"I'm Looking for Resonant Stories": A Conversation with Katherine Boo

"...We can talk all we want about how corruption or indifference robs people of opportunity-of the immense talent our societies squander-but if we don't really grasp the intelligences of those who are being denied, we're not going to grasp the potential that's being lost." -- Katherine Boo

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“Narrowing the Distance between ‘Our’ and ‘Their’" A Guest Post by Joanna Luloff

Joanna Luloff, author of the Holiday 2012 selection The Beach at Galle Road reflects on the influences on her debut story collection, "a kaleidoscope of vantage points, offering reflection not only on the Sri Lankan civil war, but on the always shifting understanding of home and family, of connection and dislocation, of the past’s weight on the present."

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Announcing Our Holiday 2012 Discover Great New Writers Selections

The Holiday 2012 Discover Great New Writers season begins today, and for the first time in a long while, our narrative nonfiction selections – a mix of memoir and reportage -- outnumber fiction.

 

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"The Way We Choose to Cook Will Also Determine How We Live."

Bee Wilson, author of Holiday 2012 pick Consider the Fork discusses the "single greatest improvement ever to occur in kitchen technology", the one item cooks tell her they really love, and the graphic novel her teenage son convinced her to read, among many other things, with Discover Great New Writers.

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Discover Great New Writers and the Texas Book Festival, October 27-28, 2012

Ben Fountain, Cheryl Strayed, and Junot Diaz are just a few of the Discover alums appearing at the Texas Book Festival this weekend in Austin, and we have the full run-down here.

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"We Call It Voice, But It’s Really Much More”: Scott Hutchins and Justin Torres in Conversation

In this smart, freewheeling conversation, Scott Hutchins, author of Fall '12 Discover pick A Working Theory of Love, and Justin Torres, author of Fall '11 Discover pick We the Animals (and newly named to the National Book Foundation's prestigious 5 Under 35 list) swap working tips and literary theory,  and riff on J. M. Coetzee and The Great Gatsby, birth order and method acting, among other things.

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"This Name Was the Signpost": A Q&A with Joe Mozingo

"My father's family landed in 1942 Los Angeles as if by immaculate conception, unburdened by the past." Joe Mozingo reveals his family's incredible -- and very American -- story in his memoir, The Fiddler on Pantico Run, and he discusses his "funny last name," the legacies of race, and how his family's own lost history speaks to us all, among other things, with Discover Great New Writers.

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Discover and the 2012 National Book Awards

Congratulations are due to a host of Discover alums nominated for 2012 National Book Awards and named to the 5 Under 35 list...

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This is a Great Job: A Guest Post by Dan Josefson

I've mentioned before that I have, hands down, the best job in the book business today - but  Dan Josefson's day job comes a close second, as he explains in this guest post for the Discover blog.

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I am a Relentless Note-Taker: A Conversation with Robin Sloan

Robin Sloan, author of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore - a reboot of the classic quest narrative that we can't stop recommending  to readers of all ages - talks to Discover Great New Writers about being inspired by William Gibson, the differences between writing for the web and writing books, and playing in a "technological  border-zone," among other things.                    

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"Books Opened the Door Onto So Many Topics": A Conversation with Will Schwalbe

"Schwalbe has done something extraordinary: made a personal journey public in the most engaging, funny, and revealing way possible. It was a true meditation on what books can do." -- Discover alum Edmund de Waal (The Hare with Amber Eyes) on 2012 Discover pick The End of Your Life Book Club. Will Schwalbe talks to Discover Great New Writers about using books as conversational shorthand, how reading is doing something, and wanting to continue the conversation about books.

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>You Are Standing in a Dark Cave: Robin Sloan and Charles Yu in Conversation

Robin Sloan, author of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore and Charles Yu, author of the new story collection, Sorry Please Thank You, and 2010 Discover pick How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe talk about first-person vs. third-person narration, How Fiction Works by James Wood, and creating entirely new worlds with text, among other things.

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"There is No One Main Character: A Conversation with Andrew Porter

Andrew Porter, author of the Fall '12 Discover pick In Between Days - discusses starting points, the differences between writing short stories and novels, and how his characters informed the plot of his luminous debut novel, among other things, with Discover Great New Writers.

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"Shouting Through the Megaphone": Accolades for David Abrams and Fobbit

"Beautifully planned and perfectly executed." "Hilarious." "Delightful, readable, believable." "Funny and evocative." "An impressive debut." Just some of what people are saying about David Abrams and his novel, Fobbit.

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On Accidental Adventures: A Guest Post by Charlotte Gill

"...Even now I'm not prone to extreme expeditions. I'm more comfortable in a cardigan than in a survival suit. I'd rather cook dinner than climb a mountain. And yet that's exactly what I did for almost twenty years, day after day, in spite of my natural inclinations. Planting trees was my day job while I was learning to write. But certainly there are better ways to make a living..." Charlotte Gill on planting trees, learning to write, and living in a world where "beauty and discomfort existed in equal measure" in a guest post for the Discover blog.

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On Bookselling: A Guest Post by Emma Straub

"The booksellers I've met in the last few years, both here and elsewhere, at stores large and small, are without exception bright, passionate, book-eating people. I think of booksellers as emissaries of higher truths, of beauty and wisdom and humor and, above all, pleasure." Novelist -- and bookseller -- Emma Straub riffs on the pleasures of putting books in readers' hands in a guest post.

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From the Discover Archives: Junot Díaz

Highlights from the media's coverage of Junot Díaz and his newest story collection, This is How You Lose Her.

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"Write What You Know": An Original Essay by Ayad Akhtar

Ayad Akhtar's acclaimed debut novel, American Dervish - a Spring 2012 Discover Great New Writers selection - is now available in paperback, and we're republishing "Write What You Know", an original essay he wrote that previously ran as a More in Store feature on Nook.

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From the Discover Archives: Héctor Tobar Recommends

Héctor Tobar, author of the critically-acclaimed novel The Barbarian Nurseries -- a Holiday 2011 Discover Great New Writers selection now out in paperback -- recommends 3 great reads

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"Lost Work": A Guest Post by Andrew Porter

Andrew Porter shares the story behind his provocative, gorgeously-written novel, In Between Days (a Fall 2012 pick) with Discover Great New Writers.

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What Was Behind That Facade?: A Conversation with Emma Straub

In Emma Straub's novel Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures, a Fall 2012 Discover Great New Writers selection, we watch as Elsa Emerson of Door County, Wisconsin evolves into Laura Lamont, Movie Star.  Emma discusses transformation, the glamour of Old Hollywood, and  Megan Mayhew Bergman's Spring 2011 Discover pick, Birds of a Lesser Paradise, among other things, with Discover Great New Writers.

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"What Makes Anyone Take on an Adventure Like This?": A Conversation with Charlotte Gill

I have the best job in the world, but Charlotte Gill's exuberant and stylish Eating Dirt, a Fall 2012 Discover selection, made me want to drop everything, ditch NYC, and head out into the wilderness -- and I'm hardly the only selection committee reader who felt that way. Charlotte discusses planting trees, writing about natural history, and wanting to be transported by fiction, among other things, with Discover Great New Writers.

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Discover Great New Writers in the News

Highlights from the media's coverage of Fall (and Summer) 2012 Discover Great New Writers selections.

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"We Need the Landscape": A Conversation with Amanda Coplin

Amanda Coplin discusses writing about the natural world, the evolution of central Washington State's landscape, and how loss and longing inform The Orchardist's narrative, among other things, with Discover Great New Writers.

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Faith, Family, Fiction: Ayad Akhtar and Maria Semple in Conversation

Two of our favorite authors, Ayad Akhtar (American Dervish) and Maria Semple (Where'd You Go, Bernadette) speak with one another about the joys (and limitations) of family, what writing novels demands, and keeping perspective, among other things.

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"Sleep is So Easy to Put Off": A Conversation with David K. Randall

David K. Randall, author of the Fall 2012 pick Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep, discusses his inspiration for writing the book, what scientists are just now learning about sleep, and how dreaming fits into the science of sleep, among other things with Discover Great New Writers.

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"Books Were My Teachers": A Conversation with Vaddey Ratner

Vaddey Ratner, author of the Fall 2012 selection In the Shadow of  the Banyan, discusses why she chose fiction over memoir to tell her family's story and her incredibly broad range of literary influences, among other things with Discover Great New Writers.

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From the Discover Archives: Katie Kitamura Recommends 3 Great Reads

Katie Kitamura, author of Gone to the Forest and the '09 Discover pick The Longshot recommends 3 great reads.

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"Comedy is Born Out of Strong Characters": A Conversation with Maria Semple

Maria Semple, the author of the superbly witty & equally wise Fall 2012 Discover pick Where'd You Go, Bernadette? discusses the undeniable appeal of reading other people's mail, the differences between writing a novel and writing for TV, recognizing glimmers of comedy in her own misery, and a writer "whose sentences are so beautiful it almost hurts  to read them" with Discover Great New Writers.

 

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On the Kindness of Strangers: An Essay by M.L. Stedman

M.L. Stedman, the author of The Light Between Oceans, our newest B&N Recommends selection, ponders the kindness of strangers - "that miraculous social fabric that springs into being to form safety nets and shelters and shields, without duty, or promise of reward" - in the real world and in her fictional one, and asks if we are all kind-strangers-in-waiting in this original essay.

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July 25: On this day in 1834 Samuel Taylor Coleridge died of heart disease at the age of sixty-one.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.

Pastoral

When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).