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Between the Covers with Jill Kargman

posted by: September 20, 2016 - 7:00am

Cover art for Sprinkle Glitter on My GraveJill Kargman, creator and star of Bravo’s Odd Mom Out, has been called the Edith Wharton of contemporary Manhattan, specifically the Upper East Side. She’s a best-selling novelist with a sharp wit that is evident in her newest book of humorous essays, Sprinkle Glitter on My Grave: Observations, Rants and Other Uplifting Thoughts About Life. From bothersome behaviors to musings that keep her awake at night, Kargman puts it all on the table in her own unique, uproarious delivery. Get to know Jill as she answers questions about her latest book, the demands of television and life on the Upper East Side.


Between the Covers: Sprinkle Glitter on My Grave is absolutely hilarious and one of my favorite books of the year. How difficult is it to get your snarky voice on the page?


Jill Kargman: I basically just write like I talk! My dad told me to do that ages ago so it's really like breathing to me.


BTC: This book, complete with your doodles, seems almost like a diary or journal. How did it come about?


JK: I actually had a template from my last nonfiction book, Sometimes I Feel Like a Nut so I essentially redid that format but with new anecdotes, lists and rants.


BTC: The title is perfect and I believe your daughter is responsible for it. How else did your family influence this book?


JK: Yes! Ivy came up with it ’cause she thought flowers, which die quickly, are depressing in graveyards so she is going to sprinkle glitter on my grave because it's hard to clean up. My brother, mom, dad, husband and other two kids Sadie and Fletch plus my former sister-in-law forever friend Drew. Everyone in my life is part of my humor and my five bridesmaids 15 years ago are still my sisters.


BTC: I think the reason I love Sprinkle Glitter on My Grave is the many common irks we share, including the thunderous applause for certain dead celebrities at awards ceremony’s death roll calls which makes my blood boil! Sharing what’s in your head helps some of your readers know we aren’t alone, but how do the people/groups you are making fun of, especially the Upper East Siders, react to you and your writing?


JK: They weirdly don't care and always think it's other people — which it is, since no one thinks she's a bad mom or spends too much or hears herself when she does a humble brag. ("Ugh the traffic to Teterboro was a nightmare!")


BTC: Describe your writing process. Do you write every day? Do you have a go-to snack or beverage while writing?


JK: I have a huge iced coffee and work out and shower, then get an omelet, then work. I usually have two main meals a day so I'll work ’til my kids get home so like four hours — I can't be funny after that!


BTC: You finished college (Yale no less!) in three years, started your first job as a writer at age 20 at Interview magazine and had your first novel published at 27. To achieve such success at such a young age must have been a heady experience. How did your career and life experiences during your 20s shape your writing today?


JK: I was miz at Interview — the worst two years — I was basically a secretary BUT I got to write a ton of little articles and some features so it was all worth it but at the time I had NO idea how it would pay off. But each job was such a stepping stone including being berated by [jerks] because it built a crocodile skin and [lots] of appreciation for the people I love and observational skills.


BTC: Your hit Bravo show, Odd Mom Out, is now in its second season and it’s even better than the first. What is it like being the creator, producer and star of a hit television show and how has it impacted your life as a writer, wife and mom?


JK: I LOVE IT! It's been the most fun I've ever had. When my kids were little (I had three kids in five years) I thought I was losing my mind and needed to be alone and write my books which was like therapy. But now they're older so writing Sprinkle Glitter on My Grave was actually isolating so I was so psyched to get back into the writers room for Odd Mom Out where we laugh all day as a group.


BTC: Favorite episode?


JK: The ODD Couple, episode 205.


BTC: Our readers love reading! Can you share what you are reading now?


JK: The September issue of Vogue.


BTC: Favorite book of the year?


JK: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara.


BTC: Favorite book as a child?


JK: Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume.


BTC: Any memories of hijinks in libraries?


JK: don't want to know. Rated X. The stacks at Yale are legendary. ;)


BTC: You have so much on your plate, but what can we expect next?


JK: I'm doing a show at The Carlyle in January of 2017 called “Stairway to Cabaret,” which is heavy metal covers at the piano with standup. Come up to NYC and say hi!!!


Thanks for doing this! I love Baltimore! XOJK


10 New TV Series with Book Tie-Ins

posted by: August 31, 2016 - 7:00am

Cover art for The Marvelous Land of OzCover art for The ExorcistCover art for A Series of Unfortunate EventsAs summer winds down, we look forward to cooler weather, pumpkin-flavored everything and fall television premiers! If you’re like me and you need to read the book before you watch it on screen, here are 10 new series premiering this television season based on books.


Hulu’s Chance, based on the book by Kem Nunn, is a psychological thriller set in San Francisco about a psychiatrist, his female patient with multiple personality disorder and her homicide detective husband.


NBC’s Emerald City is a modern reimagining of L. Frank Baum’s Land of Oz series featuring 20-year-old Dorothy Gale and a K9 police dog.


Fox’s The Exorcist, based on the 1971 novel by William Peter Blatty, follows a new family’s fight against demonic possession.


Amazon’s Good Girls Revolt is based on the true story of author Lynn Povich and 45 other women who sued Newsweek for sex discrimination in 1970.


Hulu’s The Handmaid's Tale is based on the classic dystopian novel by Margaret Atwood.


NBC’s Midnight, Texas is a supernatural drama based on the series by Charlaine Harris — also the author of the Sookie Stackhouse books which formed the basis for HBO’s True Blood.


NBC’s Powerless is a workplace comedy about an insurance company set in the DC Comics Universe.


CW’s Riverdale is a live-action teen drama based on the characters from Archie Comics, celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.


Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events is based on the children’s series by Lemony Snicket about three orphaned siblings.


ABC’s Still Star-Crossed, based on the teen novel by Melinda Taub, features the Montagues and Capulets in the aftermath of Romeo and Juliet’s tragic deaths.


50 for Your Future

posted by: August 22, 2016 - 7:00am

Cover art for 50 for Your FutureIf you ever find yourself seeking words of wisdom to help motivate you, look no further than to Tavis Smiley, one of TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People, a PBS talk show host and The New York Times bestselling author. His latest, 50 for Your Future: Lessons from Down the Road, is an inspirational guidebook through the ups and downs, twists and turns of life.

50 for Your Future contains 208 vivid, eye-catching pages full of insight. Readers will learn 50 beneficial lessons that Tavis Smiley himself has learned over the years — the mistakes that he has made, the lessons he's learned (and is still learning) and the valuable advice he's gathered from family members, mentors and celebrities are found.


Other Tavis Smiley titles include Before You Judge: The Triumph and Tragedy of Michael Jackson's Last Days and The Covenant with Black America: Ten Years Later. To find out more, visit Tavis Smiley's website.



Being a Beast

posted by: August 17, 2016 - 7:00am

Cover art for Being a BeastWhile biological research is continually making new discoveries into how much we know about animals, there is one aspect in which scientists scrupulously avoid speculation: animals’ minds. In Being a Beast, Charles Foster attempts to rectify this disparity by immersing himself in the “neuro-alchemy” of wild creatures. Not only does he study the latest veterinary neurological research, he tries to live like them too. In a tradition of ersatz, immersive experimentation also seen in the works of Bill Bryson and A.J. Jacobs, he models his behavior to live as a badger, an otter, a fox, a red deer and a swift.


Foster’s experiences are variously uncomfortable, degrading, bizarre and sublime. While his scientific method would not hold up under much scrutiny, the objective of his writing is more ontological. Foster attempts to position himself counterpoint to humanity’s historical position as a “conqueror” of nature. He uses nature to escape — sloughing off modernity in an attempt to define and describe wildness and autonomy. His research is doomed to failure, and he begins the book by acknowledging that the challenges he sets for himself are impossible, but there is insight to be found in his quixotic experiment. Foster’s doctorate in medical law and ethics, plus his qualifications as a veterinarian, help to back his credibility even when his experiences and arguments verge on the esoteric.





Sex Object

posted by: August 15, 2016 - 9:00am

Cover art for Sex ObjectDoes sexism still exist? Sure, men and women are different. We always will be, biologically speaking. At first glance, women can surely do all of the things that men do in society. We can work, we can vote, we don’t “have to” be mothers and housewives. What more could we want? Where is the sexism? It’s there, and though it may have improved since the days of our mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers, we still need feminism. Widely acclaimed feminist writer Jessica Valenti reintroduces sexism in a different light and gives feminism a fresh approach in her newest book, Sex Object.


Sex Object is a memoir written in an organic, rather than chronological, structure. Valenti recounts the moments where sexism has affected her at all different ages and areas of her life, from the time she was in high school and her teacher asked her out, to her 20s when countless men would expose themselves to her on the subway, to the emails and responses she has gotten on her website,


Valenti’s writing is realistic, raw and emotionally empowering. All women have all been where she has been, sexualized and objectified by men, but we don’t often think to call it “wrong” so much as “annoying.” Valenti’s message is not just that sexism is bad or that we should use feminism to fight it. It’s that sexism is so prevalent, so normalized every day, that we need feminism in order to recognize it. Valenti’s book is a great read for a new generation of feminists who understand that our responsibility is not to be victims, but to be voices. We do not necessarily need to fight, but we need to be aware.



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