Archive for October, 2012

Halloween Books for Kids: The Cutest and Funniest Ones

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Author: Sherry Helms

Witches’ hats and harvest moon,

Ghosts that dance to haunted tune,

Apples, goodies, food galore,

Halloween has this and more!

Bring this Halloween the cutest and funniest read to your kids and let them enjoy the day with all its essence. Here, we’ve compiled a list of some very popular Halloween special Children’s Books that may accelerate the kid’s fun time during Halloween. Pick these books for your offspring, and be the best parent(s).

Where Is Baby’s Pumpkin? – An adorable baby searches throughout the house for her pumpkin. Is the pumpkin under the leaves, behind the curtain, under the bed? NO! But Baby finds many other surprises as a ghost, a witch’s hat, cute-as-a-button bats, and candy apples are found beneath each flap. Finally after Baby finds her pumpkin, she’s ready to go trick-or-treating and the final flap reveals a Halloween extravaganza!

One, Two…Boo! – The littlest trick-or-treaters can lift the flaps to count their way through a spooky old house, but they had better be prepared for a few surprises! With a die-cut cover, adorable illustrations, and a flap on every page, this sturdy little board book is the perfect Halloween gift for trick-or-treaters everywhere.

Halloween Bugs: A Trick or Treat Pop Up Book – Behind each spooky door lurks a different Halloween pop-up surprise. Trick-or-treating becomes spine-tingling fun with the ghostly, ghouly Bugs inside. Behind creepy creaky doors, kids will find bugs to rival the spookiest Halloween goblins and witches. Beware the “very hairy Scary Bug!” Don’t turn your back on the “one-eyed, one-horned, Spotted People Eater Bug”. And think twice before accepting sweets from the “juicy little Lollipop Bug.”

The Hallo-wiener – Oscar is short, like all dachshunds, and all the other dogs make fun of him. On Halloween, he takes more ridicule than ever in his hot-dog costume, but one brave act makes him a Grade-A hero. In our opinion, this is one of the sweetest stories your toddler should read on Halloween. The School Library Journal quotes for this book as “this may be the funniest Halloween story ever written”.

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything – 0nce upon a time, there was a little old lady who was not afraid of anything! But one autumn night, while walking in the woods, the little old lady heard — CLOMP, CLOMP, SHAKE, SHAKE, CLAP, CLAP. And the little old lady who was not afraid of anything had the scare of her life! This is a funny Halloween story perfect for gifting your offspring on this festive season. Every kid must read it on Halloween day.

Scaredy-Cat, Splat! – It’s Halloween, and Splat is determined to be the scariest cat in the class. Unfortunately he’s just too much of a scaredy-cat. He’s afraid of a little spider, and everyone says his costume looks more silly than scary. And when Mrs. Wimpydimple tells a ghost story in the dark, Splat gets so frightened that he tips over his jack-o’-lantern. But when the lights go back on, the entire class is scared silly by a small, black, furry creature with a big pumpkin head.

Some Popular Yet Spooky Books to put in a Halloween Mood

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Author: Sherry Helms

“Trick-or-treat. Smell my feet. Give me something good to read!”

If you’re going to turn your place into a haunted house this Halloween, a pile of Spooky Books on Halloween may simply work as an add-on to your horror-driven arrangements.

Here is a list of some spine-chilling titles fished out by our editorial team from the ocean lot of the popular Halloween Books. Just go on to read these books to spook yourself and your friends. We wish you a scary yet fun time on this Halloween.

The Halloween Tree – To get haunted this Halloween, there is no better scary stuff for you than this one by Ray Bradbury, who presents a uniquely gothic, uplifting story in this book

A fast-moving, ghostly tale set on the backdrop of Halloween night, it is the story of mysterious, sinister skeletal Mr. Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud who along with the eight boys takes you on a journey back through the centuries to discover the real meaning of Halloween. The black and white illustrations will bring you shivers of terror and delight of the adventure on the dark Halloween night. You just can’t miss this breathtaking book on the occasion of Halloween that will take you to the wildly imaginative ride.

Something Wicked This Way Comes - This is another truly spooky tale from the incomparable fantasy mind of Ray Bradbury. It’s a true literary classic that would bring you sleepless nights in this season of horror.

A carnival rolls in sometime after the midnight hour on a chill Midwestern October eve, ushering in Halloween a week before its time. A calliope’s shrill siren song beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. In this season of dying, Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. Then, the two inquisitive boys standing precariously on the brink of adulthood discovers the secret of the satanic raree-show’s smoke, mazes, and mirrors, as they learn all too well the heavy cost of wishes.

Dark Harvest – Feel the chill of the Halloween night to the core of your heart with this story of Halloween celebration in 1963 brought to you by Norman Partridge.

Everybody in that small Midwestern town knows who he is; they call him the October Boy, or Ol’ Hacksaw Face, or Sawtooth Jack. How he rises from the cornfields every Halloween, a butcher knife in his hand, and makes his way toward town, where gangs of teenage boys eagerly await their chance to confront the legendary nightmare. Pete McCormick knows that killing the October Boy is his one chance to escape a dead-end future in this one-horse town. He’s willing to risk everything, including his life, to be a winner for once. But before the night is over, Pete will look into the saw-toothed face of horror, and discover the terrifying true secret of the October Boy.

The Graveyard Book – If you pick up this title then Neil Gaiman will take you to the world where a graveyard is raising a child.

Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy. And, he would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts and ghouls, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead. But, if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack — who has already killed Bod’s family.

The Legend of Sleepy HollowWhat is Halloween without the ‘Headless Horseman’ riding through the spooky woods? On the coming Halloween, just read this book and keep wondering whether the story of the ‘Headless Horseman’ is real or not.

This book by Washington Irving revolves around Ichabod Crane, a schoolteacher, came to Tarry Town in the glen of Sleepy Hollow to ply his trade in educating young minds. He was a gullible and excitable fellow, often so terrified by locals’ stories of ghosts that he would hurry through the woods on his way home, singing to keep from hysterics. Among these stories was the legend of the Galloping Hessian, the headless horseman of Sleepy Hollow. The scariest scene in this book comes when Ichobod rides his horse down the road with a constant panic as he is being chased by the headless horseman, and you don’t know if Ichabod will live or die.

For more Halloween Books, click here.

Popular Books on Halloween Recipes, Costumes and Party Ideas

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Author: Sherry Helms

Everyone loves Halloween. It’s a holiday that is pure fun and childish joy, an excuse to dress up and eat treats. Arrange everything best on this Halloween — from delicious artisanal recipes, weird yet funny costumes, terrifying music & events to  spooky indoor & outdoor decorations, magick and spells. Our editorial team has fished out for you some popular Books dealing with special Halloween Recipes, Costumes and Party Ideas. These books will enable you to make everything more creative and memorable on this Halloween for your family and friends, especially for kids in and around your home.

So, what are you waiting for? Here are the titles; just go on reading:

Halloween: Customs, Recipes & Spells – Let Silver RavenWolf guide you through the cobwebby corners of time to uncover the history behind Halloween. Honor the spirit of this hallowed harvest holiday with this groundbreaking book that guides you superbly on: Halloween Magick: prosperity pumpkin spell, corn husk dolly, solitary harvest moon ritual; Magickal Goodies: candied love apples, witches’ brew, sugar snakes in graveyard dust; Halloween Myths And Superstitions: black cats, scarecrows, pitchforks, witches, ghosts, and haunts; Divination: circle of ashes and stones, magick mirrors, apple, pumpkin seed, and water divination; Rituals to Honor the Dead: the dumb supper, samhain fire, soul lights, spirit rattles and spirit bowls.

Halloween How-To: Costumes, Parties, Decorations, and Destinations – A must-have title for everybody who loves costumes, parties, and ghouls. Here are given the best of recipes, music and movie tips, instructions for costumes, decorating tips, themes for parties, and even travel tips for some of the best haunted houses, pumpkin patches, parades, and ghost tours in the country. Pick up this book on this Halloween to make you evening  more enjoyable than last year’s.

Halloween Tricks and Treats - From spooky to whimsical and everything in between, this book is a treasure-trove of neat ideas and helpful how-to for adding a personal touch to your Halloween parties and celebrations. You’ll get instructions for throwing Halloween parties that are festive for the whole family and learn how to make Halloween decorations that will transform your home into the spookiest place on the block. Plus, you’ll get tasty recipes for Halloween treats, easy-to-follow craft projects, and step-by-step instructions for making handmade Halloween costumes that are clever, creative, and fun.

Ghoulish Goodies - In this Frightful Cookbook, Sharon Bowers offers recipes and cooking tips & techniques to cook Creature Feature Cupcakes. Eat, drink, and enjoy the creepy yuckiness of Monster Eyeballs, Chocolate Spider Clusters, Buried Alive Cupcakes, Screaming Red Punch, Bat Wings, Funny Bones, Witches’ Knuckles, and Much More. In her colorful collection of frightful foods, Sharon shares the fun of baking, decorating, and indulging in delicious treats that celebrate witches and jack o’ lanterns, ghosts and graveyards.

Halloween Delights Cookbook: A Collection of Halloween Recipes – For this fun and festive time of the year, author Karen Jean Matsko Hood presents a unique cookbook that is full of tasty and satisfying recipes. Inside you’ll find page after page of mouth-watering dishes that will certainly be a hit with family and guests alike during this special time. The ingredients for each recipe can be found at your local market throughout the year. Written for the novice cook and accomplished chef alike, this well-received cookbook is sure to be a valuable addition to your kitchen library as well as can be a great gift idea for the chef on your giving list.

Cheese Delight for Foodies: Popular Cheese Cookbooks

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Author: Sherry Helms

With more than 3,000 kinds of cheese registered to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), cheese has become one of the most essential ingredients in almost every American Kitchen, whether domestic or commercial. Today’s cheese specialty market is flourishing, and with that many once obscure cheese varieties are now widely available.

Anyone can learn to prepare different varieties of cheese at home with Ricki Carroll’s groundbreaking book Home Cheese Making: Recipes for 75 Homemade Cheeses. Here are 85 recipes for cheeses and other dairy products that require basic cheese making techniques and the freshest of ingredients, offering the satisfaction of turning out a coveted delicacy. Among the step-by-step tested recipes for cheese varieties are farmhouse cheddar, gouda, fromage blanc, queso blanco, marscarpone, ricotta, and 30-minute mozzarella. Recipes for dairy products include crFme frafche, sour cream, yogurt, keifer, buttermilk, and clotted cream. Besides, there are also given in this book, 60 recipes for cooking with cheese. Including in such treats are Ricotta Pancakes with Banana Pecan Syrup, Cream Cheese Muffins, Broiled Pears and Vermont Shepherd Cheese, Prosciutto and Cheese Calzones, and Grilled Vegetable Stacks with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. Also, with the stories of people who love to make and eat good cheese, this book is provided with the information on how to enjoy homemade cheeses, how to serve a cheese course at home, cheese tips, lore, quotes, cheese making glossary, and more.

Inspirational and information-packed, Williams-Sonoma Cheese: The Definitive Guide to Cooking with Cheese is an indispensable guide to enjoy this popular yet versatile ingredient, in the kitchen and at the table. This title takes an authoritative and personal look at cheese, acting as both a comprehensive cookbook as well as a helpful primer on the subject. In this luscious collection, with more than 100 recipes for every course, popular chef and cheese-producer Georgeanne Brennan presents ways to cook with all types of cheese, from rich and creamy to oozy and pungent to nutty and sharp. All the classics are here, like mac and cheese, fondue, enchiladas, and burgers, but, you’ll also discover here innovative dishes like fried pecorino with stone-fruit salsa, warm squash salad with Teleme and pepitas, roasted chicken stuffed with GruyÈre, oven-roasted endive with Saint-Marcellin, and plum tart with ginger and chÈvre. This definitive resource for cheese-lovers is also rounded up with descriptions of nearly 150 of the world’s most celebrated varieties, tips on pairing with wine or beer, ideas for putting together the perfect cheese plate, and recipes for sweet and savory accompaniments.

There is another cookbook in the market that elicits cheese as the most delightful ingredients, and that is, The Cheesemonger’s Kitchen: Celebrating Cheese in 75 Recipes. This book bring us 90 delightful recipes that move cheese into a meal’s starring role. Culled from chef and cheese monger Chester Hastings‘s 25 years of experience, these recipes take full advantage of the varied flavors of cheese in ways both traditional and innovative. This is a cheese cookbook that focuses on recipes rather than acting as a buyer’s guide or primer. Further, accompanied by 50 color photographs plus wine pairing tips from acclaimed sommelier Brian Kalliel, this cookbook is a comprehensive guide to the vast world of specialty cheeses.

Nothing complements a good meal with friends like a rustic oak table laden with an exquisite selection of fine cheeses: a grape leaf-lined platter of ricotta with honey, red pears, and roasted chestnuts, or a decorative Spanish tile topped with sheep’s milk cheeses, toasted almonds, and oven-dried tomatoes, or a simple Italian salad of crostini dripping with melted fontina and white truffle oil. The elegant tradition of the after-dinner cheese course is rapidly gaining popularity as a part of home entertaining. The Cheese Course is a book that is rounded up with 50 sweet and savory recipes for salads, breads, and desserts that match deliciously with cheese. Written by best-selling author and award-winning food writer Janet Fletcher, this incredible book describes the wonderful array of artisanal cheeses now available, offering suggestions for presentations as well as wine pairings and fruit and nut accompaniments.

And now, what to say about grilled cheese! Toasted golden in a pan or browned to melting perfection under the broiler, grilled cheese is the ultimate comfort food, and a meal in itself. Believe it or not, it just got better. Marlena Spieler has created 50 mouthwatering new takes on this Francophile’s favorite, and presented the same in her popular book Grilled Cheese: 50 Recipes to Make You Melt. Her tantalizing pairings range from hearty Sage Sausage and Jack Cheese with Preserved Lemon to Melted Alpenzell, Emmentaler, Pear, and Cumin. There are also plenty of new twists on the tried and true, such as Smoky Bacon and Cheddar with Chipotle Relish or Fresh Mozzarella, Prosciutto, and Fig Jam. Filled with cheese suggestions, an array of quick-to-make mustards, and tips on choosing the perfect bread for each sandwich, this cookbook will make anyone stand up and say “cheese!”

Coming from this same kitchen an array of 50  macaroni & cheese recipes for every cheese-lovers. After trying on I-have-never-seen-anything-yummier Grilled Cheese recipes, just take on some it-just-got-yummier ‘macaroni with cheese’ foods while following the book Macaroni And Cheese. More than 50 classics macaroni & cheese recipes are available in this book that ranges from the tried-and-true Yankee Doodle Dandy Baked Macaroni and Cheese and quick to prepare specialties such as the yodel-worthy Alpine Macaroni with Appenzeller and Crme Frache to international specialties like Giuvetchi, a Greek dish of orzo in a cinnamon tomato sauce with lamb and kasseri, myzithra, and feta cheeses. The kid-friendly favorite is now being spotted at the trendiest restaurants around town, and this fantastic cookbook has it all. There are even a few dessert versions like Falooda, a traditional Indian treat that is prepared using ricotta and sweet vermicelli with cherries and a touch of cardamom.

Hope, these books will let you enjoy the best of the foods.

Man Booker Prize Winning Books, 2001-2012

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Author: Sherry Helms

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction aka the Booker Prize is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original full length novel, written in the English language, by a citizen of either the Commonwealth of Nations or Ireland.

Hilary Mantel’s Bring up the Bodies has recently won this year’s Booker Prize (2012). With this accomplishment, the author Hilary Mantel adds some remarkable points in Man Booker history. She becomes only the third author, after Peter Carey and J.M. Coetzee, to win the prize twice. This triumph also makes her the first to win with a sequel; that is, Bring up the Bodies is the sequence of Hilary’s first Booker Prize winner Wolf Hall (won in 2009). Also, she’s the first to win with such a brief interlude between books.

The award winning novels can easily make it to the reading list of a true bibliophile. If you’re a book lover, you must know how high the popularity level of a Booker Prize winning novel can go.

Dedicating to all the book lovers, we’ve presented below a chronological list of books that received Man Booker Prizes for the years 2001-2011. Take a look:

True History of the Kelly Gang (2001) by Peter Carey – In this book, the legendary Ned Kelly speaks for himself, scribbling his narrative on errant scraps of paper in semiliterate but magically descriptive prose as he flees from the police. To his pursuers, Kelly is nothing but a monstrous criminal, a thief and a murderer. To his own people, the lowly class of ordinary Australians, the bushranger is a hero, defying the authority of the English to direct their lives. Indentured by his bootlegger mother to a famous horse thief, who was also his mother’s lover, Ned saw his first prison cell at 15 and by the age of 26 had become the most wanted man in the wild colony of Victoria, taking over whole towns and defying the law until he was finally captured and hanged. Here is a classic outlaw tale, made alive by the skill of a great novelist.

Life of Pi (2002) by Yann Martel – The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behaviour and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes. The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days while lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them “the truth.” After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional–but is it more true?

Vernon God Little (2003) by D. B. C. Pierre - When sixteen kids are shot on high school grounds, everyone looks for someone to blame. Meet Vernon Little, under arrest at the sheriff’s office, a teenager wearing nothing but yesterday’s underwear and his prized logo sneakers. Moments after the shooter, his best buddy, turns the gun on himself, Vernon is pinned as an accomplice. Out for revenge are the townspeople, the cable news networks, and Deputy Vaine Gurie, a woman whose zeal for the Pritikin diet is eclipsed only by her appetite for barbecued ribs from the Bar-B-Chew Barn. So Vernon does what any red-blooded American teenager would do; he takes off for Mexico.

This is a provocatively satirical, riotously funny look at violence, materialism, and the American media.

The Line of Beauty (2004) by Alan Hollinghurst – From the author of “The Swimming-Pool Library” comes a perfectly realized evocation of a very particular world in a very particular time. It is the summer of 1983, and young Nick Guest, an innocent in the matters of politics and money, has moved into an attic room in the Notting Hill home of the Feddens: Gerald, an ambitious new Tory MP, his wealthy wife Rachel, and their children Toby and Catherine. Nick had idolized Toby at Oxford, but in his London life it will be the troubled Catherine who becomes his friend and his uneasy responsibility. At the boom years of the mid-80s unfold, Nick becomes caught up in the Feddens’ world. In an era of endless possibility, Nick finds himself able to pursue his own private obsession, with beauty – a prize as compelling to him as power and riches are to his friends.

The Sea (2005) by John Banville – When art historian Max Morden returns to the seaside village where he once spent a childhood holiday, he is both escaping from a recent loss and confronting a distant trauma. The Grace family had appeared that long-ago summer as if from another world. Mr and Mrs Grace, with their worldly ease and candour, were unlike any adults he had met before. But it was his contemporaries, the Grace twins Myles and Chloe, who most fascinated Max. He grew to know them intricately, even intimately, and what ensued would haunt him for the rest of his years and shape everything that was to follow.

Professor John Sutherland, Chair of Judges, Man Booker Prize 2005 quoted for this book as “A masterly study of grief, memory and love recollected”.

The Inheritance of Loss (2006) by Kiran Desai – In a crumbling, isolated house at the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga in the Himalayas lives an embittered judge who wants only to retire in peace, when his orphaned granddaughter, Sai, arrives on his doorstep. The judge’s cook watches over her distractedly, for his thoughts are often on his son, Biju, who is hopscotching from one gritty New York restaurant to another. Kiran Desai’s brilliant novel, published to huge acclaim, is a story of joy and despair. Her characters face numerous choices that majestically illuminate the consequences of colonialism as it collides with the modern world.

The Gathering (2007) by Anne Enright – This is a moving, evocative portrait of a large Irish family and a shot of fresh blood into the Irish literary tradition, combining the lyricism of the old with the shock of the new. The nine surviving children of the Hegarty clan are gathering in Dublin for the wake of their wayward brother, Liam, drowned in the sea. His sister, Veronica, collects the body and keeps the dead man company, guarding the secret she shares with him—something that happened in their grandmother’s house in the winter of 1968. As Enright traces the line of betrayal and redemption through three generations her distinctive intelligence twists the world a fraction and gives it back to us in a new and unforgettable light. It is a daring, witty, and insightful family epic, clarified through Anne Enright’s unblinking eye.

The White Tiger (2008) by Aravind Adiga – This is the story of Balram Halwai, a poor Indian villager whose great ambition leads him to the zenith of Indian business culture, the world of the Bangalore entrepreneur. On the occasion of the president of China’s impending trip to Bangalore, Balram writes a letter to him describing his transformation and his experience as driver and servant to a wealthy Indian family, which he thinks exemplifies the contradictions and complications of Indian society.

This book recalls The Death of Vishnu and Bangkok 8 in ambition, scope, and narrative genius, with a mischief and personality all its own. Amoral, irreverent, deeply endearing, and utterly contemporary, this novel is an international publishing sensation — and a startling, provocative debut.

Wolf Hall (2009) by Hilary Mantel – Hilary Mantel gone through centuries, past acres of novels, histories, biographies, and plays to come up with this novel. It’s not the King she needs to see, but one of the King’s most mysterious agents. Enter Thomas Cromwell, a self-made man and remarkable polymath who ascends to the King’s right hand. Rigorously pragmatic and forward-thinking, Cromwell has little interest in what motivates his Majesty, and although he makes way for Henry’s marriage to the infamous Anne Boleyn, it’s the future of a free England that he honors above all else and hopes to secure. Mantel plots with a sleight of hand, making full use of her masterful grasp on the facts without weighing down her prose.

The Finkler Question (2010) by Howard Jacobson – This is a funny, furious, unflinching novel of friendship and loss, exclusion and belonging, and the wisdom and humanity of maturity.

Julian Treslove, a professionally unspectacular former BBC radio producer, and Sam Finkler, a popular Jewish philosopher, writer, and television personality, are old school friends. Despite a prickly relationship and very different lives, they’ve never lost touch with each other, or with their former teacher, Libor Sevcik. Dining together one night at Sevcik’s apartment –the two Jewish widowers and the unmarried Gentile, Treslove– the men share a sweetly painful evening, reminiscing on a time before they had loved and lost, before they had prized anything greatly enough to fear the loss of it. But as Treslove makes his way home, he is attacked and mugged outside a violin dealer’s window. Treslove is convinced the crime was a misdirected act of anti-Semitism, and in its aftermath, his whole sense of self will ineluctably change.

The Sense of an Ending (2011) by Julian Barnes – Winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2011, this is the story of Tony Webster and his clique, and Adrian Finn. They all first met at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumor and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life. Now Tony is in middle age. He’s had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He’s certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer’s letter is about to prove. Laced with trademark precision, dexterity and insight, it is the story of one man coming to terms with the mutable past.

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