Books Entertainment Featured

NOOK Trade-In This February at Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble NOOK Trade-In

Have you made a regrettable NOOK e-reader purchase in the past? Barnes & Noble wants to win back your business this month with a NOOK trade-in program that credits you $50 when you purchase a new NOOK by Samsung device through March 5, 2016.

All previously released devices are eligible for the NOOK trade-in offer, including NOOK 1st Edition devices from 2010.

When trading in a device, customers can get the 9.6-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab E NOOK for $179.99, the 8-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 NOOK for $299.99 and the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK for $89.99.

To encourage visiting the B&N stores, a NOOK device user may read nearly any available NOOK Store e-book for one hour once per day while connected to the store’s Wi-Fi.

Customers should visit or their local Barnes & Noble store for details.

Books Entertainment Featured

What should readers look for in Harper Lee’s new novel?

This story first appeared on The Conversation and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

Stacked Books
Photo by Denise P.S. | Photo CC BY 2.0

By Laura Fine, Meredith College

The announcement of the upcoming publication of Go Set a Watchman – a sequel to Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird actually written before the famous novel – has, not surprisingly, set off a flurry of excitement and speculation. Pre-orders of the book have already made it an Amazon bestseller.

Yet many have raised questions about the sudden announcement: it came shortly after the death of Harper Lee’s beloved sister, Alice, who as a lawyer (“Atticus in a skirt” Lee once called her), vigilantly protected Lee’s interests. Suspicions abound that Lee’s current lawyer, Tonja Carter – who discovered the old copy of Go Set a Watchman – may have seized the opportunity to profit from an elderly woman now residing in an assisted living facility. (Lee has dismissed such speculation.)

In Go Set a Watchman, the adult Scout returns home to Maycomb, Alabama from New York to visit her father. According to publisher HarperCollins, Scout seeks “to understand her father’s attitude toward society, and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood.”

How should devoted fans of Lee’s first novel – originally published in 1960 – respond to a second novel published 55 years later? One possible reaction is trepidation. Will To Kill a Mockingbird be tarnished through an inferior portrayal of an adult Scout? In this new work, will we recognize the charming voice of the earlier novel?

In the late 1950s, Lee’s editor read the original manuscript of Go Set a Watchman, deemed the flashbacks to Scout’s childhood the strongest parts, and recommended that these be the premise for a new draft (what became To Kill a Mockingbird). Presumably, the editor did not consider the original manuscript of Go Set a Watchman fit for publication.

Lee chats with childhood friend Truman Capote in a 1966 photograph.
Steve Schapiro/Corbis, CC BY-NC-SA


But beyond questions of quality, there are very real questions about setting and character. I’ve written about ways in which Lee criticizes the traditional social norms of 1930s Alabama, while presenting models for defiance of these norms. For example, Dolphus Raymond – a white man in a relationship with a black woman – is able to circumvent the racist social system by pretending he is an alcoholic whose unconventional choice can be written off as part of his disease. Furthermore, in addition to the overt criticism of the racist social structure, Lee offers a playful critique of gender norms: she portrays Scout as a tomboy more comfortable wrestling with boys than wearing traditional feminine clothing.

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee depicts a racist society, in which most romantic relationships were portrayed as either strained or perverse. How will an adult Scout emerge from this world?
T and L basement/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA


Lee also opens a path for the young Scout later to assume an unconventional sexual identity. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee’s depiction of heterosexual relationships includes almost no positive examples; meanwhile, she highlights negative cases such as Scout’s Aunt Alexandra’s strained, distant relationship with her husband, and – much worse – the sexual abuse of Mayella Ewell by her own father. The novel calls into question racial and gender norms while legitimizing the violation of social boundaries. Indeed, Scout’s beloved Atticus encourages defiance of social structures in order to be true to one’s conscience, even agreeing to label Boo Radley’s killing of Bob Ewell an accidental suicide.

Go Set a Watchman will answer the incipient questions about Scout’s identity that To Kill a Mockingbird subtly poses. Although parts of To Kill a Mockingbird are told in an adult voice, the novel never tells us whether the adult Scout has married or has children. Will the adult Scout of Go Set a Watchman – now living in New York – have acquired even more distance from the racist, small-town, Southern values portrayed in To Kill a Mockingbird? Will she, as an adult woman, violate gender and sexual norms? Or, since Go Set a Watchman was actually written before To Kill a Mockingbird, will the adult character be a more conservative, traditional version of Scout?

Until the novel’s July 14 release, we can only wonder.

The Conversation

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.

Books Entertainment Featured

Slam a Book in the 2015 WrestleMania Reading Challenge

WrestleMania Reading Challenge

WWE and First Book have launched the 2015 WrestleMania Reading Challenge, giving students ages 4-18 the chance to win a trip to WrestleMania 31 this March in Santa Clara, California.

Students can register for the WrestleMania Reading Challenge at Through WWE’s partnership with First Book’s digital reading initiative, We Give Books, children between the ages of 4-12 can select a WWE Superstar Reading Buddy and read digital books to participate, while teens ages 13-18 can select a WWE Superstar Pen Pal, read a book and write an essay.

WWE will make a financial contribution to First Book in order to support literacy initiatives and provide access to books for children across the United States. WWE and its Superstars and Divas will also continue to host reading celebrations, visiting kids at local schools and libraries to stress the importance of reading. Additionally, WWE will utilize all of its platforms, including WWE Network, TV broadcasts, live events, digital and social media to promote literacy.

“WWE is proud to partner with First Book and continue our long-standing commitment to education and literacy initiatives through the WrestleMania Reading Challenge,” said Stephanie McMahon, Chief Brand Officer, WWE. “Together, we are providing a fun and engaging experience to encourage children of all ages to read.”

For more information or to participate in the WrestleMania Reading Challenge, visit

Books Entertainment

Audible offers ‘Go the F**’ to Sleep’ audiobook free until Father’s Day

Go the F**k to Sleep

What better gift is there to give than silence? Treat your dad to the Academy Award nominee Samuel L. Jackson’s famous performance of Adam Mansbach’s Go the F**k to Sleep. The free audiobook, offered through Audible, is available for download today until Father’s Day, June 15th, 2014.

“At Audible, our efforts to propel literate listening into the mainstream have continuously emphasized the performance of artfully composed words as theater for the ears. To us, books can be the greatest scripts ever written,” said Audible founder and CEO Donald Katz. “Sam Jackson’s phenomenally hilarious performance of this modern classic is the very embodiment of this philosophy—the perfect marriage of actor and material. Whether or not you’ve ever been a tired out, pushed-to-the-limit parent, if you haven’t heard Sam read this story yet, you’re in for a treat. And if you have, I promise it’s just as funny the second time around.”

First released in 2011, Jackson’s reading has become a viral hit and one of the most downloaded books in Audible Studio’s history. You can download your copy at


Books Entertainment

Author and animals heal at the Gentle Barn

My Gentle Barn

Ellie Laks has always had a strong connection to animals. In 1999, Ellie founded the Gentle Barn in Southern California, a nonprofit organization that that rescues, rehabilitates, and offers sanctuary to abused animals. In her new memoir, “My Gentle Barn,” Laks tells her story of how she healed animals and how they left an impression on her life.

The book weaves together the story of how the Gentle Barn came to be along with Ellie’s own journey to find herself. From challenges in her youth to pulling herself out of a downward spiral in her twenties, Ellie found balance by throwing herself into working with animals and finding strength in their company.

Since its inception, the Gentle Barn has rescued and been home to thousands of animals (including cows who give hugs, pigs who befriend chickens, and horses who have forged deep bonds with special-needs children). The Gentle Barn has also hosted more than 400,000 visitors and has become an extraordinary nonprofit that brings together a volunteer staff of community members and at-risk teens to rehabilitate abandoned and abused animals. Thousands of at-risk and special-needs children who have participated in their youth program—as well as the adults who have come to volunteer—have been touched by the animal residents of the Gentle Barn. As Ellie teaches the volunteers to care for the animals, they learn a new language of healing that works wonders on the humans as much as it does on the animals.

Filled with tales of daring rescues, love, unforgettable animal hijinks, inspiring recoveries, and the achieving of dreams, “My Gentle Barn” is a feel-good account that will touch animal lovers and memoir readers alike. The book is now available from Harmony Books.

Books Entertainment Life Social Issues

Book Helps Veterans Plan for Civilian Life Career

Down Range cover

A veteran’s transition from military to civilian life is a major life event that requires careful planning. Authors James D. Murphy and William M. Duke share their career-planning process in their new book, Down Range: A Transitioning Veteran’s Career Guide to Life’s Next Phase. Murphy and Duke aim to help veterans tap those principles to develop a career and to demonstrate their value to potential employees.

“This career guide for veterans is unique and empowering for two reasons. First, it is written by veterans who made the transition and now lead a successful civilian business, which consults with corporations large and small all over the world. Second, it explains a simple and effective planning process that has been taught to over one million business leaders, a process born of military experience,” says Duke.

“Veterans have spent years – and often decades – learning how to execute as a team. We’ve operated under pressure, with limited information, in fluid combat scenarios. We may not yet possess industry vocabulary or a deep understanding of civilian business, but we have the skills modern companies need, and we can, with exceptional speed, learn to use them effectively in this new context,” says Murphy.

Down Range’s process challenges the reader to change their mindset and understand just how different civilian employment is from their military experience.

Murphy adds, “Despite what many military transition courses seem to tell us, we are not square pegs destined for a limited number of stereotyped roles. We must shed the fear and burden of that false mindset, and instead seize the boundless opportunity before us. Sometimes the first and hardest step is preparing mentally for a transition to civilian life and in our first few chapters we lay out some advice to do just that.”

Books Entertainment

Sister of “Into the Wild” Protagonist Pens Memior

Christopher McCandless

HarperOne announced that it will publish the memoir “The Wild Truth” by Carine McCandless, sister of Christopher McCandless, the subject of the bestselling book, “Into the Wild” by Jon Krakauer. The book will be published in November 2014.

More than twenty years have passed since Chris McCandless perished in the Alaskan wilderness, yet his journey to self-discovery and quest for truth continues to fascinate. Chris’ sister Carine, the youngest of the eight McCandless siblings, interviewed extensively for Mr. Krakuer’s book, has come full circle on her understanding of her brother’s decisions, and shares them for the first time with wisdom, perspective, and keen insight in “The Wild Truth”.

Nancy Hancock, Executive Editor says: “Rarely can a story be revisited with such vivid perspective and learned wisdom as Carine McCandless recounts the family saga that drove her beloved brother into the Alaskan wilderness, never to return. “The Wild Truth” is the truth behind the legend of a family, of a truth-seeking young man, and of the brothers and sisters he left behind to make sense of their deeper family story in the wake of so much tragedy.

Mark Tauber, SVP and Publisher of HarperOne, says “I was captivated by Chris McCandless’ story as told in ‘Into the Wild’ along with millions of others. No one other than Carine McCandless could shed light on Chris’ quest for truth and what drove him to extremes in order to find it, and she does so beautifully in “The Wild Truth”.

Carine McCandless writes: “In ‘The Wild Truth,’ I share the real story of my family. More than just the truth behind the McCandless legend, it is the story of a quiet wilderness—of a dysfunctional family, decades of abuse, and how eight siblings came together to break the cycle for their own children. In the decades since Chris’ death, my half-siblings and I have come together to find our own truth and build our own beauty in his absence. In each other, we’ve found absolution, as I believe Chris found absolution in the wild before he died.”

Books Entertainment

Amazon Introduces the Kindle Fire HDX

Amazon Kindle HDX

Amazon today introduced the third generation of Kindle Fire—the all-new Kindle Fire HDX. The new Kindle Fire HDX tablets combine groundbreaking hardware, the latest version of Fire OS, and exclusive new features and services like X-Ray for Music, Second Screen, Prime Instant Video downloads, and the revolutionary new Mayday button. Learn more about the new Kindle Fire HDX family at

The new Kindle Fire HDX family features:

  • HDX display—beyond HD with exceptional pixel density (323 ppi for 7”, 339 ppi for 8.9”), perfect 100% sRGB color accuracy, reduced glare, dynamic image contrast, and improved brightness for better viewing in any lighting conditions.
  • Powerful quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor running at 2.2 GHz provides over 3x the processing power compared to the previous generation, plus the latest graphics engine and 2x more memory for fast and fluid performance. These are the only tablets with a processor over 2 GHz.
  • Startlingly light design—at just 13.2 ounces, the 8.9” Kindle Fire HDX is the lightest large-screen tablet, 34% lighter than the previous generation.
  • Powered by the latest version of Fire OS—Fire OS 3.0 “Mojito”—with hundreds of new and upgraded features, platform updates, and Amazon-exclusive services like X-Ray for Music, Cloud Collections, Goodreads, and more.
  • New Mayday button delivers revolutionary live tech support—one touch connects you to an Amazon expert who can guide you remotely through any feature—24×7, 365 days a year, and it’s free. 15 seconds or less is the Mayday response time goal.
  • All-day battery life—up to 11 hours of mixed use and 17 hours of reading.
  • Updated email, calendar, and Silk browser to stay connected and productive.
  • New enterprise features including hardware and software-encryption, Kerberos Intranet, secure Wi-Fi connections, VPN integration, and wireless printing.
  • Both HDX 7” and 8.9” available with ultra-fast 4G LTE wireless. Available on the AT&T network, and for the first time on the Verizon Wireless network.
  • Dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus audio and virtual 5.1 multi-channel surround sound—the standard in high-end audio.
  • Front-facing HD camera makes it easy to stay in touch with Skype, plus a new 8 megapixel wide- aperture rear-facing camera on the 8.9” Fire HDX offers crisp photos and 1080p HD video.
  • Best video experience on a tablet with new Amazon-exclusive features like Prime Instant Video downloads, Second Screen, and expanded X-Ray for Movies and TV.
  • Deep integration with the world’s best content ecosystem—over 27 million movies, TV shows, songs, apps, games, books, audiobooks and magazines.
  • New Origami covers feature an innovative design that allows you to position Fire HDX in both portrait and landscape.

“It’s been just two years since we introduced the first Kindle Fire, and the team is innovating at an unbelievable speed,” said Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO. “2.2 GHz processor, 339 ppi display, new 34% lighter design, Fire OS 3.0, and new exclusive features like the Mayday button, X-Ray for Music, Second Screen, and Prime Instant Video downloads. We’ve worked hard to pack this much hardware, innovation, and customer obsession into these prices.”

The 7” Kindle Fire HDX is $229. It is available for pre-order starting today at and it will begin shipping October 18. The 4G version is $329—you can pre-order today to reserve your place in line at and it will begin shipping November 14.

The 8.9” Kindle Fire HDX is $379. It is available for pre-order starting today at and it will begin shipping on November 7. The 4G version is $479—you can pre-order today to reserve your place in line at and it will begin shipping December 10.

Books Entertainment

Disney Brings Storybook Apps to Android

Disney Digital Books

Disney announced it will be bringing it’s collection of popular storytelling apps for sale on the Google Play store. Owners of Android smartphones and tablets can now download interactive storytelling apps from Disney, including digital storybook, activity and creativity apps that encourage families to read, play, and create with familiar Disney characters.

“This launch is a natural next step for us given the rising popularity of Android tablets and smartphones among families around the world,” said Andrew Sugerman, executive vice president, Disney Publishing Worldwide. “We are excited to bring the magic of Disney storytelling to life on Google Play and add it to our growing portfolio of apps for smartphones and tablets that inspire and entertain families in the way only Disney can.”

Launching with eight apps that achieved a Top 10 Ranking in the “New Paid Apps” category on Google Play, new apps will be released in waves each month. The first wave of apps includes:

  • Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Paint & Play, a 3D coloring book
  • Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Wildlife Count Along, a picture book that let’s kids take pictures while counting animals and learning about wildlife habitats
  • Minnie Bow Maker, a creative bow-making app
  • Disney Princess: Story Theater, a cartoon making app featuring Disney princesses

All of these apps are for sale in Google Play. For more information on future release of Disney’s storybook apps for Android, visit Disney Digital Books.