Book Buzz: Wizard of Oz Fan Fiction,Terrible Children’s Stories, and Slime

Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For September, we’re looking at a fictional behind-the-scenes look of a Hollywood classic, a zany but clever graphic novel for kids, and a book about slime (no, really).

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Book Buzz: Neurotics Broadening Their Horizons, 19th Century Frontier Romances, Real-Life WWII Partisans

Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For August, we’re looking at a surprisingly sweet romance, a trilogy of historical romances set in 19th century Oklahoma, and a history of British secret operations in France during WWII.

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Book Buzz: Searing Literary Debuts, Murderous Siblings, and Cow-Induced Friendships

Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For February, we’re looking at an acclaimed new literary novel about contemporary urban Native American life, a zany Nigerian horror-comedy about siblings and serial murder, and a heartwarming memoir of friendship and the culture of cows in India.

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Book Buzz: Featured Creatures, Suspense Thrillers, and Rake Thieves

Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For December, we’re looking at an unusual, animal-centric memoir; a pulse-stopping suspense thriller; and a hilarious ode to the quirks of families.

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Old Favorites: Ambrose Bierce

I was going to substitute this feature with something else about the Great American Read, but then I realized that Ambrose Bierce’s birthday was this coming Sunday and, well, I just had to pen an ode to one of my favorite writers, AKA Bitter Bierce, The Diabolical Bierce, The Wickedest Man in San Francisco, The Rascal with the Sorrel Hair, The Laughing Devil, and (last but not least) The Devil’s Lexicographer. (I think I hit all the high points and included all the nicknames.)

Now, these nicknames make Bierce seem like evil incarnate, but he wasn’t. Honest!

He was just really, really, really, really grouchy, even by 19th century standards. And according to biographers, he was a crotchety, eccentric kid, so maybe when he entered this world on June 24, 1842, in rural Ohio, he was already destined to be one of the world’s best known literary misanthropes. (Though certain life events certainly did help him along that path.)

If you know of Bierce, it is likely because his two most famous works: his delightfully mean Devil’s Dictionary and his haunting, surreal Civil War short story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” These are both great, but there’s a lot more to Bierce than meets the eye. . . .

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Oddly-Specific Genres: If They Can Write A Book, So Can You!

Are you ready to unleash your writing superpowers? That’s the theme of this November’s NaNoWriMo, the annual writing challenge that requires participants to write a novel in the span of 30 days.

Think you couldn’t write a book in 30 years, let alone 30 days?

Well, if these decidedly non-author celebrities can write fiction, why can’t you?

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2016 Library Challenge: A Book That Has a Color in the Title

This week is National Color Day! Admittedly, I’m pretty clueless about what celebrating this day involves, but reading a book with a color in the title seems like a pretty reasonable approach.

Here are a few recommendations that have been released in the last year or so.

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