Category Archives: Entertainment

4 Weird News Stories from 2013 that Will Make You Say Whaaa?

Surprise (photo by Victor Bezrukov)

There was no shortage of weird news stories in 2013; however, you probably didn’t hear about most of these. Feast your eyes on the following strange-but-true tales that will have you shaking your head in disbelief.

1) $1.5 million U.S Tax Dollars Used to Study Why Lesbians Are Fat

Angering millions of people for a variety of reasons, the U.S. government recently gave a Boston hospital $1.5 million to fund a research project aimed at determining why gay women are fatter than gay men. Although the researchers called the study of “high public-health significance,” the mind-boggling expenditure left many people scratching their heads. (Source: FOX News)

22) Jon Hamm’s Penis Sets Off Media Frenzy

Apparently, ratings aren’t the only big things associated with AMC’s Mad Men. The show recently gained substantial media attention, thanks to reports which claimed that producers had to ask Jon Hamm to wear underwear to prevent his abnormally large genitals from showing through his clothing. Things went crazy from there, with countless websites and media outlets growing fixated with the star’s family jewels. (Source: New York Daily News)

3) Man Has Missing Penis Replaced with Part of Arm

Speaking of genitalia, a 39-year-old British man spent his entire life without any. That is, until doctors crafted one out of tissue from his arm. Oddly, the man claimed to have slept with over 100 women in spite of not having a penis. According to him, his physical limitations actually made him more attractive to women, who felt less pressured and more comfortable in his presence. (Source: Daily Mail)

Bowl4) $3 Garage Sale Bowl Ends Up Being Worth $2.2 Million

When an everyday New Yorker bought a $3 bowl at a local secondhand sale, he (or she) stumbled on to something special. Months later, experts identified the bowl as a 1,000-year-old piece from the Northern Song Dynasty in China. Ultimately, the bowl was sold at auction for a couple million dollars. Apparently, it had been sitting in the seller’s living room for years prior to the sale. (Source: New York Daily News)

3 of the Best Novels to Read if You Like Short Stories

The Hell that Followed

Unfortunately for people who enjoy brief fiction, publishers tend to prefer full-length novels which make readers feel as though they’ve gotten their money’s worth. While you can find plenty of short fiction collections, the quality isn’t always up to par. Most of the best writers tend to craft longer books which allow them to develop characters. That said, some full-length books contain characteristics that make them appeal to readers who appreciate short stories.

Three Good Examples

Recently, I published a brief list at Amazon.com featuring the best novels to read for people who like short fiction. While all of these books are full-length; each features characteristics that will make them attractive to people who prefer short stories.

Illusions

Breezy and short, this beautiful novella is touching and funny. It’s also extremely thought-provoking and entertaining. If you’re looking for a book you can consume in a single evening; this is a fantastic option. It’s also the type of novel which will stay with you for weeks after you’ve read it.

The Hell that Followed

On sale for only $2.99 at Amazon.com, this is the best novel to read for anyone who likes their stories cut up into easily-digestible segments. With an assortment of fascinating characters, The Hell that Follows features several parallel plotlines and a brisk pace which is perfect for people who usually love shorter fiction. The plot is gritty and intense; and there’s an emotional element that will stay with you long after you’ve finished the book.

Fools Die

Author of The Godfather, Mario Puzo wrote plenty of fantastic novels before his passing in 1999; however, many people remain unaware of them. This particular novel offers an interesting mix of crime, gambling, danger and some deep insight into the confounding relationship between women and men. Focused on two different main characters, this novel jumps back and forth between plots, making it a good option for readers who generally prefer brief fiction.

New Book Lists for Thursday, May 16

A great resource which offers reliable suggestions, Listmania is quickly becoming one of Amazon.com’s most popular features. Our in-house book reviewer, Lois McGinty compiles new lists on a weekly basis to guide readers toward novels and authors that are similar to many of their favorites. Below, we’ve listed her most recent lists:

Authors Similar to James Patterson
Books Similar to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Books Similar to The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Books Like Outlander
Must Read Novels that Stick with You
Books like The Lord of the Rings
Books Like Harry Potter
Books Like Game of Thrones

If you have an idea for a new Listmania topic, contact Lois at lmcginty.kingofhowto@gmail.com.

New Book Lists for Sunday, May 5

A valuable resource that provides great book suggestions, Amazon.com’s new Listmania is quickly gaining popularity for helping readers find authors and novels which have similarities to some of their favorites. Our in-house books and publishing expert Lois McGinty creates new lists on a daily basis to help readers unearth new books they might normally overlook. Below, you’ll find a few of her most recent compilations:

Must Read Novels that Stick with You
Books Like Into the Wild
Books Like Fight Club
Books Like the Alchemist
Books like The Lord of the Rings
Books Like The Hunger Games
Books Like 1984

If you have an idea for a new Listmania topic, contact Lois at lmcginty.kingofhowto@gmail.com.

Best Fiction Books for Fans of Cormac McCarthy

Realistic Fiction Books

Widely regarded as one of the best living American writers, Cormac McCarthy has gathered a substantial following of loyal readers. Unfortunately for them, the Pulitzer Prize winning novelist has only written ten books to date. Rumor has it, the reclusive author will release a new novel called The Passenger in the coming months. Until then, readers are forced to sustain themselves on novels written in similar fashion. If you loved Blood Meridian, No Country for Old Men and All the Pretty Horses; these are the best fiction books for you.

Expert Recommendations

Our in-house books and publishing expert, Lois McGinty maintains a list of the best fiction books available at Amazon.com. Of these, she’s singled out three which are sure to appeal to fans of Cormac McCarthy.

Similar Writing

The Sound and the Fury is an ideal choice for readers who love McCarthy’s writing style; in fact, the latter readily admits that William Faulkner had a tremendous impact on shaping his own writing style. Available for $10.99 at Amazon.com, this American classic may be a little too long-winded for casual readers who don’t appreciate descriptive literary fiction.

Similar Stories

Perfect for readers who enjoy realistic fiction books, The Hell that Follows contains several characteristics that are guaranteed to appeal to fans of novels such as Blood Meridian and No Country for Old Men. The story and plot are very similar to what you might find in one of McCarthy’s novels; as is the dialog and writing. One of the best realistic fiction books at Amazon.com, this novel is available in five parts, each priced at only a dollar apiece.

Similar Prose

For readers who appreciate McCarthy’s terse, intelligent prose, any Raymond Carver novel will do. Virtually all of his books are elegant, polished and beautifully written. They’re also more suited to readers who aren’t overly fond of McCarthy’s earlier works, which can be a bit verbose at times. For a list of some of Raymond Carver’s best novels, visit this page at Amazon.com.

Best Fiction Books like Mario Puzo’s The Godfather

A cinematic masterpiece which has gained incredibly lasting pop culture appeal, The Godfather originated as a best-selling novel. Written in 1969, Mario Puzo’s fascinating crime story continues to capture the imagination of movie-goers and readers alike; so much so, many are always looking for similar novels which feature fascinating characters and intense plotlines. Below, you’ll find three of the best fiction books which are similar to Mario Puzo’s award-winning mob epic.

An Expert’s Picks

Our in-house books and publishing expert has singled out three particular novels in her Amazon.com list of the best fiction books similar to the Godfather. Not only are these novels very well-written, they center on exciting stories and deep, interesting characters.

The Last Don

Also written by Puzo, The Last Don is based on the mafia; however, there’s a fascinating parallel plotline centered on Hollywood corruption. (On sale at Amazon.com for $7.99)

  • McGinty says: “If you want a book like The Godfather, read one written by its author.”

The Hell that Followed

Much like Puzo’s mob epic, this particular novel features some deep, original villains which will live in the minds of readers long after they’ve moved on to other stories. Available in five parts at Amazon.com, this is one of the best fiction books for people who enjoy crime stories.

  • McGinty says: “This is an exceptional novel for anyone; but it’s especially ideal for readers who love Puzo.”

The Day of the Jackal

Voted one of the best crime fiction novels ever, Frederick Forsyth’s doesn’t feature the same type of criminal activity as The Godfather; however, it’s very similar in tone. Available at Amazon.com for ten bucks, The Day of the Jackal is a great choice for anyone who appreciates a good classic.

  • McGinty says: “This isn’t exactly like Puzo; however, it’s close in all the right ways.”