25 Creative Bookmarks for Readers

Have you ever read a book, only to lose your place because you haven’t got a decent bookmark? Well, perhaps if you’d had one of these unique page markers, you’d be more inclined to continue your quest for knowledge or adventure.

A bleeding bookmark for a thriller? Perhaps a shark’s fin for a nautical tale? If knowledge does indeed sprout from the hallowed pages of a book, then perhaps a leaf bookmark would take your fancy?

Themed bookmarks that represent a motif from the story are a fantastic way to get get children to read. For example, the arrow from Robin Hood’s bow helps bring Sherwood Forest to life. Or imagine chasing the White Rabbit into Wonderland after being tantalised by his pink ears!

Here is a whole collection of creative bookmarks to brighten your day.

 

Via: http://www.boredpanda.com/creative-bookmarks/

16 Books That Should Be On Your Radar: August 2017

books-radar-august-2017

Every month, the Writer’s Bone crew reviews or previews books they’ve read or want to read. This series may or may not also serve as a confessional for guilty pleasures and hipster novels only the brave would attempt. Here are their recommendations for August 2017:

  1. Hum If You Don’t Know The Words by Bianca Marais
  2. The Late Show by Michael Connelly
  3. Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips
  4. Of Mess And Moxie by Jen Hatmaker
  5. Killerjoy by Jon Negroni
  6. A Clean Kill In Tokyo by Barry Eisler
  7. The Road To Concord by J.L. Bell
  8. All The Bayou Stories End With Drowned by Erica Wright
  9. Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta
  10. I Was Told To Come Alone by Souad Mekhennet
  11. The Weight Of Blood by Laura Mchugh
  12. Into The Forest by Jean Hegland
  13. A House Among The Trees by Julia Glass
  14. A Distant View Of Everything by Alexander Mccall Smith
  15. The Elephants In My Backyard by Rajiv Surendra
  16. Everybody’s Son by Thrity Umrigar

Click on the links above for a detailed synopsis of each book, or follow the following link to see what the Writer’s Bone crew had to say: http://www.writersbone.com/book-recommendations/2017/8/3/17-books-that-should-be-on-your-radar-august-2017

 

5 Books You Should Read If You Want To Write

5-books-you-should-read-to-write

You have no doubt heard it said over and over again, in order to write, you need to read. Probably the most famous person who says this is Stephen King. And to be fair, if Stephen says it’s true, who am I to argue. The following are 5 top books you should read if you want to write. There are of course many, many others, but these are a good place to start:

1. ON WRITING BY STEPHEN KING

This is a fantastic book on writing. I love Stephen King, and in this book he describes his personal writing process as well as making suggestions for other writers. King is careful to focus mainly on his own journey and not offer blanket statements about writing which may not work for everyone. I really enjoyed the anecdotes and no-nonsense approach to what it takes to be a writer.

2. READING LIKE A WRITER BY FRANCINE PROSE

The premise of this book is firmly founded on the mantra: in order to write, you need to read. Read anything and everything you can get your hands on. Reading the writing of a wide variety of authors allows you to be exposed to different voices, different perspectives, and different ideas. When I was younger, I read nonstop and I’m grateful for the time I put in to each and every one of those books because they taught me how to tell stories.

Prose breaks down her book, Reading Like A Writer, into chapters devoted to different literary devices such as paragraphs, narration, character, dialogue, etc. and offers different excerpts in order for you to read closely and pay attention to what the author is trying to do in his or her work. It’s more of a guidebook than a narration on personal experience, but equally important in order to learn how to focus on all of the different aspects of writing.

3. THE ART OF SPIRITUAL WRITING BY VINITA HAMPTON WRIGHT

I like this book because it is a) short (161 pages) and b) speaks of the importance of authenticity in writing. It is important to share experience and talk about things that are uncomfortable because it’s a way of connecting with others.

Hampton Wright takes her decades of experience as both an editor and an author and lays out a writing manual that describes the best way to write from the heart and inspire other people. It contains both technical writing information as well as advice about what she terms “spiritual writing”.

4. BIRD BY BIRD BY ANNE LAMOTT

This is another great book that contains both suggestions and experiences similar to that of King in On Writing. What I like about it is that it’s even more no-nonsense than King’s book and also goes out of the way to dispel a lot of myths that people have concerning the writing and publishing process.

Be warned, this book does not sugar coats things, which is important in managing expectations. Many people operate under misconceptions that could ultimately harm them if they are seriously trying to make a living as a writer. Lamott is funny, but real, and it’s a quick and entertaining read.

5. WINNING THE STORY WARS BY JONAH SACHS

This book not only appeals to writers, but also marketers and business owners. Sachs writes under the conception that those who tell the best stories will “rule the future”. What he means by that is that in a sea of advertisements, personal stories, social media, and other brand messages, it’s hard for a person or company to get their story out. Writing in a way that breaks through that wall will help your message and your brand gain traction.

Sachs relies on examples from mythology, psychology, the history of advertising, and even biology to push for a revolution of story telling. He offers advice on how to get your story out above the crowd and make others take notice. Along with academia and personal anecdotes, it’s a great book to inspire you to do more with your writing. It’s also a great read for bloggers who are aiming at strengthening their own personal brand and breaking through the noise of millions of other existing blogs.

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Happy reading! 🙂

The Man Booker Prize 2017 Longlist Announced

The longlist, or ‘Man Booker Dozen’, for the £50,000 Man Booker Prize has been announced.

This year’s longlist of 13 books was selected by a panel of five judges: Baroness Lola Young (Chair); literary critic, Lila Azam Zanganeh; Man Booker Prize shortlisted novelist, Sarah Hall; artist, Tom Phillips CBE RA; and travel writer, Colin Thubron CBE.

The list was chosen from 144 submissions published in the UK between 1 October 2016 and 30 September 2017.

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction, first awarded in 1969, is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English and published in the UK.

The 2017 longlist, or Man Booker ‘Dozen’, of 13 novels, is:

Title Author (nationality) (imprint)

4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster (US) (Faber & Faber)
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry (Ireland) (Faber & Faber)
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund (US) (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (Pakistan-UK) (Hamish Hamilton)
Solar Bones by Mike McCormack (Ireland) (Canongate)
Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor (UK) (4th Estate)
Elmet by Fiona Mozley (UK) (JM Originals)
The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy (India) (Hamish Hamilton)
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (US) (Bloomsbury)
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (UK-Pakistan) (Bloomsbury)
Autumn by Ali Smith (UK) (Hamish Hamilton)
Swing Time by Zadie Smith (UK) (Hamish Hamilton)
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (US) (Fleet)

Chair of the 2017 judges, Baroness Lola Young, says:

‘Only when we’d finally selected our 13 novels did we fully realise the huge energy, imagination and variety in them as a group.  The longlist showcases a diverse spectrum — not only of voices and literary styles but of protagonists too, in their culture, age and gender.  Nevertheless we found there was a spirit common to all these novels: though their subject matter might be turbulent, their power and range were life-affirming – a tonic for our times.

Together their authors — both recognised and new — explore an array of literary forms and techniques, from those working in a traditional vein to those who aim to move the walls of fiction’.

Arundhati Roy makes the list with her second work of fiction, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness; Roy’s debut novel won the then Booker Prize in 1997. She is joined by four previously shortlisted writers: Ali Smith (2001, Hotel World; 2005, The Accidental; and 2014, How to Be Both); Zadie Smith (2005, On Beauty), Sebastian Barry (2005, A Long Long Way Down; 2008, The Secret Scripture; and longlisted in 2011 for On Canaan’s Side) and Mohsin Hamid (2007, The Reluctant Fundamentalist). It is a third longlist appearance for Jon McGregor (2002, If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, 2006, So Many Ways To Begin).

Three debut novels are recognised by the judges this year, two of them written by the youngest authors on the list: Elmet by Fiona Mozley, aged 29, and History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund, aged 38. The third is George Saunders’ first full-length novel, Lincoln in the Bardo.

Three independent publishers are longlisted: Canongate, Faber & Faber and Bloomsbury. They are joined by Penguin Random House imprint Hamish Hamilton (which publishes four of the 13 titles), 4th Estate, and Hachette UK imprints: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; JM Originals; and Fleet. The latter two are new imprints and this is the first time they have had a title on the Man Booker Prize longlist.

Luke Ellis, CEO of Man Group, comments:

‘Congratulations to all the authors who have been longlisted for this year’s Man Booker Prize. The longlist recognises the hard work and creativity of thought of these exceptional writers, and inclusion is an important achievement. As ever, we are we are very proud to support the Man Booker Prize and the valuable role it plays in promoting literary excellence and endeavour.’

The shortlist and winner announcements

The shortlist of six books will be announced on Wednesday 13 September at a morning press conference at Man Group, the sponsor of the prize. The shortlisted authors each receive £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book.

The 2017 winner will then be announced on Tuesday 17 October in London’s Guildhall at a black-tie dinner, one of the highlights of the publishing year. The ceremony will be broadcast by the BBC.

The winner of the 2017 Man Booker Prize receives £50,000 and can expect international recognition. In the week following the 2016 winner announcement, sales of The Sellout by Paul Beatty increased by 658%. To date over 360,000 print copies of the Oneworld edition have been sold, and 26 foreign language rights deals have been secured – 19 of which were sold since his win.

Beatty made history in 2016 as the first writer from the United States to win the Man Booker Prize. Prior to 2014 only citizens of the Commonwealth, the Republic of Ireland or Zimbabwe were eligible for the prize.

At a Man Booker reception held in New York last week, Beatty stated that winning the prize has broadened his world and said:

‘I’ll be in Hackney or I’ll be in Calcutta and somebody will stand up and give an amazing diatribe on what this book has meant to them, how this book has touched them. And not all the time, but often, it’s not about how the book is American or it’s set in LA, but about all these bigger things.’

The leading prize for quality fiction in English

First awarded in 1969, the Man Booker Prize is recognised as the leading prize for literary fiction written in English. The list of former winners features many of the literary giants of the last four decades: from Iris Murdoch to Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan to Hilary Mantel.

The rules of the prize were changed at the end of 2013 to embrace the English language ‘in all its vigour, its vitality, its versatility and its glory’, opening it up to writers beyond the UK and Commonwealth.

The Man Booker Prize is sponsored by Man Group, an active investment management firm. 

Via: http://themanbookerprize.com/news/man-booker-prize-2017-longlist-announced

7 Books That Are More Feminist Than You’d Think

wuthering heights emily bronte

Reading while also being a feminist can be a demoralising endeavor. It feels like for every brilliant piece of feminist writing, there’s an unassailable mountain of misogynistic nonsense (I’m looking at you, Ernest Hemingway). So much of what we read in secondary school literature, for example, is written by white men, about white men, and for white men, and it starts to get exhausting. Can we only read books of essays on feminist theory for the rest of time? Are any other books safe? Well, these books might not change your entire gender-based worldview, but they certainly all have feminist messages buried in there somewhere. Here are a few books that turn out to be more feminist than you’d think.

I mean sure, we can all enjoy the occasional story about hunting lions in Africa with your shrewish wife, but over half of the planet’s population is made up of genders other than men. It’s tempting to give up on male authors entirely and go live underground and/or only read Ella Enchanted on repeat for the rest of your life. But if that’s sounding a little unrealistic, here are a few books that have more to say on women’s rights than you might have guessed:

1. ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by William Shakespeare

Sappy romance between hormonal teens…or secret feminist manifesto? Romeo and Juliet has quite the reputation for being a classic love story, but the way it deals with gender is very nearly revolutionary. Despite being a teen boy, Romeo is the emotional, romantic, sensitive character, who kills himself using poison, which is traditionally a “woman’s weapon.” Juliet, on the other hand, is a thoughtful, logical teenage girl, who has a whole monologue about how excited she is to have sex with her boyfriend, and who stabs herself to death in a very traditionally masculine form of violence.

2. ‘Ulysses’ by James Joyce

Yes, James Joyce writes a lot about dudes staring at women and yes, a lot of his fans are lit bros who’ll make you read their screenplay and then ghost you. But if you can make it through Ulysses, you just might find that Joyce is more complex than that. The book is all about Leopold Bloom, but Molly Bloom, his wife, gets the final chapter all to herself. The last few pages are a stream of consciousness monologue from Molly as she masturbates, and it’s presented as a beautiful, empowering, life-affirming event (that got the book repeatedly banned for obscenity).

3. ‘The Suffragette Scandal’ by Courtney Milan

A lot of people write off the romance genre as trashy or backwards, but there are many well-written feminist love stories out there. The Suffragette Scandal, for one, is a nuanced and sexy romance between an outspoken suffragette and a man who actually appreciates her for her wit, tenacity, and bold opinions.

4. ‘One Thousand and One Nights’ by Hanan Al-Shaykh

Like most classic folklore collections, the original One Thousand and One Nights isn’t exactly up to date on gender politics. But Hanan Al-Shaykh’s beautiful, witty re-telling of these stories manages to highlight complex women throughout. The stories are equally funny and gruesome, and at the center of all of them is young Shahrazad, spinning tales to save her life, and to protect other women from the king’s wrath.

5. ‘Persuasion’ by Jane Austen

People seem to be split on Jane Austen: either they think she’s a brilliant proto-feminist, or they dismiss her books as classic chick lit. Those “chick lit” people need to take a long hard look in the mirror and then read Persuasion. It may not have as much of a feminist following as Pride and Prejudice, but Persuasion is the most mature of Austen’s novels: the story of an old-ish young woman looking for a second chance with a man she once spurned. But more than that, our heroine is forced to deal with the existential question of her own place in society as a woman who never married (she’s a dried up old maid of 27!).

6. ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ by Lemony Snicket

I don’t know that anyone would call Lemony Snicket’s darkly humorous children’s series sexist, but it’s certainly not the book that comes to mind first in a discussion of feminist kids’ books. That’s too bad, because the Baudelaire siblings eschew traditional gender roles and deal with a lot of sexist creeps. Violet, the mechanically minded inventor, is a great example of a young women who can enjoy hair ribbons and machinery.

7. ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily Brontë

When it comes to the Brontës and feminism, Jane Eyre gets most of the attention. After all, Jane Eyre is very clearly the story of one woman growing into her own independence, while Wuthering Heights is… more of a story about two awful people who love/hate each other until they angrily die. But, I’d argue that Wuthering Heights is important in part because it has an unlikable female protagonist. So many great books star antihero men, so why can’t Cathy be an antihero woman? Wuthering Heights challenges us to invest in the story of a young woman who is not particularly pleasant or nice, but who is still a fully realised individual with passions and thoughts.

Via: https://www.bustle.com/p/7-books-that-are-more-feminist-than-you-think

18 Books That Should Be On Your Radar: July 2017

books-radar-july-2017

Every month, the Writer’s Bone crew reviews or previews books they’ve read or want to read. This series may or may not also serve as a confessional for guilty pleasures and hipster novels only the brave would attempt. Here are their recommendations for July 2017:

  1. Stephen Florida by Gabe Habash
  2. What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons
  3. The Fallen by Ace Atkins
  4. Madame Zero by Sarah Hall
  5. Grunt by Mary Roach
  6. The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff
  7. Unsub by Meg Gardiner
  8. The Graybar Hotel by Curtis Dawkins
  9. Found Audio by N.J. Campbell
  10. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  11. The Dark Dark by Samantha Hunt
  12. Joe Gould’s Teeth by Jill Lepore
  13. St. Marks is Dead by Ada Calhoun
  14. The Songs by Charles Elton
  15. The Reason You’re Alive by Matthew Quick
  16. Blind Spot by Teju Cole
  17. Sweat by Lynn Nottage
  18. Borne by Jeff Vandermeer

Click on the links above for a detailed synopsis of each book, or follow the following link to see what the Writer’s Bone crew had to say: Books-that-should-be-on-your-radar-July-2017

9 Reasons Why You Should Read Before Bed

bedtime reading

What does your typical bedtime routine look like? Do you snuggle under your recently washed sheets around 10:00 pm, a mug of warm milk in one hand and a Tolstoy novel in the other? Or do you flop into bed between one and five in the morning, eyes bloodshot, clutching your phone to your heart as you desperately scroll through photos of baby sloths? We all struggle to stick to a healthy bedtime routine. But if you can make it to bed with your favorite book, you might have a better night’s sleep. Here are just a few of the reasons why you should read before bed.

Now I know what you’re going to say, book-lovers: “Every time I read before bed, I end up staying up until dawn finishing my book! That can’t be good for my skin and general temperament!” And no, medically speaking, it’s not a great idea to read instead of sleeping. But if you can stick to just a chapter or three at bedtime, it could actually be good for your health.

So pry your phone out of your trembling hands about an hour before bed, and settle down with a good book (hot milk optional):

1. You’ll retain more

When you sleep, you brain dumps all of your short term memory goo into the long term memory goo-reserves (in a manner of speaking). That means that the things you read right before bed stick with you better in the long run. Read a book before drifting off, and you won’t forget any minor plot points.

2. It’s screen-free time

We all know that we’ll sleep better if we cut down on screens right before bed. And yet… most of us still fall asleep with our phones/laptops/video calculators pressed lovingly against our faces. But if you set aside bedtime for reading an analog, paper book, you get that rare screen-free time that your eyes desperately need.

3. It’s a calming ritual

If you have trouble getting to sleep, many doctors and bloggers will recommend a calming ritual to perform every night before bed. Reading is the perfect kind of ritual: it forces you to lie down and cut out the distractions, it’s quiet, and it doesn’t get boring because you’re always reading something new.

4. You can’t skip it

Unless there is something terribly upsetting going on in your life right now, you go to sleep every single day. You can’t skip bedtime more than once in a very great while without totally falling apart at the seams. So, if you make a habit out of reading before bed, you’ll set aside time for reading every day, and end up reading more books than ever before.

5. You’ll de-stress

Reading is shown to reduce stress levels. And I don’t know about you, but as soon as I get under the covers I immediately start ruminating on all of the things I have to do and all of the times I embarrassed myself in the third grade. Reading will ease some of your classic nighttime anxiety, so you can actually fall asleep instead of staring and the ceiling and worrying about honey bee deaths.

6. You’ll have better dreams

Do I have a very scientific source for this? Maybe not, but I’ve always found that whatever I read or watch right before bed heavily affects my dreams. So maybe steer clear of the Stephen King late at night, but feel free to read about exciting fantasy realms that you’d like to visit in your sleep.

7. You’ll be more focused

Not only does reading boost your concentration in general, reading before bed will help you concentrate more on whatever it is you’re reading in the moment. You won’t be battling ten thousand other distractions. You don’t have to deal with other commuters. No one will (hopefully) stop you to ask what you’re reading. Reading before bed is one of the few guaranteed moments of reading in peace.

8. You can read in privacy

It’s a little easier to be emotionally open when you’re reading in your own bed, and not at your work computer while your co-worker chews with their mouth open. You’re free to laugh or ugly cry or Google word definitions to your heart’s content when you’re safe in your own bed.

9. It’ll help you sleep

It’s true: reading before bed gives you a more restful night’s sleep. Specifically, reading a book made of genuine paper (sorry, kindle-heads) will calm your brain and help you transition peacefully into dreamland without any glaring screens. So put aside that Netflix show based on a book, and pick up an actual book tonight before you hit the sack.

Via: https://www.bustle.com/p/9-reasons-why-you-should-read-before-bed-63326