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Dr. Steve Perry’s Tips for a Better Education System

Dr. Steve Perry, author of Push Has Come to Shove, is the founder and principal of headline-making Capital Prep Magnet School, which sends all of its mostly low-income, minority students to four-year colleges. He is also the chief contributor to CNN on education issues. Capital Prep has been visited by experts from around the world to study the magic taking place there! Today we’ve asked Dr. Perry to share with us what he thinks can make a difference in the education system and what he’s doing at his school. Let us know what you think and what’s going on at your kids’ schools!

Meet the Author Extra Libris

Susan Gregg Gilmore and Michele Young-Stone on Fiction and Trauma

Nothing shakes up a life like trauma. Fiction writers have known this secret since the early days – think Ahab, Hamlet, or Batman – and introducing a bit of quick chaos into the life of a main character, particularly in their formative years, has always been the preferred method of amping up the intrigue. Authors Susan Gregg Gilmore and Michele Young-Stone and Susan Gregg Gilmore discuss how trauma – specifically trauma as a result of natural disaster – informs the creative process and affects the individual.

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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline Called a “Sweet-Natured Cyber-Quest”

At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut – part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed. It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place. A world at stake. A quest for the ultimate prize. Are you ready?

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Lisa Unger on Her New Thriller Darkness, My Old Friend

“Dwelling in a town where I would never live by choice, exploring the life of a man with whom I have little in common, I couldn’t feel more at home,” writes bestselling novelist Lisa Unger about her latest thriller Darkness, My Old Friend. “I understand and like Jones Cooper in a way that I can’t help but feel is special. He’s a little grouchy, somewhat (okay, deeply) cynical. He has a hero’s heart, can’t resist a damsel in distress. I find him endlessly amusing; he makes me laugh. He’s a good man at his core, but with a real connection – and an attraction – to the darkness within him, within everyone.”

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Samantha Sotto on Her Debut Novel Before Ever After

“After spending more than a year working on my debut novel, Before Ever After,” writes Samantha Sotto, “emerging from the safety and solitude of my little writer’s cave was daunting. Remaining holed up in it, however, was not an option. If I wanted readers and reviewers to discover this book, then I needed to buckle down and treat social media the same way I had treated school. In short, it was time to brush my hair, change out of my pajamas, and start interacting. First stop, the Blogosphere.”

Book Talk Extra Libris

Allison Winn Scotch Recommends Great Summer Reads

Summer means lazy weekends, sand between our toes, and any excuse for ice cream. It also means that it’s time for a great summer reading round-up, when we’re all wondering what to bring along on a weekend getaway. And I love me a good beach read, so maybe it’s no surprise that each one of my books – regardless of when it first went on sale – is considered a “beach read,” especially my new paperback The One That I Want. For you RIFers, I’m opening up my beach bag and discussing this summer’s best sea-side reads for every member of your family.

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Lucia Greenhouse’s Journey Out of Christian Science

“In the back of my mind,” writes Lucia Greenhouse, author of fathermothergod, “was a little boy I didn’t know named Ian Lundman. In 1989, three years after my mother died, Ian Lundman died of untreated juvenile diabetes. His mother had been a Christian Scientist. When Ian became ill, his mother called a Christian Science practitioner (it could have been my father, but wasn’t) instead of a doctor. A Christian Science nurse sat beside this little boy as he lay dying of something that insulin would have successfully treated.” RIFers! In a book group? Check out the end of this post for a special offer for your group.