Learn

After learning about so many great new books at BookCon, we were inspired to create a column for monthly books to read. Read as many as you can, or just choose a few of the ones that stand out to you. Not all of these books are released this month.

Here’s what we can’t wait to curl up with this month:

Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain

In this memoir, Vera Brittain describes the impact of World War I on women and the middle class of Great Britain. in 1915, Brittain abandoned her studies at Oxford University to enlist as a nurse in the armed forces. We’re very interested in reading about Brittain’s first-hand experience with the horrors of war, lost love, and coming of age.

In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

It’s the same Judy Blume we loved in our “young adult” days, but this time for adults. The main character, Miri Ammerman, visits her hometown. When Miri was a teenager, she and the community witnessed real-life plane crashes that occurred in the early 1950’s. Blume is a fantastic storyteller, and we have no doubt that this novel will be one great story.

The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel

Full confession, we’re 75% of the way through this book and are loving it. It’s a real page-turner. Lily Koppel saw a photo of the wives of the astronauts on the cover of Life and wondered why we hadn’t heard more about them. That’s when she set out to write their story. This book gives a behind-the-scenes look into the lives of the astronaut wives. Those women were strong, brave, and influential in getting man to the moon.

A Slight Trick of the Mind by Mitch Cullin

93-year-old Sherlock Holmes lives in a remote farmhouse in England and revisits a case, during which he learns about life and love. If it has anything to do with Sherlock Holmes, we’re all for it.

Speedboat by Renata Adler

We’ve heard great things about this book, and it was noted to disrupt the rules of the conventional novel but still be a gripping read. Set in New York City, a young female newspaper reporter comes of age and we get to go along for the journey.

The Rocks by Peter Nichols

The cover is stunning (and reminds us of a book we loved, Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walters), and the story premise is even more intriguing. The novel opens with a mystery, moves backward in time, and reveals what really happened decades earlier.

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

In Tokyo, 16-year-old Nao keeps a diary documenting the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun. Nao is bullied and lonely and has decided to end it all. Writing in the diary comforts her. A novelist on the other side of the pacific discovers items in a Hello Kitty lunchbox and is drawn into Nao’s world. We have no idea what to expect with this one, but we can’t wait to find out.

Revenge, Ice Cream, and Other Things Best Served Cold by Katie Finn

Sometimes you just need to enjoy a young adult novel. This one looks fun and light – perfect for when you relax on the beach this summer.

What are you reading this month? Share with us in the comments below!

CultureEvents & ProgramsLearn

This weekend is going to be filled with books, books, and more books. We couldn’t be more excited. BookCon, the event where storytelling and pop culture collide, officially begins on Saturday and lasts until Sunday evening. There are so many incredible guests scheduled to speak, autograph, and promote their new projects. If we don’t go in with a game plan, the entire event will just be overwhelming and chaotic. Plus, without knowing when and where our favorite authors will be, we might miss them.

Because there are a ton of great panels and activities happening throughout the weekend, we’re going to have to pick and choose our priorities. These are the top eight panels and speakers we can’t miss!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

1. 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Mindy Kaling in conversation with BJ Novak

2. 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM: Mixed Me: A Discussion with Taye Diggs and Shane Evans

3. 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM: Girls Online/Girls IRL: Young Women in the New Media

4. 4:15 PM – 5:15 PM: Aziz Ansari / Modern Romance

5. 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM: Everything Wrong With: A Day with Cinema Sins

Sunday, May 31, 2015

6. 11:30 PM – 12:30 PM: Telling Women’s Stories

7. 2:30 PM – 3:15 PM: Judy Blume in Conversation with Jennifer Weiner

8. 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM: A Conversation with Brandon Stanton, creator of Humans of New York

Don’t worry, in case you can’t make it to BookCon, we’ll be live-tweeting and Instagramming the event, so be sure to follow along! In addition, we’ll be posting a recap of our adventures at BookCon next week, so stay tuned!

Is anyone else going to BookCon? If so, who are you most excited to see?