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Pick up a page turner: the best books to snuggle up on on a rainy day

You are sure to find a great novel that you will love in this list of page turners.

When you’ve eaten everything and wondering what to do next and it’s bad and it’s raining outside, why not grab a book? These addicting novels will see you spending the hours inside in a very happy way.

The Paper Palace

– Miranda Cowley Heller

Miranda Cowley Heller's Palace of Paper
Miranda Cowley Heller’s Palace of Paper

This story of toxic families topped the New York Times bestseller list, and within a few chapters, it’s easy to see why. Told from the perspective of Ellie Bishop, a seemingly married woman and mother of three, the story draws you into her past and present with such intensity that you feel like you are experiencing it yourself. On the surface, it’s the story of a tumultuous love triangle, but as you read the story the story gets so much deeper, painting the picture of family, loss and loss. betrayal with such dexterity that there is no more black or white, only a poignant gray.

Where the crayfish sing

– Délia Owen

Where Delia Owen's Crayfish Sing
Where Delia Owen’s Crayfish Sing

Part a crime story, part a love story, and part a nature documentary, Where the Crawdads Sing is a rare thing in literature, a beautifully crafted story that you just can’t put down. The main protagonist, Kya Clark, is one of the most unique characters to ever live in the printed word. His life lived on the fringes of society, in a swamp, is fascinating and beautiful. Relying heavily on the notion of “otherness”, this novel reflects the habit of society to vilify what it does not understand. Kya and her story will stay with you long after you finish the last page.

The midnight library

– Matt Haig

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

When Nora Seed dies, she is surprised to find herself in a large library faced with the possibility of redoing all the decisions she has ever made. Will she choose wisely? Will she find this road not taken and find the life she always wanted. This unusual premise is told with such warmth, wisdom, and realism that you will find yourself investing in every life of Nora.

American dirt

– Jeanne Cummins

American Dirt by Jeanne Cummins
American Dirt by Jeanne Cummins

The heartbreaking but also hopeful story of a middle-class Mexican woman forced to flee the country with her son after her husband, a journalist, was killed by a drug cartel. What follows is an uninterrupted and often violent journey from Latin America to the supposed security of the United States. Along the way, mother and son join forces with other desperate refugees on the same arduous journey, and finding them a home becomes all the reader can think of as they turn page after page, late in the day. night.

the city of bears

– Fredrik Backman

City of bears by Fredrik Backman
City of bears by Fredrik Backman

Seemingly about a small town putting its hopes for the future on its local high school hockey team, this novel is actually a grim exploration of teenage desire and male privilege. When a young woman comes forward following a traumatic sexual assault, she faces collective denial from an entire city. Will it give in to societal pressure to forget everything for the greater good of the city?

Circe

– Madeline Miller

Circe by Madeline Miller
Circe by Madeline Miller

This isn’t a new version, but it will stand the test of time with you, so if you haven’t read it, now is the time. A story of unhappy parents, sibling rivalry, and petty jealousy told through the prism of Greek mythology, Circe is a gripping story. The protagonist is Circe, daughter of Helios, god of the sun and the most powerful of the Titans. As a child, Circe shows little promise in terms of power and authority in the divine realm, forcing Helios to show her petty affection and her siblings to ridicule her. Finding that in the end she can summon black magic, Circe finally has some power, but the question is, what will she do with it? Intrinsically the story of an outcast, struggling to find his place, Circé weaves a captivating spell on the reader that will linger for years to come.

Miracle Creek

-Angie Kim

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim
Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

With elements of a thriller mystery, a cursed love story, and a family saga, Miracle Creek will have you hooked from the start. When an explosion at an experimental medical facility kills two patients, all fingers point to the family who manages the hyperbaric chamber. The family in question is made up of immigrants, who have found it difficult to assimilate into the United States. As the family story unfolds, we also get a glimpse of every patient who was there that fateful day. With each revelation, the reader goes one step further to find out who caused the explosion and why.

Before you know my name

– Jacqueline Bublitz

Before I know my name from Jacqueline Bublitz
Before I know my name from Jacqueline Bublitz

Two women, one twice the age of the other, set off for New York for a new start. However, life is never this easy and when the younger of the two is murdered their lives intertwine in death, although they have never met in life. The late young Alice tells the tale of her grave, a writing gamble that could easily go wrong, but is handled with grace and humor by Bublitz. Too emotionally charged to be just a mystery, Before You Knew My Name will keep you awake at night in the best possible way.

The other half of Augusta Hope

– Joanna Glen

The Other Half of Augusta Hope by Joanna Glen
The Other Half of Augusta Hope by Joanna Glen

Augusta Hope is every child who has walked to the beat of their own drum and who has never quite integrated. She is desperately misunderstood by her parents and her only ally in life is her twin sister, Julia. However, as the twins grow older, even their special bond is tested by their very different life choices. When Augusta suffers an overwhelming tragedy, she returns to the one place she has always been happy, a small town in Spain, where she meets someone who is just as lost as she is. This is part a family drama, part a love story, part a travel guide, and is written so honestly you’ll feel like you’re saying goodbye to close friends when you reach the last page.

Sorrow and happiness

– Meg Mason

Sorrow and Happiness by Meg Mason
Sorrow and Happiness by Meg Mason

A dark journey in a woman who struggles to make sense of her life. In dealing with divorce and mental illness, you’d be forgiven for thinking this sounds like a depressing romance to avoid, but it’s actually lovely and a lot of fun. It’s a novel about mental illness, how families absorb and cope with it, and yet it will make you laugh out loud. This is the kind of novel that you will want to devour in one sitting.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

-Taylor Jenkins Reid

Taylor Jenkins Reid's Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

On the lighter side of things, there’s this sweeping story of an aging movie star looking for a little-known writer to tell about his captivating life before he dies. From arriving in Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave the show business in the 1980s, and, of course, the Seven Husbands along the way, the life of Evelyn Hugo is a gripping saga. As the writer she chose, Monique, listens to the story unfold, she can’t help but wonder why Evelyn chose her out of all the people to tell her story to? For a fun-filled novel that won’t let you wring out at the end, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is an easy choice.

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Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen: a masterful page turner on how we deal with pain

The feeling of an end hangs over the contemporary novel. “You could smell it,” says the opening paragraph of Jonathan Franzen’s third novel, The Corrections, “something terrible was going to happen. Since those words first surfaced in 2001, the general fear that “something terrible” is going to happen has only worsened. The climate catastrophe. A global supply chain in fracking. Illiberal democracies are on the rise. Surveillance capitalism. “[T]there is no chance for the planet, and no chance for us, ”says Alice in Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney, speaking on behalf of many contemporary novelists and their characters. “We are standing in the last lighted room before dark.”

In such a context, the traditional subject of realistic fiction (relationships between a small number of usually privileged characters) may seem trivial. On the other hand, the apocalyptic mood can distort our vision. If you are convinced that the world is about to end, a lot of things are going to seem trivial to you. Much of contemporary fiction tells us with great force that the end is nigh, then struggles with apologies, continuing its stories of sex, love, and money.

Then again, in terms of subject matter, there is a lot of common ground between “the imminent apocalypse” and “who should I sleep with?” Almost all of human experience, in fact. Religious faith, family love, family pathology, trauma, addiction, music, the ethics of friendship, marriage, madness, ambition… You know: life.

Perhaps to clear the way for all of this, Jonathan Franzen sets up his sixth novel – the first in a trilogy – in 1971, before the feeling that the world is ending becomes general. No fear of the climate, no cell phones, no Internet, no Trump… 1971 was, relatively speaking, a year of relaxation for the United States. It was the interlude between the end of the violent 1960s and the beginning, with the Watergate robbery in 1972, of the classic 1970s paranoia and disillusionment. In this period of relative calm, Franzen places the Hildebrandt family. And he spends 580 pages submitting their inner life to a fierce microscopic examination: their rationalizations, their moral calculations, their encounters with sex and God, their stools, their clothes, their bank accounts, their rooms …

The father, Russ, is the pastor of First Reformed, a church in Chicago’s (fictitious) suburb, New Prospect. His wife, Marion, secretly sees a therapist. Russ and Marion’s daughter Becky is the most popular girl in her high school. Their son Clem, an atheist, convinced himself that the morally correct thing for him to enlist to fight in Vietnam. The next son Perry (QI 160) sells and uses drugs. There’s also Judson, the endearing 9-year-old, who escapes Franzen’s third-person microscope. Fortunate.

In summary, there is nothing particularly revolutionary about crossroads. Russ covets a parishioner, Mrs. Cottrell. Marion reveals her secrets to her therapist – in her twenties, in LA, she had a psychotic episode, brought on by – well, no spoilers. Perry goes up, or down, in the mania. Clem torments himself with the notions of sin and redemption that he unconsciously shares with his parents. Becky falls in love with a folk musician who already has a girlfriend. So what?

So everything. Crossroads, a church-sponsored youth experimental group that encourages its members to embrace, cry, expose their shameful stories, ties the book together. Franzen, our great contemporary novelist of shame, could not have found a better setting. In the feverish atmosphere of Carrefour, which permeates the daily life of each member of the Hildebrandt family, facing one’s shame becomes a moral necessity; and the same, of course, is with excusing your shame and apologizing for the actions that caused it. crossroads the novel, much like Crossroads the Church Group, is all about rationalizing your desires and then rationalizing the mess your desires have created. The book is both radically indulgent and radically damning of every Hildebrandt. It’s a page-turner on how we deal with pain.

It is also a novel on the varieties of religious experience. Franzen, who is not himself religious, shares the seriousness of his characters regarding their faith. For the Hildebrandts, God is real, a fundamental, inescapable moral presence. There is no mockery here, no sarcastic irony. Systematically, Franzen shows us ways to meet God: Becky, stoned in church, sees a “golden light”. Clem, admitted atheist, stages a drama of sin and self-punishment. Perry, at one point, believes himself to be God.

The first 369 pages of crossroads all take place on the same day (December 23, 1971). Then, suddenly, Franzen rushes us forward several months; slows down again to see certain consequences unfold; then, in the last 30 pages, speeds up through several major developments in an oblique fashion. It is virtuoso. This makes managing the pace and focus of other novelists cumbersome.

Video of the day

Like it or not, Jonathan Franzen is a great novelist. But why wouldn’t you love him? His books are richer, deeper, funnier, more entertaining, and more insightful than 99% of contemporary literary novels. To deny this is to deny the obvious. Reading Franzen’s reviews, I often ask myself: what do you want from fiction if you don’t want what Franzen is offering you?

Well, some people are never happy. Reading crossroads, I was happy. I suspect you will be too.

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Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen

Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen

Fiction: Carrefour by Jonathan Franzen

Fourth state, 592 pages, hardcover € 28; eBook £ 12.99

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The life of this scribe is a real page-turner

It was the night of the Tony Awards. Actor, singer, writer and activist Alan Cumming had just received a Tony for his performance as emcee in the 1998 revival of “Cabaret”. He was in the press room, giving sound clips to the media.

In the middle of an interview, “A hand appeared on my left shoulder, a large body joined it on my right,” writes Cumming, who was born and raised in rural Scotland, writes in his new memoirs ” Baggage: Tales From a Fully Packaged life.

For a second, Cumming thought he was being assaulted. But the stranger hugging him was Sean Connery, another Scotsman, known to have played James Bond. Connery had won a Tony as the producer of the play “Art”. Connery, looking at the cameras, said of Cumming: “He’s my new son.”

He took ecstasy that night at the Tonys, Cumming reveals in “Baggage.” The medication for him was “my self-prescribed anti-anxiety medication,” Cumming writes, “And it worked.”

For most of us, winning a Tony for an acclaimed cover of “Cabaret” would be just a fantasy. For Cumming, winning the prestigious award is just one of many accomplishments.

Walt Whitman said it contained multitudes. Cumming, 56, who is bisexual and married to illustrator Grant Shaffer, is Whitman on Octane.

Cumming is a mathematician. He has appeared in numerous films, plays and television shows. He wrote two children’s books; a novel; a book of photographs and stories; and the memoir “Not My Father’s Son”.

His film roles range from the James Bond film “GoldenEye” to “Eyes Wide Shut” to the “Spy Kids” trilogy. Cumming won the Olivier, BAFTA and Emmy for his work on stage and on screen. On the London stage, Cumming has performed in “Hamlet”, “Bent” and other plays.

He has appeared in “Threepenny Opera” and “Design for Living” on Broadway. Cumming created and appeared in his solo adaptation of “Macbeth”.

On television, he is known for playing Eli Gold in “The Good Wife” and Dylan Reinhart in “Instinct”, the first television drama to air to have a main gay character. Recently, Cumming played Mayor Aloysius Menlove on the Apple TV + show “Schmigadoon!”

All of this would exhaust most of us. But Cumming has energy to spare. He hosts the podcast “Alan Cumming’s Shelves” and is the amateur bartender at Club Cumming in New York.

Cumming is known for his advocacy for LGBTQ rights. He has worked for marriage equality in Scotland and with the Human Rights Campaign and other LGBTQ organizations.

In 2009, Cumming was named OBE on the Queen’s Birthday Honors List. In “Baggage,” Cumming writes that he received this honor for his work for LGBT rights. Cumming’s first memoir “Not My Father’s Son” is the story of his heartbreaking childhood. Growing up, Cumming suffered physical and psychological abuse and violence from his father. In the memories, Cumming grapples with secrecy and shame and the post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by his father’s sadistic treatment of him. “There is never any shame in being open and honest,” he writes.

“Baggage” tells many entertaining stories of showbiz. Who wouldn’t want to hear the stories of a writer whose friends include Liza (as in Liza with a Z)?

Still, “Baggage” isn’t some tasteless celebrity concoction from Tinsel Town. In “Baggage,” Cumming examines his relationships with his family, loved ones, and himself. It begins with her divorce from actress Hilary Lyon and ends with her marriage to Shaffer.

Cumming, who has dual UK / US citizenship, spoke to the Blade over the phone on a range of topics from “baggage” to politics to Helen Mirren on board the crocs.

Cumming was delighted with the positive response to “Not My Father’s Son”. He was happy that readers felt his words helped them confront the people who had mistreated them and “reckon” with their shame.

But, Cumming feared people would think he had “overcome” the despair caused by his father’s abuse. That he would never encounter this trauma again.

“I wrote ‘Baggage’,” Cumming said, “to overcome this idea of ​​triumph.”

“You don’t actually recover,” he added, “you do. You always have to manage it. “

Cumming is witty and exudes hope. But, he’s worried about what the future might bring to LGBTQ and women’s rights. The election of Joe Biden as president “was a real reprieve,” Cumming said, “but the way we’re heading, things could go the other way at any time.”

We need to be vigilant, Cumming said. “Women’s rights – with what’s going on with abortion in Texas – are in real danger,” he said.

But life isn’t all worries for Cumming.

There is his work. In 2022, he will continue to perform “Och and Oy! A Considered Cabaret ”with Ari Shapiro of NPR. He shoots the film “Rare Objects” with Katie Holmes.

And there are his friends. “Liza is adorable,” Cumming said of her friend Liza Minnelli. One day, Cumming was rehearsing with Minnelli. Along with Joel Gray, Bebe Neuwirth, Chita Rivera and other celebrities, they were going to say hello to the songwriting team Kander and Ebb.

They were going to perform Minnelli’s signature song “New York, New York”. “It looked so easy,” Cumming said, “But I couldn’t understand Liza’s dance moves. First, Liza tried to help me.

But without success. “Then Chita came to help me,” Cumming said, “it was overwhelming to have two legends trying to teach me.”

After these failed attempts, Minnelli told him, “Oh, honey, make it yours!”

There was a time when Cumming made Helen Mirren see the light on Crocs. He was in Hawaii filming “The Tempest” with Mirren. “We were in the desert. I would wear my Crocs, ”he said,“ she said my Crocs were ugly. “

“I said, ‘Helen, that’s fair enough. But when I say things are ugly, I use my inner voice, ”Cumming added.

A few weeks later, Cumming saw Mirren. She wore Crocs. “She said she was wearing flip flops and they hurt her feet. Now she loved Crocs.

“I told him ‘you were an enemy, now you are a lover,’ added Cumming, ‘that’s a beautiful thing.’

Cumming is currently on a UK book tour. The tour stops in Miami on November 20; Chicago on November 21 and several other US cities through spring 2022. For more information on Cumming’s new book, visit alancumming.com.

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Nickolas Butler’s Debut Novel Set Outside of Wisconsin Is a Suspenseful Page Turner | Entertainment






“Godspeed” is the first novel by Nickolas Butler, author of Eau Claire, to be set outside of Wisconsin.


PUTNAM


GENA KITTNER For the State Journal

Popular Wisconsin author Nickolas Butler is delivering another page turner this fall, but with a few deviations from his usual style.

Not only is his latest, “Godspeed” more suspenseful than his other works, it is also the first of his books to take place outside of Wisconsin. The book centers on a trio of men – longtime friends – who together start a construction business outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The three land a once-in-a-lifetime job in a multi-million dollar home that could be their make – or their loss. Butler is one of many authors planning in-person events at this fall’s Wisconsin Book Festival.

Q: How does it feel to have published it?

A: I feel good. I feel like this was the book I wanted to write at this point in my life. Seems more timely to me now than when I wrote it, as the housing market keeps getting hotter.

Q: The housing market, class conflicts, wealth disparities are all issues addressed in this book which centers around three entrepreneurs trying to complete a mansion building in four months – on Christmas Day – in order to receive a substantial bonus. Have you done any construction or had a house built?

A: The house I am telling you about today my wife and I paid to have it built in 2013. We lived on the site in another structure (during construction) so every day I would wake up and see what was going on. go on and talk to the guys who would be working on the house. We had friends in common. They were very candid with me about the ups and downs of their lives. I’m not a particularly DIY guy, but I was definitely connected to this process of being with these guys and they helped inform the book, without a doubt.

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New ‘the Pale Tiger’ page turner is a thrilling tale of stylish spies

Although they recently got acquainted, author Mike Harrison and illustrator Darren Greenblatt quickly hit it off, both in person and on the pages of Harrison’s The Pale Tiger. The novel, which warns of too real a prospect of war between the United States and China, is a genre of thriller you should not miss. While Harrison’s breadth of knowledge and insight made history, Greenblatt brought the words to life with his fashion-focused sketches. The result? A stylish story that will keep you going from start to finish.

Mike Harrison (author)

Mike Harrison (Courtesy)

What’s your pitch for the book?
In a severe storm in the South China Sea, an American warship and a Chinese warship collide. Was it an accident? Or is it the prelude to Operation Pale Tiger, a legendary Chinese plot to bring America to its knees. Emma Wilson, an elite MI6 agent, is sent to Hong Kong, behind one of the executives of Crator Capital, a major London hedge fund believed to have high-profile ties to the Chinese government. Back in London, the bizarre death of a Crator Capital analyst catches the attention of Detective Anne Perry. Unbeknownst to them, they are caught in the eye of the same storm and will need all of their courage and skill to stay alive as they are drawn into the murderous world of The Pale Tiger.

(Courtesy)

How long did the book in preparation last?
From first strike to last, it took a year, once I assembled the character cast and worked out the plots!

What was the starting point of the story?
I wanted to bring the characters to life, especially my two protagonists, Emma and Anne. I wanted to place the story in the context of a real and relevant geopolitical crisis. How America deals with the rise of China is the great power challenge of the 21st century. I remember reading a headline about a near miss between American and Chinese warships in the South China Sea. I started to think, “Someday the crash will be real, and what could happen next?” “

What role does fashion play in the novel?
What Emma and Anne wear is more often implied than described. Take Anne, she’s an experienced detective and used to showing authority and confidence. The Max Mara cape really captures how Anne’s look is both eye-catching and modest at the same time. The ambiance of the Ralph Lauren trench coat is timeless “London copper”. But there is another side to Anne, which can be seen when she is at her home in West London. She can exchange her street-smart side for the calm of her Barnes cuisine and the warm sweetness of Brunello Cucinelli. Emma, ​​like all elite MI6 agents, is a chameleon. The Burberry leopard print coat is camouflage in a literal and metaphorical sense. She could be anything or anyone, blending into her relaxed elegance. There is a time to hide and a time to do, and Emma in the Stella McCartney coat exudes threat as much as style. She might be on the angels’ side, but she can play hard if she has to. We rarely see Emma on leave in the book, but then is an MI6 agent ever on leave? The Armani costume looks great at an aperitif, but Emma being Emma, ​​it won’t be that simple. She looks like she’s having a good time, but she’s there for a reason, and her prey won’t see her coming.

What made Darren Greenblatt the perfect collaborator to illustrate the book?
We were talking about the two main characters and thought it would be fun to imagine how Emma and Anne would express themselves in a fashion setting, bringing them to life in a different setting. Darren’s work is incredibly original and really captures something of both.

And the book will become a movie!
I recently finished the script with writer / director Niall Johnson, whose credits include White Noise, Keeping Mum, Mum’s List and The Stolen. We had a great time working to bring the story to life for the big screen, led by executive producer Gareth Jones (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Secretary, Damascus Cover and Boiling Point). We are very excited!

Do you think the fictional script for your novel could happen in real life?
Absolutely it could! And the scary thing is that it might not be that hard to get out of it, as you can read in my book.

You are on London time! What do you like most about city life?
I was born here, so the place is in my blood. I love that it’s a global city. People come from all over the world to settle in London. This is what gives the place its energy. And I love humor. Ultimately, Londoners can always laugh at themselves. I also love the weather, believe it or not. Wouldn’t it be boring if it was too sunny, right?

Darren Greenblatt (illustrator)

What made you explore fashion through art?
I was a college girl in Bucks County, PA designing all of my friends’ future wedding / prom dresses, so my career didn’t surprise anyone. What’s most exciting to me is that hand-drawn fashion illustrations seem to be making a comeback. Maybe this is a reaction to all the computer generated art out there!

How was it working on this novel with Mike Harrison?
Mike has been great to work with. He is creative, intelligent and has a strong sense of who his characters are. We talked about Emma and Anne’s life, their likes and dislikes, how their jobs and their locations help define who they are and what they wear. Then I would send her runway images of designer looks that I thought would be in their closets. While the novel isn’t a “fashion story” per se, there’s no denying that fashion choices can help define a character and set a mood.

You’ve also worked with designers, like Betsey Johnson and Fiorucci. And you have created your own handbags!
I have had a long and winding career and have worn several hats. When you are a creative entrepreneur, you do whatever needs to be done to make your vision come true. Flexibility is the key, while staying true to yourself. It’s definitely a dance. Looking at all of my work, I now see that the common thread has been to try to help make life more beautiful through the power of good design.

What have you been up to recently?
I left New York after 26 years and moved with my husband and daughter to Princeton, New Jersey. I received some attention for my interior design of our new home. As with everything I have done throughout my career, things have evolved organically into other things – so I started a small business, Princeton Creative services, addressing what I enjoy doing the most, which includes residential and hotel interior design, illustration and painting.

Something exciting about the works?
I have been busy for the past few months. I illustrated a new book by Jeremy Murphy released in March titled F ** k Off, Chloe — Surviving the OMGs! and FML! in your media career. I also worked on the interior design of two locations in Princeton, a chic apartment near DC and a fantastic bungalow in LA (yay for Zoom!). And I spent hours a day painting, which was deeply rewarding and inspiring.

Written by Julia Oakes

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Page turner

Mao is a predictable yet enchanting page turner

Mao Book review 1

There aren’t many mangaka as revered or successful as Rumiko Takahashi. His designs have defined entire generations with classics like Inuyasha and Ranma 1/2, and now she’s back with a new, but decidedly familiar, shounen series dubbed Mao. While this first volume is brief, it sets the stage for a compelling old-fashioned tale of time travel, demonic curses, yokai, and the awakening of great power from within.

The story is told through the eyes of Nanoka, a high school student who miraculously survived a tragic road collapse that claimed the lives of both of her parents years before. As a result, she grew up with a fragile constitution and very few strong memories of that fateful day.

Fast-forward eight years later and as she walks home to her grandfather’s house, she stops at the crash site, which is right in front of a shopping mall today abandoned. Hearing strange sounds from inside brings her in, and before she knows it, Nanoka is suddenly transported to another world and abruptly attacked by a bloodthirsty yokai. Enter Mao, the titular exorcist who heals her after the encounter and ultimately reveals that she has stepped 100 years in the past – and that she may not be as human as she once thought.

MAO © 2019 Rumiko TAKAHASHI / SHOGAKUKAN

For better and for worse, Mao throws readers into the thick of the action without too much time spent fleshing out Nanoka’s personality outside of her aloof attitude at school and physical weakness. On the one hand, it sets the stage for the action and fun group dynamics that Nanoka ultimately establishes with Mao and his assistant Otoya. In contrast, as readers barely get a chance to know her, Nanoka ends up being rather bland and uninteresting for the majority of the volume. The role she plays is akin to that of a virgin protagonist in a video game; she always gets things explained to herself and reacts to her surroundings rather than being her own distinct person. Nine times out of ten, the real stars of the show are Mao and the Otoya doll, both of whom are tropey but interesting nonetheless.

Fortunately, the overall plot is compelling enough on its own to make this first volume a page turner. Mao’s tireless quest to find the Byouki who cursed him hundreds of years ago is a classic yet powerful hook that quickly establishes an end goal while simultaneously linking Mao and Nanoka in a predictable yet exciting way. It also makes sense of the series of murder mysteries the trio begin to investigate: Mao has been hunting down the Byouki for ages, and Nanoka fits perfectly into the team as the precious third. The fact that she ends up doing research and forming her own motivation for wanting to hunt down the monster only strengthens their motivation even more.

While the pace seems a bit rushed at times, Takahashi does an admirable job of keeping readers invested in learning both the mystery behind the curse of the Byouki and the moment-to-moment adventures of the crew. This is in part thanks to the fantastic design of the monsters; The Byouki and all the other yokai look really intimidating and fearsome despite how difficult they might be.

Mao Byouki
MAO © 2019 Rumiko TAKAHASHI / SHOGAKUKAN

For as nice as Mao is chapter by chapter, however, a few problems have already arisen in this first volume. The first is the speed with which Mao spoils her eventual romance. Fans of Takahashi’s previous works might have guessed right off the bat, but there still could have been a playful “Will they, won’t they” dynamic between Mao and Nanoka if their romance was inferred rather than outright declared. The worst part is that there is absolutely no romantic development in this first volume, which makes the framing totally unnecessary when it could have been a smooth and gradual build over time. It’s not a compromise, and it remains to be seen how well the relationship is handled as the series continues, but it’s an annoyance nonetheless that could have been easily avoided.

The other misstep is how Mao quickly asserts himself as immortal, largely removing the stakes from any battle he participates in. casually letting enemies attack him once he loses interest in the fight takes some of the excitement out of every encounter. Thankfully, Nanoka starting to awaken her own abilities at the end of the first volume gives some hope that future fights will have more stakes.

Mao
MAO © 2019 Rumiko TAKAHASHI / SHOGAKUKAN

The start of Mao looks like the start of a great adventure that Rumiko Takahashi could have conceived of decades ago. His art style is more distinct and striking than ever, although it may seem a bit bland or mellow to young manga readers accustomed to the more bombastic and detailed action sequences that are preferred today. For those in the mood for a nostalgic action-adventure series that’s unabashedly old-school and traditional, however, Mao may be exactly what you are looking for.

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Page Turner: The Curious Society Launches 5-Book Magazine Designed To Slow You Down | Local News






Shadya Jarecke holds up the first edition of Curious Society, which features a photo of Carol Guzy, on Thursday, August 5, 2021 at the MINT office in Billings.


RYAN BERRY Billings Gazette


Holding an oversized 5-pound magazine up to her face, Shadya Jarecke becomes obscured. She grips the edges of the magazine, fingers almost aligned with the subject of the cover photo: a participant in the Jan. 6 “Save America” ​​rally holding a cutout of the face of then-President Donald Trump with pointed fingernails. of the participant spelling out “Trump 2021”.

Carol Guzy, the first photojournalist to win four Pulitzer Prizes, took the photo, which made the cover of the first magazine published by The Curious Society.






Curious society

Shadya Jarecke and Kenneth Jarecke unbox and sign the first edition of Curious Society on Thursday, August 5, 2021 at the MINT office in Billings.


RYAN BERRY Billings Gazette


It is a juggernaut of a publication, at 256 pages and measuring 14.5 “high and 11” wide. In early August, the magazines were shipped to Billings from Nava Press in Milan. Contributions from more than 50 photographers from around the world are included in the publication, designed to tell stories through photos. Pulitzer Laureates and lesser-known photographers are featured on shimmering, large-scale pages.

“We wanted people to take a minute and walk away from their phones,” said Shadya Jarecke, who, along with her father Kenneth Jarecke and photographer Paul Bellinger, founded the publication in January. “When you’re holding a five-pound book in your lap, you can’t have your cell phone on and texting while you’re doing it. You can’t have the TV on. It requires your full attention.

Working from the offices of the MINT Film Festival in downtown Billings, she kindly reminds her father – the publication’s editor – to wear gloves when signing the first edition. By the time he’s finished, Kenneth Jarecke will have signed 2,500 times.






Curious society

Paul Bellinger dons gloves before attending the first edition of Curious Society on Thursday August 5, 2021 at the MINT office in Billings.


RYAN BERRY Billings Gazette


“I’m a big supporter of this idea of ​​’slow news’,” said Jarecke, who grew up in South Omaha and now resides in Joliet.

Award-winning photojournalist and war correspondent, Jarecke has documented a wide range of subjects in more than 80 countries. He humanized the war in the Persian Gulf, covered the protests in Tiananmen Square, documented nine Olympics, covered several presidential campaigns, and worked for LIFE magazine as a White House photographer during the Ronald Reagan years.

He was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his 1991 photo of an Iraqi soldier cremated in a truck explosion during the Gulf War conflict – an image the Associated Press deemed too gruesome for the American public .






Curious society

Paul Bellinger unboxes the first edition of Curious Society Thursday, August 5, 2021 at the MINT office in Billings.


RYAN BERRY Billings Gazette


His first big assignment was for Life Magazine at the age of 20, following the presidential campaign of preacher-turned-politician Jesse Jackson in 1988. “I spent a year with him for a 12-page report… People can’t do that anymore.

A long-standing love

As a teenager in the 1980s, Jarecke and his high school photography club classmates were introduced to photojournalism by photographers on staff at the Omaha World Herald. Photographers of the time worked with 35mm and large format film and produced their own prints in a maze of interconnected darkrooms.

“It was magic for us. Seeing that as a high school student and being welcomed into … Everyone shared. They were enthusiastic.






Curious society

Kenneth Jarecke signs the first edition of Curious Society Thursday August 5, 2021 at the MINT office in Billings.


RYAN BERRY Billings Gazette


Jarecke accompanied photographers on missions and they became his mentors. “I have tried for years to figure out how to preserve and transmit the photojournalistic traditions that have been passed down to me,” he said.

Creating a long storytelling platform for photographers became his answer. The first issue of The Curious Society features 53 contributors from around the world, and more than half of the photographers are women, and as many are not from the United States.

“The contributors are out of the woods,” said Jarecke, who estimates 480 submissions were received after calling for photos earlier this year.

“There are all these photographers doing a great job, but they have nowhere to put it,” said Paul Bellinger, co-founder and chief content officer. “Most existing outlets can run one or two images. They can’t post 22 page posts like we do.

A dying industry?

Publishing is an anomaly in the declining printing industry. Digital technology continues to replace traditional print media, and printing and related support activities lost more than 12% of hours worked in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the largest drop since 2009.

To complicate the industry, tariffs on imported raw materials such as paper and postal reforms have driven up printing costs in recent years, according to a 2019 report from Printing Industries of America.

COVID-19 has only worsened the disruption in the industry. Yet during this difficult year of losses, restrictions, layoffs and time off, 60 magazines were born in the United States in 2020, according to Samir Husni, professor and founder of the Magazine Innovation Center at the School of Journalism and new media from the University of Mississippi. , who leaked his data to the New York Post. That’s about half the number of new print magazines that saw the light of day in 2019.

Husni estimated the average price of a newly launched magazine in 2020 to be $ 7.99. The first issue of The Curious Society costs $ 85 and the organization encourages membership, which includes a quarterly publication delivered to your mailbox. Membership is not cheap; a basic membership costs $ 300 per year, and prices rise from there, up to $ 12,000 per year for a benefactor. Students can get a membership for $ 200, an attempt to make the publication accessible to a younger audience.






Curious society

Carol Guzy’s photo appears on the first edition of Curious Society on Thursday, August 5, 2021 at the MINT office in Billings.


RYAN BERRY Billings Gazette


So far, around 1,400 people have signed up to become members, and that number is increasing, according to Shadya Jarecke.

“People want something different,” she said. “It’s worth having a piece of art that not only looks beautiful and shows its value that way, but more importantly, the stories inside show things that are priceless. We start conversations through this problem and through these images. “

Individual shipping on the five-pound magazine costs less than $ 10 each, but internationally it’s much more expensive. So, for now, subscriptions aren’t available overseas, although people can order a single magazine and pay the shipping cost.

Being a member has its perks, depending on level, centered around the idea that memberships support photojournalists and visual storytellers on such a platform.

“I could be wrong with that theory, but I think people value the things they pay for,” Kenneth Jarecke said. “If you’ve invested in this, if you’re a member and made this commitment. I don’t want it to stay in the box when it arrives at your place. We try to offer this experience that no longer comes from the world of magazines.






Curious society

Kenneth Jarecke’s signature can be seen in the first edition of Curious Society on Thursday, August 5, 2021 at the MINT office in Billings.


RYAN BERRY Billings Gazette


For its 53 backers, The Curious Society cut checks totaling over $ 50,000. The publication pays a license fee of $ 200 per page, and photographers retain the copyright to their images.

“We wanted to create this outlet to inspire and show that there is still good work out there,” Bellinger said. “And it doesn’t need to be cut into pieces. We really believe in the power of a long essay, the ability to have a story and tell a story and be with someone for more than 5 minutes.

To encourage young photojournalists, The Curious Society also launched the Gad Grant, named after photojournalist Gad Schuster Gross, a Romanian immigrant who was a close friend of Jarecke.

Jarecke described Gross as a determined photojournalist who felt the urge to go to war and photograph what was happening in Iraq, even though he was at the same time accepted into Harvard Law School.

“He believed that as a pro bono lawyer he could do more good as a lawyer than as a photojournalist,” recalls Jarecke. “He’s going to Iraq and is in the wrong place at the wrong time.” On a mission for Newsweek, Gross was 27 when he was captured and killed by Iraqi forces, along with his Kurdish guide.

To honor his murdered friend, Jarecke and The Curious Society give two Gad grants per month to young photographers, who receive a stipend of $ 250, work with the publishers of the publication and, if their work is up to par, are also published. in the magazine. In total, the publication has awarded 14 grants, and the first issue features the work of six recipients, listed as “The Future” in the publication’s list of contributors.

“We don’t put any conditions on the money, but we encourage them to make a story within walking distance wherever they are,” Jarecke said. “Wherever you are, there is a story to tell. Take pictures where you are, make pictures in your community, make pictures of what you know. These are the stories I want to see.”

Email arts and entertainment reporter Anna Paige at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @penandpaige.

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Page turner

In Shivani Sibal’s novel Equations, a portrait of 1980s Delhi and its ambitious people-Art-and-culture News, Firstpost

Equations is a story of aspiration and social change, of individual ambition and family ties, told through the lives of two families, the Sikand, a wealthy business clan, and the Kumar, who are their family. domestic help.

In 1980s New Delhi, Aahan Sikand and Rajesh Kumar are childhood playmates who were raised by the same woman, living in the same house. But they have radically different realities – Aahan is the only son and heir to the wealthy Sikand clan, while Rajesh is the son of the family driver, who lives in a small staff quarters on the grounds of their sprawling bungalow.

As Aahan and Rajesh grow older, the natural friendship they shared as children comes to an uncomfortable end, as both of them realize their place in the world. While Aahan is supposed to keep what he inherited for the next generation intact, Rajesh, in the eyes of the world, can at best hope for a better life than his father’s, without domestic bondage. But he has much larger plans for himself.

Equations is a story of aspiration and social change, individual ambition and family ties. With this book, beginning author Shivani Sibal examines the secret worlds of New Delhi’s political and business families. The following is an excerpt read by Sibal (with a text version of it) from his book, which has been republished here with permission from publisher HarperCollins India.

***

There was a birthday party – Aahan’s cousin was three years old. The child’s parents owned a number of gas stations, were connected, and had the most lavish parties for their children, with elephant rides, free-flowing soft drinks, and imported return gifts. . “I can’t handle it on my own,” Aahan’s mother told her husband, who was getting ready for work, changing his shirts several times, sucking his guts out while looking at himself in the mirror. “I can’t take Aahan to the party without Babita to take care of him, he’s just too active and I want to chat with people. Besides, the girls will be there too. But does that mean I should let her bring her son?

She did not get an answer; he was still concerned about his appearance. “I’ll take Babita and her boy too,” she said to no one in particular.

On the day of the event, Babita prepared Aahan while Madame got dressed, then ran to the neighborhood to make Rajesh presentable. ‘Chalo, chalo, jaldi karo, joote pehno! ‘ she insisted. His wet hair was parted to the left side and he was wearing Aahan’s birthday party outfit from the previous year: brown and white shorts, a tee and a suspenders number, with talcum powder liberally dusted over it. his neck. They met Madame and Aahan at the door. ‘Chalo, aage baitho, Rajesh ko apne saath rakho‘Memsahib said. They drove through Delhi, with Laxman driving the Contessa Classic, Babita in front with Rajesh on her lap. Fortunately, her saree was synthetic and didn’t wrinkle. Aahan, his mother and sisters were in the back seat.

Upon arrival, Laxman opened the door for Madame and her children, and Babita and Rajesh followed a few steps behind, carrying Aahan’s water bottle from their home. The gift was given to the birthday child, and Aahan’s mother moved away to socialize with her acquaintances, leaving Babita in charge of the boys. There were several games organized, and they failed to pin the tail on the donkey. Aahan won a small fake plastic video game in the hoopla, which he gave to Rajesh because it was pink.

It was time for the musical chairs, and a dozen children crowded around the mood. It was September, oppressive and humid. They ran around the low rattan stools to the rhythm of the music that the child’s Mami periodically celebrated. One by one, all the children were wiped out except Rajesh, Aahan and Hammad, a Yemeni boy who lived next door; his parents worked at the embassy.

The competition was intense. The music lasted forever and Aahan walked away. It was ‘Born in the United States’, one of his favorite songs. The music stopped, Hammad took a seat and Aahan was in front of the other. Before he knew it, Rajesh had rushed forward, pushing him very lightly, not enough for it to be noticed by the judges and for him to disqualify him and take his seat.

Aahan was out of the game, and Rajesh was in. Babita wiped away Aahan’s hot, angry tears as Rajesh continued in the competition, focused, unconscious. Hammad won and Rajesh approached his dejected mother to be greeted with a stinging slap. Rajesh absorbed his submission to Aahan at the cellular level, his mother had communicated to him the benefits of this behavior as a small animal could teach its young to hunt or to feed. He had known from an early age that his mother would drop him off and pick up Aahan if he wanted; that he would always choose which toy to play second with.

As long as the rules were in place, calm and camaraderie remained between the boys. Rajesh has even learned to fight just enough in their games to make him appear competitive and lose at the right time. These lessons have not been easy. When Aahan won, he slapped Rajesh on the back and offered him imported chocolates that his mother kept locked in a refrigerator in his dressing room. When Rajesh won it sometimes happened out of sheer probability, it was followed by a long sulk, silence, and often with him being sent to the neighborhood, with his mother remaining with his load. He began to prioritize success over victory, giving up fame to get what he really wanted.

***

Shivani Sibal’s equations published by HarperCollins India | July 2021 | Paperback | 212 pages | Rs 399

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Page turner

‘The Heathens’ the last page turner from Ace Atkins

CF host family

“The Pagans”

Author: Ace Atkins

The Threads of GP Putnam, 400 pages, $ 27

Hero Quinn Colson plays the second violin in Ace Atkins’ 11th book series starring the Sheriff of Tibbehah County, Mississippi. The real star of “The Heathens” is Tanya Jane Byrd, a 17-year-old beauty on the run with her “gang” after the gruesome murder of her troubled mother.

Known to everyone as TJ, she, her 9-year-old brother John Wesley, her best friend, Holly Harkins, and her car thief boyfriend, Ladarius, left after her mother, Gina, was found butchered and stuffed into a barrel full of bleach.

TJ is the prime suspect due to his acrimonious relationship with Gina. Things had recently escalated when Gina had “invested” TJ’s trust money in her obnoxious boyfriend’s liquor store.

On their trail is US Marshal Lillie Virgil, a former friend and deputy of Sheriff Colson, as the gang heads north and then west.

Meanwhile, Colson, who led a troubled youth before becoming an Army Ranger and returning to clean up his corrupt home county, doesn’t believe TJ and his friends are the murderers, and heads to another. track populated by deadly scoundrels.

Atkins fans can rejoice. “The Heathens” is a fast page turner that meets the series standards very well.

CF Foster lives in Riverside.

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Page turner

Telangana man sets up “mini trail libraries” in Suryapet – The New Indian Express

Express news service

HYDERABAD: Read all the books at home? Imagine walking to the nearest path, picking a book from a shelf, reading it, and bringing it back when you feel like it. Well, such a “mini-library” exists at a crossroads at KLR Colony, Kodad in Suryapet district. Jalagam Sudheer, 45, who has installed this mini library in his colony, hopes it will help children and adults read more, at a time when people are forced to stay at home because of the Covid, clinging to their phones, laptops and television.

Speaking to Express about his idea, he said, “When we lived in Seattle, Washington a few years ago, we saw a lot of such libraries in the city. We wanted to launch a similar concept here in Telangana. So, I plan to start several of these mini-libraries which are accessible and free for people. It is one of the first libraries, which has around 55 books on stand and is set up at a crossroads in your colony. There are different types of books on the stand ranging from autobiographies to educational books, which can be read by children and adults.

Sudheer says it’s been a few days since he set up this “book stand”. The trail library elicited a good response from the residents of the settlement. MLC Kavitha Kalvakuntla, Energy Minister G Jagadeesh Reddy and former Kodad MPP N Padmavati Uttam all praised Sudheer’s efforts. He is the only contributor to setting up the mini library which cost around 10,000 ”. It aims to set up nine more such libraries.

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