If you’re feeling like you need an extra shot of energy today, you have an excuse to drink as much coffee as you want. I mean, if you’re a book lover you’re probably currently curled up in a cafe with coffee and a good book anyway. November 23rd is National Espresso Day! Espresso is made by using pressurized water and ground coffee to create coffee topped with a foam called crema. Delicious, delicious caffeine…
Latte art is a form of art as delicate and precise as any other art form, and some of the nerdy designs that artists have made are just incredible. Here are 7 of the nerdiest (and coziest) latte art designs.
1. 3d pop-up book
If you thought a simple leaf or heart design was impressive, look at this beautiful 3D book. You could almost turn the foam pages.
image via otakumode.com
2. i am iron man
This one might make you cry. It’s a rendition of Tony Stark using foam and food coloring to perfectly capture the colors of his suit.
Your heart won’t freeze from this cup of coffee, but you might get a caffeine rush!
image via Pinterest
6. Dragon latte
If you’re still reeling from the Game of Thrones finale, a sip of this latte topped with a fiery dragon might make you feel better.
image via pinterest
7. sleepy Bulbasaur
Here’s another amazing 3D foam masterpiece of a Bulbasaur whose coffee wasn’t quite effective enough—it put him to sleep.
image via reddit
Featured image via Artpresso Design
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If you’re a writer, then you probably have at least two voices in your head, one in each ear. One voice tells you that what you’re writing is the best thing ever, the next Harry Potter/Game of Thrones/Hunger Games. The other voice tells you that you’re a terrible writer and you should just give up.
You suck down those fears and put a smile on your face. You’re a writer, and you have a short story of a novel or maybe you even have both. You submit your work and sit back.
It’s a stab in the gut, and the ‘thanks’ only adds salt to the wound. You suck it up and submit again. Maybe this time you’ll submit to a smaller agency, a tinier magazine. You hit send:
Image Via Twitter
Thanks to The Gotham Writers Conference, we at Bookstr were able to listen in on a lecture given by Kim Laio, author of the essay published on Lit Hub Why You Should Aim for 100 Rejections a Year. Since everyone had a paper and pen, she had the listeners in the audience go through two different exercises. The first exercise was as follows:
Writer down your hopes and dreams as a writer
After telling everyone to do this, the room was filled with a long contemplative silence filled only with the soft scribbling of pens and the soft groaning rattles of the radiator. When everyone’s pens were done, and after some time after that, Kim Liao said this:
Now skip a line. Protect your hopes and dreams.
After giving us a clear warning that her next two directions were “worse” then she first direction, she gave us the second:
Answer what’s stopping you from achieving those dreams
And then the third:
What’s underling these anxieties?
Image Via Twitter
She then turned to the audience, asking them what they answered. Don’t fret, the only people who answered were those who raised their hands and were given the microphone. One person told us a story about how they were writing a book about a “terrible cult” and the effects their actions brought upon their family.
A book about cults? Count me in!
She then said she hadn’t told anyone about the book for the longest time because, well, there was a certain personal conflict with the book.
What was the person problem? Her brother.
Her brother was a member of the cult. He left the cult, but became an apologist for the cult.
It was only after this person was able to tell her brother about the book and give him it that she was able to move on. She doesn’t know if he read the book, if he was angry or upset, but he had the book and it was out of her hands.
This story is about the third direction Kim Liao gave us: What’s underling these anxieties? Turns out the most common reason for anxieties about your hopes and dreams about becoming a writer is this daunting question, “What will happen if you tell the truth?”
See, if you’re a writer, then you probably have at least two voices in your head, one in each ear. One voice tells you that what you’re writing is the best thing ever, the next Harry Potter/Game of Thrones/Hunger Games. The other voice tells you that you’re a terrible writer and you should kill yourself.
Both of these voices are toxic.
Image Via QuoteHD.com
Fiction, non-fiction, they all deal with truths. Even if the book takes place on another planet or another dimension, there is always a person connection the writer has with the work. It came from them, and now it’s out there on a bone writer paper written in black ink. It’s literally out there in black and white, and most often we are afraid to show it because of fear.
That right there is a personal rejection. No one has rejected the story except you. If you’re thinking about your worst review, as one person at the conference was, stop that. Any craft, be it writing or construction or electric or running, gets better as you do it more and more. So keep it, and silence the voice that tells you you’re a terrible writer and know that the story you are telling is one that only you could tell.
Image Via PlayMelnc
Now sit back. Remember that voice that tell you you’re writing is the best thing ever, the next Harry Potter/Game of Thrones/Hunger Games? Bring down your expectations. Humble yourself.
Image Via PInterest
Even the authors of those books didn’t know they were writing something as huge as those. Heck, I’d bet George R R Martin has days where he’d wish Game of Thrones wasn’t as big as it was so the pressure would be off as he finished up Winds of Winter.
Tamper your arrogance, erase your fears
Now you’re ready to submit. Then you get a rejection. And then another one. And then another one after that.
So what do you do?
Well, what do you think that Kim Laio, author of the essay published on Lit Hub Why You Should Aim for 100 Rejections a Year is going to tell you?
Image Via Girl Meets Fornosa
Get 100 rejections of year
This is how you do that:
Set up an excel spreadsheet
Set up one column for the number
Set up one column for the story
Set up one column for the publishing house/agent
Don’t worry, we understand. One-hundred rejections a year? A hundred times of people stabbing you in the gut with that “No, thanks,” as though the ‘thanks’ at the end of that sentence means anything? No, thanks, you go, but don’t reject me now!
According to Kim Liao, she heard this advice from a friend and thought it was the “best advice ever.” By collecting a hundred rejections a year, you’re making it yourself mission. Your goal now isn’t to get published, but to wrap up the rejection list. When you get a rejection now, you can now log it into the spreadsheet and get that rush of a dopamine because you’re productive. That rush, that split second happiness, makes you feel motivated to go and put yourself out there again.
It isn’t about collecting those rejections slips so you know who to stick it to when you make a ton of money, that’s not why Stephen King collected his rejection slips, it’s to give yourself a goal, to turn your disappoint into a mission to keep going and wrap up the rejection list. You’re accepting that you’re going to get rejected and now you’re striving to do so. Odds are at least one person will accept your story. Plus, if you want to be a writer, you have to get used to it.
“For a writer, it’s mostly rejections.”
Image Via Writer’s Digest
Rejections aren’t all bad. Remember: “The door isn’t closing, the path if shifting.”
Rejections can create relationships. Your expert query letter may prove that while the agent isn’t interested in your current work, he/she might be interested in your work as a writer. They might ask to see something else or, worst case, they now know your name. Your name is out there, like a plane traveling across the beach, and you never know who might see your banner.
At this point in the conference, Kim Liao gave us the audience a second set of direction. With pens and notebooks at the ready, the silence was palpable. These are the sets in full:
List 5 or more things you can do in the next year
List 4 things you can do in the next 6 months
List 3 things you can do in the next 2 months
List 2 things you can do this month
List 1 things you can do this week
So what’re you waiting for?
Image Via Author Media
Go on Twitter and search for submission calls. Look for agents and editors, most agents and editors post their emails on their Twitter.
Image Via Webnode
Maybe you should set up a blog; just remember to “write lots of posts in advance.”
Image Via Self-Publishing School
Set up a writing schedule. A writing schedule isn’t necessary just writing. Put time aside for pitching, writing, and querying. All three of these things have to do with writing, and you have to set time aside for each.
Before you query, take a step back and look at your writing. “Whenever you feel that you’re ready, take a week,” and remember that “[y]our writer’s group can help you solve your problems…not your agent.”
You can only query one agent with one project at a time. If you go back and make changes, odd are that agent doesn’t want to hear about that project anymore.
When you’re ready to submit your work, set up the excel spreadsheet and aim to get a hundred rejections a year. Rejection is a “necessary step,” in the writing process. “It can happen anywhere,” even to the most successful writer.
But keep writing and keep submitting. If you get a rejection, and then another one, and then another one after that, then guess what? You have only three rejections and need ninety-seven more to finish out your list! Odds are you’re going to be surprised because the best thing you write might be the thing people like the best.
And don’t forget: if you’re writing a novel and you go “Now I have an agent! I’m done,” then you’re wrong. You haven’t even gotten started yet, but you’re ready.
Joni Mitchell, the esteemed singer-songwriter of the 70s, is publishing a collection of handwritten lyrics and artwork titled Morning Glory on the Vine: Early Songs and Drawings. Though Mitchell is most well known for her music, this mysterious work has been a part of her unique character for decades.
Image via Amazon
Morning Glory on the Vine was originally created in 1971. Mitchell created 100 copies, including a personal signature with each one, before distributing the work to her closest friends. This will be the first time that the extremely intimate work will be available for public consumption.
Mitchell choose to publish Morning Glory on the Vine with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in celebration of her 75th birthday. In addition to Mitchell’s poetry and artwork included in the original version, the published version will also feature a new introduction written by Mitchell.
Joni Mitchell’s Art/Image via Canadian Art Junkie
Many of Mitchell’s pals are also included within the work, as the artist painted several portraits modeled after her famous friends. For example, Neil Young, Georgia O’Keefe, and David Crosby, all have portraits handmade by Mitchell herself.
Morning Glory on the Vine is available to purchase online and in bookstores now.
You read the title, you know what this article is about. With all the hoopla over the last hundred or so years of us asking the same few questions (Will the book die out? Is the book dead?) over and over again, I’ve decided to do something a little more productive than just roll my eyes.
I’ve decided to give you five great books that you just can’t listen to. Yes, you may be able to find some actor with the soothing chirp of Michael Caine or the deep drawl of Morgan Freeman, but simply listening isn’t going to give you the full experience. For these books, you have to read them yourself.
I think you get the idea.
Now for this list I’ve discounted Mad Libs, coloring books, pop up books, or any comic book/graphic novels/manga. None of those will be appearing on this list. You’re old enough to know that you can’t just hear the soothing voice of a Stephen Fry while you’re running on the treadmill to get the full picture—you actually have to open up the comic book and read it. There’s no use of me reiterating that for the hundredth time.
What’ll be on this list are books. Books with spines and pages and words. Ready?
Written in Paris, Hopscotch was published in Spanish in 1963 and in English in 1966. Okay, so we’ve got Horacio Oliveira, an Argentinian writer who lives in Paris with his mistress, La Maga. Everything is going well until a child dies and La Maga disappears off the face of the planet. Not sure what to do, Oliveira returns to Buenos Aires, where he works by turns as a salesman, a keeper of a circus cat which can truly count, and an attendant in an insane asylum.
The Spanish Version / Image Via Wikipedia
Oh yeah, ninety-nine chapters are expendable. You read that right, expendable. Meaning they are useless, that they can be cut out of the book with no loss to the story, and with a book that’s 155 chapters in total, that means that about 63.87% of the book can be thrown out in the trash.
Why didn’t the editor do his/her job? I hear you ask, and the answer is why this book made this list.
See there are a couple of ways to read this book. You can read it from chapter one to chapter fifty six, or you can “hopscotch” throughout the book using the “Table of Instructions”. Or you can go completely random.
Image Via AZ Quotes
Reading the book in order means that ninety-nine expendable chapters will make little to no sense. They’re nothing more than random musings.
Reading them using the “Table of Instructions” means that some of these expendable chapters can be revelations. See, the entire book is written in an episodic, snapshot manner. A real slice of lie type story. These expendable chapters, when you put them in order, can add information about the characters, such as giving more information about this guy named Morelli who pops up for a small cameo in the novel. At first, he’s random. Diving deep, we realize what he means.
Point is, these “expendable” chapters at first seem like random musings, but upon closer inspection some of these ‘musings’ are actually answers in disguise.
Image Via La tinta
Wait! I hear you say, can’t we just have two audio versions: One where a narrator goes through the book linearly and one where he “hopscotches” around using the “Table of Instructions”.
Well, assuming money is no obstacle, yes, but you forget about the third way to read this book: figure it out yourself.
Remember how I said reading the table means that only *some* of the expendable chapters make sense? That’s where making it up as you go along comes. Yes, that part where I said “you can go completely random” wasn’t a joke. In fact, Cortázar himself gives the reader the option of choosing a unique path through the narrative.
The book is a puzzle. It’s a choose your own adventure where you are left on your own devise to figure out the timeline between all these chapters. It won’t be easy, given that the narratives techniques switch from first person and third person to stream-of-consciousness and traditional spelling and grammatical rules are often bent or even outright broken, but this isn’t your typical book.
Do you like Chuck Palahniuk? He wrote Fight Club, and I love Fight Club. I can’t stop talking about Fight Club. Did you know that Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club, thinks Fight Club is better than Fight Club?
Chuck Palahniuk also wrote Invisible Monsters, a novel about a fashion model who has everything: a boyfriend, a career, a loyal best friend, but loses it all from when a sudden freeway “accident” leaves her disfigured and unable to speak. She becomes an ‘invisible monster,’ but then Brandy Alexander, Queen Supreme, walks into her life and teaches her that reinventing yourself means erasing your past and making up something better.
It’s a great book, and I wish I could talk about it, but I won’t. Instead I’ll talk about what Palahniuk deems the ‘director’s cut’ called Invisible Monsters Remix.
Image Via Amazon
This remix chops up the original story, presenting it in short scenes which end with a request to skip to another page. It’s a choose-your-own-adventure novel in which readers must follows the directions and flip through the book a la Hopscotch, but this book takes it one step beyond.
Yes, you can read the book linearly, yes you can flip around and, as per the introduction “jump to Chapter Forty-one,” or you could go completely random, but Palahniuk takes it one step beyond.
For a start, you can take out a pen and mark up the book. I’m serious. See, Palahniuk has added new chapters interspersed throughout the book and you can get lost flipping through the book. To solve this, the author himself encourages you, dear reader, to mark each page with an ‘x’ so when you get to the end (which is in the middle) you can look back to see if you’ve missed any pages.
You will miss pages. About three three chapters worth, in fact.
Plus, unlike Hopscotch, Palahinuk has this:
Image Via Danielshankcruz.files.wordpress
There’s nothing like two sequences where the pages that are printed backwards so you gotta use a mirror to read them. Wouldn’t you agree that the experience be less if you just listened to someone reading the pages normally?
The book is called S, but not really. It’s actually called Ship of Theseus, but not really. Let me explain.
Ship of Theseus was written by an elusive author named V. M. Straka and published in 1949.
S was written by Doug Dorst and J.J. Abrams, and they wrote three stories that are packaged into one.
The core story is Ship of Theseus by V. M. Straka, published in 1949, which is about an amnesiac, known only as S., who’s trying to figure out who he really is after waking up in a strange city who becomes trapped in a conflict between a violent, oppressive industrialist and his rebellious workers.
The book has footnotes describing how the author, V. M. Straka, was a secretive anarchist who might have written this book as an allegory of a real conflict and assassination conspiracy of which he was a part. No one knows who Straka is and supposedly he is dead, but the book’s editor, F. X. Caldeira, not only wrote the introduction but also included various footnotes throughout the book that seem to contain coded messages in an attempt to contact Straka.
Image Via Pinterest
Now the book itself is a mock-up of a high school library’s check-out history of the book, spanning the years 1957 to 2000. A grad student named Eric has been working on his own theory of who Straka was, writing his notes in the margins. Jen, an undergrad student who works at the college library, writes out her responses in the margins, creating a conversation as they trade the book back and forth, blossoming into a romance as soon as they begin to encounter some danger by people who don’t want the truth to be known.
Everything The Book Comes With / Image Via Emily Short’s Interactive Storytelling
Do you like pictures? Do you like words? How about pictures made out of words? Well there’s a word for that and it’s calligrams and this book is choc-full of them. Moving text, text that forms pictures, giant texts to emphasize words, this book has it.
Let’s take a step back.
A man named Eric Sanderson wakes up in a house he doesn’t recognize, unable to remember anything of his life. A note instructs him to call a Dr. Randle, who informs him he’s had another episode of memory loss.
Apparently this has been happening for the last two years, but Eric isn’t too sure. He decides to learn the truth, escaping the predatory forces that threaten to consume him.
Postmodern magic rituals, conceptual predators swimming the abstract depths of consciousness, this psychological odyssey is a brilliant story by its own, but Hall takes one step beyond.
The text loops and swerves, putting the reader in Hall’s mindset.
Image Via Goodreads
It even gives us an image of what Hall sees with images like this:
Image Via Than Words
Try have someone reading that text out loud! Hall knows that simply saying “an eye appeared” wouldn’t be as powerful as showing us an eye made up of words, making our skin crawl as we feel multiple eyes staring right as us through the very page itself.
But Hall then doesn’t just make the text see, he gives it a face.
Image Via Pinterest
A picture is worth a thousand words, and these pictures are made of words
This book is 709 pages and I read it over the courage of two days. My eyes could not be peeled away. I was lying on the bathroom floor in a hotel at midnight, my cousin’s wedding in eight hours, and I refused to close the book. My brother was asleep in the next room so I couldn’t turn on the light, so I went in the bathroom and lay across the floor and read this book until I was finished.
My cousin’s wedding is a blur, but this book isn’t.
House of Leaves is about a house that is about a little less than an inch bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.
Let’s back up. We start off with a first-person narrative by Johnny Truant, a Los Angeles tattoo parlour employee and professed unreliable narrator. Looking for an apartment, Traunt finds out about the meant of the recently deceased Zampanò, a blind, elderly man.
Curious, Traunt goes to the apartment and finds that the blind man was writing a book. Yes, the blind man was writing a book. The book is an academic study of a documentary film called The Navidson Record, even though, according to Traunt, there’s no evidence that the film or its subjects ever existed, even though Zampanò quotes the likes of famous figures from Stephen King to Stanley Kubrick and Anne Rice.
Image Via KCRW
From here, Traunt’s story is told through increasingly long footnotes sprinkled into The Navidson Record, which is about a documentarian who moves into a house with his family and realizes that their house is bigger on the inside than the outside.
What’s more, the house seems to be expanding while the outside stays the same. Plus, a dark, cold hallway opens in an exterior living room wall that should project outside into their yard, but does not. It’s also impossible to shine a light in this hallway and, furthermore, seems to be shifting and growing.
The book utilizes different fonts to distinguish characters. These are: Times New Roman (Zampanò), Courier (Johnny), Bookman (The Editors), and Dante (Johnny’s mother).
It also uses color changes.
Image Via Fox Burrow Magazine
The word “house” is colored blue (gray for non-color editions of the book and light gray for red editions.
The word Minotaur and all struck passages are colored red.
References to Johnny’s mother are colored purple.
This is just the basic stuff right here.
Image VIa Goodreads
A prime example of ergodic literature, the book contains copious footnotes, many of which contain footnotes themselves…
Image VIa Ergodic Design
…while other pages contain only a few words or lines of text…
Image Via Goodreads
…some of the text is arranged to mirror the events in the story or a character’s mind…
Image Via The Reader’s Room
There are sections where there were just a few words on the page while a chase was happening so you sped through the pages like you were running through the halls and there are sections where the dialogue from people on top of a staircase was high on the page while speech from the characters down below was on the bottom of the page.
Image Via Cornerfolds
Image Via Goodreads
Give me audiobook of that! You can’t, because to read this book, to read all these books, you have to do more than skim through the pages, you have to interact with them. You have to rip them apart, mark them up, twist them and turn them.
Call these big five art, call these big five artsy, call these big five pretentious, I call them the reason why “The book is dead” question makes my eyes roll into the back of my head.
They say never judge a book by its cover but that’s not really true. The purpose of a book’s cover is to entice you into buying it and those that do a poor job of representing the book aren’t doing their job well. But book covers are an often overlooked piece that provides an intimate look at the contents before you even open them. Some of them are even artistic masterpieces in their own right. But what are the best? Let’s have a look at some of the best ones and marvel at their beauty.
11. ‘Jurassic Park’ by Michael Crichton
image via Amazon
Jurassic Parkby Michael Crichton is utterly brilliant as a cover. It depicts a Tyrannosaurus Rex’s skeleton against a white backdrop, hinting at terrifying possibilities but nonetheless drawing the reader in for a wild ride. Its also gets bonus points for becoming so iconic.
10. ‘Get in Trouble’ by Kelly Link
image via amazon
Get In Troubleby Kelly Link provides a marvelous and captivating cover. Her stories are offbeat and have a sense of offness to them, showcased by this strange cover. The upside down nature of a seemingly normal house provides an excellent preview of what you’re in for: the normal world turned literally upside down. Not to mention its a really cool visual piece.
9. ‘Heart of a samurai’ by Margi Preus
image via amazon
Heart of a Samuraiby Margi Preus has an instantly captivating cover. The colors of the wave contrasted with the lovely sky, the boat riding atop the wave, and the whales beneath instantly make for a classic image. There’s a sense of adventure, danger, and even action from the cover alone, as it draws your eye in right away.
7. ‘the great gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald
image via amazon
The Great Gatsbyby F. Scott Fitzgerald has truly one of the great covers of all time. Created by Spanish artist Francis Cugat, this cover is a pretty work of surrealism and beauty. Every part of it is iconic: from the giant disembodied eyes and lips floating over the colorful, almost theme parking looking location below against the backdrop of the blue night sky, its a wonderful work of art that will always represent its book in the popular consciousness.
6. ‘Beowolf’ translated by Seamus Heaney
image via amazon
Beowolfby Seamus Heaney is a new translation of the classic epic poem that instantly draws your eye through its simplistic but striking cover. All there is to it is a man standing in full chainmail with his back to the camera but it instantly captures the feeling of the poem. The image captures violence and strangeness through what it implies, becoming more the more you pay attention to it. A truly classic image for a classic poem.
5. ‘The Godfather’ by Mario Puzo
image via amazon
The Godfatherby Mario Puzo is a classic, stark novel and its cover matches its iconic status. Created by S. Neil Fujita, conveys the rotten power Puzo examines, even as it intrigues the potential reader. It could just as easily be the cover to a horror novel—which isn’t actually that far off the mark, if you think about it. There aren’t too many book covers that create what’s essentially a brand logo, but that’s just what this one did.
4. ‘The hate u give’ by Angie Thomas
image via Amazon
The Hate U Giveby Angie Thomas is another brilliant cover that’s more recent. It uses negative space in a bold way, drawing focus to its central character who holds up her sign and demands the looker’s attention. The lead character is both empowered and obscured by her message, an awesome showcase of the book’s themes in a simple way.
3. ‘Brave New World’ by Aldous Huxley
image via Amazon
Brave New Worldby Aldous Huxley’s cover combines the absurd and frightening tone of the story with a simple, bold approach that draws the eye and holds it tortuously. You try to figure out what you’re looking at, even as the sneaking suspicion that you don’t want to know creeps up on you.
2. ‘The Stranger’ by Albert Camus
image via Amazon
The Strangerby Albert Camus is a bit headache inducing to look at but a great image nonetheless. The stark lines converging to create a hidden optical illusion. Once you see it, you’ll never forget it; once you read the book, you’ll forever associate it with this powerful cover.
1. ‘A clockwork Orange’ by Anthony Burgess
Image via Amazon
A Clockwork Orangeby Anthony Burgess is a disturbing cover for a disturbing novel. Supposedly banged out in a single evening, this cover referenced the iconic film, and conveyed the sense of society being broken all at once, showcasing a screaming face contrasted with a fire in place of the upper part of the man’s head. It’s brilliant on a level no other cover has quite been able to surpass.