For your book club – The nearly happy family

nearly_happy The Nearly Happy Family

by Catherine McKinnon

This is a wonderfully original story that celebrates the triumphs and disasters of family life

Click here for the Book Club Notes

Words and trivia about language

A wide-ranging collection of odd words and trivia about language. Try the history of “dord” on page one, and then try to stop browsing through the rest. Thanks Sneedle Flipsock

Your next book club read – try Middlemarch



by George Eliot

Middlemarch presents a vast panorama of life in a provincial Midlands town. At the story’s center stands the intellectual and idealistic Dorothea Brooke. But the very qualities that set Dorothea apart from the materialistic, mean-spirited society around her also lead her into a disastrous marriage with a man she mistakes for her soul mate.

Click to read  More about Middlemarch and access the book club notes

National Coalition Against Censorship Salutes Judy Blume

Some people may have difficulty finding humor in the issue of censorship. Thankfully, celebrated author Judy Blume isn’t one of them. Nor were the many actors, comedians, authors, and supporters who gathered at City Winery in New York City on Monday evening for “A Night of Comedy with Judy Blume & Friends.” Presented by the National Coalition Against Censorship, the event was both a celebration of the coalition’s 35th anniversary and an opportunity to honor Blume, who has actively battled censorship of her own books since the 1980s, and who has been on NCAC’s board of directors since 2000.

What comes after Vampires – The end of the world as we know it?

Vampires may live forever, but the recent vampire trend in YA fiction won’t. Author Michael Grant, for one, is “sick to death of vampires,” and he is not alone. But when one hugely popular trend ends, what will take its place? Some readers have their fingers crossed for post-apocalyptic fiction.

Must-read – Clive Cussler’s Medusa


by Clive Cussler

Kurt Austin must stop a deadly virus from decimating the world in the latest NUMA Files novel.

Read more here

or buy the book now ….

List Price: $27.06

Discount Price: $17.80

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Seven Ways to Improve Your Reading Habit

By Sijith Salim

He who loves a book has got a  faithful friend, a wholesome counselor, a cheerful companion, an effectual comforter. By studying, reading, thinking, one may innocently divert and pleasantly entertain himself, as in all weathers, as in all fortunes.

~ Barrow ~

During a train journey I had recently,  I noticed an elderly woman who occupied the seat beside me. The trip was a  bit long and throughout it, I found the woman immersed in a book she was reading. I was very much impressed by the way she decided to spend her time during the travel. Even though she was pretty old, she had recognized the importance of reading and had used it wisely.

With loads of reading material available to us as part of our academics, work life or research , cultivating good reading habits  help us to make the best use of these materials. We can also read books for our leisure. Once you get hooked with reading, the time you spend on reading your favorite book will turn out to be one of your favorite activities. There are many ways to improve our reading.

Here are the seven best tips that I found to be most useful.

1. Set aside a regular time to read.

Some people read first thing in the morning, and some before bed. Most people (like me) like to read while traveling. Make your own decisions about reading. Have a reading hour or day where your main job is to read.

2. Always have a book around. Try to carry a book wherever you go. When you feel  bored, you can just read a few pages from it. After sometime, you will automatically take out your book for reading even if you are not bored. If there is a  time when you have to  wait (like at a doctor’s  office or at the DMV),  whip out your book and read.

3. Set a reading  goal. Start yourself by deciding that you are going to spend 30 minutes reading each day. Your goal might be one book a month, one per week, or it might be simply just to read. But stick with your 30 minute schedule. As your reading habit builds, you might set higher goals. Setting a goalis the first step towards reading more.

4. Visit the library or bookstore often. Just walk in to any library and pick out any good book. Take time to browse! Let your eyes find things of interest. Browsing will feed your mental eed to read, and give you plenty of new things to read.

5 . Manage the time you spend watching television and surfing the Internet.

Many people say they just don’t have enough time. Television is one of our major time consumers.  Make your television watching more conscious and less habitual. Use this time to read something useful.

6. Reward yourself after completing a book. When you finish one book, give yourself a treat. This will encourage yourself to read more. You only need to do this until you have cultivated your reading habit. After that, you will read even if you are not rewarded because the pleasure and knowledge you get while reading is the best reward.

7. Blog it. Once you start reading, start writing. One of the best ways to do this is to put it on your blog. If you don’t have one, create one. Let your friends and family members review your writing. This is a positive spiral. The more you read and the more you write, the more you will write, and the  more you will read.  Let your friends and family members review your writing. This is a positive spiral. The more you read and the more you write, the more you will write, and the more you will read.

Fransic Bacon once said  “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.

Reading helps mental development and is known to stimulate the muscles in our eyes. Reading is an activity that involves greater levels of concentration, which helps readers decipher new words and phrases that they come across in everyday conversations.

Reading habit help you to meet the famous; saints and sinners, Poets and artists, kings and queens, Old stars and hopeful beginners, Learn secrets from writers and masters.  You travel the cultures and traditions of the world, sitting right in your living room.

A good reading habit can become a healthy addiction and once this powerful habit is mastered, your life will will move to the next level improving your vocabulary, analytical skills, concentration power, deciphering new words and traveling through the best minds of the world.

With reading, you get the key to a vast ocean. “An Ocean full of Treasures and Gems. Knowledge and Wisdom.  The Treasures that will change your life for ever“.

Sijith Salim. I maintain my personal success blog website

This year’s Miles Franklin winner – Breath by Tim Winton

breath Breath Winner Miles Franklin award for Literature 2009

by Tim Winton

This slender book packs an emotional wallop. Two thrill-seeking boys, Bruce and Loonie, are young teenagers in smalltown Australia, circa the early 1970s. Their attraction is focused on the water—ponds, rivers, the sea—but they do little more than play around until they fall in with a mysterious, older man named Sando. He recognizes their daredevil wildness and takes it upon himself to teach them to surf. As the boys become more skilled, their exploits become more reckless; narrator Bruce (nicknamed Pikelet) has doubts about where all this is heading, while the aptly named Loonie wants only bigger and bolder thrills.

Must-Read … a masterpiece novel

Home by Marilynne RobinsonHome

by Marilynne Robinson

From the author of the magnificent, award-winning GILEAD comes a masterpiece novel that returns to the people and places of Gilead

‘Robinson makes us understand home isn’t just a place—it’s something we carry with us.’

— Download the Book Club Guide

— Listen to a podcast from the Philadelphia Free Library

— Download the audio of an interview in which the author reads from her book

— Listen as the novelist talks to Claire Armistead about the novel that has won her this year’s Orange prize

or just buy the book

List Price: $25.99

Discount Price: $17.15

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Must-read – the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

by Stieg Larsson

Girl with the dragon tattoo

Girl with the dragon tattoo

Cases rarely come much colder than the decades-old disappearance of teen heiress Harriet Vanger from her family’s remote island retreat north of Stockholm, nor do fiction debuts hotter than this European bestseller by muckraking Swedish journalist Larsson.
Already being compared to The Da Vinci Code in Europe, this Swedish bestseller (first in a trilogy) has come to America.

Buy now

$24.95 $14.97