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Author of the Week

Author of the Week

Celebrating Jodi Picoult

Celebrating Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult was born on the 19th May 1966 in New York and was raised by her parents, she was late joined by her brother. She moved to New Hampshire. Jodi wrote her first story at the age of five, and has always said that her mother and grandmother were both teachers, and their influence was very important growing up.

“You don’t love someone because they’re perfect, you love them in spite of the fact that they’re not.”
― Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper

Jodi is an American writer and is the bestselling author of 23 novels. Approximately 14 million copies of her books are in print worldwide and they have been translated into 34 languages. Her books are incredible stories, all dealing with real-life situations; suicide, school shootings and illness. She is a favourite of ours here in the office.

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Author of the Week, General Chatter

Celebrating Michael Crichton | Author Focus

Celebrating the work of Michael Crichton

By Rebecca Reed

Michael Crichton has to be one of the most popular American authors of this modern era. With his books selling over 200 million copies worldwide and with many being adapted into movies, many generations have seen his work in some way. We are celebrating this brilliant author’s birth date today and are getting ready to curl up with Jurassic Park and the not so cuddly dinosaurs.

John Michael Crichton was born on the 23rd October 1942 and is best known for his science fiction, thriller and medical fiction genres. As well as being a bestselling author, he was also a screenwriter, film director and producer and also enrolled at Harvard Medical School when he began publishing his work Crichton never got a license to practice medicine because he became so devoted to his writing. He sadly passed away at the age of 66 in 2008 after a brief battle with cancer.

His hit books feature “The Andromeda Strain“, “Jurassic Park“, “State of Fear” and “The Lost World“, all of which have made him a formidable force in the science fiction world. His published screenplays remain as two of the most well-known films that many have loved; Westworld (1975) and Twister (1996).

“Human beings are so destructive. I sometimes think we’re a kind of plague, that will scrub the earth clean. We destroy things so well that I sometimes think, maybe that’s our function. Maybe every few eons, some animal comes along that kills off the rest of the world, clears the decks, and lets evolution proceed to its next phase.”
― Michael Crichton, The Lost World

So to the writer, filmmaker, doctor, programmer, teacher and adventurer, we want to wish you a happy birthday and we will celebrate with some film watching, and reading tonight!

Make sure you check out Michael Crichton’s books here at World of Books, so you can read his fantastic work.

Author of the Week, General Chatter

Celebrating R.L. Stine | Author Focus

By Rebecca Reed

We are celebrating the birthday of the “Stephen King of children’s literature”, R. L. Stine. He is the author of hundreds of horror fiction novels that included Goosebumps, Fear Street and The Nightmare Room series. He has sold over 400 million copies.

R.L. Stine was born on the 8th October 2943 in Columbus, Ohio. He began writing at the age of nine when he came across a typewriter in his attic, he subsequently began typing stories and joke books. Stine later moved to New York City to pursue his career as a writer after graduating from Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts in English. He worked in New York as a writer and editor and eventually landed a position at Scholastic, Inc, working on children’s magazines.

He wrote his first horror novel for young adults called Blind Date in 1986 and followed it with many other novels, this led the way to the launch of Goosebumps in 1992, which paved the way for many “nineties kids” childhoods and a whopping 200 books! We all fell for his Point Horror and Goosebumps stories here at World of Books and many are still ingrained in our imaginations, some of us remember taking the Point Horror books out of the school libraries and being unable to put them down over the weekend. They had us gripped.

Goosebumps became a literary phenomenon, the books became bestsellers across the USA and abroad, it was turned into a television series (if anyone is feeling particularly nostalgic, it is currently on Netflix). With Goosebumps fever in full swing in the nineties it turned R.L. Stine into the most successful children’s writer.

We want to wish a Happy Birthday to R. L. Stine who has provided many a childhood with a little scare. Maybe your child is currently reading one of his novels from school, do you have a favourite R.L. Stine story? Tell us in the comments below.

Author of the Week, General Chatter, On This Day

Happy Birthday George R.R. Martin | Author Focus

By Rebecca Reed

George Raymond Richard Martin was born on the 20th September 1948. He is often referred to as George R.R. Martin and is the American novelist and short story writer in the fantasy, horror and science fiction genres. He is best known for his epic A Song of Ice and Fire series that has been adapted into the critically acclaimed worldwide phenomenon Game of Thrones by HBO. He serves as the series co-executive producer and has also scripted four episodes of the series.

He has been dubbed the “American Tolkien” and in 2011 he was included on the Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world.

George was born in Bayonne, New Jersey, and whilst growing up his world consisted of a journey to home and school between First Street and Fifth Street. This made him want to travel and experience other places, but he could only do this through his imagination, so he became an insatiable reader. He then began to write monster stories and sold them to other neighbourhood children for money,with the price it included a dramatic reading of his work. He also wrote stories about his pet turtles.

Whilst at High School, George became an avid comic book fan, he developed a strong interest in the superheroes published by Marvel. He often wrote letters to the editor of Fantastic Four and they were printed in various issues.

George R.R. Martin began selling science fiction short stories professionally in 1970 at the age of 21. His first sale was “The Hero” sold to Galaxy magazine and it was published in the February 1971 issue. He continued to write short stories in Science Fiction until 1983 where he published a vampire novel titled “Fevre Dream“. This was his most successful story thus far and was quoted as being “without question one of the greatest vampire novels of all time” George followed it up with “The Armageddon Rag” in 1984. The commercial failure of this story “essentially destroyed his career as a novelist at the time”. However, this did lead George R.R. Martin into a career in television. He became a writer, producer and, executive producer for many shows.

In a brief return to writing in 1991, admiring the works of J.R.R Tolkien he began work on what would be his most well-known work A Song of Ice and Fire. George R.R. Martin originally conceptualised it as being three volumes, but at this current moment in time, it is to compromise seven volumes. We are all eagerly waiting for the penultimate volume “The Winds of Winter” and as many are now aware the TV show has surpassed the books.

George R.R. Martin’s work has been described as having “complex story lines, fascinating characters, great dialogue, perfect pacing”. We love him and his work here at World of Books, have a fantastic birthday George R.R. Martin!

Author of the Week, General Chatter

Things we learned from The BFG

Things we learned from Roald DahlBy Sarah Kneath

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am a massive fan of The BFG. I read a lot as a child and this became a firm favourite from the moment I read the first chapter. I love all of Roald Dahl’s children’s books, I can’t quite bring myself to read the ‘adult’ stories he’s written.

The BFG was written back in 1982 and has been adapted to the big screen a couple of times. It follows the story of young orphan Sophie and her unlikely friendship with the BFG (Big Friendly Giant). It follows their adventures to stop the mean giants from hunting for human beans to eat.

I’ve taken a look back over this wonderful tale to bring you the life-lessons of The BFG and that show why it is such a delightful story…

  1. Not all heroes wear capes

There is a clear theme throughout this story and it is one of bravery and defiance. A young girl living in an orphanage, may not be your stereotypical heroine but she stands up and fights the mean, gruesome giants alongside the BFG. Outsmarting them and eventually coming up with a cunning plan to defeat them once and for all.

And then there’s the BFG himself, a kind, friendly, optimistic giant who is ashamed of his peers and wants the world to know that he is not one of them. He overcomes his fears and stands up to the bullying giants and fights back.

  1. Kill ‘em with kindness

The unlikely friendship between Sophie and the BFG is one that has always held a firm place in my heart. Both are considered outsiders and don’t have any friends until they find one another. Sophie shows the BFG a kindness that he’s not been used to in Giant Country, having been teased for being good all his life.

The BFG, rebels against the other giant’s love for eating human beans and instead travels to Dream Country to bottle dreams. He then uses his trumpet and blows dreams through the windows of sleeping children. The BFG puts himself in danger travelling to catch the dreams and the consideration and kindness that he shows to children shows his true character.

  1. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it

When the BFG gives up hope of ever being rid of the gruesome giants and thwarting their evil plot to gobble up human beans, Sophie hatches a plan. She’s an intelligent young girl who not only manages to get into Buckingham Palace – she actually convinces the Queen to help them.

  1. The world can be a dark place at times but good overcomes

This is a general theme that weaves its way through most of Roald Dahl’s books, whether it’s the terrifying Trunchbull in Matilda, the disgusting, ugly Twits that torment each other daily or James’s cruel aunts who force him to do hard labour… Good always overcomes in the end.

The evil giants that torment and bully the BFG and roam the country looking for human beans to guzzle are defeated and imprisoned so Sophie and the BFG are free to live a happy life, the BFG in a posh castle, and Sophie next door in a comfortable cottage.

With so many wonderful life lessons and morals to this story, it’s not surprising that it’s been adapted numerous times. The story is full of warmth, courage and heart. Two outsiders come together to become friends and overcome evil – I mean, what’s not to love about that?