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You don’t need to have read Egan’s Pulitzer-winning “A Visit From the Goon Squad” to jump feet first into this much-anticipated sequel. But for lovers of the 2010 book’s prematurely nostalgic New Yorkers, cerebral beauty and laser-sharp take on modernity, “The Candy House” is like coming home — albeit to dystopia. This time around, Egan’s characters are variously the creators and prisoners of a universe in which, through the wonders of technology, people can access their entire memory banks and use the contents as social media currency. The result is a glorious, hideous fun house that feels more familiar than sci-fi, all rendered with Egan’s signature inventive confidence and — perhaps most impressive of all — heart. “The Candy House” is of its moment, with all that implies.

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Bennett, a British writer who makes her home in Ireland, first leaped onto the scene with her 2015 debut novel, “Pond.” Her second book contains all of the first’s linguistic artistry and dark wit, but it is even more exhilarating. “Checkout 19,” ostensibly the story of a young woman falling in love with language in a working-class town outside London, has an unusual setting: the human mind — a brilliant, surprising, weird and very funny one. All the words one might use to describe this book — experimental, autofictional, surrealist — fail to convey the sheer pleasure of “Checkout 19.” You’ll come away dazed, delighted, reminded of just how much fun memorizing can be, eager to share it with people in your lives. It’s a love letter to books, and an argument for them, too.

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Kingsolver’s powerful new novel, a close retelling of Charles Dickens’s “David Copperfield” set in contemporary Appalachia, gallops through issues including childhood poverty, opioid addiction and rural dispossession even as its larger focus remains squarely on the question of how an artist’s consciousness is formed. Like Dickens, Kingsolver is unblushingly political and works on a sprawling scale, animating her pages with an abundance of charm and the presence of seemingly every creeping thing that has ever crept upon the earth.

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After losing her brother when she was 12, one of the narrators of Serpell’s second novel keeps coming across men who resemble him as she works through her trauma long into adulthood. She enters an intimate relationship with one of them, who’s also haunted by his past. This richly layered book explores the nature of grief, how it can stretch or compress time, reshape memories and make us dream up alternate realities. “I don’t want to tell you what happened,” the narrator says. “I want to tell you how it felt.”

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Diaz uncovers the secrets of an American fortune in the early 20th century, detailing the dizzying rise of a New York financier and the enigmatic talents of his wife. Each of the novel’s four parts, which are told from different perspectives, redirects the narrative (and upends readers’ expectations) while paying tribute to literary titans from Henry James to Jorge Luis Borges. Whose version of events can we trust? Diaz’s spotlight on stories behind stories seeks out the dark workings behind capitalism, as well as the uncredited figures behind the so-called Great Men of history. It’s an exhilarating pursuit.

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Yong certainly gave himself a formidable task with this book — getting humans to step outside their “sensory bubble” and consider how nonhuman animals experience the world. But the enormous difficulty of making sense of senses we do not have is a reminder that each one of us has a purchase on only a sliver of reality. Yong is a terrific storyteller, and there are plenty of surprising animal facts to keep this book moving toward its profound conclusion: The breadth of this immense world should make us recognize how small we really are.

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In this quietly wrenching memoir, Hsu recalls starting out at Berkeley in the mid-1990s as a watchful music snob, fastidiously curating his tastes and mercilessly judging the tastes of others. Then he met Ken, a Japanese American frat boy. Their friendship was intense, but brief. Less than three years later, Ken would be killed in a carjacking. Hsu traces the course of their relationship — one that seemed improbable at first but eventually became a fixture in his life, a trellis along which both young men could stretch and grow.

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In this rich and nuanced book, Aviv writes about people in extreme mental distress, beginning with her own experience of being told she had anorexia when she was 6 years old. That personal history made her especially attuned to how stories can clarify as well as distort what a person is going through. This isn’t an anti-psychiatry book — Aviv is too aware of the specifics of any situation to succumb to anything so sweeping. What she does is hold space for empathy and uncertainty, exploring a multiplicity of stories instead of jumping at the impulse to explain them away.

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Through case histories as well as independent reporting, Villarosa’s remarkable third book elegantly traces the effects of the legacy of slavery — and the doctrine of anti-Blackness that sprang up to philosophically justify it — on Black health: reproductive, environmental, mental and more. Beginning with a long personal history of her awakening to these structural inequalities, the journalist repositions various narratives about race and medicine — the soaring Black maternal mortality rates; the rise of heart disease and hypertension; the oft-repeated dictum that Black people reject psychological therapy — as evidence not of Black inferiority, but of racism in the health care system.

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O’Toole, a prolific essayist and critic, calls this inventive narrative “a personal history of modern Ireland” — an ambitious project, but one he pulls off with élan. Charting six decades of Irish history against his own life, O’Toole manages to both deftly illustrate a country in drastic flux, and include a sly, self-deprecating biography that infuses his sociology with humor and pathos. You’ll be educated, yes — about increasing secularism, the Celtic tiger, human rights — but you’ll also be wildly, uproariously entertained by a gifted raconteur at the height of his powers.

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Tue, 29 Nov 2022 02:02:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/29/books/best-books-2022.html
Killexams : New Book Justifies Jonathan’s Claim Obama Administration Influenced His Defeat
  •   Jega’s aide: Alleged disparity between presidential and N’Assembly votes in Kano, a ruse

 Bolaji Adebiyi in Abuja

 As the book, Against the Run of Play, written by the Chairman of the THISDAY Editorial Board, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, continues to generate heated reactions, a new book, Facts Versus Fiction: The True Story of the Jonathan Years: Chibok, 2015 and Other Conspiracies, has given a detailed account of a March, 2014 meeting between the Barack Obama administration and 12 northern governors, saying it was the clearest evidence of the U.S.’ push for regime change in Nigeria in 2015.

The new book, written by former Special Assistant to Jonathan on New Media, Mr. Reno Omokri, quoted copiously, a top intelligence analyst with the Obama administration, Mr. Matthew Page, who he said admitted that the meeting was meant to gauge the governors’ disposition to the possible change of the Nigerian president who had disappointed the U.S. on a number of key issues.

The revelations in Omokri’s book, due for release next month, coincides with a rebuttal by Abdullahi Usman, former Personal Assistant to the former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, on Jonathan’s claim that the difference of a million votes recorded in the presidential and National Assembly elections in Kano State was ample evidence that the presidential election might have been manipulated.

“Go and check the results from Kano. The presidential election and that of the National Assembly happened on the same day and same time. The National Assembly result reflected that about 800,000 people voted but that of the presidential election reflected a vote of about 1.8 million,” Jonathan had said in Adeniyi’s book, implying that this was the general trend in the northern part of the country.

The former president had also blamed a U.S.-led conspiracy, including Britain and France, as one of the key factors that led to his defeat by the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) Muhammadu Buhari, explaining that the foreign powers gave teeth to a local conspiracy of northern political establishment to unseat him.

The former president’s claims triggered searing attacks from critics who said he was fishing for excuses for a defeat that was expected due to his perceived abysmal performance in office.

But Omokri’s upcoming book supported his former boss’ claim, contending that the Obama administration’s meeting with the northern governors was part of the grand plot to remove Jonathan from office.

One of the former governors that attended the meeting, Dr. Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, had hinted at this in Adeniyi’s book, saying: “That was my memorizing of the situation. I believe it was all about the 2015 election for which the Americans had resolved not to support Jonathan. They just wanted to size us up for the level of commitment to regime change.”

Quoting Page, who until his resignation in 2016 was the U.S. State Department’s top intelligence analyst on Nigeria and who also served as Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Africa with the U.S. National Intelligence Council, Omokri gave a fuller picture of Aliyu’s recollection and detailed how the 12 northern governors were invited to the U.S. for the meetings that began at the State Department and ended in the White House.

Issues raised with Page included why the Obama administration organised the meetings; what transpired at the meetings; and who said what, where, when and why.

According to Omokri, Page, who was at the meetings, said the former governor of Adamawa State, Admiral Murtala Nyako (rtd.), was the most vocal in voicing anti-Jonathan sentiments. He was supported by former Governors Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto) and Kashim Shettima (Borno).

Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara) and former Governor Idris Wada (Kogi), he said, were non-committal.

Page noted that the meetings at the United States Institute for Peace, which started at the State Department and ended in the White House, were initially innocuous but that when the governors proceeded to the closed-door sessions at the U.S. State Department, the purpose became clearer.

According to Page, present at the State Department meetings were Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield, who was then the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs; Ambassador Thomas Alfred “Tom” Shannon Jr., who was then the number three man at the State Department; the acting Deputy Secretary of State and the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.

Omokri quoted Page: “Admiral Murtala Nyako read out a memo he had written itemizing the case against Jonathan. He was so openly and almost violently against the Jonathan administration in his speech that he had to be openly rebuked at the meeting by the then Nigerian Ambassador to the US, Ambassador Adebowale Adefuye of blessed memory.

“Admiral Nyako’s belligerence to the Jonathan administration was so venomous that it prompted a rebuttal from the Gombe State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, who showed loyalty to the then Nigerian president.

“This prompted most of the other Northern governors present to turn on him.”

Page said after the State Department meeting, the governors went for a follow up meeting at the White House on March 18, 2014 and met with the then U.S. National Security Adviser, Ms. Susan Rice.

When asked specifically if the Obama administration was against the re-election of Jonathan, Page said: “My objective opinion is that it was not as if the administration was against Jonathan. There were a number of issues.

“The Obama administration was a bit disappointed (I know that sounds paternalistic) but there were some issues they had felt let down on.

“The human rights situation in the North-east, which has still not changed under Buhari, and Diezani Alison-Madueke, who they felt should have been removed.

“There were some issues with some clauses in the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill 2013.”

Intent on drawing a linkage between the governors’ meetings and the presidential election, Omokri wrote: “Another interesting connection is that these high level meetings arranged for Northern governors by the Obama administration took place in 2014, at the same time that Obama confidant and former White House Senior Advisor, Mr. David Axelrod’s firm, AKPD Message and Media, began to work as a paid consultant to the then Nigerian opposition party, All Progressive Congress.”

He argued: “Subliminal messages were communicated by President Obama when he took the unusual step of addressing Nigerians on March 23, 2015, just five days to the presidential elections on March 28, 2015.

“In that broadcast, Obama told Nigerians: ‘Now you have an historic opportunity to help write the next chapter of Nigeria’s progress by voting in the upcoming elections…Boko Haram wants to destroy Nigeria and all that you have built. By casting your ballot you can help secure your nation’s progress.’

“Note the words ‘next chapter’. During the present Fourth Republic, Nigeria had had four successful presidential elections before 2015. 2015 was not a ‘next chapter’. The only way it would have been a next chapter would be for the incumbent to be unseated by the opposition.”

Commenting on Omokri’s book, Jonathan’s media assistant, Mr. Ikechukwu Eze, said Page’s comments confirmed what was already known by many Nigerians on the outcome of 2015 presidential election.

He, however, urged Nigerians to wait for his boss’ account, adding: “Only then will people realise that Jonathan’s claims did not stem from sour grapes, but from a patriotic attempt to ensure that future elections are decided by the Nigerian people without any undue foreign influence.”

Jonathan had in a short reaction on his Facebook page to diverse and critical comments on his claims, said: “At the right time, the main characters in the elections, including myself will come out with a true account of what transpired, either in major interviews or books.”

Kano Votes Not Unusual

In the meantime, Usman, the former personal assistant to Jega, the former INEC chairman that conducted the election in which Jonathan was shown the exit, has controverted the former president’s claim that there was a major disparity between the votes cast for the presidential and National Assembly elections in Kano State in 2015.

Jonathan had said in Adeniyi’s book: “Go and check the results from Kano. The presidential election and that of the National Assembly happened on the same day and same time. The National Assembly result reflected that about 800,000 people voted but that of the presidential election reflected a vote of about 1.8 million”.

But Usman said Jonathan’s claim was factually inaccurate, pointing out that the official figures released at the end of the elections had nothing unusual about them and insisted they reflected a general trend in the country.

“The figures ascribed to each of the two elections in the earlier statement were nowhere near the actual number of voters in the officially declared results of the two elections,” he said in a statement made available to THISDAY yesterday.

According to him, “In truth, therefore, the total number of votes cast in the 2015 presidential election in Kano State was 2,172,447, as captured on INEC’s official results collation document, the Presidential Election Summary of Results from States ‘Form EC 8D (A)’, a stamped and sealed copy of which was given out to agents of all the 14 political parties on the ballot, as well as to representatives of each of the security agencies present at the International Conference Centre Results Collation Centre, following the formal declaration of results by the commission in the early hours of Tuesday, March 31, 2015.”

He said the total votes scored by the two leading political parties in the contest for the three senatorial districts of the state was 2,097,881, excluding rejected ballots and votes scored by the remaining political parties that contested for the election in each senatorial District, explaining that rejected votes could be responsible for the difference of 74,566 between the total votes cast in the presidential and senatorial elections.

Usman added that the total votes scored by the two leading political parties in the House of Representatives election across the state was 2,032,472, excluding rejected ballots and votes scored by the remaining political parties that contested for the election.

“From the foregoing breakdown of votes tally across the three elections conducted on March 28, 2015 in Kano State, therefore, it is quite evident that any allusion to a probable disparity of one million votes between the number of people that voted in the presidential election and those that voted in either of the two National Assembly elections is nothing but an illusion,” he said.

Sat, 10 Dec 2022 10:00:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2017/05/05/new-book-justifies-jonathans-claim-obama-administration-influenced-his-defeat/
Killexams : Book Reviews

Before COVID, business in Beijing was booming. Dercon says one of the reasons state-led development in China has been so successful is because the country had a strong state to begin with. Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

Tue, 06 Dec 2022 09:59:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.npr.org/sections/book-reviews/
Killexams : 100 Notable Books of 2022

The Quiet Before: On the Unexpected Origins of Radical Ideas

Gal Beckerman

Beckerman, a former editor at the Book Review, turns his lens on the small moments — 17th-century correspondence, Chartist petitions, Futurist manifestoes — that led to larger revolutions. In a moment where all discourse seems conducted at top volume, Beckerman mounts an argument for “a realm of relative quiet,” as our reviewer said, “where millions of connections are daily wired together, and which offer to conversationalists thoughtful rather than thoughtless provocations, solid sources of knowledge rather than fathomless wells of ignorance, and even, every so often, shots of pleasurable illumination.”

Tue, 22 Nov 2022 14:02:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/11/22/books/notable-books.html
Killexams : 35 Best Christmas Books to Read Around the Holidays Killexams : 35 Best Christmas Books to Read Right Now [2022]

Christmas Books Via Amazon(6)

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Festive page-turners

One of the most fun Christmas activities we can think of is getting comfy by the fire with a great read. You can read anything you want, of course, but there are all sorts of holiday-themed Christmas books that’ll make your memorizing session extra cozy.

From time-treasured classics to ravishing romances to intriguing mysteries to Christmas books for kids, these are the reads that’ll keep you turning the pages all December long. Of course, books are only part of the holiday fun; celebrate the Christmas season with the best Christmas songs and best Christmas movies too.

Little Women Alcott Ecomm Via Amazon.com

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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Little Women is a coming-of-age classic that takes place around Christmas, making it a perfect tale to read each year. Follow along as sisters Jo, Beth, Meg and Amy try to carve their own paths in life while keeping their familial bonds strong. Little Women is also a book that was made into a movie (a couple times, actually!), so feel free to stream the 1994 or 2019 film adaptions after memorizing this timeless novel.

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Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien

That’s right, J.R.R. Tolkien, the famed English author who gave us brilliant fantasy books like The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, also gave us one of the best Christmas books to get lost in. Tolkien fans will love Letters from Father Christmas, which features holiday letters the beloved author wrote for his children. Entrench yourself in Tolkien’s North Pole, where Father Christmas knows best and reindeer and polar bears cause merry mischief.

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A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

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A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol is a classic for a reason! It’s spawned countless adaptations, but Dickens’ original 1843 book about Ebenezer Scrooge, his four ghostly encounters and his resulting new lease on life deserves a prominent place on any list of best Christmas books—and one of the best short books to read in general.

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A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote

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A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote

Technically a short story, Capote’s slice-of-life Christmas tale takes place in the 1930s and was originally published in 1956. Based on his own life, A Christmas Memory chronicles a young boy’s relationship with his family focused on his childhood Christmases. For a lively activity after your memorizing session, play one of these Christmas games.

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The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

The 1905 story The Gift of the Magi is a classic tale with a poignant ironic twist. Jim and Della, a young, newly married couple without much money, each tries to figure out what to get the other for Christmas. They make sacrifices to be able to afford their gifts—and learn powerful lessons about love and true gifts beyond material things. Sounds like it could be the plot of a romantic Christmas movie!

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The Greatest Gift by Philip Van Doren Stern

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The Greatest Gift by Philip Van Doren Stern

Before It’s a Wonderful Life, one of the best Christmas movies of all time, there was The Greatest Gift. This story, originally published in 1943, sets up the premise that would become the hit film. If you’re a fan of the movie, you’ll love memorizing the source material.

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Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva

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Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva

Mr. Dickens and His Carol is another Christmas book to flip through while snuggled up on the couch. This historical fiction novel, published in 2017 but written in Dickensian, Victorian style, imagines Charles Dickens’ life as a struggling writer coming up with the idea for A Christmas Carol. You’ll be swept away by the old-timey Christmas feel, even though it’s a modern book. If your partner loves to read, this could be a great gift for your boyfriend or girlfriend.

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Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

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Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

Here’s another Christmas book that became a film—this one is a favorite funny Christmas movie! If you’re familiar with Christmas with the Kranks, this book provided the inspiration for the raucous holiday tale. After their grown daughter leaves for the Peace Corps, Luther and Nora Krank decide to eschew all the holiday hubbub this year in favor of a Caribbean cruise. But a surprise changes all their plans and hilarious hijinks ensue. Skipping Christmas hit shelves in 2001.

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Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

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Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

In 2019’s Royal Holiday, Vivian joins her daughter on a Christmastime work trip to England—and finds herself falling for the Queen’s handsome secretary. Despite both of them knowing she has to return to the States, abandoning their romance is going to be easier said than done. Get your hands on this romance novel and read it by the light of your Christmas tree.

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Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris

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Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris

Brilliant humorist Sedaris will grace your holiday bookshelf with his 1997 Christmas collection Holidays on Ice. He offers hilarious perspectives on school Christmas pageants, working in a department store during the holidays, overly generous neighbors and more themes of the season.

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Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb

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Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb

Here’s another Christmas book for historical fiction buffs. Spanning the four Christmases of World War I and jumping forward to 1968 as well, Last Christmas in Paris tells the story of Evie and Thomas experiencing the tumult of the war—and their growing love for each other—against the backdrop of the holidays. It was released in 2017, making it a more latest addition to the Christmas book scene.

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The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck

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The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck

A kid wants nothing more than a new bike, but instead for Christmas he gets a sweater. Sounds simple, right? In this 2008 tale, the now-grown Eddie ponders the lessons he learned as a child from that Christmas and wonders if he’d choose to go back and change it given the opportunity. Read The Christmas Sweater for some serious Christmas reflection.

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My What If Christmas Wish by Daria White

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My What If Christmas Wish by Daria White

My What If Christmas Wish centers around Patrice, a psychologist who’s great at helping others with their problems, sometimes at the expense of her own happiness. When her college boyfriend comes back into her life around the holidays, she ponders the directions her life could’ve taken—and could still take—in this 2013 romantic Christmas tale. Read it after browsing through Christmas tree ideas to try this year.

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The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman

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The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman

Thought-provoking fiction master Backman is back (sorry, we had to) in The Deal of a Lifetime, a 2017 Christmastime tale. On Christmas Eve, a father tells his estranged son a stirring story about his conflict over helping another child who desperately needs it when his relationship with his own son is so strained.

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One Day in December by Josie Silver

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One Day in December by Josie Silver

A fun situational romantic tale ensues in this 2018 bestseller. In One Day in December, Laurie locks eyes with a stranger on a street and feels an instant spark. But it’s too much to hope she’ll see him again, right? Wrong. She sees him at a Christmas party…dating her best friend. You’ll have to pick this one up to see what happens!

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Amazing Peace by Maya Angelou and illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher 

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Amazing Peace by Maya Angelou and illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher 

More a Christmas poem by one of the greats, Amazing Peace is a powerful work that invites all readers and listeners to consider the hope and spirit of Christmas. Maya Angelou read this work at the 2005 lighting of the White House Christmas tree.

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The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss

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The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss

Nope, this isn’t the Christmas movie on Disney Plus—but the title’s just too good! In 2020’s The Twelve Dates of Christmas, Kate is well into her 30s and insists she’s not interested in romance. But then her friend convinces her to join a dating service where she’ll go on 12 dates in the month before Christmas. Bring on the hilarity and heartthrobs!

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The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sherlock Holmes himself takes on a Christmastime mystery in 1892’s The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle. When a rare blue jewel turns up inside a Christmas goose, Holmes and Watson work together to find out who’s responsible.

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A Christmas Story by Jean Shepherd

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A Christmas Story by Jean Shepherd

You’ve seen the movie (possibly a gajillion-plus times.) Now read the collection of semi-autographical stories that Shepherd used as the basis for the film. Compiled and released in 2003 after his death, Shepherd’s tales in A Christmas Story make a delightful, vignette-style fireside read.

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The 13th Gift by Joanne Huist Smith

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The 13th Gift by Joanne Huist Smith

In The 13th Gift, a latest widow and her kids are still grieving as Christmas approaches when anonymous gifts start to appear on their doorstep: one a day, representing the 12 days of Christmas. They try to figure out who sent them in this true tale of Christmas kindness, released in 2014. Grab the tissues—you may tear up!

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The Wish Book Christmas by Lynn Austin

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The Wish Book Christmas by Lynn Austin

The Wish Book is sure to become a holiday favorite. Shortly after World War II, two friends are looking forward to raising their young sons in peacetime. But when the Sears Christmas Wish Book comes out, both boys are glued to it, leaving the mothers to find ways to teach them that the holidays are about more than getting presents. They put their heads together to find good deeds for their sons to do—and learn a thing or two themselves in the process in a historical tale that’s just as relevant today.

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Christmas at Holly Berry Inn by Emily C. Childs

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Christmas at Holly Berry Inn by Emily C. Childs

This 2020 romance begins with what sounds like a holiday nightmare. In Christmas at Holly Berry Inn, pesky (or fateful?) snowy weather forces Sloan to stay at an old inn—where the innkeeper is her ex. But as the evening goes on, old feelings resurface and Sloan has to decide what she really wants with her life.

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Originally Published: December 21, 2021

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Wed, 07 Dec 2022 10:00:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.rd.com/list/christmas-books/
Killexams : These Luxe Coffee Table Books Make Great Last-Minute Gifts

Scouted selects products independently. If you purchase something from our posts, we may earn a small commission.

No matter how hard you try to brainstorm ideas, inevitably, there always seems to be a handful of people on your list who are downright impossible to shop for during the holiday season. We all know them: they’re the recipients who already have everything, have no idea what they like or want (or at least pretend to have no idea), or say they want nothing at all when you know showing up empty-handed simply isn’t an option. So what are you to do when you are stumped on what to buy for those tricky giftees on your holiday shopping list?

Whether it be a gift for yourself or a gift for a difficult-to-shop-for recipient, there’s nothing quite like a great coffee table book. These visually engaging and beautiful-to-display books are always a great gift idea for anyone on your list. Whether searching for a fashion-related title, a photographic study, or a historical coffee table book, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for in these well-reviewed coffee table books.

Annie Leibovitz

Down from $160

Annie Leibovitz is a renowned photographer known for her legendary, timeless portraits of celebrity figures like Queen Elizabeth II, President Richard Nixon, The Rolling Stones, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Lady Gaga, Meryl Streep, and other famous faces. Though chances are you’ve probably already seen her incredible photography countless times in publications like Vanity Fair, Vogue, and Rolling Stone, you won’t want to miss her extensive and beautiful collection of photography over a nearly 50-year career featured in her recently released book “Annie Leibovitz.” This super-heavy, collector’s-worthy item is something that won’t sit collecting dust; readers will pick it up time and time again, thumbing through the pages to behold Leibovitz’s outstanding photojournalism career.

If you’re shopping for a lover of high fashion, you won’t want to miss the gorgeous and extensive book, “GUCCI: The Making Of.” Though I wasn’t a huge fan of the fashion brand before picking up the popular title, I came to learn and understand so much about the globally respected brand, including the founding of the company in Florence in post-World War I, the instrumental, intriguing Gucci family, key designers who have contributed to the brand over the years—including Tom Ford, their luxurious fabrics, materials, and craftsmanship—including the trademark, buttery leather, and the company’s influence on celebrity fashion ranging from models to first ladies. If you know someone who owns a Gucci handbag in every color, they’ll certainly love displaying this dazzling, must-display title in their home.

E.T.: the Extra Terrestrial: The Ultimate Visual History

Certain films stand the test of time and are revisited by viewers repeatedly. One of these enduring, fan-favorite films is the 1982 Steven Spielberg-directed sci-fi classic E.T. This Spielberg film tells the story of a gentle, sweet alien left behind on Earth by his family who relies on the kindness of three children and their mother to make it back home. “E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial: The Ultimate Visual History,” tells the story of how this great movie came to be, from photography, concept art, storyboards, removable insert items, filmmaking stories, interviews, and other brilliant, little-known details.

Ocean, Exploring the Marine World

Here’s something to know about the publishing world: If a book is published by Phaidon, chances are you’re in for some breathtaking, fantastic visuals. The cover of “Ocean: Exploring The Marine World alone is gorgeous and will quickly inspire readers to explore the rest of the book’s interior, which features over 300 images of the Earth’s oceans alongside in-depth information. Within this extensive title – pieced together from the input of marine biologists, scientists, conservationists, curators, photographers, and subject-matter experts – you’ll find images of prehistoric marine life, fossils, and coral reefs; discover climate change’s extensive damage on the world’s oceans, and read about the world’s history and enduring relationship with all its beautiful oceans.

The Lady Di Look Book

Down from $35

The world’s enduring love for Princess Diana is astounding. Even though the famed royal has been gone for twenty-five years now, her legacy and influence are still among us today–through her two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry; her remarkable candor, fragility, and vulnerability; and, of course, her bold, statement-making fashion choices, from her puffy-sleeve wedding dress to her chic, perfectly timed revenge dress. Released earlier this summer, “The Lady Di Lookbook: What Diana Was Trying To Tell Us Through Her Clothes is a sumptuous photographic study from fashion journalist Eloise Moran of Princess Diana’s closet and includes commentary on the possible meaning and messages behind outfits like her rotating collection of oversized sweatshirts, the black revenge dress, the famous black-sheep jumper, and more memorable garments.

They Drew as They Pleased (6 Book Series)

Calling all Disney fans and fanatics: If you’ve ever wanted an inside look at the timeless animation and art featured in some of Disney’s most classic films, including Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Fantasia, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and more, you won’t want to pass up the incredible six-part series: “They Drew As They Pleased.” These hard-to-put-down titles cover Disney’s legendary animation, illustrations, and art from the 1930s through the 2010s. While you’ll certainly behold some never-before-seen imagery in the books, you’ll also learn a great deal about the extraordinary illustrators and animators behind these classic films, from Gustaf Tenggren, who illustrated for Pinnochio, and Walt Peregoy, a background painter on Sleeping Beauty, among other significant, behind-the-scenes figures.

The fascination with cowboys is at an all-time high, thanks to shows like Yellowstone, 1883, and the soon-to-be-released 1923. And while it might be easy to reduce cowboy culture to basic things like chaps, boots, horses, and other Southern-centric cliches, much is misunderstood about this particular lifestyle. Beautifully photographed by Anouk Masson Krantz—author of the “West: The American Cowboywith a foreword from Yellowstone’s writer and creator Taylor Sheridan, “American Cowboys” features an in-depth, photographic study of this often overlooked, misunderstood world, from the families immersed in the culture to the hard work and labor of ranching and rodeos. This modern, refreshing examination of today’s American cowboys and cowgirls is something people will want to revisit time and time.

Winsor McCay. The Complete Little Nemo

There are those childhood memories that stay with you your whole life, such as memorizing a certain comic book that opened your eyes to the power of imagination and storytelling. For some, that comic book might be Spider-Man, Batman, or Archie Comics, but it’s hard to dismiss the legacy of “Little Nemo in Slumberland,” which was created by American cartoonist Winsor McCay and was published from 1905 to 1927. Even if you haven’t read itwhich details the adventure of a little boy who explores the enchantments and mysteries of Slumberland—chances are you’ve seen it referenced in pop culture, whether through the critically underrated 1992 film Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland, or even the recently released Netflix film Slumberland, which is loosely based on McCay’s original series. “Winsor McCay—The Complete Little Nemo” features all 549 episodes of the cartoonist’s series, alongside engaging commentary and historical insight into the influence and legacy of McCay and Little Nemo. Whether a comic-book nerd or someone who appreciates adventure, intrigue and great storytelling, someone on your holiday shopping list will love this undeniable page-turner!

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Tue, 06 Dec 2022 10:02:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.thedailybeast.com/best-coffee-table-books Killexams : Biden administration to extend pause on student loan repayments

Student loan payment pause extended into 2023

Biden extends student loan payment pause amid legal challenges 01:37

The Biden administration is extending the pause on student loan payments until no later than June 30, 2023, as the administration's plan to forgive up to to $20,000 in loans is held up in court. President Biden announced the extension Tuesday in a video posted to the White House Twitter account. 

Student loan repayments were supposed to resume Jan. 1, 2023, for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began. But a federal appeals court has blocked the president's student loan forgiveness program, and the administration has asked the Supreme Court to reinstate their stalled plans. For now, the fate of the program remains unclear, with millions of borrowers in limbo.

The White House announced in August that Mr. Biden would be taking executive action to forgive $10,000 in loans for Americans making under $125,000 a year or $250,000 for married couples. Pell grant receipents are eligible for additional $10,000 to be forgiven. 

"I'm confident that our student debt relief plan is legal," Mr. Biden tweeted. "But it's on hold because Republican officials want to block it. That's why @SecCardona is extending the payment pause to no later than June 30, 2023, giving the Supreme Court time to hear the case in its current term."

Payments would restart 60 days after the Supreme Court decision or on June 30, whichever comes first. The Supreme Court has not yet said whether they will take the case. 

Since the Biden administration announced the plan, it has faced a number of legal challenges, and has been blocked by two federal courts. The White House has said that nearly 26 million Americans have applied for the program, and 16 million applications have already been approved. 

— Kristin Brown contributed to this report 

Tue, 22 Nov 2022 06:56:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.cbsnews.com/news/student-loan-repayment-pause-biden-administration-extension/
Killexams : Biden administration extends student loan payment pause to no later than June 2023

The Biden administration on Tuesday extended the pandemic-era federal student loan payment pause and interest accrual until no later than June 2023 while the administration faces legal challenges to its debt forgiveness plan.

“I’m confident that our student debt relief plan is legal. But it’s on hold because Republican officials want to block it,” President Biden said in a statement. “That’s why @SecCardona is extending the payment pause to no later than June 30, 2023, giving the Supreme Court time to hear the case in its current term.”

The pause was set to expire on Dec. 31 after Biden extended it in August around the same time he announced the student loan forgiveness program. At the time, the White House called that extension “one final time.”

The latest extension into next year will supply the Supreme Court time to decide whether it will rule on whether the program can continue.

The payment pause will end “no later than June 30, 2023,” Biden said, because payments will resume 60 days after the Education Department is permitted to implement the program or the litigation is resolved, which should come before the end of June, when the Supreme Court term typically concludes. 

Loan payments were first put on hold in March 2020 under former President Trump at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to supply individuals relief from paying their student loan bills. The freeze has since been extended six times.

Biden’s long-awaited forgiveness program has stopped accepting applications after it was blocked by several court challenges.

The Biden administration on Friday urged the Supreme Court to clear one of the legal obstacles blocking its student debt relief program, as part of the administration’s broader legal effort to have the policy reinstated.

The administration is currently fending off two separate rulings issued over the past two weeks that have effectively halted Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, which would supply federal borrowers making less than $125,000 a year up to $10,000 in debt relief.  

That move came after a unanimous three-judge panel on the 8th Circuit halted Biden’s massive debt relief plan, which had already been blocked nationwide by a separate court ruling.

In an earlier legal development, a Trump-appointed federal judge in Texas invalidated the program, saying the presidential action unlawfully encroached on Congress’s power. 

The administration has vowed to fight the challenges. 

“We’re not going to back down though on our fight to supply families breathing room,” Biden said in his announcement. “That’s why the Department of Justice is asking the Supreme Court of the United States to rule on the case. But it isn’t fair to ask tens of millions of borrowers who are eligible to relief to resume their student debt payments while the courts consider the lawsuits.”

More than 23 million people applied for student loan relief before the applications closed.

Student loan advocates called the extension announced on Tuesday a necessary step, but pushed the administration to fight back against the legal challenges.

“The least the Biden administration could do is not collect on a debt they promised they would cancel,” Braxton Brewington, spokesperson for the Debt Collective, said in a statement on Tuesday. “This pause extension is necessary, but also the bare minimum. What 45 million borrowers truly need is a Biden administration that won’t allow fringe lawsuits and right-wing courts to undermine economic relief that’s already been approved.”

Natalia Abrams, president of the Student Debt Crisis Center, applauded Biden for the move. 

“Too many borrowers, parents, and students have yet to recover from the financial harm caused by the pandemic and the possibility of a winter surge in COVID-19 cases is proof that this crisis is not over. Student debt cancellation is essential to helping borrowers recover from the pandemic, but it remains stuck in the courts,” she said in a statement.

Updated at 4:05 p.m.

Tue, 22 Nov 2022 01:39:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/3746939-biden-administration-extends-student-loan-payment-pause-to-june-2023/
Killexams : Balance those books: The Adams administration is right to demand budget cuts

Ex-cop Eric Adams won the mayor’s office last year on the promise to make New York safe. It’s a hard job, and harder than it should be given scant cooperation from Albany. Now, as the fiscal skies darken, with tax receipts dropping and government expenses rising, Adams also needs to keep New York solvent, another incredibly difficult task.

We’re with you, Mr. Mayor, and your Budget Director Jacques Jiha as you demand city agencies tighten their belts to help close a $2.9 billion shortfall next fiscal year that’s anticipated to grow as large as $6 billion by 2026. Jiha wants half of all unfilled positions to remain empty permanently.

Expected savings from removing from the rolls those 5,000 jobs (a relative drop in the budget amid more than 330,000 city workers total): $350 million annually, a fraction of $2.9 billion. But every bit counts.

Even as it finds efficiencies, it’s simultaneously essential for the city to retain high-quality staffers by following the private sector’s lead and accommodating more hybrid work schedules. Cops, firefighters, sanitmen and teachers can’t work from home, but office employees can.

Hope is not a strategy; proactive management is. The good news is as of today, there are no layoffs planned. We hope they won’t be needed. The city can and must find savings without services deteriorating.

Speaking of which, an appellate court Tuesday did the right thing when, even as it ruled that City Hall flouted procedures written into state law, it let the city’s education budget stand, overturning a lower court that would’ve forced a revote by the City Council — and thrown planning into a total tizzy. New York City schools spend plenty. The challenge is using that money wisely.

The municipal unions have access to the same ledgers that Adams and Jiha are looking at. Of course they’ll want raises for their members and no reduction in any of their generous benefits in upcoming contract negotiations. So why not suggest some ways to underwrite the extra pay?

Thu, 24 Nov 2022 19:32:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://news.yahoo.com/balance-those-books-adams-administration-091000197.html
Killexams : Melba's Poboys to host White House speechwriter signing free books Friday

The chief White House speechwriter for the Obama Administration will be signing his book at Melba's, where diners can get a free copy when they eat.

Cody Keenan will sign his book at noon Friday at the po-boy restaurant at 1525 Elysian Fields Ave., New Orleans.

"Grace: President Obama and Ten Days In the Battle For America" looks at the events of June 2015 when the nation faced a white supremacist shooting, the fate of the Affordable Care Act was in the balance and the country was grappling with issues related to the Confederacy.

For information, visit melbas.com.

Tue, 06 Dec 2022 09:15:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.nola.com/entertainment_life/eat-drink/speechwriter-for-obama-administration-signing-free-book/article_39dc7bf4-757e-11ed-ad16-73d24cc54369.html
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