Ten books that every child should read before they leave school

I saw this article in The Independent on ten books that kids should read before they leave school, if I look at what (majority) of the kids post on social media, the ghastly grammar, lack of vocabulary and inexcusable spelling mistakes I think that this list of books is optimistic and sadly I have my doubts whether they will have the ability to understand the content. Of course Harry Potter is not that complicated but still requires a love of reading to get through them.

source: http://i100.independent.co.uk/article/the-10-books-every-child-should-read-before-they-leave-school–ZJKJg3s1Ne

The 10 books every child should read before they leave school

George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece 1984 has beaten Harry Potter to the top of a list of books that “every student should read before leaving secondary school”.

The selection, dominated by classic literature, was chosen by 500 teachers.

1. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

3. Animal Farm by George Orwell

4. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

5. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

6. The Harry Potter series by J K Rowling

7. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

8. The Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger

9. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

10. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

My fear of clowns….

My husband says that my fear is irrational but then again he didn´t read Stephen King, anybody who read `It´ was terrified of Pennywise… right? Or am I the only person that read this book at 14 and hate clowns to this day in fact so much so that none of my kids have pictures of clowns in their rooms or had them perform at their birthday parties when they were younger… sorry clowns any complaints you can forward them to Mr King. And in case you weren´t brave enough to read the book or it simply is not your cup of tea I have added an illustration of Pennywise to defend my case!

Pennywise

These books scared Stephen King….. read at your own risk

11 Books That Scared The Master of Horror, Stephen King, And Will Terrify You, Too

You may have heard of a writer named Stephen King. He wrote a few books that are kind of scary? Yeah? With more than 50 books in print, King is insanely prolific. From classic works of horror like Carrie and The Shining to enormous historical / science fiction books like 11/22/63, King’s fans never have to wait too long for his next novel. It seems like the wheels in that amazing (amazingly terrifying?) mind are always turning!

King obviously has a way with words, and his Twitter is no exception. Full of hilarious thoughts and weekly answers to reader questions, it’s always entertaining. He alternates between adorable tweets featuring his dog, Molly (aka The Thing of Evil), and recommending the books he’s reading. Being the master of horror that he is, I consider him an authority on recommendations in that genre. You could make an entire reading list based on Stephen King recommendations, and be set for a long time.

Here are 11 books that scared the unshakable Stephen King, and so are pretty much guaranteed to keep you up at night and/or give you nightmares. But hey, that’s the fun part!

A Head Full of Ghosts By Paul Tremblay

After 14-year-old Marjorie Barrett starts acting strangely, her parents are devastated to find out that she is showing signs of acute schizophrenia. But when doctors are unable to help Marjorie, the Barrett home turns into a house of horrors, and the family turns to the Catholic church, which suspects demonic possession. The family’s plight is made into a reality TV series, of course, and things only go downhill from there. Fast-forward 15 years, and Marjorie’s younger sister is interviewed about the terrifying past, opening old wounds and psychological horror.

What Stephen King Says: “Scared the living hell out of me, and I’m pretty hard to scare.”

Bad Country By CB Mackenzie

King recommends a fellow Edgar Award nominee with Bad Country, a novel about Rodeo Grace Garnet, a retiree scraping by as a bounty hunter. When a body shows up near Rodeo’s home, police are brought right to his front door, and he can hardly say no when offered to help solve such an unusual case. What unfolds is a mystery of suspense, betrayal, and (of course) murder.

What Stephen King Says: “Terrific crime/suspense/mystery novel, but the real revelation is his fresh and original voice.”

Day Four By Sarah Lotz

Four days into a five-day voyage, the cruise ship Beautiful Dreamer stops dead in the water. With no signal in the middle of the ocean, there is no way to call for help. At first, it seems like no big deal. Surely, someone will come looking for them. But as days go by, food runs out, and a body is found in one of the cabins, it becomes clear that something sinister is happening.

What Stephen King Says: “The new Sarah Lotz novel, Day Four, is really good. USA edition comes out June 15. It’s the cruise ship from hell.”

Big Little Lies By Liane Moriarty

Big Little Lies follows three women at various points of heartbreak. Madeline’s ex-husband and his new wife have moved to her beach town, and their daughter just so happens to end up in the same class as Madeline’s daughter. Meanwhile, Celeste and her husband are trying to become the king and queen of the PTA at their children’s school, but just how far would they be willing to go? Then Jane comes to town, and that might just change everything.

What Stephen King Says: “Trivia Night is the climax of Big Little Lies, by Linda Moriarty. It’s a hell of a good book. Funny and scary. She nails the feuding moms.”

You By Caroline Kepnes

When a beautiful woman walks into Joe Goldberg’s bookstore, he Googles the name on her credit card — Guinevere Beck — and finds out that she’s the only one with that name in New York City. Guinevere’s social media accounts tell Joe everything he needs to know, and a chance encounter with him will change her life. As Joe moves from stalker to boyfriend, things take a turn for the terrifying.

What Stephen King Says: “Hypnotic and scary. A little Ira Levin, a little Patricia Highsmith, and plenty of serious snark. Cool stuff.”

Frankenstorm By Ray Garton

King calls this one “old school,” and for once, that is a good thing. Ray Garton delivers a thrilling novel about the storm of the century. The storm of a lifetime, probably. As a storm brews off of the coast of California, residents have been told to prepare for the worst. But what do they do when the worst is only the beginning?

What Stephen King Says: “Remember when paperback originals were cool? Sex, action, suspense? Try Frankenstorm, by Ray Garton. It’s old school.”

Broken Monsters By Lauren Beukes

Detective Gabriella Versado has seen more than her share of dead bodies. But then a body shows up that’s half human, half deer. As more and more of these disfigured corpses pop up, it’s everything Gabriella can do to hold on to reality. Broken Monsters features an amazing cast of characters, and a chilling plot that will keep you up at night.

What Stephen King Says: “Scary as hell and hypnotic. I couldn’t put it down. Next month. I’d grab it, if I were you.”

Niceville By Carsten Stroud

What do you do when a town called Niceville becomes something not so nice? Ask Nick Kavanaugh, a cop must investigate both a robbery and a disappearance. But Nick has a dark side of his own, and as he and his wife look further into these crimes, they stumble onto a shadow world which has a different idea of justice. Something is wrong in Niceville, and readers won’t be able to put this book down until they find out what.

What Stephen King Says: “crazy-good supernatural/crime/horror epic. Blew me away.”

The Girl on the Train By Paula Hawkins

One of the most talked-about books of the beginning of this year, The Girl on the Train is still on the bestseller list months after its release. Rachel loves to people-watch on her commute to work everyday. She loves it so much that she makes up a story for her favorite couple. She names them Jess and Jason and dreams up an entire happily-ever-after life for them. Until “Jess” goes missing. Then Rachel becomes implicated in a crime, but she can’t figure out how.

What Stephen King Says: “really great suspense novel. Kept me up most of the night. The alcoholic narrator is dead perfect.”

The Accident By Chris Pavone

A literary agent in New York finishes an anonymous manuscript that the CIA wants destroyed. Meanwhile, the author is in hiding in Zurich, trying to atone for a lifetime of regrets. The Accident takes place over the course of a single day, as the lives of its characters collide as the book approaches publication. Suspenseful and impossible to put down, The Accident is the perfect book for King fans.

What Stephen King Says: “if you like real nail-biters, this is the best one so far this year.”

The Killer Next Door By Alex Marwood

The people who live at 23 Beulah Grove have secrets. They must. Beulah Grove is the kind of place you go to when you’re completely out of options. Sounds like the beginning of a Stephen King novel, doesn’t it? I thought so, too. The residents of Beulah Grove keep to themselves until a grisly accident forces them together. But what they don’t know is that one of them is a killer. Dark, twisty, and perfect for King fans, The Killer Next Door is a thriller you can’t miss!

What Stephen King Says: “If you read Alex Marwood’s The Wicked Girls, her new one—The Killer Next Door—is even better. Scary as hell. Great characters.”

Was Dracula Story inspired by Abhartach, the Bloodsucking Chieftain of Ireland?

Dracula

Tales of vampires and other similar blood-sucking creatures have been told in various societies across the world. The most famous of these tales is the story of Dracula, written by Bram Stoker, and published in 1897. This Gothic horror novel tells of Count Dracula’s attempt to move from Transylvania to England in order to seek new blood and spread the undead curse. Hoping to prevent the Count from succeeding in his quest is a small group of men and women led by Dracula’s archenemy, Professor Abraham van Helsing. It has been popularly speculated that the character of Dracula is based on Vlad the Impaler, the 15th century Prince of Wallachia. Nevertheless, there are those who believe that it was Irish folklore, rather than Romanian history that inspired Stoker’s Dracula.

It is popularly believed that Stoker’s inspiration for Dracula came from the life of Vlad the Impaler. The Ambras Castle Portrait of Vlad III.

It is popularly believed that Stoker’s inspiration for Dracula came from the life of Vlad the Impaler. The Ambras Castle Portrait of Vlad III. Photo source: Wikimedia.

Stoker’s famous novel was not originally entitled Dracula. In fact, Stoker’s original manuscript was simply entitled as The Un-dead, in which the blood-sucking count was named “Count Wampyr”. Stoker, incidentally, worked as a civil servant in Dublin, and the first novel he wrote was called Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland, a satirical account of the bureaucratic lifestyle he longed to escape from. Additionally, he had never travelled further east than Vienna, and is said to have never actually visited Romania. In 1998, professor Elizabeth Miller published an essay in which she maintained that Stoker’s research notes for Dracula do not indicate that he had detailed biographical knowledge of Vlad III.

Some historians therefore suggested that Stoker did not receive his inspiration for his dark and twisted tale from the brutal life of Vlad the Impaler, but rather developed his ideas from Irish folklore.

Much academic debate surrounds the true inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Portrait of Bram Stoker, 1906

Much academic debate surrounds the true inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Portrait of Bram Stoker, 1906 (Wikimedia Commons)

Just over a decade ago, Bob Curran, a lecturer in Celtic History and Folklore at the University of Ulster, Coleraine, published a paper in the peer-reviewed journal History Ireland, in which he hypothesized that Stoker based his novel on the legendary story of Abhartach, a 5th century chieftain known for his bloodsucking habits.

The Legend of Abhartach

In the early 17th century, Dr Geoffrey Keating published the first written record of Abhartach in his work Foras Feasa ar Eireann (‘A General History of Ireland’). Although today viewed as a folk legend, Keating referred to Abhartach as a real historical figure.

According to his account,  Abhartach was a brutal 5th century warlord, who ruled over a small kingdom in an area bordered by what is now the town of Garvagh in Ireland. Abhartach was greatly feared by his people, who believed he had dark and magical powers.  The townsfolk wanted to rid themselves of this troublesome king so they called upon a chieftain from a neighboring kingdom, named Cathain, to kill him.

Cathain succeeded in killing Abhartach and buried him standing up, as befitted a Celtic chieftain.  However, the story goes that Abhartach rose from the grave and demanded a bowl of blood from the wrists of his subjects to sustain his energy. Cathain returned to kill Abhartach a second time, but again he rose from the dead, demanding the blood of the living.

Illustration from ‘The Natural History of Two Species of Irish Vampire’

Illustration from ‘The Natural History of Two Species of Irish Vampire’ (public domain)

Cathain sought the advice of a Christian saint, who informed him that Abhartach was a marbh bheo(walking dead) and must be killed with a sword made of yew wood, before being buried upside down with a great stone placed upon his body to weigh him down, preventing him from rising again. Cathain followed this advice and today, in the town of Slaghtaverty, a capstone can be seen at the site where Abhartach was supposedly buried.

The story of Abhartach was retold centuries later in Patrick Weston Joyce’s The Origin and History of Irish Names of Places, 12 years before Bram Stoker wrote his famous novel Dracula.  Interestingly, the Celtic word ‘dreach-fhuola’ means tainted blood, and some maintain that it was this word from which Stoker developed the name of his central character.

We may never know for certain whether Stoker’s Dracula is based on the Wallachian Vlad or Irish mythology. Still, old habits die hard, and while Transylvania in Romania will continue to be regarded as the haunting grounds of Count Dracula, the tale of Abhartach may well have played a central role in developing the vampire we know today.

source: http://www.ancient-origins.net/myths-legends-europe/was-dracula-story-inspired-abhartach-bloodsucking-chieftain-ireland-002992

Book promotion time… Elizabeth Hunter is back

The Scarlet Deep

So here I am promoting one of my favourite authors again, truth be told I haven´t read the book yet but it is sitting safely in my kindle waiting for my “damn lazy spell” to blow over. But I can safely promote this book because this author does NOT write bad books, ever.
In fact she is brilliant so GO AND GET THIS AMAZING BOOK!!

Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/kf87vch

iBooks: http://tinyurl.com/km4uulf

Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/oh34kfb

Smashwords: http://tinyurl.com/jvoluop

Kobo: http://tinyurl.com/qyhkhgt

Createspace: http://tinyurl.com/q287fof

Goodreads: http://tinyurl.com/phodgfw

Synopsis:

On the waves of the North Atlantic, a poison spreads, sapping the life from humans and striking madness into immortals.

Patrick Murphy, the immortal leader of Dublin, has been trying to stem the tide of Elixir washing into his territory, but nothing seems to stop the vampire drug. While others in the immortal world work to cure the creeping insanity that Elixir threatens, Murphy has been invited to London to join a summit of leaders hoping to discover who is shipping the drug. If Murphy and his allies can cut off the supply, they might be able to halt the spread long enough for a treatment to be found for the humans and vampires infected.

Anne O’Dea, Murphy’s former lover, retreated from public life over one hundred years ago to help immortals in need… and to heal her own broken heart. Though powerful connections keep her insulated from the violence of vampire politics, even Anne is starting to feel the effects of Elixir on her isolated world. The human blood supply has been tainted, and with Anne’s unique needs, even those closest to her might be in danger. Not just from infection, but Anne’s escalating bloodlust.

When Anne and Murphy are both called to London, they’re forced to confront a connection as immortal as they are. As they search for a traitor among allies, they must also come to terms with their past. Behind the safe facade of politics, old hungers still burn, even as an ancient power threatens the fate of the Elemental World.

The ungrateful

I don´t usually have much to say on current events, especially not on my blog, my mother always told me that if I want to keep my friends never to discuss religion, politics and football. But lately it seems that every second news article is related to Greece and after reading plenty of them I decided to voice my opinion.

Reading about Greece is depressing, but what is truly annoying is that Germany has a very short memory considering that after World War II their debt was forgiven by many countries (including Greece) to help get them get back on their feet. Isn´t it sad that they are not capable of showing the same kindness?
“The 1953 agreement, in which Greece and about 20 other countries effectively wrote off a large chunk of Germany’s loans and restructured the rest, is a landmark case that shows how effective debt relief can be. It helped spark what became known as the German economic miracle.

So it’s perhaps ironic that Germany is now among the countries resisting Greece’s requests to have part of its debts written off.”

Let´s just hope that that is all that they have forgotten.

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