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5 Great Sci-Fi Authors of Our Generation

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

If you’re one to dive straight into the fantastical, then science fiction, or sci-fi as it’s commonly called, is the genre for you. With action, drama, and technology all thrown in together, alongwith a heavy dose of space, time travel, and maybe even some robots, an interesting read is pretty much guaranteed.

Here’s a list of 5 great authors in the one genre that basically covers all genres within it.

 

1. Isaac Isamov

The king of the fantastic, Isaac Isamov will not only make you love robots, but fear them too. Though he was a professor by profession, he devoted quite a bit of time and energy towards his novels, and ended up publishing over 500 books throughout his career.

Image source - Encyclopedia Britannica

Image source – Encyclopedia Britannica

 

2. Arthur C. Clarke

Called the “Prophet of the Space Age”, Arthur Clarke is not only a multiple award winner, but also beloved author of one of the all time classics. And if you have read The Space Odyssey, go now. Seriously, go read it now.

Image source - Telegraph.uk

Image source – Telegraph.uk

 

3. H.G. Wells

Ok, so we’re cheating with this one (because he’s technically not of this generation), but then again, he’s too good not to mention. With classics like The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds under his belt, is it any wonder why we’re bending the rules for him? For many, his books were the first introduction to the fantastical and wild.

Image source - Famous Biographies

Image source – Famous Biographies

 

4. Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury, best known for his novel Fahrenheit 451, is one of the most prolific writers of the 21st Century. He has also won the Pulitzer Prize in 2004. The Martian Chronicles is another of his beloved works.

Image source - firewireblog.com

Image source – firewireblog.com

 

5. William Gibson

New age sci-fi is all about technology and the rise of the information age, and Gibson is the one who took on the challenge of that integration absolutely seamlessly. His novels set the stage for the coming of the internet, and how all encompassing and involved virtual realities are. Interesting fact – he’s also the credited with coining the term ‘cyberspace’.

Image source - Amazon UK

Image source – Amazon UK

 

Happy Reading!

5 Great Horror Authors of our Generation

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

With Hollywood finally getting caught up with how awesome the horror genre is (think the seemingly endless series in Conjuring, Paranormal Activity, and Insidious), we can still sit in our happy bubble, because we’ve been at this a long, long time. While watching a horror movie is all nice and all, it can never compare to the treat of reading a really good horror book. If the author plays his cards right, your imagination runs riot, creating a mental image of the activities in the book that stay with you long after you close the book and move on.

So here’s a list of the top 5 horror genre authors that are sure to send a chill up your spine.

 

1. Stephen King

Often termed ‘The Master of Horror’, Stephen King is synonymous with spooky stuff! And with nail-biting chillers like Carrie, Pet Semetary, and The Shining, he’s created characters that shall live on for many generations to come.

Image source - Google.com

Image source – Google.com

 

2. Anne Rice

Best known for The Vampire Chronicles, Anne Rice is a sure thing in this list. Her style is considered gothic fiction, and with it, she creates a sense of doom and foreboding that isn’t easy to forget once the book is over.

Image source - npr.org

Image source – npr.org

 

3. Peter Straub

Having received several awards for his books, Peter Straub is often considered an underground favorite for lovers of the horror genre. But his work hasn’t been noticed just by awarding bodies. Two of his books have been collaborative efforts with none other than Stephen King himself.

Image source - Wikipedia

Image source – Wikipedia

 

4. Jonathan Maberry

No stranger to awards himself, Jonathan Maberry is often best known for his Joe Ledger series, which focus on a detective’s battles against extreme science (think zombies and the apocalypse). Interestingly enough, he also recently published a back story to Dana Scully (yes, from X Files), and it’s quite the read for hardcore fans.

Image source - timesfreepress.com

Image source – timesfreepress.com

 

5. Dean Koontz

Okay, okay. We admit, Dean Koontz doesn’t like to advertise himself as a horror author. And we get it. He’s extremely versatile in his writing style and genre. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t write one mean horror novel! So, we’re keeping him here, because we’re just bad like that. And with over 450 million copies of his books sold worldwide, we don’t anyone really minds.

Image source - Google.com

Image source – Google.com

 

So happy reading!

 

Psst…. That sound you just heard? That wasn’t us.

DIY of the Week – Marbled Bookmarks

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

With Read A Book Day and World Literacy Day both falling in the month of September, we carry on with our theme for this month’s DIYs. Reading is really important to us, and it should be to you too. With fiction, you can meet new people, travel to new places, some real, some imagined, and you can do all of that from the comfort of your home. Non-fiction can introduce you to the backstories of your favorite idols, through their biographies or autobiographies, get help from self-help or motivational books, learn new skills, get insight into history, and so many other fields. No matter which way you look at it, books make us a better, and more enlightened society.

This week’s bookmark not only looks smart, but colorful and bright too. And with an extremely simple process to make them, you can not only have a set of personalized bookmarks for yourself, but for friends and family too. So let’s get going.

 

What you need:

1. Blank white paper

2. Shaving foam

3. Several food dye colors

4. Skewer

5. A shallow receptable the size of, or bigger than, the sheet of paper

6. Single hole puncher

 

What you need to do:

Step 1

Fill a layer of shaving foam  in the receptable.

Image source - Kate's Creative Space

Image source – Kate’s Creative Space

 

Step 2

Drop several drops of different dyes in a random pattern across the top of the foam layer

Image source - Kate's Creative Space

Image source – Kate’s Creative Space

 

Step 3

Take the skewer and lightly dipping the tip into the foam, create swirls in the foam with light strokes.

Image source - Kate's Creative Space

Image source – Kate’s Creative Space

 

Step 4

Once the foam has a nice and colorful swirl pattern, take the sheet of paper and gently lay it over the patterned foam layer. Make sure to not push the paper into the foam. It needs to just lightly lay on top of the layer, like it’s floating.

 

Step 5

Gently remove the sheet of paper, and flipping it over, let it dry out.

Image source - Pinterest

Image source – Pinterest

 

Step 6

Once the sheet is dry, cut the sheet into the correct size. Once done, you can laminate the sheet if you want, or directly punch a hole at the top, string a bit of ribbon, and voila, you’re bookmark is ready!

Image source - Gwinnett County Public Library

Image source – Gwinnett County Public Library

 

Alternate options

If you want to be even more fancy, you can do additional little touch ups to make your bookmark stand out a bit more. Here are some options:

You can write a favorite quote on the marbled background

Image source - The Crafty Gentleman

Image source – The Crafty Gentleman

 

You can cut up the sheet in a different pattern than the standard rectangle

Image source - Pinterest

Image source – Pinterest

 

Happy Reading!

5 Great Thriller Authors of Our Generation

Tuesday, August 28th, 2018

“A great thriller, to me, is more about creating a sense of unease: a queasiness that comes with knowing something is not quite right.” These words by Gillian Flynn certainly sum up why we love our thrillers so much. It’s like sitting in a rollercoaster without having to leave your favorite chair. Who wouldn’t want that?

So here, we share a small sample of some great thriller writers, and if you aren’t reading them, may we advise a trip to the bookstore or library?

 

1. Lee Child

An all-out bestselling author, Lee Child has risen to fame from his series depicting tough, retired Army cop Jack Reacher. With strong action sequences, a hero that never quits, and situations that are not only complicated, but often end up being bizarre, Child has managed to corner the market of thriller writing. Loyal fans across the world swear by Reacher and his infallible sense of justice. In fact, many fans were up in arms with the selection of Tom Cruise to play Reacher in the screen adaptations of his books, as he bears little to no resemblance to the physical description of Reacher. But scandal and grumbling aside, the character has become much loved. Fun fact, Lee Child is not really his name, but rather just a pen name he uses. His actual name is James D. Grant.

Image source - Penguin House

Image source – Penguin House

 

2. James Patterson

With his first novel “The Thomas Berryman Number’ winning the prolific Edgar Award for Best First Novel, James Patterson was well on his way to stardom. His numerous books have since sold over 275 million copies worldwide. He is most well-known for his Alex Cross detective series, three of which have been turned into full length feature films, with Morgan Freeman in the first two. His latest release has been co-written by former US President Bill Clinton. Another interesting thing about him is that he holds the New York Times record for the most hardcover fiction bestselling books by any writer!

Image source - Facebook

Image source – Facebook

 

3. Dan Brown

Best know for his controversial novel The DaVinci Code, Dan Brown has certainly written many books, though his Robert Langdon series remain a favorite for all.  Though The DaVinci Code was the second novel in the series, it was the first to be adapted into a feature film, and that certainly helped the series gain momentum (though many claim that the movie doesn’t come near doing justice to the book). He’s known for featuring themes relating to ancient Christianity, treasure hunts,  cryptography, keys, symbols, codes, art, and conspiracy theories.

Image source - Dan Brown

Image source – Dan Brown

 

4. Tess Gerritsen

A surgeon and writer, Tess has written mostly novels in a single series, but the Detective Rizzolli series became so popular in and on its own, it even inspired a multi-season television show called Rizzoli and Isles. Tess herself studied anthropology before heading into surgery, though being a writer remained her childhood dream. Though medical thrillers are now her forte, she actually started as a romance thriller writer, and gained popularity in that genre, before finding her true niche with her first medical thriller Harvest. Her books have been published in forty countries, and more than 30 million copies have been sold all across the world.

Image source - Tessgerritsen.com

Image source – Tessgerritsen.com

 

5. David Baldacci

While the series written by David are too numerous to list, The Camel Club, and King and Maxwell series have huge fan following (King and Maxwell was also turned into a small television series).  Though he himself trained to be a lawyer, his first novel Absolute Power was such a hit, that he turned to writing full time. And we are extremely thankful for the change in career, aren’t we? With strong characters, taunt plotlines, and interesting twists and turns, what’s not to like. On a side note, David and his wife Michelle run a non-profit organization called Wish You Well Foundation aimed at fighting illiteracy.

Image source - David Baldacci

Image source – David Baldacci

 

While we know it isn’t possible that any one list can possibly contain every single person’s favorite thriller writer, we do acknowledge that our lives have certainly been racier and more exciting thanks to their hard work! And we can’t forget the countless other who have worked to make this genre as ‘thrilling’ as it is. So here’s a special mention – Michael Connelly, Tom Clancy, Agatha Christie, Michael Chrichton. Thank you too!

5 Empowering Reads For Women

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

What we read undoubtedly has a profound effect on our thoughts. So, if you want better thoughts, it’s time to start reading better books. Ladies, here are a few books that not only make for well-written, gripping reads, but are also immensely empowering in tone and content. They deal with different aspects of womanhood and intelligently point out the overt and covert ways in which patriarchal societies try to undermine and discriminate against the “weaker sex.” Read these books to become more aware of the challenges that confront women and for some kickass tips on how to fight against the obstacles and live an independent, fulfilling life.

wink books

 

Image courtesy: Wink Books

The Best of Everything – Rona Jaffe

If you loved Sex and the City, you’ll love this book too. The book has a group of 20-something women as its protagonists and these optimistic, ambitious young adults are trying to advance their careers and explore their sexual desires in a world that’s run by men. Read this book to feel understood, accepted and loved.

Bad Feminist – Roxane Gay

The book presents a bunch of well-written essays that articulate Roxane’s thoughts on some very complex issues related to feminism, race and class. The text is humorous but insightful, moving but not preachy. Read this book to understand why it’s better to be a “bad feminist than no feminist at all.”

Wasted – Marya Hornbacher

We’re all worried about our weights and are guilty of calorie counting and binge dieting. Marya presents her own struggle with two eating disorders – anorexia and bulimia. Her memoir is gripping, honest and humorous.

Bossypants – Tina Fey

Tina Fey is one of the most popular female comedians of our time. We’ve loved her work on Saturday Night Live and now she has a book that discusses her experience working for this brilliant show and what her journey as a female comedian has been like. The book is humorous and insightful and helps you get to know this wonderful performer better.

The Gutsy Girl (Escapades for your Life of Epic Adventure) – Caroline Paul

This is for all the ladies who love an adrenaline rush. By revealing her own adventures, the author motivates women to take on adventurous activities too. Why should women think that ‘risky’ hobbies and careers like mountain climbing or fire-fighting is not for them? After you read this book, you’ll want to explore both these activities and more!

Happy reading, ladies!

Top Quotes by Paulo Coelho

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Paulo Coelho’s writing is profound and inspirational. He understands the human condition well and this helps him write the way he does. In each story, we find something to learn. His philosophically-charged sentences comment on universal truths and help us make our peace with them. From love and loss to hope and hurt, his wise musings help us put things in perspective. Here are some of his sagacious sayings:

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Miniature Art: Little Things, Big Impressions

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

When people say ‘size matters,’ they usually mean ‘big is better.’ But, some artists have taken it upon themselves to prove to us that this need not always be the case. Welcome to the compact world of miniature art, where tiny creations rule the roost. When we say tiny, we mean minute, minuscule, so small that the creation fits in the palm of your hand or even, in the eye of a needle. Unsure if such petite wonders actually exist? Well, they do and a lot of artists have begun exploring this form of art. Creating miniature art is immensely challenging because you need oodles of patience, skill and of course, a very steady hand to get the details right, not to mention good eyesight. Yet, the end product is so unique and charming that they become instant hits with whoever spies them. Hence, these creations sell at exorbitant prices and honestly, we don’t mind loosening our purse strings if we stood a chance to own something as exquisite as this.

Still not convinced of the marvelousness of these tiny wonders? Here are a few example of miniature art to help you make up your mind.

Miniature Tattoos

We are not talking about minimalist tattoos, but miniature ones, where entire images or scenes are shrunk to fit into a tiny surface area. Eva Krbdk is a Turkish tattoo artist who has mastered the art of creating miniature tattoos. Here are some of her works.

bored panda 2

bored panda 1

 

Image courtesy: Bored Panda Art

Miniature Sculptures

There was a time when people got a kick out of creating larger than life sculptures. Michelangelo’s David and Rodin’s Thinker stand as shining example of this train if thought. However, today, sculptors have begun finding joy in creating masterpieces of just the opposite kind, the smaller than normal kind. Here is an artist who creates tiny replicas of mouth-watering dishes using polymer clay. To view more of her creations, visit her website: http://fairchildartminiatures.com/

fairchildartminiatures 2

fairchildartminiatures

 

Image courtesy: Fair child art

Miniature Paintings

Painting is a difficult art form, you have to be an astute observer to notice the tiniest details to include them in your painting. Also, you must have the patience to do and re-do every brushstroke as many times as required to make your painting seem life-like. Now, imagine if this painting was about an inch and a half tall. How much more careful, patient and diligent would you need to be to make a detailed, striking painting? Artist Lorraine Loots paints miniature paintings of animals, cosmic bodies, her favourite books and everyday objects. View more of her work on her website: http://lorraineloots.com/

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Image courtesy: Bored Panda

Miniature Books

Reading the fine print is not an easy task, literally and metaphorically. But, that’s exactly what you’ll have to do is you want to own one of these ant-sized works. Those with a craze for shrinking things have set their sights on comprehensive works like the Bible or the tales of the Bard, and have set about compressing them into inch-sized books. Take a look at some of these books here:

finding shakespeare

Image courtesy: Finding Shakespeare

 

minibooks7

 

Image courtesy: minibooks7

Well, clearly there’s a need to tweak the old adage ‘Big is Better.’ Maybe it should be something on the lines of Big is Better, but Small is Special!’