Discover which books Kathy Griffin picked as her favorites of 2016, and why: http://amzn.to/2f2M9cv
It’s that time of year everyone, to put on a pot of boiling stew, and to run around your neighborhood streets scaring the pants off of each other. Or in my case, cook a large amount of food, dress up like a six year old, and sneak pieces of candy from my kids baskets when they are not looking. I thought it would be a great time to post a spooky list of books in case you were in a need to be scared. Check out the recommended list below from Andrew and Megan at The Verge.
Happy Halloween and be safe!
10 spooky page-turners for Halloween
Books to keep you up at night
By Andrew Liptak and Megan Farokhmanesh on October 29, 2016 11:45 am
It’s October, and that means nightfall creeps earlier every day and the shadows lengthen from skeletal trees. The fall is the perfect time to start taking on the book list that you’ve had accumulate over the summer. With Halloween right around the corner, it’s a good time to take a look at some great horror novels to crack open.
Our recommendations: (click on the Title for more information)
1. Hex Thomas Olde Heuvelt
2. It by Stephen King
3. The Firemanby Joe Hill
4. Shirley Jackson’s ‘The Lottery’ by Miles Hyman
5. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
6. Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
7. Nightshades by Melissa F. Olson
8.The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson
10. House of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski
Source: The 10 best books of 2015
Amanda Bell, author and writer for MTV recently published the below piece on the Top 10 most banned books. Do you know of a book that should have been on the list?
Every year the American Library Association compiles a list of the year’s most challenged pieces of fiction in an effort to reduce and ultimately eliminate censorship, and this year the theme is Young Adult lit (a personal fave around here, so squee!), meaning the top 10 list of the year’s most fussed over (translation: gimme gimme gimme) books are instant teen TBR list toppers.
Consider 2015’s awesome list:
1. “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie
2. “Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi
3. “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison
4. “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini
5. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky
6. “Drama” by Raina Telgemeier
7. “Chinese Handcuffs” by Chris Crutcher
8. “The Giver” by Lois Lowry
9. “The House on Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros
10. “Looking for Alaska” by John Green
These are the 10 books that are supposedly too dangerous for young and ~impressionable~ minds — according to the curmudgeons complainants who filed with libraries and schools to have the material removed for supposed inappropriateness — but really, it’s just a fan-bloody-tastic little reading list.
Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Banned Books Week project has been going on for almost 15 years now (!!), so the folks at Entertainment Weekly scoured the archives to unearth a top 10-er of the most frequently challenged books in the history of BBW, and basically it boils down to an epic bookshelf order queue.
1. “And Tango Makes Three” by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
This book has been one of the most-challenged titles for a whopping seven years due to its inclusion of homosexuality and the fact that challengers see it as boasting an “anti-family, religious viewpoint” which is unsuitable to its age group, but the fact is, this is an inspiring little tale about two male penguins in NYC who adopt their own little one and put “Happy Feet” to shame in the blissful penguin department.
2. “The Chocolate War” by Robert Cormier
This title finds itself on many high school reading lists because of its still-relevant depiction of the cliques, violence, and disassociation that unfortunately can affect an adolescent’s life. But challengers didn’t appreciate its inclusion of sexual content, language, and violence — no matter how realistic.
3. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky
The relationship between Charlie and his family, friends, and self was fleshed out in devastating detail through this diary entry-style narrative, and the inclusion of sex, drugs, language and more upset enough people to get this one on the most-challenged list six different times.
4. “Captain Underpants” by Dav Pilkey
Toilet humor is only okay when you’ve reached full-blown adulthood, apparently. Pfft.
5. “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie
This riveting semi-autobiographical novel won awards for its candid look at the life of a youth on an American Indian reservation, but its public critics didn’t appreciate the language and sexuality of the tale, among other issues.
6. “The Alice Mckinley” series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
The “Alice” series was a prolific account of adolescence and womanhood, so, you know, there was way too much nudity and sex stuff for the kiddos, apparently (groan).
7. “TTYL” by Lauren Myracle
This Gen Y-specific narrative about the ins and outs of BFFness had way too many werdy derds, according to the four years worth of complaint piles it received.
8. “It’s Perfectly Normal” by Robie Harris and Michael Emberley
Sex ed in illustrated format? Sounds like a big “YES” to us, but of course people took issue with its inclusion of nudity, sex, abortion and homosexuality.
9. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou’s epic autobiography about the harsh reality of bigotry, parental abandonment, and violence is anyone’s idea of a classic … except the people who filed this one into the “too much racism, language and violence” category in their complaints.
10. “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins
The politically charged, violent dystopian hellscape within which Katniss Everdeen must take flight was challenged for its violence, “anti-ethnic, anti-family” viewpoints and general unsuitability for teens. Shrug.
Check out this compiled list of eight fascinating reads by Morgan Housel.
Please click on the link in blue below, and enjoy!
College is a tricky time: It’s a formative period that often shapes who you are and where you will go, but you don’t realize it until much later. Because of that, it can often help to study the lives and deeds of famous men and women to see where they came from and better understand how a person’s course is created by the world around them. Biographies let us understand people better, which in turn can help us figure out our own path. Here are 25 fascinating biographies that every college student should read and remember.
An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963: Robert Dallek enjoyed amazing access to personal documents to create this compelling, masterful biography of one of the most compelling American presidents of all time.
Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream: Author Doris Kearns Goodwin has many political volumes to her name, but this one is a cut above. As a member of Johnson’s White House staff, she had a front-row seat for his contentious administration, and her access makes for a gripping biography of a man thrust into the spotlight of leadership.
Huey Long: Huey Long, aka “The Kingfish,” was a divisive figure in Southern politics in the early 20th century, and would later inspire the central character in Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men. This biography by T. Harry Williams won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award for its fascinating profile of a man whose death remains a source of debate.
Let it Blurt: The Life & Times of Lester Bangs, America’s Greatest Rock Critic: Arguably one of the best rock critics of all time, and certainly one of the most impassioned, Lester Bangs wrote for Rolling Stone and Creem among other outlets before dying of a drug overdose at 33. Jim Derogatis’ biography is a fantastic portrait of the man whose voice helped define 1970s rock.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As told to Alex Haley (Roots), the autobiography of Malcolm X is a riveting look at the life and events of one of the biggest figures in the civil rights movement.
Truman: David McCullough has won the Pulitzer Prize twice, and the first time was for this sprawling, landmark biography of President Harry Truman.
John Adams: This fantastically detailed story of one of the nation’s founding fathers won author David McCullough his second Pulitzer and inspired an HBO miniseries.
The Kid Stays in the Picture: Robert Evans racked up credits like The Godfather and Rosemary’s Baby during his peak as a Hollywood producer, and his autobiography is packed with wild and engaging stories about what it was like to get movies made.
Peter the Great: His Life and World: This Pulitzer winner from Robert K. Massie takes college students and other readers through Russian history and the rule of one its most infamous rulers.
Gandhi, an Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments With Truth: Gandhi’s autobiography is one of the best resources available for students looking to learn more about the leader who pioneered civil disobedience in his quest for social justice.
The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York: Author Robert Caro offers a searing look at the life and practices of Robert Moses, an urban planner whose contributions and tactics in the shaping of New York City made him one of the most controversial figures there who never held elected office. A vital read for anyone looking to understand Moses and, by extension, modern New York.
Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character): This autobiography, by turns comic and serious, relates stories from the life of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman, whose work included the Manhattan Project.
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer is a renowned theologian, but this biography highlights his formative years as well as his involvement in an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler.
Mother Jones: The Most Dangerous Woman in America: Mary Harris Jones’ biography details her exploits as one of the most famous union organizers of all time, and her work inspired a magazine that was named after her.
Marie Antoinette: The Journey: Antonia Fraser writes about Marie Antoinette with a sharp eye, giving college students a fresh take on the elusive French ruler.
Personal History: Katharine Graham led The Washington Post for more than 20 years, and her autobiography talks of her time there during some of the nation’s most difficult periods, including the Watergate scandal. The book won the Pulitzer Prize.
The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.: Arguably the most important figure in the struggle for civil rights in 20th century America, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a large life cut short by an assassin. This volume captures his works and thoughts better than almost any other.
American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House: Newsweek editor Jon Meacham crafts a fantastic portrait of Andrew Jackson, a divisive but important president.
The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt: Vanderbilt’s name is synonymous with capitalism and power, and this gripping biography shows how he got his start and played a role in everything from the Civil War to the transportation revolution.
The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America: Douglas Brinkley writes about Teddy Roosevelt with flair, and this biography highlights his efforts to sustain the shrinking remnants of the American frontier.
Churchill: Paul Johnson’s biography is an indispensable account of the life of one the most important figures in global politics of the past 100 years.
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft: Stephen King’s memoir is a great read for college students for two reasons: It’s a well-told autobiography as well as a fantastic primer in what it takes to be a writer.
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: Jean-Dominique Bauby’s autobiography is a stirring testament to resilience: He was left almost completely paralyzed after a car accident and wrote this book by dictating its words one letter at a time by blinking his left eye.
Angela’s Ashes: Frank McCourt’s acclaimed autobiography creates a compelling portrait of his poverty-stricken childhood in Ireland.
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius: Dave Eggers burst onto the literary scene with this rule-breaking memoir about his parents’ death and his subsequent efforts to raise his younger brother. A beautiful, hilarious book.
(Source: Posted on Tuesday June 15, 2010 By Lauren Bailey. http://www.bestcollegesonline.com/blog/2010/06/15/25-fascinating-biographies-every-college-student-should-read/ )
Strange, quirky, surprising, disturbing – the following books may represent many of these traits, but they are all certainly bizarre and something quite out of the ordinary. Book lovers and enthusiasts of bizarre topics in general will find these selections both interesting and entertaining. If you’re looking for a conversation piece for your book table, these books really know how to call attention to themselves! As you would expect with books such as these, there are some rather witty reviews on Amazon.
How to Abandon Ship
Phil Richards and John J. Banigan
Apparently, getting off a sinking ship is more complicated than you’d think! First published in 1938, this novel little volume was written from the voice of experience since one of its authors was forced by the Nazis to abandon the Robin Moor before they torpedoed it in 1941. While the authors do discuss the necessity of departing one’s ship in an orderly fashion due to a variety of circumstances, they also explore concepts like buoyancy and open sea boatmanship. Just in case you thought jumping off was a matter of counting three and hoping for the best, give this informative survival guide a try if you have any plans to go sailing.
Gangsta Rap Coloring Book
Anthony “Aye Jay” Moreno
Many adults do enjoy coloring and this is certainly a selection better suited to a grown-up than a kid since it features a cover-size gun, well, right on the cover. Many of hip-hop’s most memorable and, indeed, colorful rappers are depicted by thick black illustrations that await the bold hand of an artist. Biggie dares you to color him pink. Thugs to some and musical superstars to many, these rappers will have you sharpening your kids’ Crayolas in no time (see bizarre book selection #3 for assistance). Since this book was published in 2004, copies are still widely available from venues like Amazon.com.
The Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices
This book might stifle conversations as much as it starts them depending on who you invite over. In general, this is not mother-in-law material, so hide it from the coffee table when she visits. With 700 entries that include everything from love potions to the most unusual sexual practices on earth, this book does contain and portray some highly unusual stuff that is not for the faint of heart. Anyone interested in the bizarre or, at least, highly unusual practices of humans will be both shocked and entertained to learn what floats some people’s boats when it comes to sexuality.
Full Title: Urine Therapy! Confessions of a Mad Pee Drinker
One would expect this to be a joke book given the pseudonym of the author, but urine drinking for health benefits is a real concept and this isn’t the only book devoted to it – just the one with the best title, book jacket, and personal reflections. Published in 2007, this intriguing “self-improvement” book, as described by its own author, suggests that drinking one’s own urine over a period of time can cure chronic ailments. The author describes his own experiences drinking “midstream morning urine” and how the practice cured his depression, fatigue, dandruff, irritable bowel syndrome, bad skin and fibromyalgia (many readers will be wondering if he’s on Match.com). According to P.P., the fountain of youth may truly be inside each and every one of us.
Chris Maynard and Bill Scheller
Full Title: Manifold Destiny: The One! The Only! Guide to Cooking on Your Car Engine!
It’s true that twenty-first century vehicles are far better insulated than twentieth century cars, making this a nearly-obsolete cookbook unless you have a vintage car – probably anything pre-1990. On the other hand, if your engine runs hot, this cookbook is still in print and filled with many great recipes that you can make right on your car engine. Ideal for traveling cooks who don’t mind cooking with fumes, this book covers one-of-kind cookery. One reviewer maintained that engines steam everything and always leave his vegetables al dente, but if you can discover the knack of this vehicular art, you’ll never have to pull into a greasy roadside diner again! You can crank open your hood and run your own!
Natural Bust Enlargement
Donald L. Wilson
Full Title: Natural Bust Enlargement with Total Mind Power: How to Use the Other 90% of Your Mind to Increase the Size of Your Breast
Published by the Total Mind Power Institute in 1979, this book takes the “I think I can, I think I can” concept to a surprising new level. One must assume that there might be a few glitches contained in this highly unusual do-it-yourself book or the cosmetic surgery industry wouldn’t be booked quite so solid with breast enhancement appointments. As an odd publication, it does, however, have its place in lists of bizarre books. Kudos to the book’s cover, as well.
If We Can Keep a Severed Head Alive
Published in 1988, this book also contains the author and inventor’s patent for a device that keeps the head of a mammal alive. A considerable portion of this book provides an explanation as to why this inventor, who is also a practicing attorney, devised a patent he says he does not intend to use. It’s unclear as to whether or not Fleming advocates the practice of keeping severed heads alive or simply wants to explore the possibilities that the marvels of science and technology may provide in the future.
How to Sharpen Pencils
Full Title: How to Sharpen Pencils: A Practical & Theoretical Treatise on the Artisanal Craft of Pencil Sharpening for Writers, Artists, Contractors, Flange Turners, Anglesmiths, & Civil Servants
If you’ve ever lamented that you stuck your pencil into a cheap twenty-five-cent plastic sharpener – those children’s gadgets that break more tips than they sharpen – this book is for you! Painstakingly crafted and nearly exhaustive in its coverage of an unusual subject, this author treats pencil sharpening seriously and, upon reading it, you’ll take it more seriously, too. Witty and informative, this highly irregular volume may seem bizarre unless you happen to be sitting there with a broken pencil and are unsure how to best sharpen it for use again.
C is for Chaffing
A child’s alphabet book of running, this strange little book and its correspondingly disturbing cover is about the good and the bad, the pretty and the ugly sides of running. The title, of course, simply dares the onlooker to open this book up and give it a whirl, but some of the subject matter, like vomiting after a race, is about as gross a topic as that covered in Walter the Farting Dog: Banned from the Beach by William Kotzwinkle, an honorable mention and runner up for this list of bizarre books.
Ernest Vincent Wright
Full Title: Gadsby: A Story of Over 50,000 Words without Using the Letter “E
It’s unclear what the author had against this most popular of vowels when he wrote this novel of constrained writing, but there is, indeed, no trace of this letter in the work. Considering all the English verbs that require the –ed ending, this is a remarkable, albeit bizarre, achievement. This self-published work is a highly collectible book in spite of its unusual treatment of a popular letter. Published in 1939, this odd novel is perfectly readable and contains a reasonable plot, proving that the letter “e” is not as e-ssential as one might have thought.
These highly bizarre books are certainly wonderful for book collectors of the weird or unusual in printed form, but they are incredibly interesting reads for anyone who needs a break from the ordinary. Share them with friends or leave them out during a party to enliven your conversations and provide some unusual subject matter for discussion.