tour. Four friends and I took a three-hour bus ride into Philadelphia on September 19th and climbed the crumbling steps of JFK Stadium to the nosebleed section. But the seats didn’t matter. All you needed that night were your ears and your heart. Tracy Chapman lifted us up and then crushed us,...

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Upstream by Mary Oliver
Jan25

Upstream by Mary Oliver

Upstream by Mary Oliver As I read Mary Oliver’s latest essay collection, Upstream, I wondered what this brilliant poet thinks of the latest election, inauguration, and state of the world. Is she staying deep in her beloved woods, ignoring it all, or would she like to be marching with us (and what on earth would her sign say)? After finishing the last essay, I decided that if Mary Oliver had to spend a few days in DC, it wouldn’t be...

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Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
Nov30

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

Hidden Figures Before “computer” came to mean a sophisticated calculating machine, it meant a person: someone with a firm grasp of numbers and their myriad practical applications in the real world. In the 1940s, as the U.S. rapidly expanded its flight program to fight the Axis Powers, the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in Virginia tapped into a new source of computing power: a group of whip-smart, highly educated African...

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Untangled by Lisa Damour
May11

Untangled by Lisa Damour

Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood, by Lisa Damour My grandmother liked things to be neat. When she saw my long hair in knots, she would bribe me to sit still so she could run a comb through it. I really didn’t want to stop playing to get pretty, but the promise of chocolate was sufficient enough incentive for me to sit, relatively happily, through that and other unofficial lessons in...

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Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Feb10

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

If you were to ask me what my favorite thing to do in life is, I would say it is to create. It doesn’t matter if it’s the blank canvas I set up on my easel last night waiting for daubs of oil paint or the novel I’ve been working on for what seems like forever, it is the act of creating that I love the most. I enjoy reading about creativity, but when I read Nina’s recommendation of Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert for her GNB...

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The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey
Oct07

The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey

The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey Jessica Lahey’s The Gift of Failure is both an inspiring call to action and a cold splash of water for today’s parents. The Gift of Failure makes a point I’ve read about elsewhere but never as compellingly: the struggles and failures of childhood and adolescence are not just an incidental part of growing up but in fact essential to the process of maturation. By protecting our children from these...

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Missoula by Jon Krakauer
Jun03

Missoula by Jon Krakauer

Who wants to read about rape? I certainly didn’t, even though rape education is near to my heart. I’ve written about rape before, about how time and again, the justice system fails victims. And we, as a society, fail to teach our children what rape looks like. However, even I did not want to read Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer. Because, really, does that sound entertaining? And what I wanted as...

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The Opposite of Spoiled by Ron Lieber
May20

The Opposite of Spoiled by Ron Lieber

Raising a child who’s not spoiled, and all matters of money, comes down ultimately to perspective. In the Opposite of Spoiled, Ron Lieber takes a clear-eyed, direct, and ultimately deeply reassuring look at the ways in which we teach our children about money and choices. Lieber urges parents to take some of the emotion out of the topic of money, and to speak openly about it with our children from their early days.  Communication,...

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When Books Went to War by Molly Guptill Manning
Apr15

When Books Went to War by Molly Guptill Manning

  WHEN BOOKS WENT TO WAR by Molly Guptill Manning I’ve always enjoyed learning about WWII, and when I began working on my current novel, I discovered at how little I actually knew about the war. I’ve since had the privilege to actually sit down and talk to a Marine who was there, in the midst of all of it. Guadalcanal; Okinawa; Peleliu—he even witnessed the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima. He’s a true hero. And he held nothing...

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Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin
Apr08

Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

Better Than Before, the title of Gretchen Rubin’s book about how habits are set and changed, was reason enough to like the concept before I even read a page. Rubin didn’t call the book You’re Perfect Now or Get Control of Your Life. She implied with Better Than Before that her only aim was to provide tools that could help readers make some improvements. I think she succeeds in that goal. Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, has a...

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The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
Apr01

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

The Boys in the Boat was not a book I thought I’d be interested in. I mean, how could a book about rowing be all that exciting? They sit, they row, they win…or lose. I was wrong. This book is so much more than that. It’s about life, the good and bad, and how a boy and his teammates chose to deal with it. This story closely follows one young man, Joe Rantz, who is a working class boy growing up in the Depression era. He got...

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The Unspeakable by Meghan Daum
Feb25

The Unspeakable by Meghan Daum

Meghan Daum’s The Unspeakable is so named because it addresses topics that people are afraid to talk about: the ambivalence about one’s mother, the lack of desire to have a child, the compulsion to be an “honorary dyke,” and the complete disinterest in all kinds of leisure activities.  Daum’s essays are funny and thoughtful, introspective without ever being navel-gazing, and I closed the book wishing there were ten more. Every single...

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Thrive by Arianna Huffington
Nov26

Thrive by Arianna Huffington

  Thrive by Arianna Huffington   I learned about this book after I heard about Huffington Post’s second ever Thrive conference which was held in the spring of 2014. I’ve been in a self-exploration phase for the past nine months and this book discusses exactly what I’ve been exploring in my quest for a more meaningful and fulfilling life. Arianna Huffington, the founder of Huffington Post (does anyone NOT know this?),...

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The GNB October 3 Book Giveaway
Oct22

The GNB October 3 Book Giveaway

  Here at GreatNewBooks.org, it’s no secret that we love books. We’re excited to offer a special multi-book giveaway this week — three distinguished books by renowned authors, each vastly different from one another, in a wonderful opportunity to win a copy of your choice! Enter to win by filling out the form below … The 3 Books:   THE REPUBLIC OF IMAGINATION by Azar Nafisi A passionate hymn to the...

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One Summer by Bill Bryson
Sep17

One Summer by Bill Bryson

  One Summer by Bill Bryson This summer at my family’s cabin, I browsed my stepdad’s bookshelf, as I’d forgotten to bring a book for the weekend (for shame!). I saw A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson and remembered my husband mentioning the author to me several times. I grabbed it and almost immediately fell in love with Mr. Bryson. After A Walk in the Woods, I listened to At Home on audiotape. My third Bryson book is One Summer:...

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