Archives: New books

Today, we took a moment to catch up with Bianca Turetsky, author of The Time-Traveling Fashionista series. We talked about fashion, writing for tweens, and of course the newest the fashionista novel, The Time-Traveling Fashionista and Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile  (out today!).  Turetsky_FashionistaCle#196

The series follows Louise, a spunky 12-year old vintage fashion aficionado with an unusual (and entertaining) knack for time-traveling to the most stylish “fashion moments” in history. As one reviewer puts it, “no time machine or geekery here” and  Kirkus calls it “suspenseful and exciting..an immersive history lesson.”

Here’s what Bianca had to say…

1) Louise is an ideal heroine– spunky, smart, and unafraid to stand out. Is her character modeled after yourself when you were her age in any way?  

I’m so happy you feel that way about Louise! I love books with smart female protagonists so I’m glad she came across that way. Like Louise, I was very into vintage clothing and shopping at thrift stores, which was not typical in the suburban CT town I grew up in. But it’s not easy to stand out in middle school and I felt very insecure at that time. Although it didn’t stop me from dressing differently from the crowd! I probably was braver in my head and journals than in real life.

2) Can you give us an idea of the kinds of ensembles we would have found a young Bianca outfitted in?

I went through a time when I wore men’s thrifted shirts and ties. I wore mismatched earrings and socks. And generally a lot of neon. I went through a Laura Ashley and Betsey Johnson phase. Let’s just say I was still figuring it out.

3) What role does fashion play in your life now? Do you have a fashion icon?  

I find fashion to be a fun and creative outlet. I love the Edith Head quote I use in the book: “You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.” I try and live by that.  I have so many fashion icons: Diana Vreeland, Lauren Hutton, old-Hollywood movie stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn. Currently I love Alexa Chung’s style. She mixes vintage pieces with new younger designers and always makes it her own unique take.

4) Are there any especially important themes in the Fashionista series that you are trying to communicate to young readers? 

I think it’s important to embrace the thing that makes you different. Maybe your passion is not vintage fashion, but the hobby or outlet you have that your friends don’t is what makes you special- whether it’s math or crocheting or baking. Everyone else will catch up with you!

5) Did you encounter any inherent challenges associated with reaching and appealing to a younger audience? How did you go about learning the language of tweens? Read more »

Today we are announcing the publication of a heartbreaking, morally provocative, and finally optimistic new novel by internationally renowned author Douglas Kennedy. Already a bestseller in England and Ireland, you can see a full summary of FIVE DAYS below. For those who read it, in book clubs or independently, we’re eager to hear what you think!

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“With FIVE DAYS, Douglas Kennedy has crafted a brilliant meditation on regret, fidelity, family, and second chances that will have you breathlessly turning pages to find out what happened in the past and what will happen next. At once heartbreaking and hopeful, it is a powerful new work of fiction by an internationally acclaimed writer at the height of his powers.”

— Will Schwalbe, author of THE END OF YOUR LIFE BOOK CLUB

Laura spends her days looking at other people’s potential calamities. She works in the radiography unit of a small hospital on the Maine coast, bearing constant witness to the fears of patient after frightened patient. In a job where finding nothing is always the best possible outcome, she is well versed in the random injustices of life, a truism that has lately been playing out in her marriage as well. Since being downsized, her husband, Dan, has become withdrawn, his emotional distance gradually corroding their relationship. With a son in college and a daughter soon due to leave home, Laura has begun to fear that the marital sounds of silence will only deepen once the nest is truly empty.

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It’s the time of year when we turn from thinking of, and giving to others, to focusing more on ourselves. Growing older, we often become more conscious of the areas where we need to improve, at the very same time more challenges arise to block us: busy work schedules, children, perhaps elderly parents, or pursuits that seem to require all of our energy.

Many of us turn to self-help books, which spring evergreen during this season. But unless you’re looking to “Lose Weight Fast! or improve your appearance in some other way, there aren’t always books for you on the bestsellers list. You’re more likely to find Wheatbelly, Eat to Live, or Hungry Girl to the Max! (A title I personally admire while polishing off the last of pumpkin cake leftovers.)

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When did you begin your writing career?

I began my writing career in 2005, after I was fired from my first job out of college. I started writing for Gay City News and The Villager—mostly covering exotic events (like dog parades) and some local politics, such as the mayoral race. I started at the bottom of the totem pole, picking up whatever stories I could get assigned.

My very first article was in Gay City News—a good friend’s uncle was an editor there and they took a chance on me. In 2008, when I was 26, I was given my first assignment from The Wall Street Journal and later, The New York Times.

How is it you didn’t even go to journalism school? Did that put you at a disadvantage—or an advantage?

I know there are many schools of thought about journalism. There are definitely moments I’ve thought seriously about [going to journalism school], but I thought I would lose momentum. The tradeoff never made sense for me. In journalism, on the ground experience and writing is the best training ground. But let me caveat that with—there are also a whole host of new media skills and a lot of technical things one can learn in journalism school. I kind of see it from both sides, but for me there never seemed to be a right moment to do it. There’s an opportunity cost to going back.

As a 20-Something author, you broke into the business of book publishing fairly early. What do you think it was that landed your proposal an agent, and subsequently a book deal?

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ON SHELVES NOW

OK, this jacket is stunning. Indisputably stunning. You may have seen it, standing out among the crowd of books at Barnes & Noble or your local indie–stark and no-nonsense, just like its story.

For lovers of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, for lovers of dystopian fiction, adventure novels, and the wild outdoors, journalist turned novelist (not easy to do), Peter Heller’s THE DOG STARS, is a book you won’t want to miss if you plan to be part of a national literary conversation. Read more »

ON SHELVES NOW

Nichole isn’t just a lovely and generous person – she runs Beyond the Margins, a great books community and promotional avenue for fellow writers – she’s also the author of this novel, which on the basis of the jacket alone, made us want to run to the beach with it. That is, if a beach were anywhere in the cards for this August.

Just know that it’s not purely a “beach read,” but smarter and more literary, with more depth, that lovers of Claire Messud (whose Emperor’s Children was also set against a post 9-11 backdrop) to Allison Winn Scotch will enjoy. Maybe even a little Elizabeth Strout inspired. Here’s a short synopsis:

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ON SALE TODAY

How long have women been waiting for a substantive book on fashion? And why is it so many of us women are obsessed, to the bewilderment of men, by one particular accessory?

In her first book on shelves today: Women From the Ankle Down: The Story of Shoes and How They Define Us (Harper), new author and rising star, Rachelle Bergstein, Read more »

An agent friend recently asked me: “Have you noticed there are a lot more writers out there today? When I was an intern, going through the slush pile every day, there were about fifteen queries a week. Now it’s easily 30-50.”

Her hypothesis proves true. When I Googled “how to publish a book” today, there were 300 million search results. Read more »

Today, I’m interviewing Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner, whose debut popular psychology book and style guide just hit shelves. Jenny, as nicknamed, was referred to me through a colleague who had found her on Psychology Today, where her blog column about “fashion psychology,” had made a big splash. Below she talks about her original concept, the one that hooked me, and what it takes to write the book you want the public to see.

 

You Are What You Wear: What Your Clothes Reveal About You

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