Here’s an inside look at what the Pubslush team has been reading this week. A lot of great books to add to your reading list if you’ve missed out on any of these!
Behind The Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
“It seemed to him that in Annawadi, fortunes derived not just from what people did, or how well they did it, but from the accidents and catastrophes they dodged. A decent life was the train that hadn’t hit you, the slumlord you hadn’t offended, the malaria you hadn’t caught.” - Behind the Beautiful Forevers
He Never Liked Cake by Janna Leyde (A Pubslush author! Woot!)
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
“When shit brings you down, just say ‘fuck it’, and eat yourself some motherfucking candy.” - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Night Games by Arthur Schnitzler
Happy Friday and happy reading!
5 Great Facebook Pages for Book Lovers
Social media: a brilliant place for keeping in touch with friends, posting pictures of cats, and book discussions. Facebook is filled with countless pages for readers and writers, but which ones are worth following? Here are the best five pages on Facebook for all you book lovers out there that connect you with countless people reading the same books, and sharing their views from the comfort of a fuzzy pink bathrobe.
Friday Reads is one of the best book recommendation pages on Facebook. Continuously asking readers what their favorite books are and what they’re currently reading gives you a huge variety of great books to choose from by readers and the moderators of this page. You’ll have endless books to choose from just by reading their updates for a few days.
NPR Books uses their Facebook page to post new books coming out, interesting facts about classic authors, and news on books and reading today. NPR keeps you up to date on all the new books coming out that are definitely worth reading.You get your daily dose of both news and intellectual posts to really make you think.
Shelf Awareness A great source of book humor. You’ll easily spend hours reading the links and memes posted while you appreciate their literary references. Connect to other book lovers, read great literary quotes posted daily, and hear about all things happening in the literary world.
The Millions is a perfect place to connect with countless other readers and writers to talk about every book imaginable. This page is a haven for book lovers of all kinds with recommendations for every genre, and great literary memes to feed your love of reading.
The Goodreads Facebook page is filled with book suggestions, links to books and authors, and daily updates on your favorite writers! Get a quick book recommendation on their page along with a quirky fact about today’s date in literary history.
Five Getaways for Writers
We all need a vacation. But there are some destinations around the world that could actually get you out of your writing slump. Everyone needs that room-of-one’s-own, but sitting in that silent, dark room with a pot of coffee can only keep those creative juices flowing for so long.
So, if you’re looking for a change of scenery, a spark of inspiration, or just a quiet place to sit down and write to escape from all the distractions, there are plenty of great places around the world to travel to that will give you that missing piece in whatever you’re working on. And it justifies a vacation, so who can say no to that?
Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville seems like a small town in North Carolina, but it’s actually home to a massive artistic population. Writers, performers, and artists flock to Asheville for the artistic scene it is now known for. You will be surrounded by other writers and be immersed in a community that can only help the creative process.
The inspiration you need could be hiding in the art museums, in the mountain peaks of the wilderness surrounding Asheville, or just on any one of the street corners.
Lord Howe Island, Australia
Completely cut off from Australia, Lord Howe Island is located two hours off the mainland, and is the perfect getaway for a writer in need of some quiet inspiration. The virtually empty and pristine beaches have been untouched by masses of people and huge buildings, keeping out any distraction that might take away from your creative process.
Lord Howe Island is actually an escape from all those pesky things like the stress of your job, your phone, and endless procrastination websites (hello, Pinterest!) that keep you from writing. And who wouldn’t be inspired sitting on a beautiful empty beach with the only distractions around you being the sound of the ocean and that cold drink inevitably in your hand?
Prague is painted with history in literature, performance, and music alike. With their first president a renowned playwright, the importance of literature should not come as a surprise. Just walking through the city, you are surrounded by gorgeous ancient architecture and with bookstores on every corner, the importance of the arts and literature shines through.
With plenty of quiet places to get out of the noisy city, Prague provides writers with the experiences needed to write along with somewhere to put those experiences on paper and create something beautiful.
As the home of countless classic authors, the mysteries of the beautiful streets of Paris consistently provide fresh inspiration to writers through the history of the city itself.
Whether you get your ideas walking down the quiet, open pathways along the Seine River or by putting yourself right in the middle of the excitement of the city and French culture, Paris has everything a writer needs.
With a pub or café on virtually every corner throughout the city, Edinburgh provides the perfect atmosphere to write.
Cobblestone streets and almost impossible-to-climb hills lined with beautiful houses and storefronts make up the face of Edinburgh, putting you in an entirely different world, filled with the same sights that motivated the minds of authors like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and JK Rowling.
Ten Twitters All Writers Should Follow
Twitter might be a place for some to post pictures of cats and endless updates about their daily lives, but it also has invaluable writing advice and links to connect writers with everything happening in the literary world. That’s the beauty of social media—you can make countless invaluable connections from the comfort of your own home, all while wearing your pink bunny slippers and bathrobe. (Or is that just me?)
Here’s a rundown of ten Twitter accounts all writers should follow.
Goodreads – Not only do they link you to great books you should be reading, but they also give you quotes to help you with your own writing and keep you updated on all things in the literary world. @goodreads
Winning Writers – A seemingly unending supply of links to opportunities to publish your work, contests, samples of other writer’s works, and tips on how to submit everything you’ve created. @winningwriters
Writer’s Digest – Tips, tips, and more tips! Everything Writer’s Digest posts gives you suggestions on how to make your own work better, along with chances to submit your work for publication. @WritersDigest
Duotrope – Listings, interviews, and reviews to keep you connected with the literary world. @Duotrope
Pen and Muse – Hilarious? Definitely. Pen and muse uses lighthearted sarcasm mixed with real advice to help you make your writing better. As a bonus, they tweet suggestions on how to keep those creative juices flowing. @PenandMuse
Grammarly – Tips on how to correct grammar and fix those little mistakes in your writing. Not to mention the nerdy and hilarious voice behind every tweet. @grammarly
Writing Secrets – Helps take your writing to the next level with ideas on how to stop that pesky writer’s block and suggestions on character development, dialogue, and description. @writingsecrets
One Wild Word – Resources given by a fellow writer, Carly Sandifer, to help spark creativity. Sandifer believes “sometimes all it takes is one wild word to make a poem sing or a sentence fly,” so she helps you find those words in her own tweets. @onewildword
Writer Unboxed – “Lessons in the art of storytelling,” updates in literature for authors, and suggestions for overcoming the difficulties of publishing. Writer Unboxed gives you the perfect links that will help you make your writing better. @WriterUnboxed
PubPerspectives – Daily updates on everything happening in the wide world of publishing. Links to endless articles relating to the changes in publishing, tips on writing, and a couple of jokes thrown in for good measure. @pubperspectives
So what are you waiting for? Get some Twitter in your own writing.
Five Tumblr Blogs All Readers & Writers Should Follow
“Cultivating love and passion for reading” is the tagline for Book Mania! and it sums up the overall theme of the site perfectly. The Tumblr site is a haven for all things literary, including quotes from famous authors, book suggestions and summaries, gorgeous photos of libraries from around the world and so, so much more. Warning: You could get lost in the vast and lovely world of Book Mania! for hours on end, so you may want to not peruse this blog during work hours.
Brought to you by Dan Wilbur, author of the book How Not to Read, this site offers readers alternative names for famous book titles that are so astute, they are downright hilarious. Dan also recently introduced a podcast series to the site, which features interviews with authors in which they “swap personal stories about love, sex, death, and favorite books.” Need I say more?
Recommended Reading posts a new story every week, but not just any story. A must read story. It’s an amazing opportunity to learn about new names and titles in the literary field and everyone should take the time to check them out (and buy a flask).
If you’re not intrigued by the name you might need to get your vitals checked. As avid readers and writers, we all know there is nothing more beautiful than the site of stacks upon stacks of endless books. We’re nerds and there’s nothing wrong with being in love with libraries and bookstores. Bookshelf Porn features the most amazing and eclectic bookshelves for your viewing pleasure. Only slight jealously will ensue.
Okay, so admittedly, the LIFE Tumblr isn’t blatantly oriented towards the book loving community, but all readers and writers can appreciate the content. Writers are always on the hunt for inspiration, and what’s more inspiring than an archive of the greatest moments in history? And readers, there are many ways to tell a story and we should appreciate each and every one.
So, go forth and tumble on, friends! Happy weekend!
Winter Blues: Books to Warm Up With
Christmas may be long go, but baby, it’s still cold outside and the chill in the air probably won’t be warming up anytime soon. However, let’s look one the bright side. You get to wear fabulous and warm scarves in the winter. Okay, and it’s a great excuse to hibernate and start knocking books off your reading list. At Pubslush, we know your reading list can never be too long, so we’ve compiled some of our favorite cozy reads to help you get through the winter blues.
Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
Labor Day Fun with Our Fave Literary Characters
As well all know, Labor Day is coming up quickly (as in, like, Monday!), and we only have one day to celebrate a whole year worth of hard work. There are many ways to celebrate, so to get some ideas flowing, let’s take a look at what some of our favorite literary characters would be up to.
A day out with friends: Harry Potter
They celebrate their own version of Labor Day in England, you know! And Harry would certainly take a break from his spells, homework, and fighting evil to hang with his pals and grab a butterbeer at Hogsmeade. They’d probably even spring for some Bertie Botts jelly beans, so don’t be shy…go all out!
Weekend long par-tay: Jay Gatsby, The Great Gatsby
The self-made man he is, there’s no doubt Jay Gatsby would be more than eager to celebrate his hard work. Surely, he would throw a weekend long party open to all and simply oozing with people from high society. But don’t be like Jay and waste your time secretly waiting for that one special person…enjoy the party!
Road trip: Humbert Humbert, Lolita
Some people may take Labor Day to the extreme and prolong it into a road trip across America! Humbert Humbert would certainly be one of these people, criss-crossing across the good ol’ US of A, stopping at all the hotels, motels, and B&B’s along the way. Or, if your time is limited, maybe just a road trip to the beach or something.
Day at home: Holden Caulfield, The Catcher in the Rye
Say Holden Caulfield was plopped into 2012. What would he be doing on this upcoming Labor Day? He would probably choose to stay at home and, uh, relax…you know, sit in his basement and play video games all the while complaining about how phony and stupid video games are. Perhaps cut out the video games and complaining and just stay at home and relax this Labor Day.
Can’t possibly take the day off: Sherlock Holmes
We all know there are those people who don’t get the day off at all. Firefighters, policemen and doctors are just a few jobs where, despite all their hard work, they must still be going at it, even on Labor Day! Detectives meet the same fate. Sure, Sherlock Holmes might show up to Jay Gatsby’s party, but you better believe he would still be on the hunt for clues, cleverly disguising himself as one lucky enough to enjoy the holiday.
Whatever you choose to do this Labor Day, we hope you have a safe and happy day and enjoy the fruit of your labor, so to speak!
Fun Stuff for Back to School!
It’s that time of year again…back to school time! Or, as that classic Staples’ commercial calls it, the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Back-to-school shopping doesn’t have to be a chore if you happen to be looking for cool new technology or apps. Here’s a list of several awesome apps and gadgets - and the best part is, most of them are free!
Live Scribe - starting at $120
This product is awesome! The Smart Pen comes with a special notebook that tracks your handwriting and allows you to upload notes and files to the companion software program. The Smart Pen also has a built-in microphone for recording lectures. Check out the website for more information.
iHome alarm clocks - starting at $39.99
Everyone knows that a good alarm clock goes a long way in helping to get out of bed in the morning. With an iHome, you can charge your iPod or iPhone at the same time and set the alarm to wake you up to your favorite tunes in the morning. There is also an app - iSleep for Apple products and Android products that is a “sleep lifestyle app with custom alarms, sleep stats, reminders, and a whole lot more! Never miss a class again!
APPS & MORE:
Amazon Kindle Cloud Reader - free
Perfect for those of us who don’t have Kindles, Nooks, or iPads. With this free app from Amazon you can read Kindle e-books on your laptop or on your phone. Go to the website for more information. (There is also the free iBooks app from Apple, for your iPad/iPhone/new iPod touch!)
Mint.com Personal Finance - free
This app houses information on your credit, checking, and savings account for easy on-the-go access - you can even set it up to access accounts at different banks. There are options to set up various budgets in order to keep track of money spent on groceries, textbooks, restaurants, and more!
Citelighter - free
This Firefox app allows you to highlight different sections of web articles and save them for quotation ease later on. It also automatically cites the info! Gone are the days of franticly Googling “how to cite reblogged Tumblr posts.” Check out the website for more info.
Self Control - free
This app blocks websites for a certain period of time to allow for more productivity. There are several other apps that do this if SelfControl is the right fit - just open up your favorite browser, go to the web store, and type “productivity” in the search bar!
Evernote - free, $5.00/month (or $45/year) for Premium version
Get your life completely organized with Evernote. The organization app comes in several different versions - Web version, (free) downloadable sofware for your computer, and an app for your smartphone. With an Internet connection, it is possible to upload files and notes on one device and it will sync with all of your other devices - for instance, you can add notes about a school assignment to one of your notebooks on your phone and have the list handy on your laptop later! The basic version is free, with a set monthly usage, and the Premium version offers unlimited monthly usage plus a handful of other perks. There are also companion applications, such as Evernote Food, Evernote Hello, and Evernote Web Clipper (especially handy for saving cool/useful online articles in order to read later).
Netflix/Hulu Plus - starting at $7.99/month
Watch movies and TV shows that stream instantly to your computer or TV (with Playstation 3, Xbox 360, or Wii). Netflix is perfect for a lazy Saturday afternoon or for procrastinating on that Netflix assignment. Hulu Plus is great for those of us who don’t have dorm room TVs or who don’t have time to catch their favorite shows when they air.
Timeline: Films Adapted From Fiction
The year of 2012 has been (and continues to be!) full of movies based on books. Movies like The Hunger Games, The Lorax, and Savages hit the box offices hard, and we are all looking forward to The Great Gatsby, The Hobbit, and Breaking Dawn to sweep us away.
However, I would like to a minute to bring us all back to up speed by going through some oldies but goodies of books appearing on the silver screen.
1936- Gone With the Wind adapted from Margaret Mitchell’s novel of the same name
1939- Wuthering Heights adapted from Emily Brontë’s novel of the same name
1946- It’s a Wonderful Life based on Philip Van Doren Stern’s short story “The Greatest Gift”
1961- Yojimbo adapted from Dashel Hammett’s Red Harvest
1971- A Clockwork Orange adapted from Anthony Burgess’s novel of the same name
1971- Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory adapted from Roald Dahl’s novel of the same name
1987- The Princess Bride adapted from William Goldman’s novel of the same name
1992- A River Runs Through It adapted from Norman Maclean’s novel of the same name
1993- Schindler’s List adapted from Thomas Keneally’s book Schindler’s Ark
1994- Forrest Gump adapted from Winston Groom’s novel of the same name
1995- Clueless adapted from Jane Austen’s Emma
1999- 10 Things I Hate About You adapted from William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew
2001- Bridget Jones Diary adapted from Helen Fielding’s novel of the same name
2001- Josie and the Pussycats adapted from the Dan DeCarlo comic of the same name
2001- Harry Potter film series begins adapted from J.K. Rowling’s series of the same name
2001- The Lord of the Rings film series begins adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien three book volume of the same name.
2004- The Notebook adapted from Nicholas Sparks’s novel of the same name
2005- The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe adapted from C.S. Lewis’s novel of the same name
2007- 300 adapted from Frank Miller’s comic series of the same name
2011- Cowboys & Aliens adapted from Scott Mitchell Rosenberg’s graphic novel of the same name
2011- The Help adapted from Katheryn Stockett’s novel of the same name