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  • Despite the rapidly approaching holidays, literary events in NYC show no signs of slowing down. This week brings opportunities to see legends like Neil Gaiman and Robert Gober, applaud the sartorial choices of awesome teen girls, and celebrate the power of the selfie. Rounding out the week will be the epic reading of A Christmas Carol by some of New York’s most beloved writers.

  • November, mostly known to Americans as That Time When the Family Gets Together at the End of the Month to Awkwardly Eat Lots of Food Revolving around a Mythical (and Most Likely Inaccurate) Meeting of Two Cultures, is also a season for writers. Yes, you're correct: along with raising awareness for not shaving, banana pudding lovers, and sweet potatoes, November is National Novel Writing Month.

    Interested in writing a 50,000-word novel and you're intimidated by the time limit? You're not alone. Thousands will join you in the pursuit and feel as though their fingers cannot chitter-chatter at the keyboard quickly enough. It's nerve rending.

    Unless, of course, you regard those writers among us that take a helluva long time on their work.  With your permission, I'm going to explore some of the leisureliest (yep, that's a word) writers that decided to grace the page, either by pen or typing contraption.

    Let's begin. Permission granted?

  • Want to start writing fanfiction? I’m not going to tell you what to write about, but I will break it down into six simple steps. You’ll be creating stories that feature characters you love in no time at all.

  • All over the planet people have tried to prevent others from reading books they consider immoral, unethical or just plain dangerous - and it seems that fictional worlds aren't safe from this either.

    So in celebration of Banned Books week and the tireless efforts of librarians, publishers and booksellers to protect your right and freedom to read, here are five books that have been banned, suppressed or challenged in, um, books. (Warning: Spoilers!)

    The Grasshopper Lies Heavy (The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick): In The Man in the High Castle, the Nazis won WW2 and America has been taken over by the Japanese. In this alternate history there is a book called The Grasshopper Lies Heavy, which is in itself another alternate history in which the Allies won the War. The Nazis have banned the book because they don't win in it, and they don't want people going around getting hope that they don't have to live under Hitler's oppressive rule.

    To complicate matters, although the Allies win in Grasshopper, the reality portrayed in that book is vastly different from ours - Hitler lives to be tried at Nuremberg for a start. This means that The Grasshopper Lies Heavy is an alternate history of an alternate history of our reality. Still with me? Ok, next up we have:

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    It's about that time to hit the beach, and is there anything better than sitting near the ocean, listening to the waves roll in and drinking something cold while you read under the warm sun? 
     
    Alright, don't answer that. I realize many readers are the "read while listening to the rain with a warm cuppa" type, and that's alright. But we're not talking about rain clouds - it's summer! Bring on the sun! BBQ! Picnics! Sun burns! 
     
    Readers face some unique and specific challenges when it comes to enjoying a book in the sun. It's a question of how to do it while avoiding the scenarios I'll describe below, all to which I've personally fallen victim to at least once. If you're headed to the beach with a book sometime this summer, be sure to change up your reading position often in order to avoid these sun burn patterns (a.k.a. Reader Tan Lines):

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    Image via Tumblr
     
    Moving? With a book collection? Good luck, because it’s a big task. Here’s how to get started.
     

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