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Weekend Flashback: Writers Recommend, Matilda on Broadway Sweepstakes, National Book Awards Longlists, Author Interviews, and more



Because the week can get hectic...

Here's what you might have missed recently on Omni:

Susan Conley recommending books about Paris, books that matter to Amanda Lindhout, three fictional detectives Louise Penny would trust with her life, a chance to win a magical New York/Broadway trip; Gillian Flynn's chat with John Searles, the National Book Awards longlists with readers' faves, the YA Best of the Month, and interviews with Kate Manning, Fiona Maazel, Pierre Lemaitre.

All now collected in one convenient post.

My Notorious Life Sara interviewed Kate Manning about how documentary and history helped her to write My Notorious Life

"I was really looking to write a good old-fashioned rip-roaring tale. Since I really love New York history, I knew the work of photographer Jacob Riis. His pictures [of 19th century New York were] are so compelling, I just wanted to insert myself in the streets of old New York and see what that's like. And writing about that time gave me a chance to play with language in a way that you can't do in a modern, contemporary, white person voice." Read More
My Notorious Life Robin A. Rothman rounded up the National Book Award longlist nominees and tallied readers' votes for their faves

The National Book Foundation took a new approach to its award nominee announcements this year, releasing longlists for each of four categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young Adult Literature. The lists each consist of 10 nominees, which will be halved in the next few weeks. The winners will be announced at the National Book Awards ceremony in New York on Nov. 20. But you don't have to wait that long to learn the winners of public opinion. We presented each longlist as a poll in which our readers could vote for their favorites. The results are in! Read More
Fangirl Seira Wilson revealed the September Best of the Month picks for YA Wednesday

September is notoriously one of the biggest months for new books and this year it seemed like publishers outdid themselves with their releases. Usually the Best Books of the Month for Teen & Young Adult list is four titles but this month that was just...well, impossible. And really, if the ALA can choose a different number of honor books from year to year, that's good enough precedent for me. Read More
Paris Was the Place Neal Thompson asked Susan Conley for her 10 favorite books about Paris

"A funny thing happened after I wrote a novel starring Paris as the main character. All these other books about Paris began showing up at my book readings. People in the audience call them out during the question and answer period. Then everyone writes down the titles they haven’t heard of on the backs of shopping lists and paper napkins. It turns out that everyone has a favorite Paris novel or memoir (or two). What is it about that city?" Read More
A House in the Sky Mari Malcolm explored six books that matter to"A House in the Sky" author Amanda Lindhout

One of the books that's really mattered to me lately is A House in the Sky, Amanda Lindhout's memoir of how she became a fearless traveler and scrappy journalist--and how she survived 460 days of captivity in Somalia, by violent extremists. If you've ever felt powerless at the hands of circumstance, her tenacity and resilience will astound you. I came away keenly aware of my power to choose how I react to circumstances beyond my control. Read More
Woke Up Lonely Kevin Nguyen spoke with author Fiona Maazel and captured it all on video

"I've always been interested in some basic questions about loneliness. Is it congenital, is it something we're just born into, is it just froofy and existential, is it surmountable, is it circumstantial? Why is it that so many people who are in a group of their best friends, their lover, their family, do they still feel so estranged? I decided to write a novel that might try to explore some of those questions." Read More
Louise Penny Neal Thompson asked Louise Penny: if wrongly accused of murder, which three fictional detectives she would want to help her

"Now, setting aside Armand Gamache since that would be just too obviously self-promoting (though I am, of course, dying to include him)--I would have to add to your premise that I would be living in London of the mid-century, only because, for the most part, my love of detective fiction is rooted in the Golden Age of British crime novels." Read More
Pierre Lemaitre Robin A. Rothman got to know French writer Pierre Lemaitre, author of Alex

When I learned that it was the author's first work to be translated from his native French into English, but the second book in an established series -- known overseas as the"Commandant Verhoeven Trilogy" -- I couldn't help wondering about the reasons for that decision. Is the first book not as good? Did a super-secret test group relate better to this installmant than the others? The answer, it seems, is simple. Read More
Matilda Seira went Dahl-erious with a collage of covers and an awesome announcement about a Matilda the Musical sweepstakes.

Sadly, I'm not eligible to enter for a chance to win the Matilda The Musical sweepstakes, which includes a trip for four to New York and VIP show tickets (NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  Sweepstakes ends 9/30/13.  See Official Rules), but the lucky Roald Dahl fan is who wins this one is in for a real treat (and yes, I am totally jealous). Read More
Help for the Haunted Robin A. Rothman presented Gillian Flynn interviewing John Searles about his latest Help for the Haunted

John Searles' third novel, Help for the Haunted, is a chilling mystery and a subtle yet gripping thriller that draws you in emotionally and doesn't let you off the hook until the very end. Or as my colleague Chris Schluep put it in his review, it's"an expertly-wrought, coming-of-age story with a healthy dose of creepiness." It's also one of our Best Books of the Month picks for September. Read More


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