Category: History & Politics

Enter the World of Secret Libraries

Everyone knows about the libraries that burned, but what about the ones that were hidden? In desert caves and the basements of ancient cities, these libraries were sealed, sometimes for centuries, to protect books from censorship and cataclysm. But don’t worry, not all is lost – some secret libraries are uncovered, and some you can still visit, with the proper credentials

 

 

Dunhuang Cave Library

Mogao Grottoes

Image via Thought Co

In a series of sacred caves at the northern edge of the Gobi desert in western China, a hidden treasure trove of manuscripts from between the fourth and eleventh centuries. After being sealed for a thousand years, they were found. It took ten more years for what remained the tens of thousands of manuscripts to be collected by the Chinese government, according to the BBC. Though much was lost, the bright side is that you can view many of these documents from anywhere in the world, thanks to the efforts of The International Dunhuang Project. Happy reading!

 

Family History of the Silk Road

Image result for haaretz an afghan cave"
Image via Haaretz

 

An Afghan cave along the silk road held thousands of documents dating to the 11th century, written by a family who lived on the silk road. Written in many languages, including Arabic, Hebrew, and Persian, according to RT. They aren’t the first to be found – the Ben Daniel family, merchants from northern Afghanistan, left caches and records elsewhere on the silk road, as well – an earlier discovery was made in Egypt. The papers are expected to be sold to an appropriate institution, but nothing is confirmed.

 

Bodleian Library

Image result for travel with mei and kersten bodleian library"

Image via Travel with Mei and Kersten

 

Actually a series of thirteen libraries spread over Oxford, some more than 400 years old. These libraries are still very much active, but you’ll have to apply, as access is restricted to the most intensive research purposes, both private and institutional. Don’t be too heartbroken, though, if you’re on the wrong side of the pond – you can apply for digital access through their website if you need their collection. I’m going to have to start research on a relevant topic, just for access. And also fly across the world.

 

 

Featured image via Bodleian Libraries Blogs

National Book Award Finalists For Young People’s Literature

The National Book Foundation has unveiled the finalists for the National Book Awards. Listing five books each in five categories, they’ve given us some recognizable names, but it’s going to be an interesting year considering that none of the authors have taken home a National Book Award in these categories before.

For this article, we’re going to show you what made it into the ‘Young People’s Literature’ category.

 

 

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

 

Pet by [Emezi, Akwaeke]

Image Via Amazon

 

This book follows Jam and her best friend, Redemption, as they learn that monsters exist and suddenly meet Pat, a creature made of horns and colors and claws that emerges from one of Jam’s mother’s paintings thanks to a drop of Jam’s blood.

Now Jam must fight not only to protect her best friend, but it’ll be tough given that no one in this world believes in monsters.

How does one navigate in a world that is in denial about what you yourself know to be the truth?

Acclaimed novelist Akwaeke Emezi asks this all important question, and many more, in their timely young adult debut. Kirkus Reviews praised this addition to YA as a “…soaring novel shoots for the stars and explodes the sky with its bold brilliance.”

 

Look Both Ways: A tale told in ten blocks by Jason Reynolds

 

Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by [Reynolds, Jason]

Image Via Amazon

 

As Kirkus Reviews notes, this is a “collection [that] brims with humor, pathos, and the heroic struggle to grow up.” The overarching story is that a school bus fell from the sky, but no one saw it happen. Going through the day-to-day life of ten children all on a different block, we discover what really happens after the last school bell rings and what goes through our minds as we walk from home and, more importantly, what we ignore.

 

 

Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby

 

Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by [Ruby, Laura]

Image Via Amazon

 

Here we follow the story of Frankie, who’s been an orphan ever since her mother died and her father left her and her siblings in an orphanage. Now Frankie and her sister, Toni, two young, unwanted women doing everything they can to survive.

But now the embers of the Great Depression are kindled into the fires of World War II, and with the shadows of injustice, poverty, and death all around, the odds are against Frankie to make it in his doggone world.

NPR notes that “[t]here may be wolves behind all the doors, but there is also a whole world beyond for those bold enough to push them wide.”

 

1919: The Year That Changed America by Martin W. Sandler

1919

IMAGE VIA Amazon

 

In 1919 (obviously) America was recovering from World War I, black soldiers returned to racism so violent that that summer would become known as the Red Summer, the suffrage movement had a long-fought win when women gained the right to vote, laborers turned to the streets to protest working conditions, and a national fervor led to a communism scare. It was the year that prohibition went into effect.

A hundred years later, Sandler looks back at each of these movements, looking at their momentum and their setbacks, showing that progress isn’t always a straight line. More than a history book, Sandler has crafted an “entertaining and instructive look at a tumultuous year.”

 

PATRON SAINTS OF NOTHING BY RANDY RIBAY

Patron Saints of Nothing

IMAGE VIA GOODREADS

 

This high school English teacher and YA novelist has a breakout hit with this June 18th release. Critically acclaimed, this Filipino-American author gives his most personal story yet:

The novel explores Jay, whose cousin is killed as part of Duterte’s drug war, as he travels to the Philippines in an attempt to unravel the mystery of his cousin’s death, confronting a place he thought he knew.

Kirkus Reviews showers praise, ending their review by saying “[p]art coming-of-age story and part exposé of Duterte’s problematic policies, this powerful and courageous story offers readers a refreshingly emotional depiction of a young man of color with an earnest desire for the truth,” and I say that I’ve been following this ever since I included it on Top Picks all the way back in June 16th, and now it’s been nominated!

 

 

Who do you think is going to win? I know who I think is going to win…

 

 

Featured Image Via School Library Journal 

Thrilling Hulu & Netflix Shows Arriving This October

Along with the changing of the leaves come the dark, chilly nights of Autumn- the perfect setting for everyone’s favorite holiday, Halloween. Face your fears with this month’s terrifying Hulu and Netflix adaptations!

We’ve put every new release into categories and included the Netflix and Hulu release dates to boot! Click on the titles or where it says “book” or “novel” to either the watch film/show trailer or to purchase the original book!

 

 

Sci-Fi & Fantasy

 

Related image

From ‘the Time Traveler’s Wife’ | Image via Giphy

 

 

 

Drama

 

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From ‘After’ | Image via Tenor

 

 

 

Crime

 

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From ‘Trainspotting’ | Image via Giphy 

 

  • Trainspotting (1996 Film) – based on the book by Irvine Welsh (October 1st, Netflix)
  • True Grit (1969 Film) – based on the book by Charles Portis (October 1st, Hulu)
  • Winter’s Bone (2010 Film) – based on the book by Daniel Woodrell (October 1st, Hulu)

 

 

Horror

 

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From Hellraiser | Image via Giphy

 

 

 

Thriller

 

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From ‘Along Came A Spider’ | Image via Tumbral

 

 

 

Comics

 

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From Blade | Image via Giphy

 

 

 

Animation

 

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From Sailor Moon | Image via Giphy

 

 

 

There are so many choices for the month of October, both for those who would rather not be spooked by their entertainment, and those seeking a thrill.

 

Featured Image via 

The Queen of England’s Personal Advisor Promises Secrets in New Book

Whether you are a fan of the royal family or not, you cannot help but want to know the inner workings of what goes on behind castle walls and sky high gates scattered with armed guards. The life of a royal remains elusive and secretive, but for the first time, the public will get an insight into the Queen herself from her right hand woman.

 

 

Angela Kelly has worked with the Queen for 25 years. She began as her Senior Dresser and now holds the new position, Personal Advisor, Curator and In-house Designer. This is the first time in history that a member of the Queen’s staff has been granted permission to write a memoir of the sort.

 

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Image via Evening Standard

 

The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe, which will be released on October, 29, will highlight the minutia of the Queen’s wardrobe. We will finally learn the meaning behind the iconic monotone outfits? Why lime green?

 

The Other Side of the Coin

Image Via Amazon

 

The memoir will go in depth about the rituals and traditions that go into dressing the Queen for special occasions. Kelly will also share personal memories of her time with the Queen along with never before seen photos of the most famous English woman.

 

 

This book promises inside secrets and scoops for anyone interested in the fashion of the royal family or a deeper look at the jobs and people surrounding them.

 

 

Featured Image via Town and Country Magazine  

Can You Guess the Bookish Emmy Winners (That Aren’t Game of Thrones)?

Last night the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards were the light of many viewers eyes. The final season of Game of Thrones might have lead the charge with no less than thirty-two nominations, but history was made when Billy Porter became the first openly gay black man to win an Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a drama series for his work in “Pose.”

In addition, Fleabag took home four Emmys, Chernobyl took home three, Ozark and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel took home two each.

But besides Game of Thrones taking home Outstanding Drama Series (no comment) and Peter Dinkage taking home Outstanding Supporting Actor, do know what other bookish adaptations took home Emmys?

 

A Very English Scandal

Image Via IMDB

 

They were A Very English Scandal

 

Killing Eve

Image Via Amazon

 

…and Killing Eve.

 

 

A Very English Scandal is a true crime non-fiction novel by John Preston. Published on May 5th, 2016, the novel details how in 1979 Jeremy Thrope, a Liberal Party leader who served in Parliament, stood trial over accusations that he hired a hitman to kill his alleged ex-lover, Norman Scott.

The book details Thorpe’s early, secretive love life, at a time when sexual activity between men was illegal, his subsequent public exposure, and how he was acquitted at trial.

The Guardian described the novel as “a real page-turner” and claimed that it was “probably the most forensic, elegantly written and compelling account of one of the 20th century’s great political scandals”

Of course the book got an adaptation, and the three-part series that got a premiere on BBC One on May 20 2018 and on Amazon Prime on June 29 2018.

 

Jeremy Thrope and Norman Scott

Real Life VS Fiction / Image Via The New York Times

 

Hugh Grant stared in the show as Jeremy Thorpe, the former Liberal Party Leader,

Ben Whishaw portrayed Norman Josiffe/Norman Scott, Jeremy’s alleged lover…

 

Monica Dolan as Marion Thorpe

Image Via The Telegraph

 

…and Monica Dolan played Marion Thorpe, Jeremy’s wife.

The Rotten Tomatoes‘s critical consensus on the show reads, “Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw impress in A Very English Scandal, an equally absorbing and appalling look at British politics and society” and Metacritic gave the miniseries a weighted average rating of 84 out of 100, based on 17 critics, indicating “universal acclaim”.

 

Hugh Grant

IMAGE VIA INDIE WIRE

 

Hugh Grant got a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie, but lost to Jharrel Jerome’s portrayal of Korey Wise in When They See Us.

 

Russell T Davies

Image Via Radio Times

 

Russell T Davies got a nomination for “Best Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Drama,” but lost to Craig Mazin, writer of HBO’s Chernobyl, the show that made HBO Viewers everywhere regret cancelling their HBO subscription when Game of Thrones ended.

 

Stephen Frears

Image Via DGA

 

Stephen Frears got a nomination for “Best Directing for a Limited Series”, but lost to Don Roy King, director of the always-funny-sometimes-hilarious Saturday Night Live.

 

Ben Whishaw

The Independent

 

Ben Whishaw got the nomination for “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie,” but thing weren’t looking too good for him.

See, the real Norman Scott is the only one of the main cast still alive, and he told the Irish News back in May that:

Artistic license is fine but this isn’t my story. And there’s nothing funny about someone trying to kill you…I’m portrayed as this poor, mincing, little gay person … I also come across as a weakling and I’ve never been a weakling

Well, Ben Whishaw won the Emmy anyway for his portrayal of Norman Josiffe/Norman Scott.

 

 

Codename Villanelle

Image VIa Amazon

 

Codename Villanelle is a 2018 thriller novel by British author Luke Jennings. Published from 2014 until 2016, the novel is actually a compilation of four serial e-book novellas that follows both Villanelle and Eve Polastri.

Once a Russian orphan, Villanelle murdered the killers of her gangster father before being rescued from prison and trained as a hitwoman by a shadowy group called The Twelve.

Then we have the “dowdy but dogged MI5 agent” Eve Polastri, the agent assassinating with taking down Villanelle.

As Polastri gets closer and closer to Villanelle in her investigation, she develops an obsession with catching this killer while Villanelle interest in this MI5 agent also turns into an obsession.

Publishers Weekly praised the book as an “exceptional spy thriller” with “superior prose” and “cracker jack plot”,

Too juice to resist, the book was adapted by BBC America and renamed Killing Eve.

 

Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri

Image Via TV Line

 

It stars Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri…

 

Jodie Comer as Villanelle

Image Via Killing Eve Wiki – Fandom

 

…and Jodie Comer as Villanelle.

Interestingly, each of the show’s seasons has featured a different female showrunner: Phoebe Waller-Bridge was head writer of season one, while Emerald Fennell took over for season two. Suzanne Heathcote will serve as showrunner for season three.

Before we get ahead of ourselves and binge-watch season 3, let’s find out how season 2 held up at the Emmys…

 

 

To start, Killing Eve was nominated for “Outstanding Drama Series”, but to Emmy Awards-darling Game of Thrones.

 

Emerald Fennell

Image Via The Times

 

However, both Emerald Fennell and writing-team David Benioff and D.B. Weiss of Game of Thrones both ended up losing to Jesse Armstrong from Succession for the “Writing for a Drama Series” award.

Ozark was also repeatedly taking down Killing Eve.

 

Lisa Brühlmann

Image Via Cineuropa

 

Lisa Brühlmann might have got a nomination for “Directing for a Drama Series”, but Jason Bateman, director of Ozark, got the award.

 

Fiona Shaw

Image Via Den of Geek

 

And Fiona Shaw, along with Gwendoline Christie, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, and Maisie Williams from Emmy Awards-darling Game of Thrones, all lost to Julia Garner from Ozark for “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series”.

But before the end of the night was the “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series” award where both Jodie Comer (Villanelle) and Sandra Oh (Polastri) were nominated. They faced off against Laura Linney from Ozark and Emilia Clarke from Game of Thrones, as well as a host of other talented actresses, but Jodie Comer won out in the end. Funny enough, Comer didn’t invite her parents because, get this, she didn’t think she had a chance.

 

 

So what do you think of these winners? What do you think of the non-adaptation winners? What show was your favorite?

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Deadlines