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Katie Hires - page 2

Katie Hires has 96 articles published.

Katie Hires is a book lover, pop culture nerd, and graphic designer. When she's not researching Game of Thrones fan theories, she's either reading or at home making pasta.

Halloween in July: A Spooky Reading List for Summer Thrills and Chills

in Thrillers by

There’s a chill in the air… wait, no there isn’t. It’s the dog days of summer, but there’s more than one way to get a chilly thrill on the sweatiest of days! Instead of getting all hot and bothered reading summer romances or getting all sticky and sandy forcing yourself to read on the beach, cuddle up in the darkest corner of your abode and prepare to get freaked out. There’s a spooky book for every taste and occasion, and we’ve got the goods on what you should be reading to give yourself the nighttime shivers. If you’re into scary, but like not really scary: Fellside, M.R. Carey (Orbit, April 5, 2016) From the author of the much-loved The Girl…

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TED Talk: Safwat Saleem Urges You to Find Your Voice — Plus, a Helpful Book List

in Non-Fiction by

Finding a voice to fit your identity is never easy. However, artist, designer and animator Safwat Saleem, had a particularly difficult time, struggling with anxiety about his childhood stutter. In this thought-provoking, heartfelt and adorably animated talk from TED 2016, Saleem describes how he overcame his struggle to incorporate his voice into his artwork, not only through childhood, but in the face of rude YouTube commenters who ridiculed his Pakistani accent as an adult. Instead of letting ill-mannered commenters keep him from using his own voice in his work, Saleem rather unpacks the reasons behind those comments: differing definitions of “normality” that lead to preconceived notions. Saleem resolves to use his art to challenge those preconceived notions, which is about…

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Chill Out: 5 Books to Distract You from Your Sunburn

in Fiction by

As a ginger, I happen to be aware of one of life’s fundamental truths: sunburn seriously sucks. From hot discomfort to peeling like a molting snake in the rain forest, having sunburn is frightfully unpleasant. However, in addition to light exfoliation with a warm wash cloth and gentle soap, I can also recommend a book for every occasion to keep your mind off your itchy, fire-engine red skin! Take a look: A Freezing Thriller: Cold (A Joe Tiplady Thriller), John Sweeney (Thomas & Mercer, July 1, 2016) You won’t even think about itching your peeling shoulders while sinking into this espionage thriller, which is cold in more ways than one. This hard-edged novel follows Joe, a special needs teacher with…

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A July Playlist: Just Chill on Your Summer Days!

in Potpourri by

It’s the middle of July, and it’s far too hot outside. The best way to distract people from how much you’re sweating is to appear super cool. There are many ways to appear super cool: conspicuously read a very intelligent-looking book in a coffee shop, wear a Hawaiian shirt to a pool party, win a hot-dog eating contest, et cetera, et cetera. However, it’s a truth universally acknowledged that the coolest person in the room is generally the one who’s listening to the coolest music. So, in the spirit of keeping you cool in more ways than one, enjoy this “Chill-ly” (pronounced “chill”-“lie” like July) playlist, which you should feel free to show off as much as possible. For example, you…

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Just Let It Happen: The Joy of Leaving Your Sh*t All Over the Place

in Non-Fiction by

If you’ve been talking to your clothes while folding them lovingly in an attempt to make your life more “tidy,” you should take a long, hard look at yourself, according to author Jennifer McCartney. Her new book, The Joy of Leaving Your Sh*t All Over the Place: The Art of Being Messy (Countryman, May 24, 2016) is the perfect guide to free yourself from the shackles of over-organization. McCartney encourages you to give in to your messier urges because being too clean is a sure sign of a dreadfully boring and uncreative personality. This book is a too-real parody of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which encourages readers to throw out old belongings to help declutter their…

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Chill Out: Cold Vacation Destination Travel Books to Save You from the Summer Heat

in Non-Fiction by

Everyone loves summer, right? From thigh sweat to sand in your shorts, it’s everyone’s favorite season. Ice cream making your hands sticky? No problem. Loud kids everywhere because they’re out from school? Bring it on! Mosquito bites galore after a late-night barbecue? Who cares….? If summer is weighing on you a bit, fear not – there are some fantastic vacation destinations that will bring you sweet wintry relief. We’ve got the low-down on the chilliest out-of-the-way vacation spots for your inner Yeti and the travel guides you’ll need along the way! You don’t need to melt to catch some sweet summer fun! Patagonia  Image Courtesy National Geographic   If you’re looking to visit the one place on Earth that’s closest…

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Inspirational Presentations: Celebrating 10 Years of TED Talks with a Reading List!

in Non-Fiction by

On June 27, 2006, the first six TED videos were posted to TED.com. Ten years of great ideas, inspirational talks and mind-bending presentations are definitely worth celebrating. In the spirit of celebrating, here’s a reading list from some of our favorite TED speakers! Think of it as recommended reading for your every element of your various TED Talk bingeing. For Life Advice: Find a Way, Diana Nyad (Knopf, 2015) One of the best things about TED Talks is their ability to inspire. One of the most inspirational trailblazers to ever take the TED stage is Diana Nyad, the long-distance swimmer who finally achieved her goal, a 100 mile swim from Cuba to Florida, at the age of 64. Her startling story…

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And Now Our Watch is Ended: The Five Biggest Bombshells from HBO’s Game of Thrones Finale

in Fiction by

The sixth season of HBO’s Game of Thrones, based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series, was momentous for several reasons: totally predictable resurrections, huge CGI battles, and adorably sarcastic little girls have rounded out a truly fantastic 10-week-long binge of hard-edged fantasy television. The main reason why this season is particularly exciting is that it’s the first one to venture into territory not yet covered in Martin’s book series (the last book he published was A Dance with Dragons, back in 2011). After one of the most epic episodes in broadcast history last week, Game of Thrones managed to top itself in this week’s finale episode, The Winds of Winter, presumably named after Martin’s forthcoming…

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An Iconic Story: Revisiting ‘Valley of the Dolls’ for a New Generation

in Fiction by

Sixties style will always be cool. Sure, it’s been infinitely reproduced, lampooned and documented, but the quintessential mod-girl style of the ’60s has become so iconic that it’s almost transcended the generation of its origin. So, when did it all begin? Easy answer: the ’60s. But, the culture of the big haired, crazy-print-clad, doe-eyed vixen owes a huge debt to Jacqueline Susann and her seminal novel, Valley of the Dolls (Grove Atlantic, July 4, 2016), which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Valley of the Dolls is a classic coming-of-age tale that follows the lives of three friends, Anne, Neely and Jennifer, as they search for fame -– and find self-destruction instead. The novel follows the women through the decades as…

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Review: Sarah Hepola’s Blackout Grapples with the Painfully Honest

in Non-Fiction by

I imagine it’s hard to write a memoir about addiction; as a writer, you’d have to be brutally honest to come even close to being effective. While brutal honesty about addiction doesn’t sound like a very fun read, Sarah Hepola’s Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget (Grand Central Publishing, June 7, 2016) manages to be bitingly funny, while at the same time its painful, unflinching details about alcoholism make your skin crawl. In Blackout, author and longtime Salon editor Hepola traces the evolution of her relationship with alcohol from childhood stolen sips of fridge beers through to her turbulent young adulthood. Her writing style is brash enough to pummel you into the ground, but honest enough to pick you…

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Literary Crushes: The Romantic Leads in Books Who Are Worthy of Your Affection!

in Romance by

It’s no secret that a bunch of the books we consider uber-romantic are actually kind of creepy. Tweens found Edward Cullen irresistible, despite the fact that he has an over 100 year age difference from his 17-year-old girlfriend. Grown women find Mr. Rochester’s Byronic shtick super sexy, even though he literally locked his wife in an attic for years and dressed up like a creepy “gypsy fortune-teller” to trick his new squeeze into revealing her feelings for him. While we as readers can’t help who we’re desperately attracted to, a lot of the time even the romantic leads who aren’t bad boys still have glaringly problematic issues that I just can’t get over. So, here are some options for literary…

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4 of the Best Fictional Places to Go on a Date — and the Real Life Alternatives!

in Fiction by

Romance is hard. It’s difficult enough finding somebody you like, and it’s even tougher to convince that person to get into your car and let you take them someplace that you swear is nice. However, dating shouldn’t be stressful — it should just be a pleasant time between two people who may or may not kiss at the end of the date. So, in the spirit of helping you put a little spring into your dating life, here’s a collection of the best fictional places from books we’d like to plan a date at, plus a real life alternative you might be able to pull off! Window Shopping in Hogsmeade A little town so perfect that it “looks like a…

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Lidia Yuknavitch’s TED Talk and Telling the Stories Only You Can Tell

in Non-Fiction by

Being a misfit isn’t easy. Author Lidia Yuknavitch, however, insists that the people who don’t quite “fit” into society are the ones whose stories we most desperately need to hear. In this moving talk from TED2016, Yuknavitch tells the story of her initial foray into “being a writer” after winning a prize for one of her early short stories. Part of the prize won her the opportunity to meet with fabulous authors and well-to-do publishing executives – but, as Yuknavitch describes, she was so busy being frozen with indecision that she failed to get the book deals that were lining up right in front of her. Unpacking this experience in the context of her tumultuous life, Yuknavitch relates that some…

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5 Treehouses We Want to Cuddle Up In (and the Books We’d Read In Them)

in Potpourri by

Treehouses are perhaps the coolest places to live on the face of the planet. They’re equal parts whimsical and engineering, and we happen to think they are some of the most exciting places to live (and read), as long as you don’t mind tight spaces and you aren’t afraid of heights (those are two major drawbacks for some). If treehouses are something you only thought children played in while outside in the yard after school, you’d be mistaken. After some research and coming across Pete Nelson’s Be in a Treehouse: Design / Construction / Inspiration (Abrams, 2014), we soon realized living in trees is no longer only for Tarzan! Check out five of our favorite treehouses from all over the world, paired with the…

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A Book Worth Savoring: Isabel Vincent’s Dinner with Edward

in Non-Fiction by

Some books challenge you. Others feel like cozy sweaters. It’s rare to find a book that does both. And that’s exactly what Isabel Vincent’s latest memoir, Dinner with Edward: A Story of an Unexpected Friendship (Algonquin Books, May 24, 2016) manages to do, by striking the perfect balance between being bittersweet and making you so damn hungry. Vincent, an investigative journalist for the New York Post, tells the story of her friendship with the 93-year-old father of one of her best friends (who lived out of the country at the time). Edward’s wife of 69 years passes away, and he’s ready to give up on life; Vincent, still reeling from a crumbling marriage, agrees to check up on him once and a while. What begins as…

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4 Hilarious Comedians We’re Dying to Get a Book From (Besides Louis C.K.)

in Non-Fiction by

When asked what comedian should write a book, to me the answer seemed obvious: Louis C.K. As my generation’s comedy darling, the too-real parenting guide he’s destined to produce one day would probably be a killer read! When I ask other people, the answer generally stays the same (and for good reason, because he’s really, really great). However, since so many comedians have been writing book after book in the past couple of years (Aziz Ansari, Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, Amy Poehler and Chelsea Handler, just to name a few!), I started to think about whose book I would actually want to read, besides the obvious answers, and besides the entertainers who have already written a flurry of books. Here’s four…

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