Category: Fiction

Booze & Books(tr): Toasting the Anniversary of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’

This week, we celebrate the 59th publication anniversary of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, the treasured American classic that tackles racial injustice and intolerance.

 

Image via Amazon

 

The story has many moments to celebrate, many of which include the heroic Atticus Finch, who instantly became an American icon. Whether you’re re-reading the classic novel, checking out the graphic novel edition, or watching the beloved 1962 film adaptation starring Gregory Peck, here are some of Atticus Finch’s best moments to toast with your favorite drink.

 

Toast and drink when Atticus says:

 

 

1. “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

 

2. “The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”

 

3. “…Before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”

 

4. “Are you proud of yourself tonight that you have insulted a total stranger whose circumstances you know nothing about?”

 

5. “This time we aren’t fighting the Yankees, we’re fighting our friends. But remember this, no matter how bitter things get, they’re still our friends and this is still our home.”

 

6. “You just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, don’t you let ‘em get your goat. Try fighting with your head for a change.”

 

7. “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.”

 

8. “Our courts have their faults as does any human institution, but in this country our courts are the great levelers, and in our courts all men are created equal.” 

 

 

 

Featured Image via Legacy

 

10 Incredibly Powerful Edgar Allan Poe Quotes That Will Leave You Amazed

Notwithstanding his short and devastating life, Edgar Allan Poe left behind an extraordinary legacy embodying stories filled with horror and mind boggling conundrums.

Poe endured many tragedies, from losing his wife and mother and his father’s sudden departure to constantly battling depression and alcoholism. It seemed as if he had used writing as therapy, and his dark, innovative work is still talked about in classrooms all around to world to this day. He is considered to be a pioneer in the field of short stories as well as detective fiction, among many others. Poe’s works were far ahead of their time, and so it went on to influence the literary landscape for many years to come.

Poe was also known as a witty and intelligent man; with a profound way with words. Here are some of his quotes that may leave you confused, but deeply influenced nonetheless.

 

 

  1. “Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.

 

Image Via Amazon

 2. “Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.”

 

 3. “I remained too much inside my head and ended up losing my mind.”

 

 

 

 

 4. “Experience has shown, and a true philosophy will always show, that a vast, perhaps the larger, portion of truth arises from the seemingly irrelevant.”

 

5. “I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.”

 

Image Via Flashbak

 

6. “All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry.”

 

7. “I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active – not more happy – nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago.”

 

 

Image Via San Francisco Silent Film Festival

 

8. “The true genius shudders at incompleteness — imperfection — and usually prefers silence to saying the something which is not everything that should be said.”

 

9. “I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.”

 

10. “There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion.”

 

 

Image Via Mister Sam Shearon

 

Featured Image Via Poemuseum

Bookstr’s Three to Read This Week 7/11/19

The 4th of July celebrations have concluded, you finally have time for yourself, and you can now resume your hobbies and introvert needs (celebrating independence was the whole point of the holiday after all, wasn’t it?). You can finally return to that book that’s been collecting dust over the vacation. Or, you can start something new, and we have plenty of suggestions.

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

OUR HOT PICK

GODS OF JADE AND SHADOW

 

 

Synopsis:

The Mayan god of death sends a young woman on a harrowing, life-changing journey in this dark, one-of-a-kind fairy tale inspired by Mexican folklore.

“Simultaneously heartbreaking and heart-mending, Gods of Jade and Shadow is a wondrous and magical tale about choosing our own path.”—Kevin Hearne, New York Times bestselling author of The Iron Druid Chronicles

The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather’s house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own.

Yet this new life seems as distant as the stars, until the day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather’s room. She opens it—and accidentally frees the spirit of the Mayan god of death, who requests her help in recovering his throne from his treacherous brother. Failure will mean Casiopea’s demise, but success could make her dreams come true.

In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey from the jungles of Yucatán to the bright lights of Mexico City—and deep into the darkness of the Mayan underworld.

 

Why?

Silvia Moreno-Garcia, critically-acclaimed author of Signal to Noise, returns with her latest novel that successfully interweaves fantastical elements with Mexican folklore and mythology, while also taking a nostalgia trip to the Jazz Age of the 1920s. Moreno-Garcia’s epic can be considered a modern retelling of Cinderella, but with an even more expansive and imaginative setting. The newest iteration of the classic fairy tale is immersive with its cultural embellishments and is one to look forward to when it reaches shelves on July 23rd.

 

 

OUR BEACH READ

TEEN TITANS: RAVEN

 

 

Synopsis:

When a tragic accident takes the life of 17-year-old Raven Roth’s foster mom–and Raven’s memory–she moves to New Orleans to recover and finish her senior year of high school.

Starting over isn’t easy. Raven remembers everyday stuff like how to solve math equations and make pasta, but she can’t remember her favorite song or who she was before the accident. And when impossible things start happening, Raven begins to think it might even be better not to know who she was before.

But as she grows closer to her new friends, her foster sister, Max, and Tommy Torres, a guy who accepts her for who she is now, Raven has to decide if she’s ready to face what’s buried in the past… and the darkness building inside her.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia and first-time graphic novel artist Gabriel Picolo comes this riveting tale of finding the strength to face who you are and learning to trust others–and yourself.

 

Why?

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia and artist Gabriel Picolo deliver an emotional and exciting new tale with fan favorite Teen Titan, Raven. The Teen Titans have experienced a pop culture resurgence in recent years, after making an impression on young audiences everywhere back in 2003 with the beloved animated series, and now with the hit Titans TV show on DC Comics’ streaming service. Here, Raven takes center stage. Garcia’s and Picolo’s graphic novel expands upon Raven’s comic book origins and coming-of-age trials, in which she finds trust and love while also combating the adversities of her dark past. Take this read with you for your next ride to the beach for a larger than life adventure.

 

 

OUR DARK HORSE

ALPHA GIRLS

 

 

Synopsis:

An unforgettable story of four women who, through grit and ingenuity, became stars in the cutthroat, high-stakes, male dominated world of venture capital in Silicon Valley, and helped build some of the foremost companies of our time.

In Alpha Girls, award-winning journalist Julian Guthrie takes readers behind the closed doors of venture capital, an industry that transforms economies and shapes how we live. We follow the lives and careers of four women who were largely written out of history – until now.

Magdalena Yesil, who arrived in America from Turkey with $43 to her name, would go on to receive her electrical engineering degree from Stanford, found some of the first companies to commercialize internet access, and help Marc Benioff build Salesforce. Mary Jane Elmore went from the corn fields of Indiana to Stanford and on to the storied venture capital firm IVP – where she was one of the first women in the U.S. to make partner – only to be pulled back from the glass ceiling by expectations at home. Theresia Gouw, an overachieving first-generation Asian American from a working-class town, dominated the foosball tables at Brown (she would later reluctantly let Sergey Brin win to help Accel Partners court Google), before she helped land and build companies including Facebook, Trulia, Imperva, and ForeScout. Sonja Hoel, a Southerner who became the first woman investing partner at white-glove Menlo Ventures, invested in McAfee, Hotmail, Acme Packet, and F5 Networks. As her star was still rising at Menlo, a personal crisis would turn her into an activist overnight, inspiring her to found an all-women’s investment group and a national nonprofit for girls.

These women, juggling work and family, shaped the tech landscape we know today while overcoming unequal pay, actual punches, betrayals, and the sexist attitudes prevalent in Silicon Valley and in male-dominated industries everywhere. Despite the setbacks, they would rise again to rewrite the rules for an industry they love. In Alpha Girls, Guthrie reveals their untold stories.

 

Why?

Silicon Valley is currently home to the most influential, innovative, and contemporary minds of our time. In today’s age of the inventor and entrepreneur, it is important to know that anyone can succeed, regardless of circumstance or background. Acclaimed journalist Julian Guthrie highlights the stories of four brilliant tech juggernauts whose names are not Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, or Elon Musk, and who have shaped the technology landscape in spite of insurmountable odds with their companies. This collection of previously untold stories about these pioneering women is described as Hidden Figures meets The Social Network, and is even being made into an upcoming TV series!

 

 

 

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

5 Fascinating Fantasy Novels Inspired by the Natural World

Nature has long inspired artists of all kinds, from Wordsworth, to Van Gogh, from O’Keeffe, to Miyazaki. Mother Nature has touched the lives of creatives in every field, so we’ve assembled a list of amazing fantasy novels that are inspired by the natural world.

The Prophet of the termite god by Clark Thomas Carlton

 

Clark T. Carlton explores the intricate world of insects in his amazing fantasy series. The Prophet of the Termite God is the sequel to The Prophets of the Ghost Ants, celebrated as “exciting, visionary” and “a tour de force” by Lawrence Bender, producer of Inglorious Basterds, Pulp Fiction, Good Willing Hunting and Al Gore’s climate change awareness documentary An Inconvenient Truth.  Carlton’s series is a thrilling look at the possibility of worlds within our world, and what nature is truly capable of, as well as a smashing feat of world building.

According to his FantasticFiction profile, Carlton was “inspired to begin writing the series during a trip to the Yucatan when he witnessed a battle for a Spanish peanut between two different kinds of ants. That night he dreamed of armies of tiny men on the backs of red and black ants. After doing years of research on insects and human social systems, Carlton says that “the plot was revealed to me like a streaming, technicolor prophecy on the sixth night of Burning Man when the effigy goes up in flames.”

Carlton’s latest novel tells the story of Pleckoo, once an outcast, who has risen to Prophet-Commander of the Hulkrish army.  But a million warriors and their ghost ants were not enough to defeat his cousin, Anand the Roach Boy, the tamer of night wasps and founder of Bee-Jor. Now Pleckoo is hunted by the army that once revered him. Yet in all his despair, Pleckoo receives prophecies from his termite god, assuring him he will kill Anand to rule the Sand, and establish the One True Religion. Can Anand, the roach boy who worked in the dung heap, rise above the turmoil, survive his assassins, and prevent the massacre of millions?

Follow Clarke T. Carlton on Twitter, and on his website!

The Prophet of the Termite God is published by Harper Voyager Impulse; Paperback; June 2019; $7.99 & e-book; $2.99).)

Check out more about him here!

Wonderblood by Julia Whicker

 

Images Via Goodreads

 

Julia Whicker’s debut novel imagines a post-apocalyptic America, in which a plague wiped out most of the population and laid waste to the land. The book is a timely warning of what could happen if society fails to acknowledge climate change.

Set five hundred years in the future, Wonderblood is Julia Whicker’s fascinating literary debut, set in a barren United States, an apocalyptic wasteland where warring factions compete for control of the land in strange and dangerous carnivals. A mad cow-like disease called “Bent Head” has killed off millions. Those who remain worship the ruins of NASA’s space shuttles, and Cape Canaveral is their Mecca. Medicine and science have been rejected in favour of magic, prophecy, and blood sacrifice.

When travelling marauders led by the blood-thirsty Mr. Capulatio invade her camp, a young girl named Aurora is taken captive as his bride and forced to join his band on their journey to Cape Canaveral. As war nears, she must decide if she is willing to become her captor’s queen. But then other queens emerge, some grotesque and others aggrieved, and not all are pleased with the girl’s ascent. Politics and survival are at the centre of this ravishing novel that will delight fans of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and Jeff VanderMeer’s Acceptance.

 

The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer

 

Image Via Deskgram and Medium

 

Recently made into a blockbuster film starring Natalie Portman, Jeff VanderMeer’s epic trilogy explores a world reclaimed by nature. Dubbed ‘creepy and fascinating’ by none other than Stephen King, VanderMeer’s books are ‘shot through with echoes of Lovecraft, Orwell, and Kafka’ and are ‘compulsively readable’, according to Tina Jordan for Entertainment Weekly and are a brilliant examination of a world over which humans have no control.

 

Annihilation is the first volume in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, Authority is the second, and Acceptance is the third.

Area X-a remote and lush terrain-has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.
This is the twelfth expedition.

Their group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.
They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers-they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding-but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them, and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another, that change everything.

After the disastrous twelfth expedition chronicled in Annihilation, the Southern Reach-the secret agency that monitors these expeditions-is in disarray. In Authority, John Rodriguez, aka “Control,” is the team’s newly appointed head. From a series of interrogations, a cache of hidden notes, and hours of profoundly troubling video footage, the secrets of Area X begin to reveal themselves-and what they expose pushes Control to confront disturbing truths about both himself and the agency he’s promised to serve. And the consequences will spread much further than that.
It is winter in Area X in Acceptance. A new team embarks across the border on a mission to find a member of a previous expedition who may have been left behind. As they press deeper into the unknown-navigating new terrain and new challenges-the threat to the outside world becomes more daunting. The mysteries of Area X may have been solved, but their consequences and implications are no less profound-or terrifying.

 

MIDWORLD BY ALAN DEAN FOSTER

 

Image Via Goodreads and Barnes & Noble

 

Brian M. Stableford listed Midworld as a “notable example” of the “elaborate and ingenious” Earth-like worlds of late-20th-century sci-fi, and we agree! This novel explores a world inspired by our Earth’s (rapidly diminishing) jungles and follows its inhabitants as they face a threat greater than any they have ever known… Timely.

 

Born was a child of the rain forest that covered Midworld, part of the primitive society that the peaceful jungle planet had sustained for hundreds of years. He was wise in the ways of his world, and he knew well the precarious natural balance that governed all things.

Then one day the aliens came. Giants.  They knew nothing of the Upper or Lower Hell — and they cared less. Born had risked his life to save them, to guide them through the myriad tangled boughs, past unseen, unsuspected dangers lurking in the underbrush. But worse than their ignorance of how to survive, the aliens had plans for Midworld, plans that could utterly destroy the globe-spanning forest that his people called home.

As the days passed, Born realized his mistake. And as he had once hunted only to live, he knew now that he would be forced to live only to kill…

The Color of Distance by Amy Thomson

 

Images Via Goodreads and Amy Thompson WordPress

 

Another amazing book inspired by the idea of a post-apocalyptic Earth, Thomson’s novel is a classic of its genre, and a definite must-read for any sci-fi fans who love the world of nature too!

Juna is the sole survivor of a team of surveyors marooned in the dense and isolated Tendu rain forest, an uninhabitable world for humans. Her only hope for survival is total transformation–and terrifying assimilation–into the amphibian Tendu species. Juna will learn more about her own human nature than ever before.