Tag: birthday

Happy Birthday Leo Tolstoy, Author of ‘War And Peace’!

Happy birthday to one of the most acclaimed classic writers of the world: Leo Tolstoy. The Russian writer wrote numerous novels that have become literary mainstays, such as Anna Karenina, The Death of Ivan Ilyichand War And PeaceSurely you’ve heard of at least one of them, although you may not have actually read them.

 

 

Tolstoy was born in Tula Province, Russia in 1828. In the 1860s, he wrote his most famous novel, which we’ve already mentioned: War And Peace. Initially published serially, later collected into a single volume, spanning the period of 1805 to 1820. Since its publication, it has been regarded as Tolstoy’s finest achievement and a huge high mark of literature in general.

 

Image via Amazon

 

Tolstoy continued to write fiction throughout the 1880s and 1890s, until his death in 1910. But War And Peace remains his most famous achievement, understandably so. He spent the better of the 1860s toiling over his epic masterpiece. Portions of it were first published in The Russian Messenger, where it was first titled “The Year of 1805.” More chapters were released, until Tolstoy eventually finished in 1868. Both critics and the public were buzzing about the novel’s historical accounts of the Napoleonic Wars, combined with its thoughtful development of realistic yet fictional characters. The novel also uniquely incorporated three long essays satirizing the laws of history. Among the ideas that Tolstoy extols in War and Peace is the belief that the quality and meaning of one’s life is mainly derived from his day-to-day activities.

 

Image via Wikipedia

 

After War And Peace, Tolstoy followed it with Anna Karenina, where the first line is among his most famous quotes. It said:

 

 

‘All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.’

 

This book was published in installments from 1873 to 1877. The royalties earned from both novels made Tolstoy rich, contributing to his growing status as a beloved author. However, after Anna Karenina, Tolstoy grew depressed and suffered a spiritual crisis. He attempted to find answers in the Russian Orthodox Church but they did not have any answers that satisfied him. He wound up developing his own system of beliefs and expressed them in further books he wrote in the 1880s. However, this cost him to be ousted from the Church and watched by the secret police. This perhaps contributed to his dwindling popularity, with the exception of The Death of Ivan Illyich, which found acclaim and popularity.

Despite this, Tolstoy established himself as a moral and spiritual leader, influencing the likes of Ghandi among others. Also during his later years, Tolstoy reaped the rewards of international acclaim. Yet he still struggled to reconcile his spiritual beliefs with the tensions they created in his home life. His wife not only disagreed with his teachings, she disapproved of his disciples, who regularly visited Tolstoy at the family estate. Their troubled marriage took on an air of notoriety in the press. Anxious to escape his wife’s growing resentment, in October 1910, Tolstoy, his daughter, Aleksandra, and his physician, Dr. Dushan P. Makovitski, embarked on a pilgrimage. Valuing their privacy, they traveled incognito, hoping to dodge the press, to no avail.

He died in November in 1910, where he was buried in the family estate following his passing. He was survived by his wife and his 8 children he had with it. Today, Tolstoy is remembered as a masterpiece of a writer, with a gift for describing a character’s motives and remembering to focus on their everyday actions to describe their overall purpose.

Happy birthday, Tolstoy! Maybe crack open one of his novels and check him out today.

 

 

Featured Image Via The Guardian

Top Ten H.P. Lovecraft Monsters (Who Aren’t Cthulhu)

 

In celebration of Lovecraft’s birthday (August 20th), we’re posting some Lovecraft related horror goodness!

 

H P Lovecraft

Image Via Mr. Sam Shearon-Big Cartel

 

Often with Lovecraft, a lot of his work tends to boil down to his most infamous creation: Cthulhu. Yes, Cthulhu is quite memorable, being an octopus-headed alien sea monster with giant wings, but there’s tons of other Lovecraft stories out there beyond Call of Cthulhueach with their own weird, terrible, and petrifying monsters.

So, let’s celebrate Lovecraft’s work through going over some of his other creations and let old Cthulhu have a rest! Brace your mind, here are the varied creations of the Lovecraft Mythos!

 

 

Image via The H.P. Lovecraft wiki

10. Kassogtha 

This writhing mass of tentacles is said to be Cthulhu’s sister and mate (yuck). She’s describe as literally just a big pile of tentacles and in turn gave birth to Nctosa and Ncothlu, Cthulhu’s daughters. Incest seems a minor horror in the Lovecraft universe but its pretty gross nonetheless and shows that Great Old Ones’ family trees are messed up. As for Kassogtha herself, her abilities are ill defined but she can grab her victims with her tendrils and yank them in to devour them whole. She’s also noted for particularly bad tempered and violent, causing other Old Ones to tread carefully around her.

 

 

Image via Pininterest

9. Ghast

Hailing from Lovecraft’s surreal Dream Cycle, ghasts are humanoid creatures that live in the vaults of Zin. They have a vaguely human face, but lack noses or ears. They also have kangaroo-like legs which they use to hop around on and are very swift, strong, and agile. They hate sunlight and thus dwell in complete darkness, with sunlight capable of destroying them. Hunting in packs, they are fearsome hunters who will practice cannibalism if they get too hungry.

 

 

Image via H.P. Lovecraft wiki

8. Mi-go

Aliens that looks like a cross between fungus and lobsters, mi-gos sure are strange. They fly through vacuum of space, zooming between Earth and Pluto with the aid of their supernatural wings. They worship other Lovecraft gods, acting as servants to them, being classified as a hostile and rather vicious alien species. In ancient times, they waged a war against the Elder Things on Earth before humans came into existence.

 

 

Image via Wikipedia

7. Shoggoth

The Shoggoths were created by the Elder Things as a slave race, taking the form of grotesque blobs covered in dozens of eyes. They have tremendous strength and are nearly invincible against forms of physical attack. Eventually, they developed a consciousness of their own and rebelled against the Elder Things, resulting in them roaming the dark spaces of the world in the modern day. Pray you don’t need one.

 

 

 

 

Image via The H.P. Lovecraft wiki

6. Dagon

A deity who rules over the Deep Ones, Father Dagon, as he’s called by his worshippers, is gigantic sea creature that dwells in the seas. Worshipped by a devout cult of humans and Deep Ones, Dagon only appears physically in a short story named after him, where he erupts from the ocean to embrace an unholy monolith but his presence casts a long shadow over the series, with his children being extensively featured.

 

 

Image via Lovecraft wiki

5. Azathoth

“The Blind Idiot God’, Azathoth is basically a sentient singularity, sitting at the very center of the universe. Azathoth lies constantly in a deep slumber, kept there by other powerful deities who constantly sing to the creature to keep him in his induced, eternal hibernation. For if Azathoth were to ever awaken, the entire universe would end just like that. All it would need is a moment where it opens its eyes and boom! Everything just gone.

 

 

Image via Lovecraft wiki

4. Night-gaunts

Nightgaunts serve many gods and sometimes capture people climbing the mountains in the Dreamlands. They were inspired by nightmares Lovecraft had in his youth. Slithering through the Dreamlands, they collectively gave birth to the human conception of demons, with their long tails, closed feet, horns, and great bat-like wings. They’re said to have been inspired by nightmares Lovecraft himself suffered from.

 

 

Image via Lovecraft wiki

3. Y’Golonac 

Y’golonac is a god of pure evil and sadism, who gets his kicks from torturing humans. He gets off on dozens of perversions that can barely be conceived by human imagination and perception, his acts stretching the limits of human comprehension. He takes a physical form through possessing human hosts, manifesting as a obese man without a head or neck, with a mouth in the palm of his hands. He seeks humans with similar perverse tastes to become his servants, coming to them when they read forbidden literature. His true form is sealed behind a wall of bricks, deep in ancient ruins beneath the earth.

 

 

Image via lovecraft wiki

2. Yog-Sothoth

Yog-Sothoth is another incomprehensible being. It defies visualization. Although it does appear to humans usually as a mass of glowing orbs or other strange tendrils reaching out from the abyss. There is an agreement between many writers and fans that Yog-Sothoth is an omniscient being outside of the material realm, meaning that it is ultimately a god that knows all.

 

 

 

 

Image via Lovecraft wiki

1. Nyarlathotep 

Nyarlathotep is also known as the crawling chaos. It is an evil god that can shape-shift into over a thousand different forms. The character was first found in Lovecraft’s poem titled Nyarlathotep. It was published in 1920 and is part of the original Lovecraftian canon. This being also appeared in a few other stories published throughout the years. This beast is so scary that like the sight of a basilisk, one glance is enough to drive a man insane. When it assumes the form of a human, it turns into an Egyptian Pharaoh. Under the auspices of humanity, this sinister man reels in followers with his slick tongue and turn of a phrase.

 

 

Featured Image Via Reddit/Cthulhu by Andrée Wallin

Inspirational Quotes to Celebrate David Baldacci’s Birthday!

David Baldacci is a bestselling American novelist, who has currently published 38 novels and sold over 130 million books worldwide. His novels are generally true crime/detective stories such as Absolute PowerThe Innocent, Split Second, The Camel Cluband True Blue, but he’s also also published young adult novels! His books have been translated internationally into 45 different languages and, in addition to his popular writing, Baldacci is a devoted philanthropist who supports adult literacy across America.

Today is Baldacci’s birthday and we’re going to celebrate it by sharing these quotes straight from this acclaimed author’s writing!

Image via Amazon 

 

  1. “Why can’t people just sit and read books and be nice to each other?” – The Camel Club. 

2. “Today might not be so good. But tomorrow, you get another chance to get it right.” Absolute Power.

3. “The human spirit was the strongest medicine on earth. And sometimes all it needed was a little encouragement to pull off a miracle.” – The Forgotten.

4. “You know what kind of person it takes to run for President? Not normal. They could start out okay, but by the time they reach that level they’ve sold their soul to the devil so many times and stomped the guts out of enough people that they are definitely not like you and me, not even close.” – Absolute Power. 

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5. “As my father wrote, one’s courage, hope, and spirit can be severely tried by the happenstance of life. But as I learned on this Virginia mountain, so long as one never loses faith, it is impossible to ever truly be alone.” – Wish You Well.

6. “But if you don’t know where you want to go, I suppose any path will get you there.” – The Finisher.

7. “It’s not the beginning or the destination that counts. It’s the ride in between.” – The Christmas Train.

Image Via Amazon

8. “Because life doesn’t work that way. You can do everything perfectly. Do everything you think you’re supposed to be doing. Fulfill every expectation that other people may have. And you still won’t get the results you think you deserve. Life is crazy and maddening and often makes no sense.” – One Summer.

9. “Depending on the situation, sometimes you can know a person better in ten minutes than someone you have crossed paths with all your life.” – The Simple Truth. 

10. “Time doesn’t really heal, it just makes you not to give a crap.” – Split Second.

 

What are some of your favorite Baldacci novels? Tell us in the comments and don’t forget to wish “Happy birthday!” to this fabulous author!

Featured Image Via Wikipedia

Top 10 Magical Harry Potter Tweets!

It’s J.K. Rowling’s birthday, and, since she’s THAT author, that means it’s also Harry Potter’s birthday! Not the series, the titular character. Since he’s our chosen one, well, I’m celebrating, you’re celebrating, everyone is celebrating! And some of us have taken a break from binging the Harry Potter movies or speed-reading through the series to Tweet ‘congrats’ to our favorite boy who used to live under the stairs.

So since we’ve looked away from our pages and our screens, let’s stare at the article on this screen and look through the Top Ten Best Harry Potter Tweets.

 

10.

 

9.

 

8.

With those two tweets, I think we can all agree that…

 

7.

 

6.

 

5.

Don’t fret if you didn’t get a letter to Hogwarts, because if you were there, you’d probably have some homework like this…

 

4.

 

3.

Not to bring the mood down, but if you want to ride the real-life Hogwarts Express that was used for the movies, then you can ride the West Highland Line. Seriously.

The West Highland Line was used for the movie. If you like it, recommend it to friends or become a member of The Friends of the West Highland Lines, a community group and media organization that seeks to direct funding toward service improvements and making sure the line stays running. If you want more information, check out our article on it here.

 

2.

Before we get to our final Harry Potter Tweet. Let’s take a moment to remember a star from Die Hard, a star from Prince of Thieves, a star all around, Harry Potter’s own Professor Snape: Alan Rickman.

 

1.

Do you think we’re going to have something as big as the VR mobile game Wizards Unite? Maybe it’s another Fantastic Beasts movie!

 

 

 

Featured image Via Bham Now

 

Five Magical Books to Celebrate Harry Potter’s Birthday!

This week, Bookstr has decided to give you a special treat! To celebrate both Harry Potter’s and J. K. Rowling’s birthdays, we have decided to give you the definitive list of the best, the coolest, the most magical, books with wizards, witches, magic, or all three!

So take out your wand and whip out your flaming sword, here’s are five books that have pages racked to the brim with spells-galore!

 

 

5. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

 

J R R Tolkien

Image Via Daily Express

 

The history of this trilogy doesn’t need to be reiterated, from Tolkien’s belief that fantasy isn’t just for children to Jackson’s monstrously huge trilogy to Amazon’s current ‘in-development’ prequel adaptation, but what does need to reiterated is how AWESOME this series is.

 

Gandalf

Image Via Medium

 

With two wizards to boot, plus an assortment of creatures from devilish orcs, angelic elves, grumpy dwarfs, rambunctious hobbits and a world filled with giant spiders and talking trees, this series has no shortage of magic and wizards that’ll keep you turning page after page.

Plus, check out The Hobbit. The book (not the movie trilogy) is great!

 

4. Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

What’s more magical than the Greeks Gods themselves?

 

Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief

Image Via Disney Publishing Worldwide

 

The first part of the Camp Half-Blood chronicles follows a teenage Percy Jackson who lives in the modern world. The twist? He’s a demigod, and he’s off to Camp Half-Blood.

Along the way, he discovers that not only are there other demigods like him out in the world, but he’s the son of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, earthquakes, and father of all horses. Does that make all the horses of the world his half-brothers?

 

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

Image Via Amazon

In addition, Percy also learns that his best friend is actually a satyr (a half-goat, half-man). With the first novel focusing on Percy uncovering a conspiracy against him, things couldn’t seem to heat up anymore.

But they do. As the series goes on, we get characters from Greek and Roman mythology, from Titans to Gods to demigods to pegasi and many more mythical creatures, this is a series that any magic fan wouldn’t want to miss.

Now if you plan to check out this series for the first time, just do yourself a favor and pretend the movie adaptation doesn’t exist.

 

3. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Image Via Amazon

Who forget these books? Every child this century reads at least one book (probably The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) from this series as a kid.

If you didn’t, you had no childhood worth acknowledging.

 

C S Lewis

Image Via Christianity Today

A contemporary and best frenemy of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis’s seven book series might have jumped around when it came to the timeline, but since the series has been done and over with since 1957 you can start at the creation of Narnia with The Magician’s Nephew to its eventual destruction in The Last Battle.

What other series can boast that it goes through the history of an entire world, including it’s creation and destruction?

If this seems a tad overwhelming, don’t worry. With magic, mythical beasts, and talking animals, Narnia is a fantastical realm, and the words on its pages ship you off to another realm the way the wardrobe and the paintings do the same to the characters.

 

2. The Worst Witch Series by Jill Murphy

The first 6 books in 'The Worst Witch' Series

Image Via theworstwitch.fandom.com

 

You might have heard of them, but The Worst Witch is a series of children’s books written and illustrated by Jill Murphy. First published in 1974 by Allison & Busby, the series focuses on Mildred Hubble, a young witch who attends Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches, an all-female boarding school of magic.

 

The Worst Witch and the Wishing Star

Image Via Amazon

 

Well-intentioned but clumsy, Mildred often finds herself in disastrous situations, leading to her being labeled as the worst student in the school.

 

First Prize for Worst Witch

Image Via Scholastic Shop

 

Each book in the series focuses on each individual two-term school years. With eight books in the series published, the most recent published in 2018, these stories about finding your place in the world is relatable to those of all ages, even if they aren’t magically inclined.

 

 

1. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Did you seriously expect anything else?

 

J K Rowling

Image Via Mirror

 

Not only is it J.K. Rowling’s/Harry Potter’s birthday, but in addition to her many witches and wizards…

 

Dumbledore, Grinwald, and Voldemort

Image Via Humor Nation

Hogwarts students

Image Via Seventeen Magazine

…she’s got so many magical creatures in her books, it’s insane!

 

A creature from the Harry Potter World. Do you know which one?

Image Via IGN

 

Check out the list here for the most obscure ones. Or have you been drinking too much butterbeer?

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Forbes