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Interesting Facts about Poets’ Corner

Interesting Literature

Fun facts about Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey – and the writers buried there

Although Geoffrey Chaucer was the first to be buried in Poets’ Corner, his interment in that part of the Abbey only took place in 1556, over a century and a half after his death. He had originally been buried elsewhere in Westminster Abbey, following his death in 1400. And he earned his original place in the Abbey not for his poetry but for his other work: he was Clerk of Works of the Palace of Westminster. This was probably the reason for his burial in the Abbey in the first place. ‘Poets’ Corner’ would only come into being many years after Chaucer’s death.

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For Reluctant Readers: Harry Potter

The Book Wars

Although we at The Book Wars have writtena fair bit aboutHarry Potter (albeit often indirectly,focusing ona small aspectof the seriesor the worldor the controversy), we have’t yet spoken about the influence it had upon us as readers.

Maybe that’s because we were already voracious readers by the time Harry Potter came along. I inhabited Redwall for years before Jo Rowling’s manuscript was first rejected by a publishing house. I’m pretty sure the other Book Warriors can say the same about other fictional worlds of their choice. (Enid Blyton’s boarding schools, am I right, Nafiza?)

But for children who didn’t feast on books, Harry Potter was a game-changer, especially for children of my approximate age, who grew up the same age as Harry Potter was every year. The revelation of Harry’s year of birth in the final book of the series did…

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Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten TuesdayBecause this week, The Broke and the Bookish wish to torture us: April 21: Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Authors.

I decided to make my list by number of books I’ve read by the author…not that that is an absolute indicator of how much I love them:

lightningthiefSherrilyn Kenyon (15+) – Dark-Hunter series (including Were-Hunters), Chronicles of Nick. Love her style and her story-telling; never fails to make to recognize that there are two sides to every story…even if it’s hidden deep down.

Rick Riordan (11+) – Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Heroes of Olympus, Kane Chronicles. Funny and entertaining but also sometimes sad and serious, gives me new perspective and ways of looking at the world…maybe that’s just the Mist talking.

Patricia Briggs (11+) – Mercy Thompson series, Alpha and Omega series. So many shapeshifters, so little time. The characters always have great courage, humor, and are more capable than they realize, making me want to emulate their style and become better.

Cinda Williams Chima (7+) – Seven Realms series, The Heir Chronicles. Such diverse and complex characters who takeLegend-200x300 on responsibility before their time. Magic, strength, and mayhem; always an enjoyable read even if some of the surprises are cringe-worthy

Anne Bishop (6+) – The Black Jewels triology + other books in that realm. I think I have reread these books more than Harry Potter, which is definitely saying something. We get to learn and grow with all of the characters and experience new magic and realms and ways of life; simply break-taking every time.

Marie Lu (4) – The Legend Trilogy, The Young Elites. Gold, simply gold. Gold stars, gold medals, all of it. The story themes seem basic but the style and the energy and the characters give all the books a huge edge. Her back and forth between perspective as well as her play on true good vs evil make everything she touches gold.

cinderMarissa Meyer (4) – The Lunar Chronicles. I honestly had no idea what to expect when I began reading this series but it quickly sucked me to the point that I even read the novella, Fairest, which I normally do not. Meyer is engaging and complex, her twist on fairy tales and evil make you think and yet the action is always enough to keep it grounded.

Seth Grahame-Smith (2) – Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, and Pride & Prejudice and Zombies. Hysterical and amazing. His ability to take real works or historical facts and twist them to suit his own reality is astounding. I cannot put his books down when I come across one.

Herman Melville (1+) – Moby Dick. I took a course where this was the final focus book so understanding the themes and meanings behind it made me recognize more than just reading it on my own would have. His style is long and a little drawn out in terms of background and research but the undercurrents are what really make it worthwhile.

Edgar Allan Poe (unknown) – No idea how many shorts and poems I have read by this author but most of it strikes cords within me that few others do. He is a little dark, and usually creepy and gloomy but it makes you think about the world around you, how people live and interact, and how much of this boils just beneath the surface, waiting to be unleashed.

Note: anything with a “+” after it, means I may have read more, including short stories, but I couldn’t think of any others when writing the list.

I complied the list based on people whose works I devour regardless of what they write. I have favorite books by other authors, i.e. J.K. Rowling, Nora Roberts, Nancy Martin, and Gail Carriger, but I wouldn’t necessarily rush out to by the next book that they have written or everything they have ever written. This list, however, is the people who have me on the edge of my seats for months waiting for the next work to arrive.

Honorable mentions: Sara Raasch, James Dashner, Holly Black, Orson Scott Card, Jillian Hunter, Stefan Petrucha, and Heather Killough-Walden

Why I Love Middle Grade Books (and you could too!)

A lot of Middle Grade books have really rocked my world, i.e. Capture the Flag by Kate Messner and definitely anything by Riordan.

The Book Wars

Middle Grade books rock. Plain and simple.

But, when I was a Middle Grader I didn’t know it – or maybe there just weren’t as many books written for me, nor were they as well marketed as they are now. As I see it, there is a weird sort of gap in children’s literature that’s brushed over between Early Chapter Books and Middle Grade Fiction. Early Chapter Books – those easy chapter books that feature horses and dogs, or even the more sophisticated titles like Captain Underpants and The Princess in Black or Franny K. Stein (and by more sophisticated I mean a little higher language and delving into various genres and themes) are aimed at readers up to age 8 or so. Middle Grade books, the scope for which is incredibly broad covering all genres from science fiction to realistic fiction to horror are generally written for…

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