Book News: Obama’s Summer Reading, NASA Research Library Opens For All, Kobo Announces New e-Reader & More!

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Hugo Awards
The Hugo Awards were held this past Saturday and here are all the great winners, with people of color and women coming out on top.

NASA Library
NASA is making its entire research library free to the public!

Bookshop Day in UK and Ireland
After the success of independent bookstore days across the United States, the UK and Ireland are getting in on the action with their own celebrations.

Presidential Summer Reading List
President Obama has some great books on his summer reading list this year.

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Book Report: Feminist Bookstores, ‘Wild Cards’ Comes To TV, ‘Stranger Things’ To Read & More!

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If You’re Obsessed with Stranger Things
Here’s a specially picked reading list to satisfy your cravings.

Amazon Raided
Amazon’s offices in Japan were raided on suspicion of pressuring retailers.

A Special Kind of Bookstore
Here are the thirteen best feminist bookstores located in the US.

A Chilling Read
Learn about Fairbanks, Alaska’s best bookstore and what makes it such a great place to come in from the cold.

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Putting the Novel Olague on Pause

So I’ve made the tough call to put my novel, Olague, on pause . . . I’m not going to say “on hold” or “shutting it down for the year,” because I’m hoping that might not be completely true. But I’ve made the tough call to spend the rest of the year focusing on a podcast I’m working on that will be premiering January 2017. The first season will be ten episodes long and right now I’m working on the first draft of episode five. If I get episode ten written in say November, I’ll start working on Olague again, but time is ticking by ever so fast and I want this podcast to be up and ready to go come January.

So I’ll be sad to put my growing baby away for the time being, but I’ve made some significant headway so far this year with a word count of almost 35,000 words. And I’d be lying to myself if I didn’t say I’m really excited to work more on the podcast.

So here’s hoping episode ten gets written soon!

“Rise: The Complete Newsflesh Collection” by Mira Grant (Orbit, 2016)


It’s been a few years since fans enjoyed the last Newsflesh novel, and in that time the dark and twisted Mira Grant has written a number of novellas for various anthologies, which fans may have missed along the way. Thankfully, the wonderful people at Orbit have helped collect all these separate stories together in this mighty and magnificent tome, Rise.

After a thankful introduction from the author, the collection begins with “Countdown,” originally published as a series of blog posts, that helps document the lead up to the rising. “San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats” is the incredible story of the rising at Comic Con when thousands of fans were trapped inside with some amplified zombies and what some did to survive, and what others did to help those outside survive a little longer. In “How Green This Land, How Blue This Sea” new head of After the End Times Mohinder travels to distant Australia which is different from the rest of the world in that the Aussies have always lived in a world where things were trying to kill them. The newsie travels to the Rabbit Proof Fence, a massive enclosure protecting the Australian people from amplified kangaroos and other marsupials that would love nothing more than to sink their teeth into some human flesh. “The Day the Dead Came to Show and Tell” tells an origin story for a known Newsflesh character and is one of the most moving stories in the collection, as one teacher fights to keep her first grade class of children alive.

Rise also features two brand-spanking new novellas the world has never seen before. “All the Pretty Horses” is the powerful story of Shaun and George’s parents, Stacy and Michael Mason; how they survived the rising and found a new lease in life and ultimately made the decision to adopt two very special children. “Coming to You Live” continues the events immediately after Blackout, giving fans some much needed answers and story.

This collection is a delight and shows the true breadth and complexity of the Newsflesh world. And to add the icing on this delicious bloody cake: there is a NEW Newsflesh novel coming out in the fall called Feedback.

Originally written on July 13, 2016 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Rise from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

Book News: 50 Beautiful Libraries, ‘Potter’ Has a Good Week, Fall 2016 Anticipated Titles & More!

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Stormlight Archive Companion Download
For fans of Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive, the ebook companion is now available to download for free.

Most Beautiful Library
A state by state look at 50 beautiful libraries.

Next Oprah Pick
Oprah has selected her next book club pick, The Underground Railroad.

Target Starts Carrying Kindles Again
After a four-year hiatus, Target and Amazon have come to terms once more.

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“The City of Mirrors” by Justin Cronin (Ballantine Books, 2016)


It’s been many years since readers got the first bloody taste of the terrifying vampires in Justin Cronin’s The Passage. Since that time the second volume of the trilogy, The Twelve, came out with a lesser bang than the first. And now the final volume, The City of Mirrors, is finally here much to everyone’s hope and excitement, and it does not disappoint.

After some setup chapters, the story jumps ahead where Peter is approaching middle age and has been president for some time. There has been no sign of the vampires in a long time and the decision is made to let people spread out and colonize and settle down in this new and very changed world. But Amy, the Girl from Nowhere, knows that there is one vampire still alive far in the East, the original vampire from the very beginning known as Zero. She knows he’s building an army and has plans. Then there is Michael who has been alone for a long time and has discovered an old giant tanker and a plan begins to hatch, one that will take him decades, but it may be the answer the dwindling numbers of the human race have been looking for.

The City of Mirrors pulls the story back to the exciting thrill ride of The Passage, after the somewhat annoying and disappointing diversion that was The Twelve, with some great ups and downs along the way. A satisfying ending for a trilogy of long books like this might be a tough thing to accomplish, but Cronin ends his epic series in a satisfying way that will leave readers happy.

Originally written on July 13, 2016 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of The City of Mirrors from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

“Dark Matter” by Blake Crouch (Random House, 2016)


From the author of the Wayward Pines trilogy (now a TV series) comes Blake Crouch’s follow up novel which is in every way as addictive and compelling as his previous works.

“Are you happy with your life?”

These are the final words Jason Dessen hears before he is abducted by a complete stranger. The man takes him to a warehouse where he injects him with something. The man is wearing a mask, obscuring his identity. Dessen falls unconscious. When he comes to he is strapped to a gurney and surrounded by people in hazmat suits. He has no clue who anyone is, but they all seem to recognize him. He manages to escape and return to his home where he finds his house filled with different items, furnished and decorated differently. It is his home but at the same time not. According to photos and what he can tell, he is also not married to the wife he loves very much, and doesn’t have a son he loves more than anything in the world.

The mysterious thrill of Dark Matter folds over and over on itself, like a thick taffy plot, that keeps the reader’s eyes glued to the page, not having any clue where the story is going to go next. The story goes places that other stories that have dealt with this similar subject before rarely dare to go, pushing the limits of imagination. Crouch clearly had a lot of fun writing Dark Matter, and the readers will have an equal amount of fun reading it.

Originally written on March 26, 2016 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Dark Matter from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.