Top 5 Matthew Tobin Anderson Books You Need To Read

When it comes to children’s book and young adult novels, Matthew Tobin Anderson books are some that would always make the mark. Anderson is famous for his different approach to writing which gives a unique world view altogether for readers of different ages.

Also using M. T. Anderson as his pen name, the writer was born on November 4, 1968, in Cambridge, Massachusetts to an engineer father-  Will Anderson and a mother who was an Episcopal priest, Juliana Anderson. He went to Mark’s School in Southborough from where he graduated before moving to Harvard where he remained for a short time before dropping out. He later went to Cambridge University in England. As regards his writing, Tobin has been writing since he was only 12.

As the cliché now goes, teen novels are no longer for only teens thanks to works like To Kill A Mockingbird, the Harry Potter books,  and the Hunger Games series, among many others before them and after. Hence, there are a good number of Matthew Tobin Anderson’s books that you need to read or in the least, get a child or young adult. Here are the top five.

Top 5 Matthew Tobin Anderson Books

1. Feed

Matthew Tobin Aderson
Feed (Image Source)

In the list of its 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels, NIPR rightly included this work. A futuristic work, it tells about a time when the internet would evolve so much that at the cost of privacy,  a Feed chip would be implanted in the bodies of many Americans. The chip serves you images, advertisement, news, and other online contents based on your interests and likes.

It tells about Titus and Violet both of whom have had the feed chip implanted in their bodies. On a spring break on the moon, they met and fell in love. On their return to earth, they realize that their feed has been hacked and that of Violet is having a malfunction which is now making her body to shut down.

A winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction as well as the Golden Duck Awards Hal Clement Award for Young Adults both in 2003, Feed is a National Book Award winner for Young People’s Literature in 2002.

2. Thirsty

This is the first novel of Matthew Tobin Anderson which was published in 1997.

In a Boston community where vampires are killed,  a young boy discovers he is getting thirsty for blood and he can’t see his reflection on the water,  all signs of being a vampire. He will be caught in the mix as thanks to a force that deceived him, he has destroyed the gods of vampires so he will be killed if he returns to them and can’t seek help from the Forces of Light he will be tormented, and so he has to either hunt humans for blood or die of thirst.  His mother now wants him tested for vampirism, something that may lead to him being killed.

3. Burger Wuss

Matthew Tobin Aderson
Burger Wuss (Image Source)

Anthony who is the narrator of this young adult novel takes a job at a local burger joint with the sole aim of getting his revenge against Turner, another employee at the restaurant for stealing his girlfriend. One of the reasons why this is among the best Matthew Tobin Anderson books is because the satire delivers great dark humor and sheer intelligence.

4. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing

This is a very interesting historical novel that tells about a young black kid named Octavian. Raised in a colonial Boston in a house that had philosophers and scientists, he is the son of an African princess Cassiopeia.

Octavian gets used in an experiment to find out whether Africans are inferior to Europeans. As it would turn out, there was bias against him by the man overseeing him, Richard Sharpe whose intention was to prove that the African race is inferior to the European race. To do this, he cut him off from his education and making him work.

The book is an excellent piece of historical literature that is easy for young people to read and appreciate without being burdened with so much of the history itself due to the storytelling style. It was awarded the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature and was named American Library Association’s Printz Honor Book

See Also: Top 5 George Saunders Books You Need To Read

5. Handel, Who Knew What He Liked

Matthew Tobin Aderson
Handel, Who Knew What He Liked (Image Source)

This is not among the most popular Matthew Tobin Anderson books but it is one that one should read. It is the biography of George Frideric Handel who was an eighteenth-century composer.

In the usual style of Anderson, the work is done in a way to be appreciated by everyone including children. The book won the 2002 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award.

Facts You Need To Know About Lawrence Lessig’s One Way Forward

Unless you have lived in a cave in the past decade, and have less than zero interest in politics and society in general, you might not have heard anything regarding corporate welfare and crony capitalism in the United States, which are both indications that corporate money in politics is beginning to have excessive influence. Harvard law professor and political activist Lawrence Lessig take a look at this growing concern in the book, One Way Forward, where he presents a clear-eyed, bipartisan manifesto for revolution.

Lessig, who sort the Democratic Party’s nomination for president of the United States in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and described his candidacy as a referendum on campaign finance reform and electoral reform legislation, argues in the book that this “legal corruption” can be fixed if every American of all political persuasion puts their differences aside to change the system for the better.

Citing the common-sense idealism of American essayist, poet, and philosopher, Henry David Thoreau, Professor Lessig, who has a J.D. degree from Yale Law School and has served as director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University (2009 to 2015), shows how Americans can take back their country by providing a concrete practical set of instructions for doing it.

One Way Forward
Lawrence Lessig (Image Source)

Facts You Need To Know About One Way Forward

1. It Identifies Crony Capitalism as that Gateway Problem to All Other Problems Facing America

Lessig identifies the excessive influence of corporate money in politics as the biggest problem facing America, as it makes the business class and the political class conspire together. Due to this, wealth does not trickle down because entrepreneurship and innovative practices which seek to reward risk are stifled. The book concludes that once this problem is fixed, every other major problem facing the nation would be easily rectified.

2. The Book is Based Off Discussions with Occupy Wall Streeters and Tea Party Patriots

In One Way Forward, Lawrence Lessig describes his discussions with activists in the Occupy Wall Street movement and Tea Party. He says that in regards to the well-being of the future of the United States, both movements share a similar concern and would, therefore, be of more use if they joined forces together rather than be at odds. He writes that together, both movements have the energy and commitment needed to create much-needed change but that the progress is currently halted by a tendency to claim treason whenever one side is seen talking with the other.

Lessig further suggests a need for each person to engage another that they feel are different because the goal is not to convert the other person but rather to find common ground by first listening respectfully.

3. He Wants Americans to Stand Up to the Government

Using the 2008-2012 Icelandic financial crisis as an example, Professor Lessig writes that Americans need to borrow a leaf from their Icelandic counterparts and stand up to their government in order for every citizen to have a voice that matters, no matter their wealth or social status.

Iceland was amongst the hardest hit countries in the world during the global economic crisis in 2008. Because of this, the country’s government proposed a bailout of their major banks, a move that was rejected by 98% of the countries voters. Icelanders instead moved on to launch what has been described as the “most ambitious crowdsourced-sovereignty project in modern history,” which has led to the Icelandic economy showing signs of recovery.

4. He Provides Proposed Language for Constitutional Amendment

While commenting on the wrongs and what should be done, One Way Forward also provides the language that would be needed for making a constitutional amendment. The proposed language of what the constitutional amendment should look like explicitly authorizes public funding of political campaigns and public but content-neutral regulation of money spent on political speech.

Read Also: 10 National Book and Magazine Awards You Should Know About

5. One Way Forward is a Byliner Original Book

One Way Forward, which has a full-text name of “One Way Forward: The Outsider’s Guide to Fixing the Republic,” is the seventh book written by Professor Lawrence Lessig, published on February 12, 2012. The book, which was first released in the eBook format, is a Byliner Original and its 77 pages long.

Top 5 George Saunders Books You Need To Read

Fans of American writer George Saunders will tell you that it is his intelligence and trademark tragicomic style of writing that made him a huge hit in the literary world. Known for darkly comic stories that skewer consumerism and mass culture, his writing is known to carry a satirical tone that also raises numerous moral and philosophical questions. It further does help that he mainly focuses on publishing a collection of stories or essays that are thematically connected instead of a whole novel, which many readers in this day and age might find to be quite cumbersome to pay attention to.

Born in 1958, in Amarillo, Texas, George Saunders did not receive the supposed formal writing training one would think a world-renowned, award-winning writer would get. After graduating from Oak Forest High School in Oak Forest, Illinois, he enrolled at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado to study geophysical engineering, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in 1981.

A few years later in 1986, Saunders wrote a short story titled “A Lack of Order in the Floating Object Room,” which according to him he used in his application to Syracuse University to study Creative Writing. By 1988, he was awarded a Master of Arts degree and he went on to balance writing, and an engineering career before later fully focusing on writing in the mid-1990s.

In regards to critical and commercial success received, here is a list of the top 5 George Saunders books ever published that you need to read.

Top 5 George Saunders Books

George Saunders Books
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1. The Braindead Megaphone (2007)

Published in 2007, the two hundred and seventy-two pages long The Braindead Megaphone book is the first full-length nonfiction essay collection by George Saunders. Many of the essays featured in the book, which all share the theme of satire and are of literature, politics, and travel, appeared in magazines like The New Yorker and GQ.

2. CivilWarLand in Bad Decline (1996)

The very first George Saunders book that was published, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline is a compilation of short stories and a novella. The collection, which was in 1996 listed as a New York Times Notable Book and was a finalist for the 1996 PEN/Hemingway Award, had some of its short stories appear in magazines like Kenyon Review, Harper’s, The New Yorker and Quarterly West. Two of the book’s stories; “The 400-Pound CEO” and “Bounty,” received the National Magazine Award for Fiction in 1994 and 1996 respectively.

Saunders channels one of his mentors, Kurt Vonnegut, in the stories that appear in this book as he pokes relentless fun at our society and culture in an acerbic and wickedly funny way. In each story, he writes about the world heading in a terrible direction that is somewhat irreversible, with each character in each story struggling to survive in the increasingly haywire world.

3. Pastoralia (2000)

In his second full-length short story collection, Pastoralia, Saunders continued to enhance his reputation of writing both indelibly strange and vividly real stories where he squeezes meaning out of the absurd. The book, which was a New York Times Notable Book for 2001, consists of stories that appeared either in its original or a different form in The New Yorker. Most of the stories were further recipients of the O. Henry Award Prize Stories.

4. Tenth of December (2013)

Regarded as one of his most honest and moving collections yet, Tenth of December is a brilliantly written collection of short stories that cut to the core of the contemporary experience as they are about class, sex, love, loss, work, despair, and war.

As has been the pattern in most of Saunders’ work, the stories, which were published between 1995 and 2009 in various magazines, ask moral questions and explores fault lines, delving into the things that make us good and human. According to the writer, he was inspired to write the title story, “Tenth of December,” after beginning to wonder how he would handle “a slow and protracted death.”

Read Also: Top 5 Matthew Tobin Aderson Books You Need To Read

5. Lincoln in the Bardo (2017)

After having created a reputation for himself as a short story specialist, George Saunders published his first full-length novel in 2017 titled Lincoln in the Bardo. Taking place in the Bardo, which is a Tibetan term for the Buddhist “intermediate state” between death and reincarnation when the soul is not connected to a body, the story explores the feeling of grief felt by President Abraham Lincoln during and after the death of his son William Wallace Lincoln.

The novel received critical acclaim as it was listed by Time magazine as one of the top ten novels of the year. It also won the 2017 Man Booker Prize

10 Best Hacking Books Every Ethical Hacker Should Have

Uneasy as it may seem, there are millions of people all over the world or are making real money from hacking legally. Such people practice what is known as ethical hacking and are sometimes paid by big companies to find bugs on their websites or apps. While learning to hack may be hard on its own, there are many hacking books that will help one.

Let’s point out, before anything else, that there are two types of hackers; the ethical hackers and unethical ones. Ethical hackers are those who practice hacking responsibly and in accordance with the law. The main concern of these hackers among other thing is to help improve online safety for businesses and organizations to detect vulnerabilities. On the other hand, the unethical hackers who are also known as the black hat hackers. They look for vulnerabilities and exploit them for personal gains.

If you are interested in becoming an ethical hacker, here are some important books that will help you.

Best Hacking Books

hacking books
Once notorious hacker Kevin Mitnick (Image Source)

1. Computer Hacking Beginners Guide: How to Hack Wireless Network, Basic Security, and Penetration Testing, Kali Linux, Your First Hack- Alan T. Norman

This is the first book anyone should recommend for hacking because it introduces one to the world of hacking in the most basic way possible. However, it may serve one in the intermediate level more.

Alan T. Norman is popular for various books on online security, but this remains top in the rank of those who want to learn to hack. The book is a guide for people who want to focus on wireless hacking without compromising one’s anonymity.

It remains very popular because of its practicality by presenting the different methods that one can carry out some basic hacking with the explanation of the theory behind some attacks that seem basic.

2. The Hackers Playbook 2 and 3- Peter Kim

We decide to bring these two books together as one because they are both great hacking books. Naturally, before the 2 and 3, there is also the 1, but that can easily be skipped as it does not cover much. Hacker Playbook 2 is pretty much a new book and is not necessarily tied to the first book. It teaches hacking as though it were a game, with different methods that one can use to attack networks as well as how to evade security.

The Hackers Playbook 2 is the best place for someone who has never had any experience to start from, but if you have some experience, then Playbook 3 should be good enough for you even though it builds on 2. It introduces one on how to create your penetrating environment and all the steps that follow.

3. Penetration Testing: A Hands-On Introduction to Hacking

Another book that is great for someone new to ethical hacking is this book by Georgia Weidman. It is one of the most important books to read if you are new to Penetration Testing even without any prior knowledge. This book covers a wide range of things including setting up a lab to enumeration, exploitation, and mobile hacking. It also teaches how to have your way through antivirus security easily.

As you continue from learning the basic programming, Georgia takes you to things like exploit development and then client-side attacks. Nonetheless, she has always maintained the work at a beginner level.

4. The Shellcoder’s Handbook: Discovering and Exploiting Security Holes 2nd Edition- Chris Anley, Felix Lindner, and John Heasman

This book is a special one not only because it was written by people who are experienced in terms of security but mostly because of what it has to offer. The work covers a wide range of things including how to discover security gaps in applications and operating systems.

Before thinking to get this book, you will need to have great exposure in programming and a lot of other IT concepts because it does not come with any form of introductions, delving straight into the main business.

 5. RTFM: Red Team Field Manual- Ben Clark

There are not many hacking books that are better than this, even though it is more of a reference guide than one to teach hacking. It is loaded with the basic syntax you will need for Linux and Windows commands as well as Python Scripts and Windows PowerShell tips. It may be a little book, but its value is overwhelming.

6. The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook: Finding and Exploiting Security Flaws- Dafydd Stuttard and Marcus Pinto

Generally, one thing that hacking books come with is a particular section dedicated to Web Application Hacking. While they cover a lot, so much is still left out for anyone who is looking to go deep into Web Application. That is what The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook does and it may be the absolute best web application hacking book out there.

The book is written by Dafydd Stuttard and Marcus Pinto, people that have come up with a Web Application Testing framework, meaning that one cannot bet wrong with it. The importance of understanding Web Application is highly important if you are taking ethical hacking seriously. This is because many applications are poorly designed or they are not updated always, so they leave many doors for being hacked, even though these apps are used by many companies. With this book, you will learn all the steps to take and almost everything else that comes with Web Application hacking.

7. Hacking: The Art of Exploitation- Jon Erickson

This book will always remain special among those who are genuinely interested in learning how to hack ethically. The important thing to know before going for this is that it is not a quick fix for someone looking for a fast way of learning how to hack, neither is it a book for beginners.

The good thing with this book is that rather than just jumping straight to hacking, it will walk you through basic programming before taking on other things and the different hacking techniques and methods used such as Penetration Testing, Wi-Fi hacking, and DoS Attacks, among other things. Basically, it covers all that an ethical hacker should know after one must have got the basic knowledge of hacking somewhere else.

8. Advanced Penetration Testing: Hacking the World’s Most Secure Networks- Wil Allsopp

As far as it has to do with hacking books, this work will always be very important. It is not necessarily the first that one should read most especially when you are starting out as a new hacker. What it does, is to establish all you have learned previously and expand on it some more.

The work covers important things like complex attack simulation and Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) modelling, introducing readers to methods beyond Metasploit and vulnerability scanners. More so, APT modelling is discussed in each chapter taking up different techniques in specific industries.

9. Hacking Exposed 7: Network Security Secrets and Solutions

A collaborative effort of Stuart McClure, Joel Scambray, and George Kurtz, this is one of the most special books not only for people looking to bolster their security and systems against hackers but also for hackers who want to do it ethically. This is because it also exposes you to the various methods black hat hackers adopt in order to have their way through any security and system.  More than just that, it provides some countermeasures.

There are also other books published before this including Hacking Exposed 6 which preceded Hacking Exposed 7.  One will not need to get the previous books before getting this since it is an update of all the previous works.

10. Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker- Kevin Mitnick

Is this a book that will teach you how to hack? No. Still, it is a book that every ethical hacker should read. The work tells the story of one of the most notorious hackers that has ever lived. His road to becoming a hacker began when he was just 12 and by the time he was 16, he had already hacked a computer network when he broke into the computer network of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) and copied their software. For this crime, he would later spend 12 months behind bars.

He would later hack dozens of computer networks and remain elusive for many years remaining on FBI’s most wanted list. In 1995, he was finally arrested. In 1999, he pleaded guilty to various crimes and spent time behind bars and then in 2002, he was released. During his trial, prosecutors claimed he could start a nuclear war by simply whistling into a payphone because of how good of a hacker he was.

Now a security expert, his book is a must-read for hackers.

See Also: 10 Best Surround Sound Movies You Need To Watch

Conclusion

Inasmuch as all the above are great ethical hacking books, it is important to note that not all of them will be best for everyone. This is mostly because they are all in levels, hence one that will be useful for a hacker that has already started or advanced, may not be best for someone who is about to start. However, it is important that you get one based on your level.

More so, the good news is that most of these books are good enough to see one through learning how to hack effectively without any other help. Nonetheless, if you are fortunate to have other assistance in the form of videos and lectures, that will also be of great help.

10 Best Surround Sound Movies You Need To Watch

So you have spent the big bucks on getting a surround sound system and now you are looking for films to try it out. The truth is that while you will get above the average performance as regards the audio with the system, getting the best surround sound movies would do the trick much better. It doesn’t matter whether you are an audiophile or a dedicated movie watcher, or even one that is just casual, a good soundtrack can change your experience entirely.

When it comes to surround sound, the experience is taken a notch higher. Naturally, when you watch movies or listen to music, the sound only comes from where the speakers are placed. Because of this, even when you shut your eyes, you can tell where the speaker is placed. However, with surround sound, the sound seems to come from everywhere so that you can’t tell where the speakers are placed. When watching movies with this, you can have the feeling of being placed in the movie.

Like we have stated, you will get better performance with these systems with most films, but to get the real surround experience, we have collected some movies that are worth watching.

Best Surround Sound Movies

1. The Dark Knight

This is one of the first movies that one needs to watch if one has a surround sound system. This Christopher Nolan film is the second in The Dark Knight Trilogy which was released in 2008 after 2005’s Batman Begin based on DC Comics character, Batman.

Regarded as one of the best of the 21st century, this movie does not only tick the boxes for a great story, casting, editing, and effects but most importantly for those interested in what the audio is like, great sound.

There is no effort in audio engineering, yet it delivers enough to answer the most important questions that any audiophile will have to ask. Needless to say, it won the  Best Sound Editing at the Academy Awards.

2. Gravity

Surround Sound Movies
Gravity (Image Source)

With Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón did something that many considered to be magic with the sound, delivering an innovative sound that has never been seen in movies. The sound it produces is almost so real that one may think one can actually touch it. What is, even more, is the immersive surround sound experience that it delivers.

Since it is a sci-fi movie set in space where the only sound one gets is from the perspective of touch. The sound follows the audience as the actor move in space. Before Gravity, space movies make use of a lot of music because of the overwhelming silence. This time around, it is through touch and vibration that the sound is intelligently transmitted.

For anyone who wants to use a movie to test one’s surround sound system, this may likely be among the first films any audiophile will recommend.

3. Star Trek: Into Darkness

Star Trek will also remain a franchise to go back to for anyone who wants something great for the weekend. If it is something for surround sound is what you need, then it has to be Star Trek: Into Darkness. The franchise as a whole is great in that regards.

The sound effect featured the legendary sound designer Ben Burtt. In the movie, Paramount pictures and Dolby laboratories Inc. made use of the Dolby Atmos which makes the sound to move in a three-dimensional space, in order to make one have the experience of being in the movie. This works very well for the movie, giving you a more natural and realistic soundtrack.

4. Master and Commander: The Far Side of The World

Surround Sound Movies
Master and Commander (Image Source)

This movie slugged it with The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King at the 76th Academy Awards and lost in most other categories except for Best Cinematography and Best Sound Editing. This is easy to understand as the movie is arguably one of the best in terms of sound.

The movie takes advantage of surround sound to create a maritime environment that one will not only love but entirely get involved in. As the sea hits the boat to the creaking of its planks, it is all captured with details and completeness with all ease to get you fully enveloped.

How was the sonic effect as good as it is? The sound designer and Richard King and director Peter Weir were said to have spent a lot of time reading the works of Patrick O’Brian in order to be able to get the inspiration for the rich sonic world created.

5. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Critically speaking, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is not the best movie that has been released in 2009. It scored very low points on platforms like Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. However, it was a success on the box office turning in over $836 million globally.

One place where the movie got everything very right is when it comes to the sound. You get to feel the intensity of the action and the movement of the robots come alive with the way they smash things certainly real in the sense of sound. Every sound, including the background sound of explosions and other things happening, are picked and delivered distinctively and realistically.

The movie will not make it on many lists of the best surround sound movies, because of the production itself, but as far as the sound is concerned, it will always have a place.

6. Wall-E

Surround Sound Movies
Wall-E (Image Source)

The American computer-animated sci-fi film Wall-E will never be missing from any list unless it is not long enough. This is not surprising considering that Pixar has built and maintained a good reputation as regards the sound and the visuals. With Wall-E, it has stepped up.

Why sound is very important here is because it is mostly an animation that has no dialog. However, the great sound has more than made up for that even for someone who is an audiophile.

7. Mad Max: Fury Road

Directed by George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road is one movie that makes it easy for you to appreciate surround sound. From the start of the film till the end, the audio that is produced in the movie may not be appreciated by someone making use of a lower system, even though it still has something good to offer.

But then, when using a powerful surround system, everything goes to another level entirely. From the roaring of engines to the furious drums and the many sounds that you will hear in the movie, it is all not only intense but also real for the entire two hours that it runs.

Like some others on the list, the film won the Best Sound Editing as well as the Best Sound Mixing at the 2016 Academy Award.

8. Inception

Inception (Image Source)

Another Christopher Nolan movie to make the list, Inception is one of those films that one cannot get tired of watching. A cinematic excellent production, the sound engineering is also something that adds a lot to everything.

What inception does is to change the way sound is listened to in movies almost completely. It brought a sound effect that is still now copied by many other movies. But more than just that, the surround sound is also great enough to feel yourself in all the dream and subconscious experiences.

At the Academy Awards, the movie clinched various awards including the Best Sound Editing and the Best Sound Mixing. It also won the Best Sound at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts as well as Sound Effect at the Motion Picture Sound Editors.

9. Saving Private Ryan

A Steven Spielberg directed movie, “Saving Private Ryan” arguably has the best sound in any movie prior to 2000s and may top any list for best sound surround movies. Thanks to the sound of this action movie, you get the feeling that you are actually on the battlefield.

The collaboration between Spielberg and Gary Rydstorm who is the sound designer is truly remarkable most especially with the way the sound is made to be a part of the movie. Thanks to this, the passage of every bullet can be heard almost in real life, the same as everything else. This is the movie that changed how sounds were used in war films.

Needless to say, it won the C.A.S. Award for Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Feature Film, Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing, as well as the Academy Award for Best Sound and Best Sound Effects Editing in 1999. Two decades since the movie was produced, its sound is something that will always be referenced.

See Also: 20 Best Netflix Original Movies, Series, and TV Shows

10. American Sniper

American Sniper (Image Source)

Directed by Clint Eastwood, American Sniper is another movie that has excellent audio. From the dialog to all the explosions and gun battle, it all sounds real thanks to its superior sound editing that landed the movie a Best Sound Editing awards and a Best Sound Mixing nomination at the Academy Awards.

The 2014 American biographical war drama film ended as the best grossing war film of all time. What makes it even worthwhile is that the great audio complements the great visuals.

20 Best Science Fiction Books of All Time

There is a reason why science fiction books have stood the test of time and continued to appeal to people of all generations, class, and race. It is because they engage the imagination, are predictive about technology, and explore the realm of endless possibilities.

Due to the popularity of the genre, there has been an influx over the years of great science fiction books, most especially in the 20th century, the golden age of science fiction. With that being said, here are the 20 best science fiction books that stand out the most.

20 Best Science Fiction Books of All Time

1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1979) – Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is the first of five books in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy comedy science fiction “trilogy” by author Douglas Adams. The story follows the adventures of protagonist Arthur Dent through the galaxy as the only survivor from Earth after the planet is destroyed by the alien race Vogons to make way for an intergalactic bypass.

In the first three months of the book hitting the shelves, 250,000 copies were sold. In 1984, Adams received the Golden PAN award after the book had sold over one million copies.

Buy from Amazon HERE

2. Dune (1965) – Frank Herbert

Cited as one of the best-selling science fiction books of all time and considered by some critics to be the best ever written, Dune is the first installment of the Dune’s series of books. The book, which is set in the distant future amidst a feudal interstellar society where life and culture revolve around the use and exchange of the spice melange, a drug that extends life and enhances mental abilities, follows the life of a young Paul Atreides, heir of House Atreides, who is given stewardship of the planet Arrakis, the only place in the universe where the substance is found.

Buy from Amazon HERE

3. Ender’s Game (1985) – Orson Scott Card

Set at an unspecified date in the future that is full of fascinating alien technology, Ender’s Game follows the story of protagonist Ender Wiggin, a genius who amongst other children, is trained from a very young age in preparation for an interplanetary war against an insectoid alien species known as the buggers.

Buy from Amazon HERE

4. Fahrenheit 451 (1953) – Ray Bradbury

Taking place at an unspecified American Midwestern city and in the future, Fahrenheit 451 tells a story of an American society where books are outlawed and firemen are charged with burning any books that are found while the television dominates. Along the line, however, one fireman gets disillusioned with his duties and begins to see the value in books.

Buy from Amazon HERE

5. Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) – George Orwell

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In this one of the multiple science fiction books written by George Orwell, the writer imagines a futuristic society where civilization has been damaged by war, civil conflict, and revolution and a totalitarian government watches over all citizens and orchestrates all activities.

Buy from Amazon HERE

6. Foundation (1951) – Isaac Asimov

The first novel in Isaac Asimov’s The Foundation Series, Foundation is a collection of five interrelated short stories that tell the story of an institute founded by a band of psychologists led by psychohistorian Hard Seldon to preserve the best of galactic civilization after the collapse of the Galactic Empire.

Buy from Amazon HERE

7. Brave New World (1932) – Aldous Huxley

Described as a prophetic novel due to its anticipation and prediction of a number of technological advancements in society, Brave New World is set in the futuristic world where there is an intelligence-based social hierarchy and genetically modified people. The book goes on to describe the horrors of a future world with no individual freedom at all.

Buy from Amazon HERE

8. Stranger in a Strange Land (1961) – Robert A. Heinlein

Named in 2012 as one of the “Books that Shaped America” by the US Library of Congress, Stranger in a Strange Land tells the story of a human named Valentine Michael Smith who was born and raised on Mars but eventually comes to Earth where he is a marvel to the Western world due to his superhuman abilities.

Buy from Amazon HERE

9. The Time Machine (1985) – H.G. Wells

In this science fiction book, H.G. Wells writes about a British inventor referred to as The Time Traveller who creates a time machine that sends him far into the future where he witnesses ape-like troglodytes called Morlocks, who live in darkness underground and surface only at night, prey on childlike adults known as Eloi.

Buy from Amazon HERE

10. Neuromancer (1984) – William Gibson

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Set in the future, the Nebula Award, Philip K. Dick Award, and Hugo Award-winning Neuromancer follows the life of a low-level hustler and washed-up computer whiz named Henry Dorsett Case who is hired for one last job that brings him up against a powerful artificial intelligence.

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11. Slaughterhouse-Five (1969) – Kurt Vonnegut

Described as a science fiction-infused anti-war novel, Slaughterhouse-Five follows the experiences of Billy Pilgrim during World War II where he was an American soldier and also a chaplain’s assistant. Pilgrim manages to return home from the war but ends up being kidnapped by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore, who teach him that time is an eternal present.

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12. I, Robot (1950) – Isaac Asimov

I, Robot features a collection of various science fiction short stories or essays by writer Isaac Asimov themed around the interaction of humans, robots, and morality. It follows the fictional 21st-century character, Dr. Susan Calvin, chief robopsychologist at U.S. Robots and Mechanical Men, Inc., who raises questions about her life’s work in developing robots and their ultimate perfection in the future which might render humanity obsolete.

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13. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – Arthur C. Clarke

2001: A Space Odyssey is a tense showdown between man and machine as it explores technological advancement, both the promise and danger of it. The story follows the lives of two astronauts on their journey into space and how their lives are jeopardized by the jealousy of their computer, a HAL 9000.

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14. The War of the Worlds (1897) – H.G. Wells

Widely thought to be one of the earliest science fiction books that detail a conflict between humans and an extraterrestrial race, The War of the Worlds is a story about the invasion of earth by Martians from Mars following the dwindling of the planet’s resources. Told in the first person narrative, the story follows an unnamed protagonist in Surrey and his younger brother in London.

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15. A Wrinkle in Time (1962) – Madeleine L’Engle

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A Wrinkle in Time explores the battles between light and darkness, and goodness and evil. It follows the story of a girl and boy whose father, a government scientist, has gone missing after working on a mysterious project called a tesseract. The young siblings and their friend then go ahead to embark on a journey through space and time, from one universe to another, on a quest to rescue their father from evil forces, while also saving the world.

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16. Flowers For Algernon (1959) – Daniel Keyes

Flowers For Algernon is about an experimental brain surgery procedure that was first conducted on a mouse before being done on a human test subject. The surgery’s aim was to increase the mouse’s intelligence, which proved to be successful, prompting the same tests to be done on the book’s main character, a dull-witted Charlie Gordon. Things soon begin to look up for Gordon, however, there is a twist to the tale.

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17. The Martian Chronicles (1950) – Ray Bradbury

The Martian Chronicles is another science fiction book that depicts a conflict between humans and an extraterrestrial race. The short story collection chronicles the colonization of Mars by humans after the earth is atomically devastated, and the ensuing conflict that originates between aboriginal Martians and humans.

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18. The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) – Margaret Atwood

Set in the near-future in a totalitarian state resembling a theocracy that has overthrown the United States government, The Handmaid’s Tale follows the life of a woman called Offred and explores themes of women in subjugation in a patriarchal society as women in the society are not allowed to read and are valued only as long as they are viable for reproduction.

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Read Also: 10 of The Hottest New York Times Bestselling Books

19. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) – Philip K. Dick

Set in a post-apocalyptic San Francisco, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? follows the story of a bounty hunter named Rick Deckard who is tasked with killing six escaped Nexus-6 model androids (robot servants identical to humans). There is also a secondary plot that follows the character John Isidore, a man of low intelligence levels that aids the fugitive androids.

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20. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1870) – Jules Verne

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Through the perspective of the character Professor Pierre Aronnax, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is a story told about the adventures of Captain Nemo and his submarine Nautilus, which was previously reported to be a mysterious seas monster. Following speculation that the supposed sea monster might be of harm to people, an expedition that includes Prof. Aronnax, his faithful servant Conseil, and Canadian whaler and master harpoonist Ned Land, are assembled to destroy the monster but the group is, however, later captured by the captain.

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What Is a Dog Choke Collar and Why Would You Use One?

More than just having a dog, what most people want is for the dog to obey simple instructions and keep to certain simple rules. To do that, many people train their dogs in different ways using both positive and negative enforcement techniques. One of the things that are popular in relation to the training is the dog choke collar.

Even though it is something that is popular among dog owners, there is a question regarding whether one should consider using it.

What Is a Dog Choke Collar?

A dog choke collar is a metal made chain material that is designed to be worn around the neck of a dog which tightens and pulls the dog back during training or while walking it. The aim of the choke is to cause pain and discomfort for the dog for correctional purpose.

Even though it is widely used, these choke collars have been frowned upon by professional dog trainers due to some of the problems they can cause your dog or even the overwhelming discomfort.

Why Would You Use One?

The main reason why many people may want to make use of the choke collar is for the purpose of the training of dogs. They are used for negative enforcement purposes to make it easy for you to pull back your dog when it is going out of line or contrary to what you trying to get it to learn.

Understandably, many people would prefer not to make use of it because of the many dangers that they pose to the dog which may include disc diseases which may go as far as affecting the mid-to-lower back regions of the dog, among other issues.

There are also those that make use of it strictly for the purpose of walking their dogs. No matter the reason for its use, one should avoid using it on a dog that does not have thick hair.

Dangers of Using Dog Choke Collar

Dog Choke Collar
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The use of a dog choke collar has its own potential problems to your dog. When what you are using is the Prong Collars, the metal protrusions when pulled can puncture the skin of the dog which may develop more problems later. With shock collars, physical pain and injuries may also be the result if not well put.

Some of the dangers that the choke collar may cause may include the following:

  • Physical problems

The prolonged usage of choke chains may cause physical damage to the dog. From problems like damaging the soft tissues of your dog, it may do a lot more harm that may include eye problem and in the worst case, strangulation and death of the dog. More so, it can cause neurological damage to your dog.

  • Training Fallout

The idea of using Choke chains and prong collars is so as to administer negative reinforcement as well as positive punishment on the dog. While it may prove to be effective, this method of treatment is not without its side effects. One of such is the negative relationship the dog may come to develop with certain things that he has been choked against.

See Also: Half-Life 3 Release Date, Leaks, Updates and Rumours

Other Alternatives

If you are interested in using something else rather than a dog choke collar, using a harness will always remain the best way for someone who just wants to walk a dog. This does not only take out the pressure from the dog, but it is also the safest way of getting your dog out of harm’s way.

While there are many harnesses out there that would be good for your dog, it is important to get the right one that will be good for your dog. The emphasis is on something that will be safe for the dog while also keeping it in place and at the same time being very comfortable.

There are even dogs that would fare better with backpacks instead of the harness or any other thing. When it comes to using the backpack, what you will want to have is something that will be balanced on both sides and will not be too big or too small for the dog.

Instead of using negative reinforcement, one may also consider switching to positive training of the dog which eliminated any need for a dog choke collar or anything of the sort. The advantage of this method of training is to help build a stronger relationship with the dog while at the same time, eliminating any spending that may arise from injuries caused by the use of choke collar.

Half Life 3 Release Date, Leaks, Updates and Rumours

Half-Life 3 has been one of those games that always seem very close, like it is coming soon, and yet far like it will never come. The first time that the franchise began was in 1998 with Half-Life, followed by Half-Life 2 in 2004 and then Half-Life 2: Episode One which some still believe could be Half-Life 3 in 2006. The thing though, that everyone who has followed the franchise since its release will agree is that the journey has been quite complex, and of course, long.

Since Half-Life 2: Episode One dropped which was subsequently followed by Half-Life 2: Episode Two only a year later, the wait has continued for the release of the third episode of the second series in the franchise as well as the third series.

Valve has remained silent about the release of the game and that has opened up doors for rumors, hoaxes, and many other things. For now, here are the things we know about the game.

What is Half-Life 3?

Of course, this question may seem out of place but it is not. For different people, Half-Life 3 is a different game in conclusion of the Half-Life series following the 1 and 2. For others, on the other hand, it is the next game that will come after Half-Life 2: Episode One and Half-Life 2: Episode Two.

Updates and Rumours

The popular belief is that there may never again come a thing as Half-Life 3. However, there are still many who would never say die to the game and let things rest in peace. It is mostly from these people that rumors have been coming through the years. On its part, Valve has not made any updates or even official announcements in that regards.

But then, going back to the time when Valve made an announcement on the release of Half-Life 2, it also revealed that it was going to release three episodes of the game in the few years that would follow. It was believed that the three episodes would join to form the third Half-Life game, which means that fans wouldn’t have to wait anymore for the release of any Half-Life game after that.

With that said, it is easy now to finally agree that Half-Life 3 and Episode 3 may as well be the same thing.

According to Gabe Newell, who has worked with Valve for a very long time as its managing director and co-founder, there was work in progress to release the final game in the trilogy to complete the third episode. He confirmed the stance of Valve again in 2009 when he revealed that work will be done on Episode 3.

The next time he was asked in 2011, fans were left in disappointment after he revealed that he had nothing more to say about the franchise and what would come next. For many, this was enough confirmation that the game was not coming.

Read Also: What Is a Dog Choke Collar and Why Would You Use One?

Release Date

If you look at all the previous releases under the Half-Life franchise, you will find out that since from 1998 when it first began, Valve did not take too long to release something in the franchise until 2007 when Half-Life 2: Episode Two was released. Since then, nothing much has been released as hardcore fans keep waiting for what is coming next.

For now, there is no certainty that we are going to see the release of the game as there is nothing from Valve to suggest it is working on the game or even if it will ever work on it.

Because of this, anything on the release date of the game is completely out of place for now. In fact, according to some sources from Valve, there may be no future for the Half-Life franchise anymore. That will be a great disappointment not only for the true fans of the show but also for many others who are left hanging and waiting for at least, the third episode of the Half-Life 2.

Top 5 Nicole Krauss Books You Need To Read This Year

Nicole Krauss is an American writer who was touted to be among the best writers to watch in 2010 by The New Yorker’s “20 Under 40”. Although she only has four novels to her name and many more short stories, Krauss has won many awards for her writing. Interestingly, most of Nicole Krauss books have been translated into over 30 languages. She is arguably one of the best novelists in America, whose novels are known for its intriguing story plots and suspense trigging pace.

Her novels Man Walks Into a Room and The History of Love was later turned into a movie by Richard Gere and Radu Mihaileanu respectively. If you are a fan of Nicole Krauss and you are looking for some of her works to read on, here are top 5 Nicole Krauss books you just have to read this year.

Nicole Krauss Books You Need To Read

Nicole Krauss Books
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1) Man Walks Into a Room

This tells a story of Samson Greene, a young and well-known professor who works at Columbia University and was found in the desert with no memory of his previous life.

As the story progresses it is found out that Samson has a tumor in his brain which was later removed, leaving him with no memory of the event that happened after his 12th birthday. This put a strain in his marriage and found him in the hands of a new lover. This novel has a sweet-sour story plot.

The first novel of the American writer, Man Walks Into a Room is a  Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist and was also widely acclaimed.

2) The History of Love

The History of Love is about a 70-year-old Polish-Jewish Leopold (Leo) Gursky who when he was 10 years old fell in love with his neighbor Alma Mereminski. They began dating after a course of 10 years but lost her to another man when she thought he was killed after the Germans had invaded Poland. The story shows Leo finding out that Alma got married and had a son for him who he watches from a distance, many years later his son Isaac became a famous writer who died at the age of 60.

After his son’s death Leo wanting to find his place in his son’s world, broke into Isaac house, this action made him find out about a friend’s betrayal and which led him to a new Alma.

The work gave her the 2008 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing under the fiction category and was a finalist for the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2006.

3) Great House

The story of Great House begins with a US-based novelist who has been writing on the desk of a young Chilean poet whose alleged daughter came to take the desk away. In London, a man caring for his dying wife finds a lock of hair among her papers which reveals a horrible secret. The story continues to Jerusalem where an antique seller gradually restores his father’s study, destroyed by the Nazis in Budapest in the middle 1940s. The three different stories are linked in this novel, which reveals some hidden truths and possessions.

Great House is a  National Book Award in Fiction finalist in 2010.

4) Forest Dark

This tells a story of an intersection between the life of Jules Epstein, a rich retiree who died/missing in Tel Aviv and Nicole who was living in a mid-life crisis because of her failing marriage and lack of interest to saving her marriage. After hearing a physicist speak about multiverse on the radio, she decides to go make research for her new novel when she hears of a death that occurred in Tel Aviv and decides that will be where she will go.

By no means is this the greatest of Nicole Krauss books but it is still one worth reading.

See Also: Top 5 Matthew Tobin Aderson Books You Need To Read

5) An Arrangement of Light

An Arrangement of Light is a story that was narrated by a personal secretary to a world-famous landscape architect who later discovers that dreams can also become nightmares. The interesting thing about this novel is that the settings, the narrator, and the architect are unknown, still, the story is interesting.

These are 5 of Nicole Krauss finest works, reading them will make you realize how amazing Krauss is and how beautifully she pens them. These stories will leave you with different emotions with it’s breathtaking and intriguing storylines.

20 Most Popular Children’s Book

Over the years, numerous authors, some more famous than others, have written various children’s book that has gone a long way in helping the development of children’s vocabulary while also teaching them a moral or religious lesson.

While it is hard to pinpoint when exactly children’s literature began, the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries are known as the Golden Age of children’s book, as many classic books that have stood the test of time and have also been adapted to other media forms were published. Here is a list of the 20 most popular children’s book that will surely remain relevant for more than a few more decades to be consumed by the children of that era.

20 Most Popular Children’s Book

1. The Poky Little Puppy (1942) – Janette Sebring Lowrey

The Poky Little Puppy, one of the highest selling children’s books of all time, is a story about a puppy of undetermined breed and his four siblings. It simply explains the rewards for good and bad behavior as the story follows the title character, who stays back while his siblings sneak out to play and end up digging a hole underneath the fence to escape the yard. The other four puppies were later caught and scolded by their mother while The Poky Little Puppy is left to explore the yard on his own. He is also later rewarded with rice pudding which his mother withheld from the others due to their bad behavior.

2. The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1902) – Beatrix Potter

Widely regarded as a classic children’s book as it has been translated into 36 languages and sold over 45 million copies, The Tale of Peter Rabbit is a story about a young and disobedient anthropomorphic rabbit named Peter Rabbit. Peter and his siblings had been warned by their mother not to enter the vegetable garden of a man named Mr. McGregor, however, the young rabbit does not listen and goes ahead to visit the garden in order to snack on some vegetables. Peter ends up falling sick and is almost caught by Mr. McGregor but ends up making it home. For his disobedience, his mother gives him a supper of chamomile tea while his siblings receive a scrumptious dinner.

3. Green Eggs and Ham (1960) – Dr. Seuss

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Dr. Seuss was well known for writing and illustrating a number of children’s books, and amongst of all them, Green Eggs and Ham have become a favorite for kids all around the world, becoming the highest selling Dr. Seuss book in history along the way. The story follows an unnamed character who does not like eating green eggs and ham while his adversary wants him to eat it.

4. Where the Wild Things Are (1963) – Maurice Sendak

Having sold over 19 million copies worldwide, and been adapted into an animated film, an opera, and a live-action feature film, Where the Wild Things Are is certainly one of the most popular children’s book. The story follows a young boy named Max who first dresses up in his wolf costume and wreaks havoc in his household that he is sent to bed without his supper. His bedroom ends up mysteriously transforming into a jungle environment where he dominates and is hailed as king, but despite having enjoyed playing with his new “subjects,” he ends up feeling lonely and decides to return to his bedroom where he discovers a hot supper waiting for him.

5. Where the Sidewalk Ends (1974) – Shel Silverstein

Where the Sidewalk Ends is a multiple award-winning collection of children’s poetry that addresses many common childhood concerns as well as other purely fanciful stories.

6. The Cat in the Hat (1957) – Dr. Seuss

The Cat in the Hat is another of Dr. Suess’ children’s books to make the list. The story, which is the second highest selling Dr. Seuss book and has been adapted into a film that starred Mike Myers, follows a tall anthropomorphic cat, who wears a red and white-striped hat and a red bow tie. On a rainy day, the cat shows up to the house of Sally and her brother when their mother is away and wrecks the house while entertaining them. The Cat, however, ends up saving the day by producing a machine that he uses to clean everything up before disappearing as the children’s mother comes home.

7. The Giving Tree (1964) – Shel Silverstein

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The Giving Tree is a beautiful story about giving and love, as it follows the lives of a female apple tree and a boy, who develop a relationship with one another.

8. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish (1960) – Dr. Seuss

As is expected, Dr. Seuss makes another entry into this list of popular children’s books with the catchy, rhythmic and tongue-twisting story of One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, a story about a boy and a girl named Jay and Kay and the many amazing creatures they have as pets and friends.

9. The Littlest Angel (1946) – Charles Tazewell

The Littlest Angel is a children’s book that tells the story of an adorable little angel who cannot stay out of trouble but later ends up learning the timeless lesson of giving, a lesson that defines the true spirit of Christmas.

10. The Very Hungry Caterpillar (1969) – Eric Carle

Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar has won many children’s literature awards and is one of the highest selling children’s books of all time. The story follows the life of a caterpillar who eats his way through a wide variety of foodstuffs before becoming a butterfly.

11. Dr. Seuss’s ABC (1960) – Dr. Seuss

Designed to introduce basic alphabet book concepts to children, Dr. Seuss’ ABC, which stars two anthropomorphic yellow dogs named Icabod and Izzy, contains several short poems about a variety of characters.

12. Goodnight Moon (1947) – Margaret Wise Brown

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Goodnight Moon has proven to be one of the best bedtime story books as it has sold an estimated 48 million copies worldwide and has been translated to many languages, including Chinese, French, Hebrew, Korean, German, Spanish, and Portuguese, among others. The text, which features a rhyming poem, describes the bedtime ritual of an anthropomorphic bunny who says “good night” to various inanimate and living objects in its bedroom.

13. Scuffy the Tugboat (1955) – Gertrude Crampton

Scuffy the Tugboat is about a toy tugboat named Scuffy who is not content with sailing in a bathtub. His wishes are later granted as a man and his son take him to a small brook in a pasture where the current carries Scuffy away. Scuffy, who is pleased with his current situation, later finds himself in a stream that turns into a small and then a larger river. The present situation then overwhelmed Scuffy, and just as he is about to sail off into the endless ocean, he is rescued by the man and his son and put back into the bathtub, where he is content to remain.

14. Blueberries for Sal (1948) – Robert McCloskey

Blueberries for Sal illustrates the similarities between families of different species. Set in a small town in Maine, the story is about a little girl named Sal and her mother who go out an pick blueberries for winter. On the other side of the same hill where Sal picks and her mother picks blueberries, there is also a bear cub and his mother who go and eat berries for winter.

15. The Saggy Baggy Elephant (1947) – Kathryn and Byron Jackson

20 Most Popular Childrens Book
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The Saggy Baggy Elephant is a children’s book that positively contributes to the psychological well-being of individuals who feel different and struggle with their identity. It tells the story of an elephant who isn’t too sure of himself after a parrot makes fun of his big ears, long nose, and wrinkled skin. The elephant, named Sooki, ends up feeling good about himself after he meets other creatures who look just like him.

16. Oh, the Places You’ll Go! (1990) – Dr. Seuss

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! is the last book published by Dr. Seuss book before his death in 1991. The book is simply about the journey of life and its challenges.

17. Make Way for Ducklings (1941) – Robert McCloskey

Named the official children’s book of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Make Way for Ducklings tells the story of a pair of dabbling ducks, Mr. and Mrs. Mallard, who seek for a suitable place to raise their family in Boston before deciding to settle on an island in the lagoon in Boston Public Garden.

Read Also: 15 Famous Poets and Writers in the History of America

18. Tootle (1945) – Gertrude Crampton

Another one of the all-time best-selling children’s books, Tootle is a classic story about a train’s exciting adventure; from attending train school as a baby locomotive to growing up to be the Flyer on the New York-Chicago route.

19. The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! (1989) – Jon Scieszka

The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! is a parody story of the Three Little Pigs from the perspective of the Big Bad Wolf, known in the book as Alexander T. Wolf. The wolf tries to set the story straight of how he came to be a villain, by saying that the whole incident began after he went to ask his neighbors for sugar and they all said no to him.

20. Harold and the Purple Crayon (1955) – Crockett Johnson

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Harold and the Purple Crayon, which has been adapted into a film and television series, is about a curious four-year-old boy named Harold who is able to create his own world by simply drawing with his purple crayon.