Archive for May, 2013

A Personal, Paranormal Journey

Friday, May 31st, 2013


Guest Author : Mark Spencer

How often have we said, “I would never do that . . . or say that . . . or believe that,” and then we find ourselves doing, saying, believing? 

My nonfiction book A Haunted Love Story: The Ghosts of the Allen House evokes the history of the rundown 1906 Victorian mansion I bought in 2007, a history fraught with the poignant mystery of a previous occupant’s suicide.  On Christmas night 1948, Ladell Allen, a daughter of the wealthy entrepreneur who built the house, excused herself from her mother’s annual Christmas party, went upstairs to her bedroom, and consumed mercury cyanide.   No one could understand why.  After all, she had friends, money, leisure time—and at least publicly, a cheerful disposition.

In the wake of Ladell’s suicide, reports of paranormal activity on the property became common.  Ladell hovered about, sometimes a dark shadow figure, sometimes a woman in white, opening doors, closing doors, crying out in the night, her footsteps ringing clearly on the hardwood floors.  Such were the stories. 

When my wife and I moved to town and started expressing an interest in buying the Allen House, many long-time locals advised us not to—because it was haunted.  I was flabbergasted that so many people seemed serious about something I thought absurd.  Ghosts? Don’t be silly. I would never believe in ghosts.

But I did become a believer, and my journey toward belief is, in large part, the subject of my book, as is the intertwining of that journey with my solving of the mystery behind Ladell’s suicide, the pivotal event occurring one Saturday morning when I awoke feeling compelled to go to the attic.  At first, I resisted the compulsion, but then following it, I found myself kneeling before a small opening in the attic floor, from which I retrieved approximately 90 love letters written in 1948. 

For three decades I had been writing and publishing fiction.  The day I discovered those letters I knew that I would be writing my first nonfiction book, that I had no choice.  Ironically, my fiction had always been grounded in everyday “reality” with no hint of the paranormal, but now here I am with a nonfiction book full of ghosts and in which I describe my awe at having this new dimension opened up to me in such an intimate way by a spirit bent on finally having her story told. 

Still, my aim in A Haunted Love Story is not necessarily to persuade anyone that ghosts float, tread, or hover among us.  I am convinced they do, but I know that many or most people are unlikely to believe in ghosts until they experience them—see them, hear them, feel them—for themselves.  A Haunted Love Story is not just a real-life ghost story but also a history of the Allen family, the story of a mystery that engaged the imagination of a town for six decades, a portrait of my own family and our uncanny experiences in a new home, and ultimately the story of a tragic love affair that reflects the poignant divide separating private lives from public facades and the demands of society in conflict with personal desire.  

Browse the book ” A Haunted Love Story: The Ghosts of the Allen Houseat   (USA) (UK)   (JAPAN)


Author bio :

In addition to A Haunted Love Story: The Ghosts of the Allen House, Mark Spencer is the author of the novels The Masked Demon, The Weary Motel, Love and Reruns in Adams County, two collections of short stories, and a history book. Over 100 of his novellas, short stories, and articles have appeared in a wide variety of national and international magazines.  His work has received the Faulkner Society Faulkner Award, the Omaha Prize for the Novel, The Bradshaw Book Award, the St. Andrews Press Short Fiction Prize, and four Special Mentions in Pushcart Prize. A Haunted Love Story is the basis for episodes of the TV shows My Ghost Story (Biography Channel) and A Haunting (Discovery Network) and will be the focus of two shows on SyFy later this year. He has been Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Arkansas at Monticello since 2005.

Love Online: Emotions on the Internet

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

 Guest Author : Aaron Ben-Ze’ev

Nowadays, one of the most exciting social, as well as romantic, sites to visit is cyberspace. At any moment, millions of people are surfing that space, socializing with each other or having romantic affairs. Their number is growing by the minute. Why do people feel compelled to leave the comfortable surroundings of their actual world and immerse themselves in this seductive space? Why are emotions so intense in this seemingly imaginary world? What is the future of romantic relationships and prevailing bonds such as marriage?

            “Love Online” examines the nature of romantic love in cyberspace and compares it to love in offline circumstances. The Internet has a profound impact upon the extent and nature of romantic and sexual relationships. Describing this impact may be helpful in coping with the online romantic and sexual revolution and in predicting the future development of these relationships.

In this post, I discuss a central issue concerning online romantic relationship: Why the Net is so seductive?

The major features responsible for the great romantic seductiveness of cyberspace are imagination, interactivity, availability, and anonymity.

Love Online: Emotions on the Internet

Interactivity is what distinguishes cyberspace from other imaginative realities. In cyberspace people are not merely imagining themselves to be with an attractive person, they are actually interacting with such a person. Indeed, the reported actions are sexually more daring and exciting. You can do things in cyberspace that you would never do in real offline circumstances. The interactivity of cyberspace fosters a crucial aspect of romantic relationships: reciprocity. Mutual attraction is the most highly valued characteristic in a potential mate—this is true for both sexes. It is easier to express reciprocity in cyberspace, as it requires fewer resources or real actions, and self-disclosure is greater.

Cyberspace is an alternative, available environment providing people with easy access to many available and desired options. It is easy and not costly to reach desired partners and easy to perform desired actions. It is easier to find romantic partners in cyberspace than at bars, shopping malls, or supermarkets. Cyberspace is also highly available in the sense that it is highly accessible. One does not have to do much or invest significant resources in order to step into this imaginative paradise. Millions of people are eagerly waiting for you on the Net every moment of the day. They are available and it is easy to find them. (You must remember, however, that, as is true in offline life, most of those people will not suit or interest you.) Cyberspace is more dynamic, unstable, and exciting than offline circumstances.

The anonymity and distance associated with online relationship reduce the risks of such activities; accordingly, people feel safer and freer to act according to their desires. In offline circumstances, the fear of harmful consequences is one of the major obstacles to conducting many romantic affairs and to significant self-disclosure in those that are conducted. Because of the greater sense of security, self-disclosure is also more prevalent in cyberspace—this in turn increases intimacy and, accordingly, the seductiveness of online relationships is further enhanced.

The above features of cyberspace increase the lure of the Net and make people feel more excited, comfortable, free, and safe while engaging in an online romantic affair. A woman notes: “I experienced cybersex for the first time and I have never been so turned on in my life! It gave birth to and brought out my ‘animal.’ We reveled in fantasyland. It was a constant daily fever—what a rush (cited in the book). It has been claimed that cyberspace enables one to have more sex, better sex, and different sex. Since many moral and practical constraints are lifted in the Net, people can more easily make sexual contacts when and with whom they want. Cybersex can be more intense, relaxed, and satisfactory—it may also be conducted with people who are not available for offline sexual activities.

A significant advantage of cyberspace is that it is different: it provides desirable situations over and above those found in offline circumstances. It is not an advantage however, if people are unable to draw the lines between online and offline worlds. Blurring the lines is dangerous as it abolishes the advantages of each world. Learning to live within two worlds is difficult as well. The price of the greater freedom available online is the risk of being captured by your own desire. As the Eagles put it in their “Hotel California”: “we are all just prisoners here of our own device.” Cyberspace should complement, rather than substitute for, offline life. Accordingly, people should be moderate in their use of the Internet; thus, they might limit the amount of time they spend online. In light of the great lure of cyberspace, such limitation is hard to achieve as the risk of sliding down the slippery slope is so high.

Author Bio

Aaron Ben-Zeév is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Haifa and former President of the University (2004 – 2012). He is considered one of the world’s leading experts in the study of emotions and romantic love. He is completing now a book on Romantic Compromises. His major books are The Subtlety of Emotions (MIT, 2000), Love Online: Emotions on the Internet (Cambridge UP, 2004), In The Name of Love: Romantic ideology and its victims (With R. Goussinsky, Oxford UP, 2008).

He has a blog on love in Psychology Today:

Aaron Ben-Zeév‘s Books Cover  :



Guest Post by Stephen Wetta: How I Came To Write If Jack’s in Love

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013


Guest Post by Stephen Wetta

Many have asked me how I came to write If Jack’s in Love. The truth is, I can’t remember. My usual practice, when I am not at work on a new novel, is to sit in front of a blank screen, write a sentence or two and hope something will develop. Most often nothing comes of it: an uninspiring character, a scene that flares and dies, a belabored attempt at wit and voice. One day in 2005, while I was living in Astoria (NYC), I typed out, “I think I belonged to the last generation of kids to play outside.” I don’t remember the day but I do remember the sentence. I had an idea, I believe, of evoking the enticements of a southern boyhood in 1967—Otis Redding and pot smoke and desegregation.

I was feeling nostalgic, although it’s not typical of me. Childhood is a wretched time. Childhood is a jailhouse of being young and dependent. If childhood is paradisal, it’s a paradise built on the dream of escape. The evocative associations we carry into our adult lives, the sweet smells, songs and love-feelings that torment us with loss and dashed hopes, are based on the romantic excitement we had, as children, every time we dreamed of not being children.


I’m not immune to the longing for a time and place I couldn’t wait to get away from. In memory the sunshine in 1967 was brighter and trippier, the people more loving, the music more momentous. That doesn’t mean the social world I lived in was one jot less brutal than now. I was a cracker. My family was on the poor side. My parents worried about paying the bills. And yet my father, having been successfully indoctrinated by Louisiana seminarians, insisted on sending me to a relatively expensive Catholic grade school. That was good. I never realized, hanging around with the sons and daughters of doctors and attorneys, that we were poor. We just lived in a small house.

Not everyone was so lucky. I knew kids who were reminded every day of their lives that they were trash. It wasn’t upper-class people who reminded them. People who are well off can afford liberality and kindness. Tolerance is easy when you’re insulated from the scorn that comes of not having money and social status. The worst tormentors of the poor are those who are slightly less poor. The slightly less poor are compelled to distance themselves from the poor and to reinforce it on a daily basis. Woe to the trash family in a lower-middle-class neighborhood.


That is Jack’s situation. Poor Jack. He’s a sweet, smart kid but he’s trash. Old friends I grew up with, looking back through their own nostalgic haze of memory, have told me that I am Jack, that Jack is I. I bristle at the suggestion. To this day I don’t want anyone assuming that I was trash. Sweet and smart, fine. I really did have that side to me. But I was a mean little bastard. If you subtract my meanness, you might get Jack. Still, I wasn’t any less ruthless to Jack’s real-life counterparts than any of the others.


1967 was an egalitarian time for kids of my generation. All you had to do was grow your hair and you belonged. The barriers of race and class were blown away by Jimi Hendrix’s guitar. We were all on the same bus. Going to the same park. Dancing the same dance. What a sweet and powerful dream. And what a dream.


Author Bio:

Stephen Wetta has a Ph.D. from New York University and teaches at Hunter College in Manhattan. If Jack’s in Love, his first novel, won the 2011 Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction.


Groundbreaking Books Written By Popular Celebrities

Friday, May 17th, 2013

 Author : Sherry Helms

It’s human nature to be curious about something which is unrevealed, concealed or not so known. And when it comes to the lifestyle, behind the scene stories and incidents involving a celebrity, it definitely sparks curiosity in most of us. In the dusk of their career, many celebrities resort to penning down the chronology of important, not so important, private, controversial, unrevealed episodes of their lives. Some of these novels or autobiographies are lost in obscurity while some of these become bestsellers.

Here is a list of a few popular autobiographies of celebrities, you may consider reading:

Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

By Barrack Obama

One of the most influential and compelling voices in American Politics, Barack Obama wrote an impressible and unsentimental autobiography. This powerfully affecting memoir is a refreshing, revealing portrait of the son of a black African father and a white American mother asking the major questions about identity and belonging. A major political leader retraces the struggle that takes him from the American heartland to the small African village of Alego, departure of his father from Hawaii when he was just two, and his own awakening to the uncertainties and doubts that exist not just between the larger black and white worlds but within himself.


The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Few men could compare to Benjamin Franklin. Virtually self-taught, he excelled as an athlete, a man of letters, a printer, a scientist, a wit, an inventor, an editor, and a writer, and he was probably the most successful diplomat in American history. Written initially to guide his son, Franklin’s autobiography is a lively, spellbinding account of his unique and eventful life. Stylistically his best work, it has become a classic in world literature, one to inspire and delight readers everywhere.


Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?

by Steven Tyler

This is a refreshing, never-before-told memoir of a prolific frontman, Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee, and all around megastar legend Steve Tyler. In this addictively readable memoir, told in the sharp-edged, poetic voice that is uniquely his own, the son of a classical pianist- Tyler unabashedly recounts the unimaginable highs and unbelievable lows of Aerosmith over the last three decades and riffs on the music that gives it all meaning. This most outrageous rock n’ roll autobiography comprises all the unexpurgated, head-spinning tales of debauchery, sex and drugs and chemical dependence you will ever want to hear.


Miles to Go

by Miley Cyrus

New York Times Children’s bestselling book, Miles to go is the autobiography of a nutty-sex-crazed-teenager- Miley Cyrus in which she discusses her relationship with her parents, classmates, friends, her future aims,  her love life, and milestones she still to reach in her life.  This is a truly inspiring story of a girl who was a virtual unknown three years ago and how she grew up to superstardom. As such, the memoir is little more than a couple hundred pages of how hard she has had to work and how cooperative her family members have been, with the real truth about rumors in her life thrown in to validate the paper the contract was written on. 


A Journey: My Political Life

by Tony Blair

A journey is a remarkably gripping political memoir by one of the most dynamic and controversial leaders of modern times- Tony Blair providing an unprecedented glimpse into his life experiences as Prime minister. Here, for the first time, young, charismatic and complex Prime Minister Tony Blair recounts his role in shaping the nation, from the repercussions of the death of Princess Diana to the war on terror. Grippingly candid and deeply intimate, A Journey is filled with amazing revelations about Blair’s close friendship with world leaders, including George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.


Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson

This is a riveting autobiography of a polymath- Thomas Jefferson. In this fascinating autobiography, he details many of the events that shaped Jefferson’s personal philosophy and would intimately define his political career. This book allows the readers to step into the shoes of the author of the Declaration of Independence and third president of the United States and is a great pick for anyone interested in the life and ideals of one of America s most influential Founding Fathers.


First Step 2 Forever: My Story

by Justin Bieber

In this autobiography book, world’s hottest Pop Star- Justin Bieber tells the story of his amazing journey from small-town schoolboy to global superstar. Gorgeously designed and full up of exclusive unseen pictures of Justin on and off stage, information about his connection with Usher and the My World Tour, plus private captured moments, the amazing story of Justin’s phenomenal rise to superstardom is a must-have for any true fan.


Browse through for getting all the above mentioned autobiography books, and to search for more Books on this genre.


Historical Fictions Recommended By Bibliophiles

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Author : Sherry Helms

If anyone is interested to learn about history in an enjoyable way, historical fiction novel may be just a right choice.  It is true that a deftly written historical novel along with humor herein is sure to be a big hit with historical fiction fans. Yesterday, we asked our readers to nominate their favorite historical fiction novel through a question we posted on our Facebook Page Wall and we got about some really good titles. Have a look:


The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

This is really a great historical masterpiece by Ken Follett set in medieval England. This mammoth novel tells the story of a pious and resourceful monk- Father Philip, determined to construct the greatest Gothic Cathedral the earth has known, allied with architect Tom. It is really a spellbinding epic tale that depicts the life and times of the set against the sprawling medieval canvas of 21th century England in a very genuine way, nothing is romanticised. This historical novel was nominated into the top 100 of Britain’s best-loved books in the BBC’s the Big Read.


11/22/63 A Novel by Stephen King

The master of Pen Stephen King has written such an extraordinary novel that is built around a well-used SF trope, the portal to the past that Jake Epping- a high school English teacher- is shown in the back of an aluminum diner is only the launch mechanism for this fantastic journey. While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a horrible and enchanting piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his father’s sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination.

Heresy by S.J. Parris

Set in 1583 against a background of religious-political intrigue and barbaric judicial retaliations, Parris’s gripping historical debut novel centers on fugitive Italian monk Giordano Bruno who arrives in London by the inquisition of his belief in a Copernican theory of infinite universe. Assisted by the charismatic soldier and English Courtier, Sir Philip Sidney, the determined Bruno runs away to more tolerant Protestant England, Where Queen Elizabeth I and her spymaster provides added protection. But when his undercover mission is dramatically thrown off course by a series of gruesome homicide and the charms of a strange but gorgeous young lady, he realizes that somewhere within Oxford’s private chambers lurks a cruel murderer.


The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory

The Kingmaker’s Daughter is first sister story since The Other Boleyn Girl. In this one, Philippa Gregory explores the lives of two fascinating young women.  This is a truly exciting and spellbinding story of the daughters of the man known as the Kingmaker, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick: the most influential magnate in 15th century England. In the absence of a son and heir, he uses his daughters, Anne and Isabel, as pawns in his political games. And they grow up to be influential players in their own right. This piece of historical fiction by Philippa Gregory is written beautifully, and the characters are so well structured, it feels like you are watching a film as you read it. Moreover, the family relationships, issues, court intrigue, politics and fallacy weaved in magically is the perfect mixture for this novel.

We wish to intensify this list, so readers, please do share and comment your favorite historical fiction in the comment section below. Also, if you are among those who are in need of these types of books, you can have copies of them from  

Mother’s Day Special: Best Books for Different Types of Mothers

Saturday, May 11th, 2013

Author : Sherry Helms

Mother’s Day is here again- a very special day to honor mothers, maternal bonds and contribution of mothers in society.  It is the time to show our due love, sincere concern and deep respect to someone who has been there always throughout our life. One of the best ways to express our heartiest feelings and love for mom is to gift her something, which is invaluable like her, as respectful as she herself is, as dear companion as she is and as knowledge imparting as she always been in our life. The one thing that perfectly matches this is a Book.

But before choosing a book, take her likings and interests into consideration. May be you want to gift her a few books to completely compliment her; here are a few suggestions from our side. Whether your mom is working or a homemaker, likes to cook or loves sewing, or may be fashion freak or shopaholic, we have compiled here perfect titles, which we believe will be a great fit to different types of moms.

For Mom Who Loves Cooking

Your mom is so special so you should give her a really special gift to let her know how much you adore and appreciate her. But what? Well, if your mother loves cooking, you can gift her Everyday Food Great Food Fast, comprises 250 simple recipes for cooking delicious meals that are quick enough to make any day of the week. Designed in a modern and easy-to-read format, Everyday food provides recipes that are arranged by season. No matter how busy your mom is, this excellent book provides instant and easy to cook foods that bring nourishment, freshness, and a variety of flavors.

For Mom Who Owns a Small Business

The Boss of You: Everything A Woman Needs to Know to Start, Run, and Maintain Her Own Business is an excellent resource for mother who owns a small business and wants her small business to flourish. In The Boss of You, Mears and Bacon give insight into start- and sustain- small businesses from the female viewpoint. Infused with good real life experiences- from cautionary tales to success stories- and words of wisdom from women who have been there, The Boss of You offers readers fundamentals of crafting a mission treatment, branding and expanding business with admirable clarity.  Moms with dreams of owning their own businesses and hunting out for a place to begin will find much to aid in this thoughtful guide.


For Mom Who Loves Shopping

If your mother does shopping for all the necessary things of household, Big Green Purse  by Diane MacEachern is the perfect book for her. It tells the mother that how she can use the power of simple but deadly weapon- her purse. In this useful book, author has offered practical tips and suggestions for which products to buy and avoid. These practical guidelines are actually helpful rather than general and encourage women to shift their spending money to products that are eco friendly. Spirited and informative, this book contains seven Big Green Purse shopping principles.

For the Fashionista Mom

If your mother is a devoted follower of fashion or love wearing fashionable dresses then The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World’s Most Elegant Woman is a great book to give her on this day. This is a charming, captivating, and ultimately inspiring story of the only woman in fashion- Coco Chanel- who was named in “Time” magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of the 20th Century. Even if your mom is not a fashion loving, she’ll enjoy reading this book.

For Mom Who Loves Comedy

If you’re in search of a real comedy book for your fun loving mother, we must say Bossypants by Tina Fey will be a great pick. In this autobiographical comedy book, Tina fey writes about her work with Second city and her eventual creation of 30 Rock. The request for her daughter that she embraces in her book is poignant and heartfelt and will entirely move any mom. Peppered with several short stories, it’s a great book to dip into the celebrities personal experiences. Your comedy-loving mother will appreciate you for this touching and hilarious read.

For Mom Who Wants To Learn Art Of Sewing

If your mother has been thinking to learn the art of sewing smart aprons, chick bed linens, handy tote bags, and many other things, Lotta Jansdotter’s Simple Sewing: Patterns and How-To for 24 Fresh and Easy Projects is the definitely a great gift for her. Whether your mom is new to sewing or whether she desires to freshen up her skills, this book is full of tips and techniques to make whimsical pieces for the home and beyond. Each project in this book is paired with simple to follow instructions, inspiring, design ideas, attractive photographs, and much more to build and improve sewing skills.

For Busy Mom

If your mom is one of those women who desire fitness but had no time to do it with work and the kids, The Busy Mom’s Ultimate Fitness Guide is all you need to gift her. This book provides mom-specific support, effective workouts, simple and quick tips and motivational help. This is an invaluable tool not only for an insanely busy mom but also relevant to a very busy father. This book starts right after motivation and then turns it quickly into a routine or as others call it, discipline. It is so important that the discipline be established as soon as possible and Cathy aims right at it. Presenting this book to your mother will help her realize that how much she is important in your life.

Think of your mom’s personality type and choose a book accordingly to gift your mom in order to make your mom feel loved on her special day. You can grab all the above-mentioned books and can access more and more books on motherhood and other subjects by browsing through


Happy Mother’s Day

Top Five Literary Crime Novels of All Time

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

    Author :  Sharry Helms

Crime and suspense thrillers have always been in high demand amongst fiction aficionados. These books, if well written, completely hook up the reader and prove to be a compulsive page-turner. Lately, the popularity of this genre has seen tremendous boost because of publishing of some really great write-ups.  Today, we have picked 5 crime novels of all time written by the world’s most popular crime authors. Here goes the list:

The Black Box by Michael Connelly:

This is a tightly knit tale by Michael Connelly who has added one more to the apparently unlimited supply of cases that urge L.A. Detective Harry Bosch – a cop with a mission—to tip the scales of justice toward the murder of a Danish Journalist during the riots in Los Angeles 20 years ago following the Rodney King case. In a case that spans 20 years, Harry Bosch found the bullet, a nine-millimeter Remington, from a recent crime to a file from 1992, which he assumed came from the gun that killed young female photographer during the riots. Detective Harry Bosch initially investigated the murder, but it was then handed off to the Riot Crimes Task Force and never solved.

The Complete Sherlock Holmes  by Arthur Conan Doyle:

Sherlock Homes is a mesmerizing creation by the most talented and literary brilliant author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. There is about more than hundred years have passed since Sir Doyle introduced his matchless sleuth, The Complete Sherlock Holmes, to the world–and his fame has never waned. This volume includes the complete canon of Sir Doyle’s original adventure stories- 56 short stories and four novels from “A Study in Scarlet (1887)” to “His Last Bow,” portraying sleuthing skills of Holmes.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie’s:


And Then There Were None is the best ever written novel by the most famous thriller mystery author- Agatha Christie, in which 10 strangers, each with a sinister secret, are lured to a mysterious resort home in an vacant Island by a strange host and killed off one by one. Cut off from the world skirmishing growing panic, they move quickly to reveal the strange killer even as they are less in number in macabre. This ingenious thriller novel shows terror in people’s consciences, and the revulsion among strangers. For those who really want to read an enthralling murder mystery, this book should really make their day.

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett:

Hammett’s Sam Spade is a slightly shopworn archetypally tough novel of 1930 that was initially serialized in the Black Mask Magazine. In The Maltese Falcon, Spade is strong enough to bluff the three eccentric gangsters with his own solitary code of ethics. A perfumed grafter named Joel Cairo, a fat man name Gutman, and Brigid O’Shaughnessy, a gorgeous liar woman whose loyalties shift at the drop of a dime. These are the main features of Dashiell Hammett’s coolly glittering gem of detective fiction, a novel that has haunted three generations of readers.

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler:

Written in 1939, The Big Sheep is Raymond Chandler’s first Philip Marlowe hardboiled crime novel, which has a plenty of the gritty feeling, entertaining wordplay and jargon, and wicked characters. The story is set in Los Angeles where Private Investigator Philip Marlowe is working for the Sternwood family. Old man Sternwood, crippled and wheelchair-bound, is being given the squeeze by a blackmailer and he hires Marlowe to handle the black mailer. However, with Sternwood’s two wild, devil-may-care daughters looting LA’s sun-blinded streets, Marlowe has got his work elsewhere- and that’s before he stumbles over the first corpse!


Hope our readers would like this list. If your personal favorite crime fiction isn’t on the list, you can share it in the comment section below. If you are among those who are in need of these kinds of books, you can have copies of them from and its sister site  

The Best Books to Nurture Creativity in Children

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Author  : Sherry Helms

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”

Pablo Picasso

Creativity is a power to express yourself in your own way of creating something new and unique. It is said that kids are born with creativity. That may be true but keeping it alive is something that needs extra care and attention. Here is the list of valuable books that will inspire and motivate kids to fulfill their creative impulses. Have a look:

Ish by Peter Reynolds

Ish is an excellent book to share with kids to encourage them that not everything they do or create needs to be perfect and those even imperfect things can be still enjoyed. This is an inspiring tale from the author of the award-winning picture book The Dot. Ramon who loses his love for drawing after his elder brother’s reckless remark, until his younger sister teaches him that imperfection can be a wonderful thing. Combining the spareness of fable with the potency of parable, Peter Reynolds shines a bright beam of light on the need to kindle and tend our creative flames with care.

Beautiful Oops- By Barney Saltzberg

In our perfectionist world, this book wonderfully teaches young readers how every mistake can lead to a beautiful new adventure. This delightful, interactive book is an enjoyably tactile journeying of the possibilities inherent in mistakes. Extremely inspiring board book, Beautiful Oops is filled with pull-the-flaps, overlays, bends, pop-ups, and pretty amazing not to mention surprising feats of paper engineering. An excellent and must have book especially for the parents of perfectionist children!

The Art Lesson by Tomie dePaola

This is a charming book written by the author and illustrator of many beloved books- Tomie dePaola. Based on artist’s own life experience, this encouraging book gives an important message to young people to not quit. Tommy knows he wants to be an artist when he grows up. When Tommy gets to school and finds out that the art lessons are full of “rules”, he is surprised and dismayed. How the wise art teacher finds a way to give Tommy the freedom to create and stay within the “rules” makes a wonderfully perceptive picture book about growing up and keeping one’s individuality.


Scribbles: A Really Giant Drawing and Coloring Book by Taro Gomi

Unlike other ordinary coloring book, Scribbles is packed with many crazy ideas to get children imaginations flying. With playful drawings, funny scenarios and fun-to-follow instructions, this book is not just for coloring, but also for drawing, doodling, visualizing and thinking! Taro Gomi’s simple artistic style in his books appeals to both adults and children alike.  


Not a Box by Antoinette Portis

Dedicated the book “to children everywhere sitting in cardboard boxes,” Antoinette Portis enjoys the magic a large box brings to a child. Inspired by a memory of sitting in a box on her driveway with her sister, Portis captures the thrill when pretend feels so real that it actually becomes real—when the imagination takes over and inside a cardboard box, a child is transported to a world where anything is possible. 

The Cloud- By Hannah Cumming

The story of The Cloud  is based on a little girl who has a black cloud hangs over her head at school. Her classmate with a great deal of imagination helps to brighten up everyone’s lives. When the whole class draws a giant picture together, the Black cloud scribbles over the girl’s head finally disappears. The author has creatively used a little black cloud to express sorrow and loneliness of that little girl. A great book to share with children who often face the incapacitating feature of being shy and giving a positive message to others about being inclusive in the classroom and the playground.

So there you have it. Hope, our readers would find these books helpful.


5 Books To Read When Coping With Grief And Loss

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Author : Sherry Helms

Losing a loved one can be a traumatic and painful experience. Fortunately, some people have the support of family members and friends to help in this bad time. Some seeking out grief therapy and joining bereavement support groups but sometimes you want more or you cannot afford to see someone to help you. In such time, a book about grieving can do wonder to help dealing with loss and regaining a sense of aliveness.

Here, in no particular order, are the top five worthwhile books on grief and mourning, written with insight and compassion for people in all stages of grief and recovery. These books are often accounted as being helpful and encouraging by those grieving the loss of a dear one. Have a look:

Recovering from Losses in Life

by H. Norman Wright

Sometimes after a loss, you feel as if there’s nothing you can do to explain your level of pain to others or yourself. This book here will help you out to find hope in difficult times. Writing from his own experience, H. Norman Wright- certified trauma specialist- covers some of the life changing losses such as the death of a loved one, post-war effects, divorce and some subtle losses, such as changing jobs or a broken friendship in his book.

On Grief and Grieving Finding the Meaning

by Elisabeth Kubler Ross

On Grief and Grieving is a warm tribute to all who have lost their dear one, from a lady who changed the way we talk about life by changing our relationship to death and dying. She has applied five stages of death – denial,  bargaining, anger, depression, and acceptance- to the stages to the grieving process and has weaved together theory, motivation, and useful guidance, including sections on sadness, coping, healing, dreams, isolation, and healing. With empathy and insight, the authors give instruction intended to help readers rebalance their lives and find the courage to continue.

Life after Loss : Guide to Renewing Your Life

by Bob Deits

With great insight and compassion, Bob Deits presents practical strategies for navigating the uncertain terrain of grief and loss, helping readers find affirmative ways to put together a life that is inevitably different, but in the same way helpful and significant. One of the classics in the field of crisis intervention, Life after loss is an invaluable resource to every human being who has suffered a significant loss in his life. It is an appropriate go-to resource for all kinds of loss, not just death and divorce, but moving, losing a job, business, etc.

Healing After Loss : Daily Meditations

By Martha Whitmore Hickman

While nothing can stop, or remove grief there all you need is a little encouragement to get through the day and this wonderful book offers the same. Written by Martha Whitmore Hickman, this excellent book provides a few highly suitable quotes and instructive paragraphs that are more than enough for those who have suffered the loss of a loved one. Filling with many needs, this book can change your mood and outlook toward life.

I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye

by Brook Noel & Pamela D. Blair

I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye provides a comforting hand to hold through the grief process to those who are experiencing the sudden death of a close loved one. This book written by two women, who have dealt with sudden loss, works as a benchmark of sanity through difficult times. Covering different topics such as children’s deaths, homicide, physical effects, grief, funerals, men and women’s grieving styles, this book reflects the shifting face of grief.

We invite our readers to comment and share if they have in their minds some more titles to add in this list, and they can explore the same at our specific Grief Books category.


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