August 9th is Book Lovers Day!

Good morning, readers! Do you know what today is? August ninth is Book Lovers Day! The great Oscar Wilde once said, “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.”

Reading is not limited to traditional paperback books filled with words. Now, readers can choose from a wide range of platforms and genres – from e-books to paperback to even recent best-seller coloring books. Coloring books have become popular among children and adults because of their mental-health benefits.

“Coloring also allows us to switch off our brains from other thoughts and focus only on the moment, helping to alleviate free-floating anxiety,” said Kelly Fitzpatrick of CNN.

Regardless of what kind of book you are choosing to enjoy, at the University of North Georgia Press, this holiday is one of our all-time favorites. To commemorate this magical day, we wanted to share with you some fun, fast facts about books!

The first book ever written was The Epic of Gilgamesh. The tale describes the evolution of the barbaric leader of Uruk, Gilgamesh, who is changed through acts of kindness.

Abibliophobia is the fear of running out of reading material. Luckily, at the UNG Press we will always have an enticing novel for you to read!

It took Charles Dickens about six weeks to write A Christmas Carol, a novel that has remained popular since 1843.

According to Google, there are around 130 million books in existence all over the world. With that amount of books, you should always have something interesting to read!

The UNG Press has several titles for any reader to choose from.

Celebrate today by curling up with your favorite book, whether it be an e-book, paperback or coloring book, and take time to be grateful to all of the authors who help take us to new places and learn new things. Let us know what book you are currently reading and your thoughts about it. We always love learning about new books!

 

Happy 453rd Birthday, Mr. William Shakespeare!

If you’ve ever been in an English classroom, you’ve most likely read a play or two by the one and only William Shakespeare. You probably know that he also wrote a series of sonnets that are still used today to woo literary hearts. What you may not be aware of is the mystery that surrounds him that clings like a mist.

Some speculate that Shakespeare was multiple people using a common pseudonym, and some even doubt his existence all together, though this has been disproven, it gives him a myth-like quality. So, on his birthday, April 23, we’ll give you the straight facts about this famous playwright and his contributions to the literary world and the English language as a whole.

Even Shakespeare’s birthday isn’t concrete. Birth records didn’t exist in the late 1500s, but the records of the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon, England show the baptism of a William Shakespeare on April 26, 1564. Historians assumed his birthday would have been three days previous, as was the societal custom. His father was a successful merchant, his mother was local landed heiress, and he had five siblings, but that’s about all we know about his childhood.

Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway on November 28, 1582 and had three children: daughter Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. After the twins’ birth, all records of Shakespeare were lost until the 1590s. There is much speculation about what Shakespeare did during this time—some say he went into hiding for poaching game from the local landlord while others believe he was an assistant schoolmaster in Lancashire. We may never know for sure.

Later, evidence appeared of Shakespeare working as an actor and playwright in London in 1592. He was a partner in the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, an acting company, and garnered the attention of many nobles, including the Earl of Southampton, Henry Wriothesley. In the seven years that follow, fifteen of Shakespeare’s thirty-seven plays were published, and he and his partners built their own theatre, called The Globe, on the south bank of the Thames River.

As for his works, you’re probably pretty familiar with his tragedies like Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Macbeth, but Shakespeare had a wonderful sense of humor which can be found in his comedies, including A Midsummer’s Night Dream, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing, and my personal favorite, The Taming of the Shrew. These story lines are still used as inspiration in modern storylines in movies and books. Shakespeare also has an impressive collection of poetry, mainly sonnets, that tell a story when read all together. Not to mention that he invented more than 1700 of our most common words in English today by simply changing nouns into verbs, verbs into adjectives, and adding prefixes and suffixes to change the root word. Some of these words include hobnob, discontent, circumstantial, flawed, radiance, moonbeam, and obsequiously.

To this day, scholars argue over William Shakespeare’s true identity. The Shakespeare Oxford Society even asserts that English aristocrat Edward de Vere was the true author of these plays, claiming the William Shakespeare from the church records was not educated enough to produce such revolutionary and timeless pieces. This opinion, however, is the in the minority.

Regardless of identity and history, William Shakespeare wrote plays that truly transcend time. By focusing on the matters and follies of the heart and human experience, he created an arsenal of literary genius that will be sure to entertain literary minds for generations to come.

Remembering the Diversely Talented Maya Angelou

April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014

Maya Angelou is best known for her work I Know Why Caged Birds Sings (1969). She and this memoir forged a path that other African American female authors would follow. The groundbreaking work made literary history, and Angelou became the first African American woman with a non-fiction bestseller. Then, in 1971, she was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie. She recited her most famous work, “On the Pulse of Morning,” in 1993 at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration. Other than these acknowledgments, she also received two NAACP Image Awards for her outstanding literary work in non-fiction in 2005 and 2009.

But before she became this amazing pillar of literature and the arts, she was simply a young girl in Arkansas named Marguerite Annie Johnson dealing with family trauma and racial prejudice.

At a young age, Angelou’s parents split up. She and her brother, Bailey, were to be raised by their paternal grandmother. There she experienced prejudice against African Americans, especially young women. At the age of seven, Angelou was assaulted by her mother’s boyfriend. In an act of retribution, her uncles killed him. Due to this trauma at such a young age, she became a near mute. But literature helped her get through this difficult time; she even wrote, “I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare” in her previously mentioned memoir.

Courtesy of Flickr

Things started looking up for Angelou when she moved to San Francisco during World War II. She attained a scholarship at the California Labor School for acting and dance. Her studies there laid the foundation for her future career in performing arts.

In 1952, Angelou married Greek sailor Anastasios Angelopulus and changed her name. She decided to officially go by Maya, her childhood nickname, and a shortened version of his surname.

Angelou, quite the diversely talent women, started securing roles in such productions as Porgy and Bess and Calypso Heat Wave. In 1957 she released her first album, Miss Calypso. Angelou’s screenplay, Georgia, Georgia (1972), was the first one produced that was written by an African American woman. She also received a prestigious Tony Award nomination in 1973 for her role in Look Away.

In 1960, Angelou took her talents abroad, working as a freelance writer and editor in Egypt and Ghana. On her

Courtesy of Wikipedia

return to the States, a writer friend by the name of James Baldwin pushed her to write about her life experiences and upbringing. This work subsequently became her famed memoir, I Know Why Caged Birds Sing.

As her career progressed Angelou continued to receive acclaim for her writing, directing, and ventures. She directed a film called Down in the Delta (1998), wrote essays, and even published cookbooks.

Upon Angelou’s death on May 28, 2014, President Obama spoke for the world in his released statement when he said that she was “a brilliant writer, a fierce friend, and a truly phenomenal woman.” He went on to note that she “had the ability to remind us that we are all God’s children; that we all have something to offer.”

Today, on her birthday, it’s important to remember her amazingly adventurous career and thank her for the inspiring works she has contributed to history.

 

 

Coming Soon: Turn Back Before Baghdad!

The long awaited day is almost here, the Turn Back Before Baghdad release is right around the corner! Author Laurence Jolidon takes a unique perspective on the historically significant Operation Desert storm, focusing on the role of the media in wartime and the relations between the military and civilian reporters in this title.

Starting April 18th, Turn Back Before Baghdad will be available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and on our Press Website.

Keep updated on our Facebook, Twitter, and our blog to find out more.

We hope you find this title as compelling as we do!

 

 

 

While You Wait for “Turn Back Before Baghdad”

As you may know, the Press has an upcoming release about the Persian Gulf War called Turn Back Before Baghdad. It takes place 25 years ago during Operation Desert Storm. This was a tumultuous time in which Saddam Hussein was given a choice: withdraw his troops by January 15, 1991 or face the wrath of the United States and our allies.

Turn Back Before Baghdad, including commentary from late Laurence Jolidon, is a collection of firsthand dispatches from American and British news correspondents in the middle of the historically significant events.

While you eagerly wait for the release, here are some other books that may quench your need for some historical wartime accounts. While Turn Back Before Baghdad focuses on the media development and media pools during the events, these picks take a look at some otheraspects of the Persian Gulf War from diverse perspectives.

Courtesy of B&N

 

1) Crusade: The Untold Story of the Persian Gulf War by Rick Atkinson

“This definitive account of the Gulf War relates the previously untold story of the U.S. war with Iraq in the early 1990s. The author follows the 42-day war from the first night to the final day, providing vivid accounts of bombing runs, White House strategy sessions, firefights, and bitter internal conflicts” (Barnes & Noble).

 

 

                                  2) Jarhead: A Marine’s Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles by Anthony Swofford

Courtesy of B&N

“Anthony Swofford’s Jarhead is the first Gulf War memoir by a frontline infantry marine, and it is a searing, unforgettable narrative. When the marines — or “jarheads,” as they call themselves — were sent in 1990 to Saudi Arabia to fight the Iraqis, Swofford was there, with a hundred-pound pack on his shoulders and a sniper’s rifle in his hands. It was one misery upon another. He lived in sand for six months, his girlfriend back home betrayed him for a scrawny hotel clerk, he was punished by boredom and fear, he considered suicide, he pulled a gun on one of his fellow marines, and he was shot at by both Iraqis and Americans. At the end of the war, Swofford hiked for miles through a landscape of incinerated Iraqi soldiers and later was nearly killed in a booby-trapped Iraqi bunker” (Barnes & Noble).

 

Keep your eyes peeled for the release of Turn Back Before Baghdad this April. Stay connected with us through the Press blog, Twitter, and Facebook to keep up to date on all upcoming events and releases!

Why Not a Literary St. Patrick’s Day?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Today is the day to wear green, celebrate Irish roots, and immerse yourself in Irish culture. Through Irish writers, present and past, this culture lives on all over the world. They communicate their vision and life experiences through the written word. Here’s a look at some of Ireland’s most famous authors:

 

Courtesy of Wikimedia

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin as the second of three children to his parents, Sir William and Jane Wilde. His mother, under the pseudonym “Speranza” wrote poetry for the revolutionary group “Young Irelanders.” She read her work to her children, instilling a love for poetry at a young age. It worked. Wilde was famous for his eclectic variety of literary ventures. He was a playwright, essayist, and poet. In the early 1890s, he became a standout for his plays, although he was most well-known for his novel, Pictures of Dorian Gray. The work was born from his refined ideas involving the supremacy of art and was written as a series of dialogues and essays.

 

 

C.S. Lewis (1898- 1963)

Courtesy of Flickr

Though you may only think of C.S. Lewis’s children’s series, The Chronicles of Narnia, when I bring up this name, he was involved in so much more. Lewis was a novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian, broadcaster, lecturer, and Christian apologist. But before all of that he was just a boy born in Belfast, Ireland in 1898, questioning the religion he was forced to take part in. It’s hard to believe that young Lewis at the age of 15 claimed he was an atheist. Today, he is known as the most influential Christian writer of the twentieth century. Surprisingly, we have his good friend and fellow Christian J.R.R. Tolkien to thank for dragging him back into the fold. Many credit Lewis’s history as his key to success; he understood the struggles that come with religion and didn’t follow it blindly his whole life. He could speak to struggling believers and relate to them.

 

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Anne Enright (1962 – Present)

Anne Enright is another Irish literary She’s has published novels, short stories, essays, and a nonfiction book. Her novel The Gathering won the 2007 Man Booker Prize. Her other awards include The Rooney Prize for Irish Authors in 1991, The Encore Award in 2008, and the Irish Novel of the Year in 2008. Before writing, Enright worked as a television producer and director of RTE in Dublin for six years, produced a television program called Nighthawks for four more, then worked in children’s television. It wasn’t until 1993 that she became a full-time writer rather than just writing at night after she left work. Thank goodness she decided to write permanently.

 

 

Try to take a look at these authors’ work today if you’re unfamiliar with them. But above all else, remember to wear green!🍀

Spring Break? Try a Book Break.

Courtesy of Pixabay

For those still in school or working in the world of academia, it’s that time of the year again—Spring Break. Many have been dreaming of laying on the couch and streaming Netflix to your hearts content, getting back the elusive tan line that winter stole away, or using the break to catch up on all the work that you may have been pushing under the rug. We at the Press are the lovers of books and words and literary adventures, and we invite you to open a book wherever and however you choose to spend this much-needed time off.

If you are a person who keeps putting off reading and just wants to become a reader this blog is for you.

But why should you delve into the literary world over break when you could do so many other things with your free time? Many people, me being one of them, will have a book stack on their side table. One of which you may have cracked open a couple times, maybe you even read it for a week, but then before you knew it, you forgot what was happening. It had been weeks since you opened it and it may have even gathered some dust.

Maybe you have a book a friend lent you, or even just requested you read it simply because it’s perfect for you. For some it’s just a list of “to reads” on your GoodReads account that goes untouched.

Courtesy of Max Pixel

At the Press, we understand the rush and stress of work and school. It might surprise you how a book can give you a tiny break from that by providing a look into another life or point of view. A book can be a fantastical adventure.  So take a deep breath because Spring Break is upon us. Let the literary stress relief take over.

Have I convinced you yet? If so, it’s on to the next step: picking a book. If you’ve been reading the blog lately you might have noticed over the month of February we released a couple of “Books We Love” blogs. These books are handpicked recommendations by members of the Press. They are just some of the titles that we hold near and dear to our bookish hearts.

Feel free to look over our recommendations here: Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3.

And please, tweet us at @UnivPressNG or comment your Spring Break read below!