Tag: authors

7 April-Born Authors to Read This Month

April is the month of warmer weather, budding flowers, and April showers. More importantly, it’s also the birth month of numerous influential authors. As readers, we tend to stick to the genres we feel most comfortable reading. But now that many of us are social-distancing at home, we have an abundance of time on our hands, which is all the more reason to check out some of these works–even if you wouldn’t normally pick them off a shelf. Ranging from rich fantasy to 18th century settings, these books will transport you to a different time–and maybe even a different world. 

1. Hans Christen Andersen – April 2, 1805

via fine art america

A Danish writer, Hans Christen Andersen is best known for his 19th century fairy tales, many of which have been adapted to Disney movies modern day. Despite the popularity of his children’s stories today–some of which include “The Little Mermaid,” “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” and “The Ugly Duckling”–many literary critics disapproved of his fairy tales when they were first published in the 19th century, and discouraged him from pursuing the genre. Andersen also published several novels.

Major works to check out: Hans Christensen Andersen’s Complete Fairy Tales

Not into children’s books? Watch these movies based on his works: Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Thumbelina, Fantasia 2000 (inspired by “The Steadfast Tin Soldier”)

 

2. Washington Irving – April 3, 1783

via interesting literature

Washington Irving is most well-known for his short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” but he also published numerous historical works and biographies about figures like George Washington and Christopher Columbus. Irving is accredited with defining the American short story, as well as encouraging other authors, especially as he became one of the first American authors to gain literary success in Europe. 

Major works to check out: “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” “Rip Van Winkle”

Not interested in the short story? (We’re silently judging you. Just kidding–Maybe.) Check out Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow.

3. Maya Angelou – April 4, 1928

via the new york times

A woman of many talents, Maya Angelou is known for her work as a writer, singer, and civil rights activist. Her most influential work is I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, an autobiography about Angelou’s childhood and early teenage years, in which she discusses racism, rape, and what it’s like growing up as a female in a male-centric world. The book has won numerous awards since its release, though was banned from some schools due to its discussions of rape. Since then, it has become a literary classic studied on a multitude of college campuses.

Angelou passed away in 2014, but leaves behind a legacy of influential works and activism.

Major works to check out: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, “On the Pulse of Morning”

 

4. Leigh Bardugo – April 6, 1975

via leigh bardugo

Since her debut in 2012, Leigh Bardugo has become a household name in the YA industry. Her success is mostly attributed to the Grishaverse, which consists of three series and a book of short stories, all set in the same universe. Anyone looking to dip their feet in the genre will appreciate Bardugo’s strong characters, complex world-building, and creative use of YA tropes. Netflix has recently picked up the series in Shadow and Bone, so now is the perfect time to get reading before the release of the show!

But Bardugo’s work isn’t limited to just Young Adult; her most recent publication is Ninth House, an adult novel following a student at Yale University. If you loved any of her previous works, you’ll love this dark fantasy.

Major works to check out: Shadow and Bone, Six of Crows, King of Scars, Ninth House

5. William Wordsworth – April 7, 1770

via the new yorker

William Wordsworth, in collaboration with his colleague Samuel Coleridge, is best known for defining the Romantic Age with Lyrical Ballads. This literary age moved away from neoclassicism, which emphasized reason, and focused instead on human emotion and connection with nature. Wordsworth has published numerous poems, including autobiographical The Prelude, a retrospective poem that delves into his personal life and explores human nature. 

Major works to check out: The Prelude, Lyrical Ballads, “Lines Composed a Few Miles from Tintern Abbey,” “We are Seven”

6. Henry James – April 15, 1843

via the new yorker

A major transatlantic figure, Henry James held both American and British citizenship after leaving the US to settle in London. James is most known for his literary modernism and is often hailed as one of the best novelists of the English language. Many of his novels feature American protagonists transitioning into, or exploring, British life, delving into the ways identity is often tied to nationality. Despite his major success, James was often criticized by Theodore Roosevelt for moving to Europe and, in Roosevelt’s eyes at least, his lack of masculinity. 

Major works to check out: The Portrait of a Lady, What Maisie Knew, Daisy Miller

 

7. William Shakespeare – April 1564 (baptized April 26)

via biography.com

While we don’t know Shakespeare’s exact birthday, we do know that he was baptized April 26, 1564, meaning he was born sometime around then. One of the most well-known playwrights (if you haven’t heard of him, I think I can safely say you must live under a rock), Shakespeare is attributed with writing numerous poems and plays. If his name gives you flashbacks of acting out Macbeth in front of your sophomore class–don’t fret! Shakespeare’s plays may seem daunting to read at first, but the drama, humor, and deft use of iambic pentameter will entice more than just English majors.

Major works to check out: Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard III

If reading Shakespeare is really not your thing, check out these movies: Shakespeare in Love (based on his life), West Side Story (based on Romeo and Juliet), 10 Things I Hate About You (based on The Taming of the Shrew)

featured image via the la times

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Book Sales Climb as Readers Seek To Escape

COVID-19 continues to sweep the globe, and book sales are climbing as a result. Readers seek to escape the uncertain world and distract themselves through all forms of literature. Citizens in the United Kingdom are gathering novels, puzzle books, study guides, and coloring books as they prepare for long periods of social isolation. Fiction sales are up by a third and children’s books rise 234%, while stores like Waterstones are seeing a 400% weekly rise of online sales.

image via bbc news

 

 

It’s not just genres that seem to be on the rise, classic titles like The Great Gatsby, One Hundred Years of Solitude, and The Bell Jar are getting their fair share of reads this month. Authors are doing their part, too. Many are making efforts to help their readers pass the time. Some are reading their books to their audience on social media platforms and generating stay-at-home PSAs, while others are allowing easier distribution of their titles for everyone.

Featured image via financial times 

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Escape In 5 Fantasy Books Coming Out This Month

Now more than ever, we need to have some escapism in our lives. This doesn’t mean that we’re ignoring what is currently taking place around us, but it does mean that, if only for a moment, we are taking our minds off of the situation. I can think of no better way to encourage that escapism than a list of the new fantasy books that we will be seeing this April.

Here are five fantasy books coming out this month.

 

1. Incendiary

image via amazon

This month, Zoraida Córdova gives us the first book in her Hollow Crown series, Incendiary. The book’s Goodreads page provides the following description:

Renata Convida was only a child when she was kidnapped by the King’s Justice and brought to the luxurious palace of Andalucia. As a Robari, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, Renata’s ability to steal memories from royal enemies enabled the King’s Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people. Now Renata is one of the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown and helping the remaining Moria escape the kingdom bent on their destruction. The Whispers may have rescued Renata from the palace years ago, but she cannot escape their mistrust and hatred–or the overpowering memories of the hundreds of souls she turned “hollow” during her time in the palace. But returning to the palace stirs childhood memories long locked away. As Renata grows more deeply embedded in the politics of the royal court, she uncovers a secret in her past that could change the entire fate of the kingdom–and end the war that has cost her everything.

2. Ruthless gods

Ruthless Gods: A Novel (Something Dark and Holy Book 2) by [Duncan, Emily A.]

image via amazon

This is the second book in Emily A. Duncan‘s Something Dark and Holy Series. Ruthless Gods, drops this month too… and I am so, so excited for this installation. Following Wicked Saints, this book promises to be a fascinating sequel with its description, which states:

Nadya doesn’t trust her magic anymore. Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. Malachiasz is at war with who–and what–he’s become. As their group is continually torn apart, the girl, the prince, and the monster find their fates irrevocably intertwined. They’re pieces on a board, being orchestrated by someone… or something. The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meet—those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer.

3. Queen of coin and whispers

Queen of Coin and Whispers: A kingdom of secrets and a game of lies by [Corcoran, Helen]

image via amazon

Helen Corcoran‘s book Queen of Coin and Whispers promises a fascinating story with a description that states:

When teenage queen Lia inherits her corrupt uncle’s bankrupt kingdom, she brings a new spymaster into the fold … Xania, who takes the job to avenge her murdered father. Faced with dangerous plots and hidden enemies, can Lia and Xania learn to rely on each another, as they discover that all is not fair in love and treason? In a world where the throne means both power and duty, they must decide what to sacrifice for their country – and for each other …

 

4. The glass magician

image via amazon

The Glass Magician is written by Caroline Stevermer, and it definitely looks like an intriguing story to sink one’s teeth into. The book’s Goodreads page provides the following description:

What if you could turn into the animal of your heart anytime you want? With such power, you’d enter the cream of New York society, guaranteed a rich life among the Vanderbilts and Astors, movers and shakers who all have the magical talent and own the nation on the cusp of a new century. You could. If you were a Trader. Pity you’re not. Thalia is a Solitaire, one of the masses who don’t have the animalistic magic. But that is not to say that she doesn’t have talent of another kind—she is a rising stage magician who uses her very human skills to dazzle audiences with amazing feats of prestidigitation. Until one night when a trick goes horribly awry…and Thalia makes a discovery that changes her entire world. And sets her on a path that could bring her riches. Or kill her.

5. Don’t call the wolf

Don't Call the Wolf by [Ross, Aleksandra]

image via amazon

Last, but certainly not least, Don’t Call The Wolf, written by Aleksandra Ross, looks quite promising. The book’s description reads as follows:

When the Golden Dragon descended on the forest of Kamiena, a horde of monsters followed in its wake.  Ren, the forest’s young queen, is slowly losing her battle against them. Until she rescues Lukasz—the last survivor of a heroic regiment of dragon slayers—and they strike a deal. She will help him find his brother, who vanished into her forest… if Lukasz promises to slay the Dragon. But promises are all too easily broken.

 

Featured Image Via Twitter

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Celebrate National Theater Day With 7 Amazing Plays

As you may have seen all over your Instagram feed, today is National Theater Day! To celebrate all things theatrical, we’ve got seven great plays that definitely deserve a spot on your TBR (cast)list.

1. A street Car named desire 

IMAGE VIA AMAZON

This play is the instant classic written by Tennessee Williams. It’s the story of how Blanche DuBois, the once beautiful, southern belle, is pushed over the edge by her brother-in law Stanley Kowalski. It’s not a story for the faint of heart, but it is very important in the canon of American theater.

2. Who’s Afraid of VIRGINIA Woolf? 

IMAGE VIA AMAZON

Another play important in the American canon is Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The play takes you into the dysfunctional lives of George and Martha. They are hosting a party for a new history professor and his wife. George and Martha use their new “play things” to stir up drama and expose the horrors of not only their own lives, but of the couple who just wanted to have a nice evening.

 

3. A raisin in the sun 

IMAGE VIA AMAZON

Lorraine Hansberry’s classic A Raisin in the Sun is another book that all who love both great writing and great theater should read. The story is a bit of a tragic one, following an African-American working class family hoping to get out of the South-Side of Chicago. It gives a look into the aspirations and hopes, but also what can hold back a black family in the mid-20th century.

4. Medea 

IMAGE VIA AMAZON

Medea is a Greek myth by Euripides, who’s english translations are done by Gilbert Murray. The myth is about a proud Amazonian women who’s left by her husband Jason. Jason leaves her to marry the kings daughter, so he himself can one day hold the throne. The short play is about Medea’s revenge, and execution of said revenge on her ex-husband.

5. Angels in America 

angels in america

IMAGE VIA AMAZON

Tony Kushner’s Angels in America shows an insight into the horrors of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. It follows the stories of three groups; a proud gay man with AIDS and the impact it has on him and his lover, the closeted Roy Cohen who has “liver cancer” (or so he says), based on the real-life figure, and a man in an unhappy marriage who’s slowly coming to terms with his sexuality.

6. The curious incident of the Dog in the night-Time 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time book cover

IMAGE VIA AMAZON

This modern play by Mark Haddon is on its way to becoming a classic for theater lovers. It tells the story of 15-year old Christopher Boone has Asperger’s Syndrome. Although living a very sheltered life, the boy is a whiz with numbers and mysteries. He observes his neighbor’s dog being killed one night, and that starts his journey to not only finding who killed the dog, but finding himself along the way.

 

7. Our town 

our town cover

IMAGE VIA AMAZON

Thornton Wilder’s Our Town is a glimpse into what living in a small town in America was like during the early 20th-century. The play, set in Grover’s Conner, New Hampshire, is split into three acts with the first act focusing on the daily happenings of the town, the second on love and marriage, and the third is the most grim, discussing death.

feature image via commentary magazine

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Drop Everything, It’s Gryffindor Pride Day and Here Are The Tweets to Prove it

Hey! Gryffindor enthusiast here. I know what you’re thinking: “but are you actually a Gryffindor?” Yes. No, I did not take every sorting hat quiz available on the internet multiple times until I got Gryffindor. Yes, I took the *official* Pottermore quiz, and yes, I got Gryffindor the first time. Settled.

It’s no secret that all Hogwarts Houses have dedicated members with the pride of their loyalties running deep through their veins. Every house has a day to shine, and it’s time for Gryffindors near and far to unite and celebrate. Clearly, I have a lot of love for my house. But trust me, I’m not the only one. Check out these tweets by members of Gryffindor House expressing their pride.

 

Image via MinaLima

Sing your praises!

 

Gotta love some good lyric changes!

 

 

ALL THE FEELS… 

 

Every time.

make that social distance fun! (and productive of course)

 

Who said you can’t boast your Gryffindor pride while social distancing?

 

 

Loud and Proud!

 

And we love you for it!

 

 

love from ravenclaw 

 

We will throw this love right back to you on your special day!

 

 

quarantine but make it comfy 

 

Yes.

 

Image via Screen Rant

 

 

Featured Image via unsplash

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