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The Queen of Media Oprah Winfrey Turns 66 Today

Oprah

image via the atlantic

Talk show host, actress, philanthropist, author, and overall Queen of Media Oprah Winfrey celebrates her 66th birthday today.

Winfrey was born Jan. 29, 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi to Vernita Lee and Vernon Winfrey. Her parents separated soon after her birth and she was left in the care of her maternal grandmother, Hattie Mae Lee. Winfrey moved around frequently as a child, bouncing from the urban, poor life of her mother to the safety of her father’s home.

 

 

Oprah says that her life was saved by her father. Her father was quite disciplined and had a focus on education, which made Winfrey a star pupil. Winfrey went on to get a full ride to Tennessee State University and received two offers from CBS before accepting a role as co-anchor of the evening news on WTVF-TV. Winfrey’s role with CBS was groundbreaking because she was the first ever African-American female anchor in Nashville history.

 

Oprah with kindle.
image via pinterest

Her role as anchor wasn’t the only groundbreaking thing Oprah would achieve, as many readers already know. Her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, which launched in 1986, won several Emmys for Best Talk Show, and Oprah herself was honored as Best Talk Show Host. She also launched her own production company, Harpo Inc., in the summer of 1986 so she could produce on topics that were important to her.

 

 

Besides her roles on the screen, Oprah has played a significant role in the literary world. Between writing almost 20 books, launching her book club and the Oprah stamp of approval, she has inspired many people to read.

Launched in 1996, the Oprah book club has meticulously selected books for her audience to read, many titles that she selected go on to be bestsellers. Some titles on her prestigious list include Becoming, The Invention of Wings and many other titles.

 

Oprah holding sun does shine book

image via youtube

For all that she has done, in all of her many fields, we here at Bookstr wish the Queen of Media a very happy 66th!

featured image via Biography


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Sex, Drugs and Greek Rock and Roll

George Gordon Byron, referred to these days as simply Lord Byron, was one of the leading poets of the English Romantic period. Born on this day 232 years ago in 1788, he died aged 36. Byron was known for being subversive, racy and more than a bit eccentric – and just wait until you hear about his pet in college.

Byron was born in London to parents Catherine Gordon and Captain John “Mad Jack” Byron. Mad Jack married heiress Catherine, allegedly for her money. He gambled most of her fortune and fathered George before then dying in 1791. Rumors circulated that he had a grisly end, but tuberculosis is more likely.

 

One thing that Byron was known for, both in the 1800s and today, was his rampant promiscuity and his hazy sexuality. Like a lot of other literary heroes (looking at YOU, Joyce), he got it on with many people, to the detriment of his own health, and he was diagnosed with syphilis and gonorrhea by the time he turned twenty-one. His romantic history includes a roster of relatives, like cousin Mary Chaworth and half-sister Augusta. While in education he experimented with young men, young women, not-so-young married women. Basically, he was busy.

thinkin’ bout boys (and girls) via wikipedia

Always the rebel, Byron was constantly breaking rules and basically being the O.G. Romantic Bad Boy. One of his lovers once described him as “Mad, bad and dangerous to know”. You know the type. He’ll write you poetry one day but break your heart two weeks later by asking your sister out (or his own, apparently). He is said to have enjoyed scaring people or making them uncomfortable. Allegedly, he had a tame bear during his time at Cambridge that he would walk around campus. This was in answer to his college denying his request to have a dog. Disclaimer: Bookstr does NOT recommend this as a method of working around your dorm’s pet allowances!

 

Since Byron was so busy ahem, dallying, with so many people, it should come as no surprise that he fathered a few children. He had some rumored, out-of-wedlock children, like Allegra Byron, alongside legitimate daughter Ada Lovelace. Allegra sadly died of typhus, aged 5. Ada, however,  grew to be one of the first software developers, having worked on very early computer software, a.k.a the Analytical Engine.

image via brittanica

Aside from writing, shocking and sinning, Byron’s other passion was Greece. No, not the 1978 classic film, the country. George donated a lot of his own fortune to the revolution in Greece. A War of Independence was being fought and Byron wanted to take part and fight alongside them against the Ottoman Empire. Sadly, he caught a terrible cold while abroad and it was a resultant fever that took him out in the end.

 

Bad Boy Lord Byron is celebrated today as a true Romantic poet. His narrative works Don Juan – all seventeen cantos of it!! -and Childe Harolde are renowned still. He moved in some seriously impressive circles, staying with the Shelleys in Italy as Frankenstein was being concocted. Despite his debauchery and his less-than-savory hobbies, he was passionate about his craft and wrote some beautiful poems which still resonate in a more modern age.

image via pinterest

Happy Birthday, Byron! Were he alive today, we have little doubt that his birthday bash would be of the strip club and shots kind. After all, he wasn’t Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know for nothing!


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Featured image via Poetry Foundation

 

 

 

 

Party at Wildfell Hall – BYOB

Party at wildfell hall

Ladies, lace up your corsets, leave your terrible husbands at home and get ready to party like it’s 1820. That’s right, today is Anne Brontë’s birthday and if there was ever an excuse to celebrate Anne and her achievements, her 200th birthday is definitely it.

Far from the ‘other Brontë’, Anne left an eternal mark on classic English literature. Under her pseudonym Acton Bell, she published a wide range of poems before her two novels Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. She has been widely acclaimed as a feminist author, having refused to write through the romantic lens that her sisters, Emily and Charlotte, preferred. Anne’s conviction in her own beliefs cost her a lot of readership and popularity at the time but today she is renowned and celebrated for exactly that.

Image via Britannica

If you’re looking for a way to celebrate Anne’s big day, there are actual events happening that you can attend. In Bradford, West Yorkshire, the Brontë Parsonage Museum is hosting a bicentenary party, full of good food, crafting and poetry. In Sydney, Australia, Cate Whittaker will be giving a reading at the Stanton library. Bonus points if you dress up.

You could even throw your own party. Anne Brontë was a big believer in going her own way so the party theme would be totally up to you. Gather your troupe of talented sisters, brew some tea and discuss how you’re going to diverge from social mores – it’s what Anne would want.

Image via bust

 

Sadly, Anne died in May 1849, at the age of 29. Like many young people at the time, she died of tuberculosis. Despite the fact that she is often cited as the ‘least popular Brontë sister’, her legacy has taken on a posthumous new life.

Happy Birthday, Anne. There are many things to celebrate today; Anne’s body of work, her fierce spirit and the amazing talent that was bred and nurtured in the Brontë home. Anne’s last words are reported as being “Take courage, Charlotte, take courage” and if that isn’t the energy to take with you into 2020, we don’t know what is.

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Mother Vampire Hasn’t Aged: Stephenie Meyer’s Birthday

Twilight Saga’s, Stephenie Meyer, is overcoming another milestone! On Christmas Eve Day, Meyer’s will be 46.

Born in 1973, Meyer’s (formerly known as Morgan) was the second of six children to Stephen and Candy Morgan in Hartford, Connecticut. Within the first few years of her life, Meyer’s and her family moved to Phoenix, Arizona. She wasn’t feeling as though she belonged in Arizona as if she were an alien in a strange land.

Image Via Teamwork

Despite the growing population of privileged, Meyer was able to graduate from high school in 1992. With her high marks, she was able to attend Brigham Young University with award money she received from the National Merit Scholarship majoring in English Literature.

At 21 years old, she married her childhood friend Christian Meyer. Within a year of their marriage and a degree in hand, Meyer’s had her first child.

Image Via New on Netflix: News

 

By 2003, Meyer’s aspired to become an author. It became apparent in her dreams, where she dreamt of a human girl and a vampire who was in love with her but desired to taste her blood. This dream may sound familiar to you, as it caused Meyer to write her 13th chapter of Twilight.

Within two years, Meyer’s published Twilight and consecutively published each book of the series every year after. The Twilight series rose to fame in 2005, winning the best seller. This caused the adaptation of the Twilight series into movies that still run today.

Currently, Meyer is working on her blog, ‘Stephenie Meyer’, with her producing partner Meghan Hibbett. She created this space to revisit the world of Twilight, news and updates, films, along with her other books, The Host and The Chemist.

Can’t wait to see what else Meyer has up her sleeve.

 

 

Feature Image Via Writers Write

 


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7 Quotes From ‘Rise of the Guardians’ Author William Joyce to Brighten Your Day

As an artist, writer, and filmmaker, William Joyce’s artful imagination is to thank for many beloved childhood stories and films. With a vast imagination, Joyce has written and illustrated over fifty children books, including Rolie Polie Olie, turned into a TV series of the same name, and A Day with Wilbur Robinson, which was adapted into the film titled Meet the Robinsons. Most recently, Joyce has been working on the Guardians of Childhood series which sparked the film adaptation Rise of the Guardians. The series currently has five books but will wrap up with a total of thirteen.

Joyce has proved resilient through difficult times, using his art to evoke healing and light in times of darkness, not only for himself, but for all of those who indulge in his work. Here are 7 times Joyce’s words made life a little lighter…

 

 

“But if you really love to write and you really love to tell stories and you really love to draw, you just have to keep doing it no matter what anybody says.”

 

“Life is made up of danger and heartbreak, I laugh in the face of both!”

IMAGE VIA WILLIAMJOYCE.COM

“The thing about artists is a lot of times they end up being successful because they aren’t trying to make money. They are just trying to be true to their vision and that touches people.”

 

 

“Old friends sometimes need no words to understand each other.”

 

“In my stories there is a sense that there will always be losses in life, but you power through them. If you lose something that you love, the memory of that love will sustain you and never die.”

 

IMAGE VIA CARTOON BREW

“I think all wishes are the same, really,” she continued. “Whether they ask for this, that, or the other, what they are really asking for is happiness.”

 

“Whether you want to call it a higher source or the human spirit, whatever it is, I am lucky it’s a part of me… My art is what saved me.”

 

Happy birthday William Joyce, thanks for reminding us to keep moving forward!

 

 

 

Image Via Commonplace grace
FEATURED IMAGE VIA SCHREVEPORTTIMES

 

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