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June 16, 2020
Our guests today are Mike Birbiglia and J. Hope Stein, authors of The New One. The hilarious and surprisingly heartfelt Broadway show is now essential reading for all parents (new and old) — or really anyone who has ever resisted change. With laugh-out-loud observations and whimsical poetry perfectly placed throughout, Birbiglia and Stein offer a devastatingly honest, yet beautiful look at parenthood. Be sure to pick up a signed edition of The New One: Painfully True Stories from a Reluctant Dad and listen here as comedian Mike Birbiglia and poet Jennifer Hope Stein discuss the trials of writing a book with your significant other, jealousy, poetry and the great bread debate (to freeze or not to freeze). Join us Tuesday, June 16th, at 7PM ET when Mike Birbiglia and J. Hope Stein will be with us live on B&N Facebook for a discussion of their book The New One. We hope to see you there! #BNEvents
June 9, 2020
Our guest today is Megha Majumdar, debut author of A Burning—our June Discover Pick of the Month. A Burning is an astonishing, heartbreaking story about power—who has it, who doesn’t, and what some will do to get it. In a deceptively slim package like Colson Whitehead’s The Nickel Boys and There, There by Tommy Orange, this is an unforgettable debut by a magnificent new voice. Megha Majumdar, a book editor by trade, never takes the reader for granted, and her writing is full of the contradictions and surprises she looks for in a great novel. We could not get over the complexities, distinct characters and timely messages throughout this amazing story, and we're not the only ones who were completely enchanted by its language and universal themes: Yaa Gyasi, author of Homecoming raved about how "Megha Majumdar writes about the ripple effects of our choices, the interconnectedness of our humanity, with striking beauty and clarity.” We couldn't agree more. We can’t wait for you to devour this cinematic story and get to know Megha Majumdar here as she discusses art and politics, various forms of storytelling, and alternative endings.
June 2, 2020
Our guest today is Brit Bennett, author of our June Barnes & Noble Book Club selection The Vanishing Half. [ean1]The lives of identical twin sisters diverge when they leave their tiny hometown in this indelible story of identity, family and home. As the narrative cuts across the country and across decades, we follow the aftermath of trauma and the events that follow difficult, often unimaginable choices. The Vanishing Half is the kind of book you never want to end; Brit writes her characters with such understanding and love that you wish you could follow them forever. There’s a lot to unpack in this incredible novel, which is why it’s the perfect choice for our June B&N Book Club pick. We’re excited to get the conversation going and for readers to discuss a story that asks big questions about who we are and where we’re headed. As you ready yourself for this not-to-be-missed event and novel, be sure to also check out Brit Bennett’s acclaimed novel, The Mothers and listen to Brit here as she brilliantly discusses the inspiration for the community at the center of this story and the characters she chose to leave out. Join us Tuesday, July 7, at 7PM ET when Brit Bennett will be with us live on B&N Facebook for a discussion of her novel The Vanishing Half. We hope to see you there!
May 11, 2020
Our guest today is Emma Straub, author of our May Barnes & Noble Book Club selection All Adults Here. All Adults Here is a sharp, yet sincere look at how we define our lives and the profound effects we have on those we love most. This deeply fulfilling story of sibling relationships, aging parents, hard truths, and second chances is chockfull of heady topics ripe for discussion, so it should come as no surprise it’s been selected as our BN Book Club pick for May. Reading an Emma Straub novel is essentially like hanging out with your smartest, most insightful friend – it’s life-affirming, wisdom-giving, and something you’ll look back on fondly – so we know you’re going to love it! As you get ready for what’s sure to be a lively conversation around a great book, due yourself the favor of checking out her other bestselling novels, The Vacationers  and Modern Lovers , and listen to Emma here as she brilliantly talks about her love of bookstores, personal ambitions, and the atmospheric small-town vibe of her new novel – secretly inspired by Gilmore Girls! Join the conversation on social media using #BNBookClub. Then on Tuesday, 6/2 at 7 PM ET, join the author for a virtual #BNBookClub event on our Instagram!
May 4, 2020
Our guest today is Elizabeth Gilbert, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Big Magic and Eat Pray Love here to discuss her latest bestseller City of Girls. With City of Girls, beloved author Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction with a unique love story set in the New York City theater world during the 1940s. Told from the perspective of an older woman as she looks back on her youth with both pleasure and regret (but mostly pleasure), City of Girls explores themes of female sexuality and promiscuity, as well as the idiosyncrasies of true love.  
April 20, 2020
Our guest this week is the three-time Hugo Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author N.K. Jemisin. She joins us today to discuss her latest novel, The City We Became. A story of culture, identity, magic, and myths in contemporary New York City.
April 17, 2020
In this episode, we dive into They Went Left, A tour de force historical mystery from Monica Hesse, the bestselling and award-winning author of Girl in the Blue Coat. They Went Left is also our Barnes & Noble YA Book Club selection for the month of May. The Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Edition features an author Q&A and an annotated chapter.
April 13, 2020
Our guest this week is Rhodes Scholar, bestselling author, decorated combat veteran, former White House fellow, and CEO of Robin Hood, one of the largest anti-poverty nonprofits in the nation, Wes Moore. He joins us to talk about his latest book, Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City; a kaleidoscopic account of five days in the life of a city on the edge told through eight characters on the front lines of the uprising that overtook Baltimore and riveted the world.
April 10, 2020
Our guest today is Lisa Wingate, bestselling author of Before We Were Yours. Lisa joins us to discuss her new historical novel The Book of Lost Friends. A dramatic story of three young women searching for family amid the destruction of the post–Civil War South, and of a modern-day teacher who learns of their story and its vital connection to her students’ lives.
April 7, 2020
Our guest today is Afia Atakora, author of our April Barnes & Noble Book Club selection Conjure Women.  Conjure Women is a sweeping story that brings the world of the South before and after the Civil War vividly to life. Spanning eras and generations, it tells of the lives of three unforgettable women: Miss May Belle, a wise healing woman; her precocious and observant daughter Rue, who is reluctant to follow in her mother’s footsteps as a midwife; and their master’s daughter Varina.  Join the conversation on social media: #BNBookClub. Then on Tuesday, 5/5 at 7:00 PM ET, join the author for a virtual #BNBookClub event!   
April 3, 2020
Our guest today is Elizabeth Wetmore here to discuss Valentine, an astonishing debut novel that explores the lingering effects of a brutal crime on the women of one small Texas oil town in the 1970s. Valentine is our April Discover Pick of the Month. The Discover program finds unforgettable stories from up-and-coming authors. Be the first to know about these amazing new voices!
March 30, 2020
Our guest this week is Sarah Watson, creator of the hit TV series, The Bold Type.  Sarah joins us to discuss Most Likely, our Barnes & Noble YA Book Club pick, an empowering and heartfelt novel about a future female president's senior year of high school. The Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Edition features a bonus epilogue and a list of book club discussion questions. Be sure to follow us on Instagram @barnesandnoble for more Barnes & Noble YA Book Club news  
March 23, 2020
Our guest today is Abi Daré here to discuss her debut novel The Girl with the Louding Voice. A powerful, emotional debut novel told in the unforgettable voice of a young Nigerian woman who is trapped in a life of servitude but determined to fight for her dreams and choose her own future. The Girl with the Louding Voice was recently named a Most Anticipated Book of 2020 by the New York Times, Marie Claire, Vogue, Essence, PopSugar, Daily Mail, Electric Literature, Red Magazine, Stylist, Daily Kos, Library Journal, The Every Girl, and Read It Forward!
March 16, 2020
Our guest today is Therese Anne Fowler, here to talk with us about her latest novel, A Good Neighborhood. Fowler has penned a gripping contemporary novel that examines the American dream through the lens of two families living side by side in an idyllic neighborhood, over the course of one summer that changes their lives irrevocably. Our Barnes & Noble Exclusive Edition of A Good Neighborhood includes a discussion guide and a personal essay from Therese Anne Fowler.
March 10, 2020
Our guest today is Hillary Mantel, the two-time winner of the Man Booker Prize. Mantel joins us to talk about her latest novel The Mirror & The Light, a triumphant close to the trilogy she began with her peerless, Booker Prize-winning novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies.  
March 3, 2020
Our guest today is non-other than James McBride, author of the National Book Award-winning The Good Lord Bird. James is with us to discuss his latest book Deacon King Kong, a captivating novel about what happens to the witnesses of a shooting in a Brooklyn housing project. Listen in as we go in-depth with James on what it was like to pen Deacon King Kong.  
February 25, 2020
Our guest today is Erik Larson, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Devil in the White City and Dead Wake joins us to discuss his newest work, The Splendid and The Vile, where he delivers a fresh and compelling portrait of Winston Churchill and London during The Blitz.
February 11, 2020
Our guest today is Holly Jackson, who joins us to talk about her new YA crime thriller A Good Girl's Guide to Murder. The book plays well for readers of Kara Thomas and Karen McManus, an addictive, twisty crime thriller with shades of Serial and Making a Murderer about a closed local murder case that doesn't add up, and a girl who's determined to find the real killer—but not everyone wants her meddling in the past.  A Good Girl's Guide to Murder has been chosen for our March Barnes & Noble YA Book Club event! Mark your calendars to join us for a discussion on Friday, March 13th at 7:00 PM!
January 24, 2020
We revisit our podcast interview with celebrated novelist for young readers Jason Reynolds, recently named National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, and the author of Look Both Ways.  He joined B&N's Miwa Messer in our studio on the occasion of his powerful novel Long Way Down.
January 17, 2020
Lydia Pérez is an ordinary bookseller in Acapulco, Mexico, when an article by her journalist husband makes her family a target for a drug cartel. In an instant, Lydia and her family become migrants, fleeing for their lives. Their story at the center of American Dirt is a powerful and often harrowing story of love, sacrifice, and hope. John Grisham, Stephen King, and Oprah Winfrey are all talking about this timely novel that features an unforgettable mother and son at its heart. Our booksellers can't stop thinking about American Dirt either, which is why we've made it our February 2020 Barnes & Noble Book Club Pick. The author sat down with B&N's Miwa Messer to take us behind the making of this propulsive story.
January 6, 2020
Our guest today is the novelist Abigail Hing Wen, who joins us to talk about her new YA novel Loveboat, Taipei, a coming-of-age story about taking risks, finding your voice, and discovering yourself in places you never would have predicted. Ever's Chinese-American parents have planned every aspect of her future: but one summer in Taiwan -- a trip they've sprung on their daughter as a not-very-welcome surprise might change everything. The result is an absolutely sparkling story that's based in part on the author's own young experience and a program that's still going on today, and it's B&N's latest YA Book Club selection. Abigail Hing Wen sat down with Bill Tipper in the B&N studio to talk about the real summer-in-Taiwan experience that was the genesis for the story of Loveboat, Taipei.
January 6, 2020
Our guest on today's episode of the B&N Podcast is the novelist Ann Napolitano, who joins us to talk about her heart-stopping new novel Dear Edward.  When his survival in a terrible accident transforms a twelve-year-old boy's life forever, Edward Adler sets out on a confrontation with challenges both more subtle and more daunting -- grief, confusion, and the strangest kind of fame. We found Ann Napolitano's richly told, emotionally devastating novel one of the most compelling books of the season, and we asked the author to join B&N's Miwa Messer in the studio for a discussion about Dear Edward and how Napolitano brought its characters to vibrant, unforgettable life.
December 24, 2019
In celebration of some of the most fascinating authors we spoke with in 2019, we're re-sharing our conversation with Pulitzer Prize winning writer Elizabeth Strout, who joined us to talk about her new novel Olive, Again. Since she published her first novel Amy and Isabelle, Elizabeth Strout has been known to readers for her subtle, sidelong portrayals of what Alice Munro, praising Strout's fiction, described as "the bravery and hard choices of what is called ordinary life." Strout's novels have all been populated with brilliantly illuminated characters, but one resident of the fictional town of Crosby, Maine has crackled with an especially powerful charge. The star of Strout's Pultizer winning 2008 novel Olive Kitteridge — an abrasive, unfiltered, and wincingly honest former schoolteacher — proved a voice that echoed in readers' heads long after the last page of that wry and winning story concluded. So Strout's return to Crosby and to this unforgettable personality in novel Olive, Again, has been hailed by readers and critics alike as one of the best things to happen this year. Elizabeth Strout sat down in the B&N Podcast studio earlier this fall for a talk with Bill Tipper about storytelling, overheard conversations, and Olive's triumphant return.
December 20, 2019
To mark the end of 2019 we're re-sharing some of our favorite conversations from our year in reading. Among the standouts: our chat with Colson Whitehead, the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author of The Underground Railroad , who returned to the B&N Podcast for a conversation about his novel The Nickel Boys. It's a riveting story of injustice, friendship, resistance and survival that turns on the experience of two boys incarcerated in a Florida institution, and its reverberating effects on their lives. Whitehead joined B&N's Miwa Messer for a talk about the true story that was the inspiration for the novel -- a 2019 Barnes & Noble Book Club selection  -- the battle between optimism and pessimism in his own worldview, and how he learns from the characters he brings to life.
December 12, 2019
Today's episode is a conversation with the prolific, bestselling author Alice Hoffman, who joins us to talk about her engrossing new novel The World That We Knew.  Hoffman is the author of more than thirty works of fiction, including The Rules of Magic, The Marriage of Opposites, Practical Magic, The Red Garden, and 1997's Here on Earth, which was an Oprah's Book Club selection, and she's written multiple works for young adults and children. In her novels Hoffman has drawn boldly on both historical fact and myth, folktale and legend, to create stories in which mystery and magic often suffuse an otherwise familiar world. For The World That We Knew, which follows a group of Jewish refugees struggling to survive and resist the unfolding terror of the Holocaust, Hoffman links ancient traditions of Jewish magic to the stories of hidden children she researched for her book. When she joined us in the studio,  B&N's Bill Tipper asked her to talk about the alchemy of her storytelling, and how she was able to connect the traumas of the 1930s and 40s to tapestry of legends that spans centuries.
December 6, 2019
In this episode we're so pleased to be joined via phone by the artist and author Charlie Mackesy, whose wonderful new book The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse has just been selected by Barnes & Noble Booksellers as our Book of the Year. Mackesy, who lives and works in the United Kingdom, is a lifelong artist and illustrator whose works in both pen and ink and paint can be found in the British magazine The Spectator and in many books. But when Mackesy posted to Instagram a deceptively simple drawing of a boy atop a large horse, engaged in a dialogue and about courage, the internet took notice, and the artist found his work reaching an audience he'd never expected. That single drawing grew into a charmingly illustrated story in which a young boy and three animals wander through a beautifully rendered English countryside, and talk about life, love, acceptance, and, not to be forgotten, cake. There's a quiet grace about Macksey's work that has found the place in the hearts of readers around the world. Bill Tipper spoke to Mackesy by phone from his home studio, where he told us about the conversations that led to his work, and an unexpected visit from one of his book's wild counterparts.
December 4, 2019
Today on the podcast we're bringing you a conversation that features the wildest science fiction story in the galaxy -- one that's not been playing out not on television on a movie screen, but on the colorful pages of a comic book since 2012. Aptly named Saga, this expansive and unclassifiable outer space epic, co-created by writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Fiona Staples, is many things: a story of star-crossed love between warring alien species, a soap opera featuring larger than life scenarios and stranger-than-human characters, a gritty war drama, a political satire, and the coming-of-age of one very special little girl. After 7 years, the series recently reached its halfway point, with the first 54 issues collected in the massive Saga: Compendium One. To mark the occasion, Barnes & Noble editor Joel Cunningham recently sat down with Vaughan to discuss the story’s genesis, his collaborative relationship with Staples, and what the future holds
November 26, 2019
Our guest on today's episode is the writer, thinker and teacher Michael Eric Dyson, who joins us to talk about his new book Jay-Z: Made in America. Dyson is the author of a wide array of books, including the bestsellers Tears We Cannot Stop and What Truth Sounds Like: Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America, and has become one of the most incisive and eloquent voices speaking about race and the black experience. And among the subjects he's written about memorably is the poetry and meaning of hip hop, with works on rap superstars like Tupac Shakur advancing our understanding of hiphop as an art form with unparalleled global impact. In his  new book Jay-Z: Made in America, Dyson takes on one of the most influential personalities working not only in hip hop but in business and on the world stage -- he sat down in our studio with Miwa Messer to give us a taste of how he sees this moment in our nation's life through the lyrics and life of an icon.
November 21, 2019
Our guest today is bestselling writer Bill Bryson, whose books on travel, history and science celebrate our endless curiosity, our drive to discover and understand the mysteries of our world and of the universe itself. Readers followed Bryson's questing intelligence and wry humor in books about explorations like A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail and Notes from a Small Island. With 2003's wildly ambitious A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bryson followed his desire to overcome his dissatisfaction with his own early education in science. The result ranges from the birth of the universe to the evolutionary history of humankind, in under 600 pages.  He's gone on to write about everything from Shakespeare to Jazz Age America, but in his latest book The Body: A Guide for Occupants, Bryson returns to a set of mysteries at once everyday and profoundly elemental. It's an exploration of our inner universe in the company of a guide whose fascination about the secrets of the human organism is utterly infectious -- and as delightfully witty as any of his tales of wandering the globe, as B&N's Bill Tipper found our when he sat down with the author to talk about The Body and the multiple mysteries that lie within.
November 15, 2019
Welcome back to the B&N podcast. Our guest on today's episode is author, editor, fashion maven, and social media star Eva Chen, who joins us to talk about her latest marvelous book for kids, Juno Valentine and the Fantastic Fashion Adventure. Her career has been nothing short of a fantastic adventure itself, highlighted by her work at Elle and Teen Vogue before she became Lucky magazine's youngest ever editor in chief. She joined the social media platform Instagram in 2015 where she became Head of Fashion Partnerships — and an Insta star in her own right. But she's also a parent, and that experience led her to create picture books starring her young heroine Juno Valentine, whose exploits celebrate self-discovery with a touch of sass and style. Eva Chen joined B&N's Amanda Cecil in our studio to talk about being a late bloomer, literary heroes, and raising readers.
November 12, 2019
Our guest on today's episode is the novelist Erin Morgenstern, who joins us to talk about her new novel The Starless Sea. Every now and again a writer comes along with a story that seems to want to resist classification — a book that slips between the subjects and genres we tend to slot our fiction into, and there's no better example than Erin Morgenstern's best-selling 2011 debut The Night Circus, in which a deadly contest between two magicians is played out between their talented proteges, who fall in love despite their mentors schemes. Dreamlike, yet firmly grounded in its characters, heartbreaking yet funny, and manifestly unique, The Night Circus defied any classification other than addictive. It's no surprise that readers were eager to learn what its author would choose for her next act, and with The Starless Sea we finally get to return to a world created Morgenstern's thrilling imagination. She joined B&N's Miwa Messer by phone to talk about her new story, in which a strange volume leads a student into a labyrinth of discovery.
November 8, 2019
Our guest on today's episode of the B&N Podcast is the musician and author Flea, famous as the bassist for the iconic, sometimes outrageous band the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who built a fervent fan base in their Los Angeles hometown before exploding as rock superstars with 1991's Blood Sugar Sex Magik.  He joins us to talk about his new memoir Acid for the Children, a nakedly honest and deeply tender account of his years growing up in 1970s Los Angeles, enamored of both the possibilities of art and the lure of the streets. Acid for the Children chronicles in appropriately electric style the life of a self-described "street kid" who was also a devoted reader and aspiring punk musician. Candid about both the drug use central to the scene and the vital friendships that buoyed him through those years, Flea delivers a true story with an emotional punch that matches its tough-minded revelations.  He joined B&N's Josh Perilo for a conversation about what it meant to revisit a time in his life marked by exuberant excess, joy, and tragedy.
November 4, 2019
We're joined on today's episode by Lisa Jewell, the author of a host of suspenseful, psychologically twisty novels that include I Found You, The Girls in the Garden, and the New York Times bestseller Then She Was Gone. She's been called "a master of bone-chilling suspense" and she joins us today to talk about her riveting new novel The Family Upstairs, a fascinating story in which a young woman's lifetime quest to discover her real identity turns dark when she finds herself the inheritor of a London mansion with a terrible history. And Libby's story is only one path in the beguiling labyrinth Lisa Jewell leads us down in The Family Upstairs. We were so transfixed by her storytelling that we chose The Family Upstairs as the latest selection in the Barnes & Noble Book Club — and Lisa Jewell joined B&N's Miwa Messer by phone to talk about the creation of this enthralling tale.
October 31, 2019
Happy Halloween! On today's episode of the B&N Podcast we're joined by the novelist and filmmaker Stephen Chbosky, for a conversation about his spine-tingling new novel Imaginary Friend. Many readers and moviegoers alike know Chbosky as the author of the acclaimed coming-of-age story The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a novel whose early devoted audience grew substantially following Chbosky's deft and memorable 2012 film adaptation of his own work starring Emma Watson and Ezra Miller. His long-awaited second work of fiction is now finally here: Imaginary Friend is the story of a seven year old boy named Christopher and his mother Kate, their arrival in a small town with a strange past, and what happens when Christopher disappears into the woods for nearly a week — only to return terribly changed, and obsessed with the knowledge that the fate of the world is in his hands. The chilling tale that follows takes in the secret lives and hidden shames of a community, a cosmic clash between mysterious forces, and the deep love between parent and child. We spoke to Stephen Chbosky in our podcast studio about his excursion into nightmare, and what drove him there.
October 30, 2019
Our guest on today's episode is the bestselling, Pulitzer Prize winning writer Elizabeth Strout, who joins us to talk about her new novel Olive, Again. Since she published her first novel Amy and Isabelle, Elizabeth Strout has been known to readers for her subtle, sidelong portrayals of what Alice Munro, praising Strout's fiction, described as "the bravery and hard choices of what is called ordinary life." Strout's novels like Amy and Isabelle, My Name is Lucy Barton and Anything Can Happen have all been populated with brilliantly illuminated characters, but one resident of the fictional town of Crosby, Maine has crackled with an especially powerful charge. The star of Strout's Pultizer winning 2008 novel Olive Kitteridge — an abrasive, unfiltered, and wincingly honest former schoolteacher — proved a voice that echoed in readers' heads long after the last page of that wry and winning story concluded. So Strout's return to Crosby and to this unforgettable personality in her latest novel Olive, Again, has been hailed by readers and critics alike as one of the best things to happen this year. We were lucky enough to get Elizabeth Strout in the B&N Podcast studio for a talk about storytelling, overheard conversations, and Olive's triumphant return.
October 28, 2019
With Halloween only a few days away we're thrilled that our guest on this episode is the writer Joe Hill, here to talk about his engrossing and often hair-raising new collection Full Throttle. Two of the short stories included here were written in collaboration with his father, Stephen King, but Full Throttle's range of invention shows that the author of bestsellers like NOS4A2, The Fireman, and Horns works from a spell book of his own devising. From a tale that fuses big-game hunting with a classic work of fantasy to a story that draws us into a diabolic circus via the means of an all too familiar social media app, the stories of Full Throttle offer pleasures heartfelt and horrifying in equal measure. Hill prefaces Full Throttle with a marvelous introduction that stands as a great story of its own, a story of Hill's experience growing up as a writer in an extraordinary family, and with an extraordinary literary force as a father and mentor. When he joined us in the studio, we talked about his journey as a writer, and the obsessions behind these fantastic dark tales.
October 23, 2019
Our guest on today's episode is celebrated poet and memoirist Saeed Jones, who joins us to talk about his new book How We Fight for Our Lives. The author of the award-winning poetry collection Prelude to a Bruise, Jones has made wry, cutting and often laugh out loud hilarious commentary on contemporary culture his hallmark on Twitter and in online venues like Buzzfeed's beloved AM to DM web series, which he launched with co-host Isaac Fitzgerald in 2017. In How We Fight for Our Lives, Jones delivers a revelatory, incendiary, page-turning true story: it's both a richly rendered portrait of the artist as a young man growing up gay and black in 1980s Texas, and a chronicle of confrontation with deadly challenges that emerge from both within and without. One of the most keenly anticipated books of the fall, How to Fight for Our Lives is a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and Miwa Messer, Director of the Discover program, spoke to author via phone recently about what it meant to put his story down on paper.
October 21, 2019
Today's guest has turned thousands of 21st century kids into passionate, intensely knowledgable fans of ancient mythologies. When Rick Riordan published The Lightning Thief in 2008, his story of modern tweens magically connected to a hidden world of gods and monsters taken from Greek myths was an instant sensation — but it was no flash in the pan. Across multiple blockbuster series including Percy Jackson and the Olympians, the Kane Chronicles and Magnus Chase, Riordan has taken his fans on thrill rides through fantasy worlds that draw up on Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Norse mythos, mixing anachronistic humor and page-turning thrills to make figures from Poseidon to Loki come alive as friends or foes to his young adventurers. In his latest series, The Trials of Apollo, Riordan has taken a fresh twist, following the travails of a god trapped in a human body. Book four in the series, The Tyrant's Tomb, is just out, and Riordan joined B&N's Melissa Albert — who frequently hosts our YA podcast — to talk about his new book and his groundbreaking new imprint Rick Riordan Presents, which has tapped authors from diverse backgrounds to tell stories from myth traditions around the world.
October 18, 2019
We're joined on this episode of the B&N podcast by Julie Andrews and her daughter and co-author Emma Walton Hamilton, for a conversation about Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years. Julie Andrews is the sort of guest for whom the phrase "needs no introduction" was invented, but here's one thing worth mentioning at the start: if you didn't know that the singer, actor and Academy Award-winning star of Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, Victor/Victoria and many other films was also the author of an absolutely wonderful memoir of growing up singing and traveling the vaudeville circuit in postwar Britain, do yourself a favor and go and get her 2008 memoir Home. But in the meantime, you can savor the wealth of stories in Home Work, which brings us in just as Andrews, a young mother and stage star, arrives in Hollywood, ready to start her career in movies with Walt Disney and Mary Poppins. It's a scintillating story that unfolds not just Andrews' fascinating career and often tumultuous family life, but a keen observer's inside view of moviemaking on some cinematically legendary sets. B&N's Bill Tipper had the chance to speak with Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton together via phone, and he wanted to know what it was like to work both as mother and daughter, and co-authors of this splendid true story.
October 16, 2019
Our guest on today's episode is the award-winning writer Kate DiCamillo, whose books include contemporary classics like Because of Winn Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and Flora and Ulysses. DiCamillo is one of a handful of writers to win American Library Association's prestigious Newbery Medal twice, and in 2104 was named National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. DiCamillo writes books for young readers across many age ranges, and she's the rare writer who can both sweep a family away into a world of fantasy, like that inhabited by the mouse Despereaux, or precisely render an American small town like the Naomi, Florida of Because of Winn-Dixie. Her new novel Beverly, Right Here is the story of a young girl who sets out in search of a new life, and it's part of a triptych of moving, funny and absolutely memorable stories set in the small-town south that began with Raymie Nightingale and continued with Louisiana's Way Home. Kate DiCamillo joined B&N's Bill Tipper in the studio for a talk about the experiences that became the wellsprings of her fictional worlds.
October 11, 2019
Our guest on today's episode of the B&N Podcast is the journalist and bestselling author Shea Serrano, whose unconventional, hilarious and insightful works put the writer's obsessions with sports, movies, and music into a dialogue with big issues like race, class, gender — who gets to take center stage and who wields cultural power. In books like The Rap Year Book and Basketball (and Other Things), Serrano proved that when you're in the hands of the right writer, a subject can come alive for super fans and newbies alike. Serrano is back with Movies (and Other Things), in which he takes on everything from defining the Mean Girls expanded universe to what it means for marginalized people to see themselves represented on screen. He sat down just before the book's publication with B&N's Miwa Messer for a wide-ranging conversation about the movie moments he loves — and why they matter.
October 7, 2019
Today's guest is the bestselling writer Leigh Bardugo, whose works of boldly imagined and intricately plotted fantasy like Shadow and Bone, Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom have made her one of the superstars of YA fiction — and now she's expanding her territory in her new novel for adults with Ninth House. In Bardugo's Grishaverse novels the author has rewritten the templates for 21st-century fantasy, building worlds inspired by Tsarist Russia and the 17th-century Dutch Republic, and weaving quite modern, witty stories of espionage and crime into tales of sorcery and myth. To the delight of her fans, Netflix has announced that a new series based on Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows is about to begin filming. But the author has fresh wonders in store: Ninth House retains Bardugo's gift for fantasy and magic but departs from YA and sojourns into a version of our world. It's a darkly conceived world of Ivy League secrets, power, privilege, and yes, magic. Bardugo joins B&N's Miwa Messer by phone to talk about mixing fantasy with real-world issues in Ninth House.
October 4, 2019
On this episode of the B&N Podcast we're bringing you our final installment of our special podcast series King of the Dark, one devoted to a project that has been woven through most of Stephen King's career, the multi-volume fantasy epic The Dark Tower. The Dark Tower began with King's 1982 novel The Gunslinger, and unfolded over the course of seven numbered books and 22 years, a sprawling saga of wild west outlaws and powerful sorcery, of a quest through ages and a tower that spans universes. That would be a massive creation for any author, but King's Dark Tower is unique in that it's a world that keeps bleeding into and crossing over with his other stories in ways large and small, so that the Dark Tower's Mid-World begins to look like a secret network of passageways that interlink King's entire body of work. Liz Braswell, Louis Peitzman and Bill Tipper are joined for this conversation by B&N Science Fiction and Fantasy blog editor Joel Cunningham, who has spent more time in the Dark Tower world than any of the rest of us.
October 2, 2019
Our guest on the B&N podcast today is none other than Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness.  Van Ness's brand new new memoir is titled Over the Top and that title resonates with the dramatic, witty, and scene-stealing persona that fans of the show have come to know — but it's the subtitle, A Raw Journey to Self-Love — that really says volumes about this engaging and revealing new book. Van Ness charts the tumultuous course of a life growing up in a small town, navigating the world of a queer teen without role models, and finding a way forward — first as a hairstylist, and then as a performer, comedian, podcast host and TV star. In Over the Top, Van Ness is absolutely candid about abuse and addiction and talks openly about living with HIV — it's a book that's dead set against a culture of silence and shame about the facts of life. And when Jonathan Van Ness joined us in the studio — just as Over the Top was being published — he was just as forthcoming in person as he is on the page.
October 1, 2019
The Testaments is Margaret Atwood's long-awaited return to the world and characters of her 1985 classic The Handmaid's Tale, a dystopian novel set in a fictional near-future theocracy called Gilead, a nation in which religious fundamentalists wield absolute power, and which organizes itself chiefly around the subjugation of women. Atwood's literary career has been among the most prolific and wide-ranging among novelists of her generation — a short sampling of her notable works includes Cat's Eye, Alias Grace, The Blind Assassin, The Robber Bride and the MaddAddam Trilogy — The Handmaid's Tale and the story of its narrator Offred has resonated with readers through decades. It's acquired a fresh generation of readers since becoming the basis for a television adaptation on the streaming platform Hulu. So it's no exaggeration to say that readers worldwide were exultant to learn that this fall Atwood would return to Gilead and to some of its characters in her new novel The Testaments. And the resulting book is no disappointment, a story of intrigue and struggle to survive that both reflects our fears for how close our future might be to the dangers Atwood signals — and offers a vision of the humanity that is not only capable of endurance, but resistance. Atwood spoke with B&N's Miwa Messer about what it meant to return to the dark and compelling world she's brought into life in a book we've been thrilled to name a Barnes & Noble Book Club selection.
September 27, 2019
On this episode of King of the Dark, Louis Peitzman, Liz Braswell and Bill Tipper turn from the grand scale of Stephen King's dark epics to the supremely concentrated pleasures of his short fiction. King has published over 200 works of short fiction, most of which have been collected in volumes including Night Shift, Skeleton Crew, Everything's Eventual and others. In many of these — especially some of the earlier stories collected in Night Shift and Skeleton Crew — the master is at his elemental best, spinning tales that take just a few pages to cast a spell that lasts long after the short, sharp shock of the ending has been delivered. So we decided it was time to devote an episode to the glorious — and some times a little gory — work in miniature that is the classic King short story.
September 25, 2019
Today our guest is the spellbinding storyteller Ann Patchett, joining  us to talk about her new novel The Dutch House.  Patchett is the author of a treasure trove of fiction including 2011's State of Wonder, and 2016's Commonwealth, but she may be most widely known for her award-winning 2002 novel Bel Canto, which crafted a symphonic and deeply humane multi-character story amid an embassy hostage crisis.  She's also the author of the widely lauded memoir Truth and Beauty, a wide-ranging essayist, and a bookseller, the co-founder of Parnassus Books in Nashville, where she lives.  In The Dutch House, Patchett plunges readers into the story of Danny and Maeve, a brother and sister whose lives are bound up in the memory of the house they once lived in and the splintering of their family. Patchett joined B&N's Miwa Messer by phone to talk about composing on her feet, sibling bonds, and what it means to find a home.
September 20, 2019
Welcome to episode fifteen of King of the Dark, our special series on the B&N Podcast devoted to the worlds of Stephen King. It's big week for us — Louis Peitzman, Liz Braswell and Bill Tipper started with King's 1974 bestseller Carrie and now we've arrived at his latest novel, The Institute, which was published just last week, on September 10th. It's a story packed with themes that will be familiar to King's fans — the story concerns a group of children who possess psychic talents, a drifter who finds a fresh start in a small town, and a government conspiracy willing to stop at nothing. But it's also about kids banding together against grotesque forces, about uncertain journeys across America, the ease with which the powerful exploit human weakness, and the unheralded strength in the bonds of friendship, shot through with humor, horror, incredible tension and an eye for workaday cruelties and unexpected moments of beauty. In other words, vintage Stephen King. A quick warning: Spoilers Ahead! If you haven't read The Institute yet, definitely pause and devour before listening.
September 18, 2019
Our guest on this episode is author and cartoonist Randall Munroe, author of the new book How To: Absurd Advice for Common Real-World Problems. Munroe became an internet legend via his webcomic XKCD, a daily feature published since 2005 in which a cast of stick figures take on the conundrums of 21st-century living via a mixture of scientific analysis, wry humor, and absolutely unpredictable creativity. It's inspired flash mobs, taught lessons in radiation exposure and password security, and coined the immortal phrase "someone is wrong on the internet." Munroe's scientific background is no joke — he's a former NASA roboticist — and he became a bestselling author in 2014 with his book What If, which used science to answer readers' wild questions like "could you make a jetpack out of machine guns." In How To, Munroe applies science to the everyday — but uses Rube Goldberg concepts to find the most unnecessarily complicated, difficult, and expensive way to do everything from charging your phone to making friends. But as he explains to B&N's Bill Tipper sometimes it's the long way around that gets you where you need to go.
September 13, 2019
Welcome back to King of the Dark, our special series on the B&N Podcast, a journey through the gloriously shadowy fiction of Stephen King. On today's episode, we're not quite caught up to the author's brand new release The Institute — we'll be talking about that one next week. This week, we're looking at 2013's Doctor Sleep — a marvelous novel that is both a sequel to his classic The Shining and a bewitching tale all on its own. Danny Torrance, the psychically gifted little boy of The Shining, is now an adult, tormented by some of the same addictions that plagued his father, but working to fight his demons in every sense of the word. Dan uses his abilities — his Shining, you might recall — is to help the dying find peace, but when he meets a young girl named Abra with talents like his, he also discovers the plot of a terrifying secret society called The True Knot — and they have plans for Abra and all children like her. If you didn't think that The Shining would lead us to a page-turning thriller about psychic vampires, alcoholism and recovery, and one of the most compelling villains ever to put on a top hat, well, when did Stephen King ever fail to surprise?
September 10, 2019
On today's episode of the B&N Podcast we were joined by one of the most influential writers in the world, whose books examine how humans think and behave in ways large and small. As a staff writer for the New Yorker and in his books The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, and David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell, as well as in his podcast Revisionist History, Gladwell has marshaled the tools of an array of sciences to challenge conventional wisdom about everything from how to spot an art forgery to what makes a basketball team succeed. His new book Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don't Know is his first in six years, and its origin, Gladwell writes, was in the author's confrontation with the perplexing, tragic and infuriating events that led to the death of Sandra Bland in a Texas jail in 2015. When author joined B&N's Bill Tipper in the studio, he explained how his outrage over Bland's story led to the questions raised in Talking to Strangers.
September 6, 2019
Welcome back to King of the Dark, our special series on the B&N Podcast, celebrating and exploring the fictional worlds of Stephen King. Every week for this limited series Liz Braswell and Louis Peitzman join Bill Tipper as they ready through many of King's most fascinating, enduring, and sometimes enigmatic creations, including Carrie, The Shining, It, Misery and many more, talking along the way about their adaptations and the connections between them. We've arrived this week at 2011's bestselling 11/22/63 — a take on the perennial question: if you could travel back in time and change one thing, what would it be? In 11/22/63, King wraps his imagination around the assassination of JFK and creates an almost literal doorway into the past. The result is a love letter to midcentury America and King's unique twist on an enduring theme in speculative fiction. In this episode Liz, Louis and Bill talk about 11/22/63's link between domestic abuse and political violence, the story's surprising connection with the world of It, and one character's ingenious use of time travel to keep his diner open.
September 4, 2019
Today on the B&N Podcast our guest is the New York Times bestselling author Mary H.K. Choi, who in two razor sharp novels — 2018's Emergency Contact and her brand-new Permanent Record — captures the lives, anxieties and loves of young people crossing that fraught and fractured border between teen life and the big world of adulthood. Her novels are shelved in that increasingly varied category we call "YA fiction," But as a culture journalist with credits that range from the New York Times and The Atlantic to Wired and HBO's Vice News Tonight, Choi infuses her stories with wit, pathos, and a sensibility that speaks to the anxieties and possibilities that come with life in an electronically mediated world — and that combination has brought her devoted readers across generations. Mary H.K. Choi joined B&N's Miwa Messer in the studio to talk about the obsessions that drive her fiction, and Permanent Record's story of 21st century love meeting 21st century fame.
August 30, 2019
Welcome back to King of the Dark, our special series on the B&N Podcast devoted to the fictional creations of Stephen King.  Every week, Liz Braswell and Louis Peitzman join B&N's Bill Tipper for a deep dive into some of the most arresting works from the enormous Stephen bookshelf. This week we've arrived at King's 2006 novel Lisey's Story. Stephen King has worked aspects of his personal life -- the places he has lived, his personal obsessions and struggles -- into so many of his novels that it feels tough to call out any one of them as especially personal. But the origin of Lisey's Story is, according to the author himself, deeply connected to a critical event in King's life, the aftermath of his brush with death after being struck by a van. It's the imagined story of an acclaimed writer's widow -- the Lisey of the title -- reluctantly confronting the strange circumstances or her late husband's gift. Magic, madness and nightmarish horror all play a role, but there's an unusually elegiac note that runs through Lisey's Story, the novel that the writer has called his favorite. Early on, Liz and Louis and Bill decided that they had to try to discover what set this one apart for the novelist.
August 27, 2019
Our guest on the podcast today is Lorenzo Carcaterra, whose work in both fiction and nonfiction has often been wrapped up with the mean streets of New York City. Carcaterra first came to the attention of readers with two works of nonfiction, A Safe Place: The True Story of a Father, a Son and a Murder and Sleepers, which became a major motion picture directed by Barry Levinson and starring Robert Deniro, Brad Pitt, Kevin Bacon and Jason Patric. He's followed that up with bestselling works of fiction including Apaches, Street Boys, and 2014's The Wolf. He joins us in the studio to talk about his life growing up in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, his career in tabloids and the early days of reality TV, and his new book Tin Badges, a thriller set among New York City ex-cops on the trail of a cold case that turns red-hot.
August 23, 2019
Welcome back to King of the Dark, our special summer series on the B&N Podcast exploring the strange alternate reality that is Stephen King's fiction. Louis Peizman, Liz Braswell and Bill Tipper started with Carrie and have been reading their way up to the present day, but this is something of an unusual episode, because today they're talking about some books that didn't have Stephen King's name on them when they were published — and one that did. Around the same time that King's career was taking off, several potent works appeared by a writer named Richard Bachman, including the novels The Running Man, Thinner, and The Long Walk. As shrewd readers later discovered, the connections between King and Bachman were close — and it was a connection that King would explore fully in his 1989 novel The Dark Half. So today on King of the Dark: the strange case of Richard Bachman, and the question of what happens when a writer imagines his own double.
August 20, 2019
Our guest on the podcast today is Ibram X. Kendi, here to talk about his new book How to Be an Antiracist.  Kendi is a professor of history and international relations, and the founding director of American University's Antiracist Research and Policy Center.   In 2016, his book Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America appeared, a galvanizing new look at racism that posited, in the author's words, a dual phenomenon — the simultaneous evolution of both racial progress and the advancement of racist ideas.  Engrossing and provocative, Stamped from the Beginning took among a number of laurels the 2016 National Book for nonfiction, and in the crisis-crowded years since its analysis has only come to seem more urgent.  Ibram X. Kendi joined us in the studio to talk about his powerful new work, a book that combines memoir and history, essayistic reflection and forceful propositions.
August 16, 2019
Welcome back to King of the Dark, our special summer series on the B&N Podcast, a journey across the incredible spectrum of Stephen King's fictional creations. Every week this summer, the writers Liz Braswell and Louis Peitzman join B&N's BIll Tipper in a quest to take on as many of Stephen King's most intriguing books as we can fit into a single thrill-packed season. Last week we talked about 1992's trapped-in-handcuffs fever dream, Gerald's Game. The same year, King published a very different story in the novel Dolores Claiborne, but one that maintained some peculiar connections with the story told in Gerald's Game. Dolores Claiborne was a formal departure by King — a long monologue told in the unique voice of the title character. Dolores is a 65-year-old widow, a resident of a tiny island community off the coast of Maine, and she's the suspect in the death of her employer. The story she unfolds is part crime thriller and part family mystery, and intersects unexpectedly with a solar eclipse that has some... extra effects. Dolores is one of Stephen King's most arresting and completely drawn characters, and one thing Liz, Louis and Bill agreed on — her narrative makes for a work of undeniable power.
August 12, 2019
Today on the B&N Podcast, the author of the critically acclaimed debut novel The Tiger's Wife joins us to talk about her new book, Inland, which brings together two stories set in 19th century Texas and Arizona to produce a braided tale as rich and strange as the landscape in which it unfolds. As in The Tiger's Wife, Obreht has fused history, myth and a sense of enchantment, but Inland fully embraces the form of the Western and invites readers to sit down by the campfire for a story of privation and survival, immigrant dreams and American illusions, ghosts and money, camels and murder. Tea Obreht sat down with B&N's Miwa Messer in our studio to talk about her epic new novel.
August 9, 2019
Welcome back to King of the Dark, our special summer series on the B&N Podcast devoted to the shadowy fictional universe of Stephen King. Last week, we did our best to scale the mountain of King's epic The Stand. This week, we're at the other end of the spectrum, reading a story set on as compact a stage as possible. Two episodes back, we talked about King's trapped-in-a-cabin thriller Misery — this week, we're taking on a novel with echoes of that 1986 classic, and some big differences. We're talking about 1992's Gerald's Game, and though it contains no Pennywise, Wendigo or other cosmic monster, we found in it horror aplenty. The plot is bracingly simple: Jessie and her husband Gerald have gone to their lakeside cottage for some secluded time away — but when play in bed with handcuffs turns into something more aggressive, Jessie kicks Gerald in self-defense, he suffers a heart attack and dies. Jessie is left in a nightmarish situation, unable to escape the handcuffs or communicate with the outside world — unless she takes truly desperate measures. Isolation and extremity also force Jessie to confront with abuse in her own history that is as wrenching to confront as anything the author has ever dreamed up, the toxic heart of this powerful and unsettling story. A note of caution for listeners: this conversation includes some mentions of scenes containing disturbingly graphic imagery and issues of sexual abuse raised in the story.
August 7, 2019
Today's episode is a fascinating and timely conversation that comes to us courtesy of Barnes & Noble's Discover Great New Writers program, featuring Kiese Laymon the author of Heavy: an American Memoir, and Shane Bauer, the author of American Prison: A Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment. Heavy and American Prison were, respectively, the first and second place recipients of the 2018 Discover Great New Writers Award for Nonfiction, and both are works that urgently grapple with the state of America today, winning deep praise from critics and readers alike. In Heavy, Laymon takes readers with him on an unforgettable journey from his Mississippi childhood to life as a university professor and acclaimed writer - an odyssey in which racism, sexual violence, trauma and other monstrosities of 21st-century America are challenged by love and a spirit of questing intelligence. And in American Prison, investigative journalist Shane Bauer sought out the real experience of Americans living in incarceration by taking an entry-level job in a private Louisiana prison - and bringing what he found onto the page with eloquence and painstaking care. In a moment when the issues that these books address seems more urgent in our nation's life than ever, we asked the authors to sit down with Miwa Messer, director of B&N's Discover Great New Writers program, to talk about their work, and how they see its meaning against the backdrop of America in 2019. A note for listeners: at points in this conversation, some strong language does come up, which may not be appropriate if you have young children in earshot.
August 2, 2019
Welcome back to King of the Dark, our special summer series on the B&N Podcast devoted to the imagined worlds of Stephen King. Every week this summer Liz Braswell and Louis Peitzman join Bill Tipper on this odyssey through an American master's bookshelf. We're taking on some of his biggest books — more or less in the order they were published, and we've arrived at week eight of our journey, and what may be the most monumental of our destinations so far. In 1978, Stephen King published a post-plague-thriller-adventure-epic titled The Stand; it drew on his longstanding ambition to write his own, American-set fantasy epic in the vein of The Lord of the Rings, and the sprawling plus work took in a huge cast of characters, a story that combined science fiction and fantasy to stage a battle between the forces of light and darkness, playing out in a decimated American west. It was a hit — But King's original manuscript was hundreds of pages longer — and in 1990, the "Complete and Uncut" edition was published, followed by a star-studded 1994 miniseries adaptation. We sat down with the thousand-plus page edition for a confrontation with the super flu, the villain Randall Flagg, and King's riff on America's dreams of apocalypse.
July 31, 2019
Our guest on today's episode is the writer Karl Marlantes, who burst onto the literary scene in 2010 with his critically acclaimed, bestselling novel Matterhorn, the story of a company of soldiers who build, abandon and retake a firebase in Vietnam. He followed that with the bestselling nonfiction work What It is Like to Go to War. Now, Marlantes has returned to fiction with Deep River, drawing on his family's own history as political refugees from their native Finland who made their way in the logging community of the Pacific Northwest at the turn of the 20th century. Deep River is a story of siblings, of family and survival, love and ambition set in a natural world of mythic grandeur. Marlantes talked with B&N's Miwa Messer about the true stories that inspired this epic tale -- but first, she asked him to go back in time to his unusual arrival on the publishing scene, after years of writing, with Matterhorn.
July 26, 2019
Welcome back to King of the Dark, our special summer series on the B&N Podcast devoted to Stephen King's monumental career. Every week this summer, Liz Braswell, Louis Peitzman and Bill Tipper pick one of King's bestsellers for a deep dive. King famously sets much of his fiction in his home state of Maine, but that's not true of this week's book, 1987's bestselling, award-winning Misery, which unfolds in a small house in a remote area in Colorado.  Bestselling writer Paul Sheldon has finally shaken himself free of the long-running, saccharine character -- Misery Chastain -- who has powered his successful career.  Paul has killed off his beloved heroine in the pages of his last novel, and written the bracing literary work he's dreamed of. But an auto wreck in the mountains leaves him badly wounded, and he wakes up in the house of Annie Wilkes, a nurse who has pulled him from his car. She says she's Paul's "number one fan" -- but what happens when she finds out Misery is dead will change everything. The result is a game of wits that revolves around obsession, addiction, manipulation and sheer madness as gripping as anything Stephen King is ever written -- and gave Kathy Bates an Oscar-winning role as Annie in the 1990 screen adaptation. It's a novel that many King fans rate among his very best. And as Liz Braswell remarked at the beginning of our conversation, it's also one that makes readers wonder about the intersection between fiction and reality.
July 25, 2019
Today's episode features an overflowing cornucopia of amazing voices from the worlds of fantasy and science fiction, all gathered up in live recordings at this year's San Diego Comic Con, just a few days ago. Our main event is an all-star panel of writers talking about the increasingly unstable boundaries between the news and the worlds they dream up -- and the equally strange borderlands between writers and fans. B&N's science fiction and fantasy expert James Killen is joined by writers Charlie Jane Anders , Cory Doctorow, Sarah Gailey, Seanan McGuire and Annalee Newitz for a everything from writing in a world on fire, handling the wild energy of fandom and more. But before we get there, were going to take a brief stop on the convention floor as , B&N's Joel Cunningham talks with novelists Ann Leckie and Rebecca Roanhorse, both of whom are experiencing the madness of Comic Con for the first time. (And we're just going to tell you now: you need to stick around to the end to hear Seanan McGuire explain just what she was doing in the swamp).
July 24, 2019
Today we've got the first of two special podcast episodes we recorded live at this year's San Diego Comic Con, amid the costumes, the new-movie hype, and the overwhelming euphoria of thousands of fans coming together to collectively geek out. And there is perhaps no one thing that represents the unlikely, hilarious and often beautiful spirit of SDCC than The Adventure Zone. The Adventure Zone, simply put, is a hit podcast which began when three brothers -- Justin, Travis and Griffin McElroy -- convinced their father, Clint, to join them in a freewheeling game of Dungeons & Dragons. The subsequent campaign has spun out over multiple seasons of the podcast and a hilarious epic was born. Last summer, the McElroys teamed up with comics artist Carey Piestch to release the first graphic novel adaptation of The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins. Now, they're back with the second installment: Murder on the Rockport Limited. Yes, it's a murder mystery set on a train. Yes, it's still Dungeons and Dragons. How? That's the magic of the Adventure Zone. Joel Cunningham, editor of the B&N Science Fiction and Fantasy blog, sat down with Griffin McElroy and Carey Pietsch for a conversation about how they've wrestled this monstrous comic saga onto the page.
July 19, 2019
Welcome back to King of the Dark, our special summer series on the B&N Podcast devoted to the strange alternate universe created by Stephen King. Every week this summer, Liz Braswell, Louis Peitzman and Bill Tipper dive into one of King's bestsellers -- some of us are reading for the first time, and some of us are revisiting well-known places. This week, we're stopping in the fictional town of Derry, Maine, home to the  tale Stephen King has given his shortest title. But as a book, It is anything but short. First published in 1986, it's a miniature epic of friendship and peril, forgetting and remembering, terror and courage. The evil force that a group of kids who call themselves the Losers has to face down takes as many shapes and forms as they have fears, but the signature character of It is, of course, Pennywise -- a monstrous clown whose first appearance, in a Derry storm drain, is surely one of the signature moments in horror. When we sat down, Bill asked Liz and Louis if they thought IT was the reason so many people raise their hands if you mention coulrophobia -- a fear of clowns.
July 17, 2019
Today on the B&N Podcast George Takei joins us to talk about They Called Us Enemy, the harrowing true story of the author's childhood experience of imprisonment, along with his family, in the infamous prison camps in which thousands of Japanese-Americans were incarcerated during the second World War. Takei is of course known to millions of fans worldwide for his portrayal of Mr. Sulu in the legendary TV series Star Trek as well as the series of films that followed; but he's know to many others for his presence on social media, where he mixes humor and activism. He's made the awareness of the story of Japanese Americans in the camps a particular cause -- and in this new book, collaboration with illustrator Harmony Becker and co-writers writers Justin Eisinger and Steven Scott, Takei takes readers with devastating directness into the experience of a child whose world is about to be transformed by nightmarish events. It's a powerful, immediate work, and as George Takei  noted when he joined us in the studio, its importance is not only in remembering the past, but in helping us recognize the events of the present.
July 15, 2019
The Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author of The Underground Railroad returns to the B&N Podcast for a conversation about his brand new novel The Nickel Boys, a riveting story of injustice, friendship, resistance and survival that turns on the experience of two boys incarcerated in a Florida institution, and its reverberating effects on their lives. It's a story that has never been more timely, from a bestselling writer with a unique ability to bring hidden, painful aspects of America past and present into new focus. Colson Whitehead joins B&N's Miwa Messer to talk about the true story that was the inspiration for the novel, the battle between optimism and pessimism in his own worldview, and how he learns from the characters he brings to life.
July 12, 2019
Welcome to King of the Dark, our summer-long road trip through Stephen King's America. We've arrived at Episode Five, and Louis Peitzman and Liz Braswell are back, this time to talk with Bill Tipper about what may be the most potent misspelling in horror, Stephen King's 1983 novel Pet Sematary, a book that the author himself has called one of his darkest. Pet Sematary was inspired, King has said, by his own experience living near a dangerous highway, which raised fears for his young son's safety and caused the local kids, who had lost beloved pets to speeding trucks, to created a homemade graveyard that was the basis the more sinister one in the book. What he delivered to readers was a story of grief, loss -- and an absolutely bone-chilling master class in horror. We also hear from our special guest, award-winning TV critic Emily Nussbaum, who told us about discovering the allure of Stephen King by accident, and her own young attempt at writing fiction in his style. Nussbaum recently dropped in on the B&N Podcast for a conversation about her new book I Like to Watch: Arguing My Way through the TV Revolution.
July 10, 2019
Many readers know Marjorie Liu from her New York Times bestsellers in the Hunter Kiss series and the Dirk and Steele urban fantasy series, but she is also a prolific and masterful writer of comics, including X-23, Black Widow and the Star Wars Han Solo miniseries.  But it's with Monstress, created in partnership with the artist Sana Takaeda, that Liu has brought her readers into an extraordinary new world, a massive and lush epic fantasy to rival anything in prose, covering topics like slavery, war and race, set against a background of monsters and mythology.  She joins B&N's James Killen in this episode to talk about her award-winning comic and the obsessions behind her magnificent imagination.
July 5, 2019
Welcome to Episode 4 of King of the Dark, our ongoing weekly series of excursions into the parallel universe that is the world of author Stephen King.  Every week Bill Tipper, Liz Braswell and Louis Peitzman tour some of Stephen King's most astounding creations, moving in a not-quite-straight line from his early bestsellers like Carrie and The Shining, through the 1980s and 1990s and right up to the present day.  For today's episode, we're talking about King's 1982 collection of four novellas, Different Seasons.  If that title doesn't ring a bell, consider that three out of the four were adapted as feature films: "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption" became the Academy Award-nominated 1994 film The Shawshank Redemption. "The Body" became Rob Reiner's 1986 film Stand By Me, starring a young River Pheonix and Will Wheaton.  And "Apt Pupil" was adapted into a dark suspense film of the same name featuring Sir Ian MacKellan.  Different Seasons might be one of King's less well known titles — but its stories have proved as enduring as any of his books.  Discussed in today’s episode: Men who have to lie to their wives, what makes a good yarn, the word “gooshy,” and a pizza-related apology.
July 4, 2019
On today's episode we're joined by Linda Holmes, the host of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour to talk about her sparkling new novel Evvie Drake Starts Over. Evvie has lost her husband unexpectedly— but what she finds herself mourning is something very different from what friends and family understand; and when a baseball star struggling with his own demons arrives in her small Maine town, what unfolds between the two of them is as unexpected, authentic, and delightful as the voice that Holmes brings to her public radio audience. She joined us in the studio just as Evvie Drake Starts Over hit the bookshelves — and instantly became one of the summer’s must read books — to talk about her unusual career arc, the nature of the yips, and why Moonlighting matters.
July 3, 2019
With the golden age of television has come a golden age of great writing about television. As Emily Nussbaum points out in her new book I Like to Watch: Arguing My Way, through the TV Revolutions, television has always had a uniquely intimate role in our homes and lives, since the technology was first introduced. And the television of the last two decades has become steadily more artistically ambitious and technologically enabled to permeate our culture, it's seemed all the more necessary to talk about it: what did that last cut to black mean? Is the character we've been following since the beginning of this series turning into the villain instead of the hero? As Pulitzer-prize winning TV critic for the New Yorker, Nussbaum has entered into that conversation with a kind of joyful aplomb, making her regular columns — and her presence on Twitter — less a courtroom where judgment is rendered and more like an arena in which the competing and conflicting impressions and emotions raised by last night's episode (or the season just binged) can fight it out. She sat down with us in the studio just before this challenging, provocative and, yes, highly entertaining new collection was published to talk about the state of the screen, and why it matters to us.
June 28, 2019
Welcome to episode 3 of King of the Dark, our special series celebrating and exploring the worlds of Stephen King.  Every week on this summer-long series we're opening a different door in the haunted mansion of Stephen King's imagination.   This week on the program our regular guests Liz Braswell and Louis Peitzman join B&N's Bill Tipper to talk about King's 1979 novel The Dead Zone. It's the story of Johnny Smith, whose strange clairvoyant abilities bring him into a confrontation with a threat to the fate of the entire world — a threat only he can perceive.  We'll talk about its political obsessions, including a cameo by a future U.S. President, the way it looks to nuclear war as the ultimate horror, and how it once again takes us into the territory of a classic horror short story.     We're also joined by special guest Linda Holmes, the host of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour and author of the new novel Evvie Drake Starts Over: she dropped in to talk about her affection for Stephen King's short stories, when he's at his most "I wonder what would happen if..."
June 27, 2019
When you are reading a Neal Stephenson novel you know you're going to get two kinds of experience in one book. Whether it's in a work like his revolutionary science fiction novel Snow Crash, his era-jumping adventure-slash-code epic Cryptonomicon, or his swashbuckling historical trilogy The Baroque Cycle, Stephenson brings high-wire thought experiments about the nature of technology and human society to life via engrossing, turn-off-your-phone-until-it's over feats of storytelling. Stephenson's books can look intimidatingly hefty on arrival — and his new novel, Fall: Or, Dodge in Hell — is no exception. But I'm not only speaking for myself when I say that for many readers, a few pages in is all it takes to make the ending of a Stephenson novel come all too soon. Fall is vintage Stephenson, a book stuffed with ideas about death and the afterlife, about real and virtual realities, the way social media-driven information is fragmenting our world. It's also a tale of gods and monsters, shape shifters and heroes, where Dungeons and Dragons and a children's book of Greek myths meet. Neal Stephenson joined us in the studio to talk about Fall and the endless power of story.
June 25, 2019
Entrepreneur, Artist, Tastemaker, and now author Bobby Hundreds — AKA Bobby Kim joins us to talk about This is Not a T-Shirt, his electric new memoir about growing up in Southern California, loving punk and skate culture, his turn from law school to the street wear that he loved, and how celebrating artists and creators became the calling card for The Hundreds, the now iconic street wear business that has made its commitment to "having something to say" and "people over product" the flag Bobby Hundreds proudly flies. This is Not a T-Shirt is also a candid look at how street wear thrives by crossing boundaries of race and class — making it a business that is constantly engaging with the most significant issues of the moment — and one that has, among other things, spawned a fascinating and wildly successful book club. Bobby Hundreds sat down in our studio with Miwa Messer to talk about art, commerce, and his passage from rebellious teen to steward of a classic business and brand.
June 21, 2019
We're back with Episode 2 of King of the Dark, our special summer series exploring the worlds of Stephen King. We started our journey last week with King's iconic debut novel Carrie. This week, Liz Braswell, Louis Peitzman and Bill Tipper have packed up for a trip to the Overlook Hotel, and try to answer quite a few questions, including: does a haunted resort pick its victims selectively, or will it settle for anyone who books a room? Are psychic children fascinating or just spooky? And what's the scare factor in being attacked by topiary animals? Plus, a conversation with Melissa Albert, author of The Hazel Wood, about being exposed to a great writer... a little too early.
June 19, 2019
As the groundbreaking editor in chief of Teen Vogue, Elaine Welteroth reinvented the fashion magazine, putting the big issues of the moment — class, race, equality, opportunity, and the changing political scene — at the heart of how her publication spoke to young readers. This bold approach brought Welteroth and her magazine a legion of passionately engaged fans, and a reputation as one of the most intriguing voices of her generation. Her powerful new book, More than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (Not Matter What They Say) draws on her own life experiences to serve as inspiration, guide, and reflection for those who are undervalued and underestimated. She joined B&N's Miwa Messer in the studio for a talk about what it takes — and what it means — to fight to make one's own voice heard.
June 14, 2019
If you've listened to the B&N Podcast  you know that every episode we take a kind of a deep dive into one writer's book -- the world they explore, the story they have to tell, and how their own experiences and struggles have fed their story. But there are some writers whose effect on us is so big that talking about a single book seems like it just cracks the door open into a world that's begging to be explored in real depth. Writers whose creations have escaped the boundaries of any one story, or even the world of a series, and whose imaginations have become tangled up a little with our own. When Stephen King's Carrie arrived in 1974 readers couldn't have known that the creator of that gripping story of small-town cruelty and unspeakable revenge would go on to be the single most influential fiction writer of his time. But from 2019 that impact is unmistakeable. It's not just that books like Carrie, The Shining, It and Misery became both blockbuster books and enduring stories on the screen. King uses tales of horror and often the supernatural to take us on journeys into the emotional and material everyday lives of his characters -- and the style and atmosphere that we've grown to find characteristically Stephen King now seems like it's part of our cultural DNA. With a new Stephen King novel The Institute coming in the fall, we thought, why not spend time this summer going back to the beginning, and working our way through the amazing bookshelf filled with worlds that King has given us over the years. We asked two wonderful writers and Stephen King fans -- the novelist Liz Braswell and the journalist Louis Peitzman -- to join us on a quest into the heart of King's own magical shadow country. We'll be releasing episodes of KING OF THE DARK as a special weeky series within the B&N Podcast, working chronologically through Stephen King's biggest books all summer long. And along the way we're going to be talking with special guests who have stories to tell about how their own voyages into King Country have shaped them as writers and as people. To begin, we had to start at the beginning. And we had to go back to the scariest place that I can imagine having return to. High school. And Carrie.  
June 12, 2019
"Writing your own story is perhaps the truest enactment of the American dream." Today on the B&N Podcast, we're talking with Ocean Vuong, the author of the remarkable new novel On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous. It's the debut work of fiction from a writer already celebrated for his work as a poet, but this poignant novel, written in the form of a young man's letter to his mother, has captivated readers and critics, making it one of the most talked-about books of 2019. He joined B&N's Miwa Messer for a conversation about this unique story of family, loss, survival, and falling in love.
June 10, 2019
In her many bestselling novels, from Good in Bed to Who Do You Love and In Her Shoes, Jennifer Weiner's characters are wildly various in background and temperament, but there's one feature  -- besides the author's wry humor -- they share:  they tell the truth, willingly or otherwise, to the people they love.  In Weiner's sparkling new novel Mrs. Everything, she traces the lives of Detroit sisters Jo and Bethie from their 1950s childhood to the present day, and their divergent paths are connected by the undeniable truth of their bond with one another.  The author joined B&N's Miwa Messer in the studio to talk about her own family, what it means when your mother might see herself in your fiction, and her determination to tell stories that reflect the truth of women's experience.
June 7, 2019
In today's episode we're joined by a writer who has come since his early days in journalism become one of the signature voices of American conservative opinion. For more than thirty years, George Will's views — framed in reference to works of 18th century philosophy and the action on the modern baseball diamond — appeared in a biweekly Newsweek column that became part of the reading life of millions. The recipient of a 1977 Pulitzer prize for political commentary, Will has like many of his peers made the leap from newsprint to small screen, but he's also the prolific author of books on politics and philosophy such as Statecraft as Soulcraft, and The Pursuit of Virtue and Other Tory Notions, but also multiple books on the sport he loves, most notably his bestseller Men at Work: the Craft of Baseball. But Will's new book The Conservative Sensibility is, he told us, something of his life's work, and he sat down a few weeks before the publication of The Conservative Sensibility to talk with us about what, exactly, he means by that imposing phrase.
June 5, 2019
On today's episode we're joined by the polymathic writer Jared Diamond for a conversation about his new book Upheaval: How Nations Cope with Crisis and Change. Diamond is a professor of geography at UCLA, and the author of bestsellers including Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail and Succeed and The World Until Yesterday. Diamond began his academic career in the field of physiology, studying the biology of membranes, but he went on to author studies in ecology and ornithology, specializing in the birds of New Guinea. But it's in his third career — studying environmental history and the forces that shape human societies — that has brought him worldwide attention. He joined us in the studio for an talk about his new book, which takes a novel approach to the question of how modern countries have faced moments of identity crisis — and what brought them through to the other side.
May 31, 2019
Today on the podcast, we've asked the writer Rick Atkinson to take us with him on a journey back almost two and a half centuries into the past — to Lexington and Concord, the ride of Paul Revere, the Battle of New York, and George Washington's Crossing of the Delaware. These are names and places we know from grade school history, famous paintings, or even Schoolhouse Rock. But to revisit the events of the Revolutionary War through the eyes of Rick Atkinson's painstaking research and bold storytelling is a revelation. If you've read Atkinson's bestselling, award-winning Liberation trilogy, which traced in three books the fight against the Axis in Europe, you've experienced Atkinson's unique talent for weaving together the experiences of soldiers on the battlefield and ordinary people caught in the terror of war with the strategies of generals and diplomats. With The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777, his opening volume of a Revolutionary War trilogy, Atkinson brings that same deft hand to the clash between George III and the newly formed Continental Army. Rick Atkinson joined in the studio to talk about this wonderful new book, and what he thinks we have to learn from that foundational conflict.
May 29, 2019
If you've read one of Chelsea Handler's many bestselling books — Are You there Vodka, It's Me, Chelsea, or My Horizontal Life, or Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me — or seen her irreverent take on talk show hosting on shows like Chelsea Lately, Netflix's Chelsea, or on her recent documentary series Chelsea Does — you might think you know what you're getting with comedian and cultural commentator Chelsea Handler. Boundary-smashing, can-she-say-that jokes, a withering and unapologetic focus on the illusions around which we construct our lives, and a commitment to deflating pretension wherever she finds it. But in her new book Life Will Be the Death of Me... and You Too!, Handler shatters expectations again, with a memoir touched off by a sense of emotional crisis that leads to a journey of self-discovery, and a reconsideration of everything she thought she knew about herself and how to live her life. In it, Handler talks openly about the trauma of losing a beloved family member as a child, her long struggles with intimacy, and her newfound commitment to empathy and connecting to the present. And if you're wondering, the jokes are still there. We spoke with Chelsea Handler the other day by phone, and asked her to talk about what it was like trying to get this journey chronicled on the page.
May 24, 2019
That's the bestselling author David Baldacci, joining us to talk about his latest thriller, Redemption, the fifth novel featuring Detective Amos Decker and his astonishing powers of memory. I'm Bill Tipper and today on the podcast we're joined by one of masters of the art of the thriller, who has been enthralling readers since his 1996 debut Absolute Power. The author of dozens of bestsellers and multiple series, Baldacci has taken readers from the mean streets to the Oval Office and back again, but there's a special place in readers' heart for his returning hero Amos Decker, a detective whose tragedy-haunted life and dogged sense of duty mean that each of his cases takes on a deeply personal dimension -- and that's never been more the case than in Redemption, as Decker's visit to a loved one's graveside is transformed by an encounter with a case out of his past. David Baldacci spoke with us about his latest twist-filled novel, and how his childhood in a storytelling family shaped the writer he is today.
May 22, 2019
Admiral William H. McRaven is the former commander of US Special Operations and the author of the new memoir Sea Stories,  which brings to life the stories and lessons from a fascinating career as a Navy Seal and leader of special operations forces around the world. In the bestselling Make Your Bed, Admiral McRaven unveiled lessons in leadership and success harvested from critical moments in his education, training and experience in the crucible of warfare. Now, with his new book Sea Stories, the Admiral looks back over his action packed life, from thrill-seeking outings as an irrepressible child to his career where an ordinary workday might include a hostage rescue or the takedown of a terrorist cell. We were lucky enough to have the Admiral himself drop into our studio a short while before Sea Stories published, and it wasn't too hard to get him to tell us one or two in person.
May 16, 2019
f you've ever heard the name Frederick Law Olmstead, it's probably because of his work as  the co-creator of New York City's Central Park. But long before that career a young Olmstead was a journalist, and in 1852 he was hired by a still-young New York Times to tour the American South -- to meet and interview people, write up his impressions of cities, towns and slave-labor plantations -- and to write dispatches for readers about the part of the country that was coming to represent the other side of a political divide from northeastern readers. Enter journalist and author Tony Horwitz, and his new book Spying on the South. In books like his groundbreaking Confederates in the Attic and Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid that Sparked the Civil War, Horwitz has already mapped our national obsession with the conflict that tore the U.S. in two. When Horwitz rediscovered Olmstead's writings, he decided to set out on his own journey --one that takes us back into the fraught 1850s that Olmstead chronicles, and juxtaposes it with travels that Horwitz takes in the present day --visiting historical sites, taking part in solemn ceremonies and raucous festivals -- and mostly talking with the people he meets. Inventive, bold, ever-curious and always good company for his readers, Horwitz joined us in the studio to talk about this ambitious project.
May 10, 2019
In this special bonus episode we chat with rapper, actor, activist and author Common about his new memoir, Let Love Have the Last Word.  As a celebrated and Grammy winning hiphop artist, Common's musical career has woven together his message-driven lyrics with a wide-ranging musical palette. His work onscreen has brought him into memorable roles in films including Selma, American Gangster, The Hate U Give and Jennifer Fox's The Tale.  Common's lyrics — as well as his previous memoir, the bestseller One Day It'll All Make Sense — have always taken on self-examination as a key subject matter, and Let Love Have the Last Word takes this theme even further, writing in a spirit of vulnerability and directness about the challenges of being the parent and partner he wants to be, his responsibilities to others around him, and what it means to be a working artist while also living a life guided by love.  He also opens up about a painful episode of childhood abuse — an episode he only recent came to confront in his own memory.  He spoke to us this week via phone, as his new book hit the bookstores.
May 6, 2019
Since his marvelous 1968 book The Johnstown Flood, and through National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winning works like The Path Between the Seas, Mornings on Horseback, and John Adams, McCullough has brought his brilliantly illuminated pieces of the American story together like segments of a stained glass window. At 85 years old, David McCullough could be expected to want to rest on his laurels. But his brand new book The Pioneers is bursting with the energy and curiosity of its subjects. It's the story of the early settlers of the then freshly-acquired piece of America called the Northwest Territory, in the era just after the War of Independence had been won. It's the story of courage and community, risk and determination, and how the pioneers made a critical decision about the nature of the place they were going to build — a decision that would have enormous effects on the country in the decades to come. To talk about The Pioneers, we asked if we could visit David McCullough at his home in Massachusetts, where he works and writes, and he was kind enough to invite us to bring our microphones along.
May 1, 2019
In this episode we're joined by the writer Kristen Roupenian for a conversation about her haunting, scary, funny, and incisive collection of short stories You Know You Want This. In a dozen potent tales, Roupenian conjures both visceral horror and the laughter of revelation in works which often walk the line between wickedly dark fantasy-- and clear-eyed examinations of sexuality, gender, power and obsession in a world that is unmistakably and often uncomfortably our own. The result is an absolutely thrilling debut and the arrival of a dynamic new voice in fiction. Many readers were first introduced to Roupenian through her story "Cat Person" which appeared in the New Yorker in December 2017 and immediately became a viral sensation. That story now takes its place among the twelve in this collection, where it feels entirely and freshly at home. The author spoke to Bill Tipper by phone about her inspirations, the connection between humor and horror, and what it was like to have her fiction light up the Internet.
April 26, 2019
Today we have a bonus episode of the podcast with a very special guest. Many of the writers we speak with on the podcast are people who have made their names in the worlds of fiction, journalism or memoir, but today we're speaking with a writer who was working on changing the world long before she started thinking in terms of books. Philanthropist, businesswoman and global advocate for women and girls, Melinda Gates is the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation and the founder of Pivotal Ventures, a company working to drive social progress for women in the United States. She joined us on the phone to talk about her new book The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World. It combines a memoir of Gates's work to address the challenges that face ordinary women around the globe and an audacious analysis of how a change in the way we think about advocacy and women's rights can unlock startling possibility for change. She spoke to us on the phone from her office in Seattle just before The Moment of Lift was published. 
April 23, 2019
Ian McEwan is the author of such celebrated novels as Atonement, The Children Act, Saturday, and On Chesil Beach and the Man Booker prize-winning Amsterdam. His fiction regularly engages with complex scientific and ethical issues, and 2008 Time Magazine named him one of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945." His new novel Machines Like Me takes place in a re-imagined 1980s England, one in which rapid technological advances have created artificial people — fully resembling living humans, but available to have their personalities set by their owners. It's a story with echoes of works like Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, and even Shakespeare's The Tempest — and one that engages deeply with the life and work of the computing pioneer Alan Turing. Ian McEwan took some time just before his novel's American publication to talk with Bill Tipper from his home in the UK. We asked him to begin by talking about the seed of this audacious new work.
April 17, 2019
On this episode we're joined by New York Times columnist, radio and television commentator and bestselling author David Brooks, talking about his new book The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life. Brooks is the bestselling author of books including Bobos in Paradise, Patio Man, The Social Animal and The Road to Character. In his past works, he has unfolded observations on the state of contemporary society that draw simultaneously on social science, philosophy and a journalist’s daily charting of the cultural scene; and with his previous book The Road to Character he put a particular emphasis on the nature of virtue in 21st century America. With The Second Mountain, Brooks has offered what may be his most personal work to date, discussing his own struggles with personal relationships and religious faith, and his belief that in order to find fulfillment, we have to turn radically toward community. He joined us in the studio to talk about the difference between happiness and joy, the challenge of writing about faith, and the weekly gathering that's changed his life.
April 12, 2019
Today on the B&N Podcast Damon Young joins us to talk about his new book What Doesn’t Kill You Make You Blacker — a reflection on life as a black man in 21st-century America that's by turns arrestingly honest, deeply incisive, and wonderfully funny.  Young came to prominence as a commentator on culture and society through his role as the cofounder and editor in chief of the website VerySmartBrothers; since then he's become a senior editor at The Root, as well a writer for many print and online publications. What Doesn’t Kill You Make You Blacker is Damon Young's first book, and he sat down with Barnes & Noble's Miwa Messer to talk about the stories that he uses to shape a memoir that's already one of the year's most significant publishing events.     **A note for listeners about the language in today's interview: At points, Damon Young quotes strongly offensive language used by others. Parents may find those sections inappropriate for children.**
April 8, 2019
Martha Hall Kelly's runaway 2016 bestseller Lilac Girls captivated the world with the braided stories of three women -- one American, one German, one Polish -- who witness the tumultuous events of the 1940s and 1950s. Readers who dove into that story will be overjoyed to return to Martha Hall Kelly's fiction with her new book Lost Roses, the latest Barnes & Noble Book Club selection. Lost Roses introduces Eliza Ferriday, mother to Caroline Ferriday from Lilac Girls, and travels back a generation in time to tell the story of Russian emigres and New York Society during the First World War -- as only Martha Hall Kelly can. In this episode, Kelly joins Miwa Messer in the studio to talk about the inspiration behind her sweeping new novel.
April 5, 2019
Today on the podcast we're taking a look into the still-young language of coding — and into the people who speak it and use it to build the digital world that is increasingly meshing with our daily lives.  Clive Thompson has been walking the border between high technology and social change for years, in his writing for publications like Wired and the New York Times Magazine, and in his widely insightful 2013 book Smarter than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better.  Now, in Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World, Thompson draws on wide-ranging reporting, dozens of interviews, and his own experience trying to use code to solve the headaches of ordinary life. He explores the way in which programming has evolved from its infancy, feeding cards into machines, and created a world with its own deeply-held mores, and its own powerful effects on our culture, economy, and even our politics.  Clive Thompson sat down with us in the studio for a talk about what he discovered — and about the breakthrough that might be the most significant piece of coding in history.
April 3, 2019
Today on the B&N Podcast, we talk with the author of such fascinatingly varied works as Capital, Fragrant Harbor, The Debt to Pleasure and IOU. With The Wall, John Lanchester looks into a startlingly near but radically altered future, one in which a nameless island nation has built a mighty barrier to keep out both would-be immigrants and rising waters. It's a fable of both exploration and warning, one that pushes its readers to join its author in trying to imagine a tomorrow whose conditions may soon be a matter of headlines rather than fiction.  When he sat down with us in the studio, John Lanchester explained how was the first time a book idea had ever grown so directly out of his unconscious mind.
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