Posts Tagged ‘ Gone Girl ’

Suspense Thriller ‘The K Street Affair’ is BN Book Pick, Written by Mom Mari Passananti

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Did you like Gone Girl? Are you into suspense-thrillers? Here’s a great one for you, The K Street Affair, which was a recent Barnes & Noble Book Club Pick of the Month. I asked author Mari Passananti to tell me more about motherhood and writing. Kudos to Mari for breaking into this male-dominated book genre!

KK:  What’s your book about?
MP: The K Street Affair follows one young lawyer who risks everything, including her life and the lives of those closest to her, to try to stop her law firm’s clients from financing and executing a series of large scale terror attacks. 

 KK: How excited were you to be a BN Pick of the Month?
 MP: It’s very exciting to have my second novel singled out for recognition by the country’s largest bookstore chain, especially since I worried, prior to publication, that The K Street Affair might be viewed by some in the book business as too quirky. The novel doesn’t fit into any neat pigeon hole. It’s women’s fiction, by virtue of having a female protagonist, Lena Mancuso. It’s a thriller, since Lena spends most of the book trying to stay alive and one step ahead of the villains. And it’s a political suspense novel, because those villains include a prominent politician, a lobbyist, and several investors in a massive multinational corporation. The K Street Affair poses big questions about the nexus of power and money and about how Washington, D.C. works—not the most customary contemporary women’s fiction fare. But, as bestselling thriller author Joseph Finder said recently, “The world could use more women thriller writers.” I wholeheartedly agree.
KK: How do you juggle writing and motherhood?
MP: My son is three years old, and he goes to preschool four days a week. For now, I do most of my writing during school hours and find myself wishing for a slightly longer work week (though it’s probably not p.c. to say that). When my son was younger, I had a wonderful regular part time sitter, because I could not imagine trying to write anything more complicated than an email while watching him. I think it’s really important to be frank about the work/life juggling question. I know so many women who beat themselves up because they think they should be able to work from home while minding their toddlers. And unfortunately, I know a few who claim to work while watching their kids, when they are actually paying a babysitter. I see no shame in paying for child care as an investment in your career, and I don’t think it’s something we women should hide from one another. I should add that I also know author moms who work while their kids are home, or they write from the sidelines at soccer practice, or in their parked minivans. Their kids are older and out of permanent self-destruct mode.
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Fifty Shades Tops Amazon’s Bestselling Book of 2012 List

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

The main reason I’m writing this post today is so I can mention the Fifty Shades Trilogy before 2012 ends. I know this is an outrageous statement–and I don’t want my blog followers to dislike me–but I think 50 Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed are silly.

But, hey, I read them all. I’ll admit that the sex scenes turned me on. My husband liked them. And most of my friends dug the E. L. James novels, and everyone I know was talking about them last summer.

Recently, Amazon announced its top-selling books of the year, and there were fifty shades of no surprises. The trilogy earned half a billion dollars in gross sales in 2012. In June, Fifty Shades of Grey was the fastest-selling paperback of all time beating out the Harry Potter series.

I could buy a lot of Hershey’s Kisses and Apple products with cash like that. You know, for my kids.

Sigh. Let’s all lament for a moment on how we could’ve been and should’ve been E. L. James. Have a book inside of you? I do. Let’s write it. There’s always 2013.

Here are the rest of Amazon’s Top Selling Books of 2012. Parents of young kids have slightly different taste than the general public, but there’s some overlap, of course, because Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 7 just plain rocks.

1. through 3. Fifty Shades of the Sillies
4. The Hunger Games (Book 1)
5. StrengthsFinder 2.0 (*I haven’t heard of this one either)
6. Fifty Shades Trilogy
7. Catching Fire (The Hunger Games Book 2)
8. Mockingjay (The Hunger Games Book 3)
9. The Third Wheel (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 7)
10. No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama Bin Laden
11. The Hunger Games Trilogy
12. Gone Girl
13. The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus Book 3)
14. The Official SAT Study Guide, 2nd Edition
15. A Song of Ice and Fire (Books 1 through 4 of Game of Thrones) 

For some really good books, check out the Parents’ staff picks post from yesterday.

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The Staff of Parents Picks 2012′s Best Books

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Who cares what The New York Times picked as the best books of 2012? Forget what the editors at Oprah chose (their list came out today). What you really want to read are the books that the editors of Parents and American Baby magazines loved. Why? Because these people are down-to-earth, time-crunched, fun and all-around super cool. In short, these are the best books of 2012 picked by readers who are just like you.

Behind the Beautiful Forevers
by Katherine Boo
“This was by far my favorite because she managed to really capture the essence of the Mumbai society she was profiling. Her characters were three-dimensional and not caricatures and the portrait of their life in the slums captured the dignity and hope as well as the challenges and disappointments they live with every day.”
–Michael Kress

Bring Up the Bodies
by Hilary Mantel
“Ah, Thomas Cromwell. This book, and the one before it, Wolf Hall, may be
about Henry VIII’s right-hand man when he was annullding his first wife and
then marrying and divorcing Anne Boleyn, but the character description
of Cromwell is so well-rounded and rich, I found myself imagining he was
walking down the street to work with me in the morning. Cromwell was a
man of the future and I think he would be proud to see what the world is
like today, especially that women have made so much progress.”
–Mindy Berry Walker

by Liz Moore
“I couldn’t put down Heft, by Liz Moore, a beautifully written book about a 550-pound former teacher who no longer leaves his home, and the relationship he develops with the teenage son of one of his students.”
–Diane Debrovner

Gone Girl
by Gillian Flynn
“Her hilarious, biting passage about the mythical ‘Cool Girl’—the male fantasy of the woman who loves football, burping, and chili dogs, all while wearing a size 2—alone made this book worth reading!
–Gail O’Connor
*also favored by Erica Clark, Jessica Hartshorn, Taryn Mohrman, Chandra Turner, Sarah Sebastiano

How to be a Woman
by Caitlin Moran
“It claims to be an update of Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch, but its feminism is delivered with a sense humor over a good beer, with its stories in turns hilarious, heartbreaking, wise, frustrating, and utterly rabble-rousing.”
–Julie Taraska

In the Garden of Beasts
by Erik Larson
“It’s the true and compelling story of William Dodd, the U.S. Ambassador to Nazi Germany in the years before WWII, and his 20-something daughter, who had numerous affairs while the family lived there, including one with an Soviet spy.”
–Diane Debrovner

Paris in Love
by Eloisa James
“This light-hearted, authentic read is formatted from snippets of the author’s blog posts about her year abroad with her family. (Plus, the short entries and loose plot line made it a great grab-and-go book for whenever I found a few extra minutes.)”
–Maryn Liles

Tell the Wolves I’m Home
by Carol Rifka Brunt
“Tell the Wolves I’m Home hurt my heart (in a good way); it forced me to take a closer look at the relationships in my life and make sure I was giving those I care about the love they deserve.”
–April Rueb

The Fault in Our Stars 
by John Green
“Intelligently and carefully written, John Green weaves a delicate story of truths and young love beneath the hovering cloud of sickness and fate.”
–Ruthie Fierberg

by Laura Hillenbran
“As a mom of an active young boy, Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand especially got to me. It’s a true story about a World War II airman who beat incredible obstacles to survive with skills—speed, resourcefulness, determination—learned from a mischievous, defiant boyhood. It showed me that the very things that sometimes drive parents crazy can, when harnessed for good purpose, help turn kids into adults who are able to overcome anything.”
–Gail O’Connor

Where’d You Go Bernadette?
by Maria Semple
“This was my favorite book of the year because of its unconventional style (the drama unfolds largely through letters and emails written between characters) and its surprising mystery element that made it unputdownable!”
–Sumana Ghosh-Witherspoon
*Also favored by Kara Corridan

Wherever I Wind Up
by R. A. Dickey,
“It’s about the Mets’ knuckleball pitcher who took an unlikely journey from failed minor leaguer to star pitcher for the Mets (he won the Cy Young Award just months after climbing Mt. Kilmanjaro to raise money to fight human trafficking. A totally entertaining and inspiring story that teaches us to never give up on our dreams.”
–David Sparrow


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My Roundup: Best Books of 2012

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

I love December. Sure, the presents, cookies and family time are great. But what gets me really excited? The Best Books of 2012 lists. I don’t usually agree with the (snobbish) book world’s top picks, but I relish in reading their carefully selected and politically correct choices. You know in high school when the coach would post who made the cheerleading squad? Book picks are like that for me because I’m a geek.

Below, I’ve compiled Best of Lists from The New York Times, Amazon and Publisher’s Weekly. I saw several repeats such as Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel, Building Stories by Chris Ware and Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo.

Have you read any of those three? I haven’t. How many of the books below interest you? I’ve read four of them, and three others are in my to-read pile. Is it PC to write that several of these seem kind of boring? I only speak the truth.

I’ll write about my own picks next week, and I promise they’re more fun. Also, stay tuned for a post about the books Parents staffers loved this year.

Most importantly, what’s your favorite book of 2012? Bare your soul to me in the comments. 

The New York Times 10 Best Books of 2012

Bring Up the Bodies
by Hilary Mantel

Building Stories
by Chris Ware

A Hologram for a King
by Dave Eggars

by Zadie Smith

The Yellow Birds
by Kevin Powers


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Go Ahead: Read Gone Girl and Wild Right Now

Friday, August 31st, 2012

I am at the beach this week with my family. I’m cartwheeling, sunbathing and reading at Fire Island in New York. Every year since 1997, I’ve made my pilgrimage out here. Cars aren’t allowed, swans are aplenty and walking barefoot is required on this tiny paradise place just two hours from my house.
This trip was particularly memorable for three reasons: My kids slept late, and I finally read Gone Girl and Wild.

I know you’ve heard a lot about these two books, but the hype is for real. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn will be number one on the New York Times bestseller list tomorrow for the second week in a row. This psychological thriller about love and marriage will make you forget you own a TV. Wild by Cheryl Strayed holds tight at number three after several weeks on top. It’s a memoir about a young woman who finds it prudent to walk thousands of miles in the mountains by herself.


Here are five reasons to read both books (Gone Girl first) right now.

1. However crazy you think you are, you will be assured of your sanity after meeting Gillian Flynn and Cheryl Strayed’s fictional and real characters.

2. The most difficult relationships in your life may suddenly seem more manageable.

3. You’ll be alive when you read these books. Hopefully, no one will be trying to kill you.

4. You’ll read lines like these:
“You’d just breeze in and be Fun Daddy. I’d do all the work to make them good people, and you’d undo it anyway, and they’ve love you and hate me.” –Gone Girl
“Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told.” –Wild

5. You can friend both authors on Facebook afterward (they accepted me!) and find out more about what’s inside their insightful, genius minds.

Have you read either? Did you go crazy in the best kind of way?

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