Thanks to a smart-alecky student who sat in the back row of her classroom, Sharon M. Draper went from teacher to award-winning writer. Of course, there were other factors: a lifelong love of reading, plus years of hard work and outstanding scholarship, for starters.
Without question, Tolkien set the standard for worldbuilding. Readers of epic fantasy aren’t content with a few generations of kings mentioned in some measly footnotes; they want a world so vast and detailed that it could be real. With Tolkien’s template in mind, George R.R. Martin addresses fans’ demands for a truly epic history.
Most people don’t think much about homonyms or prime numbers. But most people aren’t 12-year-old Rose Howard, whose every waking moment is spent thinking about just those things. So it’s especially good luck that both her name (Rose/rows) and her dog’s (Rain/reign) are homonyms.
In our media-saturated Age of Celebrity, it can be hard to fathom that there was once a time when people were not famous merely for being famous. While today we think of Oscar Wilde as an eminent playwright and novelist, he was one of the first self-made public figures, who crafted his persona and gained widespread renown long before he had done anything of much note. An early impetus behind his fame was a lecture tour he made to the United States in 1882, when he was only 27 years old and the author of one tepidly reviewed, self-published volume of verse.
Fire Shut Up in My Bones is a stunning coming-of-age story that tracks New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow’s rise from a poverty-stricken childhood in Louisiana to the respected journalist he is today. An introspective and poetic memoir about race, masculinity and sexuality, it also reckons with the impact of childhood sexual abuse on the core of his identity.
Renowned biologist and animal behavior expert Janine Benyus has compiled the ultimate reference guide for zoo lovers with her new book, The Secret Language of Animals. We asked Benyus a few questions about the role of zoos today, misunderstood animal behaviors and what she's working on next.
Excellent books from Charles Finch, Lachlan Smith and former secretary of defense Robert Gates make for great listening.
Some Like It Wild is the second book in M. Leighton’s best-selling Wild Ones erotic (read: explicit) romance series, in which good girls encounter wild men who introduce them to the pleasures that have been missing from their straight-laced lives.
Children who linger over the cover of Lola M. Schaefer’s One Busy Day will see that they’re in for a grand adventure: A brother and sister sit outside. She’s wearing a crown, they’re in front of an elaborate sand castle, and behind the boy a dragon lingers. Toys are strewn everywhere. Clearly, the siblings have had a day of exhilarating play.
Anyone who has read Catherynne M. Valente’s first book for young readers, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, and marveled at the author’s fantastic prose and vivid imagination, was pleased to find that Valente had not lost her touch in the second book, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There. But her characters are so...