Archive for October, 2012

Halloween Books for Kids: The Cutest and Funniest Ones

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Author: Sherry Helms

Witches’ hats and harvest moon,

Ghosts that dance to haunted tune,

Apples, goodies, food galore,

Halloween has this and more!

Bring this Halloween the cutest and funniest read to your kids and let them enjoy the day with all its essence. Here, we’ve compiled a list of some very popular Halloween special Children’s Books that may accelerate the kid’s fun time during Halloween. Pick these books for your offspring, and be the best parent(s).

Where Is Baby’s Pumpkin? – An adorable baby searches throughout the house for her pumpkin. Is the pumpkin under the leaves, behind the curtain, under the bed? NO! But Baby finds many other surprises as a ghost, a witch’s hat, cute-as-a-button bats, and candy apples are found beneath each flap. Finally after Baby finds her pumpkin, she’s ready to go trick-or-treating and the final flap reveals a Halloween extravaganza!

One, Two…Boo! – The littlest trick-or-treaters can lift the flaps to count their way through a spooky old house, but they had better be prepared for a few surprises! With a die-cut cover, adorable illustrations, and a flap on every page, this sturdy little board book is the perfect Halloween gift for trick-or-treaters everywhere.

Halloween Bugs: A Trick or Treat Pop Up Book – Behind each spooky door lurks a different Halloween pop-up surprise. Trick-or-treating becomes spine-tingling fun with the ghostly, ghouly Bugs inside. Behind creepy creaky doors, kids will find bugs to rival the spookiest Halloween goblins and witches. Beware the “very hairy Scary Bug!” Don’t turn your back on the “one-eyed, one-horned, Spotted People Eater Bug”. And think twice before accepting sweets from the “juicy little Lollipop Bug.”

The Hallo-wiener – Oscar is short, like all dachshunds, and all the other dogs make fun of him. On Halloween, he takes more ridicule than ever in his hot-dog costume, but one brave act makes him a Grade-A hero. In our opinion, this is one of the sweetest stories your toddler should read on Halloween. The School Library Journal quotes for this book as “this may be the funniest Halloween story ever written”.

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything – 0nce upon a time, there was a little old lady who was not afraid of anything! But one autumn night, while walking in the woods, the little old lady heard — CLOMP, CLOMP, SHAKE, SHAKE, CLAP, CLAP. And the little old lady who was not afraid of anything had the scare of her life! This is a funny Halloween story perfect for gifting your offspring on this festive season. Every kid must read it on Halloween day.

Scaredy-Cat, Splat! – It’s Halloween, and Splat is determined to be the scariest cat in the class. Unfortunately he’s just too much of a scaredy-cat. He’s afraid of a little spider, and everyone says his costume looks more silly than scary. And when Mrs. Wimpydimple tells a ghost story in the dark, Splat gets so frightened that he tips over his jack-o’-lantern. But when the lights go back on, the entire class is scared silly by a small, black, furry creature with a big pumpkin head.

Some Popular Yet Spooky Books to put in a Halloween Mood

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Author: Sherry Helms

“Trick-or-treat. Smell my feet. Give me something good to read!”

If you’re going to turn your place into a haunted house this Halloween, a pile of Spooky Books on Halloween may simply work as an add-on to your horror-driven arrangements.

Here is a list of some spine-chilling titles fished out by our editorial team from the ocean lot of the popular Halloween Books. Just go on to read these books to spook yourself and your friends. We wish you a scary yet fun time on this Halloween.

The Halloween Tree – To get haunted this Halloween, there is no better scary stuff for you than this one by Ray Bradbury, who presents a uniquely gothic, uplifting story in this book

A fast-moving, ghostly tale set on the backdrop of Halloween night, it is the story of mysterious, sinister skeletal Mr. Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud who along with the eight boys takes you on a journey back through the centuries to discover the real meaning of Halloween. The black and white illustrations will bring you shivers of terror and delight of the adventure on the dark Halloween night. You just can’t miss this breathtaking book on the occasion of Halloween that will take you to the wildly imaginative ride.

Something Wicked This Way Comes - This is another truly spooky tale from the incomparable fantasy mind of Ray Bradbury. It’s a true literary classic that would bring you sleepless nights in this season of horror.

A carnival rolls in sometime after the midnight hour on a chill Midwestern October eve, ushering in Halloween a week before its time. A calliope’s shrill siren song beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. In this season of dying, Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. Then, the two inquisitive boys standing precariously on the brink of adulthood discovers the secret of the satanic raree-show’s smoke, mazes, and mirrors, as they learn all too well the heavy cost of wishes.

Dark Harvest – Feel the chill of the Halloween night to the core of your heart with this story of Halloween celebration in 1963 brought to you by Norman Partridge.

Everybody in that small Midwestern town knows who he is; they call him the October Boy, or Ol’ Hacksaw Face, or Sawtooth Jack. How he rises from the cornfields every Halloween, a butcher knife in his hand, and makes his way toward town, where gangs of teenage boys eagerly await their chance to confront the legendary nightmare. Pete McCormick knows that killing the October Boy is his one chance to escape a dead-end future in this one-horse town. He’s willing to risk everything, including his life, to be a winner for once. But before the night is over, Pete will look into the saw-toothed face of horror, and discover the terrifying true secret of the October Boy.

The Graveyard Book – If you pick up this title then Neil Gaiman will take you to the world where a graveyard is raising a child.

Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy. And, he would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts and ghouls, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead. But, if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack — who has already killed Bod’s family.

The Legend of Sleepy HollowWhat is Halloween without the ‘Headless Horseman’ riding through the spooky woods? On the coming Halloween, just read this book and keep wondering whether the story of the ‘Headless Horseman’ is real or not.

This book by Washington Irving revolves around Ichabod Crane, a schoolteacher, came to Tarry Town in the glen of Sleepy Hollow to ply his trade in educating young minds. He was a gullible and excitable fellow, often so terrified by locals’ stories of ghosts that he would hurry through the woods on his way home, singing to keep from hysterics. Among these stories was the legend of the Galloping Hessian, the headless horseman of Sleepy Hollow. The scariest scene in this book comes when Ichobod rides his horse down the road with a constant panic as he is being chased by the headless horseman, and you don’t know if Ichabod will live or die.

For more Halloween Books, click here.

Popular Books on Halloween Recipes, Costumes and Party Ideas

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Author: Sherry Helms

Everyone loves Halloween. It’s a holiday that is pure fun and childish joy, an excuse to dress up and eat treats. Arrange everything best on this Halloween — from delicious artisanal recipes, weird yet funny costumes, terrifying music & events to  spooky indoor & outdoor decorations, magick and spells. Our editorial team has fished out for you some popular Books dealing with special Halloween Recipes, Costumes and Party Ideas. These books will enable you to make everything more creative and memorable on this Halloween for your family and friends, especially for kids in and around your home.

So, what are you waiting for? Here are the titles; just go on reading:

Halloween: Customs, Recipes & Spells – Let Silver RavenWolf guide you through the cobwebby corners of time to uncover the history behind Halloween. Honor the spirit of this hallowed harvest holiday with this groundbreaking book that guides you superbly on: Halloween Magick: prosperity pumpkin spell, corn husk dolly, solitary harvest moon ritual; Magickal Goodies: candied love apples, witches’ brew, sugar snakes in graveyard dust; Halloween Myths And Superstitions: black cats, scarecrows, pitchforks, witches, ghosts, and haunts; Divination: circle of ashes and stones, magick mirrors, apple, pumpkin seed, and water divination; Rituals to Honor the Dead: the dumb supper, samhain fire, soul lights, spirit rattles and spirit bowls.

Halloween How-To: Costumes, Parties, Decorations, and Destinations – A must-have title for everybody who loves costumes, parties, and ghouls. Here are given the best of recipes, music and movie tips, instructions for costumes, decorating tips, themes for parties, and even travel tips for some of the best haunted houses, pumpkin patches, parades, and ghost tours in the country. Pick up this book on this Halloween to make you evening  more enjoyable than last year’s.

Halloween Tricks and Treats - From spooky to whimsical and everything in between, this book is a treasure-trove of neat ideas and helpful how-to for adding a personal touch to your Halloween parties and celebrations. You’ll get instructions for throwing Halloween parties that are festive for the whole family and learn how to make Halloween decorations that will transform your home into the spookiest place on the block. Plus, you’ll get tasty recipes for Halloween treats, easy-to-follow craft projects, and step-by-step instructions for making handmade Halloween costumes that are clever, creative, and fun.

Ghoulish Goodies - In this Frightful Cookbook, Sharon Bowers offers recipes and cooking tips & techniques to cook Creature Feature Cupcakes. Eat, drink, and enjoy the creepy yuckiness of Monster Eyeballs, Chocolate Spider Clusters, Buried Alive Cupcakes, Screaming Red Punch, Bat Wings, Funny Bones, Witches’ Knuckles, and Much More. In her colorful collection of frightful foods, Sharon shares the fun of baking, decorating, and indulging in delicious treats that celebrate witches and jack o’ lanterns, ghosts and graveyards.

Halloween Delights Cookbook: A Collection of Halloween Recipes – For this fun and festive time of the year, author Karen Jean Matsko Hood presents a unique cookbook that is full of tasty and satisfying recipes. Inside you’ll find page after page of mouth-watering dishes that will certainly be a hit with family and guests alike during this special time. The ingredients for each recipe can be found at your local market throughout the year. Written for the novice cook and accomplished chef alike, this well-received cookbook is sure to be a valuable addition to your kitchen library as well as can be a great gift idea for the chef on your giving list.

Cheese Delight for Foodies: Popular Cheese Cookbooks

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Author: Sherry Helms

With more than 3,000 kinds of cheese registered to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), cheese has become one of the most essential ingredients in almost every American Kitchen, whether domestic or commercial. Today’s cheese specialty market is flourishing, and with that many once obscure cheese varieties are now widely available.

Anyone can learn to prepare different varieties of cheese at home with Ricki Carroll’s groundbreaking book Home Cheese Making: Recipes for 75 Homemade Cheeses. Here are 85 recipes for cheeses and other dairy products that require basic cheese making techniques and the freshest of ingredients, offering the satisfaction of turning out a coveted delicacy. Among the step-by-step tested recipes for cheese varieties are farmhouse cheddar, gouda, fromage blanc, queso blanco, marscarpone, ricotta, and 30-minute mozzarella. Recipes for dairy products include crFme frafche, sour cream, yogurt, keifer, buttermilk, and clotted cream. Besides, there are also given in this book, 60 recipes for cooking with cheese. Including in such treats are Ricotta Pancakes with Banana Pecan Syrup, Cream Cheese Muffins, Broiled Pears and Vermont Shepherd Cheese, Prosciutto and Cheese Calzones, and Grilled Vegetable Stacks with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. Also, with the stories of people who love to make and eat good cheese, this book is provided with the information on how to enjoy homemade cheeses, how to serve a cheese course at home, cheese tips, lore, quotes, cheese making glossary, and more.

Inspirational and information-packed, Williams-Sonoma Cheese: The Definitive Guide to Cooking with Cheese is an indispensable guide to enjoy this popular yet versatile ingredient, in the kitchen and at the table. This title takes an authoritative and personal look at cheese, acting as both a comprehensive cookbook as well as a helpful primer on the subject. In this luscious collection, with more than 100 recipes for every course, popular chef and cheese-producer Georgeanne Brennan presents ways to cook with all types of cheese, from rich and creamy to oozy and pungent to nutty and sharp. All the classics are here, like mac and cheese, fondue, enchiladas, and burgers, but, you’ll also discover here innovative dishes like fried pecorino with stone-fruit salsa, warm squash salad with Teleme and pepitas, roasted chicken stuffed with GruyÈre, oven-roasted endive with Saint-Marcellin, and plum tart with ginger and chÈvre. This definitive resource for cheese-lovers is also rounded up with descriptions of nearly 150 of the world’s most celebrated varieties, tips on pairing with wine or beer, ideas for putting together the perfect cheese plate, and recipes for sweet and savory accompaniments.

There is another cookbook in the market that elicits cheese as the most delightful ingredients, and that is, The Cheesemonger’s Kitchen: Celebrating Cheese in 75 Recipes. This book bring us 90 delightful recipes that move cheese into a meal’s starring role. Culled from chef and cheese monger Chester Hastings‘s 25 years of experience, these recipes take full advantage of the varied flavors of cheese in ways both traditional and innovative. This is a cheese cookbook that focuses on recipes rather than acting as a buyer’s guide or primer. Further, accompanied by 50 color photographs plus wine pairing tips from acclaimed sommelier Brian Kalliel, this cookbook is a comprehensive guide to the vast world of specialty cheeses.

Nothing complements a good meal with friends like a rustic oak table laden with an exquisite selection of fine cheeses: a grape leaf-lined platter of ricotta with honey, red pears, and roasted chestnuts, or a decorative Spanish tile topped with sheep’s milk cheeses, toasted almonds, and oven-dried tomatoes, or a simple Italian salad of crostini dripping with melted fontina and white truffle oil. The elegant tradition of the after-dinner cheese course is rapidly gaining popularity as a part of home entertaining. The Cheese Course is a book that is rounded up with 50 sweet and savory recipes for salads, breads, and desserts that match deliciously with cheese. Written by best-selling author and award-winning food writer Janet Fletcher, this incredible book describes the wonderful array of artisanal cheeses now available, offering suggestions for presentations as well as wine pairings and fruit and nut accompaniments.

And now, what to say about grilled cheese! Toasted golden in a pan or browned to melting perfection under the broiler, grilled cheese is the ultimate comfort food, and a meal in itself. Believe it or not, it just got better. Marlena Spieler has created 50 mouthwatering new takes on this Francophile’s favorite, and presented the same in her popular book Grilled Cheese: 50 Recipes to Make You Melt. Her tantalizing pairings range from hearty Sage Sausage and Jack Cheese with Preserved Lemon to Melted Alpenzell, Emmentaler, Pear, and Cumin. There are also plenty of new twists on the tried and true, such as Smoky Bacon and Cheddar with Chipotle Relish or Fresh Mozzarella, Prosciutto, and Fig Jam. Filled with cheese suggestions, an array of quick-to-make mustards, and tips on choosing the perfect bread for each sandwich, this cookbook will make anyone stand up and say “cheese!”

Coming from this same kitchen an array of 50  macaroni & cheese recipes for every cheese-lovers. After trying on I-have-never-seen-anything-yummier Grilled Cheese recipes, just take on some it-just-got-yummier ‘macaroni with cheese’ foods while following the book Macaroni And Cheese. More than 50 classics macaroni & cheese recipes are available in this book that ranges from the tried-and-true Yankee Doodle Dandy Baked Macaroni and Cheese and quick to prepare specialties such as the yodel-worthy Alpine Macaroni with Appenzeller and Crme Frache to international specialties like Giuvetchi, a Greek dish of orzo in a cinnamon tomato sauce with lamb and kasseri, myzithra, and feta cheeses. The kid-friendly favorite is now being spotted at the trendiest restaurants around town, and this fantastic cookbook has it all. There are even a few dessert versions like Falooda, a traditional Indian treat that is prepared using ricotta and sweet vermicelli with cherries and a touch of cardamom.

Hope, these books will let you enjoy the best of the foods.

Man Booker Prize Winning Books, 2001-2012

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Author: Sherry Helms

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction aka the Booker Prize is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original full length novel, written in the English language, by a citizen of either the Commonwealth of Nations or Ireland.

Hilary Mantel’s Bring up the Bodies has recently won this year’s Booker Prize (2012). With this accomplishment, the author Hilary Mantel adds some remarkable points in Man Booker history. She becomes only the third author, after Peter Carey and J.M. Coetzee, to win the prize twice. This triumph also makes her the first to win with a sequel; that is, Bring up the Bodies is the sequence of Hilary’s first Booker Prize winner Wolf Hall (won in 2009). Also, she’s the first to win with such a brief interlude between books.

The award winning novels can easily make it to the reading list of a true bibliophile. If you’re a book lover, you must know how high the popularity level of a Booker Prize winning novel can go.

Dedicating to all the book lovers, we’ve presented below a chronological list of books that received Man Booker Prizes for the years 2001-2011. Take a look:

True History of the Kelly Gang (2001) by Peter Carey – In this book, the legendary Ned Kelly speaks for himself, scribbling his narrative on errant scraps of paper in semiliterate but magically descriptive prose as he flees from the police. To his pursuers, Kelly is nothing but a monstrous criminal, a thief and a murderer. To his own people, the lowly class of ordinary Australians, the bushranger is a hero, defying the authority of the English to direct their lives. Indentured by his bootlegger mother to a famous horse thief, who was also his mother’s lover, Ned saw his first prison cell at 15 and by the age of 26 had become the most wanted man in the wild colony of Victoria, taking over whole towns and defying the law until he was finally captured and hanged. Here is a classic outlaw tale, made alive by the skill of a great novelist.

Life of Pi (2002) by Yann Martel – The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behaviour and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes. The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days while lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them “the truth.” After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional–but is it more true?

Vernon God Little (2003) by D. B. C. Pierre - When sixteen kids are shot on high school grounds, everyone looks for someone to blame. Meet Vernon Little, under arrest at the sheriff’s office, a teenager wearing nothing but yesterday’s underwear and his prized logo sneakers. Moments after the shooter, his best buddy, turns the gun on himself, Vernon is pinned as an accomplice. Out for revenge are the townspeople, the cable news networks, and Deputy Vaine Gurie, a woman whose zeal for the Pritikin diet is eclipsed only by her appetite for barbecued ribs from the Bar-B-Chew Barn. So Vernon does what any red-blooded American teenager would do; he takes off for Mexico.

This is a provocatively satirical, riotously funny look at violence, materialism, and the American media.

The Line of Beauty (2004) by Alan Hollinghurst – From the author of “The Swimming-Pool Library” comes a perfectly realized evocation of a very particular world in a very particular time. It is the summer of 1983, and young Nick Guest, an innocent in the matters of politics and money, has moved into an attic room in the Notting Hill home of the Feddens: Gerald, an ambitious new Tory MP, his wealthy wife Rachel, and their children Toby and Catherine. Nick had idolized Toby at Oxford, but in his London life it will be the troubled Catherine who becomes his friend and his uneasy responsibility. At the boom years of the mid-80s unfold, Nick becomes caught up in the Feddens’ world. In an era of endless possibility, Nick finds himself able to pursue his own private obsession, with beauty – a prize as compelling to him as power and riches are to his friends.

The Sea (2005) by John Banville – When art historian Max Morden returns to the seaside village where he once spent a childhood holiday, he is both escaping from a recent loss and confronting a distant trauma. The Grace family had appeared that long-ago summer as if from another world. Mr and Mrs Grace, with their worldly ease and candour, were unlike any adults he had met before. But it was his contemporaries, the Grace twins Myles and Chloe, who most fascinated Max. He grew to know them intricately, even intimately, and what ensued would haunt him for the rest of his years and shape everything that was to follow.

Professor John Sutherland, Chair of Judges, Man Booker Prize 2005 quoted for this book as “A masterly study of grief, memory and love recollected”.

The Inheritance of Loss (2006) by Kiran Desai – In a crumbling, isolated house at the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga in the Himalayas lives an embittered judge who wants only to retire in peace, when his orphaned granddaughter, Sai, arrives on his doorstep. The judge’s cook watches over her distractedly, for his thoughts are often on his son, Biju, who is hopscotching from one gritty New York restaurant to another. Kiran Desai’s brilliant novel, published to huge acclaim, is a story of joy and despair. Her characters face numerous choices that majestically illuminate the consequences of colonialism as it collides with the modern world.

The Gathering (2007) by Anne Enright – This is a moving, evocative portrait of a large Irish family and a shot of fresh blood into the Irish literary tradition, combining the lyricism of the old with the shock of the new. The nine surviving children of the Hegarty clan are gathering in Dublin for the wake of their wayward brother, Liam, drowned in the sea. His sister, Veronica, collects the body and keeps the dead man company, guarding the secret she shares with him—something that happened in their grandmother’s house in the winter of 1968. As Enright traces the line of betrayal and redemption through three generations her distinctive intelligence twists the world a fraction and gives it back to us in a new and unforgettable light. It is a daring, witty, and insightful family epic, clarified through Anne Enright’s unblinking eye.

The White Tiger (2008) by Aravind Adiga – This is the story of Balram Halwai, a poor Indian villager whose great ambition leads him to the zenith of Indian business culture, the world of the Bangalore entrepreneur. On the occasion of the president of China’s impending trip to Bangalore, Balram writes a letter to him describing his transformation and his experience as driver and servant to a wealthy Indian family, which he thinks exemplifies the contradictions and complications of Indian society.

This book recalls The Death of Vishnu and Bangkok 8 in ambition, scope, and narrative genius, with a mischief and personality all its own. Amoral, irreverent, deeply endearing, and utterly contemporary, this novel is an international publishing sensation — and a startling, provocative debut.

Wolf Hall (2009) by Hilary Mantel – Hilary Mantel gone through centuries, past acres of novels, histories, biographies, and plays to come up with this novel. It’s not the King she needs to see, but one of the King’s most mysterious agents. Enter Thomas Cromwell, a self-made man and remarkable polymath who ascends to the King’s right hand. Rigorously pragmatic and forward-thinking, Cromwell has little interest in what motivates his Majesty, and although he makes way for Henry’s marriage to the infamous Anne Boleyn, it’s the future of a free England that he honors above all else and hopes to secure. Mantel plots with a sleight of hand, making full use of her masterful grasp on the facts without weighing down her prose.

The Finkler Question (2010) by Howard Jacobson – This is a funny, furious, unflinching novel of friendship and loss, exclusion and belonging, and the wisdom and humanity of maturity.

Julian Treslove, a professionally unspectacular former BBC radio producer, and Sam Finkler, a popular Jewish philosopher, writer, and television personality, are old school friends. Despite a prickly relationship and very different lives, they’ve never lost touch with each other, or with their former teacher, Libor Sevcik. Dining together one night at Sevcik’s apartment –the two Jewish widowers and the unmarried Gentile, Treslove– the men share a sweetly painful evening, reminiscing on a time before they had loved and lost, before they had prized anything greatly enough to fear the loss of it. But as Treslove makes his way home, he is attacked and mugged outside a violin dealer’s window. Treslove is convinced the crime was a misdirected act of anti-Semitism, and in its aftermath, his whole sense of self will ineluctably change.

The Sense of an Ending (2011) by Julian Barnes – Winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2011, this is the story of Tony Webster and his clique, and Adrian Finn. They all first met at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumor and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life. Now Tony is in middle age. He’s had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He’s certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer’s letter is about to prove. Laced with trademark precision, dexterity and insight, it is the story of one man coming to terms with the mutable past.

Black & White Book Cover Designs: Stunningly Beautiful and Literarily Rich

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Author: Sherry Helms

Gorgeous, monochromatic, simple yet stylistic — Black & White Book Cover Designs, we’ve noticed, typically signify powerful content inside the books. Therefore, our editorial team had put its effort to fish out such books that not only bear stark yet beautiful looking cover designs but also have an array of fine literature inside. Here are those titles. Take a Look:

Moby-Dick (Vintage Classics)

Author: Herman Melville

This book is considered to be one of the Great American Novels and a treasure of world literature. Its story tells the adventures of wandering sailor Ishmael, and his voyage on the whaleship Pequod, commanded by Captain Ahab who has a single purpose on this voyage and that is to seek out Moby Dick, a ferocious, enigmatic white sperm whale. Widely acclaimed as a pinnacle of American Romanticism, this book is a symbolic metaphor with exemplary commentary on human destiny and universe.

Exile and the Kingdom

Author: Albert Camus

This is a collection of six short fictional stories that cover the whole variety of existentialism, or absurdism, as Camus himself insisted his philosophical ideas be called. From a variety of masterfully rendered perspectives, these six stories depict people at painful odds with the world around them. Whether set in North Africa, Paris, or Brazil, the stories in Exile and the Kingdom are probing portraits of spiritual exile, and man’s perpetual search for an inner kingdom in which to be reborn.

Eternal Light

Author: Paul McAuley

In the aftermath of an interstellar war an enigmatic star is discovered, travelling towards the Solar System from the galactic core. Its appearance adds a new and dangerous factor in the turbulent politics of the inhabited worlds as the rival factions – the power-holders of the ReUnited Nations, the rebels who secretly oppose their power, and the Religious Witnesses – all see advantages to be gained. But what awesome technology started the star on its journey half a million years ago – and why? Learn about all these in this groundbreaking book.

A Russian Affair

Author: Anton Chekhov

Chekhov’s stories are of lost love, love at the wrong time and love that can never be. In this book, readers will be introduced to love’s endlessly fascinating possibilities and extremities: romantic love, platonic love, erotic love, gay love, virginal love, adulterous love, parental love, filial love, nostalgic love, unrequited love, illicit love, not to mention lost love, twisted and obsessive love.

Oh the Glory of It All

Author: Sean Wilsey

“In the beginning we were happy. And we were always excessive. So in the beginning we were happy to excess.” With these opening lines author Sean Wilsey in this book takes us on an exhilarating tour of life in the strangest, wealthiest, and most grandiose of families.

Confessions of an English Opium Eater

Author: Thomas De Quincey

This is an autobiographical account written by Thomas De Quincey, about his laudanum (opium and alcohol) addiction and its effect on his life. Describing the surreal hallucinations, insomnia and nightmarish visions, he experienced while consuming daily large amounts of laudanum, Thomas forged a link between artistic self-expression and addiction in this legendary account of the pleasures and pains of opium.

The Stranger

Author: Albert Camus

This is the story of Meursault, an Algerian who seemingly irrationally kills an Arab man whom he recognizes in French Algiers. The story is divided into two parts: Meursault’s first-person narrative view before and after the murder, respectively. The theme and outlook of the book are often cited as exemplars of existentialism, but as per the author’s assertion, its content explores various philosophical schools of thought, including absurdism, as well as determinism, nihilism, naturalism, and stoicism.

Confessions of a Mask

Author: Yukio Mishima

This is the story of an adolescent who must learn to live with the painful fact that he is unlike other young men. He discovers that he is becoming a homosexual in polite, post-war Japan, and to survive, he must live behind a mask of propriety. This Yukio Mishima’s second novel launched him to national fame though he was only in his early twenties. Also, the book was chosen as one of the 50 great books one should have read by George Walsh.

If you have in your mind some other Black & White book covers that you find amazing yet beautiful, you may share with us in comment below.

Herman Melville and Moby-Dick: An Unpopular Author and His World Popular Literature

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Author: Sherry Helms

Today is the 161st anniversary of the publication of one of the most widely-read and highly-acknowledged novels in all American literature, Moby-Dick or The Whale. Written by Herman Melville, an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet, this book was published on October 18, 1851.

Born on August 1, 1819, Herman Melville authored a number of poems and prose during his lifetime, but they kept him glorified as a writer for only first half of his life. His first three books, Typee, Omoo, and Mardi, received much contemporary attention with the first title came out as a bestseller. But, after a fast-blooming literary success in the late 1840s, his popularity declined steeply in the mid-1850s that never recovered till his death in 1891.

When he died, he was almost forgotten by the literary world and remain unnoticed until the “Melville Revival” in the early 20th century that brought his unparalleled works high credits, especially, to Moby-Dick, which is now hailed as one of the literary masterpieces in American as well as world literature. During this period, Moby-Dick was re-examined with much more depth by many contemporary popular writers including Carl Van Doren.

Herman Melville was the first writer whose works were assembled and published by the Library of America. He used to say that “It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” So, original his all the works are.

The magnum Opus of Melville, Moby-Dick, widely acclaimed as a pinnacle of American Romanticism, is a symbolic metaphor with exemplary commentary on human destiny and universe. It is the story of Captain Ahab and his inexorable pursuit of Moby Dick, the great white sperm whale who disfigured him whilst their previous encounter.

The plot of the novel revolves around the protagonist Ishmael, and his voyage on the whaleship Pequod, commanded by Captain Ahab. Ishmael soon learns that Ahab has a single purpose on this voyage, and that is to seek out ferocious and enigmatic Moby Dick.

Each character in the novel bears symbolic significance like the protagonist Ishmael symbolizes orphans, exiles, and social outcasts. The novelist has created a profound and philosophical tale and used many references and metaphor to tell this story.

After Melville Revival, the wave of Moby-Dick appraisal continued to emit with the books like:

Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick: Bloom’s Notes – Edited by Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of the Humanities, Yale University, this book is the ideal aid for all students of literature, presenting concise, easy-to-understand biographical, critical, and bibliographical information on a specific literary work. Also provided in this book are multiple sources for book reports and term papers with a wealth of information on literary works, authors, and major characters.

Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick: A Routledge Study Guide and Sourcebook – Combining reprinted documents with clear introductions for student readers, this volume examines the contexts of and critical responses to Melville’s Moby-Dick. It draws together: chronology of key facts and dates; critical history and extracts from early reviews and modern criticism; fully annotated key passages from the novel; and a list of biblical allusions.

Books Against Hunger and Poverty

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Books Against Hunger and Poverty

Author: Sherry Helms

“Wherever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty, human rights are violated. To come together to ensure that these rights be respected is our solemn duty.” – Joseph Wresinski (1917–1988) founder of ATD Fourth World

Yesterday was October 16, the World Food Day, and today is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. If the former is destined to raise awareness of the issues behind poverty and hunger, worldwide, the latter lends voice to the people living in poverty and starvation, letting them to present their testimonies describing their own experiences or those of people they know.  Both the day are supported by the United Nations Organization, and are stand against the social evils of  hunger and poverty that need to be eradicated in all countries, particularly in developing ones.

Let’s work together out of hunger and poverty. Dedicated to these days and their noble causes, we’ve presented below a list of books that are plotted against hunger and poverty, and that will encourage every readers to take their own stand. Reflecting the status of the problem, these books bring up some optimal solutions to us. Now, you may like to read out these books to pull some inspirations out of everything worthwhile in them, and work accordingly to make some differences in the lives of starving poor folks.

All You Can Eat: How Hungry is America? – With the biting wit of Supersize Me and the passion of a lifelong activism, Joel Berg  has his eye on the growing number of people who are forced to wait on lines at food pantries across the nation —the modern breadline. This book reveals that hunger is a problem as American as apple pie, and shows what it is like when your income is not enough to cover rising housing and living costs and to put food on the table. Berg takes to task politicians who remain inactive; the media, which ignores hunger except during holidays and hurricanes; and the food industry, which makes fattening, artery-clogging fast food more accessible to the nation’s poor than healthy fare.

Walking with the Poor: Principles and Practices of Transformational Development – In this groundbreaking book against poverty and hunger, Bryant Myers shows how Christian mission can contribute to dismantling poverty and social evil. Integrating the best principles and practice of the international development community, the thinking and experience of Christian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and a theological framework for transformational development, Myers demonstrates what is possible when we cease to treat the spiritual and physical domains of life as separate and unrelated. The purpose of the book in Myers’ own words “is to describe a proposal for understanding the principles and practice of transformational development (positive material, social and spiritual change) from a Christian perspective.

Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger: Moving from Affluence to GenerosityDr. Ron Sider has been made a true difference in the world ever since he first published Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger in 1978. Despite a dramatic reduction in world hunger since then, 34,000 children still die daily of starvation and preventable disease, and 1.3 billion people, worldwide, remain in abject poverty. So, the professor of theology went back to re-examine the issues by twenty-first century standards. In this new look at an age-old problem –hunger & poverty, he offers not only a detailed explanation of the causes, but also a comprehensive series of practical solutions, in the hopes that Christians like him will choose to make a difference.

The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical – This book is a call for action by a person who indeed is in action. In this book, Shane Claiborne describes an authentic faith rooted in belief, action, and love, inviting us into a movement of the Spirit that begins inside each of us and extends into a broken world. Shane’s faith led him to dress the wounds of lepers with Mother Teresa, visit families in Iraq amidst bombings, and dump $10,000 in coins and bills on Wall Street to redistribute wealth. Shane lives out this revolution each day in his local neighborhood, an impoverished community in North Philadelphia, by living among the homeless, and helping local kids with homework. Shane’s message will comfort the disturbed, and disturb the comfortable, but will also invite us into an irresistible revolution destined to change the world with little acts of love.

How Much is Enough? –  This is a book that is against affluence, and so is hunger and poverty. In a world filled with both prosperity and poverty, how can Christians handle their finances in a way that honors God? In this book, Arthur Simon takes an uncompromising look at America’s wealth, reflecting what dominates the hearts and motivations of its people. He diagnoses Western civilization as sick with “affluenza”, or runaway materialism, and shows readers how to reject the disease and set new priorities. Churches, social ministry groups, and thoughtful readers will be enlightened by Simon’s grasp of Western affluence against the backdrop of a world where 800 million people are chronically starving. Letting readers understand how money becomes an object of worship when passion for material things is stronger than compassion for the poor, this book suggests a myriad of solutions for taming materialism and use affluence to nourish others.

Browse through more books on poverty and hunger on and

Guest Author: Joshilyn Jackson and her Grown-Up Kind of Pretty

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Author: Joshilyn Jackson

The idea for A GROWN UP KIND OF PRETTY grew out of a visit to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I grew up on the Florida panhandle, which is aqua-blue and so white the clean prettiness of it can hurt your eyes. Very pristine. The Mississippi coast doesn’t  even seem like it is touching the same body of water.

It’s a very green, rich, verdant place. There is dark moss that runs almost all the way down to the water. The sand is browner, and the soil inland is black and loamy.  I began imagining a somewhat overly fertile family who would come to live in that landscape: three generations, each only fifteen years apart. Ginny is 45. Her daughter Liza is 30. Liza’s daughter Mosey is 15. Of course, all Ginny and Liza want is to get Mosey to 16 UNpregnant.

Mosey is so not that girl! She is a virgin—never even been kissed—but  she’s been so helicopter-parented on the issue of her sexuality that she pees on Dollar Store pregnancy tests just to see that second window stay blank, as a testament that she is not her mother or her grandmother.

The main storyline also came directly from my reaction to this part of the South’s particular, lush beauty…Ginny opens the book by saying, “My daughter Liza put her heart in a silver box and buried it under the willow tree in our backyard…It was foolish. There’s no way to hide things underground in Mississippi. Our rich, wet soil turns every winter burial into a spring planting.”

The idea was that the land there is so fecund you can’t ever truly bury a secret. Anything you try to hide in that soil will take root and get stronger and more frightening and eventually  spring up into some kind of terrible sentient strangling vine.

The first thing I thought of hiding there was human remains, which I think tells you something about how my brain works. I sometimes wish I had a sweeter brain, but I like things to happen in books. I like there to be kissing and shooting, usually within a couple of pages of each other.

A GROWN-UP KIND OF PRETTY isn’t a mystery per se, but it is certainly built on the engine of one. It’s a funny, love-soaked, springtime book, but like all my books, it has an underbelly. It’s structured like a mystery, so it goes some dark places. I write an odd blend of humor and violence, fall-out and hope.  I think this is because I’m such an eclectic reader who enjoys everything from classic lit to 50’s pulp, and because I write to entertain. The act of writing, for me, is inherently surprising and entertaining. I’ve been lucky, in that I have a readership that’s been entertained by my stories as well.

But under that desire to tell an exciting, twisty story, I write as a way to explore the kinds of questions that drive me. Story is how I explore the way the  world works. In my books, I am always interested in the mechanics of grace—how far can a person go into the black and still find a way home? How is parenthood transformative, and what happens when that mechanism fails? What, or even who, can be salvaged in this inherently broken world? What makes us who we are—-our genes or our  histories?  And how much can we change ourselves with our values, our ideologies, our choices?

So I invent situations and people them with flawed humans who can explore these questions. As the story plays out, the questions aren’t answered. I don’t think they can be, definitively, but I do come to understand what I believe or hope or fear.

So in this book, Mosey’s very identity is called into question because of the revelation of the bones, and she begins investigating Liza’s wild past. Meanwhile Ginny, the unlikely matriarch, works at cross purposes, trying to rebury the secrets that could destroy them. In her fight to keep her family safe and intact, this 45 year woman—who lost her childhood raising Liza and her young womanhood raising Mosey—will get a second chance at first love. I hope you’ll give it a read, and see how it all plays out.

New York Times Bestselling novelist Joshilyn Jackson lives in Georgia with her husband and their two children. She is the author of five novels, most recently A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages, and Jackson, a former actor, reads the audio versions; her work in this field has been nominated for the Audie Award. Her new novel, SOMEONE ELSE’S LOVE STORY, will launch in the fall of 2013. You can visit her on the web at:

Interviewing Debbie Viguie on Her “Kiss Trilogy”

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

With dozens of titles in her credit, best-selling author Debbie Viguié has managed to get a strong grip on genres like mystery, fantasy, thriller and fairytale retelling. Regardless of which genre she is writing, Debbie knits sentences in such a way that keeps mesmerizing the readers until the last page of her book. Her popular books are: Lie Down in Green Pastures, I Shall Not Want, The Lord is My Shepherd, The Spring of Candy Apples, The Fall of Candy Corn, The Winter of Candy Canes, The Summer of Cotton Candy, etc.

Now, Debbie’s directed her pen towards vampirism. She’s on writing a vampire novel series, Kiss Trilogy. The first installment in the trilogy, Kiss of Night features old-school vampire lore, dangerous romantic attractions and religious intrigue.

We recently had the pleasure to interview Debbie Viguié on her “Kiss Trology” as well as her writing career. Here are the excerpts:

You have penned a number of young adult fantasy novels. Is Kiss Trilogy also a Y/A novel series or else targeted to rather mature readers, as the title suggests?

The Kiss Trilogy is marketed for adults, but there is no content in it that is inappropriate for teens.

Kiss Trilogy is a series of vampire novels. How did you come up with the idea of writing a vampire series?

In college I started reading vampire fiction.  I had fallen in love with the original Dracula novel, but I was upset that a lot of the modern vampire fiction was so dark and sexually explicit.  I was also frustrated with the lack of strong Christian characters in horror films.  That’s when the idea for the Kiss series was born.

The first installment of this series, Kiss of Night, has been in the market since last year and doing pretty well. Give us a brief description the book?

Centuries ago, Raphael was a blasphemous knight who fought in the Crusades purely for his own mercenary benefit, and to satisfy his taste for killing. Now, condemned for his evil passions and hypocrisy, he wanders the earth a vampire, cursed with first-hand knowledge of the supernatural world he once denied existed. The powerful relic he still possesses from his days as a Crusader has been stolen by a rival vampire who has recruited an army of soulless underlings to aid him in spreading evil.  Raphael must enlist the aid of two humans, David and Susan, who suddenly find themselves immersed in a world they never imagined, entangled with supernatural forces they can’t control. Susan, in particular, finds herself conflicted as she struggles with her inexplicable attraction to Raphael.

Tell us something about the protagonist(s) of the book?

Susan is a young woman whose whole world view is shifted within the space of an hour.  Yet, what’s great about her, is that she is able to accept the new reality she finds herself in and go about the business of figuring out what she should do about it.

How far the story in the novel relates the title?

It very much relates.  A vampire’s bite is often referenced as a Kiss. This book is Susan’s introduction to the darkness that exists around her and as she gets pulled into Raphael’s world she begins to live more and more in the night than in the daytime.

What’s the most interesting scene in the book which you even enjoyed whilst writing about?

My favorite scene is the opening scene where Susan first realizes someone in the church is watching her.  It’s a deeply spiritual scene for the character which is suddenly interrupted by the intrusion of something dark and menacing.

Tell us about the recently released 2nd and upcoming 3rd installments, Kiss of Death and Kiss of Revenge, respectively, of this Trilogy.

Kiss of Death continues the story and we get a chance to really meet Raphael’s sire, Gabriel, who has a dark story of his own that intersects very strongly with Susan’s family.  We get to see how these particular vampires have been interacting with her family for centuries.  Kiss of Revenge was my original title when I came up with the concept back in college and had envisioned this as a single book instead of a series.  It concludes the ongoing storylines, both past and present.

What’s the bottleneck you’ve gone through while writing the series?

I was “orphaned” right at the beginning of the series.  That’s what they call it when the editor who has been working with you leaves the company and you end up getting assigned to someone else.  When this happens it can often be a difficult process.  Here it happened before the first book was finished.  It ended up being the best possible thing, though, because Christina is the most amazing editor and the best champion this series could have.

What is unique in your vampire series?

So many things!  I created my own take on vampirism.  It is a curse handed down when a vampire finds someone so evil that the odds of them repenting and finding salvation in the span of an ordinary human lifetime are pretty much non-existent.  Vampires are cursed with immortality with the intention that when they’ve lived long enough they will come to see their sins for what they are and turn to God.

Which is your favorite vampire novel of all time?

Aside from mine?  Definitely Dracula.  It’s a classic for a reason!

Who were your major influences behind writing a Vampire Tale?

Bram Stoker, for Dracula, and Frank Peretti for pioneering Christian horror with This Present Darkness and his other work.

Which writers have been your role models to follow your passion for writing?

Zane Grey is the writer who inspired me to be a writer.  The first book of his that I read was The Lone Star Ranger and when I had finished the last word and closed the book I knew that I wanted to make people feel exactly how I felt at that moment.

Being a New York Times Bestselling author, what advice you would give to the budding authors?

Keep writing!  Finish the book or short story you’re working on and move on to the second and then the third.  It’s important to finish things and learn how to do that.  Don’t spend fifteen years working on one thing.  Get it done and get on to the next story.  With every story you complete you grow tremendously as a writer.

Would you like to give any message to your readers?

Thank you all!  Without readers writers would have a miserable existence, compelled to create stories that were never shared.  It’s because of you that we can do what we do.  Also, if you like the Kiss books, make sure to check out my other series as well!  Among others, I write the Psalm 23 Mysteries which is a Christian series and also the Crusade series which I co-author with Nancy Holder and is a different kind of vampire epic where vampires have taken over the world.

Now, we would like to thank Debbie for taking time out of her busy schedule to share with us. Check her website:

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