Tag Archives: New Releases

Author Duhigg Sheds Light on ‘The Power of Habit’

Got a few habits you’d like to break? A few well-worn behaviors you just can’t control? Do you wonder why you head to the vending machine for a candy bar each afternoon, drive to Starbucks on autopilot, or can’t quite get those healthful patterns down?

Apparently it’s under your control.

Check out this New York Times review of author and reporter Charles Duhigg’s latest work, The Power of Habit. Duhigg’s recently published work may sound a bit dry, but his book has been garnering both high interest and praise.

The Power of Habit has been making the media rounds and was recently featured in Habits: How They Form and How to Break Them and How You Can Harness the Power of Habit on NPR’s Fresh Air and Morning Edition segments. For more from Duhigg on the science behind habit and its impact on marketing triggers and our day to day behavior, check out his recent article at Slate.

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-Post by Megan Shaffer

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Bonnie Jo Campbell’s ‘Once Upon A River’ Sets Sail

Things are looking way up for Kalamzaoo author Bonnie Jo Campbell. This week W.W. Norton & Company released Campbell’s much anticipated new novel, Once Upon A River, to the reading world at large.

Due to early buzz and glowing reviews, Once Upon A River  has managed to position itself onto a number of notable summer reading lists (prior to its release, mind you), and  serve to establish Campbell as one of the nation’s new literary darlings.

I haven’t yet cracked the spine of Campbell’s latest, but with recent favorable features in  publications such as Poets & Writers, the Detroit Free Press, and the Wall Street Journal, Once Upon A River promises good things to come.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Campbell at a National Writers Series event where she eloquently spoke of the integral role that Michigan plays in her writing process. The winsome author has done much for Michigan’s artistic reputation and has no doubt been a key player in prominently situating the state on the larger literary landscape.

No fancy release parties are planned for this author though. Campbell will celebrate the launching of her book with friends and family. Her tribe. “One thing I’ve learned about the writing business is that you can be up and you can be down, but you’re still the same person,” (via Free Press).

*Support your local bookstores, libraries, and universities. It matters.

– Post by Megan Shaffer

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Author Taylor Stevens Aims to Thrill with “The Informationist”

Cover Image“I have no desire to make a political statement or to educate. It’s like, if you enjoy it, that’s awesome. That’s enough for me.”

So states debut author Taylor Stevens in an interview piece in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram* earlier this week. Stevens recently released her first thriller “The Informationist” to high praise, and seems to have no agenda other than aiming to please.

The Informationist is a fast-paced thriller fueled by the high-octane character of information specialist Vanessa “Michael” Munroe. Munroe is inevitably being compared to Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander, but Stevens’s heroine Munroe seems to be holding her own. The New York Times calls The Informationist an “accessible, crisply told tale” and notes that Ms. Stevens “has a knack for both evocative details” and “strangely compelling character traits.”

The past life of Stevens is evocative in its own right, and those interested in the book will easily get snagged by her incredible bio. Admittedly, I knew nothing of the author’s past until I caught the blurb under Stevens’s picture on the jacket. “Born into the Children of God, raised in communes across the globe, and denied an education beyond the sixth grade, Taylor Stevens broke free of the cult in order to follow hope and a vague idea of what possibilities lay beyond.”

If sensation sells then Stevens should be in great shape. Not only is her book supposedly full of intrigue, but her life story is as well. Stevens was born into a cult known as the Children of God, which is now called The Family International. Stevens hopes, however, to downplay that side of her life which left her deprived of an education and locked away with no food for her attempts at writing at just fifteen years of age.

Fiction is tough to push and much is being made of Stevens’s past, which is no doubt generating added interest in The Informationist. However, Stevens seems to be straightforward in her interviews and pragmatic in her approach. “I hope that people feel it is worth their money and their time, which is even more valuable than money,” the author says in the Star piece, “But what I hope ultimately matters most to people is the fact that I can tell a good story.”

News sources indicate that Taylor Stevens will release her second Vanessa Munroe installment, The Innocent, sometime next year and has been contracted for a third book as well.

-Support your local bookstores, universities, and libraries. It matters.

– Post by Megan Shaffer

Related Information/Links

The Informationist Trailer – Part 1

The Informationist Trailer – Part 2

The Informationist Trailer – Part 3

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She’s Baaaacccckkk – Nanny Returns

Nanny ReturnsChick lit is not my genre of choice. However, I did love The Nanny Diaries for its wounding, clever exposure of the child-rearing practices of Manhattan’s elite. Apparently after a seven year Nanny hiatus, authors Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus are back at it with Nanny Returns. Check out this HuffPost piece “Nanny Diaries” Authors Return With New Nanny Tale for more on the authors and their admirable take on publishing their work.

-Post by Megan Shaffer

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