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Last Wednesday night, I attended the HarperTeen Author Dinner at the National --- a super chic bar and restaurant in midtown east --- as a representative of The Book Report Network, specifically TeenReads and 20SomethingReads. Now, I’ve been to author events before (how glamorous am I?), but I’d never been to a full-blown dinner before. The natural first step in preparing for a dinner honoring three people who have written books is to actually read their books, which I did with pleasure.

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Marisha Pessl’s paradigm-shifting new novel, NIGHT FILM, was all the rage late this summer. It’s part noir thriller, part psychological mystery and part meta-commentary on the way people relate to art and the artists who make it. Obviously I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to read it, so when a copy arrived at our office, I played it super cool so no one would suspect anything and slipped it stealthily into my bag (in a move that even Liesel Meminger would’ve been proud of! BOOK THIEF jokes!

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Ain’t life good now that “Breaking Bad” is back? Walter White a.k.a. Heisenberg a.k.a. The One Who Knocks and Co. kicked off the second half of the final season about a week ago, and we’re not ashamed to admit that their return kind of gives our week just the right television-axis it needs to spin smoothly (that’s a universal feeling, right?). We’re still reeling from the highly anticipated (but still no less shocking) confrontation in the season premiere, and cannot wait to see what kind of end awaits our favorite drug kingpin. “Mr. Chips to Scarface” is right, but we still can’t help rooting for Mr. White, despite all the murders and condescending speeches and consistently bad underwear choices. So in honor of our favorite antihero’s return to Sunday nights, we’ve put together a list of the top five literary villains we can’t help but root for. We’d *gladly* let any of these guys send us to Belize.

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When we decided here at 20SomethingReads.com to dedicate some time this month to blogging about dating in honor of our new favorite book, Adelle Waldman's THE LOVE AFFAIRS OF NATHANIEL P., man, did I have a lot of thoughts about digital dating (a very apt umbrella term for any kind of dating that is happening NOT in person) --- which is totally ironic because digital dating is not entirely effective for people with a lot of thoughts.<

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Welcome back, readers! Hope you all enjoyed your long holiday weekend and had ample opportunity to express your freedom and wear red, white and blue non-ironically and watch the most beautiful fireworks ever (because aren’t the ones you’re watching always the most beautiful? --- there’s a casual life metaphor for you). Hopefully, you’ve slept off your hot dog coma by now, and you’re ready to get back to Telling It Like It Is business with me.

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Hey guys, so I decided this week that this whole book thing is pretty stupid. I mean, you spends hours, days, weeks, even, looking at a bunch of tiny words on a flimsy piece of paper (or eBook screens if you’re feeency) and putting them together to make some kind of meaning in your already overwhelmed brain. Frankly, I’d rather keep trying to beat the 114th level of Candy Crush, because let me tell you --- that’s some lasting sa-tis-faction.

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Hey guys, maybe you’ve heard or maybe you’ve been living under a rock without internet access last week, but Kim and Kanye finally welcomed their (shockingly) tiny bundle of joy into the world. Of course, everyone over here at The Book Report Network is thrilled, and kind of obsessed. So in honor of little North West, I have no choice but to break down the Dickens classic, GREAT EXPECTATIONS for all y’all. I know it’s a little bit of a stretch, but we have nothing if not big hopes for the daughter of such talented megastars (I’m thinking she’ll have mad flow, charisma aaand…really pretty hair?) Anyway, welcome to the good life, baby Nori!

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Welcome back to our second official installment of Telling It Like It Is: Classics Edition! We got off to a great (ha! pun!) start last week with THE GREAT GATSBY (if you missed it, you can find it here.) This week, over at 20SomethingReads we’re anticipating the theatrical releases of World War Z and This is the End by celebrating the end of the world --- in addition to all things dystopian.

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