7 OF THE HAPPIEST BOOKS TO BRIGHTEN YOUR YEAR

What is it about reading that readers love so much? It turns out that there are as many reasons to love reading as there are people who love to read. Many find a means of escape from the daily stresses of life between the covers of a book. Some read to understand other people’s perspectives or visit places they have never been before. Others read for entertainment. However, to anyone who has found themselves lost in a good story, it is evident that books have the power to impact our emotions and can evoke belly laughs or streaming tears with the turn of a page. For those who read for grins and giggles, check out these happy books:

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams

Described on its cover as a “thumping good detective-ghost-horror-whodunnit-time travel-romantic-musical-comedy-epic,” this book is great for any time of the year when you just need a good hard belly laugh.

How To Be Idle: A Loafer’s Manifesto by Tom Hodgkinson

When the daily grind has got you down, this book offers hilarious insights into why we are so work-obsessed and how to be a better loafer.

The Switch by Beth O’Leary

This book takes looking at life from a new perspective to a whole new level when the heroine swaps lives with her 79-year-old grandmother to get a break from her high-flying career.

The Lido by Libby Page

United by a shared interest in the fate of a local swimming hole, 26-year-old Kate and 86-year-old Rosemary find friendship in this heartwarming tale of community, teamwork, and self-belief.

Sinners and Saints by Allie Bloom

One part coming-of-age story and one part tale of personal redemption, this lighthearted romp follows a young niece and her roguish uncle on their concurrent journeys of self-discovery and growth.

Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce

A young female journalist dreams of becoming a war correspondent in blitz-torn London but finds herself running the agony aunt column instead in this story of female friendship.

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

This heartwarming story follows several years of the life of a celebrated author whose life’s mission becomes returning lost objects to their owners.

This article was originally published on EditaKaye.net

A FEW OF THE BEST BOOKS IN THE LAST 5 YEARS

There are classic books which most people are familiar with, then there are modern books. Modern books will grab your attention and pull you in immediately. Here are some of the best books in the last 5 years.

We have all seen the news lately. This book, An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, starts with a fairytale ending and ends with everyone’s worst nightmare. In the beginning, newlyweds Celestial and Roy begin their married life. Then, Roy is wrongfully convicted of rape and murder. This emotional tale will pull you in and not let you go until the last page. This novel will get you thinking about modern-day issues such as wrongful conviction and imprisonment, emotional turmoil in a marriage, and prejudice in the justice system.

If your mind is fixed on feminism, then pick up The Power by Naomi Alderman. This features a dystopian world in which women are physically dominant. With the touch of a hand, they send electric shock waves to whoever and whatever they please. Your imagination will be transported to a world in which the social dynamics have been turned in a way only Naomi could have dreamed of.

If you’re looking for historical fiction, then try reading Hamnet. This novel takes place during the Black Death in which the world is seen through William Shakespeares’ eyes. Seen through the eyes of a brilliant author, set in a time where the world was crumbling. Any reader of Hamnet is sure to be transported to a time and place of wonder and disaster. Written by Maggie O’Farrel, this book won the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction.

If you’re looking for an in-depth novel that will take you inside of a character’s life, look no further than Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo. This diverse and wide-reaching tale will grab your heartstrings with its poetic style and intrigue. The characters’ stories are linked together through the masterful style of Evaristo. Evaristo’s purpose, to engage the reader in a story of being Black and British throughout history.
Finally, if Greek mythology is your vibe, consider picking up the New York Times Bestseller Circe. In this tale, Madeline Miller tells a story of a place where mortals and gods collide. The story follows Circe, who is banished to a remote island by the vengeful Zeus.

This article was originally published on EditaKaye.net

HOW WRITING CAN CALM STRESS

Journaling is a Simple Way to Reduce Stress Stress has a way to creep into everyday life. Thankfully, there are some simple ways that stress can be managed. One of those ways is journaling. Journaling has many positive benefits for the mind and soul. It’s a way for people to unwind, let out their true feelings, and take charge of their life. There are many different ways to journal and a whole slew of different topics a person can write about. That’s why anyone can journal no matter who they are. One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that it reduces stress.

When a person sits down with nothing but a pen and a blank page, their mind instantly opens. This is a chance for someone to let out all those pent up feelings of anger, fear, and sadness in a safe space. A journal is private and therefore, it’s really a time when a person can let out everything they are feeling. This is a great way to calm the mind because it’s essentially dumping all of those negative thoughts on paper and only keeping the positive ones internalized instead.

Journaling is also great for stress-relief because it’s a way for someone to escape the real world. Journaling takes a person into a different world through poetry, self-expression, and drawing. When they enter this new realm, they’re allowed to escape whatever is stressing them out for a little while. Journaling is also a great way for someone to take charge of their life.

A person can use journaling to plot out their day, their goals, their to-do lists, and more. It gives them an opportunity to have an organized place for all their thoughts. Keeping these written down is also a great way for a person to hold themselves accountable. When they hold themselves accountable, they’re better able to manage their time and goals. 

Overall, journaling is great because it brings the world of creativity and structured lists together. A person can use journaling as a creative outlet when they need a break from whatever is stressing them out. A person can also use journaling as a way to keep track of what they need to do. When a person has something they can look at with goals and structure, they feel more on top of things which helps to reduce stress.

This post was originally published on Editakaye.net

The Best Books for Spring 2021

Spring is an excellent time to hone one’s reading muscles, and 2021 promises no shortage of books with which to do so. Whether fiction or nonfiction, there are likely several good books from either genre sure to pique your interest, with reviewers recommending many noteworthy examples. Let’s look at three of Spring 2021’s best books:

1 – Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese-American Heroes in World War II

Author Daniel James Brown recounts the story of Japanese-Americans who volunteered for service after Pearl Harbor. Sent to Europe to fight against the Nazis rather than to the Pacific Theater to face the Empire of Japan, these Americans also had to worry about their families, many of whom faced internment camps and xenophobia back home. Known as the Nisei, these second-generation Japanese-American WWII service members served heroically and sometimes suffered greatly.

2 – Klara and the Sun

Kazuo Ishiguro’s past works include classic works of fiction such as Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go. As in his previous works, Ishiguro’s plot in Klara and the Sun turns out to be quite the opposite of what the characters think they understand. The story’s protagonist, Klara, is a robot or “Artificial Friend” built to serve as a child’s companion. She’s intelligent but can’t see everything when that’s what she must do. So, she ends up another of Ishiguro’s tragic figures fated to experience sorrow.

3 – The Flip Side of Free: Understanding the Economics of the Internet

The old saying that “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” applies equally to the “free” internet: If you aren’t paying for the product, you are the product. World Bank Group’s digital development specialist Michael Kende describes how unified standards made the web accessible for all while also examining various risks, including cybersecurity. Finally, Kende delves into various impending social considerations as the public realizes just how much a free internet is costing everyone.

Spring is always a time of renewal and new life. This year promises a good chance to break out the latest fiction thriller or thought-provoking nonfiction examination of some issue of import or historical significance. See your favorite bookseller now to grab some of 2021’s best books. 

Inspirational Quotes Gathered by Edita Kaye

“Everything starts with yourself—with you making up your mind about what you’re going to do with you life.” Tony Dorsett

“Life itself is the proper binge.” Julia Child

“Where thou art, that is home.” Emily Dickinson

“Age wrinkles the body. Quitting wrinkles the soul.” Douglas MacArthur

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, not touched…but are felt in the heart.” Helen Keller

“It is necessary to try to surpass one’s self always; this occupation ought to last as long as life.” Queen Christina of Sweden

“Don’t be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves.” Dale Carnegie

“Chance never helps those who do not help themselves.” Sophocles

“Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can.” Danny Kaye

“Don’t wait for your ship to come in; swim out to it.” Anon

“Trust your hopes, not your fears.” David Mahoney

“Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish.” Michelangelo

“Be happy with what you have and are, be generous with both, and you won’t have to hunt for happiness.” William Gladstone

“It is a funny thing about life, if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.” Somerset Maugham

“The only place were success comes before work is in the dictionary.” Vidal Sassoon

“In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer.” Albert Camus

“This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.” Philippians 3:13

“To be happy, drop the words if only and substitute instead the words next time.” Smiley Blanton M.D.

“No seed shall perish which the soul hath sown.” John Symonds

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

“Doubt whom you will, but never yourself.” Christine Bowee

“Why not go out on a limb? Isn’t that where the fruit is?” Frank Scully

“There are only two ways to live your life: one is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as if everything is.” Albert Einstein

“Remember, you can’t steal second if you don’t take your foot off first.” Mike Todd

Good Bedtime Books

Is it time to turn off the TV or unplug from all those sleep-depriving blue screens and curl up with a good book at bedtime? Experts say yes! And here’s five of the very best classics to enjoy.

Don Quixote Paperback 

by Miguel De Cervantes (Author), Edith Grossman 

Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read

Edith Grossman’s definitive English translation of the Spanish masterpiece, in an expanded P.S. edition

Widely regarded as one of the funniest and most tragic books ever written, Don Quixote chronicles the adventures of the self-created knight-errant Don Quixote of La Mancha and his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, as they travel through sixteenth-century Spain. You haven’t experienced Don Quixote in English until you’ve read this masterful translation.

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

Moby Dick Paperback – November 6, 2018 

by Herman Melville (Author) 

Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is a novel by Herman Melville, in which Ishmael narrates the monomaniacal quest of Ahab, captain of the whaler Pequod, for revenge on the albino sperm whale Moby Dick, which on a previous voyage destroyed Ahab’s ship and severed his leg at the knee. Although the novel was a commercial failure and out of print at the time of the author’s death in 1891, its reputation grew immensely during the twentieth century. D. H. Lawrence called it “one of the strangest and most wonderful books in the world,” and “the greatest book of the sea ever written.” Moby-Dick is considered a Great American Novel and an outstanding work of the Romantic period in America and the American Renaissance. “Call me Ishmael” is one of world literature’s most famous opening sentences. The product of a year and a half of writing, the book is dedicated to Nathaniel Hawthorne, “in token of my admiration for his genius,” and draws on Melville’s experience at sea, on his reading in whaling literature, and on literary inspirations such as Shakespeare and the Bible.

Madame Bovary: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) Paperback 

by Gustave Flaubert (Author), Lydia Davis (Editor, Translator, Introduction) 

The award-winning, nationally bestselling translation, by Lydia Davis, of one of the world’s most celebrated novels

Emma Bovary is the original desperate housewife. Beautiful but bored, she spends lavishly on clothes and on her home and embarks on two disappointing affairs in an effort to make her life everything she believes it should be. Soon heartbroken and crippled by debts, she takes drastic action, with tragic consequences for her husband and daughter. In this landmark new translation of Gustave Flaubert’s masterwork, award-winning writer and translator Lydia Davis honors the nuances and particulars of Flaubert’s legendary prose style, giving new life in English to the book that redefined the novel as an art form.

Pride and Prejudice Paperback – October 18, 2019 

by Jane Austen 

Pride and Prejudice is an 1813 romantic novel of manners written by Jane Austen.

Great Expectations Paperback – November 24, 2020 

by Charles Dickens (Author) 

This Charles Dickens novel traces the journey of Pip, from his young days of admiring the rich from afar, to his own experience of living as a gentleman among London’s elite. While living with his sister and brother-in-law in a quiet rural life, Pip meets the reclusive heiress Miss Havisham, and her adopted daughter, Estella. Pip is attracted to the aloof Estella, who symbolizes the social status he aspires to. Pip’s fortunes reverse when he receives money from an anonymous benefactor. As a newly-rich Londoner, trapped in appearances of ‘gentility’, Pip starts incurring debts to continue his dream of being equals with the elite, and feels ashamed at his background. Through adventures involving envious adversaries, a criminal Pip once helped, and Pip’s friends Joe, Biddy, Herbert and Wemmick, Dickens’s Pip learns to disregard pretensions and appreciate loyalty and love, guaranteed not by birth but by one’s character.

The Key to Writing Better Emails

Effective communication in workplaces fosters good working relationships between the staff and leaves no room for misunderstanding and message alteration. Poor communication habits are inevitable today due to digital communication reliance. There is a need to learn how to write clear messages and read them carefully to have good communication habits.

Before, people communicated across tables, listened to their colleagues’ ideas and gave feedback. Today, communication is expressed in written form. Text on a screen has replaced listening as people use email, text, and IM to communicate.

There is less comprehension when reading texts on a screen than on print. People would instead skim through texts than allocate time to read the full text. Replying to volumes of emails becomes burdensome, and people end up giving devoid and confusing responses. Below is a guide to writing better emails.

Reference Details when Communicating

Before giving a response, go back to the email received and respond as expected. For long emails, respond to specific parts that the sender needs feedback on. This kind of response shows one took time to read through and think before responding. Too brief and sloppy answers may not provide clear and accurate communication to the audience. Leaders need to communicate clearly for work guidance to avoid confusion. Proofread text before sending it to avoid misinterpretation. Use proofreading and spell-check programs to improve writing skills.

Check the Tone Projected

The tone is defined as the character and attitude of a message. The recipient and the audience determine the kind of style to use. When texting in digital communication, people should keep in mind the visual impact of their tone. Give a substantive response with an empathetic manner when communicating. When people are not in a good mood to respond to a message, they should let the sender know they plan to read and respond later instead of giving a sloppy response.

Talk Instead of Texting

Some emails may require back and forth communication for a solution. It would be wise to talk instead of emailing to save time. One can use video calls, live meetings, or a phone call. Talking also clears confusing emails.

Digital communication is a challenge as there is no clarity in body language, tone, and eye contact with the other person. Organizations need to have the skills of reading and writing carefully for better communication.

How to Keep Your Writing Ideas Fresh

For writers, the creative process can be a crazy roller coaster of sorts. Sometimes, the flow can be very good and endless. You can be writing and writing for hours on end, churning quality over and over again. Other times, however, it takes sheer strength to merely write up a word or a phrase that makes sense. This is something that many writers have become accustomed to. There is never one formula that works for each and every writer as each person knows their needs well. However, here are some ideas to ensure your writer’s idea well never runs dry.

Read a lot

One of the best ways to keep replenishing your well of ideas as a writer is to keep on reading from others. While some people associate reading with extensive novels but sometimes it just takes an article or two. Reading gives you a chance to see what other people are thinking and get a perspective yourself. Look around the internet for some witty, comical, or deep article or essay of your choice. It keeps your mind sharp and entertained. If you keep feeding your mind, you will always experience a never-ending factory of fresh ideas.

Write them down

If you are a frequent writer, getting ideas often happens a lot and it happens sometimes in the most unexpected places. Some people walk around with notebooks while sometimes the phone can do just as well. Noting the idea down helps to expound in it given the opportunity. Writing these ideas works properly when you run out of ideas. Having them lined up also gives you an opportunity to arrange your thoughts into a routine you can work with.

Join chatgroups

All over the internet, there are many havens where writers can meet up and talk about all things writing. This can range from social media sites and groups to websites for writers. That said, you can get to listen in and talk to other writers and see how they are working. It helps to understand trends across the world and adapt to them. It also provides a great perspective on fresh ideas.

Take a break

Working on a roller coaster can be draining sometimes. It might lead to a creative block more often than we would want and it makes creating anything difficult. However, you can maintain the creative juices from drying up frequently. Take breaks when you get tired. Go for a walk, listen to music or do anything that relaxes you. Working on a roll might drain you and hinder your creative process. Taking a break is like hitting the refresh button for your body and mind.

Successfully Blogging in 2021

When looking for a simple step-by-step blogging guide, it can be overwhelming, especially if one is new to the concept of blogging. Blogging has continually grown over the years and is now extremely fast, affordable, and simple to set up. The following guide is a quick reference for new aspiring bloggers or people who have previously not found success in blogging.

Starting Your Blog

Using WordPress, one can design their first blog page, but they need to prepare before getting started. Preparing requires a few things which will ensure one is equipped and ready for success. Consider the following before launching a blog.

  • What to blog about and why
  • What would be the name of the blog, and is the domain available
  • Where to host the website
  • Is the goal of making money or just creating a site?

Choosing a Suitable Niche

Before developing a blog, one needs to decide on what niche is suitable for them. At this point, research extensively to run and write a successful niche blog. At times one may choose several market niches for their blog but will require to major in one that is dear to them.

Remember, the more competitive a niche is, the more challenging it is to rank on search engines. Although that should not discourage anyone, a clear understanding of the audience will play a key role in success. The popular niche includes:

  • Fashion
  • Sports
  • Technology
  • Health and Fitness

Content Marketing Strategy

Once the site is live and content is written, one should focus on marketing and promoting their brand. Promotional methods are plenty, including PR, social media, and email marketing, but before spending on any, prepare a marketing plan. The plan will be a promotion cycle guide each time there is a new article.

Keep in mind that most people will not read through all the written material. The titles and visuals get the most attention. Hence spend as much time on promotion as in writing.

Monetize the Blog

In most cases, people start blogging to test if they can make money while doing it. However, it may be easy to start a blog but very difficult to make it profitable. Therefore to money consider understanding the audience and their needs.

There are different ways of making money through websites such as:

  • Google AdSense
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Paid banner

Turn the Blog into Brand

Turning a blog into a brand can take some time but given enough time, the audience can grow, and the website becomes a household name. To help build a brand, one needs to have a following on both the site and social media. Promote or offer services that the audience will be willing to pay for and are trustworthy.