Category: Book Culture

Writers Confess Phrases They Overuse

John Boyne, legendary author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, tweeted today asking other writers if they’ve wrestled with phrases they overuse, and if so, what they are:

 

Are there writers who find themselves using the same lame phrases over and over & having to cut them? I'm terrible for "he hesitated for a moment, then looked away" & I've realised that my characters spend so much time shrugging that it's like their shoulders are on springs *crying laughing emoji*

 

If you’ve done any volume of writing, you can probably relate. Beyond a signature style, authors sometimes have words they use more often, or in this case, concepts and sentence pieces. A surprising number of them have to do with actions the characters are taking. The tweet got an enormous number of responses, causing the topic to trend on twitter. The whole thing gives the impression of characters doing things without the authors’ permission.

 

 

And I mean… they probably shouldn’t. But whether they’re blinking might not always be relevant. And she’s not the only one whose characters have gotten a little unruly.

 

 

Why won’t these characters hold still? Don’t they know what medium they’re in?

 

 

It isn’t always character wrangling, though. Sometimes the words won’t work. Or sometimes there are just too many of them.

 

 

Paraphrasing yourself is a lovely new take on the self drag. Though the original tweet’s tone was of amused annoyance, in some cases it devolved into actual advice, as though THAT’s going to change anything.

 

 

I mean, sure, you’re probably right, but sometimes a person’s gotta shrug. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Only when the moment’s right, I guess.

 

 

Featured image via ZDNet 

Five Loveable Cat Librarians

Of course, readers love cats. They’re just about the only animal who appreciates the long stretches of stillness and dead silence that reading involves. Book lovers don’t just love cats, though—cats love books. Here are five cats who’ve taken their love of books to the next level—as resident librarians at various libraries.

 

Elsie – St. Helena Public Library

 

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Image via Facebook

 

No, she’s not winking—she just has one green eye and one amber. Aside from her dazzling good looks, Elsie does a lot of hard work sleeping and making friends. Dogs and cats both come to visit her, as well as the patrons who come for books but stay for her fluff. She’s named one of the library’s patrons, but sometimes they pronounce it L. C.—for library cat. She’s also there to cheer-lead for the staff and give them updates.

 

 

Trixie – Independence Public Library

 

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Image via Facebook

 

Trixie was left outside the library one autumn, so she was taken in and made some friends. She’s smol (cannon), and enjoys books, pets, and sleeping through important meetings. The library also has a rabbit called Grace. She isn’t a stray though—she’s a therapy rabbit. She doesn’t have her own page yet, but we can always hold out hope.

 

Image via Facebook

 

Library Cat – Edinburgh University Library

 

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Photo via Facebook

 

‘Library Cat’ is more of a title than a name, bestowed first to this tuxedo, who actually wrote a book (I BELIEVE). Unfortunately the OG Library Cat is no longer with us. He was replaced by this probable cryptid.

 

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Image via Facebook

 

They’re on Library Cat 3.0 now, seen here putting in overtime. What a dedicated public servant.

 

Image via Facebook

 

 

Nyx – Chesterfield County Library

 

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Image via Facebook

 

Nyx, or Goddess of the Night, if you like epithets, is seen here wearing a flower crown and looking absolutely iconic. Nyx is a service cat who now telecommutes, and she proves you don’t need eyes to love books. Her favorite form of transportation is a library cart, and she likes to both help and hinder computer work.

 

Stacks – Litchfield Public Library

 

Image source: LitchfieldPublicLIbrary.org
Image via IHeartCats

 

Stacks works hard. She might not be the best typist, but she tries her very best, and she’s been known to put in long hours manning (catting?) the circulation desk. She also likes to help with computer work and reshelving, and modeling for her own line of mugs and shirts (the profits go to the library and to pet adoption). This isn’t enough for her, though. In her spare time, she takes donations to support herself. What a proactive soot sprite.

 

 

 

Featured image via Front Page Meews 

 

Bookstr’s Three to Read This Week 8/16/19

The inevitable has arrived. Summer is almost over. Before you know it, it will be too cold to go to the beach and too cold to hit up those water parks. I have bummed myself out, and I apologize if I’ve bummed you out too. So, make yourself feel better and embrace your denial of the season’s end with these reads!

Check out Bookstr’s Three to Read, the three books we’ve picked for you to read this week!

OUR HOT PICK

Stop Self-Sabotage: Six Steps to Unlock Your True Motivation, Harness Your Willpower, and Get Out of Your Own Way

 

 

Synopsis:

Have you ever had a deadline for a big work project, only to find yourself down to the wire because you spent too much time on social media? Or gotten excited about meeting someone new, only to convince yourself he isn’t really interested? How many Januarys have you resolved that this is the year you’re finally going to lose the weight, only to abandon your diet in just a few weeks? If these scenarios sound familiar, you are stuck in a cycle of self-sabotage.

At one point or another, we’ve all done something that undermines our best interests and intentions. Even the most successful people get in their own way—often without realizing it. In Stop Self-Sabotage, licensed clinical psychologist, tenured professor, and television personality Dr. Judy Ho takes a fresh look at self-sabotage to help us answer two vital questions: Why do we do it? How do we stop?

Combining therapeutically proven strategies with practical tools and self-assessments, Dr. Judy teaches you how to identify your triggers, modify your thoughts and behaviors, find your true motivation, and unlock your willpower to stop this vicious cycle in its tracks. Practical and transformative, Stop Self-Sabotage is your ultimate guide to jumpstart lasting, positive change and start living the life you want.

 

Why?

No one enjoys admitting their faults, but in the end, doing so will only help us improve. Award-winning clinical psychologist and TV personality Dr. Judy Ho won’t judge, and is here to help! If you’ve been stuck in an unproductive head space (that you might not even know you’re stuck in), or a fixed mindset that keeps you from approaching for your goals just a little bit differently, then Dr. Judy will help you navigate these obstacles in your life. Whether they’re external or personal, through this book she will help you to return you to a more positive path, and you too will find the strength to better your life—doctor’s orders.

 

 

OUR Beach Read

When We Left Cuba

 

 

Synopsis:

In 1960s Florida, a young Cuban exile will risk her life—and heart—to take back her country in this exhilarating New York Times bestselling historical novel from the author of Next Year in Havana,a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick.

Beautiful. Daring. Deadly.

The Cuban Revolution took everything from sugar heiress Beatriz Perez—her family, her people, her country. Recruited by the CIA to infiltrate Fidel Castro’s inner circle and pulled into the dangerous world of espionage, Beatriz is consumed by her quest for revenge and her desire to reclaim the life she lost.

As the Cold War swells like a hurricane over the shores of the Florida Strait, Beatriz is caught between the clash of Cuban American politics and the perils of a forbidden affair with a powerful man driven by ambitions of his own. When the ever-changing tides of history threaten everything she has fought for, she must make a choice between her past and future—but the wrong move could cost Beatriz everything—not just the island she loves, but also the man who has stolen her heart…

 

Why?

Reese Witherspoon reviews When We Left Cuba as “a beautiful novel that’s full of forbidden passions, family secrets, and a lot of courage and sacrifice.” Some stories and characters transcend the decade that they’re set in. A USA Today bestselling author, Chanel Cleeton delivers heroine Beatriz Perez’s quest to take back the life that was ripped away from her unjustly. If you’re looking to be taken on a thrilling maritime adventure filled with high stakes, historic revolution, and dangerous love, while also enjoying your sandy escape, pick this one up for your next beach trip.

 

 

OUR DARK HORSE

Tiny

 

 

Synopsis:

Nate and Annie Forester are faced with every parent’s worst nightmare when their three-year-old daughter, Penelope, is hit by a car right before their eyes. In the aftermath of her death, the distance between them grows. Nate just wants to move on and return to some version of normal, while Annie finds herself stuck in the quicksand of her grief.

Josh, 22 years old – third party to the nightmare – was behind the wheel on the fateful day Penny ran into the middle of the street. Unable to stop thinking about Nate and Annie, Josh has started to stalk them, thinking up ways to approach them and apologize. One morning, he is sitting in his car, in front of their house, when he sees Annie leave, suitcase in tow. Hours later, he witnesses Nate in a frenzy of worry. His wife has disappeared and he is left only with a vague note.

Tiny follows the harrowing journeys of Nate, Annie, and Josh―three people unwillingly tied together by tragedy. There is Nate, staying strong on the surface, but slowly losing his mind as he faces the suspicions of Annie’s family and the police in the wake of Annie’s disappearance. There is Annie, attempting to start a secret brand new life in a 100-square-foot house in the middle of nowhere. And there is Josh, who desperately wants forgiveness and, ultimately, finds himself responsible for reuniting the people whose lives he changed forever.

 

Why?

Author Kim Hooper’s newest release about the aftermath of tragedy is both frightening and powerful. It can be even harder when senseless and truly accidental, with no one to truly blame. Things shouldn’t get any more complicated once tragedy has already stricken, but Hooper’s portrayal of life overtaken by grief shows us otherwise. However, her depiction of redemption and reconciliation in the face of impossible circumstances will inspire and move hearts as well.

 

 

All In-text Images Via Amazon.
Featured Image Via PhotoCollage

Neil Gaiman Producing ‘Gormenghast’ Adaptation For Showtime

 

Author Neil Gaiman has been involved in the adaptations of his own works, but now he will be joining the production team of an adaptation of someone else’s work.

 

Gaiman will join Akiva Goldsman and several others to bring The Gormenghast Series to life, with the show taking its title from the second book, Gormenghast. Originally a trilogy that later expanded after author Mervyn Peake’s death, it follows the inhabitants of Gormenghast castle, specifically the character Titus, who longs to know what life is like outside the walls of the castle.

 

Image Via Amazon

 

This type of story fits in well with Gaiman’s wheelhouse, which features the kind of high-fantasy mixed with odd humor that defines both Good Omens and American Gods. Gormenghast has originally been adapted by BBC. Gaiman talked about the other adaptation to Deadline and how his version will be different:

 

The joy of trying to describe Gormenghast to people is one where words will fail you and that’s why there have been people who wanted to film Gormenghast ever since Peake wrote the first book. The BBC once tried but they were all making it in times when depicting the impossible on the screen was too difficult. The great thing now is that we can make it and actually show it and take you there. We are now in a world where you can put the impossible on screen and with Gormenghast, you’re not just dealing with a castle the size of a city but dealing with these incredibly glorious and memorable people.”

 

 

Featured Image Via Slate

Seven Spectacular Jane Eyre Memes

Jane Eyre is a wonderful, compelling book. It’s also silly, competitive, and bonkers insulting. Let’s make it even sillier with the best the nonsense internet has to offer.

 

 

So you get this job in the middle of nowhere. Sure, they didn’t give you a lot of details, but at least nothing else is weird about it, and your new boss is super nice. Your name is not Jane Eyre.

 

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Life’s hard for an orphan, but Jane isn’t really one to complain, she kind of just takes it as it comes. It’s just as well, because even aside from her aunt hating her, people don’t seem to feel the need to be very nice to her, even our ‘hero’ and the rest of the people she meets at work.

 

 

Image via WordPress

 

But boy do they. And she does too. Get some self confidence, girl! Sure, Rochester might not flirt like a normal person, but that’s no reflection on you. Being constantly downtrodden doesn’t mean you can’t live your best life! Why, when I was your age, I hadn’t received any proposals of marriage, and you have two! Sure, one is your cousin, and the other is already married, but ‘plain’ is either false or irrelevant. Mostly.

 

 

Image via The Bibliofile

 

We need a spin off. Did anyone else have about a million questions about Blanche? She’s pretty and popular, sure, and Rochester nearly marries her, but from Jane’s perspective, she’s sort of a force of nature. Personally, I want to know more.

It’s like things can never be easy for Jane. Even when she gets what she wants it goes sideways.

 

 

Image via Paste Magazine

 

So fun! Sure, it’s a bit of a rocky start, but marriage is complicated. I think those crazy kids can make it. Probably. If there’s something crazy that brings them back together. But what are the chances of that?

 

 

Image via Tumblr

 

We’re talking ARSON. We’re talking FALSE IMPRISONMENT. We’re talking BLINDNESS. How does Rochester feel so guilty but also act so cold? The man’s an enigma. Guilty as he may feel about Bertha, though, he moves on fast. You didn’t have to be so weird this whole time, man! You could’ve been happy!

 

 

Image via Twitter

 

I’d love to know what’s going on in that guy’s head. I sort of picture it like beauty and the beast where he’s just angry in some room alone, slamming doors.

Lot’s of ups and downs, but all’s well that ends well (is this a happy ending?), I guess.

 

 

Featured image via The Bibliofile