Graphic Novels: More than Superhero Comics

When people think of graphic novels, most picture superheroes saving their city. And, while superhero graphic novels are great, they aren’t the only forms of illustrated entertainment available. In fact, there are numerous graphic novels that don’t have anything to do with those with powers outside of the standard human.

If you haven’t checked out everything that the graphic novel has to offer, here are some excellent examples that don’t involve a single superhero.

From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell

While Alan Moore is more commonly known for his alternative take on the superhero genre, such as he demonstrated in critically acclaimed works like Watchmen and V for Vendetta, From Hell is actually an exploration of the story of Jack the Ripper. While the story is in no way historically accurate, it is a compelling story that falls well outside the superhero standard.

Graphic Novels: More than Superhero Comics

The Giant Beard That Was Evil by Stephen Collins

Famed illustrator and cartoonist, Stephen Collins, directed his unique style to the graphic novel The Giant Beard That Was Evil. The work was nominated for the Waterstones Book of the Year award as well as an Eisner Award in 2013. The story is fantastical and quirky, with high-quality visuals propelling the story along.

Ghost World by Daniel Clowes

Here’s another graphic novel that was given its time on the silver screen, but the story has nothing to do with heroes and villains. Instead, Ghost World follows to somewhat jaded young women as they work their way through the world. Part coming of age story, part examination of the times, it explores some very common issues with a unique perspective.

Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo

Akira did more than just tell a post-apocalyptic story about teenage gangs and psychic kids; it served as inspiration for productions like Blade Runner. The story works through the political climate that brought everything crashing down, as well as those trying to survive in the aftermath. This isn’t your standard graphic novel by any means and still garners attention after all of these years.

Preacher by Garth Ennis

Recently used to inspire a television series of the same name, Preacher does involve a person with extraordinary power, but it isn’t because of the standard superhero premise. Instead, this graphic novel combines a horror/thriller storyline with the feel of a classic Western. And, as the name suggests, a healthy dose of skewed religious connections.

The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

When most people picture a memoir, they don’t see it in comic strip form. And that’s why The Complete Persepolis impresses. It tells the tale of the author’s life growing up in Tehran during the time of the Islamic Revolution. Part coming of age story, part political exploration of the era, this graphic novel is often considered one of the best even when compared to those of the superhero variety.

As you can see, the reach of the graphic novel goes well beyond the traditional offerings many people imagine. The ability to express such varying stories in the combination narrative and pictorial formats give many of these tales a unique life of their own, and can be quite immersing. So, before you assume that graphic novels are one thing alone, consider giving these options a try. You may be surprised by what you find.

Does reading make you smarter?

It makes sense that reading can only be beneficial for us and the first question we should answer is whether it makes us smarter. By reading effectively we can actually greatly affect our intelligence. It is said that reading is the ideal form of brain exercise and in turn makes us smarter. We do regular workouts to stay fit and keep our bodies in a good condition. The same would apply to your brain and it is necessary to take heed from researchers that have proven we need to exercise our brains to keep it in optimum condition. They have actually conducted tests which have proven the positive impact reading has on the brain with MRI mapping. Reading gets the blood flowing to all the right parts of the brain. Click here to take a look at some of the best books of our time.

Does reading make you smarter?

How exactly does reading benefit your mind and make you smarter? Your vocabulary is drastically increased by reading which makes perfect sense. I constantly learn new words by reading a new book. On so many occasions I have felt compelled to look up words and find out what they mean that I discovered in a book. Reading also improves our communication skills which go hand in hand with an expanded vocabulary. You will have new words and phrases to use in conversation. I once looked up the foundation for defense of democracies and learnt more about this movement. This foundation actually makes it priority to fight for democracy and I had a great conversation starter regarding politics. With reading you can really increase your analytical skills because your general knowledge is vast and you will be able to spot patterns quicker.

Reading is also an effective memory booster. You are training your brain while you read which means you easily retain information that you find worthy of remembering which allows you to boost your memory. You can also enhance your ability to focus with reading because it takes time to focus on what you are reading. If you are reading a really good book you might find the rest of the world and all its problems drift away which makes reading a great way to escape. In order to capture the story you need to be focused. Click here to get tips on creating the perfect reading space. Scientists say that your brain activity is high while you read which automatically means you are using your brain which essentially leads to brain exercises. It is even said that reading poetry uses the right side of your brain. All we need to do is look at some of the most intellectual and influential people in time that were avid readers like Steve Jobs, Phil Knight and Winston Churchill.  The final answer is that reading does make you smarter and that you will decrease your chances of getting dementia and Alzheimer’s by reading. A book a month keeps your brain active and your thoughts pro-active.

What Book Readers Can Learn From Stephen Collins Cartoons

For a long time, book readers have relied on various creative arts to make their reading more enjoyable. They like cartoons, photographs, illustrations and many other forms of art. In fact, a book cannot be complete without one of these art forms. This is the reason why the need Stephen Collins cartoons. If you search online, you will notice that there are various websites that use these cartoons. It is because they know that is one of the most effective ways to attract readers. Let us look at how book readers can benefit from his art.

What Book Readers Can Learn From Stephen Collins Cartoons

They are humorous

If you are looking for something to laugh at when reading, you should consider these cartoons. They are always hilarious to the point that people wonder what kind of a genius Collins is. A few have been about people and the funny things that they do. The cartoons also represent day-to-day activities and therefore, anyone can relate to the humor that comes with them. Anyone looking at these images will definitely find them funny because they appeal to a wide variety of audiences. He has gained a huge following mainly because people cannot resist the humor that he carries in his cartoons alongside his publications.

They are informative

Collins’ cartoons are not just meant to make you laugh. There are informative too. Since he focuses on events in the political world as well as other aspects of life, you are likely to get some facts that you did not know about. In a way, his cartoons are used as news stories in themselves. Juts by viewing a cartoon, you will know what the story is about. Hundreds of them focus on specific issues and developing stories. This is the reason why he has attracted attention from various quarters including the ruling elite who sometimes complain that he has been going too hard on them. However, all that he does is to pass information as it is through wonderfully created cartoons.

They are timeless

For Collins, it does not matter when a cartoon was created. Whether it was created yesterday or several years ago, it still makes sense. This is because the events that the cartons represent are not tied to time. For instance, if he is making cartons about economic challenges, they still will be useful for many years to come. Looking at some of those that he created several years ago, you will get the feeling that he was predicting the future. As a book reader, you can flashback to these events and connect them to what is happening now. It will help you to understand the context of whatever book you are reading and what to expect in times to come.

They are well thought-out

These are not the types of cartoons that you just find anywhere. The producer has his ideas well though-out and presented. Looking at them, you will get the impression that they have been done by a professional. It is the reason why they have been so popular among leading publications as well as the upcoming ones. It is because of the way that they present ideas that they have earned awards. If you have never seen any of Collins’ cartoons, you only need to take a look at some of them to know what they represent.

They are graphically appealing

Don’t you just like cartoons that are graphically and visually appealing? Right from the choice of colors to the size of images and frames, you can be sure to be pleased with what you see. If they are used on any page, a book reader is likely to enjoy reading it. They give you the desire to read on and so, you get more entertained, educated, and informed. The layout of these cartoons makes them to stand out from the rest that you are likely to find out there. Find out more here.

As a book reader, you need to understand that Stephen Collins is out to make you reading experiences more enjoyable. It therefore is upon you to ensure that you make good use of his cartoons. If you are wondering where you can find them, there are lots of options. Just head to pone of the websites that offer these graphics and you will be overwhelmed by the options. At the end of the day, what is important is for you to find ways through which you can read more books and understand the information contained in them. With cartoons, you just found something to make reading a lot more fun.

The best snacks to have while reading a good book

Reading is a great way to relax after a long day and making the most of your reading experience is very important. To do this you can add a few fun habits. Having a few delicious snacks while your nose is stuck in a book is a great way to make your experience better. There is however some bad snack ideas that can only result in a big mess that include things like soup for example. A bowl of soup will splash, splatter and spill all over your book and you. Not a good idea. Here are a few fantastic snack ideas for your next reading session. You might even want to serve these snacks at your next book club meeting. Get awesome tips for party snacks here.

The benefits of coffee for students

As previously mentioned soup is a bad idea. This is just impractical and not a good choice. Soup is delicious but messy at the best of times. Cereal is another no simply because it falls in the soup category, it is messy and the whole bowl of milk could land up on your book. Plus you need two hands to pick up the bowl and scrape the last cereal out. Your Kindle could easily land up in the bowl of milk. Pasta is a great choice but not spaghetti. Long strands of tomato sauce covered pasta are not going to look great on the pages of your book. Penne pasta is a good idea. It is delicious, tasty and easy to eat with one hand and no splatter foreseen. Click here to take a look at healthy office snacks which offer you the opportunity to order some of the most delicious and easily consumable foods to enjoy while reading your book.  You can spoil yourself with different menu options and even enjoy this service at the office.

There is nothing better than a cup of coffee or tea to enjoy while reading. This is one of the best consumables to enjoy while you get lost in the pages of the next saga or suspense novel. Everyone loves a good cup of coffee with a good book.  As for a glass of wine, why not? This is a perfect way to relax, almost too well. A delicious glass of wine goes well with any genre and will get you asleep in no time at all.

Cheese goes as well as chocolate with reading. Your paperback will look better and read better while you enjoy a delicious plate of different cheeses and chocolates to follow. Make sure that you keep your hands clean and that the chocolate doesn’t melt. There is nothing worse than big brown fingerprint marks all over the pages. Burgers is definitely not a good option with two hands needed and messy fingers plus the tomato and lettuce always seems to fall out. Pizza sliced into tiny bits is a great option for a reading snack. Take care not to flip the pages with greasy paws though. Click here to learn how to set up the perfect cheese platter.The benefits of coffee for students

The Best April Fool’s Day Books

April Fool’s Day is a great opportunity to play jokes on your friends. If you have a friend whose birthday is April 1st that guarantees tons ‘o’ fun each year. However, maybe you would be better entertained by some great books that focus on this interesting “holiday.” That’s why we will share with you some of the best April Fool’s Day books.

But before we delve into that, get your April monthly calendar prepared. You need to know where the April Fool’s Day concept originated. And then you can schedule which books you want to read throughout the month of April.

So, here’s the simple story behind the holiday. Some say it is because those who celebrate New Year’s on January 1st started making fun of people in France who celebrated it on April 1st. Most likely though, it is part of a tradition during that time of year as many religions have similar celebrations of humor on or around that date.

The Best April Fool’s Day Books

Reading Foolish Books All Month Long

Why not enjoy the humor of April Fool’s Day all month long by scheduling to read these books throughout the month? Here are our suggestions for reading foolish books all month long:

  1. April Foolishness– Appropriately placed at the top of our list, this book should start your month with laughs. Teresa Bateman is the author of this rhyming illustrated book for children. Grandpa must be warned of the disaster that ensues during April Foolishness. Which includes cows stepping on geese? Learn more.
  2. Arthur’s April Fool– Kids love the Arthur series of books. This should just add some further enjoyment to their fond positions. Arthur has to face off with Binky Barnes, the school’s biggest bully. But, Arthur will eventually reveal who the true fool is.
  3. Mud Flat April Fool– As your kids get past some of the easier reads, they might find value in this chapter book. The animals who reside in Mud Flat enjoy the typical April Fool’s jokes. However, not all the tricks are equally successful. You’ll have to read this book to see what goes wrong within its nearly 50 pages. Read this.
  4. Look Out, it’s April Fools’ Day– Marvin and Melvin are the stars of Frank Modell’s humorous easy to read book. The two are friends, but Marvin’s attempts to stump Melvin just don’t seem to work until they inadvertently fool one another.
  5. April Fool!- Willy is a skateboarding storyteller. His friends walk beside him as he skates and weaves his tale. Harriet Ziefert does a phenomenal job creating the amusing storyline with its rhyming text. And, Chris Demarest provides the ink and colorful watercolor sketches that illustrate this easy and laughable read. This book is out of print, so look for it in your library.

And, if you are looking to keep the laughs flowing throughout the month of April, you can add these books to your calendar as well:

  • The Gruffalo
  • Finn McCool and the Great Fish
  • The Saggy Baggy Elephant
  • Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Of course, you might be looking for some grown-up humor so we recommend these top six books:

  1. The Princess Bride
  2. A Confederacy of Dunces
  3. Catch-22
  4. Three Men in a Boat
  5. Cat’s Cradle
  6. One for the Money

But if that’s not enough humor for the month of April, please check this site out.

The Best “Secret Baby” Books

Your own baby is certainly not a secret. However, maybe you long for that mysterious storyline. You are looking for a novel in which the secret child of two star-crossed lovers comes to the forefront as either the antagonist or protagonist. You want something juicy to read about. You are looking for the best “secret baby” books and you have found them here.

But, before you can curl up in your comfy chair to enjoy the books on our list, you will need to ensure that you have secured the best baby gates for stairs. Keeping the children safe from the stairs will give you the much needed security to enjoy one of the novels on this list. But make sure you spend some time on the suggested site to guarantee that you purchase the best rated gate for your needs. Then, with the kid’s safe, dive into our list and read away.

The Best “Secret Baby” Books

Secret Children of Star Crossed Lovers and the Books They Reside in

Some of us find great pleasure in the pages of a romance novel. Others, though, are looking for a little more intrigue. Sure, we want to read all the love story sappiness, but we want the unexpected plot to sing through the pages as well. If you are one of those types, the books on this list should make you quite happy:

  • Forever My Girl– Penned by Heidi McLaughlin as part of the Beaumont Series, a young man returns to his high school sweetheart and the rest is for you to read.
  • Craving Constellations– This one adds the intrigue of a motorcycle club and secrets that will shatter the main character’s life. It’s part of The Aces series and is written by Nicole Jacquelyn.
  • Until Lilly- Some things are meant to be given a second chance. At least that’s what Cash and Lilly hope will occur in this novel by Aurora Rose Reynolds.
  • The Tycoon’s Revenge– Not everything is as it seems. Lies we hold on to may just destroy our hopes of future happiness. Jasmine and Derek are about to discover this truth when fate brings them back together again. Enjoy Melody Anne’s book, a part of the Baby for the Billionaire series.
  • Almost Perfect– Part two of the Fool’s Gold series, this book brings Ethan face to face with the son he never knew existed. And it offers a second chance at love with Liz, his high school sweetheart. But can it work? Explore Susan Mallery’s book for yourself. Read more about this author.
  • Taming Mad Max– This is Theresa Regan’s piece about a football jock who thinks he’s destined to die early and is therefore in no hurry to participate in a long term, serious romance. His baby mom is still mad and he doesn’t even know their daughter exists.
  • Whiskey Lullaby– Dawn Martens’ first book in the Love Songs series. Julie and Jase have quite a battle ahead of them. Can they quell the desire while fueling the fire?
  • Three Wishes– If you are looking for a link between fantasy and romance, Kristen Ashley’s book is the answer. Lily will use one of her remaining two wishes to create the man of her dreams in Nathaniel. Only Nate doesn’t know it. Learn more.

If these books don’t grab your attention and send you heading to your local (or online bookstore), then you might want to read the rest of them on the list, here.

If you Live in Philadelphia, Read These!

The books you will find on this list are essential reading for those of you who reside in Philadelphia. If you don’t live there, but are particularly interested in all things Philly, you should certainly read them as well. It is unusual for a city to be so inundated with history and great literature, but Philadelphia is just that unusual.

In fact, they have seen a resurgence of political desires toward change. Philadelphia 3.0, an upstart nonpartisan political organization, has been making waves and changing the face of the City Council. In fact, their most recent success included the largest turnover, in 36 years, of people on the Council. Thier television and print ads certainly did the trick. Now it is time to learn all you can about your great city.

If you Live in Philadelphia, Read These!

Books You Need to Add to Your Reading List

There are a couple of books that didn’t make the list but should definitely be on there. Those books include: Diary of a City Priest, A Concise History of Philadelphia, and a historical text entitled, The Philadelphia Negro. However, if you would prefer to pass on those pieces of literature, please take a gander at these other great reads:

  1. Mermaids, Monasteries, Cherokees and Custer- Penned by Roberta Alotta, this piece will reveal to you the origins of Philadelphia’s street’s names. You know you have been wondering.
  2. The Great Book of Philadelphia Sports Lists– Philadelphia is a sports town and Big Daddy Graham, along with Glen Macnow, produced a great book for you sports enthusiasts.
  3. Wonderland- This book, published in 2004, isn’t even about Philadelphia, but it includes some of the surrounding areas. It is always important to know about things connected to your city. And, Michael Bamberger does a great job describing what it’s like to attend a suburban high school. No matter where you live, this is a great addition to your library. Learn more.
  4. Rocky Stories- The movie, Rocky, brought a lot of fame to Philadelphia. The authors of this book, Michael Vitez and Tom Gralish, both Pulitzer Prize winners, interview people who have trekked to Philadelphia to walk in Rocky’s steps. With photos and words, they depict their interviews of those who attempted to run the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum. It’s a year’s worth of interviews in one book.
  5. Land of Giants– Steve Lopez’s book is a collection of his 20 years’ worth of Inquirer columns. You can see the transformation of his writing style and those things that impacted him over his career. And if you are a fan of his fiction, this will open your eyes to some of its origins.
  6. Green Grass Grace– A first and only novel by Shawn McBride, this book depicts the Northeast side of Philadelphia. Which, if you know the city, is an area that is rarely revealed or written about. This book illuminates it beautifully. The main character, a passionate young man living in the 80s, makes the book a must read for any locale. Read more.
  7. Walking Broad– If you are looking to fully understand big city life, this book should find a space on your reading shelf. The author, Bruce Buschel, loved Philly, then hated Philly, and then left it. But, he returned and walked Broad Street’s 13 miles to devise a book that truly reveals the Philadelphia that people love and hate.

For other books on the city, please visit this site.

Why You Should Read Up On Baby Carriers Before You Buy

Baby carriers are terrific for parents who live busy lives because you can carry your little one with you wherever you go and still have your hands free.  Your baby can explore the world and watch you as you move around which is terrific for learning and stimulating your baby.  And because your little one is close to you, they still feel protected and loved and you know that they are safe and sound.  But parents should do a bit of reading on the carriers before they invest in these carriers because some carriers can actually be life threatening to your baby.

Why You Should Read Up On Baby Carriers Before You Buy

The dangers in unsuitable carriers

Some carriers are dangerous if they do not offer your baby the needed support.  Some baby pouch slings, for example, are some of the most dangerous carriers there are.  The reason why this carrier is so dangerous is because the fabric is too soft and it causes your baby’s body to bend inwards too much which can cause suffocation.  You should also be wary of upright carriers that are too tight or that cause blood flow problems to your child’s legs so they don’t end up fainting or damaging their legs.

So why own a carrier if some of them is dangerous?

Baby carriers are tremendously beneficial to both parents and babies.  When you have a carrier you can keep your baby or toddler with you at all time and you have your hands free to do other stuff like house chores or even work if your baby comes with you on the job.  If your baby is close to you, you can monitor vitals and ensure your little one does not choke or get stolen when going to a busy supermarket.

Read reviews to find the safest, healthiest carriers

It is important to read up about the carrier you are considering buying as much as possible so you don’t end up with a carrier that is uncomfortable, unpractical or dangerous to your child.  There are lots of different carriers on the market such as baby carriers, toddler carrier 2, baby wraps and even slings and you need to know which ones will work best for both you and your baby so the two of you can be as safe and flexible as possible.  Baby Carrier Place is a terrific site to scout for all the best carriers on the market because you can check out full reviews on all of the different carriers.  These reviews discuss all the features, advantages, disadvantages and prices of the different carriers and will guide you to the best carrier for your little one.

With a carrier there is much more time for reading

With a carrier you have a lot more freedom because your hands are free to allow you to go about your daily tasks and your baby also loves it because they can learn and explore at the same time.  When more house work is done, you will have more time for yourself, your spouse and for fun hobbies like reading.

Books about Politics

4 Must-Read Books about Politics

Are you interested in reading about politics? Does it intrigue you how the international political framework works? There are a few books that discuss the concept of global politics in such an interesting way that you end up reading those books more than once! Here are a few of those must-read books.

Before you read about these books or these book themselves, be sure to read about Philly 3.0. It is a political organization that is bringing all the right changes by recruiting independent minded leaders in Philadelphia. Increasing your knowledge about such real-life organizations will give you an entire new perspective on how you view the global political world.

The Better Angels of Our Nature: While actually more a work of human science or human sciences than one of IR, Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature is a strong push to report the long haul downwards inclines in our species’ use of viciousness and violence. Pinker connects the decrease in fighting to a few of IR’s key thoughts: the ascent of the present day country express, the conciliating impacts of exchange, the ascent of worldwide common society, and the expanding consideration paid to human rights. While some of its cases keep on eliciting discussion, Better Angels gives the imperative large scale authentic foundation for the various books beneath.

The Great Transformation: Karl Polyani’s The Great Transformation puts forth the expression that business sectors don’t exist in a vacuum, yet are implanted in social and social structures. Polanyi contends that we ought not comprehend the ascent of market social orders and the making of the country state as isolated occasions however as inseparably bound together. As intense focal governments rose, they carried with them advertises that had not beforehand interrupted into lives checked more by neighborhood correspondence. What we comprehend as “the free market” was arranged. As the market brings work and cash under its sponsorship, it should likewise make a response from the individuals who try to secure themselves against monstrous social separations. In reality as we know it where worldwide monetary streams appear to be overpowering and past our energy to change, Polyani advises us that man made this world and can likewise transform it once more.

Books about Politics

Manias, Panics and Crashes: Charles Kindleberger’s Manias, Panics and Crashes is a must read after the Great Recession. A far reaching history of monetary air pockets and their fallout, Kindleberger contends that basic procedures support the repeating hypothesis over subtle benefits. An “artistic financial specialist” of the old school, Kindleberger gives a helpful manual for human imprudence and its disastrous monetary outcomes. Learn additional tips at

Rules for the World: What do international organizations really do? What’s more, why on the planet would sovereign governments ever hear them out? Martha Finnemore and Michael Barnett make a brilliant showing with regards to of noting these inquiries in Rules for the World, concentrating on both the upsides and downsides of IOs’ bureaucratic power. The cons incorporate the hazard that IOs will capitulate to “bureaucratic pathologies”, similar to the instance of the UN’s startling inaction amid the Rwandan genocide. Given that Barnett was a piece of the US appointment to the UN at the time and was so shaken up by what he saw that he started an insightful vocation to process it all, he is very much situated to compose a contextual investigation on the perils of contemporary universal organization.

How SMS Marketing Can Benefit Your Book Shop

It’s getting harder and harder for book shops to survive.  Technological devices like smart phones and kindle devices have taken a huge bite out of the book lover market.  A lot of people prefer these smart devices because they can download as many books as they like, they can read a lot more affordably, the books don’t take a lot of space and they can change the font size.  But nothing will ever replace a good printed book because no smart device can give you that old book smell and feel and reading a page book is just a lot more fun.  As a book shop you can beat the competition and still make a success of your book business by simply marketing your books the right way.  One of the best ways to market books is with Bulk SMS.

How SMS Marketing Can Benefit Your Book Shop

What is bulk SMS?

Bulk SMS or SMS marketing is one of the easiest ways to send your clients and prospective clients a direct message.  To get bulk SMS you have to register at a mass SMS company like TextPlode.  TextPlode has great software that will enable you to send a single SMS to thousands of contact numbers instantly.  They are super affordable since you can get messages sent worldwide from as little as $0.05 per message.  You also only pay for what is sent since any undelivered messages will be refunded back to you.  Click here to find out more about TextPlode’s bulk SMS solutions.

Send notifications of new books

SMS marketing is terrific for book shops.  You can send out messages to thousands of people about all of the new books that you have gotten in so people will start streaming to your shop and so they will know when to shop online for books from your store.

Notify everyone of specials

You can get rid of a lot of old books that have been on the shelf for years by simply creating a special.  The bulk SMS will get the word out of any major sale that you are having or you can remind everyone of your book store during holiday season with a friendly greeting text.

Promote your reading sessions

A lot of people are afraid to buy a book because they fear all the time spent reading and the money spent on the book will be for nothing if a book is bad.  By holding a reading session you can get people interested in books and you can notify everyone of your reading sessions via mass SMS.

Advertise a book signing

Book signings are rare and great fun.  If an author is coming over to your store for a signing then you should get as many people as possible to attend the signing and one of the best ways to lure people to your signing is with bulk SMS.

Give instant information on major changes

Are you suddenly moving or switching owners?  Then you can get all your clients informed of these big changes no matter how sudden they are because TextPlode does not require a monthly joining fee.  You only pay for what you use, when you use it.