Archive for July, 2012

Popular Family Sagas to Add On Your Bookshelves

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Author: Sherry Helms

From our eclectic collection of Books on Family through thick and thin, we have extracted out some well-received titles for our readers that boast stories about families with love, harmony, loss, tragedy, fear, despair,……, hope. The family members you’ll meet in these books will teach you some lessons worth learning for life, and that let you empathize or live psychologically in some odd circumstances of life which you may not have experienced yet in your life.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold “My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.”

So begins the story of Susie Salmon, who is adjusting to her new home in heaven, a place that is not at all what she expected, even as she is watching life on earth continue without her — her friends trading rumors about her disappearance, her killer trying to cover his tracks, her grief-stricken family unraveling. Out of unspeakable tragedy and loss, this bestseller succeeds, miraculously, in building a tale filled with hope, humor, suspense, even joy.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett – In this coming of age book, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women – mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends – view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, it has a timeless and universal story about a daughter, her mother and her maid.

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards – A rich and deeply moving page-turner, this NY Times bestselling novel captures the way life takes unexpected turns and how the mysterious ties that hold a family together help us survive the heartache that occurs when long-buried secrets burst into the open. It is an astonishing tale of redemptive love. This is a brilliantly crafted family drama that explores every mother’s silent fear: what would happen if you lost your child and she grew up without you?

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult - Written by the author who is widely acclaimed for her keen insights into the hearts and minds of real people, this is an emotionally riveting story of a family torn apart by conflicting needs and a passionate love that triumphs over human weakness. This is the story about a teen who was conceived as a bone marrow match for her sister Kate, and what happens when she begins to question who she really is. Written with grace, wisdom, and sensitivity, this is the novel that will keep readers wiping their noses on sleeves from middle to the end.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer - This is the story of nine-year-old Oskar Schell, the precocious amateur physicist who is trying to uncover clues about his father’s death in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11. He has embarked on an urgent, secret mission that will take him through the five boroughs of New York. His goal is to find the lock that matches a mysterious key that belonged to his father. This seemingly impossible task will bring Oskar into contact with survivors of all sorts on an exhilarating, affecting, often hilarious, and ultimately healing journey.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – A touching tale of love, sisterhood and hardship during the New England Civil War, Little Women narrates the story of the lovable March sisters – Meg, Beth, Jo and Amy – who try to support their mother at home while their father is away at war. While describing the trials and tribulations of their growing age and relationships with one another, Ms. Alcott, in this breakthrough classic, superbly intertwines the bad and good times of their life.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, this family drama takes readers to the roots of human behavior – to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Set in the small Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the Depression, To Kill a Mockingbird follows three years in the life of 8-year-old Scout Finch, her brother, Jem, and their father, Atticus; three years punctuated by the arrest and eventual trial of a young black man accused of raping a white woman.

Keep browsing through and for Books from all wings – fiction to text and reference books.

Books That Will Make You Cry: Popular Tearjerkers

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Author: Sherry Helms

Books that make readers cry are of two types: one which will have readers sobbing from start to end, and the other that unexpectedly leave them sniffling on the subway or howling at the end, trying to keep them from wiping nose on sleeves.

Today, we have shortlisted some such tear jerking titles for our readers. The idea  behind this post is to bring into their knowledge the most moving stories set in diverse culture and milieu, which introduce the readers to lives that they’d never experience or imagine.

Here’s the list:

Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally – This tearjerker recreates the true story of Oskar Schindler, the Czech-born southern German industrialist who risked his life to save over 1,100 of his Jewish factory workers from the death camps in Nazi-occupied Poland. Based on the recollections of the Schindlerjuden (Schindler’s Jews), Schindler himself, and other witnesses, this documentary novel recounts the lives of the flamboyant profiteer and womanizer Schindler; Schindler’s long-suffering wife, Emilie; the brutal SS (Nazi secret service) commandant Amon Goeth; Schindler’s quietly courageous factory manager, Itzhak Stern; and dozens of other Jews who underwent the horrors of the Nazi machinery.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck – The tragic story of the complex bond between two migrant laborers in Central California. They are George Milton and Lennie Small, itinerant ranch hands who dream of one day owning a small farm. But, their dreams of owing a farm goes terrible wrong. George acts as a father figure to Lennie, who is a very large, simple-minded man, calming him and helping to rein in his immense physical strength.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini - Comes from the writer of bestselling “The Kite Runner”, this book sheds light on the wretched status of women in a male dominated society, eliciting how miserable it was to being a woman in Taliban dominated Afghanistan. Eloquently written, this book has the depressed story of two women – Mariam, the protagonist and Laila, and their struggle to survive peacefully and with dignity in the male-chauvinist as well as war-torn Afghanistan.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank – This is an Autobiography of Anne Frank. Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has since become a world classic as a powerful reminder of the horrors of the holocaust in Nazis occupying Holland and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, when Nazis overpowered the Holland, Anne Frank, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl, and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding with another family. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences she had during this period.

A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks – Sure to compress out more tears from its readers’ eyes, this romance novel by the bestselling author, Nicholas Sparks is story of a pair of unlikely young lovers. The story starts in a corny flashback as 57-year-old Landon Carter started thinking back of his fateful senior year in high school in Beaufort, North Carolina, when he was a troublemaking teenager of the 1950s and changed forever when met his unexpected first love, Jamie Sullivan, daughter of the town’s Baptist minister, who made him the depths of the human heart and the joy and pain of living.

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult – Written by the author who is widely acclaimed for her keen insights into the hearts and minds of real people, this is an emotionally riveting story of a family torn apart by conflicting needs and a passionate love that triumphs over human weakness. This is the story about a teen who was conceived as a bone marrow match for her sister Kate, and what happens when she begins to question who she really is. Written with grace, wisdom, and sensitivity, this is the novel that will keep readers wiping their noses on sleeves from middle to the end.

Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog by John Grogan – This is a heartwarming and unforgettable story of a family in the making and the wondrously neurotic dog, named Marley who taught them what really matters in life. Based on human-animal relationship, this book is also adapted into a movie with the same name and that is as much appreciated as the books is. A true tear jerking story of the emotional attachment between the master and the pet.

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.” So begins this distressing memoir of Frank McCourt about his miser than miserable childhood, about his survival. Wearing shoes repaired with tires, begging a pig’s head for Christmas dinner, and searching the pubs for his father, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors, yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance and remarkable forgiveness.

Browse through and for more Books having truly moving stories.

Celebrating the Nelson Mandela International Day

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Author: Sherry Helms

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

                                                                                                 – Nelson Mandela

Only a man with these kind of thoughts can oppress  a deplorable oppression. These are the thoughts that had been the strength of the great moral and political leader Nelson Mandela throughout his fight against racial oppression in South Africa, which won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country.

Mandela was raised in the traditional, tribal culture of his ancestors, but at an early age learned the modern, inevitable reality of what came to be called apartheid, one of the most powerful and effective systems of oppression ever conceived in human history.

Since his triumphant release in 1990 from 27-years of imprisonment, Mandela has been at the center of the most stirring political drama in the world. As president of the African National Congress and head of South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement, he was instrumental in moving the nation toward multiracial government and majority rule. This iconic figure is venerated worldwide as an imperative force in the fight for human rights and racial equality.

Today, on his birth day (July 18), Nelson Mandela has entered in the 94th year of his glorious life. The world is celebrating today the Nelson Mandela International Day as declared by the United Nations to be held every year in his honor. And, we are paying tribute to him and his achievements by writing this very post.

If you search for Nelson Mandela in the inventory of or, you’ll be spoilt for choice as there are available so many books written on his life and work along with some volumes compiled by this legend itself. Therefore, to keep you from this impasse, we, with the help of our editorial team, have created a list of the most popular books on him  and by him. Check that out:

Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela – In this one of the most popular and inspiring autobiographies of all time, Nelson Mandela tells of his early years as an impoverished student and law clerk in Johannesburg, of his slow political awakening, and of his pivotal role in the rebirth of a stagnant ANC and the formation of its Youth League in the 1950s. Further, while describing his family and the unsuccessful yet painful married life, he talks on his struggle on political front, his underground leadership, his life imprisonment and the escalating political warfare in the fifties between the ANC and the government. He recounts the surprisingly eventful twenty-seven years in prison and the complex, delicate negotiations that led both to his freedom and to the beginning of the end of apartheid.

Conversations with Myself – After a lifetime of taking pen to paper to record thoughts and events, hardships and victories, Nelson Mandela has compiled in this book his entire extant personal papers, which offer an unprecedented insight into his remarkable life. Journals kept on the run during the anti-apartheid struggle of the early 1960s; diaries and draft letters written in Robben Island and other South African prisons during his twenty-seven years of incarceration; notebooks from the post-apartheid transition; private recorded conversations; speeches and correspondence written during his presidency—a historic collection of documents archived at the Nelson Mandela Foundation is brought together into a sweeping narrative of great immediacy and stunning power.

Mandela’s Way: Fifteen Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage – In this book, Richard Stengel recounts the moments in which “the grandfather of South Africa” was tested, and shares the wisdom he learned from him. Woven into these life lessons are remarkable stories of Mandela’s child­hood as the protégé of a tribal king, of his early days as a freedom fighter, of the twenty-seven-year imprison­ment that could not break him, and of his new and fulfilling marriage at the age of eighty.

This compact book is profoundly inspiring. It captures the spirit of this extraordinary man: warrior, martyr, husband, statesman and moral leader, and spurs us to look within ourselves, reconsider the things we take for granted, and contemplate the legacy we’ll leave behind.

Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a NationJohn Carlin, a former South Africa bureau chief for the London Independent, offers a singular portrait of Nelson Mandela, the greatest statesman of our time, in action while blending the volatile cocktail of race, sport, and politics to intoxicating effect. He draws on extensive interviews with Mandela, Desmond Tutu, and dozens of other South Africans caught up in Mandela’s momentous campaign, and the triumph of Springboks – the national rugby team. Carlin makes stirringly clear that Springboks’ championship in the sport’s World Cup in 1995 transcended the mere thrill of victory to erase ancient hatreds and make a nation whole.

Mandela: A Critical Life – In this new and highly revealing biography, Tom Lodge draws on a wide range of original sources to uncover a host of fresh insights about the shaping of Mandela’s personality and public persona, from his childhood days and early activism, through his twenty-seven years of imprisonment, to his presidency of the new South Africa. Throughout, Lodge emphasizes the crucial interplay between Mandela’s public career and his private world, revealing how Mandela drew moral and political strength from encounters in which everyday courtesy and even generosity softened conflict. Indeed, the lessons Mandela learned as a child about the importance of defeating ones opponents without dishonoring them were deeply engrained.

Books on Painting Styles: Play With Paint

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Author: Sherry Helms

Learn about various popular styles and types of painting viz. Watercolor Painting, Acrylic Painting, Oil Painting, Silk Painting, Decorative Painting, Face Painting and Glass Painting. Here, in this post, we have compiled a list of Books on Different Painting Styles that will help you being creative, even if you’ve never picked up a paintbrush before, and let you realize how creative you can be. Also, you can gift these books to a friend or any beloved one who is born creative, and let him/her to grow more artistic.

Watercolor Painting

How to Make a Watercolor Paint Itself: Experimental Techniques for Achieving Realistic EffectsAward-winning artist Nita Engle‘s breakthrough approach to watercolor shows readers how to combine spontaneity and control to produce glowing, realistic paintings. Her method begins with action-filled exercises that demonstrate how to play with paint, following no rules. Subsequent step-by-step projects add planning to the mix, demonstrating how to turn loose washes into light-filled watercolors with textural effects achieved by spraying, sprinkling, pouring, squirting, or stamping paint.

Acrylic Painting

Acrylic Revolution: New Tricks and Techniques for Working with the World’s Most Versatile Medium - This is an all-in-one guide for acrylic painting techniques and more. It features over 101 ways to break through the boundaries of conventional painting and re-define the creative potential of this all-purpose medium. Every page provides insight on how to use acrylic paint in ways you never thought possible to create stunning visual effects and textures. To give you additional insight and inspiration, this book features a gallery of finished works by fellow painting revolutionaries that blend various acrylic techniques to create amazing effects.

Oil Painting

The Oil Painting Course You’ve Always Wanted: Guided Lessons for Beginners and ExperiencedOffered in this book, everything you always wanted to know about oil painting, but were afraid to ask or maybe you weren’t afraid but just didn’t know what to ask or where to start.  Author Kathleen Staiger presents crystal clear, step-by-step lessons that build to reinforce learning. Brush control, creating the illusion of three dimensions, foolproof color mixing, still-life painting, landscapes, and portraits; every topic is covered in clear text, diagrams, illustrations, exercises, and demonstrations. Staiger has taught oil painting for more than thirty-five years; many of her students are now exhibiting and selling their paintings.

Silk Painting

Beginner’s Guide to Silk Painting – Twelve innovative step-by-step projects illustrate clearly Mandy Southan‘s fresh and original approach to silk painting—perfect for the complete beginner as well as experienced crafters who want to learn new techniques. The best part of this book is that for each project Mandy provides a picture of the finished piece, a drawing of the design, a materials list and pictures for each painting step to offer clear understanding.

Decorative Painting

Decorative Paint and Faux Finishes – Decorative painting is a wide class that encompasses a number of painting techniques and mediums applied to a variety of surfaces. It includes tole painting, folk art, and faux finishing.

This comprehensive decorative painting guide provides instruction on thirty decorative paint techniques with step-by-step photography and color combining recommendations. It includes newer techniques as well as tried-and-true favorites that will inspire novice and experienced painters alike. Loaded with ready-made color combinations, tips on choosing the right painting effects, advice from the pros, and information on specialty tools, this incredible book has tons of photos to get your creative juices flowing, and confidence-building instructions on techniques and materials to see you through to the successful completion of your masterpiece.

Face Painting

Face Painting (Klutz Kit) – This is the best face painting book ever. A fully photographic how-to about kids’ face painting, wire-o bound for lay-flat utility. Includes detailed directions for simple sponge and brush techniques and tear-out cheat sheets to make painting birthday parties easier than ever. This book comes with face paints from Wolfe Brothers — they go on smoothly, dry quickly, last beautifully, and wash off easily, with bold, bright colors that have to be seen to be believed. Also attached a six color palette of face paints, a brush, a sponge, and 12 tear-out, take-along design cards.

 Glass & Ceramic Painting

Gorgeous Glass: 20 Sparkling Ideas For Painting On Glass & China – Painting on glass and china is fun, easy and a creative way to bring the latest designer looks to your home as well as to make great gifts for your friends. Expert artist Arlene S Gillen shows step by step how to paint designer-quality table settings, wedding gifts and home decor. In this book, readers will find dozens of great ideas and designs from simple to sophisticated and classic to contemporary and natural. Also, this book guides on how to use traditional decorative brushstrokes to paint more than forty floral patterns and decorative design motifs, from a simple leaf and vine pattern to luscious berry-trimmed dessert bowls and much more.

Click here to browse through a wide range of Painting Books.

Art Books For Children: Creativity with Fun

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Author: Sherry Helms

Art is the best medium to freshen up your children’s mind after the hectic school hours as practicing it is the safest and comparatively less exhaustive yet highly creative activity. So, here is a list of some selected but best Art Books for Children that will let your kids to explore the art world in the easiest and funniest ways. Check ‘em out:

Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of Animals – The Caldecott Award-winning author of the popular Drawing Book series, Ed Emberley guides children to draw their favorite animals in the most easiest ways. In this book, Emberley shows the readers how to draw a menagerie of different animals – from polliwogs to gorillas – by using the simplest of shapes. Fully colored, this book will provide budding young artists with hours of art-full entertainment.

How to Draw 101 Monsters: Easy Step-by-step Drawing – Through this incredible art book, Dan Green teach children how to draw their favorite monsters. Simple and easy to understand and follow, this book let your kids grow with imagination and creativity.

Beautiful Oops! – With this book, your children will learn to say: It’s OK to a mistake. A mistake can be transformed from a blunder to wonder, demonstrates Barney Saltzberg, the effervescent spirit behind Good Egg. A spill doesn’t ruin a drawing; not when it becomes the shape of a goofy animal. And an accidental tear in your paper? Don’t be upset about it when you can turn it into the roaring mouth of an alligator.

Showing young readers how every mistake is an opportunity to make something beautiful, this one-of-a-kind interactive book is filled with pop-ups, lift-the-flaps, tears, holes, overlays, bends, smudges, and even an accordion “telescope”, letting the young folks to celebrate the oops in life.

Ed Emberley’s Complete Funprint Drawing Book – For the first time available in market a two-in-one edition of two of the most popular titles by award-winning author and artist, Ed EmberleyEd Emberley’s Fingerprint Drawing Book and Ed Emberley’s Great Thumbprint Drawing Book. Colorful step-by-step drawings show how to turn your thumbprints into owls, pigs, fish, or basketball players simply by adding the letters I, V, Y, L, O, and U. These titles will not only spur creativity in every child but make it easy and fun as well.

How to DraHow to Draw Pokémonw Pokémon – With the help of this book, you child will be a Pokémon drawing-Master in no time. This book enables children to draw one of the top all-time favorite cartoon characters, Pikachu and other popular Pokémon. Offering step-by-step secret tips on drawing the coolest and most action-packed Pokémon, this book let the children to draw whichever their favorite Pokémon viz. Pikachu, Togepi, Chikorita, Meowth, Pichu, Houndour, Lugia, Cyndaquil, and more. Not only this, the book also helps children in drawing bonus poses of Pokemon in action, and creating their own battle scenes.

To get Books on many other Art forms, click here.

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