When Dante Alighieri wrote his classic novel "The Divine Comedy" about the nine levels of hell, nobody knew where he drew his ideas. The hell created by Dante has long been feared by humanity, who constantly struggle with the idea of the dark pits of an eternity of misery. Yet an ever more torturous experience than Dante's version of hell is enduring Jodi Picoult's "Tenth Circle."
Sure, Spiderman is a wall crawler worth fawning over, and Wolverine is everybody's favorite Canadian with indestructible metal claws, but these classic graphic novel characters have aged considerably since their creation in the 60's and 70's, and new ones are desperately needed. This is when Brian K. Vaughn has stepped up; he superbly fills in the hero void with his three dimensional characters in the Marvel comic "Runaways" based in Los Angeles with cleverly re-invented superheroes.
Few authors have the power to change a reader's outlook on life or to give humanity to inhuman characters and the eloquence to create a world of just words, but Australian author Markus Zusak proves his ability as an author in his recent novel "The Book Thief."
The implementation of the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech, religion and press, has always caused controversy in schools. Whether sexually explicit or revolutionary, certain books have always been banned from the shelves of school libraries. But when books like "Where's Waldo" and "A Light in the Attic" make the American Library Association's list of 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books, parents have taken safety too far. These books offer valuable view points that teenagers might not get otherwise; despite the language and sex, they are crucial to schools.
When readers think of the various Marvel comic legacies, most think of Spider Man, X-Men and Fantastic Four, not of historical drama pieces. Marvel comics has done the inconceivable. They created an alternate history where Doctor Doom and Queen Elizabeth coexist, albeit not-so-peacefully.
Imagine a life full of extravagant balls, beautifully-crafted dresses and mysterious other-worldly magical Realms. Sixteen-year-old Gemma Doyle has recently been initiated into this way of life after her mother's untimely death. Set in 1895 London, Libba Bray's newest novel, "Rebel Angels," expands on Gemma's magical adventures with several fresh characters and surprising twists.
After experiencing cult-success in Japan, Koushun Takami's "Battle Royale" was translated into English for America's reading pleasure. The story revolves around the military-designed "Program," where entire classes of students are selected by a lottery to kill each other until the game's "winner" emerges.
The world has wondered about the mysterious lives of the Japanese women called "geisha" who live to entertain men with their mastery of dance and the arts. In "Memoirs of a Geisha," Arthur Golden reveals the secretive world with his poignant tale about the struggles and triumphs of a geisha named Sayuri.
Get out your parkas, hot cocoa and sleds and start preparing for cancelled school days, snowball fights and winter fun. Before you immerse yourself in winter cheer, have a back-up plan in case your snow dance works a little too well and you find yourself snowed in. These five novels will help you get in touch with the snowy adventure outdoors, even if you're not there.
For the most part, British culture in America is entertaining. The Beatles, James Bond and Julie Andrews, for example, revolutionized Hollywood in the 1960s. However, some elements of British media should have stayed on the other side of the ocean. "The Minister's Daughter" by Julie Hearn is a prime example of unwanted British culture and makes the reader wish that Columbus had never discovered America.
"It was nearing midnight and the Prime Minister was sitting alone in his office, reading a long memo that was slipping through his brain without leaving the slightest trace of meaning behind," and so begins the sixth installment in JK Rowling's best selling Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince."
Aperture. The word, in this case, means a scope of some of the most imaginative pieces Blair students have to offer. This year, the literary magazine includes one hundred and four pages of poetry, prose, and even sheet music, paired with artwork and photography to make for a truly inspired and cohesive work of creativity.
In his book, "Crimes Against Nature," Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. demonstrates that he is the definition of a true patriot. While the Bush administration attempts to evoke patriotism by fighting terrorists, which evidently includes donning flight-suits to announce the end of Middle Eastern "conflicts" and alerting the public about frightening terror-alert colors, Kennedy focuses on a fundamental issue that citizens could actually exert control over: the environment.
The best journalism is undoubtedly that which does not read like typical journalism. Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, for instance, wrote in the third person primarily to suck the journalistic tedium out of their Watergate saga "All the President's Men." The result was a modern nonfiction classic. Upton Sinclair is today revered as one of history's most important muckraker journalists. It is both ironic and fitting that his most significant work of journalism was a novel, "The Jungle."
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