Hottest Articles on from 2/16/2014 - 2/23/2014

Below are's most popular articles from 2/16/2014 - 2/23/2014. Catch up below on anything that you might have missed from the past week!

1) Hottest Articles on from 2/16/2014 - 2/23/2014 Life of Ballet Master George Balanchine Revealed in New Memoir
by BWW News Desk - February 19, 2014

The world knows George Balanchine as the genius choreographer who transformed classical ballet, but what was he like as a friend? As a life coach? As a teacher? Very few knew him in these roles, but New York City Ballet soloist of twenty-two years, Frank Ohman, did. In his just-published memoir, Balanchine's Dancing Cowboy, Ohman reveals new, previously unexplored aspects of Mr. Balanchine's brilliance: as a master teacher, as a caring friend, and as a deeply philosophical man. (more...)

2) Hottest Articles on from 2/16/2014 - 2/23/2014 Renee Graziano of VH1's 'Mob Wives' to Release New Thriller, PLAYING WITH FIRE, 4/8
by BWW News Desk - February 21, 2014

NEW YORK, Feb. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ As the countless fans of VH1's hit show Mob Wives know, star Renee Graziano certainly knows how to bring the drama - and the heat. Now, she's taking her skills into a new arena - as seen on the show's finale this week - by publishing her sizzling debut novel, PLAYING WITH FIRE (A Forge Hardcover, E-book, and Macmillan Audio Book; On-sale: April 8, 2014). Longtime fans of the show as well as anyone who needs to get their groove back this spring will be glued to the pages of this sexy thriller. (more...)

3) Hottest Articles on from 2/16/2014 - 2/23/2014 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Launches The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy
by BWW News Desk - February 21, 2014

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt today announced a new addition to its renowned Best American Series. THE BEST AMERICAN SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY will launch in October 2015 with John Joseph Adams as series editor and Joe Hill as the inaugural guest editor. (more...)

4) Hottest Articles on from 2/16/2014 - 2/23/2014 The New Book Press Publishes WORDPLAY SHAKESPEARE
by BWW News Desk - February 18, 2014

It's a Shakespeare revival with a twist. Students and readers now have a revolutionary way to experience the centuries-old plays. The WordPlay Shakespeare enhanced eBook series, published by The New Book Press, places the complete text alongside a filmed performance with professional Shakespearean actors. (more...)

5) Hottest Articles on from 2/16/2014 - 2/23/2014 Betty J. Vaughn Releases TURBULENT WATERS
by BWW News Desk - February 18, 2014

TotalRecall Publications, Inc. announced today that new Civil War novel 'Turbulent Waters' by Betty J. Vaughn is winner of the Clark Cox Historical Fiction Award from the North Carolina Society of Historians. A retired art teacher turned history sleuth and debut author, Vaugh immerses readers in the personal, cultural, and political upheavals during the early years of Reconstruction in the South of 1865 to 1867. She weaves a tale combining both Northern and Southern fictional characters and real people who lived in New Bern, Kinston, Fort Macon, and other North Carolina locales. (more...)

6) Hottest Articles on from 2/16/2014 - 2/23/2014 Hottest Articles on from 2/9/2014 - 2/16/2014
by BWW - February 16, 2014

Hottest Articles on from 2/9/2014 - 2/16/2014. (more...)

7) Hottest Articles on from 2/16/2014 - 2/23/2014 BWW Reviews: THE KENNEDY HALF-CENTURY Sums Things Up Nicely
by John Walker Ross - February 20, 2014

The fiftieth anniversary of John Kennedy's assassination last November turned up an avalanche of books seeking to present new angles or re-hash old ones. Larry Sabato's The Kennedy Half-Century does a bit of both. Those who read Kennedy literature basically break down in three camps: obsessives (about the presidency, the assassination or both), neophytes (looking to get a handle on the basics) and tweeners (interested and reasonably astute about those basics but not on the verge of giving up their day jobs to learn more). I count myself a member of the third category. While I can't speak for how it would strike those who are a great deal more knowledgeable about the subject, for me, this was an easy and reasonably rewarding read. The book is broken down into three parts: Kennedy's life and presidency; his assassination; and his legacy. I'm not sure much new could be said on the first two matters and, for the most part-excepting a few tidbits on the assassination that amount to debunking-of-previous-debunkings-of-previous-debunkings and so on-Sabato makes no real attempt to give any substantially new perspectives or draw any rare conclusions. However, within the bounds of what he clearly did set out to do-i.e., give a summation of those aspects of Kennedy's life and death that would hold the attention of the general interest reader and provide an easy-access overview for at least some newcomers-he delivers very nicely. The really interesting and, I think, valuable part of the book is the last: a long and fairly detailed look at the effect Kennedy's legacy has had on his nine successors. This is still relatively fertile ground and, here, Sabato does come to some surprising conclusions and offers solid evidence to back his thesis. If you want to know why and how a conservative Republican like Ronald Reagan was able to channel Kennedy's aura and style more effectively than Lyndon Johnson (who was Kennedy's own vice-president), then this is a good primer on the subject. Same if you want to know how a good-old-boy policy wonk like Bill Clinton could effectively utilize the Kennedy brand-both as campaign style and governing substance-without having much of JFK's rhetorical wit (Kennedy was not exactly long-winded) or having overly warm relations with Senator Ted Kennedy, who was long-established as the family patriarch by the time Clinton reached the presidency. In addition, Sabato does a fine job of treading on some tricky ground regarding the "real" JFK who actually governed the country for two and half years, and the mythical JFK, whose shadow hung over subsequent issues from Viet Nam to Civil Rights to the Space Program to the basic arguments over the tax code. Turns out, virtually every president since 1963 has tried in some form or fashion to use the aura of the Kennedy mythology-and, in some cases, the assassination mythology as well-to advance his agenda. While some have been far better at it than others, Sabato makes it clear that none have turned down the opportunity to exploit the legacy when the opportunity arose. The books final third really turns on personalities then, but it avoids most of the common traps. I don't think there is anything here that strains credibility and that's a relief. The tendency to over-reach is all but endemic in the approach Sabato chooses, but-based on interviews I've seen with him and on the even more compelling evidence of the book itself-he seems to be inclined to stick to the facts. For instance, although Sabato seems to side with elite political and historical opinion which consistently tells us that the Bay of Pigs invasion was an unmitigated disaster, he also reminds us that the poll taken immediately after the event gave Kennedy's performance an eighty percent approval rating. It might seem a small thing, but plenty of historians would choose to leave out a little remembered fact that raises questions about their own conclusions. It's to the author's credit that he provides this kind of exemplary even-handedness throughout. The happy result is a book where Kennedy's real accomplishments are acknowledged, as are the (mostly successful and highly self-conscious) efforts at hagiography carried on by his surviving family (especially his widow) and many of the political allies who served under him. By the same token, Kennedy's almost incredibly reckless personal behavior is explained without being either rationalized away or reduced to the usual morality lessons. Sabato eschews peep-show licentiousness as deftly as he avoids preaching. I didn't come away thinking either Kennedy's sexual peccadilloes or his often seedy political tactics (this book does not shy away from reminding us that the main difference between Nixon's operatives and Kennedy's where dirty tricks were concerned in the 1960 campaign was that the Kennedy ops were better at it) were less than unsavory-frankly, the man was no saint. But I didn't feel like taking a bath either. Frankly, the man was a pretty effective president for all his faults and-even more frankly-we're all sinners. It's a rare Kennedy book that doesn't make me feel like I'm being snowed just a little so I especially appreciated this book's lack of agendas. In Sabato's hands a simple recitation of the facts makes for a good read. I think it's safe to say that most people will find it satisfying-just so long as they aren't after feeding an obsession! (more...)

8) Hottest Articles on from 2/16/2014 - 2/23/2014 Chicago Humanities Festival and The Poetry Foundation Present JAMES FRANCO AND FRANK BIDART, OFF THE SHELF, Tonight
by BWW News Desk - February 19, 2014

The Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF) and The Poetry Foundation partner to present James Franco and Frank Bidart, Off the Shelf, an evening of poetry, film, and discussion tonight, Feb. 19, 2014 at 8 p.m. at Thorne Auditorium, Northwestern University School of Law (375 E Chicago Ave). (more...)

9) Hottest Articles on from 2/16/2014 - 2/23/2014 Book Marketing Tools Launches 'Social Media for Authors' Hangout
by BWW News Desk - February 18, 2014

Book Marketing Tools, an organization that provides quality tools to help authors promote their books, is pleased to announce that it will be hosting its first-ever 'Hangout on Air,' or HOA, on Google Plus. The initial episode, which is titled 'Social Media for Authors,' will help authors understand the benefits of social media, and it will show them how to use it most effectively to promote their works. The HOA will feature insights from host Shawn Manaher, President of Book Marketing Tools, as well as his guest, Jason T. Wiser, host of the 'Get on Track: Stay on Track' video podcast and proprietor of 'On Track Tips.' The HOA will be presented on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 1pm EST/10am PST. (more...)

10) Hottest Articles on from 2/16/2014 - 2/23/2014 Top Reads: STILL LIFE WITH BREAD CRUMBS Makes Top Three on New York Times' Fiction List, Week Ending 2/16
by BWW News Desk - February 16, 2014

Donna Tartt's THE GOLDFINCH held on to No. 1 on the New York Times' fiction list for the week ending February 16, 2014. THE INVENTION OF WINGS by Sue Monk Kidd stayed strong in the second slot, while STILL LIFE WITH BREAD CRUMBS by Anna Quindlen appeared this week at No. 3. (more...)

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