Tag: SirArthur Conan Doyle

'Jurassic Park'

Alert, ‘Jurassic Park’ Fans! These 5 Books Prove That Life Uh Finds a Way

25 years later, the line “spared no expense” still frequents family dinners at my kitchen table. If my sister and I watch our chihuahua Lucy walk by, one of us (me) usually looks at the other and says, “They move in herds, they do move in herds.” All right fine, so maybe you don’t do that…but if you grew up playing with plastic dinosaurs of every species and watching Jurassic Park on the couch with your family, then you know it may be the best adaptation of all time. Many consider it better than Michael Crichton’s original novel.


This year marks the 25th year since the movie’s release and I still can’t get enough. The books are fantastic and completely broke new ground for science fiction back in the 1990s. If you haven’t read ’em, do it. The movie was so excellently done with CGI technology that wasn’t as widely used then as it is now. Spielberg knew what he was doing. This idea of chaos and losing control over something that was never ours to begin with is a powerful theme. But if you simply enjoy science fiction (me), dinosaurs (also me), and the idea of making the impossible possible, then these next five books should be to your liking.


1. The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 


'The Lost World'

 Image Via Amazon

A classic and magical tale about the discovery of prehistoric species, Doyle’s book is a necessary part of anyone’s book collection. It’s enlightening, full of imagination, and full of suspense, as we follow a paleontologist’s wild adventures amongst the dinosaurs.


2. Footprints of Thunder by James F. David 


'Footprints of Thunder'

 Image Via Amazon


This clash of time and space will send you into another dimension, literally. It’s not The Twilight Zone, but it sure feels like it when the 20th century is torn apart by dinosaurs. Cities become jungles and people become the prey. When the unstable president is then faced with controlling the chaos, it seems like a fight for survival in the Cretaceous period. Sound crazy? It is.


3. Zoo by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge 



 Image Via Amazon


Not dinosaurs, but just as frightening and out of control. A young biologist begins to witness an increase of animal attacks on people that seem eerily planned and coordinated. A horrific lion attack pushes him to seek the help of an ecologist to help warn leaders of the deadly attacks that seem to be plaguing more areas. This thriller will send you over the edge with every ounce of chaos.


4. Dinosaur Planet by Anne McCaffrey 


'Dinosaur Planet'

 Image Via Amazon


When a team flies to planet Ireta, they only plan to collect natural resources, document the land, and leave. When their ship disappears, though, they’re left to battle the foreign creatures, monsters, and dinosaurs that inhabit the planet. When the crew begin to wonder about their surroundings, they soon question the future they always imagined.


5. Hunger by William R. Dantz 



 Image Via Amazon


This is actually one of my biggest fears. This novel follows the horror of six, full-grown, genetically-altered sharks that escape the sea and research institute and release hell on the Florida Keys. With more teeth, muscle, higher jumps, and a greater appetite than the average great white, this can’t end well. Watch what lurks below the surface.


Happy reading, humans.




 Feature Image Via Throwbacks

Magnifying glass on book

5 Short Mysteries That You Need to Solve

There’s nothing better than a good old yarn. A good old-fashioned yarn. The issue is they can take forever. It’s especially painful when you can see the ending coming. There’s nothing more pointless than reading a mystery that you know how to solve.


This list will hopefully put a stop to these mystery woes. Here are some yarns that’ll engage you but end before they overstay their welcome.


1. ‘Sredni Vashtar’ by Saki


‘Sredni Vashtar’ tells the tale of a sickly little boy, Conradin, who concocts a theology around a god named Sredni Vashtar. Sredni Vashtar is a ferret. Having to deal with his overbearing cousin, Mrs. De Ropp, Conradin asks Sredni Vashtar to interfere. Interfere the ferret does. Give this little, darkly humorous mystery a read, and let us know if Sredni Vashtar’s found a new acolyte in you.




2. ‘A Scandal in Bohemia’ by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


‘A Scandal in Bohemia’ is the first Holmes short story (though it’s the third story featuring Holmes, following the novels A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of the Four), and might be the most well-known. This one follows Holmes meeting his match in American opera singer Irene Adler, whose had previous liaisons with the now-engaged King of Bohemia. When Adler threatens to release compromising photos of the king to his soon-to-be in-laws, in comes Holmes to save the day. Except, problems arise. You know how stories work: conflict, etc. Give this classic mystery a read!


3. ‘Continuity of the Parks’ by Julio Cortázar


Cortázar’s little mystery will reverberate big time in its readers’ minds. When a swamped businessman picks up a book he’d gotten distracted by, the events of the story bleed into his real life. At the risk of stepping on the story’s toes, I’ll hold off on any further summarizing. Take a few minutes and read it. Be prepared to scratch your head, and, then, when you’re done scratching, scream.


4. ‘Death and the Compass’ by Jorge Luis Borges



Image Via Minetest Forum


Among Borges’s many interests (infinity, God, etc.), one that might seem peculiar is his love of mystery stories. ‘Death and the Compass’ follows Holmes-esque detective Lonnrot as he tries to uncover the culprit behind a series of seemingly unrelated murders. As the evidence begins pointing to a secret, religious motivation, Borges twists the mystery in a wholly unpredictable direction. This one will worm into your brain, and you may not read mysteries the same way again.


5. ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ by Edgar Allan Poe


Admittedly, your commute might have to be a little long to finish this on your way to work. Still, this Poe tale is a classic. This story’s about two insane siblings who put their friend in the middle of their messed up relationship. There’s a botched burial, some heightened senses, and a house that’s apparently alive. One of the big twists might be a little predictable, but the very ending will split your brain in two.




Feature Image by João Silas on Unsplash


These 7 Writers Started With Very Different Careers

Some of the greatest books ever written were written by accountants. Or lawyers, or construction works. The decisions you make as a little tyke don’t necessarily have to dictate who you’ll always be. Here are some of our favorite writers who did not always think they’d end up as writers, including debut novelists Isabelle Ronin and Leah Weiss! 


1. Kurt Vonnegut owned a car dealership


Saab dealership

Image Via Digital Dealer


Before his groundbreaking novel Slaughterhouse-Five, Vonnegut had a tough time supporting his family. He worked as a journalist for Sports Illustrated, and a PR exec for General Electric. Probably most bizarrely, though, he owned a Saab dealership in Massachusetts.


Regarding this part of Vonnegut’s life, his daughter, Edie Vonnegut, said, “We were part of presenting this very elegantly designed piece of technology and it felt very sophisticated. It felt more about art and cutting edge design than about cars.” It doesn’t seem too out of character if you think about it.


2. George Saunders worked as a geophysicist and swam in monkey shit


George Saunders location

Image Via Metro


Probably one of the most famous contemporary short story writers (who published his debut novel Lincoln in the Bardo this year, which is amazing), Saunders got his career start as a field geophysicist working on the Indonesian island Sumatra.


Saunders’s time as a field geophysicist didn’t last more than a couple years, though. He retired early after “swimming in a river that was polluted with monkey shit” and getting sick. But the writing didn’t immediately start then. Saunders then worked as “a doorman, a roofer, a convenience store clerk, and a slaughterhouse worker.” What a life.


3. Leah Weiss worked as an executive assistant for twenty-four years before writing her first book


Leah Weiss and If the Creek Don't Rise

Image Via Amazon


Just last month, Weiss published her insanely good debut novel If the Creek Don’t Rise. What’s crazy is she didn’t start writing until she was fifty-years-old. Before she got into writing, she worked as an executive assistant to the headmaster at Virginia Episcopal School. She did that for twenty-four years! At seventy-four-years-old, after a full career as an executive assistant, Weiss has published her first novel. Let that be a call to action for anybody feeling discouraged.


4. Stephanie Danler was (pretty unsurprisingly) a waitress



Image Via Meld Magazine


Danler’s debut novel Sweetbitter focuses on Tess, who has just moved to New York and lands a job in an upscale restaurant. She is subsequently sucked into the world of wine, food, drugs, sex, and love. Danler’s previous occupation? Unsurprisingly, it was that of server at an upscale restaurant. She actually met her editor while serving him. She now has a two book deal, a huge fanbase, and a TV adaptation of Sweetbitter on the way, produced by none other than Brad Pitt. 


5. Isabelle Ronin studied nursing before writing called her away


Isabelle Ronin and Chasing Red

Image Via Amazon


Isabelle Ronin was studying to be a nurse before her Wattpad story Chasing Red became an international sensation. Ronin was born and raised in the Philippines and moved to Canada when she was twenty. Her family were very traditional, and she was raised with traditional expectations—to graduate college, get married, and start a family. She found herself jumping from one thing to the next, looking for something about which she felt passionate. She settled on nursing for a time, however dropped out to pursue writing. Once she focused on that, she told Bookstr, it was magic. 


6. Bram Stoker was a crazy actor’s personal assistant



Image Via Get Magic


The creator of Dracula was better known during his life time as actor Hentry Irving’s personal assistant and manager of London’s Lyceum Theatre than a writer. Henry Irving was reportedly extremely famous and extremely mad. He thought Dracula was dreadful and refused to appear in any adaptations of it. Before his PA life, Stoker received his degree in maths, worked in civil service at Dublin Castle, and wrote some unpaid reviews of plays. 


7. Arthur Conan Doyle was a ship surgeon off the coast of West Africa



Image Via Asonor


Like John Watson, the fictitious narrator of the Holmes tales, Doyle was a surgeon during the 1880s. He studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, and served as a surgeon aboard the ship SS Mayumba during a voyage on the coast of West Africa. When he returned, he started taking his writing career more seriously. In 1887, A Study in Scarlet was published and he became known for his Holmes stories. Oh, and he tried to become an ophthalmologist in the 1890s. He failed. He was bad at it.