Archive for August, 2012

Top 10 Most Influential Young Adult Books of the 20th Century

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Author: Sara Zaske

Young adult books have come of age. They’re everywhere. Young adult, or “YA”, is now one of the fastest growing genres in publishing, and both kids and adults are reading—and writing—YA by the thousands.

This is absolutely fabulous! And I’m not just saying that because I write young adult fiction. The YA explosion means more kids are reading, and more adults are reminded of that all-important time in their lives, when their eyes were first opened to the “real” world—and not necessarily liking what they saw.

Teenagers are some of the best critics of society for the simple fact that they are new to it. There’s a reason why so many young adult books are dystopian. And it’s hard to find one YA fantasy that doesn’t have some heinous evil character to battle. Fight the power, indeed.

Magic themes aside, YA didn’t just pop into existence. Serious books with a young protagonist have a long history. Yes, there were YA books before Twilight, The Hunger Games, and Harry Potter.

Here are few of the most influential from the last century:

1. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger (1951) gave us one of the first modern, disaffected teens, Holden Caulfield.  Holden takes a few confused days to run around in a seedy adult world only to realize his real dream is to catch the other kids before they fall into the trap of adulthood.

2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien (1954) Frodo and his quest to destroy the ring of power resonates with people of all ages, but it has entranced generations of young adults—many have read the entire trilogy multiple times. LOTR’s influence is so pervasive in YA that you’d be hard pressed to find a fantasy that doesn’t reference its mythology in some way.

3. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (1956) sent four children tumbling through the back of a wardrobe into the another world, where they helped a lion battle for power against the evil White Witch. The Chronicles have inspired many YA writers. Philip Pullman’s heroic cold world in His Dark Materials is almost the opposite of Narnia.

4. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee (1960) showed that no topic is off limits for a young audience. Young Scout narrates the story about the trial of a black man accused of raping a white woman, giving a child’s wide-eyed view of racism and justice in America.

5. The Earthsea Cycle, by Ursula LeGuin (1968) begins with a mistake. A wizard-in-training releases an evil shadow into the world, setting him on a lifelong quest to make it right. Earthsea is a classic and his premise influenced many later books, including Harry Potter.

6. The Princess Bride by William Goldman (1973) has made it almost impossible to tell a fairy tale with a straight face. It makes fun of all the fairy tale clichés—sword fights, monsters, daring rescues, and the triumph of true love—even as it uses these same elements to weave an enchanting story.

7. Carrie by Steven King (1974) will scare the bully out of any teenager. Sure, Carrie is strange and has a crazy mom, but she also has telekinetic powers which she uses to take revenge on her tormentors. Maybe, King isn’t known as a YA writer, but many of his stories feature young characters, and you can’t ignore his influence on today’s teen horror books.

8. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (1985) shows a dark futuristic world where politicians use kids for warfare. The book follows the battle education of Andrew “Ender” Wiggins who is particularly gifted at war games. Sound familiar Hunger Games fans?

9. The Giver, by Lois Lowry (1993), one of the earlier YA dystopian novels, tells the story of young Jonas as he discovers that the peace of his very ordered world is based on a secret evil. Veronica Roth’s Divergent and Lauren Oliver’s Delerium owe a huge debt to this novel.

10. Harry Potter , by J.K. Rowling (1997) just comes under the 20th century mark, but from the first book, this fanciful story of a young wizard battling a fearsome sorcerer so evil he cannot be named, has had an astounding impact, riveting readers of all ages and starting a revolution in YA lit.

Sara Zaske is a young adult author and blog host of the YA Fantastic Book Review. Her debut novel, The First, a YA eco-thriller fantasy, was released in April.


5 Books to Arrange a Splendid Wedding

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Author: Sherry Helms

Everyone wants their big day to be organized with such as grandeur that it will be remembered by every guests throughout their life. A successful wedding requires proper organization for everything –from dress to decor– that involves record-keeping, legwork, logistics. And, this can be done easily, if a well-structured plan chart is in your hand.

Enlisted here five well-received Books on Wedding Planning that are presented by topnotch wedding planners and organizers. So, plan your big day with the following resources that will help you organize a successful yet splendid wedding.

The Wedding Book: The Big Book for Your Big Day – This book gives you ideas on everything — announcing the engagement, and what to do when someone isn’t happy about the news; creating a budget; the pros and cons of destination weddings; drawing up the guest list; planning the ceremony (and how to personalize your vows); menus to inspire; contracts and wedding insurance; shopping for the dress, six great hairstyles, tuxedo vs. dinner jacket, the etiquette of invitations. Style tips for flowers, what would be best for the tabletop, linens; etc.

A Practical Wedding: Creative Ideas for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration – This book helps you create the wedding you want – without going broke or crazy in the process. After all, what really matters on your wedding day, what you’ll remember ‘til you’re old and gray, is not so much how it looked as how it felt. In this refreshing guide, expert Meg Keene shares her secrets to planning a beautiful celebration that reflects your taste and your relationship.

The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner: Worksheets, Checklists, Etiquette, Calendars, and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions – With so many nerve-wracking details, planning the perfect wedding can seem an impossible task. Now, this bestselling comprehensive guide directs you step-by-step through the countless stages of planning your big day. Packed with easy-to-follow checklists and worksheets, this book has been worked as an indispensable resource for millions of couples worldwide.

Simple Stunning Weddings: Designing and Creating Your Perfect Celebration – The three biggest trends in weddings are simplicity, personalization, and color! Wedding designer and expert Karen Bussen focuses on these elements as she shows couples how to design their own weddings without going crazy or broke. This is the first wedding design book to focus on the WHERE (location) of the event. Bussen then shows how to create unifying themes with colour, flowers, and personal touches; how to talk to vendors; how to decide where to spend the wedding budget and how to adapt the design for every budget.

Green Wedding: Planning Your Eco-Friendly Celebration – Green is the new white for today’s wedding couples. Environmentally conscious couples are often appalled by the carbon footprint of traditional weddings and are seeking ways to express their earth-friendly values as they express their love. This environment conscious book shows that there are alternatives –products and services– that can reduce environmental harm while ensuring a joyous and stylish celebration. Featuring stories of couples who have “gone green” on their wedding day, this authoritative guide by New York Times Style correspondent Mireya Navarro explains how couples can make green their dream wedding.

To find books on other topics related to Wedding, click here.

Books Against Internet Addiction

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Author: Sherry Helms

Like alcohol and drug addiction, Internet obsession is also real. It does affect poorly the lives of internet addicts and their families by becoming the reason for divorce, job loss, declining productivity at work, failure in school, and, in extreme cases, criminal behavior. Reached at the level of epidemic in the United States, this problem continues to grow as more households and business firms go on-line.

Today, we have brought forth a list of Books that will help netizens to act against Internet Addiction. Inspiring and informative, these books are a useful resource for those who are at initial stage of the addiction as well as a helpful ‘web rehab’ for those who are already entangled in the same.

Cyber Junkie: Escape the Gaming and Internet Trap – Video gaming and Internet surfing are the top sources of entertainment for tens of millions of North Americans today. With the growing trend of these high-tech activities, more and more people are becoming obsessed with video games and the internet, isolating themselves, turning their backs on reality, ignoring family and friends, and losing sleep and even their jobs. In this groundbreaking book, recovering video game addict Kevin Roberts uses extensive scientific and social research, complemented by his and others’ personal stories, to give compulsive gamers and surfers, and their family and friends – a step-by-step guidelines for recovery.

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains – In this book, Nicholas Carr has discussed in detail on the topic “As we enjoy the Net’s bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply?” He explains how the printed book served to focus our attention, promoting deep and creative thought, but, in stark contrast, the Internet encourages the rapid, distracted sampling of small bits of information from many sources. We are becoming ever more adept at scanning and skimming, but what we are losing is our capacity for concentration, contemplation, and reflection.

Caught in the Net: How to Recognize the Signs of Internet Addiction–and a Winning Strategy for Recovery – Seeing the speedily growing mouth of the Internet addiction, author Kimberly Young chronicles in this book the results of her three-year study of Internet abuse. Often using the words of the Internet addicts, she presents the stories of dozens of lives that were shattered by an overwhelming compulsion to surf the Net, play MUD games, or chat with distant and invisible neighbors in the timeless limbo of cyberspace. She has also offered in the book a questionnaire to help Net users determine whether they are addicts, and discusses concrete steps to help problem users regulate Internet usage and devise a more balanced place for it in their daily lives.

Internet Addiction: A Handbook and Guide to Evaluation and Treatment – In this book, Kimberly Young discusses on the problems such as online gaming compulsion, cybersex addiction, and gambling addiction. Providing an integrated and current overview of the different types of Internet addiction, this book asserts that an extensive attention to deal with adolescents is essential, given the rapid rise in media and technology use by both Net Generation young adults and iGeneration teenagers. This book not only help us in evaluating Internet Addiction but also offers guidelines for proper treatment.

In the Shadows of the Net: Breaking Free of Compulsive Online Sexual Behavior – As Internet usage has exploded in recent years, so has the prevalence of compulsive online sexual behavior, a problem first addressed five years ago by Patrick Carnes and coauthors in the first edition of this book. Updated with the latest information, trends, and developments, the second edition equips readers with specific strategies for recognizing and changing compulsive sexual behaviors. Personal stories reveal how distressed life can become for online sex addicts with the issues like divorce, career loss, and financial ruin. Invariably, the authors set forth in this book a path for breaking free from compulsive online sexual behavior and sustaining lifelong recovery.

For browsing useful books on any kind of addiction, click here.

Books on Healthy Lifestyle: Letting You Live a Quality Life

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Author: Sherry Helms

Practicing a healthy lifestyle not only can improve your overall well-being but also change your attitude towards life, making you to expect quality in every walk of life. There is available a number of tips and guidelines on what to do to make your life healthier and full of energy. And, books by health specialist can come out to be the most effective resources for the same. Filled with useful ideas and instructions from health experts, books can be the best fitness guru who will be available 24×7 hours with you, to instruct you, to guide you.

Enlisted below some selected titles on healthy lifestyle that will let you to live a quality life:

Healthy for Life – In this book Dr. Ray D. Strand offers guidelines that help us in developing a healthy lifestyle that have a side effect of permanent fat loss. A real eye opener on insulin resistance and why diets don’t work. With a Phase I & Phase II meal plan including low-glycemic foods, Dr. Stand has included a dedicated page of Healthy for Life resource. This useful guide is filled with so many helpful ideas on the little things one can change in his/her eating habit and how can we choose the nutritional stuff that is healthy for life.

Wellness: Guidelines for a Healthy Lifestyle –  This very book on healthy lifestyle is geared toward courses that emphasize the dimensions of wellness including the impact of psychological, emotional, and physical health, as well as environmental influences that affect our behavior. Providing unparalleled coverage of the mind-body connection, and the relationship between fitness and wellness, the authors shed light on the importance of taking personal responsibility for one’s health.

Bragg Healthy Lifestyle: Vital Living to 120! – Learn the Bragg Healthy Lifestyle that can keep you ageless. Authors, Patricia Bragg and Paul C. Bragg has elicited for you a proven system of body purification, toxicless diet and healthy habits that will help cleanse your body of toxins to strengthen nerves, increase energy, enhance mental clarity and promote longevity. This book inspires quality health and youthfulness that will let you to keep up with a healthy lifestyle.

The Feel Good Factory on Healthy Living – This book help readers in making small but important improvements that will bring about real and positive changes in their health and mental outlook. Packed with health-boosting advice and tips, all of which are practical and easy-to-action, this book includes motivational quotes like, “Self-care is about eating nourishing foods, taking care of your spiritual and emotional well-being, spending quality time with friends and family, or taking yourself away on retreat”.

Chicken Soup to Inspire the Body & Soul: Motivation and Inspiration for Living and Loving a Healthy Lifestyle – Need a physical and spiritual boost to kick the year off right? Need some extra power to reach goals and commitments? With hundreds of exercise plans, diet gurus, and spiritual advisors out there clamoring for airwaves, there’s a noticeable void of inspiring stories in this book to give you that extra push for getting started and keep going. This book is not a replacement for yoga, but is a companion — a reminder that hard work and determination really do pay off, and that our bodies are gifts to be cared for and treasured through exercise and healthy living.

Click here to find a multitude of titles on health and lifestyle.

5 Architecture Books to Make Your Place Beautiful

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Author: Sherry Helms

For all those who appreciate beautifully designed and constructed buildings and love flipping through the pages of books watching amazingly designed buildings or those who need some fresh ideas to apply in the erection of their workplaces or homes, we have compiled a list of some randomly selected Books on Architecture. Besides, there are large number of architects, researchers and students of architecture who learn and take inspirations from the beautifully illustrated books on art and architecture; so the following list of Architecture Books would also come out to be a great source for them. Take a look:

The Art of Construction: Projects and Principles for Beginning Engineers & Architects - Students discover the basic principles necessary to build all types of structures used in everyday life including bridges, skyscrapers, and other architectural gems. In this book given line art illustrations to better explain projects that demonstrate how these principles keep structures solid. Perfect for beginners, this volume details projects that are easily done with materials found around-the-house.

Architecture: Form, Space, & Order – For more than thirty years, the beautifully illustrated Architecture: Form, Space, and Order has been the classic introduction to the basic vocabulary of architectural design. Now, this classic third edition of visual reference helps both students and practicing architects understand the basic vocabulary of architectural design by examining how form and space are ordered in the built environment. Using his trademark meticulous drawing, Professor Francis D. K. Ching shows the relationship between fundamental elements of architecture through the ages and across cultural boundaries.

Modern ArchitectureAlan Colquhoun, an eminent scholar in the field of architecture, offers here a new account of international modernism that explores the complex motivations behind this revolutionary movement (modern architecture) and assesses its triumphs and failures. The book focuses on the work of the main architects of the movement such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Adolf Loos, Le Corbusier, and Mies van der Rohe, re-examining their work and shedding new light on their roles as acknowledged masters.

World Architecture: The MasterworksWill Pryce unveils a world of beauty and genius in this unparalleled, specially photographed survey of the world’s architectural master- pieces. More than 350 color photographs celebrate the finest buildings from over two thousand years of civilization: Hagia Sophia, the Gothic cathedrals of Europe, Islamic masterworks at Isfahan, the Taj Mahal, the Palace of Westminster, Gehry’s iconic Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, and much more.

A World History of Architecture – A magnificently illustrated guide to the global history of architecture updated to include the non-western world and works from women. This second edition gives you a deeper knowledge and wider perspective of traditions in architecture throughout the world — from prehistoric through modern structures. Extensively and beautifully illustrated, the book includes photos, plans, scales for world-famous structures such as the Parthenon, Versailles, the Brooklyn Bridge, and many others.

Click here to browse through a huge collection of Architecture Books.

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