Astronauts promote literacy from SPACE!

book of the month

How can we make reading to children any more fantastic than it already is?


The awesome nature of the universe and space travel, combined with one of the most every day events like reading a bedtime story, has produced something truly wonderful. From Kathleen (Kate) Rubins to the UK’s very own space hero Tim Peake, astronauts have been picking up children’s books and sharing them with us on Earth.

Patricia Tribe, the former director of education at Space Center Houston, came up with the concept along with Alvin Drew, the first NASA astronaut to read a story in space. The pair were hoping to encourage reading with children while simultaneously promoting STEM education: science, tech, engineering, and mathematics, and where is the best place to that? IN SPACE!

Check out the videos below!

Tim Peake reads The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home

Mike Hopkins reads Max Goes to the Moon

Koichi Wakata reads The Wizard who Saved the World

Mike Hopkins reads Max Goes to Mars

Kate Rubins reads Rosie Revere, Engineer

Ted Hughes: in his own words

By | Poetry, Video | No Comments
book of the month
Ted Hughes was born in Yorkshire, England on the 17th of August, 1930 and grew up in and around farmland where he learned to fish and hunt. His poetry is steeped with natural imagery, flora and fauna. The savagery of the natural world- both beautiful and violent- influenced him greatly, prompting him to use animals and nature as metaphorical devices.

Hughes’ terse yet powerful use of language, coloured by his West Riding dialect, created a hard energy to his work- emphatic but evocative, and never self-indulgent.

Watch below for a wonderful reading of The Crow by the poet himself.

Read More

Roots Author Alex Haley Talks of the Horrors of Slavery

By | Authors, Video | No Comments
book of the month
Alex Haley (August 11th, 1921 – February 10th, 1992) was an American author, best known for his 1976 Pulitzer Prize winning book Roots: The Saga of an American Family, adapted to a series a year later in 1977.

While a fantastic story, Roots was not without controversy and its release was marred by accusations of plagiarism (proven to be partly true), and doubts cast on the authenticity of the family ties. Today the book is accepted to be a work of fiction, and controversy aside is still a worthy read with an important message.

Read More

James Baldwin: in his own words.

By | Authors, Video | No Comments
book of the month
James Baldwin (August 2nd, 1924 – December 1st, 1987) was a writer and social critic born in New York City and grew up in Harlem, USA.

Baldwin’s courage, intelligence, and humility steered him past less successful paths and towards a meaningful life as a writer and social commenter. His essays, in collections such as Notes of a Native Son, explored race, sex, and class distinctions in the West. His writings reflected and discussed these issues he faced as a Black man but also ones he faced as a homosexual man.

His life was so full of travel, fascinating people, heartbreaking realisations, and all the while writing about his thoughts and experiences, that it is best to hear it from the man himself. It cannot be contained in a blog alone.

Watch a BBC interview with the great man next, and below find further links to purchase his essays, books, and plays.

Read More

This ex-NFL player has a lot to say about books!

By | Literature, Video | No Comments
book of the month
Martellus Bennett is an ex-NFL player who retired from playing football in March. His retirement came after 10 seasons of football and making nearly $34 million in total contracts and sponsors.

Bennett is a voracious reader, a habit he picked up partly from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg who had challenged himself to read a new book every other week for a whole year.

“I started reading a lot of books because Zuckerberg was doing it,” he commented.

Many NFL players spend their hard earned cash on cars and property but Bennett has spent thousands on building up his own library.

“I have about 3,500 books, maybe more… I have a library, and it’s like I want to beat Belle on ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and have a better library than she had.” Bennet told news sources.

We can relate, Martellus!

Read More

George R.R. Martin Gives Us Chills with His ‘On Fantasy’ Speech

By | Authors, Video | No Comments
book of the month
Ever since his fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire was adapted into the hit TV series Game of Thrones by HBO, George R.R. Martin has shot to a level of fame and success that most authors can only dream of. Martin’s brutal but extraordinary fantasy land of Westeros has captured the imagination of millions and arguably paved new ground for the genre.

In 1996, Martin wrote a short introduction for The Faces of Fantasy: Photographs by Pati Perret, in which he eloquently captures why the fantasy genre is one that has endured since humans first began telling stories. From Beowulf to The Hobbit to Harry Potter, fantasy has remained one of fiction’s most popular genres and, in just a few lines, Martin perfectly explains why we humans have always, and will always, continue to dream of far away places where the impossible is possible. Read More

Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald Trailer 2 is here and We Have All The Feels!

By | Adaptations, News, Video | No Comments
book of the month
Is it the theme tune, the characters? Whatever it is, the Fantastic Beasts series seems to perfectly tune into the Harry Potter Universe, giving us All. The. Feels! The second trailer for Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald is here and it’s three minutes of sheer brilliance, taking us back to the world of Hogwarts and beyond.

For those of you who were left wanting to hear more of Dumbledore’s exploits as a young man at the end of the Harry Potter series this is it, it’s here, as we flashback to a young Dumbledore and the Hogwarts of the past. Read More

Leave a Reply