I’ve exclusively pulled quotes from The Martha Rules by Martha Stewart in this list. Although the catalog of Martha’s words is vast, I concentrated on this particular material because she wrote the book after her release from Alderson Federal Prison Camp.
Martha’s incarceration was a turning point for me, as I wasn’t previously a fan. She conducted herself with such grace and dignity while imprisoned, rising to the occasion by making friends and ponchos that I couldn’t help but alter my opinion.
Then, when I made her buttercream recipe for the first time, I became solidly Team Martha. And that’s why I ultimately chose to follow Martha Stewart’s dictates for a year in my year-long happiness quest, documented in my newest memoir The Tao of Martha.
“There is always value, even among the ashes.”
This quote speaks to me because it so closely mirrors my own life. When I lost my job, my fancy apartment, and my car after the dot com crash, I wasn’t sure what to do with my life. I began to write to vent my frustration. The more I wrote, the more I felt like I’d stumbled upon the proper path and those rants eventually became Bitter is the New Black, my first memoir. Ten books later, I’m so thankful because the ashes are what brought me here.
“So the pie isn’t perfect? Cut it into wedges?”
I love this quote for a couple of reasons; first, it implies that everything can be salvaged by simply changing your perspective. The primary purpose of the pie is to be eaten and admiring it for its aesthetics is secondary.
In addition, the quote speaks to the notion of always having a contingency plan, not only for the significant events in life, but also when, say, my horrible cats knock over an entire vase of fresh-cut apple blossoms on the buffet table right before Easter brunch. (I quickly learned when I don’t have an extra clean tablecloth, a hair dryer will dry up the mess in a pinch.)
“Think like a customer.”
Simply put, I write the kind of books I’d want to buy when walking through a Barnes & Noble.
“Different is not always better.”
There’s a reason that every wheel is and has been round since the beginning of man’s existence. I figure I can always differentiate myself by making my wheels smaller or larger or with higher-quality materials (or, in the spirit of Martha, covered in glitter), but the round part remains key.
“When you love what you do, it’s not work.”
Ten books into my career, I’m still so excited to sit down at my desk every single day. It’s an honor and a privilege to write professionally. I thank the readers and Barnes & Noble for allowing me to make a living doing that which I’d previously done for free.Read more...
75 Million Doodle God fans can’t be wrong!
I love a challenging puzzle app that rewards smart game play and perseverance, and Doodle God does just that. The concept is straightforward—you are a ‘god’ who’s tasked with creating a new universe using fire, earth, wind, and air. You begin slowly, offering the right conditions for life to begin to form, then work your way up to a world teeming with humans and other advanced life forms. But just like our own delicate balance on Earth, it’s not easy to create a thriving universe from scratch. You’ll need lots of strategy to get the results you desire. Luckily you’ll be rewarded along the way with advice from some of history’s great philosophers and comedians, a feature I found really helpful.
Unleash your inner god in the biggest Doodle God game ever!Read more...
“Readers will eagerly devour Owen's tale and look forward to its continuation.”
Summer camp is the perfect backdrop for a great story—there’s adventure, a sense of freedom, the inevitable hierarchy, and the promise of young love. But the summer camp that Owen has won a scholarship to, Camp Eden, isn’t the lush lakeside utopia you might imagine. This camp’s located on a scorched, uninhabitable earth, and only a protective BioDome makes the idyllic landscape possible. Earth has become a wasteland—with humans moving underground for survival—and the only reminder of what the world was once like exists within the BioDome.
While the awkward Owen will be mixing with the privileged kids at this exclusive summer camp, he’s not prepared for the personal transformation that’s about to take place. After almost drowning, Owen notices that he’s sprouted gills, giving him the ability to breathe under water. Several other campers have the same rare mutation, and soon Owen learns that they’re all descendants of an ancient race—the Atlanteans—who may hold the key to prolonging life on earth, even as the BioDome faces imminent doom.
The next book in this captivating adventure series, The Dark Shore, is newly-available on NOOK.
I’m extra excited to announce today’s Free Fridays app selection, Astraware Wordsearch Deluxe —the perfect app for word-loving NOOK owners.
My mom passed down her love of word searches to me, and even as a young kid, I remember combing through puzzle books to pass the time on road trips. But this new generation of digital word search puzzles brings a lot of fresh fun to an age-old pastime. Astraware Wordsearch Deluxe offers over 1,000 puzzles and 12 themed categories, as well as a new puzzle you can download daily. Plus, with a global leader board, competitive players can see how their fastest games stack up worldwide.
Besides this captivating word search app, Astraware offers many more games on the NOOK Store that will keep you and your family entertained for hours.
Free Fridays app promotions refer specifically to the app in the NOOK Store.
(Author's Note: The titles selected are on the basis of personal preference, and not debatable merit.)
5. Jurassic Park (1993)
The ambiguousness of the genre classification is the only thing that prevents this one from ranking higher, but I would submit it as the modern heir to Frankenstein – and far more frightening to me when I first saw it as a kid. Also compelled me to seek out the source novel, the first I ever read intended for adult audiences. To this day probably the cornerstone of what molecular biology literacy I might claim.
4. Macbeth (1971)
A prototype of the monster-as-protagonist that greatly informed the writing of Hemlock Grove. The two leads – Jon Finch and Francesa Anni – are so beautiful, and because the world is an unfair place so inherently sympathetic, that an added component to the tragedy is wanting to see them win. This was the first film Polanski made after his wife’s murder by the Manson family, and every frame bleeds with dread and heartbreak.
3. Lair of the White Worm (1988)
A not especially celebrated Bram Stoker adaptation, and fairly. Somewhere between genre satire and highly literal dramatization of Freudian theory: the climax consists of the attempted sacrifice of a nubile female to a huge albino phallus. But I found the total lack of delicacy or restraint of any kind charming (phalluses in this movie are like Catholic guilt in Scorsese’s), and the depiction of an aristocratic and predatorial female villain more than a little steal-able.
2. Dracula (1931)
An especially celebrated Bram Stoker adaptation, not altogether fairly. The movie itself dates terribly, and was not even the first: Murnau beat it to the punch, although not entirely legally. The staging, acting, and plotting are often creaky – the introduction of sound arguably setting the art of cinema back by decades – but there is an unquestionable charismatic weirdness to Lugosi’s performance; he did not speak English so had to learn his lines phonetically in an accidental if effective proto-Lynchian flourish. And Renfield as portrayed by Dwight Frye is certainly the most inspired thing in the movie, even causing some alarm to the more heteronormative tastes of the studio (generally a good sign).
1. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Polanski again; a cult victimizing a pregnant, 1960s gamine blond in this case eerie foreshadowing. In my memory this movie largely consisted of tight shots of Mia Farrow’s haunted paranoia, but was struck on most recent viewing to find that for the first two acts she is rarely in the center of the frame at all; more frequently in profile or at the periphery as the camera marginalizes her role as much as the conspirators in her building. It is only towards the end as her personal agency increases along with her isolation that we are confronted with her head on. Unlike the modern twist ending that tends to favor sensationalism at the expense of narrative logic, knowing exactly what’s coming doesn’t diminish the pleasure of arrival.
For parents, summer break means one thing: kids sitting around the house with too much time on their hands. One way to keep them out of trouble, and encourage good habits, it to load up their NOOK with irresistible summer reading options. These three books are each $2.99 or less, meaning you can buy yourself a little alone time for a low price!
Beach season is upon us, and for readers, that means beach reading season is here, too. Whether you’re headed to the east coast, west coast or the Great Lakes, you’ll want to load your NOOK with the best summer reads.
While most of us escape our inland existences to visit our favorite beach, some folks are lucky enough to live in one of the country’s best beach towns. To herald the arrival of summer, we took a look at the top NOOK Books in top beach towns. That way, you can read just like a local when you hit the beach this year.
Santa Monica, California
Mackinac Island, Michigan
Wildwood, New Jersey
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Dance your cares away, on NOOK!
In honor of this special occasion, The Jim Henson Company and Cupcake Digital have created the incredibly engaging Fraggle Friends Forever app. This enhanced story follows the adventures of the pint-sized Fraggles — Boober, Gobo, Mokey, Red, and Wembley — with tap-and-play animations on every page. Besides the interactive story, which my kids loved, I was really excited to see my favorite Fraggle Rock character, Marjory the Trash Heap, starring in an educational recycling game.
Help join in the well-deserved 30th anniversary celebration of Fraggle Rock with this exceptional app.
When homicide detective Claire Morgan moved from Los Angeles to Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, she hopes to settle into a more peaceful, simpler life. But fate has other plans in store, as she soon finds out when a soap opera star turns up dead. The star’s trip to a posh “wellness resort” ended with her being taped to a chair at a fully set table and submerged at the bottom of the lake.
At first, the resort’s owner, Dr. Nicholas Black, seemed to be Claire’s ally in uncovering the killer, but as their lives become more intimately entwined, his motivations start to seem suspect. Could he know more about his famous guest’s demise than he’s letting on?
Claire Morgan’s Ozarks adventures continue in Ladd’s newest thriller, Remember Murder, available now for pre-order.
I’m lucky enough to live just a few blocks from my city’s zoo, so my family takes frequent trips all year long. While it’s a beautiful zoo, I have to admit that I’ve often daydreamed of ways it could be even better. That’s why I was so excited to play Animal Park Tycoon. This multi-layered game lets you build and run your own zoo, with the goal of attracting curious visitors from around the world. And nothing brings in a crowd like a real live unicorn on exhibit—something you can unlock with superb game play.
Free Fridays app promotions refer specifically to the app in the NOOK Store.
Free Fridays Recommends
Each week, we ask our featured author to recommend a book or author that you may want to check out. Since authors are such passionate readers themselves, we thought you might like to find out what they love to read, too! Here’s what Linda recommends:
Just imagine Cracker Barrel®, that wonderful country restaurant located all across the South with rocking chairs spread out across the front porch…but this time, there’s a woman sitting in one of them, young, dark-haired, pretty, and very dead. To Special Agent J.D. Cass and Chattanooga grief counselor, Audrey Sherrod, the worst part is what the victim is holding in her arms. Wrapped in a blue baby blanket, they find the skeletal remains of an infant, one reported missing years ago. So the hunt for the killer begins, the current homicide case closely entwined with a gruesome cold case. Audrey and J.D. circle each other at first, not quite sure they like each other very much, but as the case progresses with links to Audrey’s own tragic past, their initial distrust is replaced by a growing passion and respect for each other.
Barton’s plot is intricate and exciting enough to keep you glued to the pages long into the midnight hours. You won’t figure out the villain until the very last minute, trust me. Furthermore, there’s an equally good sequel available to continue the story called Don’t Say A Word. What more could you ask for? So sit back and enjoy yourself. I sure did!
The perfect daughter. The perfect prom queen. The perfect wife. Jenny Tolliver's been the good girl all her life, and it's gotten her nowhere. Now that her marriage has been busted up by her cheating ex, she's decided it's time to regroup and rediscover herself. This summer she's headed back to her hometown of Destiny, Ohio, to the very lakeshore cottage where she grew up, to figure out what life holds in store for her next.
While those books still appeal to young readers today, there’s a new kid on the block: John Grisham’s Theodore Boone, kid lawyer. In his latest caper, The Activist, Theodore digs deeper into his town’s heated political battle over environmental issues and uncovers corruption that could change everything. The kid lawyer won’t stop until justice is served.
I hope this smartly-told page-turner will bring the same enjoyment to young readers this summer that my favorite series brought to me.Read more...