Blog Posts

Five Star Wars books to read to tide you over until Episode 7

Faux (gorgeous!) poster via Master Never

As we speak, in a galaxy far, far away, Star Wars Episode 7 is already in production.

We’ve been teased by casting announcements, script rumors, and Carrie Fisher’s Twitter (which also features lots of pictures of her dog, Gary), but as hard as the wait is 21st century Star Wars fans can find solace in at least one thing.

Namely, unlike a previous generation who had to agonize years between Empire and Jedi we have access to tons more Star Wars stuff to fill the gap. Before the age of home entertainment, fans had to rely on multiple in-theater viewings to burn the beloved trilogy into their brain. And even after the trilogy had concluded and the VCR Revolution made it possible for people to own a piece of the magic fans felt themselves wanting more. That’s where the books came in.

It started as a few one-off novels in the 1970’s, then exploded in 1991 with The Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn. Ever since, Star Wars novels have given fans a steady stream of battles, complex plot twists, new planets, new characters, and the growth and development of older ones. And the best part is that George had the foresight to insist that anyone who wanted to write a Star Wars book had to take into account what was already established. It wouldn’t make sense to have Chewbacca die in one novel and then have another author write a book where he was alive and well and celebrating Life Day. That continuity got fans even more invested in the world they came to view as an extended family in space.

So, while J.J and company get busy filming let’s take a lesson from an older and wiser generation and get busy reading!

Worst-Case Wednesday: How to Put Out a Grill Fire

Sometimes you want your burger well done. But too well done can become a problem when a fire erupts from the grill where you’re cooking your dinner. Barbecues are common in the summer, but accidents can happen. Here’s how you put out a grill fire, thanks to The Worst-Case Scenario Almanac: Great Outdoors:

How to Tuesday: Create Your Own Bookish Hoop Art

Hoop-ing up embroidery pieces is a great way to quickly and cheaply DIY wall art. There are so many directions to take hoop art, from the bold to the serene, that there's no way to go wrong. Here at Quirk we love words & books, so we took our inspiration from hand lettering to make our take on hoop art, but you can go with whatever floats your boat! 
- Fabric. For this particular project, you'll want a solid color or a small pattern. 
- Backing fabric. Plain white linen should do the job. 
- Embroidery needle
- Embroidery thread 
- Scissors 
- Embroidery hoop (or two) 
- Quilting marker (optional) 
- Pencil and Paper (optional)
- Pins (optional)
1. Decide on a quote- I went with a favorite from A Series of Unfortunate Events author Lemony Snicket (AKA Daniel Handler): "Never trust anyone who has not brought a good book with them." 

Fifteen Books for Fans of Haruki Murakami

I am an admitted addict of Haruki Murakami's work—if he's written it, I've read it, and possibly written a paper on it. The English translation of his latest novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, comes out this week. If you’re a crazed fan like me, someone who has enjoyed the odd work in the past, or you clicked on this link through pure happenstance: well, here's a list of what to read when you're finished.
If you like reading, and especially reading Murakami, then you’re in the right place. Murakami’s hard-to-pin-down style is often considered magical realism, and most of his fans are told repeatedly to read the (thoroughly brilliant) works of Marquez. But here are fifteen books you might not know about that you ought to check out while waiting for your next fix.

Literary Events in Philadelphia This Week: August 10th - August 16th

We've spent a lot of time this week trying to beat the heat while we beat our deadlines. This coming week is a bit sparse in terms of weekday literary activity, but that doesn't mean we don't have plenty for you enjoy! 

Sunday August 10th at 5pm, Jubilant Thicket presents Alina Pleskova, Hila Ratzabi and Stan Mir at Head House Books. A reading by some terrific local poets, including some Apiary favorites. (Disclosure: Alina is our poetry editor!)

Since it's a quiet week in terms of literary events before Friday, so why not take the writers with you on your commute or a stroll through the neighborhood? There's a genre for everyone on the Free Library's Author Events podcast, which is available for free download. You can catch up on talks with a plethora of authors, and prepare for the next author events, coming up in September.

If there's a boy in your family in 7th thru 12th grade, consider sending him to the Boys Write Now free art & writing workshop, taking place Friday, August 16th at 10am. Held at the ImpactHUB, this event is for young men to play, tinker and make. The other two workshops held this summer filled to capacity, so get on this one ASAP!
Friday night, get your open mic on at 7:30pm in Germantown's LaRose Jazz Club with The Collective Poetry & All Artist Open Mic! Artists, authors, poets, comedians--all types are welcome to bring something to the stage. The Collective is also having a donation drive, so bring some new school supplies with you and give back to the local community while enjoying a great night of the arts.

Nick & Tesla, Stuff Every American Should Know, Featured in Today's Kindle Daily Deal

This week in “Awesome Books You Can Get for Your Kindle for a Really Good Deal” (ABYCGFYKFARGD for short), don’t miss your chance to grab some great titles, all for under $4.00! You really have no excuse.

Thanks to some sweet Kindle Daily Deals, you can pick up Stuff Every American Should Know for $1.99, and Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage and Nick and Tesla's Secret Agent Gadget Battle, each for $3.99!

Whether you were wondering about how to make the perfect all-American apple pie, or what the science-y siblings were up to now, you can find out without breaking the bank.

Get reading!


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