reading

...now browsing by tag

 
 

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 Great Romance Authors of our Generation

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

“Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book.” Though an anonymous quote, the words couldn’t be truer and more applicable to real life. Books have always been the gateway to new worlds, and romance novels, as a genre, can transport you to a world where you can rest easy that everything will turn out right with the world. They introduce you to women you admire, and men you connect with, and often have a knack for tapping into human emotions in a way that you connect, no matter what background you come from.

So, to acknowledge the wonder and magic that romance novels bring to our lives, here’s a list of 5 authors from our generation, who are at the top of their game.

 

1. Nora Roberts

The queen of the best-seller list, Nora Roberts can easily be called the romance writer for this generation. With over 200 books to her credit, she is amazing at churning out masterpiece after masterpiece, with well-rounded characters, classic romance, and an ability to make you read well into the night. She also writes a separate thriller-romance series under the pseudonym J.D.Robb, who is just as popular and successful.

Image source - Goodreads

Image source – Goodreads

 

2. Debbie Macomber

Debbie clearly belongs on this list, with over 200 million copies of her books sold worldwide. With beautiful words, scenic descriptions you can almost visualize, and lovers so clearly meant to be together, you get frustrated with them for not seeing it as clearly as you, she lures you in and keeps you hooked right to the last page.

Image source - Simon & Schuster

Image source – Simon & Schuster

 

3. Nicholas Sparks

The odd man out, clearly, being one of the few men to be able to breakthrough in a genre considered by many to be a woman’s forte, Nicholas certainly has a special ‘Spark’ in his work. His books are so popular that many have gone on to be become successful feature length films, including The Last Song, Safe Haven, A Walk to Remember, and the most memorable of them all, The Notebook.

Image source - Google

Image source – Google

 

4. Jayne Ann Krentz

Another author who has written many best-selling books not only in her own name, but also in her pseudonym Amanda Quick. Another weird quirk of hers? She has a host of other pseudonyms under which many novels and series have been written, including Amanda Glass, Jayne Castle, Jayne Taylor, as well as Stephanie James. We’re exhausted just reading the names.

Image source - Twitter

Image source – Twitter

 

5. Sarah MacLean

We’re happy to include her name primarily because she has achieved so much at such a young age. One of the youngest authors to reach such accolades, and having won numerous awards, especially in the romance genre, Sarah is one to look out for.

Image source - Goodreads

Image source – Goodreads

 

Though it’s obvious that we can’t possibly cover each and every romance author out there, these are five great options to get you started. And if you want to add some of your favorites, send us a mail and we’ll make a second list. You can also suggest different genres that you’d like us to write about too. Till next time, cheerio!

It’s Only Words

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

It’s the age of communication, and there seems to be no getting away from it. And with social media being a permanent and inescapable part of our lives, nothing can drive this point home more.

But are we unequipped to deal with the sudden requirement for us to sound intelligent no matter what we do? We have to comment on a friend’s status update. We have to tweet at our favorite celebrity. We have to find that perfect caption for our latest Instagram picture. And what about those lovely people who seem to login to various sites purely to correct other’s mistakes in spelling or grammar? How do we possibly escape them? And let’s not even begin on how we have to reply to our boss’ emails at work in the most diplomatic way possible.

The trick is simple really. We have to do that one thing our English teacher in school kept telling us to do – improve our vocabulary! (And this holds true for all languages by the way, not just English).

So all those years of ignoring our teacher seem to be coming back to bite us in the, err, rear, while our old teachers are sitting at home probably creating fake profiles just so that they can correct us in public domains. (Dear teacher, that was a joke, not an invitation to do so)

So, here’s how you can fight back, and improve that vocabulary!

 

1. Use the dictionary

Sorry. There’s no getting around this one. Unfortunately, if we don’t understand what a word means, we can’t use it correctly. The good news is that you don’t have to lug around the actual book though. Just download any dictionary app, and use it every time you come across a word you don’t quite understand.

Image source – Unilad

 

 

 

2. Read more

Ok, sure, the last time you were told this, you probably had a mountain of text books in front of you. But here too, there is good news. It doesn’t matter what you read, just that you cultivate reading as a habit. So, cultivate away, but towards your individual tastes and interests, whether that’s the latest automobile magazine, Bollywood gossip column, Harry Potter book, or even an Archies comic, or Tinkle digest! Even newspapers, political blog posts, sports magazines, industry journals, or a self-help book count. Though you should draw the line at Whatsapp forwards. Those don’t count. Just 20 minutes a day is more than enough!

Image source - Reading Ahead

Image source – Reading Ahead

 

3. Play word games

Yes, you read that correctly. And it works too! It doesn’t matter whether the games are in a newspaper, or puzzle book, or board game, or even on an app on your phone. Crosswords, word jumbles, Scrabble, they all help you keep your word count up!

Image source - Chemistry World

Image source – Chemistry World

 

4. Stop using the word ‘very’

Unfortunately, the word ‘very’ has a tendency to become a bit of a crutch for those suffering from a poor vocabulary. We miss out on using so many alternative ways of expressing things just by hiding behind this one little word. ‘Very angry’ could be ‘furious’, ‘very pretty’ could be ‘gorgeous’, and ‘very bad’ could be ‘atrocious’. Our language tends to become a bit colorless and bland if get used to just using ‘very’ everywhere.

Image source – SankeiBiz

 

5. Don’t think you’re too old to learn

Just because you’re no longer in school, doesn’t mean you know everything. And it also doesn’t mean that you should. Every situation you face in life will try to teach you something, you just have to be open to it. And even teachers themselves should be constantly learning new things. Don’t use age as an excuse, but rather as an opportunity!

Image source – Telegraph

 

But above all else, never be ashamed for where you stand in terms of your knowledge. As long as you are working to better yourself, you are the master of your fate. Don’t forget, no one out there is perfect, and we are all learning something every day. The power is in realizing this, and staying humble. More power to you!