Archive for January, 2012

Book Review: The Rook by Daniel O’Malley

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Author: Sherry Helms

The Rook!!-  A catchy title to intrigue any thriller reader. Daniel O’Malley comes to the scene of suspense novels with full of promise through this debut novel- an entertaining read with an interesting story line. A fantasy debut novel by a fantastic debut author.

What has happened to Myfanwy Thomas before she finds herself in a London Park surrounded by dead bodies all wearing latex gloves. And she awakens from her long sleep with a letter in her hands from her own past, saying “The body you are wearing used to be mine.” Then she grabs another letter giving her choices of her life- either to flee London to take up a new life or to discover self- identity and find out the culprits behind her incident of memory loss. In the process she discovers that she is a Rook, a high- ranking member of an American high organization Chequy that combats supernatural forces working at large in Britain. She discovers that she is also gifted with many supernatural forces within herself.

In the process of her self-discovery she gets introduced with a supernatural personality, her Rook counterpart Gesalt, who is alive in four bodies and is much more powerful than her. More deadly conspiracies are discovered by Myfanwy in the process and finally she comes out successful in her mission and finds out the conspirators behind her loss of memory. So are you ready to take your ride through this twisted plot with lots of turns in the way? You will simply want more and more mystery from O’Malley after completing his debut one. The characters are as intriguing as the storyline, confusing you sometimes with so many twists and turns in the plot. The idea is very unique, quite different from that of vampire stories and other paranormal romances.

And we are sure this is going to be a very entertaining start for your 2012 readings!! A lot more mystery awaiting you, so stay tuned.


Book Review: Bloodrose (Nightshade #3) by Andrea Cremer

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Author: Sherry Helms

Did you love the previous novels in the Nightshade Series? If you have not read them then first read them and then grab your copy of Bloodrose as Bloodrose starts from the very point where Wolfsbane left off. Calla and Adne searches out Ren to bring him back with her to the Searchers. But as the rift between Ren and Shay increases over the position of the alpha of the pack and over Calla herself, Calla takes up the responsibility of the sole alpha of the pack.

Calla has always been fearless of wars but this time it is the question of life and death, of responsibilities, of final sacrifice. Calla has to save Ren defying Shay’s wrath, she has to ensure Ansel’s safety, though Ansel has already been branded as a traitor. The whole world is depending upon her to get rid of all the evil powers of magic upon them, bringing more tension and horror in Calla’s life. Bloodrose is just to watch if Calla survives so many threats to her life or not. Bloodrose keeps you uncertain on who would Calla finally prefer- Ren or Shay? And finally at the breathtaking end of the novel, Calla gets her final realization of the actual essence of all the past sacrifices as well as the yet- to- come ones.

The book has everything you were looking for: love, passion, longing, twisted plots, travels, adventures and lots and lots of action. Apart from the action- packed plot of the novel, you will just fall in love with Andrea Cremer’s wonderful portrayal of characters in this third book of the Nightshade Series. All the characters are once again brought to new life, with Calla being the most powerful woman character whom female readers would just love to connect with every time. The conflict begins among readers to choose the best hero among the two- Ren or Shay? To come to your final conclusion you have to just go through every page of the book without skipping any line and your preference will come clear within your consciousness in the process. There can be no particular judgment on this point as opinion is bound to vary from reader to reader.

But the ending may somewhat depress you. The love triangle remains unresolved. The suspense never ends and you keep thinking on what may have happened to the Searchers and the lovers. But Andrea Cremer being a very talented writer, her Bloodrose marks the most brilliant finishing to this excellent trilogy and though this is may not seem to be the best book in the entire series, it is very much worth reading and it heightens the standard of the entire Nightshade Trilogy.

Interviewing Austin Boyd on Nobody’s Child

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

Austin Boyd is an award- winning author of technology- related and business books where he deals with issues of faith extensively. He has written six novels so far and has been a proud winner of Mount Hermon “Pacesetter Award.” Here in our interview with Austin Boyd, meet the author of “Nobody’s Child exclusively where he writes in reference to the myth of Pandora’s Box. This is a novel of worldly choices without foreseeing their consequences, not intended by the heaven, leading to some very uncommon consequences never seen before in this world. Austin Boyd honors us by giving this excellent interview on this novel of bioethics and faith.


What has been your biggest inspiration to start a bioethics suspense series The Pandora Files?

My inspiration began with my third novel, The Return. In that story, I used a theme that revolved around human cloning. In the process of doing the research for that novel, I came to realize that bioethicists needed a “story teller” to weave the difficult dimensions of bioethics into fiction so that people could understand and grapple with ethical dilemmas through the medium of an entertaining tale. So I set out to write this series of stories woven around tough ethical dilemmas in medicine and biotechnology.

How do you succeed to weave real science into true- to- life characters in such an amazing way?

I try very hard to take what I understand about technology (as a spacecraft engineer) and the human body (as a trained physiologist) and put that technical information into a language that would make sense to my mother’s garden club. If the character in my novel has something real about her that makes you want to know her better, and if she thinks and speaks about science in a way that anyone can understand, then the challenge of conveying truth and tough bioethical dilemmas can be done almost invisibly.  

Tell us some basic facts about your first book in the series “Nobody’s Child”?

The novel is set in a real place, Tyler County, West Virginia, a county that most people will never see or hear of, but it’s full of history and natural beauty. I used the hamlet of Middlebourne as the town setting for the novel, including the real-to-life locale called The Jug… a seven-mile loop of the Middle Island Creek that joins back on itself. The main character, Laura Ann McGehee, is named for my wife’s aunt Laura Ann Jones, and for my dear friend and mentor, Jim McGehee. Those two people epitomize empathy, sacrificial love, perseverance, and deep faith. (more…)

Kim Edwards on The Lake of Dreams

Friday, January 20th, 2012

The New York Times bestselling author of The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, Kim Edwards is a painter of words and the canvas of her storytelling is her mesmerizing novels. Her latest bestseller The Lake of Dreams is a captivating story of a woman who discovers some life-changing family secrets on her homecoming after a long time that transforms her concept of her heritage as well as her entire life. A powerful family drama focusing on lost and found love and self-discovery. Kim Edwards in her interview with us talks about why this novel would be a pure delight for all lovers of her The Memory Keeper’s Daughter.


You have already written many stories and received many awards for your stories. And recently you have released your second novel The Lake of Dreams that is going a bestseller worldwide. So how and where do you want to see yourself in the next ten years?

I love what I’m doing–I never wanted to be anything but a writer, from the time I was very small–so I imagine that ten years from now I’ll still be writing books–I can’t imagine a more rewarding life than a life of words.

Give us a brief description of your novel The Lake of Dreams.

The Lake of Dreams is the story of Lucy Jarrett, a scientist, who has been living a rather nomadic life overseas ever since her father drowned in a boating accident the summer before she left for college. Now, nearing 30, Lucy finds herself in an unfamiliar country, between jobs, her relationship in an uncertain place. When she gets a call saying that her mother has been in a minor accident, Lucy decides to go back to The Lake of Dreams, her home town, sensing that she needs to resolve some of the things from the past that haunt her.

Once there, Lucy discovers scraps of letters that suggest she had an ancestor she’s never heard of, a woman apparently excised from all the family stories, and she sets off on a quest to discover who this woman was, and why she has been erased. Lucy’s search takes her through archives and libraries and the intricate stained glass windows where some clues have been left. It takes her too on an inward journey as she’s forced to consider that what she’s always believed to be true about her family has been, instead, a fiction. In discovering this lost woman from the past, Lucy also discovers herself. (more…)

Interviewing Darynda Jones on her Paranormal Romances

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

After having a dashing debut with the first novel First Grave on the Right, Darynda Jones, winner of the RWA 2009 Golden Heart Award for Paranormal Romance at the Annual RWA Conference has never looked back and another fantastic story followed her first book in mid- 2011- Second Grave on the Left. Now lovers of paranormal books worldwide are awaiting her third book with baited breath that is ready to be released on January 31st, 2012- Third Grave Dead Ahead. In her interview with us, Darynda speaks on her writing journey so far, her portrayal of Charley Davidson and her creation of wonderful storylines throughout all her three lovely books.


When did you start your writing journey and who has been your biggest inspiration in your life? Share some of the most memorable moments in your ride so far.

I started when I was about five years old.I did not know how to write, but I loved to tell stories, and I wanted to write them for people.My first “written” story was in the dirt using a stick.Of course, I had to do a lot of explanation as to what it said, and I could not tell you what that story was about, but my love for stories and writing grew from there.I think my love for writing got a big push when my best friend and I started writing our novels together in our senior year.We had more fun doing that.

As for inspiration, Joanna Lindsey and Kathleen Woodiwiss were two of the first authors that I read that really moved me as a reader, and I wanted to be able to create stories and characters that could stand beside theirs and move people the way theirs did.

One of the most memorable moments in my ride was winning the RWA a 2009 Golden Heart Award for Paranormal Romance at the Annual RWA Conference. That was a stunning moment.I was literally so shocked at hearing my name I was unable to move for a brief moment.And standing in front of all of those people and accepting the award, knowing that a large number of my favorite authors were in the audience, was tremendously intimidating. Exciting, but intimidating.

First Grave started out fairly differently than what it is today.Charley was Harley and saw dead people. That was pretty much it.A literary agent read a partial and liked it but said the story had been done before. A lot. It needed a fresh twist. After much pondering, I decided to turn the lead character into a grim reaper. I was able to keep my basic plot and keep my heroine’s spirit and sass in tact, which was very important to me. Making that change and watching the new story unfold was amazing. That agent later rejected me, a fact that I’m actually grateful for today. I would never have submitted to the incredible agent I have today if he’d made an offer. So obtaining the agent and editor that I am working with now was and has continued to be spectacular.And, of course, the release of First Grave. What a memorable day! (more…)

Mira Bartok and Her Literary Memoir: The Memory Palace

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Mira Bartok is an artist as well as New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty- eight books for children. She wrote her first book for adults- The Memory Palace- a literary memoir expressing true meanings of love, forgiveness and the roles played by them within a family. Through the course of her own life, she realized that there can be no more a precious relationship than a mother- daughter or rather mother-child relationship and her memoir winning the acknowledgement of Best Autobiography at New England Book Festival focuses on these life-long and eternal human emotions and thoughts.

Here comes Mira Bartok answering to our questions on her literary memoir “The Memory Palace”.


Our heartiest congratulations to you for your book The Memory Palace winning the title of Best Autobiography at the New England Book Festival. Kindly share your feelings and experiences with us on this remarkable event.

To tell you the truth, I didn’t even know I won until I read your email, so thanks for letting me know! I am going to attend the awards ceremony in Boston this weekend and am honored to be recognized for my book. It’s my very first award thus far.

Tell us something about your writing and artistic journey so far. Why did you suddenly deviate from Children’s books to writing a memoir, meant for adults?

Actually, I didn’t really deviate from children’s books. I had a brain injury as a result from a terrible car accident in 1999 and basically stopped writing and making art for a while. But at the time of my accident, I had already been working on an adult book, a memoir about my time living in the Arctic region of Norway, where I lived in a small reindeer herding community. After my TBI (traumatic brain injury), I promptly forgot I had ever written anything about that subject.

But now, I am returning to children’s literature and am using that material I gathered for a Young Adult novel that takes place in Northern Norway during WWII. I’m also working on a fantasy picture book for wee ones. And other projects—a radio documentary about the memory of sound, commentaries I periodically write for NPR, the occasional poem and drawing. And I continue to pursue music in my little shy way, but thankfully, that is for my ears only!

Give us a brief description of your book The Memory Palace.

The Memory Palace is a book about the complicated and enduring bond between mother and daughter. It is also about the redemptive and transformational power of art, the nature of memory, and one family’s struggle to come to grips with a mother’s mental illness and subsequent homelessness. It’s a book with many threads running, but ultimately, it’s all about love.

How do you present the true meanings of love and forgiveness in the family bonding and relationships?

I’m not really sure, to tell you the truth. I suppose I do this like any writer would, through scene, dialogue, gesture, and in my case, a deep exploration into the nature of love and loss.

Will you kindly share some of your very fond memories with your mother and sister before your mother fell ill?

Sadly, I have no memories of my mother not being sick. However, I do have strong memories of her love for me, her tenderness, at times, memories of her singing nursery rhymes, playing piano with me sitting by her side, listening to music together, her showing me art books, things like that.

How significant is the title of your book in the context of your presentation of old memories?

Very significant. It’s the architectural foundation not only of my book but it expresses in a visual metaphor my creative process. I created a giant palace facade on my studio wall which contains pictures from my past—images from photographs, details of paintings I remember from the museum, objects I had as a child, and so on. Each picture begins a chapter in my book and stands for the memory of a particular event or period in my life. You can see the art in color on my website at

What is the social and educational message of The Memory Palace?

Well, I never started out having one. I think artistic projects that begin with some kind of social or educational goal often fail. I just wanted to tell my story. But now that it is out there, I realize that the message at the heart of my book is one of compassion. Compassion for difficult family members, compassion for the troubled people you see living on the street and compassion for oneself.

What lesson have you learned from your life most importantly that you would love to share with your readers?

That a car or a tie or some fancy outfit will not change your life. A book will, however, and a painting or piece of music, or a wondrous encounter in the wild. And most certainly, a person you love can transform your life. And also, that forgiveness and love are worth waiting for.

What do you think is the most beautiful relationship in this world and why?

Well, that’s a tough one. I know you want me to say the relationship one has with one’s mother. Or at least I think you do! But I think it is different for everyone. Aside from my love for my husband, sister and my family and friends, one of the most powerful and beautiful relationships I have is with my dog. The fact that we as humans can have this kind of remarkable bond with another species is an amazing gift in the world. My dog Sadie knows what I am thinking most of the time, probably before I do!

All your readers would love to know what more captivating read is coming from you next.

Well, stay tuned….you can look forward to hopefully seeing a picture book down the road and much further down the road, this young adult novel. In the meantime, you can listen to one of my little radio essays on New England Public Radio. 

Maureen Stanton: Winner at New England Book Festival for Best General Non- Fiction

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Maureen P. Stanton, the author of Killer Stuff and Tons of Money, is a prominent creative non- fiction author, who has been the winner for writing the best general non – fiction at the New England Book Festival. America has been witnessing the birth of a subculture where millions of Americans are drawn towards antiques and flea- markets and in this work of non- fiction the master dealer Curt Avery gives you an insider’s look on how to survive in this ruthless economic and societal system of modern America.

In this interview Maureen Stanton shares her views on her own book, her main protagonist Curt Avery and how far does her book represent modern American hopes and dreams.


Many congratulations to you on your book winning the New EnglandBook Festival competition for the best “General Non- Fiction”. Would you like to share your feelings and experiences with us regarding this victory?

I’m thrilled to have this recognition for Killer Stuff and Tons of Money. I spentmany years researching and writing it, and I set a high standard for myself in historical and factual accuracy, as well as readability, so it’s wonderful and so rewarding that the book has received this accolade.

How would you like to define the traditional meaning of “AmericanDream” and the modern interpretation of the same?

The typical “American Dream” has been that if you get a good education and work hard, you can succeed economically, that you can have a quality of life better than the generation before you. Or that no matter what your beginnings have been, you can pull yourself up by your bootstraps.  I think this dream may have been more attainable at other times than in the last twenty or so years.  I believe that the recession of the past couple yearspartly explains the proliferation of “treasure hunting” shows on television—by my count there are now more than 25 of these “reality” shows.  If you can’t attain a solid middle class life or “get rich” by your own wits, determination, and hard work, thenat least people can hope that something in their attic or basement, or something they pulled from the dumpster or found at a flea market, just might be a lottery ticket.  But statistically, this is a myth. The strike-it-rich-attic-find happens far less often that it would appear from Antiques Roadshow or Buried Treasure or American Pickers or Storage Wars. (more…)

Breathing Space: My Book…Our Cause

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Author: Ian Fydell

How many of you have ever looked up at the stars and wondered what’s out there? I bet many of you have. When I was seven years old my parents took me to see a movie some of you may know. It was a “little” film called Star Wars…and that’s where it all started.

Breathing Space: Book one of the Exodus Trilogy takes place in the year 2095, and the Earth is in severe ecological decline. Pollutants, wars, deep mantle mining, and everyday disregard for our planet have finally taken their toll, and now earthquakes, droughts, volcanic eruptions, and plagues are regular occurrences.  Within a few decades, a century at most, Earth will no longer be habitable.

The novel’s action focuses on veteran Air Force Captain John Lewis, commander of Triton Station, an American space habitat dedicated to sending out probes to nearby stars in an attempt to find habitable new worlds.

It takes 17 years, but the quest to find a new Earth pays off: a probe locates a habitable planet eight light years away. The Exodus probe transmits a video-feed back to Triton. The new world is teeming with life, including a primitive species of aliens who appear to be the builders of a series of amazing pyramidal structures. After weeks of debate, the President and his advisors decide to put together a small advance team to explore the new world and to forge an alliance with its natives. 

The team heads for the new planet, Exodus, in a cutting-edge faster-than-light vessel that appears to have been reverse-engineered from alien technology.  After a six-month flight, they arrive to find much more than they’d bargained for. 

I was nominated as a finalist in the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards & I’m a proud member of the Long Island Authors Group. I also signed over 200 copies of my book at Book Expo America NYC and made several guest appearances on Sci-fi talk shows.

I am not a fan of “predictable endings.” Why should the guy ALWAYS get the girl…why does the good guy ALWAYS have to win? When reading my trilogy I tell my readers to expect the unexpected. My book deals with a dying Earth. In addition to entertaining readers, I hope to raise awareness to the importance of our planet’s environment.

Jeffrey Buckner Ford on River of No Return

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

Ernest Jennings Ford, better known as Tennessee Ernie Ford, was one of the most popular American entertainers in 20th century, remembered mostly for his super hit album “Sixteen Tons”. He shared his everything, his entire life with his better- half Betty Jean Heminger. The woman he loved shared his success, his self- destruction and with the destruction of the family, joy and happiness started to vanish from their children’s eyes.

Jeffrey Buckner Ford, Ernie Ford’s elder son recounts the life of his father and the woman he loved in this wonderful memoir of his own family and childhood. In this interview, Jeffrey talks about his diverse artistic passions, his life, the book River of No Return, his special childhood moments with his family and his much- awaited forthcoming second book.


You have been up to so many lines of work in one single lifetime- guitarist,  actor, singer, songwriter, martial artist and a writer (to name a few). How do you manage all so many different kinds of arts all by yourself?

I have always had a creative warp of some kind running through my thread. However, for me, exploring and practicing the different forms of art, discipline or craft I have in my lifewas never a matter of management, but rather of expression. Can I convey this particular idea better in a two-minute song, or a novel? As a one-man show or a short film? Learning about the creative processes involved in expressing yourself in more than one art has been both empowering and enlightening. And educational – I keep reminding myself of how much I don’t know. ‘A man’s reach should exceed his grasp,’ and all.

Say something about what is life all about to you? What do you think is the best way to live one’s own life?

When Cormac McCarthy was interviewed by Oprah Winfrey after The Road was released, she asked him whether he was, “passionate” about writing. He lived each day, he said, with the hope of doing something that day, “…better than I’ve ever done before…to do, or write just one perfect thing. You may not get there, but you hope.”

Tell us something about your journey of writing the biography of your father Tennessee Ernie Ford- the entertainer, the lover, the family man and above everything the human being?

Several months into writing, I realized I was not writing a biography of one man, but rather, a memoir of the lives of two people; my father, and the woman who shared his life – my mother, Betty Jean Ford. It was literally impossible to write about the life of Ernest Ford without writing about the life of Betty Ford. Forty-six years together bound them almost molecularly. They were like Yin and Y’all. Two completely ordinary people propelled into a wholly extraordinary life that changed them forever. The process –the journey- of setting that life down on paper; was cathartic, enlightening, and torturous.

I was and remain haunted by the memory of these two souls…literally gripped by the arc of their radiant lives, and wounded by the memories of their deaths. River of No Return was my hope of healing those wounds; a hope bound with a promise that one day I would tell their story.

River of No Return- How much significance lies in the title of your book in connection to the flow of Ernie Ford’s life and the life of your family?

Everything. It was, of course, a huge single for Dad — the theme song from the Robert Mitchum and Marilyn Monroe film in 1954; a ballad of a man who is unable to save the woman he loves when she is swept away by a river. For Ernie Ford, fame was that river. Dad loved what he did, but hated what it had done to his family. By the time he was seriously considering leaving Hollywood, Mom was falling in love with everything that was Hollywood. It became the source of the bitterness that both divided them and bound them together. In the end, he couldn’t save her from herself, and after three failed attempts, she took her own life in 1989.

Will you like to share one of the most joyous memorable moments you spent with your family? Readers would love to hear any of them from you.

In a small wooden box under my desk, there is a photograph of two people. The composition is a tad flawed; there is too much empty frame above them, and the light is dull, but it was a newer Polaroid; color, and smaller, with a quarter-inch white margin at the bottom, and we could all see it right away. In the center of the photograph, Betty Ford, frail, gaunt, and commanding, a long Pall Mall pinned between two fingers on her right hand, sits deep in the recesses of a long sofa in the center of her suite at the Hyatt. Her head is turned to her left, where her eyes are locked –riveted- onto those of our three-year old daughter, Jesse Lee, standing on the sofa, her own eyes unflinching, facing her grandmother’s. It would be their firstand their last meeting.

Out of the Polaroid’s frame, in the room together, my wife, Murphy, and I sat with Dad and with Jesse’s older brother, Patrick. Not quite a year later, on his tenth birthday, the grandmother he sat across from would be gone.

While we were fortunate that Dad would hold our third child, Tucker, before he, too, was gone, that evening, that moment in time, suspended and reflected in that photograph, is an entire legacy in and of itself; recording that moment when the strength and bonds of two generations our family were strongest and brightest.

What made you reveal the darker side of your family to the entire world of Ernie Ford’s admirers?

I knew there would be a number of people who will take issue with, or question the wisdom of exposing certain aspects of the lives of Betty and Ernie Ford. I knew that some of that number would likelyconsider it a betrayal, and they would undoubtedly say so. I couldn’t and can’t help that. My intention wasn’t to shatter illusions, nor was it to preserve them.I had to tell the truth of who we were, so I might discover the truth of what we were, and face the truth of what we became.

Does this book in parts reflect your own tale of pain and survival that you faced through the bad phases of your family?

To some degree, but at its heart it is a love story about two people who lost control of their own lives.

What is your personal favorite music from Ernie Ford collection?    

From June through August of 1953 –three years before Sixteen Tons- he was virtually living at Western Recorders on 6000 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Over those three months, he cut 260 live fifteen-minute radio shows backed by the Billy Liebert Band, a six piece rhythm section hand-picked by Cliffie Stone and on virtually every Capitol Records session for everyone from Spade Cooley to Nat King Cole. 260 shows, five songs per show, covering everything from Cole Porter to Hoagy Carmichael to Smiley Burnett. His voice…the energy, the band… it’s absolutely infectious, and probably the best material he ever recorded.

We would like to know something (that you would like to share) about your next book. When it is expected to hit our bookstores?

Thanks for asking… and I’m proud to say my next book was just picked up. It is a…different sort of memoir altogether. I can’t really say too much, under penalty of agent-banishment, or something.I can tell you that it’sbeen described as equal parts The Odd Couple, La Cage Aux Folles, andTuesdays with Morrie, butI like to think of it as a memoir of acceptance and surrender, life and death – and of two older men of the opposite sex living together. That’s all you get.

Finally, what message do you want to convey for your readers and also all admirers of your father, Ernie Ford?

Thank you.

Observe Martin Luther King Jr Day on January 16th, 2012: Books to Read

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Author: Sherry Helms

“Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.”- Martin Luther King Jr.

The preacher of universal love; universal harmony; universal peace and universal brotherhood- Martin Luther King Jr. has been our all- time favorite hero, the most excellent orator and the most iconic figure in the history of America and modern American liberalism. His “I Have a Dream” speech in the month of March, 1963 has since become iconic for the believers of non- violence and activists of civil- rights movements. He was highly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi for his non- violence idealism. No doubt he deserved to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, for his non- violent movements to eradicate racial discriminations and segregations from the modern human society.

On the third Monday of January every year we celebrate the birthday of our beloved hero Martin Luther King Jr and it is observed as a federal holiday to honor him. Some states also observe this day as Civil Rights Day(Arizona and New Hampshire) while some others mark it as Human Rights Day. To many of our citizens, the day comes as a day of relaxation, a long weekend- but we should observe the day more actively to continue the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and spread his sermons and messages to our future generations.  Our children become the messengers to create a better world in distant future; so it is our responsibility to teach them properly and cultivate them as responsible citizens of our country, of the entire humanity.

Books are always the most reliable guides for giving lessons to our children. So this weekend you can pick up any one of the following books and read them loud to your kids to teach them about the life, works and messages of Martin Luther King Jr and what they mean to our present and future lives.

The Autobiography of Martin Luther King: King scholar and Stanford University historian Clayborne Carson gives a voluminous first- person account on the entire life of Martin Luther King Jr encompassing all his unpublished writings and interviews. It is the ultimate biography of the legendary person giving you an absolute account of his life since his cradle days to his assassination. The book gives you an all-round concept of King’s thoughts and idealisms. A must read, a great read highly recommended to inspire yourself and your family.

Why We Can’t Wait? : Get acquainted to the vision of Martin Luther King on what did inspire him to bring out the Civil Rights Movement and get it into the American consciousness and how did he struggled to eradicate the racial segregation for the African American community. After reading this book you will surely give yourself a thought what you have done till now to change the world around you. It is an eye- opener for all generations that will make everyone think that how can we create a better place to live in. Change is the only constant, so change everything that badly needs to get changed.

Strength to Love:  A book by King that has so far changed so many lives. To understand King’s character you have to understand first and foremost his philosophy of non- violence and his strong belief in love. After going through this book you shall realize that it was the virtue of love and peace that gave King all the powers to overcome all the evils from the society. This is the vision of God reflected through King to help us go through redemption in these dark times. Illuminate yourself towards a broader path of Christianity, love and humanity.

A Call to Conscience:  This book introduces you to his world- famous speech on the acceptance of Nobel Prize for Peace- “I Have a Dream” and also his argument “Beyond Vietnam” on the historical conflict. Each speech also introduces you to other Civil Rights Activists’ messages to the world like Dalai Lama among all others. This book is all about King’s spoken words. His words inspire everyone to judge a person by his character and virtues and not by the color of his/her skin. “The Voice of the Century”.

A Testament of Hope: King’s dream was coming true. He could foresee the golden days waiting to come. Though he could anticipate the Black day awaiting his own life but he was more than sure to usher his nation and the entire humanity into the Promised Land of racial equality. This collection of his writings, speeches, interviews and all other autobiographical elements reflect his thoughts, visions, dreams and hopes regarding social justice and equality, ethics of non- violence and more. “A Testament of Hope” is truly an insightful testament for everyone.

Never let the candle of hope extinguish and make King’s dreams a beautiful reality. The keys to a better world are in your hands. Take up the responsibility and change for the better, if not the best because Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

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