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Book Covers That Are Honest: Our 24 Favorites

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honest book covers

Don’t judge a book by its cover? We’d never! However, what if book covers were actually honest? What would they say? Book covers don’t always prepare us for what’s really inside.

Let’s start with the Bible book cover

There are so many book covers for the Bible, Although we don’t mean to be irreverent, this one will give you a laugh.

bible book covers

Night Shift by Stephen King book covers

We love Stephen King books, However, this book cover of Night Shift pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it?

Stephen King night shift book covers

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger book covers

Even The Catcher in the Rye wasn’t immune to funny interpretations of book covers by the folks at Cracked. Moreover, this cover is perfect.

the catcher in the rye book covers

I Love You Forever by Robert Munsch and Sheila McGraw

One of our favorite children’s books of all time. Correspondingly, here is I Love You Forever with a new totally honest cover!

I love you forever book covers

The Kama Sutra book covers

One of the most read books of all time, the Kama Sutra gets a brand new funny book cover. Additionally, this cover is perfect.

Kama Sutra book covers

Where the Red Fern Grows book covers

Who didn’t cry when they read Where the Red Fern Grows? Well, here it is with a classic new honest book cover.

where the red fern grows book cover

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

R.I.P. Stephen Hawking, you incredible beautiful genius. However, your most memorable book, A Brief History of Time, is hella boring to simple folks like us. Sorry and xoxoxo.

A brief history of time covers

Grimm’s Fairy Tales book covers

Although they’re they classic fairy tales, the Grimm’s Fairy Tales are pretty GRIM. Equally important, we imagine they’ve given plenty of children nightmares, regardless of the book cover!

Grimm's Fairy Tales covers

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

We love this book cover of the classic Hamlet. And we love how Disney adapted Hamlet with The Lion King. Who woulda thunk it?

Hamlet Lion King Book Covers

It by Stephen King

Oh, how we love the Master of Horror. Not sure about this funny book cover, but we bet Stephen King would get a kick out if because he has a good sense of humor.

Stephen King It book covers

Charlotte’s Web

The book Charlotte’s Web is such a beautiful children’s story. However, do you ever think about how creepy it really is?

Charlotte's Web book covers

Watership Down by Richard Adams book cover

Indeed, talking bunnies doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for children. Furthermore, we love this book cover of the classic Watership Down.

Watership Down book cover

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

It’s not often a book title becomes so popular that it becomes a part of a language. Catch-22’s book cover is perfect with this cover!

catch-22 book cover

2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur Clarke

In other words, to be able to say you read 2001: A Space Odyssey. Furthermore, just watch the movie and then smugly explain “the book” to your friends.

2001 a space odyssey book cover

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen book covers

This honest book cover of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice is perfect and so accurate.

pride & prejudice book covers

Animal Farm by George Orwell book covers

If you’re looking for a book cover of Animal Farm, this should do it. However, we’re sort of living Animal Farm now as a society…

animal farm by george orwell

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Absolutely, we need feminism and antibiotics, and Little Women proves that. Thankful for medical advances for sure!

Little women book covers

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Best book cover on our list! Therefore, this perfect describes Lord of the Flies.

Lord of the flies book cover

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein

A Stranger in a Strange Land book cover gets a makeover. Seriously, why did no one notice this before?

stranger in a strange land covers

War and Peace by Tolstoy

If you’ve read War and Peace, kudos for you for reading such a long ass book. Therefore, this cover is perfect. Thank goodness for Cliff Notes.

war and peace covers cliff notes

Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Yes all men deserves a mention sometimes. In Tess of D’Urberbvilles, this is an honest book cover.

tess of the d'urbervilles book cover

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James book covers

Even The Turn of the Screw, one of the most classic ghost stories of all time, didn’t escape this list of hilarious honest book covers.

the turn of the screw covers book

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradberry

Although Fahrenheit 451 book covers are beautiful, this one got a makeover.

Farrenheit 451 book cover

Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

We have a feeling fans of Game of Thrones will find this Game of Thrones book cover hilarious.

game of thrones book cover

We found this hilarious post at Cracked. Furthermore, all images of book covers via Cracked.

 

Why Utilize Customer Satisfaction Surveys?

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Drop shipping is a very convenient, easy-to-run online website. It is virtually risk-free, requires a minimum investment, and most of the work is performed by the drop shipper. Somebody that usually still a home-based business that must be-be managed properly. Failure to implement this will provide you with unhappy customers and unfilled does. If you want your drop shipping business to succeed, require to manage it well and provide good client support.

The issue, not the support nevertheless the limitations IT-management puts on lawyers–absent abuse lawyers need access to many applications and hardware that it is hesitant to give. A legal professional especially somebody is allowed more courtesy and hope. Just one example may be the blackberry issue — house tell you it’s dead believe me –do not quote policy at me about price a new blackberry. My lost productivity will get hold of 100 blackberries or increasing.

When you hook to develop a DS3 connection, a guru solution provider such as Qwest or even Covad offers the last mile cable for without charge. Now, this is really a relevant feature any kind of master solution provider since last mile cable will set you back the company a few dollars particularly when you are out of this coverage area for DSL connection along the lines of. That is why characteristic is really appreciated with consumers knowing that would reflect in the mykfcexperience customer satisfaction survey. As a result one from the enviable attainments of profitable business – as soon as you become 1 in a mykfcexperience customer satisfaction survey.

Today’s customers are a lot savvier, thanks to consumer advocacy groups, the media, and the Internet. 1 likes to be able to fool – even somewhat. If customers find out they have been, they will not just take their business elsewhere, they will do their utmost to spread the word.

You’ve must try to end them dead in their tracks this headline. Use the best utilize your product, and create interest so as read always on. Make it hard-hitting, but not unbelievable.

Let’s say our average sales expenditure is $500. It is vital $200,000 in any revenues. It indicates for changing campaign (the same dollar spent) you’ve more than doubled profits. Like panning for gold and making sure you collect every nugget.

You exactly what I loathe? Automated answering equipment. I realize they’re necessarily the majority of instances, but to have to punch 5 or 6 buttons so as to get parceled into the right category, only to hang up with my question or problem unsatisfied is far more than frustrating to us a. I would rather have toothpicks shoved up my fingernails. Okay, maybe and not.but you get the place.

If the goal is to call or perhaps be called, insert just one or maybe two relevant “key questions” available to act on. Make the rest of the survey questions painless. OK, I gotta go. I have some stuff to try and do on the web – my wife just left to go food purchasing for the week at the 7-11 and she’ll return in twenty minutes.

26 Books For Introverts That Will Totally Speak To Your Introverted Soul

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books introverts should read books for introverts

This article about books for introverts was originally published by Amy Sachs, and we’ve added 12 books to her list.

Not all introverts are book-lovers, and not all book-lovers are introverts. There is, however, definitely some crossover.

As both a book-lover and an introvert myself, I’ve found that there are a ton of books that really speak to introverts. I’ve read the books for introverts on these list, and found myself totally identifying with the dialogue, or wishing I could tell the characters how much I agreed with what was going on inside their heads. (Except, you know, I wouldn’t do that, since I’m an introvert. But I’d TOTALLY THINK IT.)

If you want to know more about the silent powers of introverts, try Susan Cain’s Quiet. If you want to feel completely understood, then Tell the Wolves I’m Home might be just the book for you. No matter what you’re looking for — or if you just like things a little on the quiet side — take a look at this list of 14 books all introverts should read.

1. Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Amazon

It’s 1987, and June Elbus has lost her best friend in the world, her uncle Finn. June is 14, and reserved in a way her sister, Greta, will never understand. They used to be so close, but now, the only comfort June can find is in the woods, where she is free to think and be alone without the painful eyes of other people on her. As June finds out more about her uncle, and comes to learn more about herself, her family, and the world itself. This perfectly quiet novel will make any shy or introverted person feel immediately understood.

2. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Books for introverts ready player one
Amazon

It’s 2044, and the world is falling apart. Ernest Cline’s bestselling first novel tells the story of Wade Watts, a teenager who has almost completely removed himself from reality in order to pursue an “Easter Egg” within a video game to win a billion dollar prize. Wade, and the rest of the world, would rather communicate via virtual reality than actual reality, they feel more themselves tucked away, a feeling most introverts know all too well.

3. The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison

books for introverts empathy exams
Amazon

Leslie Jamison takes a look into the inner workings of people you might never have known about: runners of the most intense race around, people who believe they have tiny fibers inside them that they just have to get out. These people are misunderstood, they’re quiet, they’re introverts, they’re looking for a place in the world. You will feel empathy and so much more through Leslie Jamison’s exploration of the people slipping through the cracks.

4. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

books for introverts fangirl
Amazon

Cath, the fangirl in question, is basically a professional fangirl. She writes fan fiction about her favorite series in the world: Simon Snow. She has thousands of follows waiting impatiently for her next installment, and a twin sister who seems to have grow out of their once shared obsession. When Cath and Wren get to college, they fall in with different crowds: Cath with quiet writers like herself, and Wren with a more outgoing group. Fangirls everywhere will connect with Cath and her struggle to join her fan-life with her “real life.”

5. Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

books for introverts where you go bernadette
Amazon

Bernadette might be the ultimate introvert in literature. She would rather disappear from her daughter’s life all together than take a trip to Antarctica, because other people will be there. While we’ve surely all felt this way at one time or another, Bernadette takes introversion and dislike of crowds to an entirely new, hilarious level.

6. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

books for introverts quiet susan cain
Amazon

Susan Cain takes a scientific look at introverts, and the quiet power they hold, even in a society that seems to grow louder and louder every day. A must read for any and all introverts who could use a little empowerment every now and then.

7. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

books for introverts perks wallflower
Amazon

It wouldn’t be a list about being an introvert without this one. Stephen Chbosky (literally) wrote the book on it. There’s a good chance you read The Perks of Being a Wallflower at some point in high school and related so well to Charlie that you couldn’t quite believe it. He’s quiet, he just wants to read his books, go to school, and make things work, and, sometimes, he just can’t put those things into words. Been there, felt that.

8. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

books for introverts girl dragon tattoo
Amazon

Lisbeth Salander is (fictional) proof that you can be a complete badass, while still not wanting to talk to people. Stopping international espionage is no problem. Going under cover? fine? Lisbeth just doesn’t want to have a conversation about it before she puts a stop to it.

9. Walden by Henry David Thoreau

books for introverts walden
Amazon

I like to think Thoreau would have a lot to say about introverts and the power of being quiet and enjoying time alone. I mean, he did go to live in the woods, alone, to enjoy and be one with nature. Walden is the perfect companion for when you just want to be alone yourself, by someone who was a complete pro at it.

10. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

books for introverts tree grows brooklyn
Amazon

Francie Nolan turns to books for comfort, escapes out to her fire escape for alone time, and in general, is one of the best fictional introverts around. Best of all? Francie knows that sometimes, you just need to appreciate the quiet, small things around you.

11. Glaciers by by Alexis M. Smith

books for introverts glaciers
Amazon

This tiny book packs a much bigger punch than meets the eye. Told over the course of a single day, Glaciers is the story of one woman, a quiet library employee, making her way through life. She thinks more than she speaks, but the novel moves along almost dreamily. It’s perfect for quiet people, and can be devoured in a day, but should really be spread out as much as you can.

12. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

books for introverts goldfinch
Amazon

The Goldfinch features the ultimate dynamic: the introverted, shy friend joined by the incredibly spunky, outgoing best friend. Tartt’s writing has so much to it, but one of the best parts by far is the friendship between Theo and Boris. An introvert brought out of his shell and pushed by an extroverted friend is something all introverts have experience at least once!

13. Subliminal: How Your Conscious Mind Rules Your Behavior by Leonard Mlodinow

books for introverts subliminal
Amazon

Mlodinow explains why we do the things we do. How, as the title says, our subconscious minds rule even our unconscious behaviors and actions. An amazing read for anyone who wants to find out exactly why people are the way they are. Like, for example, why introverts can be so quiet one minute, but feel social the next.

14. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

books for introverts sherlock holmes
Amazon

Sherlock definitely has the qualities of an introvert, even if he is a little more vocal than some of us when it comes to voicing certain things. Kind of like Lisbeth Salander, he’s ridiculously smart, and he knows it: but he probably won’t vocalize his process as he does it.

15. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

books for introverts the great gatsby
Amazon

Though the iconic image of Gatsby centers around a glittering, pulse-pounding party, Jay and the narrator, Nick, aren’t exactly party animals. If anything, Gatsby seems to be about two introverts lost in a world built for extroverts. Nick, who is quiet and observant, tends to remain in the background of social events, rarely speaking without a good reason. Though he becomes close to Jay Gatsby, he doesn’t evince much interest in the more marginal characters in the book (thus their marginality in the narrative). Meanwhile, Jay throws decadent parties and surrounds himself with socialites, but he clearly finds the events taxing and only wants to be alone with his beloved, Daisy. In fact, he’s been methodically working on a plan to win her back for years, and building castles in the air about the life they’ll have together. Gatsby beautifully captures what it can feel like to be the wallflower at the hoppin’ party.

16. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

books introverts should read jane eyre
Amazon

Jane can be passionate and fiery when it comes to her rights as a person, but for the most part she’s a quiet, unobtrusive presence. Capable of forming profound attachments to others, she cares little for the company of those who are not among her chosen few loved ones. A stimulating conversation with her friend Helen or Mr. Rochester is more than enough to fill her with happiness, and larger social gatherings leave her cold. Jane enjoys her solitary time, dreaming wild dreams or working on paintings; though she isn’t a highly skilled artist, she plans her pieces carefully and executes them thoroughly. Much of Jane Eyre is spent inside Jane’s active, contemplative mind, an effect heightened by the fact that Brontë physically isolates Jane by mostly depicting her in rural settings where she rarely needs to interact with others. And though Jane seems to dream of far-off adventures, in reality she is frightened by the possibility of traveling to India as a missionary, and the lonely moors of England are more than enough for her as long as she’s accompanied by a kindred spirit like Mr. Rochester.

17. The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

books for introverts complete sherlock holmes
Amazon

The great detective uses cocaine and tobacco, chases adrenaline highs, and talks to strangers as part of his job: There’s no denying he has extraverted qualities. But his introverted ones are arguably more intense. His need to decompress for days or weeks after a thrilling case bespeaks a need to recharge in solitude; his hours of violin practice or couch-sprawling contemplation testify to his highly developed inner world, attraction to deliberate thought, and lack of need for socializing. While Holmes displays deep affection (very occasionally) for his flatmate and constant companion, Dr. Watson, he doesn’t seek other company — even that of his own brother. Any introvert would feel a kinship with the Holmes recumbent on his couch for days after an active case has closed, smoking and thinking quietly.

18. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson

books introverts should read housekeeping
Amazon

Housekeeping is an otherworldly-feeling tale of a family of women who are drawn to drifting. Not only does this book pass the Bechdel Test, it charts familial discord between two introverts and the extrovert confused and frustrated by their socially detached behavior. Seen through the eyes of withdrawn, shy Ruthie, the novel vividly captures this feeling of social detachment. Those outside her tiny circle of loved ones are seen as if through water, distorted and muted. She, like her solitary aunt, thrills to the subtle beauties of nature and can happily be alone or nearly alone for hours, taking in her surroundings. School, meanwhile, is something of a trial. When her gregarious sister insists on being a part of the normal social world of the school and tries to fit in and gain approval from her comrades, Ruthie and their aunt are baffled. That possibility never seems desirable or even fully real to them, and the isolated, pensive tone of the book lulls readers throughout.

19. Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart

books introverts should read super sad
Amazon

The futuristic dystopia of Super Sad True Love Story seems designed to make neurotic and introverted people twitch. The clamor of social media has risen to almost crushing levels, with books practically a relic of the past and most media conducted via word-salad-esque text or through video streams. Äppäräti, which resemble smartphones, also constantly send and receive data about the surrounding users — how attractive they are compared to others present, how their credit score compares, how their personality compares — and these crowdsourced ratings mean constant confrontation with how others perceive you, as well as constant pressure to improve your scores. In some ways this means a more disconnected society than ever, but it mostly seems like a society devoid of the sorts of quiet, deep friendships and contemplative moments that introverts tend to prefer. Instead, there’s nothing but noise and disruption. Even extroverts may feel the need for a respite from the information overload and relentless chatter in Shteyngart’s dark future New York.

20. Train Dreams by Denis Johnson

books introverts should read train dreams
Amazon

In The New York Times’ review of this enthralling novella, Anthony Doerr remarks on the “lonesome” quality of the portrayal of the life of Robert Grainier, an orphaned Idaho logger who seems doomed to solitude. Mostly, however, Doerr emphasizes the length of the book: “The novella runs 116 pages, and you can turn all of those pages in 90 minutes. […] Short stories and novellas … offer writers a chance to affect readers more deeply because a reader can be held in thrall for the entirety of the experience.” This fully immersive reading experience heightens the impact of the largely solitary existence of its main character, creating a muted tone and interiorized world that hints at the lifestyle of the hardcore introvert … though Grainier himself may not appreciate all that alone time, as he slowly loses touch with reality through years of isolation.

21. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

books introverts should read phantom tollbooth
Amazon

Truly a world of pure imagination, this children’s classic brings to life the surprising adventures of Milo, a little boy who never knows what to do with himself. Milo isn’t necessarily an introvert (or a very compelling character), but the imaginative quest upon which he sets out — in which words are as tangible as food and abstract concepts come to life — exemplify the joy of a rich inner world. The ever-popular book shows children that sitting quietly with a book or learning math concepts can be just as thrilling as a wild romp with mythical creatures, at least for those of us who don’t need the overstimulation of a real adventure. We may seem to just be sitting quietly alone, but actually we’re enjoying the company of our own off-the-wall thoughts.

22. Persuasion by Jane Austen

books introverts should read persuasion
Amazon

Austen prized the deliberate, thoughtful hero and heroine, especially later in her writing career. Persuasion, her last completed book, attests to this. The novel follows Anne Elliot, a faded spinster in her late 20s who is constantly overshadowed by her bolder, louder family members. She lost her seemingly only chance at her own household when, as a young girl, she fell in love with the dashing young sailor Frederick Wentworth, but was persuaded to break off her engagement to him due to his poor financial prospects. As the years go by, Anne pines away, and her always-quiet nature makes her the outcast in her family and reduces her chances at new love. But when the newly successful Wentworth returns, we can’t help but hope that he will still see the beauty and worth in Anne’s reserved, pensive nature. Best of all, Persuasion actually celebrates the aspects of introversion that often make introverts unpopular.

23. The Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson

books introverts should read selected poems emily dickinson
Amazon

The quintessential reclusive poet, Dickinson spent most of her adult life in her family home, rarely socializing and increasingly living only in her own room. Though she maintained close friendships, they were largely carried out through correspondence. Confined to the home at first by domestic duties, she seemed mostly unfazed by the isolation; her sister later stated that “Emily chose this part and, finding the life with her books and nature so congenial, continued to live it.” Unsurprisingly, Dickinson’s expressive, lyrical poetry captures the quiet fervor of the passionate, thoughtful introvert. The declarations of imaginative power (“I never saw a moor,/I never saw the sea;/Yet know I how the heather looks,/And what a wave must be”), the precise observation of details (“A Bird came down the Walk—/He did not know I saw—/He bit an Angleworm in halves/And ate the fellow, raw”), and the aura of external calm (“I heard a Fly buzz – when I died – /The Stillness in the Room/Was like the Stillness in the Air – /Between the Heaves of Storm – “) that pervade her poems illustrate how introverts derive stimulation from even the smallest things.

24. The Waves by Virginia Woolf

books introverts should read the waves
Amazon

One of Woolf’s most unusual books, The Waves reads more like a prose poem than a novel. The narration is delivered by a six-person chorus — Bernard, Susan, Rhoda, Neville, Louis, and Jinny — as they progress from childhood to adulthood together. Despite the choral narration and the friendships between the characters, The Waves has a pronounced sense of disconnection and isolation. Her work commonly emphasizes the wealth of the interior and the difficulty (or fear) of sharing that interior life with others, and the lyrical form of this work underscores this sentiment. Each character gives voice to their most private moments of rapture and horror, creating a mood of vulnerability and often loneliness, and the fragmented movement of the story echoes the stream of one’s internal thoughts. Woolf creates a strange and poetic world focused almost entirely on the interior world, rather than the external.

25. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

books introverts should read brief wondrous life oscar wao
Amazon

Diaz doesn’t tiptoe around the nature of his chubby, nerdy protagonist: “Oscar,” he writes, “was a social introvert who trembled with fear during gym class.” It’s popular Junior who narrates the story, giving us the unusual perspective of an apparent extrovert observing minutely the life of an introvert. Though Oscar actually craves interpersonal intimacy — specifically a girlfriend — the general social scene holds only fear for him. Comfort means reading sci-fi or writing pages and pages of elaborate fantasy stories. Oscar Wao probes the painful dilemma of the shy introvert: He longs for deep relationships, but doesn’t have the ease with casual socializing that might lead to one (a problem only complicated by his conventionally unappealing looks and niche interests).

26. Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust

books introverts should read swanns way
Amazon

The sensitive, observant narrator of Proust’s classic novel shares his inner life and recollections with us so thoroughly that we seem to be inside his mind. He recalls with great fondness the simplest of pleasures — even the taste of a madeleine in tea is so powerful to him that it can trigger waves of nostalgia — suggesting that he is acutely affected by everything in his environment. His attachments are fervent, and he can’t even fall asleep happily as a child without a kiss goodnight from his mother. Meanwhile, the prose moves deliberately, carefully, showing a dedication to careful thought. Perhaps most importantly, you have to be eager to spend hours and hours alone with a book in order to finish this novel — it’s a long one.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this list of books introverts should read!

13 Halloween Poems That Will Creep You Out In A Good Way

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It’s the spook-spookiest time of the year! Celebrate all-things Halloween literary style with these thirteen creepy poems!

1. “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is a well-known British Romantic epic poem. A sailor who has returned from a long sea voyage tells of his escapades to a fellow guest at a wedding. The wedding guest’s reaction turns from bemusement to impatience to fear and finally fascination as the mariner’s story progresses. In this particular section, dead sailors get up and start sailing the boat again:
“The thick black cloud was cleft, and still
The Moon was at its side:
Like waters shot from some high crag,
The lightning fell with never a jag,
A river steep and wide.
The loud wind never reached the ship,
Yet now the ship moved on!
Beneath the lightning and the Moon
The dead men gave a groan.
They groaned, they stirred, they all uprose,
Nor spake, nor moved their eyes;
It had been strange, even in a dream,
To have seen those dead men rise.
The helmsman steered, the ship moved on;
Yet never a breeze up-blew;
The mariners all ‘gan work the ropes,
Where they were wont to do;
They raised their limbs like lifeless tools—
We were a ghastly crew.
The body of my brother’s son
Stood by me, knee to knee:
The body and I pulled at one rope,
But he said nought to me.”
Source: Flavorwire
Source: Flavorwire

2. “I Felt A Funeral, In My Brain” by Emily Dickinson

When it comes to Emily Dickinson poems, it’s hard to choose just one that stands out as the creepiest—but “I Felt A Funeral, In My Brain” features some particularly dark and disturbing imagery. Read until the end—that’s where it gets really creepy.
“I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading – treading – till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through –
And when they all were seated,
A Service, like a Drum –
Kept beating – beating – till I thought
My mind was going numb –
And then I heard them lift a Box
And creak across my Soul
With those same Boots of Lead, again,
Then Space – began to toll,
As all the Heavens were a Bell,
And Being, but an Ear,
And I, and Silence, some strange Race,
Wrecked, solitary, here –
And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
And I dropped down, and down –
And hit a World, at every plunge,
And Finished knowing – then –”
Source: DeviantArt
Source: DeviantArt

3. “The Hollow Men” by T.S. Eliot

“The Hollow Men” by T. S. Eliot is probably most well-known for its last four lines:

“This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.”

The poem itself is haunting, dealing with post-World War I Europe, the difficulty of hope and religious conversion and even Eliot’s own failed marriage. “The Hollow Men” follows the otherworldly journey of the spiritually dead, realizing their guilt and status as lost, broken souls. These first few lines illustrate how beautifully dark this poem gets:

“We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us—if at all—not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.”

Source: Dana Larson
Source: Dana Larson

4. “Her Strong Enchantments Failing” by A.E. Housman

Most of A.E. Housman’s, a classical scholar and emotionally withdrawn man, lyrical poems evoked dooms and disappointments of youth in the English countryside. “Her Strong Enchantments Failing” definitely falls into that “doom” category—make sure to read the entirety of the poem (it’s a short one!) to get the most impact from the chilling final line:

“Her strong enchantments failing,
Her towers of fear in wreck,
Her limbecks dried of poisons
And the knife at her neck,

The Queen of air and darkness
Begins to shrill and cry,
“O young man, O my slayer,
To-morrow you shall die.”

O Queen of air and darkness,
I think ’tis truth you say,
And I shall die tomorrow;
But you will die to-day.”

Source: Ancient Origins
Source: Ancient Origins

5. “Dead Man’s Hate” by Robert Ervin Howard

Robert Ervin Howard is best known for his career writing pulp novels, creating the character of Conan the Barbarian, and is widely regarded as the father of the sword and sorcery sub-genre. Howard often wrote tales of monsters, which was true even in his poetry:

“They hanged John Farrel in the dawn amid the marketplace;
At dusk came Adam Brand to him and spat upon his face.
“Ho neighbors all,” spake Adam Brand, “see ye John Farrel’s fate!
“Tis proven here a hempen noose is stronger than man’s hate!

For heard ye not John Farrel’s vow to be avenged upon me
Come life or death? See how he hangs high on the gallows tree!”
Yet never a word the people spoke, in fear and wild surprise-
For the grisly corpse raised up its head and stared with sightless eyes,

And with strange motions, slow and stiff, pointed at Adam Brand
And clambered down the gibbet tree, the noose within its hand.
With gaping mouth stood Adam Brand like a statue carved of stone,
Till the dead man laid a clammy hand hard on his shoulder bone.

Then Adam shrieked like a soul in hell; the red blood left his face
And he reeled away in a drunken run through the screaming market place;
And close behind, the dead man came with a face like a mummy’s mask,
And the dead joints cracked and the stiff legs creaked with their unwonted task.

Men fled before the flying twain or shrank with bated breath,
And they saw on the face of Adam Brand the seal set there by death.
He reeled on buckling legs that failed, yet on and on he fled;
So through the shuddering market-place, the dying fled the dead.

At the riverside fell Adam Brand with a scream that rent the skies;
Across him fell John Farrel’s corpse, nor ever the twain did rise.
There was no wound on Adam Brand but his brow was cold and damp,
For the fear of death had blown out his life as a witch blows out a lamp.

His lips were writhed in a horrid grin like a fiend’s on Satan’s coals,
And the men that looked on his face that day, his stare still haunts their souls.
Such was the fate of Adam Brand, a strange, unearthly fate;
For stronger than death or hempen noose are the fires of a dead man’s hate.”

Source: YouTube
Source: YouTube

6. “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” by John Keats

“La Belle Dame sans Merci” (French for “The Beautiful Lady Without Mercy”) is a story of love and death set in a bleak winter landscape. The beautiful lady titles the poem is a femme fatale who attracts lovers only to destroy them by her supernatural powers. This poem will have you questioning if the man in the poem has been abducted by a fairy-lover, or if the fairy / beautiful lady has actually abducted the man—and just what kind of kinky stuff is happening between them? Read on for Keats at his wildest and creepiest:

“O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel’s granary is full,
And the harvest’s done.

I see a lily on thy brow,
With anguish moist and fever-dew,
And on thy cheeks a fading rose
Fast withereth too.

I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful—a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.

I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She looked at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan

I set her on my pacing steed,
And nothing else saw all day long,
For sidelong would she bend, and sing
A faery’s song.

She found me roots of relish sweet,
And honey wild, and manna-dew,
And sure in language strange she said—
‘I love thee true’.

She took me to her Elfin grot,
And there she wept and sighed full sore,
And there I shut her wild wild eyes
With kisses four.

And there she lullèd me asleep,
And there I dreamed—Ah! woe betide!—
The latest dream I ever dreamt
On the cold hill side.

I saw pale kings and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
They cried—‘La Belle Dame sans Merci
Hath thee in thrall!’

I saw their starved lips in the gloam,
With horrid warning gapèd wide,
And I awoke and found me here,
On the cold hill’s side.

And this is why I sojourn here,
Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.”

Source: Wikimedia / John William Waterhouse
Source: Wikimedia / John William Waterhouse

7. “Outcast” by Claude McKay

In this poem by Claude McKay, the horrors are not supernatural, but instead all to painfully real, even today.  “Outcast” details what it’s like to be black in a deeply racist world:

“For the dim regions whence my fathers came
My spirit, bondaged by the body, longs.
Words felt, but never heard, my lips would frame;
My soul would sing forgotten jungle songs.

I would go back to darkness and to peace,
But the great western world holds me in fee,
And I may never hope for full release
While to its alien gods I bend my knee.

Something in me is lost, forever lost,
Some vital thing has gone out of my heart,
And I must walk the way of life a ghost
Among the sons of earth, a thing apart;
For I was born, far from my native clime,
Under the white man’s menace, out of time.”

Source: Commonwheal
Source: Commonwheal

8. “Mad Girl’s Love Song” by Sylvia Plath

In keeping with the real-life horrors theme, Sylvia Plath’s battle with mental illness has been well-documented. “Mad Girl’s Love Song” gives an intimate look at mental illness, hallucinations and young love, along with a cameo from seraphim and Satan’s henchmen. Let this one sink in as you take your time to read it:

“I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell’s fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan’s men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you’d return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)”

Source: YouTube
Source: YouTube

9.  “Ulalume” by Edgar Allan Poe

It wouldn’t be Halloween without some mention of Edgar Allen Poe! Much like a few of Poe’s other poems (such as “The Raven,” “Annabel Lee,” and “Lenore”), “Ulalume” focuses on the narrator’s loss of a beautiful woman due to her untimely death. Perfect for Halloween, this poem takes place on a night in the “lonesome October” with a gray sky as the leaves are withering for the autumn season. Here are a few of the more chilling selections:

“The skies they were ashen and sober;
      The leaves they were crispéd and sere—
      The leaves they were withering and sere;
It was night in the lonesome October
      Of my most immemorial year;
It was hard by the dim lake of Auber,
      In the misty mid region of Weir—
It was down by the dank tarn of Auber,
      In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.
 (…)
Our talk had been serious and sober,
      But our thoughts they were palsied and sere—
      Our memories were treacherous and sere—
For we knew not the month was October,
      And we marked not the night of the year—
      (Ah, night of all nights in the year!)
We noted not the dim lake of Auber—
      (Though once we had journeyed down here)—
We remembered not the dank tarn of Auber,
      Nor the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.
 (…)
Thus I pacified Psyche and kissed her,
      And tempted her out of her gloom—
      And conquered her scruples and gloom:
And we passed to the end of the vista,
      But were stopped by the door of a tomb—
      By the door of a legended tomb;
And I said—”What is written, sweet sister,
      On the door of this legended tomb?”
      She replied—”Ulalume—Ulalume—
      ‘Tis the vault of thy lost Ulalume!”
Then my heart it grew ashen and sober
      As the leaves that were crispèd and sere—
      As the leaves that were withering and sere,
And I cried—”It was surely October
      On this very night of last year
      That I journeyed—I journeyed down here—
      That I brought a dread burden down here—
      On this night of all nights in the year,
      Oh, what demon has tempted me here?
Well I know, now, this dim lake of Auber—
      This misty mid region of Weir—
Well I know, now, this dank tarn of Auber—
      In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.”
Said we, then—the two, then—”Ah, can it
      Have been that the woodlandish ghouls—
      The pitiful, the merciful ghouls—
To bar up our way and to ban it
      From the secret that lies in these wolds—
      From the thing that lies hidden in these wolds—
Had drawn up the spectre of a planet
      From the limbo of lunary souls—
This sinfully scintillant planet
      From the Hell of the planetary souls?”
Source: Adelaide.edu
Source: Adelaide.edu

10. “Goblin Market” by Christina Rossetti

In this slightly-NSFW narrative poem by Christina Rossetti (which was illustrated by her brother, the Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti), two close sisters, Laura and Lizzie, make a strange deal with a group of goblin merchants. This long poem packs a wallop of creepiness, including grotesque goblin imagery, incestuous homo-eroticism and a horrifying forcible fruit-eating scene. Some of the more creepier passages are included below:

 Laugh’d every goblin
When they spied her peeping:
Came towards her hobbling,
Flying, running, leaping,
Puffing and blowing,
Chuckling, clapping, crowing,
Clucking and gobbling,
Mopping and mowing,
Full of airs and graces,
Pulling wry faces,
Demure grimaces,
Cat-like and rat-like,
Ratel- and wombat-like,
Snail-paced in a hurry,
Parrot-voiced and whistler,
Helter skelter, hurry skurry,
Chattering like magpies,
Fluttering like pigeons,
Gliding like fishes,—
(…)
Mindful of Jeanie:
“Give me much and many: —
Held out her apron,
Toss’d them her penny.
“Nay, take a seat with us,
Honour and eat with us,”
They answer’d grinning:
“Our feast is but beginning.
Night yet is early,
Warm and dew-pearly,
Wakeful and starry:
Such fruits as these
No man can carry:
Half their bloom would fly,
Half their dew would dry,
Half their flavour would pass by.
Sit down and feast with us,
Be welcome guest with us,
Cheer you and rest with us.”—
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Source: Wikimedia Commons

11. “Love in the Asylum” by Dylan Thomas

“Love In The Asylum” by Dylan Thomas can serve as a sort of companion piece to the Plath poem, including similar hallucinations of frantic love. Plus, it all takes place in an asylum, just to up the creepy factor!

“A stranger has come
To share my room in the house not right in the head,
A girl mad as birds

Bolting the night of the door with her arm her plume.
Strait in the mazed bed
She deludes the heaven-proof house with entering clouds

Yet she deludes with walking the nightmarish room,
At large as the dead,
Or rides the imagined oceans of the male wards.

She has come possessed
Who admits the delusive light through the bouncing wall,
Possessed by the skies

She sleeps in the narrow trough yet she walks the dust
Yet raves at her will
On the madhouse boards worn thin by my walking tears.

And taken by light in her arms at long and dear last
I may without fail
Suffer the first vision that set fire to the stars.”\

Source: Beaming Notes
Source: Beaming Notes

12. “Reapers” by Jean Toomer

This short poem doesn’t need many stanzas to achieve its frightening effect. may at first glance seem innocuous, but it is actually a rather foreboding poem that is not only eerie, but also contains a lot of symbolism about race and violence in American society.

Black reapers with the sound of steel on stones
Are sharpening scythes. I see them place the hones
In their hip-pockets as a thing that’s done,
And start their silent swinging, one by one.
Black horses drive a mower through the weeds,
And there, a field rat, startled, squealing bleeds.
His belly close to ground. I see the blade,

Blood-stained, continue cutting weeds and shade.

13. “The Stolen Child” by W.B. Yeats

“The Stolen Child” by W.B. Yeats is a poem based on Irish legend about faeries beguiling a child to come away with them. But it’s not just the kidnapping and implied murder of a child that makes this poem so creepy… it’s how tempting Yeats makes going off to fairyland sound!

“Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water-rats.
There we’ve hid our fairy vats
Full of berries,
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O, human child!
To the woods and waters wild
With a fairy hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than
you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim grey sands with light,
Far off by farthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances,
Mingling hands, and mingling glances,
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap,
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And is anxious in its sleep.
Come away! O, human child!
To the woods and waters wild,
With a fairy hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than
you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes,
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout,
And whispering in their ears;
We give them evil dreams,
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Of dew on the young streams.
Come! O, human child!
To the woods and waters wild,
With a fairy hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping then
you can understand.

Away with us, he’s going,
The solemn-eyed;
He’ll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hill-side.
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast;
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.
For he comes, the human child,
To the woods and waters wild,
With a fairy hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than
he can understand.”

Source: Bibliophilia Obscura
Source: Bibliophilia Obscura

 

I don’t know about you, but I have chills! Bust out any of these creeptastic, eerie poems at your Halloween get-together and it’s sure to be a hit! Sweet dreams!

 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JO-fBHrvmIE]

YouTube Channel: agelesspoetry

Featured Image via Pixabay

h/t Bustle and Flavorwire

Cli Fi Is The Important New Literary Genre Of Climate Change Fiction Books

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In the mid- to late-nineteenth century, a new literary genre emerged amid the anxiety and awe writers felt about then-recent advances in science and exploration.

Stories about medical procedures that produce ghastly unforeseen results, journeys to Mars, alien species, utopian and dystopian future societies, and robots, captured readers’ attention.

Writers used this medium often allegorically to explore contemporary political events and ideologies, such as fear of the red planet Mars during the Cold War, artificial intelligence surpassing human intellect, and the fate of the planet after nuclear holocaust.

We know that genre today as science fiction, or sci-fi.

Today there is a new genre taking shape amid the anxiety and awe people feel about what is arguably the most existential threat to humanity–climate change.

Say hello to climate fiction, or “cli-fi.”

Cli-fi is a fiction subgenre that brings credible climate change science to the reader.

According to The Guardian’s John Abraham:

“What makes a Cli-Fi novel good? Well in my opinion, it has to have some real science in it. And it has to get the science right. Second, it has to be fun to read. When done correctly, Cli-Fi can connect people to their world; it can help us understand what future climate may be like, or what current climate effects are. As I write this, we are getting a steady stream of stories out of Puerto Rico the island was devastated by Hurricane Maria. It is hard to imagine the devastation, what life is like without electricity, food, or water. What is life like on an island of three million people, each fending for themselves, just trying to survive?”

As Earth’s temperature continues to rise, as we surpass more climate tipping points, people are asking what life will be like in 25 or 100 years. How will governments handle mass migrations as losses of natural resources drive people away from their native lands? What diseases will we be forced to confront as invasive species inhabit new environments? What new diseases are going to plague us?

As with all art, cli-fi presents us opportunities to explore these questions. It also creates a dialog in an age where the corporate media tiptoes around any mention of climate change when reporting natural disasters, and the President of the United States labels climate change a “hoax.”

An example of a recent cli-fi work is South Pole Station by Ashley Shelby.

In it, readers meet artist Cooper Gosling, traveling with funding from the National Science Foundation to a research location in Antarctica to paint.

While there, Gosling receives news a radical scientist and climate change denier is arriving. With the right of degree of backstabbing and sabotage we expect from contemporary thrillers, this scientist’s presence upsets the delicate social balance between the other research scientists.

Legendary author Salman Rushdie recently observed that we might require the fiction writer today to delineate what is and is not reality in light of the amount of real-life lies, fantasy, and fiction passed off as truth.

Cli-fi might be just the creativity we need to move the needle.

Image credit: lemonde.fr

If You’re Bored, Here Are Seven Books To Cure Your Boredom

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The phenomenon known as the “Boredom Boom” was first actualized in the 2000s, when multitudes of personal essays, books and think-pieces were penned, reacting to the shortened attention spans created by our computers, tablets and smartphones. Since then, many more books have been published about conquering the boredom bug, as scholars from philosophy, psychology, art history, sociology and history—among others—have all contributed their two cents on the topic. It seems as if boredom is suddenly fashionable. And the reason so many new texts can be published on the topic is because there are hundreds of different kinds of “boredom,” so many, in fact, that it has become a joke in academic communities: is it possible that boredom will soon itself become overexposed, and therefore, boring?

If you’re interested in examining our culture’s obsession with boredom or if you’re just bored yourself, here are seven titles worth giving a read:

1. Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self by Manoush Zomorodi

In 2015, Manoush Zomorodi, host of WNYC’s podcast Note to Self, conducted a week of experiments with her tens of thousands of listeners, encouraging them to unplug their devices, get bored and jump-start their enhanced creativity. Bored and Brilliant chronicles the experiment and features interviews with experts and listener stories to show us how to rethink our gadget use to live better and smarter, using boredom’s hidden benefits to become our most productive and creative selves.

Source: Amazon
Source: Amazon

2. Boredom Studies Reader: Frameworks and Perspectives Edited by Michael E. Gardiner and Julian Jason Haladyn 

Yes, I know this title doesn’t sound very exhilarating, but the Boredom Studies Reader is an essential anthology of contemporary research that examines the experience of boredom as a quintessential condition of modern life. The essays included focus on both the historical and theoretical potential of the condition of boredom, and how it acts as a response to a highly mechanized and urbanized social life.

Source: Amazon
Source: Amazon

3. The Gospel According to David Foster Wallace: Boredom and Addiction in an Age of Distraction by Adam S. Miller

The Gospel According to David Foster Wallace features a series of short, topic-focused chapters that examine key scenes from Wallace’s novels with explanations of how they contribute to his overall account of what it means to be a human in the 21st Century. Author Adam Miller explores how Wallace’s work investigates first-world boredom and how easy it is to get addicted to distraction (chemical, electronic or otherwise).

Source: Amazon
Source: Amazon

 

4. How To Be Bored by Eva Hoffman

How To Be Bored examines the hectic, over-stimulated age we currently live in, how excessive busyness is the norm and the ways in which that effects our mental and emotional lives. Eva Hoffman presents lessons from literature, history and psychotherapy to helps us embrace boredom and find meaning in doing nothing in order to enjoy the richness of both our inner and external lives.

Source: Amazon
Source: Amazon

5. Nurture the Wow: Finding Spirituality In The Frustration, Boredom, Tears, Poop, Desperation, Wonder, And Radical Amazement Of Parenting by Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg

Pretty much anyone can tell you that being a parent isn’t easy. The pressures of work and life are relentless; children’s needs are difficult to meet; and parents rarely allow themselves the time and attention necessary to satisfy their own inner longings. However, Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg argues that if we can approach parenting from a different mindset, the work of being a parent can offer solace. Nurture the Wow is rooted in Judaism but also incorporates a wide-range of religious and literary traditions to explain how parenthood can actually be the path to living fully, authentically, and soulfully.

Source: Amazon
Source: Amazon

 

6. Play Anything: The Pleasure of Limits, the Uses of Boredom, and the Secret of Games by Ian Bogost

Play Anything suggests filling the mundane aspects of adult life with play—transforming the boring world around us into one of endless possibilities that can help us overcome our daily anxieties. Games appeal to us not just because they are fun, but because they set limitations. Accepting these limitations narrows our focus and creates “fun.” Thus, we can “play anything” by filling our days with attention and discipline, devotion and love for the world as it really is, beyond our desires and fears.

Source: Amazon
Source: Amazon

7. Yawn: Adventures in Boredom by Mary Mann

Author Mary Mann tells the story of the hunt for a deeper understanding of boredom, and a search through history for the truth about it. This journey has sent her around the globe, meeting an interesting cast of characters, some of which include the modern couples who are disenchanted by monogamous sex, deployed soldiers who seek entertainment and connection in porn; and prisoners held in solitary confinement, for whom boredom is a punishment.

Source: Amazon
Source: Amazon

You’ll never be bored again after reading these titles… OK, that might not be exactly true, but you’ll at very least have a better understanding of where your boredom derives from and how to harness it to be your most creative self!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83FbAKf7wUQ]YouTube Channel: Talks at Google


Featured Image via 
Jim Datz, New York Times

h/t New York Times

Bizarro-Fiction Primer: Two Books to Start You on the Path to the Surreal

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You might be asking yourself, “What is bizarro-fiction?” Well, to put it in basic terms, it’s fiction that bends toward bizarre. While that seems like the obvious description, this mind-altering category is where horror, science-fiction, drama, erotica, and comedy come together to form genre-bending literature that is sure to please every “weirdo” in your life.

With every genre comes a definitive list of “must-reads.” Bizarro-fiction writers form a community where everyone is accepted. They are the beautiful, literary weirdos we need around us. Here is a list of five books to start you on a journey to the bizarre.

The Haunted Vagina by Carlton Mellick III

The title says it all! The Haunted Vagina follows Steve on his quest through his girlfriend’s haunted vagina. The vast world inside of her body becomes Steve’s personal prison, where he finds love, loss, death, and regret. It is included on this list because it’s a strange and beautiful story that will bring tears to your eyes amidst body horror and sometimes grotesque imagery.

Source: Amazon

Source: Amazon

I Will Rot Without You by Danger Slater

A favorite on this list, I Will Rot Without You is about Ernie. A heartbroken man who is gradually being taken over and controlled by cockroaches while gradually rotting away. Beautifully written by relative newcomer Danger Slater, the visuals in this one are a good jumping-off point for future bizarro undertakings.

Source: Amazon

 

 

Why Millennials Are More Likely To Make Use Of Public Libraries

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Millennials are impatient. Millennials are lazy. Forget the complaints about Millennials. For once, check out this positive bit about the currently most controversial adult group.

In a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, the data show that Millennials (18-35 year-olds) were the adult generation most likely to visit a public library and use a library website or bookmobile in the last 12 months. Note that the survey excluded school libraries; these were strictly public libraries!

The study included not only free books but also the use of computer and internet connections and extra services. With all the amazing services libraries offer, it makes sense that they would attract young adults more than other adult age groups.

Computer and Internet Connections

Free wifi and a quiet place to work are likely to become even more necessary for an increasingly remote and online workforce. Coffee shops are nice, but a library presents the perfect, free place to conduct research or access resources for freelancers. In my opinion, you can’t beat having a library as your office.

computer and internet
Source: Georgia State University Library Blog

Meeting rooms

Like computer and internet connections, being able to schedule free meeting rooms is essential and convenient for freelancers and small business owners, many of which are Millennials.

meetings
Source: Houston Chronicle

Technology

According to the Pew Research Center, anywhere between 65 to 90% of Americans above 16 years-old believe that closing a library would massively impact their community. Follow my logic here. Libraries benefit those who use them. The more we use them, the more the government can fund them, and the more they can offer us.

Three-fourths of Americans say that the library should educate the community about new technologies and how to use digital tools. While not widely common yet, some libraries already offer demonstrations and instruction on technologies like 3D printing. If public libraries had enough funding to teach other technologies, can you imagine how many more of this tech-crazy generation would visit the library?

people-looking-at-a-3d-printer
Source: Go Print 3D

Children’s Programs

As some Millennials have started their families, they take advantage of the free baby, toddler, preschool, and child programs available through public libraries–me included. I take my twin toddlers to the library on almost a weekly basis. They love the toddler time songs, books, crafts, and help from the librarians. Then they love to run in between the stacks, pound on the keyboards, and play with the puzzles our local library has supplied for patrons. I love that I can cultivate their love of reading without having to buy a million board books.

Elsbeth Casimir, with the Children's Services Department at the Vancouver Community Library, reads the book "Shark in the Park" during a story-time program Wednesday May 8, 2013 in Vancouver, Washington. (Troy Wayrynen/The Columbian)
Source: The Columbian

Adult Programs

In addition to children’s programs, most local libraries offer free book clubs, literacy programs for adults, and others. Some local libraries may offer more services than others, but they are worth checking out!

adult class library
Source: Traveling Librarian

Books

Duh, we go there for the books! Access to books, specifically to printed books, is still the first reason people use the public library. Even the impatient Millennial generation can wait until their desired book comes in, just like the rest of other adults. Books will always be the best thing about public libraries.

books
Source: NYTimes

To critics of the overall Millennial generation, I say Millennials apparently know a good deal when they see one–in libraries. Free knowledge and adventure in books, computer and internet use, meeting rooms, technology, and children’s and adult programs. Can you think of a better place than a library for young adults to be? Learn from Millennials and visit your local library too.

What do you love about going to your public library? Does it surprise you the Millennials were the most likely to use a library?

YouTube Channel: Seeker Daily

 

Featured image via Missoulian

h/t Pew Research Center

Five Perfect Books For The Socially Awkward

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I speak from personal experience when I say this: a book can be a person with social anxiety’s best friend. Nothing eases the tension of being in a public space better than having a good book to read to escape from the world and (hopefully) dissuade random people from trying to make unwanted conversation. If you also oftentimes feel this way, know that you are not alone. Not only can a book help you retreat within your own mind, but it can also help you better understand yourself. Here is a list of a few recently published titles spanning across autobiographical, self-help and fiction genres that are perfect for the socially awkward.

1. Awkward: The Science Of Why We’re Socially Awkward And Why That’s Awesome by Ty Tashiro

In Awkward, Psychologist and interpersonal relationship expert Ty Tashiro—self-described as socially awkward since childhood—makes the case that awkwardness deserves its own category on the ever-evolving spectrum, somewhere below Asperger’s syndrome and autism. He unpacks the latest research in human intelligence, neuroscience, personality and sociology, along with personal tales and real world examples, to help us better understand awkwardness. The book offers reassurance and provides valuable insights into how we can embrace our own personal quirks and unique talents to more comfortably navigate our complex world.

awkward, anxiety
Source: Amazon

2. Socially Accepted: A Self-Help Book For The Socially Awkward by Joe Casanova

Socially Accepted is a book written especially for those who struggle in the art of being social. The notion of being “socially accepted” is based on the idea of presence, exuding confidence in every interaction. The ability to capitalize on the power of social acceptance can lead to many great opportunities, and this book seeks to provide a how-to guide on boosting one’s social presence and identity.

socially awkward, anxiety
Source: Amazon

3. If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?: My Adventures In The Art And Science Of Relating And Communicating by Alan Alda

Alan Alda, famed actor, director, screenwriter, host of PBS’ Scientific American Frontiers and founder of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, spells out his efforts to help scientists explain their work to laypeople, using methods from improvisational theater and other techniques. Alda cites the results of many psychological experiments to describe the ways we can build empathy, nurture our innate mind-reading abilities and improve the way we talk and relate to others. If I Understood You is a funny and thought-provoking guide to how we can better communicate and understand each other.

anxiety and awkwardness
Source: Amazon

4. The Awkward Human Survival Guide: How To Handle Life’s Most Uncomfortable Situations by Adam Dachis and Erica Elson

Lifehacker writers Adam Dachis and Erica Elson bring the ultimate guide to hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. The Awkward Human Survival Guide offers a humorous and smart roadmap through some of life’s most uncomfortable situations. Some tips include how to call out a friend’s BS, how to handle accidentally letting I love you slip out of your mouth, confronting thieves at work and much, much more!

anxiety and awkwardness
Source: Amazon

5. A Totally Awkward Love Story by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

For the perfect YA beach read, you can’t go wrong with Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison’s A Totally Awkward Love StoryHannah is convinced she’s going to find the one the summer before college—and she does, unfortunately it’s in the master bathroom at a house party and she never catches his name. Sam’s summer is off to a rocky start, until he falls head over heels in love with a girl he met inside a fancy purple restroom. As fate would have it, another chance meeting brings the two of them back together… only to have a misunderstanding drive them apart—and the cycle continues from there! This novel is filled with raunchy, hilarious moments and deep romance that will make readers commiserate with Sam and Hannah, as they remember their own awkward moments.

Source: Amazon
Source: Amazon

Embrace your awkwardness, fellow bookworms! Whether you’re reading about how to conquer social anxiety or reading to sympathize with others who also suffer from it, always remember that even your most awkward moments only help contribute to you being uniquely you!

YouTube Channel: Aprilius Maximus

 

Featured image via Quartz

h/t New York Times

Seven Of Your Favorite Fictional Characters Who Would Totally Die Under The New GOP Healthcare Bill

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America: Land of the free, home of the brave, and (under the new GOP healthcare bill) country of the massively uninsured.

The Republican Party has recently released their *secret* healthcare bill, and it does not spell good news for the nation’s wellbeing. Analysts have revealed that it will severely cut back on coverage for low-income Americans, scale back tax credits for middle-class families, and even “cripple CDC’s ability to detect, prevent and respond to vaccine-preventable respiratory and related infectious diseases threats, including pandemic influenza” (CDC).

Like former president Obama recently said, “Simply put, if there’s a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family — this bill will do you harm.

Still not making complete sense? Don’t worry–we’ve got some examples that’ll put everything into perspective.

1. Hazel from The Fault in Our Stars

Even though Hazel survived the heart-wrenching emotional turmoil of Fault in Our Stars, she probably wouldn’t survive more than a couple decades in an America ruled by the new GOP bill. That’s because the bill allows “Insurers … to charge older customers up to five times as much as they charge younger customers” (Washington Post). In other words, as Hazel got older, she would be less and less able to cover her own cancer treatments.

Source: giphy
Source: giphy

2. Jamie from A Walk to Remember

Apparently, healthcare is a privilege reserved for the wealthy.

As Obama has stated, the new Senate bill “hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else.” Jamie’s father hardly rakes in the money working as a reverend. Under the GOP bill, he likely wouldn’t have been able to afford Jamie’s treatments when she was first diagnosed, meaning that (*tear*) she and Landon never would have gotten together.

Source: giphy
Source: giphy

3. Peeta from The Hunger Games

Poor Peeta. He can never catch a break. As the Washington Post explains, the new GOP bill allows states to opt out of the Obamacare ban on caps for annual or lifetime coverage for essential health benefits. For a guy like Peeta, who seems to need bandaging up every few weeks as a result of wild animals, knife-wielding crazies, electrocutions, torture, and more, an annual coverage cap would be synonymous with “death certificate.”

Source: tigerdroppings
Source: tigerdroppings

4. Wesley from The Princess Bride

Sorry, Wesley, life-saving miracles are no longer on the menu. Even the amazing Miracle Max would refuse to provide medical services if Wesley’s insurance adhered to the GOP Senate plan.

Source: tenor
Source: tenor

5. Marianne Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility

Yes, it is rather ridiculous that Regency characters are always contracting life-threatening illnesses simply from standing in the rain too long (FYI, women are not frail little flowers). However, Marianne Dashwood’s rain-induced fever in Sense and Sensibility perfectly underlines one of the biggest drawbacks of the GOP bill: it provides next to no benefits for low-income people who rely on insurance programs like Medicaid. The Dashwood family, an impoverished group of unemployed women who can barely afford a small cottage after Mr. Dashwood passes away, would certainly qualify. Under the reign of the GOP bill, Marianne would hardly be able to afford basic medications, much less the powerful prescriptions needed for a deadly fever.

Source: Pinterest
Source: Pinterest

6. Izzy Miller from Side Effects

15-year-old Izzy Miller might have lymphoma, but she’s determined to fight it! Of course, under the new GOP bill, Izzy wouldn’t really have much of a choice. If her state decided to waive her right to essential health services, she’d be totally screwed.

Source: Amazon
Source: Amazon

7. Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables

Let’s not forget, the GOP bill is very much against supporting women’s sexual health (which is why it strips Planned Parenthood funding). So say goodbye to all of your favorite fictional characters who ever needed STD screenings, abortions, cancer screenings, prenatal care, or HIV services. And all those characters who had complicated pregnancies, difficult births, or miscarriages? Like Anne Shirley, who endures a dangerous delivery in Anne’s House of Dreams and ends up losing her first child? Totally deprived of essential care.

Source: ascaam
Source: ascaam

Which of your favorite fictional characters would suffer as a result of the GOP healthcare bill?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyhLq7Ser5Q

YouTube Channel: consumer

 

Featured image via Marie Claire

The Dictionary According To Donald Trump

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My work as a freelance writer and copyeditor relies on the fact that people and businesses both need and want their writing to sound and look good. Whether it’s an email, a press release, a detailed report, or even a newspaper advertisement, putting your best linguistic foot forward creates a positive image for your brand. And that’s how I make a living.

In particular, politicians need to be meticulous in checking their correspondence and publications, for fear of being criticized or ridiculed by their opponents or constituents. The best leaders, political or otherwise, are poised, inspirational, well educated, and well spoken. They project confidence, even with their vocabulary.

Enter Donald Trump: the exception to every aspect of politics and leadership.

Source: Giphy
Source: Giphy

He has said:I know words. I have the best words.

I beg to differ.

Not only does he NOT have the best words, half the time he doesn’t even have actual words at all. Never mind his numerous, never-ending grammatical errors, the President of the United State’s spelling (or misspelling, in many cases) is unbelievable. You might say it’s “yuuuugely” upsetting.

I began to compile a list of the words he has either misused, misspelled, or made up, but I soon found the task to be exhaustingly overwhelming. I guess I’m a lightweight. And so, below you’ll find a very incomplete, yet extremely effective, list of vocabulary mistakes used by the president.

1. Leightweight

Trump’s definition: We’re not completely sure.

True definition: Not a real word.

Lying Ted Cruz and leightweight chocker Marco Rubio teamed up last night in a last ditch effort to stop our great movement. They failed!”

Source: Giphy
Source: Giphy

Dude, it’s “i” before “e” except WHEN IT’S NOT A WORD.

2. Lightweight

Trump’s definition: A person I don’t like. Someone who is saying bad things about me.

True definition: One of less than average weight. -OR- One of little consequence or ability.

“Don Lemon is a lightweight – dumb as a rock.”

Source: Signature Cycles
Source: Signature Cycles

I can’t say I’ve ever used this word to belittle someone, but it seems Trump likes it. He uses it all the time.

3. Tapp

Trump’s definition: A process through which other people have listened in on his phone calls.

True definition: Not a real word.

“How low has Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process.”

Source: Digital Bond
Source: Digital Bond

Maybe he was thinking muscially? Tap tap tappy tapp tapp. That’s how his favorite dance number goes. Obama was dancing around Trump’s telephone. Yep, that’s it.

4. Non-sense

Trump’s definition: Ridiculous.

True definition: Not a real word.

“This Russian connection non-sense is merely an attempt to cover-up the many mistakes made in Hilary Clintons losing campaign.”

Source: Age of Autism
Source: Age of Autism

Why would you use a hyphen when you don’t need to? I feel like it’s actually MORE work to add a hyphen. So why bother?

5. Unpresidented

Trump’s definition: New, unexpected, never been done before.

True definition: Not a real word

“China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters – rips it out of water and takes it to China in unpresidented act.”

Source: imgflip
Source: imgflip

Okay. Yeah. You have the presidency on the brain. We get it.

6. Unproud

Trump’s definition: Not proud.

True definition: Not proud, modest, meek.

“I’m not unproud of it, to be honest with you.”

Source: Colette Paperie
Source: Colette Paperie

This sounds like something my boyfriend would say. Speaking in double negatives does not make you sound smarter. And yes, this applies to Trump AND my boyfriend. Sorry babe.

7. Bigly

Trump’s definition: A large amount, a great deal.

True definition: In a big way, greatly.

“I’m going to cut taxes bigly, and you’re going to raise taxes bigly.”

Source: Quotes Gram
Source: Quotes Gram

Okay, so it’s a word. But it’s NEVER used. And there’s no way he actually knew that it was a real word that is never used. Some say he meant “big league,” but I don’t see how that makes it any better.

8. Shoker

Trump’s definition: Something very surprising.

True definition: Not a real word.

“Big shoker! People do not like Ted.”

Source: Giphy
Source: Giphy

He also used the word “chocker” in another tweet. Wtf? Why are these common, easily spelled words so tricky for him?

9. Honer

Trump’s definition: Privilege.

True definition: Someone who hones, sharpens.

“I am honered to serve you, the great American People, as your 45th President of the United States.”

“Every poll said I won the debate last night. Great honer!”

Source: inUth
Source: inUth

If it’s such a great honor, maybe you could spell it properly? How thankful and humbled can you possibly be if you can’t be bothered to take your time typing and pay attention to the autocorrect? TWICE?!

10. Braggadocious

Trump’s definition: Boastful.

True definition: Boastful.

“I have a great company. I have a tremendous income. And the reason I say that is not in a braggadocious way.”

Source: Entertainment Weekly
Source: Entertainment Weekly

I did not expect this to be a real word. If Merriam-Webster says it’s used so seldom that they don’t bother putting it in the dictionary anymore, I consider it to not be a word. And no, I’m not giving Trump the benefit of the doubt, thinking he knew it was/is a real word.

11. Schlonged

Trump’s definition: Defeated, beaten.

True definition: Not a real word

“But she was gonna beat – she was favored to win and she got schlonged.”

Source: Giphy
Source: Giphy

Even though it’s technically not a real word, most people would recognize the word Yiddish term “schlong” which means “penis.” So, he just said that she got hit with a penis. Awesome.

12. Department of Environmental

Trump’s definition: Department dedicated to caring for the environment.

True definition: Not a real department.

“The Department of Environmental. I mean, the DEP is killing us environmentally, it’s just killing our business.”

Source: rippdemup.com
Source: rippdemup.com

Did he mean “Department of Environmental Protection”? Because if you look it up, the Department of the Environment is something in Australia. He did use the DEP acronym but obviously doesn’t know what it stands for.

13. Small loan

Trump’s definition: Less than a billion.

True definition: 10 dollars.

“It has not been easy for me… My father gave me a small loan of $1 million.”

Source: YouTube
Source: YouTube

Seriously. How exactly does he think he’s appealing to the masses when he uses a statement like that?

14. Witchita

Trump’s definition: A city in Kansas.

True definition: Not a real word. Not a real place.

“My friend, & great businessman, Phil Ruffin is speaking today in Kansas for me at the Witchita Pachyderm Club.”

“The Donald J. Trump for President Campaign has just announced it will be in Witchita, Kansas for a major rally on Saturday prior to Caucus.”

Source: Flickr
Source: Flickr

Not once, but twice. Once from the man himself, and once from his campaign office. AND they spelled Kansas wrong. How?

15. Covfefe

Trump’s definition: Reporting, publishing, broadcasting.

True definition: Not a real word.

“Despite the constant negative press covfefe.”

Source: The Poke
Source: The Poke

He left the Tweet up there for about 6 hours before acknowledging the error. And even then, he didn’t acknowledge it like we thought he would. It may have been fun for us to joke about, but it’s just another nail in the Grammar coffin.

Honorable mention: Huge

Although it is neither a misuse, misspelling, or made-up word, it is certainly mispronounced. And overused. Kind of like George W.’s constant use of the word “folks” (although, at least he pronounced it properly), we’re getting kinda tired of Trump calling everything “yuge.” It’s funny, but we can be done now.

Source: uglychristmassweaters.com
Source: uglychristmassweaters.com

I think the Trump administration would benefit from my copyediting and proofreading skills, don’t you? I could be a yuge asset. Call me!

YouTube Channel: MAX MEDIA

 

Featured image via New York Magazine

Singer Warren Zevon’s Massive Book Collection Is For Sale

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Warren Zevon, known for his hit song “Werewolves of London,” was not just a prolific songwriter, he was also a well-known bibliophile. Over the course of his lifetime, Zevon amassed a collection of books that neared the thousands. And now, his entire library is on sale.

Source: AZ Quotes
Source: AZ Quotes

Zevon’s collection showcases the singer-songwriter’s vast range of interests, from poetry and philosophy to horror and pulp. The collection also contains books written by the musician’s writer friends, such as Stephen King, as well as books written by his favorite authors inscribed with personal messages from them. For example, Zevon’s copy of Time Bomb by Jonathan Kellerman includes this note, dated February 1992: “To Warren Zevon, with friendship and admiration, Jonathan Kellerman.”

Zevon was also an honorary member of the Rock Bottom Remainders, a rock band consisting of published writers, most of them both amateur musicians and popular English-language authors. Members have included Stephen King, Dave Barry, Amy Tan, Matt Groening and more. They would perform for one week a year and donate their proceeds to charity. To date, their performances have collectively raised $2 million for charity. King dedicated his 2013 novel Doctor Sleep — a sequel to The Shining — to Zevon. “Warren, this howl is for you, wherever you are. I miss you, buddy,” he wrote.

Source: Hollywood Reporter
Source: Hollywood Reporter

Since Zevon’s passing at the age of 56 in September 2003, his collection has rested in the care of his ex-wife, Crystal Zevon, and their daughter, Ariel Zevon, at Brookview R&R in West Barnet, Vermont. The Zevons’ decision to sell is equal parts pragmatic and altruistic. “We’ve had these books for years and lived in numerous places, carted them across the country,” Crystal explained“They’ve been meaningful to us for years. But they might be meaningful to others, too.” Crystal and Ariel purchased Brookview earlier this year and are developing the property as a multi-use retreat for artists to gather to foster creativity and support. While the retreat works on a pay-what-you-can model, the Zevons still need to raise funds to pay for the utilities. Proceeds from the sale of the books will go towards maintaining and updating Brookview.

Source: Seven Days
Source: Seven Days

None of the books have set prices. “People get really confused when they ask what things cost and we tell them, ‘Well, what do you think is fair?'”said Ariel, “It’s uncomfortable for people.” The pricing model reflects a larger ideology shared by another of her projects called Free Food for All, an agricultural movement in which farmers grow food to share instead of sell. “We’re trying to get out of the mind-set that everything is value-based on the dollar,” she said. “The value of the books, to me, is that they be seen and felt and experienced. It’s not in how much we get for them.”

The Zevons are both relieved and grateful to share Warren’s collection, but they also express a sadness in having to let go of it. “I moved all of these books from my father’s apartment when he died and took them everywhere I lived with the goal of reading all of them,” said Ariel, “They have tactile meaning for me.”

“Every time I pull a book from the shelves, it has some meaning, some memory attached,” said Crystal.

Source: Seattle Times
Source: Seattle Times

The items are all available on eBay, though if anyone wishes to learn about the collection and receive a catalog, they may send an email to [email protected].

YouTube Channel: WarrenZevonAddict

 

Featured image via Fanart.TV

h/t Seven Days

‘Torchwood’ Actor John Barrowman To Write New Comic Series

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John Barrowman is well-known for his iconic roles as Jack Harkness (Doctor Who, Torchwood) and Malcolm Merlyn (which originated on Arrow), as well as a number of other memorable TV performances. The actor is also a distinguished author of the memoirs Anything Goes and I Am What I Am, as well as his debut novel Hollow Earth (co-written with his sister Carole Barrowman) which spanned two sequels: The Bone Quill and The Book of Beasts.

In 2016, the siblings released Conjuror, the first in a new series called The Orion Chronicles. The second book, Nephilim is set to be released July 1st. The new series features the twin protagonists, Matt and Emily Calder from the Hollow Earth trilogy.

Source: Amazon
Source: Amazon

The pair have also dipped into the comic book world with Arrow: The Dark Archer which follows Malcolm Merlyn as he’s confronted by his past. Last year, the Barrowmans announced a continuation of Torchwood through comic books, which will be the second time for the siblings since the 2013 novel Torchwood Exodus Code. The first of which, Torchwood Archives Volume 1, will be released July 18th.

The Barrowmans have plans for another comic book series entitled Cursed, co-written with author Erika Lewis. Barrowman shares that this series is something he and his sister have always wanted to do: “We’ve always wanted to write a story that pulls together our love of history, our Scottish heritage, and our love of sci-fi and the supernatural. Mix these all together and Cursed was born (Bleeding Cool).”

Carole Barrowman shares a similar excitement about the project: “The three of us have been Cursed for a while… and loving every minute of it. We’ve had a great time playing with all the ways we can bring poor Charlie to his knees, and, of course, John and I love any project that brings our Scottish heritage to the page (Bleeding Cool).”

Source: Amazon
Source: Amazon

Erika Lewis notes a love for Celtic myth in her previously released novel, Game of Shadows, and finds the same joy in the new comic: “Told through the eyes of a deeply flawed character, this epic journey combines Celtic mythology, real history in a modern day setting – my favorite things (Bleeding Cool)!”

A synopsis for the series has been released:

On the eve of his 40th birthday, he seemed to have it all: the big house, the fast car, the beautiful family, and a high-power career at a leading criminal law firm. Charlie was a 21st century success story, riding high on his own ego. But when he falls victim to an ancient Celtic curse, everything spirals out of control as his perfect life because a disaster zone of chaos and calamity. Every decision he makes, every relationship he has, every choice he’s given is doomed to fail spectacularly, no matter what he does. 

Embarking on a quest for the truth behind the supernatural forces re-writing his destiny, he discovers that his ancient ancestor is Bonnie Prince Charlie, who made a deal with the ruthless Celtic God of War, Bregon. In return for the Bonnie Prince’s victory, Bregon demanded the prince steal three magical talismans from Bregon’s own sisters. These sisters cursed the entire bloodline and now Charlie must settle a centuries-long family squabble among gods in order to get his own family back. Real life and ancient legend collide in unexpected ways as Charlie battles across this world and opens up realms of time and mystery that no mortal was ever meant to see.

A release date has yet to be given.

YouTube Channel: CMc Media

Featured image via The Flash Wikia

h/t We Got This Covered

9 Fun And Creative Ways For Kids To Track Summer Reading

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It’s summer! And you know what that means: splashing in the water, playing in the sun, spending more time with the kids, and hearing them say they are bored within the first week of being out of school. Well, now is the perfect time to have limitless adventures and rack up a long summer reading list.

Okay, most kids won’t initially get excited about a reading challenge during summer break. However, it doesn’t have to feel forced for them or for you. Make it fun for your and the kids!

And the best part for you? You can find tons of free printables online!

Motivation

As in other areas of life, some kids might need an incentive to accomplish a reading challenge, particularly if your child struggles to read. One summer while growing up, my husband became a reader because his mother “made” him read like crazy. And thank goodness she did.

Whichever tracking method you choose, I strongly recommend attaching a reward to the end goal or small rewards to small goals. Go out for ice cream when they get to a certain number. Buy them some toy or something when they read even more. Sure, we want our kids to read for the pure joy of reading, but it doesn’t hurt to give them an additional incentive to shoot for.

Rules

Even the funnest games have rules. Make sure your children understand what reading material qualifies for their reading challenge, so they don’t try to pass off video game subtitles as a book. Kids are sneaky like that! If you decide to include magazines or other content in the challenge, great! Just make sure the kiddos know what does and doesn’t count. As a matter of fact, I recommend including them in that decision. If your child enjoys graphic novels, add those to the list. You want to set them up for success, learning, and fun!

Now on to tracking options.

 

1. Punch cards

Ice cream and pizza places do it for rewards. Why not you for a reading challenge? Plus, it doubles as a bookmark. Fun!

punch card
Source: Thirty Handmade Days

2. Tower of books

Dr. Seuss wrote, “Fill your house with stacks of books in all the crannies and all the nooks.” I hope he would approve of this space-saving book tower to represent visually the number and titles of books your kids have read.

tower of books
Source: TeachersPayTeachers

3. Book bucks

No, it’s not real money, which I know your kids would probably prefer, but you could put a price on privileges to encourage them to earn book bucks and the privilege. Reading and learning financial responsibility. Win-win!

book bucks
Source: Pinterest

4. Reading bingo

Who doesn’t love getting to shout, “Bingo!” at the top of their lungs? You can choose different genres, surroundings, people to listen to your kids reading, or listening to audio books. Sounds like fun, right? Just get comfortable for potentially the longest game of bingo ever.

Summer reading bingo
Source: a girl and a glue gun

5. Library reading programs

Most libraries will have a summer reading program, where they offer age-appropriate toys or other prizes for each small set of goals. This year’s theme is “Build a Better World.” What I find interesting is that most local library incentive programs allow you to count activities other than reading, like building with Legos,  If you don’t want to have to decide your own reward system, or you want to use both theirs and your own, use the library’s!

kids at library
Source: Berkeleyside

6. Bookworms

Your kids can see their whimsical book worms grow with each book they read. Or if you want to do a reverse countdown to Christmas, you can use paper chains.

book worms
Source: Chicken Babies

7. Coloring pages

For every book your kids read, they can color a book spine. The trick will be keeping the kiddos from coloring the whole page all at once.

free-summer-reading-log-kids-can-color
Source: This Reading Mama

8. Log sheet

If your kids prefer a more straightforward approach to tracking their reading, you can always opt for a simple form, where they enter the titles of the books or the amount of time they spent reading. With this simple approach, you can find tons of free printables online that are still cute and fun.

Printable-Reading-Log-for-Kids
Source: Carrie Elle

9. Book passport or map

Just like with a real passport, for every adventure they embark on, your children can earn a stamp or sticker. To add another layer of fun and diversity, choose books from around the world for a “traveling experience.” Another global option would be to provide a book map and then mark the countries from which your child reads a book. They can learn about other cultures and probably inspire future travels.

book passport
Source: Harbor Springs Library

Regardless of the tracking option you go with, make it fun! You may help your children fall in love with reading, or introduce them to a book that changes their lives. Make it a summer to remember.

How do you keep track of summer reading for your kids?

YouTube Channel: Scholastic

 

Featured image via: Todd and Erin Favorite 5

Are Shy People Better Writers?

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Source: Hercampus

What makes a writer? Well, what makes a good writer? Certainly by now we should be able to identify the personality traits that good writers have. A quick look at E.B White’s The Elements of Style seems to indicate that one personality trait of a good writer is shyness. The Elements of Style envisions the perfect writing style as one that simultaneously hides and showcases ego. White makes the case that good writing should be able to strike a balance between intimacy and distance, revealing and hiding. A good writer knows how to give their opinion without saturating the page with it, or berating the reader for not coming to a similar conclusion.

writing and being shy
Source: Amazon

If we follow White’s line of thinking, then it makes sense that people who are shy would make the best writers. Sometimes, it is difficult for people with quieter personalities to fully communicate their thoughts verbally. Shy writers are more aware than most of the complicated factors that are involved in all forms of communication. Writing gives them the opportunity to create, destroy, and recreate a sentence until all of the parts are aligned right. Shy writers understand they will not be able to prompt the reader to understand their work in person. The writer can’t accompany every piece with an audio clip breaking down every sentence and paragraph.

Source: Pinterest
Source: Pinterest

Writing is the way in which those who struggle with speech are able to speak. The shy among us do not fret that these words could be misunderstood, for they already know communication is flawed.

Source: Victoriaerfle
Source: Victoriaerfle

In all other forms of communication these misunderstandings can be cleared up in the moment. With writing, there are few opportunities for clarification and rarely is there a follow-up or moment for “second chances” once the published work is out there floating around in the world.

Source: Holy Kaw
Source: Holy Kaw

The shy person already has the ability to comb through their words and arrange them to their liking. When you really think about it this way, it’s no wonder shy people are better writers.

YouTube Channel: Ted-Ed

 

Featured image via Hercampus

h/t Daily Beast

5 Books To Fuel Your Love For Star Wars Until ‘Battlefront II’ Is Released

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Source: Origin

If you’re a Star Wars fan, then you’ve probably watched the latest trailer for Star Wars Battlefront II more than a few times by now. The original Star Wars Battlefront game was one of the greatest Star Wars video games ever, and the recent remake has been equally as awesome. Based on the trailers alone, Battlefront II will live up to the hype. But the game isn’t set to be released for a couple of months, and that trailer has you in the mood for some Star Wars action immediately, right? Fortunately, there are a number of video game based Star Wars novels to scratch your itch. Here are five such novels.

 

1. Battlefront: Twilight Company by Alexander Freed

The Star Wars movie franchise entertains fans with tales of the grand battles between the forces of good and evil. What the movies often skim over are the smaller battles and the foot soldiers that fight them. Battlefront: Twilight Company tells the story of a group of rebel soldiers as they attempt to fight back against the Empire’s crushing advance. 

Star Wars books
Source: Amazon

2. Republic Commando: Hard Contact by Karen Traviss

The Republic Commando series goes in-depth about an elite unit of clones fighting behind the enemy lines. Hard Contact follows the harrowing journey of a clone commando unit’s attempt to survive a hostile environment after one of the members is separated from the unit. Each squad member must only rely on their expertise and shaky allies to ensure the mission’s completion. 

Star Wars books
Source: Amazon

3. Star Wars the Old Republic: Fatal Alliance by Sean Williams

The Star Wars universe prior to The Phantom Menace is ripe with storytelling opportunities independent of the movie series. Star Wars The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance previews that world with a story about a Sith and Jedi apprentice. Although the two initially set out to accomplish separate missions, they must eventually team up to prevent a greater threat to the galaxy. 

Star Wars
Source: Amazon

4. Star Wars the Old Republic: Revan by Drew Karpyshyn

The original Old Republic video games initially featured the mysterious Revan, Jedi turned Sith, turned Jedi again. This novel acts as a prequel to the video game, exploring Revan’s life prior to the game. 

Star Wars books
Source: Amazon

5. Battlefront II: Inferno Squad by Christie Golden 

The Imperial army consists of more than misfiring stormtroopers and wooden officers. The prequel to Battlefront II, Inferno Squad, showcases an elite group of soldiers in the immediate aftermath of Rogue One, with the squad having to track down an extremist rebel faction.

Star Wars books
Source: Amazon

If you’re looking for Star Wars video game related books to keep you entertained until the release of Battlefront II, this list has you covered.

YouTube Channel: EA Star Wars

 

Featured image via Origin

Bookish Besties: Literary Characters Who Would Be Best Friends In Real Life

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Have you ever met someone and thought “Man, this person would LOVE this other person I know!” Have you ever read a book and thought “Hmm. This character reminds me so much of another character from a different book.”

No? Well I have. Many times.

Source: Giphy

Think about it. All the people I’ve listed below have similar personalities, similar backgrounds, and so many other things in common with one another. They may live in different locations and even different time periods, but I think their friendships could transcend all these obstacles. Besties 4 Life. Or at least until one of them feels threatened and tries to poison the other.

1. Peter Pan and Pippi Longstocking

Pippi would love Never Never Land! Both these kids are on their own, living life without adult supervision, refusing to grow up. One has the power to fly and the other the power to lift heavy things. These two are so much alike! Pippi would tell Peter stories about her dad and his days as a ship’s captain, and Peter would regale Pippi with tales of the tricks he’s played on Hook. Maybe they’d even play tricks together, where Pippi could lift up the Jolly Roger and tip Hook off the edge into the waiting crocodile’s arms, and Peter could fly around the Swedish village with Mr. Nilsson on his back, throwing chestnuts or something at the policemen.

It would be the smelliest friendship of all time, though, since neither of these wild kids would feel the need to take showers.

Source: HelloGiggles.com
Source: HelloGiggles.com

2. Jo March and Anne Shirley

Oh man. These two. I bet Jo would love to play the Lady of Shalott. Except she’d probably add in some blood and gore. Anne would be floating down the river in the dory and Jo would jump off the bridge and into the boat with a faux dagger and pretend to stab the lady to death. And as she lay pretend-bleeding to death in the water, a handsome Gilbert would splash in and save the day.

Later, Jo, Anne, and Diana would have a sleepover in the attic of the March house in Massachusetts and discuss who is more gallant, Laurie or Gilbert. Well, Jo and Diana would discuss it. Anne would try to change the subject by gushing about the gorgeously romantic cherry tree blossoms lining the streets of the vibrant city, giving it new life after the sadness and dormancy of wartime. Yep, that’s how that would go.

Source: Fanpop.com
Source: Fanpop.com

3. Lady Guinevere and Bella Swan

I don’t think I could handle being in a room with these two. “I don’t know who to choose! How did I get into this mess?” “One is so strong and loyal, and I’ve known him for years.” “But the other is just SO handsome!” Gag me with a forklift, as my mom would say. Cry me a river.

Spending time with Bella would no doubt cause Gwen to sound just like a lovesick teenager, despite her good breeding and societally-imposed ladylike-ness. Given the opportunity to vent to someone about her love triangle, I have no doubt that Guinevere would gush and moan like the worst of drama queens. And Bella would lap it all up, frequently interrupting to declare she is even worse off than her friend. There would be slumber parties in frilly, girlish bedrooms with large open windows looking at the full moon and posters of Fabio lookalikes lining the walls, and the two of them watching chick flicks all night long, sighing that the onscreen heroines have it so easy and they don’t even know it. Right?! Right.

Source: Giphy
Source: Giphy

4. Sherlock Holmes and Nancy Drew

We all know that Sherlock doesn’t really have “friends,” but I think he’d be quite intrigued by this teenage sleuth. Sherl would have figured out The Secret of the Old Clock and The Mystery of the Tolling Bell in the blink of an eye, but I think he would be impressed (inwardly, of course) by Nancy’s dedication to detail and seeing things through. From Nancy’s point of view, the Baker Street boy would make a great friend and mentor. And being the well-groomed, good girl she is, she’d probably bond with Mrs. Hudson over the state of Holmes’ flat and try to help him change his sloppy ways.

She’d be appalled at his drug habit, of course, but maybe that would help her to break out of her naïve, straight-laced, relatively privileged upper-middle class mindset. Then again, that particular mindset might do Sherlock some good! Basically, the two would be a great fit, even if neither of them recognized it at first.

Source: vulture.com
Source: vulture.com

5. Harry Potter and Matilda

Oh, the things they could talk about! Both ached to belong to happy families and form loving relationships. Both went to schools that were… unusual, for lack of a better word. Both found mentorship from a learned teacher. And both had fun learning how to use their fantastic and fantastical powers. I bet Matilda would also be great friends with Hermione, given their mutual love of books. And move over Hannah Abbot; Matilda would be a perfect match for Neville Longbottom!

Source: bustle.com
Source: bustle.com

6. Christian Grey and Dorian Gray

(Is it a coincidence that they basically have the same last name? I think not.) Their man dates would be more like photo shoots than hangouts; two gorgeous men (who obviously know they’re gorgeous) in their impeccably tailored suits, sipping espresso from delicate cups as they cock their eyebrows and give half smile/smirks to the paparazzi outside on the sidewalk. Their cell phones would blow up with messages from one another, all pics of flawlessly beautiful, half naked women they’ve just ravished.

The only thing they might possibly argue about is whether it’s better to maintain a youthful physique through plastic surgery and dedicated exercise, or through ornately-framed artwork.

Source: Les Chronicles d'Evenusia
Source: Les Chronicles d’Evenusia

7. Merry, Pippin, and Sam I Am

If Sam I Am is such a huge proponent of breakfast foods, imagine what he would do with SECOND breakfast! And Elevenses! Blue quiche and sausage. Red waffles and bacon. Pink latkes and beans. Oh, the possibilities! And if he was cooking for Merry and Pippen, two things would happen: First, the hobbitses would mow down on every item Sam I Am set in front of them, before it was actually set down. Second, the three of them would be BFFs faster than you can say “more please.”

Source: Giphy
Source: Giphy

8. Amy Dunne and Cersei Lannister

Okay, so maybe they wouldn’t exactly be besties. But they would smirk and smile and say exactly what the other person wanted to hear, all the while plotting the other’s gruesome demise. They’d have lunch dates on a waterfront patio, sip their long island iced teas, and silently review the many ways in which they’d benefit from the death of the other. Over slices of cheesecake, they would exchange stories of how humiliating it is to have books written about you, and how their husbands were selfish, philandering jerks, and how fun it was to ruin and/or kill him. They might even discuss their favorite baby names.

And then they’d put something in the other person’s drink and wait it out.

Source: The Unaffiliated Critic
Source: The Unaffiliated Critic

Which of your favorite characters do you think would be besties?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7qMV_Cw2c0

YouTube Channel: Nat & Lucy Books

 

Featured image via Pottermore

Netflix Anthology ‘Black Mirror’ To Be A Book Series

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Source: Black Mirror Wiki

Black Mirror is a science fiction anthology series that focuses on a dark and satirical take on modern society, and the consequences of technology. The series got its start in the UK before being picked up by Netflix for a third season of six episodes, and a fourth season, which is currently in the works.

New York Times spoke highly of the series, applauding it for the way it handles technology: “And perhaps that’s the true appeal of the series: It does more than blame technology for our woes. It deals with the reality that, no matter what gadgetry we may possess, our problems remain human. It reminds us that technology probably won’t enslave us, but it definitely will change us.” The show does feature bizarre elements, but stays within the realm of the real world, and does show cautionary tales of technology, but also doesn’t downplay its importance.

Source: Black Mirror Wiki
Source: Black Mirror Wiki Season 1, Episode 2

Similar to old fan favorites The Twilight Zone and Goosebumps, the anthology features a new cast each episode, with the focus on technology and how it impacts human life as the only connection. Netflix describes the series as “an anthology series that taps into our collective unease with the modern world, with each stand-alone episode a sharp, suspenseful tale exploring themes of contemporary techno-paranoia.”

Penguin Random House announced that Black Mirror will be adapted into books with original stories. The first of three volumes is set to be released February 20, 2018 with the second book to follow in fall of 2018, and the third later in 2019.

Source: Black Mirror Wiki Season 3, Episode 4
Source: Black Mirror Wiki Season 3, Episode 4

Charlie Brooker, series creator and writer, will also edit the book series. Brooker shared the exciting news with an interesting announcement: “They’re appearing in a high-tech new format known as a ‘book.’ Apparently you just have to glance at some sort of ‘ink-code’ printed on paper and images and sounds magically appear in your head, enacting the story. Sounds far-fetched to me, but we’ll see.”

Leading names will be writing the series, but those have yet to be announced. Jake Lingwood (Ebury Publishing Deputy MD and Publisher) shared his own excitement following the news of the book series:Black Mirror is the smartest, sharpest show on TV and as huge fans ourselves we know that we are always desperate for more episodes. In fact, more than we suspect it will ever be possible for Charlie to make. That’s why we’re so inspired by Charlie’s total enthusiasm for this project and we’re completely salivating at the prospect of him working with some of the smartest, sharpest novelists around in order to create more Black Mirror – but this time in book form.” Black Mirror should adapt well to novelization, and will no doubt feature the same tone as the series. The series hasn’t been hugely publicized, but has a dedicated fan base, which will expand with the new stories.

How excited are you to have Black Mirror in the written form?

YouTube Channel: Netflix

 

Featured image via Black Mirror Wiki

h/t Newsweek

A Behind The Scenes Look At My Spectacular Literary Wedding

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Two years ago I hopped on a plane for the first time in my life and took an international flight. This wasn’t just for a whirlwind vacation; my fiance and I were traveling to Dublin to get married. We were kind of eloping, but our families and friends were aware of our intentions. While some people rush off to Vegas for a quickie chapel wedding done by an Elvis impersonator (an option we considered) or to some exotic island to share nuptials on a beach, we chose to instead spend a week during the summer in a country known mostly for rain and temperatures that stay pretty consistently in the low to mid 60s. Neither of us had ever been to Ireland and we didn’t have family (that we knew of, at least) in Ireland.

But we wanted to get married on June 16th, Bloomsday, right where the events of James Joyce’s novel Ulysses takes place.

We met while taking a few of the same literature classes in college. Ulysses and James Joyce’s work has always been something we’ve shared together. Every year we tried to celebrate Bloomsday, whether it be attending events in the city or just taking some time to read our favorite passages from the novel. It had been a dream of ours to someday visit Dublin and see all of the places mentioned in the book. After our engagement we spent a lot of time putting off wedding plans until one day it came to us like a divine intervention—we should get married in Dublin ON Bloomsday. And in four months after that decision was made, we were touching down in Ireland, getting ready to embark on the literary journey of a lifetime.

 Jamie L. Rotante
Source: Author’s Own

The next few days were jam-packed with literary and historical events. We visited the James Joyce Centre and the Dublin Writer’s Museum. Standing in a recreation of the room Joyce wrote Finnegan’s Wake in, staring at Joyce’s death mask, getting to knock on the actual door from 7 Eccles Street, and touching Joyce’s piano were all positively surreal experiences.  We also visited Ulysses Rare Books where, while we didn’t have €30,000 to spare on the first edition of Ulysses, we splurged on the 1947 hardcover Random House first edition (and a first edition of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slapstick because, why not?). Soon enough, it was time for our big day. 

Jamie L. Rotante
Source: Author’s Own

We were married at St. Joseph’s Church on Berkeley Road with two of our dear friends as witnesses. After the small ceremony, some photo ops and a few celebratory glasses of champagne, we were ready to embark on our proper Bloomsday adventure. To summarize Ulysses (as best I can), the narrative follows the protagonist Leopold Bloom through his appointments and encounters in the course of an ordinary day, June 16, 1904 (this day was chosen because it was when James Joyce and his wife Nora Barnacle had their first date). During the day, Bloom befriends a young man by the name of Stephen Dedalus, who is a version of Joyce himself at age twenty-two, who also appeared as the main character of Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Many different locations are visited throughout the course of Ulysses, and we made it our mission to see as many of them as possible.

“He entered Davy Byrne’s. Moral pub.” 

Our first stop was Davy Byrne’s bar. The whole street was filled with Bloomsday reenactors, all dressed as if they just stepped out of the early 1900s, complete with parasols and straw hats. The bar was packed, understandably so, but we were still able to grab a seat at the bar and get a plate of Gorgonzola and a nice, refreshing glass of burgundy. While we were there, many people noticed my veil and my husband and I were stopped by multiple people to have our pictures taken, be sent well wishes, and even sang to—we felt like celebrities! And while we could have relished that experience for hours, it was time to move on to the next leg of our journey: acquiring some lemon soap!

Jamie L. Rotante
Source: Author’s Own

“Mr Bloom raised a cake to his nostrils.  Sweet lemony wax.—I’ll take this one, he said.”

One of the most surreal experiences was going to Sweny’s, the actual pharmacy mentioned in Ulysses, and meeting James Joyce’s nephew (who bares a very striking resemblance to his author uncle). We were serenaded to (once again!) by the lovely staff at Sweny’s and had many riveting conversations about the novel with fellow fans, before departing with our bars of lemon soap in our pockets.

Source: Jamie L. Rotante
Source: Author’s Own

“They halted while Haines surveyed the tower and said at last:—Rather bleak in wintertime I should say. Martello you call it?”

Next up, it was time to hop on a train and head to beautiful Sandycove. Despite Ireland’s usual gloomy weather, we were blessed with a gorgeous day filled with sunshine. People were diving off of the rocks and swimming in the ocean!

Jamie L. Rotante
Source: Author’s Own

While there, we visited Martello Tower, where the opening scenes of Ulysses are set and where Joyce himself spent six nights in 1904. Inside the tower is another museum dedicated to Joyce and his works.

Jamie L. Rotante
Source: Author’s Own

After that, we journeyed back to our hotel. No visits to a maternity hospital or Bella Cohen’s brothel for us. It had been a pretty long day and we were ready for a nice meal and a good night’s rest. Man, I don’t know how Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus did it! They packed so much into one day, I would never have been able to keep up! From now on when my husband and I celebrate Bloomsday, we’ll also be celebrating our wedding anniversary—and the most amazing experience of our lives. I couldn’t be more happy to have had such a literary experience on the day I said I do… or as I should say: and yes I said yes I will Yes.

YouTube Channel: visitdublin

 

Featured image via Author’s Own

Golden Snitch Engagement Ring Boxes Exist Now

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Source: Freeman Jewellery

I’m not saying that I would turn down a marriage proposal if it weren’t Harry Potter-themed, but I absolutely would, and so would you if you had any self-respect.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to incorporate the magical series into a proposal—including a new Golden Snitch ring box designed by Freeman Jewellery in New Zealand.

Source: Elite Daily
Source: Elite Daily

I’m honestly surprised it took this long to become a thing, but this box is gorgeous. The description on Freeman’s website reads:

“The Freeman Design Golden Snitch Inspired Engagement Ring Box, is made to make that special moment an extra special surprise. Made out of Sterling Silver, the Snitch has an extra thick coating of 18ct Yellow Gold, with wings plated in an extra think coating of Rhodium. Made to be a necklace, it comes with a Nimbus 2000 Broomstick Inspired Charm which secretly doubles as the Key to open it. The Hinging and Catch Mechanism is concealed so when shut, keeps the Engagement Ring a complete secret.”

That’s right, guys. There’s a key and everything. And you can wear it as a necklace after?! I’m overwhelmed.

Source: Freeman Jewellery
Source: Freeman Jewellery

To add to the authenticity, “I open at the close” is engraved on the Snitch. And the recipient’s name is engraved on the inside, in case you forget who you’re proposing to in a moment of blind panic.

You can check out the Freeman Designs website for more info on this beautiful ring box. Or just link this article to the person you’ve been dating for a mere three weeks and see what happens. It’s up to you.

(Note: I was just kidding about refusing any non-HP proposal. I will also accept proposals designed around The Great Gatsby, the 1997 animated masterpiece Anastasia, or pizza.)

YouTube Channel: Freeman Jewellry 

 

Featured image via Freeman Jewellery

h/t Bustle