Books are passports to other worlds, no matter how cheesy that sounds. With that in mind, there’s something particularly fascinating about works of fiction that take encompass times and events that really occurred. That isn’t to say that novels taking place outside the realm of real life aren’t wonderful—they are, but to be able to pick up a book and see what it was truly like to live as an average person during, say, the reign of King Henry VIII and the break with the Catholic Church? Well, that is something the average person would never be able to do without the help of author-historians. Continue Reading ›
It’s astonishing when people say they’re “bored” in 2016. There are thousands of activities we could pick up, or trips we could embark on. Even on the rainiest, coldest, grossest of days we could stay inside and read a book, knit a scarf, build a model ship, or maybe even carve our own rocking horse… Continue Reading ›
Travel is one of the most wonderful experiences granted to us – what other creature can say (relatively on a whim) that they want a change of scenery and to experience something new? With the potential exception of migratory birds, not many. So what influences us to want to see the sights? Often, it’s hearing about grand adventures or seeing pictures of some far-off land. But there is another medium that gives us an itch to get going: literature, books, stories, etc. Reading the story of a life somewhere far, far away makes us yearn to see the places the author describes.
That being said, it is important to note that not everything happening in all countries is peachy. Many books (set in the U.S. and around the world) focus on the strife and turmoil happening within those borders, and it’s relatively impossible and perhaps irresponsible to make a booklist that ignores drama and conflict. So please, enjoy the following list, make some travel plans, learn some stuff, and stay safe out there! Continue Reading ›
One of the best things about books is that they can be about anything. Anything. There are post-apocalyptic stories dating all the way back to ancient times, and a lot of those wild and crazy stories about medieval kings and primordial gods are still being read today (thank you, oral tradition). As it happens, some of the best books are also some of the oldest books, and epic poems like The Iliad and The Odyssey never go out of style. Continue Reading ›
To be sure, some of the best characters in literature are the so-called “good guys,” but let’s face it: these goody-goodies are rarely the most interesting characters in the story. Most of us, most of the time, want to see good triumph over evil in the end, but we’re really interested in what the villains are up to. Think about it: if not for Ursula in “The Little Mermaid,” Ariel would never have even had the chance to get some land-legs; she would’ve stayed a lady-fish and Eric would’ve married a human and had pretty babies.
In honor of these dynamic characters and their questionable motives, enjoy the following list of some of our favorite fictional criminals/murderers/psychopaths from literary history. Continue Reading ›
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We’re all familiar with at least some aspects of most fairy tales. After all, who hasn’t seen a Disney movie complete with singing princesses and their trusty dancing spoons? To some, these stories are perfection and you don’t mess with perfection. But alas, the original creators of these beloved tales weren’t thinking about singing teacups and whistling puppies. No, these writers were a bit more, shall I say, Grim(m)?