Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft’s HAPPIER Podcast in The New Yorker

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Happier, the podcast from Gretchen Rubin and her sister, Elizabeth Craft, is one of the subjects of this delightful piece by Sarah Larson for The New Yorker, “Better Living Through Podcasts“. Check it out for recommendations for a few other podcasts, including Elizabeth Gilbert’s.

Larson writes about Rubin:

“Like Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” [Rubin’s] books and podcast try to explain us to ourselves so that we’re working with, not against, the occasionally maddening ways in which we operate. She’s not trying to make you perfect; she just wants you to get enough sleep and to enjoy, rather than dread, celebrating loved ones’ birthdays.”

After picking up an audiobook copy of Rubin’s latest book, BETTER THAN BEFORE (Crown), Larson found:

“Rubin had learned that there was a close correlation between habits and happiness, so she figured out how we form them, use them, and change them. Once I came to understand habits as harnessing our own laziness—making a habit frees you from decision-making, which you can use to your advantage—my relationship to them changed permanently.”

You can learn more about Rubin’s take on habits on her site. Happier is part of the Panoply network, which also produces podcasts like Sport’s Illustrated’s This Is Your Brain on Sports, Popular Science’s Futuropolis, Vulture’s TV Podcast,  NYT Magazine’s The Ethicist–and many more.

Andria Williams in Grist Journal

I guess I can write anywhere, I said. All I need is a word processor, right? So into the U.S. Navy we went. 

Andria Williams has a fantastic essay in Grist Journal on finding herself as a writer, a mother, and a military spouse. Read the piece here on her husband’s decision to join the Navy, and how it’s changed their family–and changed her as a reader and a writer.

Andria runs Military Spouse Book Review, a blog for book reviews by military spouses, often covering books about the military, like Gayle Tzemach Lemmon’s Ashley’s War (and genres far beyond– we’re very fond of this review of Mad Max.…).  You can follow her on Twitter @andria816 for updates on the blog and the occasional lego reenactment of literary scenes (c/o her children; we like this one of Smith Henderson’s Fourth of July Creek).

Random House will publish Andria’s debut novel, THE LONGEST NIGHT, this coming January. The book is getting a lot of early love on Goodreads, and was recently included in Library Journal’s list of “Five Key Literary/Historical Debuts”:

With the book drawing inspiration from the nation’s only fatal nuclear accident (on January 3, 1961) and Williams responsible for www.militaryspousebookreview.com, which is aimed at military spouses, female veterans, and women in the military, this book should get attention. —Library Journal

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Ray Young Bear Poem in The New Yorker this week–a Preview of His Upcoming Collection

MANIFESTION WOLVERINE_Final CoverThe New Yorker featured Ray Young Bear’s poem “Four Hinterland Abstractions” on their site today! It will also appear in the print edition of  the August 3rd issue. The poem is part of his forthcoming collection MANIFESTATION WOLVERINE: The Collected Poetry of Ray Young Bear, which Open Road Media will publish this October.

Praise for Ray’s work to date:

“I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that Ray Young Bear is the best poet in Indian Country and in the top 46 in the whole dang world. Sacred and profane, profound and irreverent, his poetry pushes you into a corner, roughs you up a bit, maybe takes your wallet, and then gives you a long kiss goodbye.” —Sherman Alexie

“Ray Young Bear’s work is the gift of an anguished imagination marked with grief and wild humor. His writing alternately lashes and heals, but ultimately instructs from a deep vision of the world.” —Louise Erdrich
“These are remarkable poems. I read them over and over again, and I become more and more convinced that they proceed from a native intelligence that is at once ancient and contemporary, straightforward and ironic, provocative and insightful. The poet speaks from a kind of timeless experience; his voice is the voice of the coyote or singer of Beowulf or the inventor of words. “The Invisible Musician” is a work extraordinarily rich and rewarding.” —N. Scott Momaday

“It was clear from Ray Young Bear’s earliest poems that he was a poet of great ability. He has gotten better. The physical detail is ground, and there are mysterious interminglings of water and air that hold the worlds together.” —Robert Bly

“[Ray Young Bear is] a national treasure.” —Robert F. Gish

“Ray Young Bear is magic. He writes as if he lived 10,000 years ago in a tribe whose dialect happens to be modern English.” —Richard Hugo

“No one, absolutely no one, tells the tribal story like Young Bear.” —Elizabeth Cook-Lynn

Great Review of Jeff Pfeffer’s LEADERSHIP B.S. in Publisher’s Weekly!

Publisher’s Weekly has given Jeff Pfeffer’s LEADERSHIP B.S. a great review. In the book, Pfeffer focuses on the root causes of failures in business leadership. His goal is to help readers rethink leadership, and he advises them to accept that many of the existing truisms about leadership are faulty. Publisher’s Weekly called the book “an entertaining and inspiring read for anyone looking to shake things up at work.” Congratulations, Jeff!

LEADERSHIP B.S. goes on sale on September 15th and is available for pre-order now on Amazon. Follow Jeff on Twitter @JeffreyPfeffer.

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MISS EMILY publishes today and THE NEW SPYMASTERS is out in the US!

Two amazing summer reads from across the pond are arriving on our shores today!

From the UK, Stephen Grey’s THE NEW SPYMASTERS is out today from St. Martin’s Press!

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In this searing modern history of espionage, award-winning investigative journalist Stephen Grey takes us from the CIA’s Cold War legends, to the agents who betrayed the IRA, through to the spooks inside Al-Qaeda and ISIS. Techniques and technologies have evolved, but the old motivations for betrayal–patriotism, greed, revenge, compromise–endure. Based on years of research and interviews with hundreds of secret sources, The New Spymasters is an up-to-date exposé that shows how spycraft’s human factor is once again being used to combat the world’s deadliest enemies.

John Lloyd in the Financial Times says the book is “Revelatory, deeply informed and subtle is an antidote to any view of the intelligence agencies as being all-knowing or, conversely, all over the place.”

And in a 5-star review from Charles Cumming, the Daily Telegraph calls it “Exceptional… Stephen Grey knows his subject. By speaking to a vast number of intelligence personnel, he has produced what amounts to a blueprint for productive, sophisticated espionage in the age of Islamist terror.”

Follow Stephen @StephenGrey and keep up-to-date with his Reuters blog here.


Irish author Nuala O’Connor’s MISS EMILY is also out today, and it’s already received some wonderful reviews that would make even make Emily Dickinson smile!

emily-dickinson“O’Connor brings one of America’s most beloved poets to lifeŠ. [She] is a gifted writer; not only does she bring a believable sense of poetry (clay is “deathly cool around my fingers”) and self-assurance to Emily, she is also capable of conveying complex feeling succinctly, a talent shared by her historical heroine. This novel has the possibility of being a book club juggernaut.”

-Starred review in Publishers Weekly

“O’Connor’s first novel published here (but her third novel, with previous works appearing under the name Nuala Ní Chonchúir) beautifully and convincingly evokes the startling, luminous world captured in Dickinson’s poems in the alternating voices of Emily and Ada, who share a passionate nature at odds with proper Amherst society.”

-John G. Matthews, Washington State Univ. Libs., Pullman in Library Journal‘s July issue

Nuala will also be joining us stateside in August for a book tour!

Mystic, CT                   Bank Square Books / 12pm                                                                          August 3

Cambridge, MA           Harvard Bookstore / 7pm                                                                            August 4

South Hadley, MA       Odyssey Bookshop / 7pm                                                                           August 5

Amherst MA                Emily Dickinson International Society Conference / 1:30pm             August 8

Stop by if you can make it!

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