Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

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We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Book lovers can't keep it to themselves. When we fall for a book we can fall hard. Just like you want your friends to meet the new boyfriend, you want your friends to meet the latest novel you love. And sometimes you just know that there's a book your friend needs to read "for their own good." What are the top "must-read" titles we press on friends? From brand-new to classic, here's my five.

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Gr.

 

The minmialist is gone.

 

Come back, Bittman.

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A few people have told me that Albert Ellis’s 1975 bestseller on depression, A Guide to Rational Living, gives some of the clearest, most practical help on improving your life. 

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I learned a good word today: moast, a mix of a moan and a boast.  Apparently, the word was born from the age of twitter, as tweeting is a good venue for moasts: short complaint that are veiled ways of showing off.  A prototypical moast: “I’ve got to give a stupid speech at the event tonight.”

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We all acquire a style, in how we talk, write letters, draw, or make friends, by around age 30, and the style is hard to lose. 

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For the new year, I’m taking inspiration from Lauren Redniss, author of the recent

Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout.  The book is an illustrated biography of Marie and Pierre Curie, and Redniss made her images through a process called cyanotype. It involves exposing chemically-treated paper to sunlight, which turns the backgrounds a fantastic blue. 

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If a good psychologist is good because she builds realistic, extended theories about your reactions to the world, good novelists are often good psychologists in shorter bursts. 

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One fun thing about Steve Martin’s recent novel An Object of Beauty is the chance at voyeurism: He seems to be reporting his own history in romance and sex.  He overflows with ardor in routine references to actual spots in Manhattan: dinner at Boulud; the West Side Highway, where women biking turn him on; the Carlyle hotel (that’s a coda through the book: “expensive and impeccable, the Carlyle Hotel was art central” (130)).  His excitement over these spots feels a bit like confession. 

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There’s something mesmerizing about Patti Smith’s narrative style in her memoir, Just Kids, which won the National Book Award this year.  I’m caught, I think, by her silence. 

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Something fast and controlled about running in lower Manhattan.  I was doing my runs in the West Village around 2000, when The Hours came out, and I loved the book, so I hoped to see Michael Cunningham, the author, on my run.

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About Unabashedly Bookish: The BN Community Blog
Unabashedly Bookish features new articles every day from the Book Clubs staff, guest authors, and friends on hot topics in the world of books, language, writing, and publishing. From trends in the publishing business to updates on genre fiction fan communities, from fun lessons on grammar to reflections on literature in our personal lives, this blog is the best source for your daily dose of all things bookish.

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