Happy Birthday, Cormac McCarthy!

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On this day in 1933, Cormac McCarthy was born. The great American novelist moved around a lot, and served in the Air Force for four years. After returning to the University of Tennessee in 1957, he was awarded an Ingram-Merrill Award for creative writing. He has published ten novels and has an eleventh on the way.

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Macbeth Unlocked

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William Shakespeare remains, hands down, one of the most well-known and influential writers in recent history. Throughout his career, he published a truly impressive library of sonnets, poems, verses, plays, and tales. Among these works, Shakespeare is credited with the writing of four major tragedies: Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, and, of course, Macbeth.  Continue Reading ›

Wonderful Wanderlust: Books that Make You Want to go Places

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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 ›

Owl Eyes Annotated Texts: A Great Resource to Add to Your Teacher Toolbox  

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The beginning of a new season is always a good time to consider new ways to engage students in the classroom. One way to do it—only a few keyboard clicks away—is to incorporate Owl Eyes annotated texts into lesson plans and instruction.

In case you’re unfamiliar with using the annotated texts at Owl Eyes, here are a few things to know to get started. First of all, they’re free, and they’re comprehensive! At Owl Eyes you will find hundreds of poems, short stories, novels, and essays to which instructional annotations have been added throughout the texts—and hundreds of additional annotated works are on the way. Continue Reading ›

Literary Nostalgia: A Few Favorite Reads from Over the Decades

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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 ›

Vicious and Delicious: The Best of Literature’s Foulest Characters

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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 ›

Beautiful Bookish Advertisements From Israel’s Oldest Bookstore Chain

Steimatzky, founded way back in 1925 in Tel-Aviv, collaborated with GREY Group ad agency in 2013 to create ads that captured the imaginative nature and adventure of books. They feature the readers falling asleep and sweetly snoozing next to their novels’ characters.

These even make taking a nap with Stalin look charming!

Check them out, and let us know your favorites (or books/characters that would make compelling ads you think they missed) in the comments! Harry Potter IMHO… but that’s always a given with me.

The Fellowship of the Ring  by J.R.R. Tolkein

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