Archive | Reading RSS for this section

The 100 Funniest Words in English

Abibliophobia The fear of running out of reading material.
Absquatulate To leave or abscond with something.
Allegator Some who alleges.
Anencephalous Lacking a brain.
Argle-bargle A loud row or quarrel.
Batrachomyomachy Making a mountain out of a molehill.
Billingsgate Loud, raucous profanity.
Bloviate To speak pompously or brag.
Blunderbuss A gun with a flared muzzle or disorganized activity.
Borborygm A rumbling of the stomach.
Boustrophedon A back and forth pattern.
Bowyang A strap that holds the pants legs in place.
Brouhaha An uproar.
Bumbershoot An umbrella.
Callipygian Having an attractive rear end or nice buns.
Canoodle To hug and kiss.
Cantankerous Testy, grumpy.
Catercornered Diagonal(ly).
Cockalorum A small, haughty man.
Cockamamie Absurd, outlandish.
Codswallop Nonsense, balderdash.
Collop A slice of meat or fold of flab.
Collywobbles Butterflies in the stomach.
Comeuppance Just reward, just deserts.
Crapulence Discomfort from eating or drinking too much.
Crudivore An eater of raw food.
Discombobulate To confuse.
Donnybrook An melee, a riot.
Doozy Something really great.
Dudgeon A bad mood, a huff.
Ecdysiast An exotic dancer, a stripper.
Eructation A burp, belch.
Fard Face-paint, makeup.
Fartlek An athletic training regime.
Fatuous Unconsciously foolish.
Filibuster Refusal to give up the floor in a debate to prevent a vote.
Firkin A quarter barrel or small cask.
Flibbertigibbet Nonsense, balderdash.
Flummox To exasperate.
Folderol Nonsense.
Formication The sense of ants crawling on your skin.
Fuddy-duddy An old-fashioned, mild-mannered person.
Furbelow A fringe or ruffle.
Furphy A portable water-container.
Gaberlunzie A wandering beggar.
Gardyloo! A warning shouted before throwing water from above.
Gastromancy Telling fortune from the rumblings of the stomach.
Gazump To buy something already promised to someone else.
Gobbledygook Nonsense, balderdash.
Gobemouche A highly gullible person.
Godwottery Nonsense, balderdash.
Gongoozle To stare at, kibitz.
Gonzo Far-out journalism.
Goombah An older friend who protects you.
Hemidemisemiquaver A musical timing of 1/64.
Hobbledehoy An awkward or ill-mannered young boy.
Hocus-pocus Deceitful sleight of hand.
Hoosegow A jail or prison.
Hootenanny A country or folk music get-together.
Jackanapes A rapscallion, hooligan.
Kerfuffle Nonsense, balderdash.
Klutz An awkward, stupid person.
La-di-da An interjection indicating that something is pretentious.
Lagopodous Like a rabbit’s foot.
Lickety-split As fast as possible.
Lickspittle A servile person, a toady.
Logorrhea Loquaciousness, talkativeness.
Lollygag To move slowly, fall behind.
Malarkey Nonsense, balderdash.
Maverick A loner, someone outside the box.
Mollycoddle To treat too leniently.
Mugwump An independent politician who does not follow any party.
Mumpsimus An outdated and unreasonable position on an issue.
Namby-pamby Weak, with no backbone.
Nincompoop A foolish person.
Oocephalus An egghead.
Ornery Mean, nasty, grumpy.
Pandiculation A full body stretch.
Panjandrum Someone who thinks himself high and mighty.
Pettifogger A person who tries to befuddle others with his speech.
Pratfall A fall on one’s rear.
Quean A disreputable woman.
Rambunctious Aggressive, hard to control.
Ranivorous Frog-eating
Rigmarole Nonsense, unnecessary complexity.
Shenanigan A prank, mischief.
Sialoquent Spitting while speaking.
Skedaddle To hurry somewhere.
Skullduggery No good, underhanded dealing.
Slangwhanger A loud abusive speaker or obnoxious writer.
Smellfungus A perpetual pessimist.
Snickersnee A long knife.
Snollygoster A person who can’t be trusted.
Snool A servile person.
Tatterdemalion A child in rags.
Troglodyte Someone or something that lives in a cave.
Turdiform Having the form of a lark.
Unremacadamized Having not been repaved with macadam.
Vomitory An exit or outlet.
Wabbit Exhausted, tired, worn out.
Widdershins In a contrary or counterclockwise direction.
Yahoo A rube, a country bumpkin.
@ The “at” sign.


Image source



15 Famous Books Inspired by Dreams

One does not have to persistently study the literary canon in order to discover compelling narratives and characters. Turning inward and paying close attention to dreams and nightmares makes for an excellent way for aspirant writers to pull themselves out of creative ruts or get started on a new literary piece. Even before Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung wrote their seminal works on dream and archetype interpretation, some of the most famous and influential people (not just authors, playwrights and poets!) sought inspiration in the dreaming world. The following famous books contain elements inspired either by specific subconscious visuals or the bizarre, convoluted way in which they meander through the mind and senses.

Image courtesy:

The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer

From Stephenie Meyer’s dreams of a sparkly vampire talking to a puny human woman came the media juggernaut about sparkly vampires and the puny human women who love them. She has yet to mention whether or not the series’ glorification of emotional abuse also came from her nocturnal adventures.

Image source:

Much of H.P. Lovecraft’s Works

It probably comes as little shock to anyone even tangentially familiar with the work of horror master H.P. Lovecraft that the man pulled his inspiration from the vivid nightmares he suffered most nights. Any novel or short story featuring the Great Old Ones especially drew from the more twisted corners of his subconscious.

Image source:

Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

Though no definitive answers exist regarding whether or not John Bunyan launched the classic Pilgrim’s Progress because of his dreams, he certainly pulled plenty of inspiration from their structure. So while nobody knows for certain, the fact that he so diligently paid attention to how they operated in order to pen his unearthly prose still earns him a place on this list.

Image courtesy:

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

As with most of H.P. Lovecraft’s terrifying tales, this horror classic also sprang into existence because of its writer’s graphic nightmares. In this case, a “fine bogey tale” tormenting him as he slept grew into one of the most famous and genuinely scary English-language novels ever penned — most especially considering its all-too-human antagonist and protagonist.

Image source:

Misery by Stephen King

Another visceral, memorable novel revolving around humanity’s ugliest tendencies unsurprisingly popped straight from respected author Stephen King’s sleeping life. While dozing off on a flight to London, he found inspiration in a chilling nightmare about a crazed woman killing and mutilating a favorite writer and binding a book in his skin. The final product, of course, came out just a little bit different.

Image source:

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Following the death of her and Percy Bysshe Shelley’s daughter at only 12 days old, the heartbroken Mary Wollstonecroft Godwin dreamt of the child coming back to life after massaging her near a fire. She wrote of it in the collaborative journal she kept with her poet lover (later husband), and most literary critics believe it later grew into one of the most iconic, influential horror novels of all time.

Image source:

Stuart Little by E.B. White

One of the most memorable and beloved characters from children’s literature sauntered into E.B. White’s subconscious in the 1920s, though he didn’t transition from notes to novel until over two decades later. From there, the tiny boy with the face and fur of a mouse became a classic that continues to delight both adults and kids even today.

Image source:

Much of Edgar Allan Poe’s Works

Though separating fact from fiction when it comes to Edgar Allan Poe’s internal life remains a difficult task, most literary critics believe his legendary, hallucinatory poems and short stories stemmed from troubled nightmares. Considering how frequently dreams and dreamlike imagery and structure crop up in his oeuvre, it’s a more than safe assumption.

Image source:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Part of the eponymous character’s personal arc stems from her highly detailed dreams, both asleep and diurnal slips in and out of consciousness. Though she may not have necessarily pulled inspiration from her own personal dreams, Charlotte Bronte wielded the common literary device of prophetic, subconscious visions, carefully aping their real-life hallucinatory, stream-of-consciousness structure.

Image source:

Fantasia of the Unconscious by D.H. Lawrence

Really, most of D.H. Lawrence’s more lilting, dreamlike works such as Women in Love could qualify for inclusion here. However, Fantasia of the Unconscious so perfectly maps out such experiences and explains their importance and inspiration in such great detail it edges out any other competing works.

Image source:

Book of Dreams by Jack Kerouac

Everything readers need to know about this novel comes straight from the title. Beat poster boy Jack Kerouac kept and published a book comprised entirely of his dreams, spanning from 1952 to 1960 and starring characters from many of his other works.

Image source:

Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

Considering the heavy spiritual and philosophical core of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, it probably comes as little surprise that it initially sprung from Richard Bach’s daydreams of a drifting seabird. Interestingly enough, he could only finish the original draft following another series of subconscious visions!

Image source:

The Apprenticeship of Big Toe P by Reiko Matsuura

Though available in English and enjoying cult rather than mainstream attention, the novel of a woman who wakes up with a penis for a toe became a bestseller in its native Japan. Her incredibly original premise, meant to explore gender identity and relations, came to her through a most unusual dream she eventually adapted into a favored work of fiction.

Image source:

Twelve Stories and a Dream by H.G. Wells

“A Dream of Armageddon,” specifically, though some claim that many of H.G. Wells’ other classic science-fiction works likely sprouted partially from his dream life. As the title describes, this harrowing work speculates on the dangerous directions in which mankind’s technology could ultimately lead it.

Image source:

“Kubla Khan” from Christabel by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

One of the most famous examples of dream-inspired literature, the famous poem — printed in the book Christabel – wafted into Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s brain from a combination of sleep and opium. One of his most beloved works, he described it as a “fragment” rather than a whole, though most critics these days analyze it as the latter.


14 Fictional Bookworms We All Looked Up To

This sentiment might horrify some parenting organizations, but sometimes fictional characters serve as far better role models than real people. If well-executed, they provide audiences of all ages with a personal point of reference from which to learn and — if they’re lucky — grow. Seeing as how reading is fundamental, and an essential component of a well-rounded education, looking up or relating to proud, avowed bookworms never hurts. The following heroes and heroines, despite their obvious blunders and Areas That Need Improving, provide the bibliophiles of the world a point of reference grounding the fantastic into the realistic.

  1. Matilda Wormwood from Matilda:

    Roald Dahl’s classic dark comedy follows the quirky narrative of a neglected little girl whose only solace in a family of imbeciles are her covert sojourns to the local library. Sweet little Matilda Wormwood piques the curiosity of her kindly teacher Miss Honey for her boundless intelligence and literary lusts, whose marginalization winds up with one of the most triumphant psychic revenges this side of Carrie. But nobody dies or receives grievous bodily injuries in her hilariously clever defense of bullied students, so the eponymous heroine makes for a perfectly lovely little role model.

  2. Belle from Beauty and the Beast:

    Many a budding young bibliophiliac girl (and probably a few comfortable boys) just loved themselves some Belle from Disney’s adaptation of an ancient European fairy tale. Stockholm Syndrome and unfortunate lessons in how domestic violence can be cured with true love (pro tip: it can’t) aside, her love of books, learning, and imagination, remains commendable. Even though the townsfolk devote an entire song to how totally freakish it is for a lady to enjoy a life of the mind — and allegedly sexy stalker Gaston tries to lure her away with talks of marriage — she sticks to what works best for her and dismisses their petty little judgments. There are just too many books and too little time to care!

  3. Beast from the X-Men series:

    OK, so technically he’s a Secret Avenger now, but shut up, fanboy. Probably the world’s most erudite little fuzzums (or at least the world’s most erudite little blue fuzzums), Hank McCoy sports a, well, beastly appearance proving that it’s stupid to judge one’s intelligence and worth on their externals. Despite living the at-once triumphant and tragic life of a superhero, he considers science and culture the most exciting of all. And all that book learnin’ goes directly toward making the world a more equitable place for his fellow mutants. Or, at least, he tries. Fun fact: Did you know that Hank McCoy was born in Illinois?

  4. Oscar de Leon from The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao:

    The 2008 Pulitzer winner for fiction features a protagonist whose unabashed geekiness and idealism render him more charming than truly pathetic thanks to Junot Diaz’s deft pen. Despite the tragic fate that ultimately befalls him (whatever, it’s spoiled right there in the title), Oscar de Leon’s rabid enthusiasm for science fiction and fantasy is endearingly infectious. Even book-loving readers who quite loathe both genres can likely relate to the wonderfully dizzy emotions surrounding the discovery of brand new tropes and themes ripe for exploration and dissection.

  5. Jo March from Little Women:

    She may have come of age at a time when educated women were considered a lark — even the men in her life refer to her with masculine appellations and pronouns — but social expectations never once doused this fiery, spirited fan favorite. Feminist before feminism was a thing, Jo March (based somewhat on Pennsylvania author Louisa May Alcott) challenges social norms with her desire to fight alongside her father during the Civil War. Oh, and she’s kind of a giant book dork, too. Jo’s love of literature inspires her to write out plays for her sisters to perform, and she marries a professor who admires her wordy career aspirations, which also include working as an educator.

  6. Henry Bemis from the Twilight Zone episode “Time Enough at Last:”

    Because, if the world ended, only the most obsessed bibliophile would gleefully write off the apocalypse as the ultimate in catching up on back reading. Obsessed to the point of pathology, in this case. Bumbling Henry Bemis — played by the legendary Ohio actor Burgess Meredith — almost loses his bank teller position at the beginning of one of the most famous Twilight Zone shorts because he just can’t put a good (or, probably even a bad) book down. This addiction ultimately saves his life, though, when he locks himself in a bank vault for quiet reading time and survives a nuke (the 1950s, everyone!), only for, well, it might be an iconic final twist, but we love you too much to ruin it.

  7. Yomiko Readman from Read or Die:

    Whether one picks up the Read or Die novels, manga, or anime series (nobody can accuse creator Hideyuki Kurata of ignoring multiple media audiences), the woman codenamed “The Paper” universally stays true to the cause of bibliophilia. She loves books so much, she even telepathically manipulates the eponymous substance to do her bidding! That may sound like a totally doofus superpower, but seriously. Ever slice open your index finger on a slice of looseleaf? Imagine that on ALL THE BODY PARTS. And bulletproof. Not so totally doofus now, huh? Anyways, Yomiko Readman works for the British Library as a secret agent snatching up rare and important literary finds from the bad guys. Quite a dream gig for someone who loves the written word more than she does most people!

  8. Indiana Jones from the Indiana Jones series:

    Seeing as how he works as an archaeology professor when he’s not acting out the fantasies of every adventure enthusiast, it’s not an illogical jump to assume Harrison Ford’s iconic action hero enjoys picking up a book or two. Although with all that Nazi-and-Kali-cult smashing Indy’s gotta do, he probably has little time to hang up his fedora and whip, snuggle up next to the fire, and catch up on the ancient history and languages he might not know. He obviously did at some point, though, because all his fun times involve just as much mental as they do physical prowess.

  9. Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series:

    Without super nerd Hermione Granger by his side, the beloved Harry Potter never could’ve ultimately vanquished Lord Voldemort’s attempts to Take Over The World. The girl hooked herself up with a watch that lets her stop time and take two classes at once, for Snape’s sake. That takes some serious dedication to absorbing up knowledge. Young girls who grew up with J.K. Rowling’s now-classic young adult series and harbored a love of learning in their hearts considered her a fabulous role model proving they could both kick butt and score straight As. When they weren’t ripping her apart for hooking up with Ron over Harry, anyway.

  10. Huey Freeman from The Boondocks:

    Cartoonist Aaron McGruder may write Huey Freeman as way more cynical and morose than a mere child ought to be, but his intelligence and insight make him a thoroughly compelling and interesting protagonist — one who still carries the same flaws as his fellow youth, though good luck getting him to come to terms with that. All his fascinating musings on race and class relations in America likely stem from his massive personal library and passion for staying updated on current events via newspaper. By contrast, little brother Riley, whom he still quite loves, shuns the intellectual life and prefers letting pop culture and negative stereotypes dictate his tastes and personality.

  11. Donatello from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:

    Everyone who’s watched at least one Ninja Turtles episode or movie has their favorite, even if they’re too afraid of seeming like a massive geek for admitting which one. Often prone to Aykroydian streams of technical jargon, Donatello loves him some tinkering, though in some incarnations his inventions crumble more often than they actually work. Beyond this prowess with all things blinking, booping, and frequently binary, he definitely stands as the most learned of the pizza-loving bunch, whose brains have saved them from many a totally un-radical encounter with Krang or Bebop and Rocksteady. So the lesson here is read lots and lots. And, someday, you too might end up on the world’s most fearsome fighting team. Bo staff skills also help.

  12. Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic:

    She’s basically the Belle of this upcoming generation and calls a library home — in the literal sense. As a magic practitioner, Twilight Sparkle often loses herself in her studies and rejects overtures of friendship many times for fear they might compromise, well, pretty much everything. But, like the show’s subtitle states, there’s plenty to be learned about the world from connecting with and loving others, which requires experience instead of printed-up pages. For bibliophiles who so often forget the importance of striking a balance, this lavender lady teaches some pretty useful little lessons.

  13. Egon Spengler from Ghostbusters:

    Played to maximum adorkability by the legendary Harold Ramis, badass scientist Egon Spengler served as the brainy foil to Peter’s smarm charm, Ray’s spastic enthusiasm, and Winston’s refreshingly wry normalcy. Decades of reading and writing about science — mostly parapsychology, in which he holds a doctorate — when blended with general awkwardness make him the Ghostbusters’ go-to guy when it comes to advice about “spores, molds, and fungi” and crossing the streams.

  14. Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird:

    Harper Lee never set out to write a literary (and, later, cinematic) icon, but the calm, quiet dignity of this bookish lawyer has inspired readers for more than 50 years. He endures because he applies his prodigious studies and readings into fighting for social justice causes, even though the surrounding culture prides itself on racist and anti-intellectual ideologies. Even though he possesses some pretty lethal handgun skills, as evidenced when he puts a rabid dog out of its misery, all his most nail-biting fighting scenes go down peacefully in the courtroom.



Essential Sites for Writers

MG Mason, in his wonderful blog Sweat, Tears and Digital Ink, has compiled a great list of resources.

Writing & Language Tools

  1. Blabla meter for when you really need to be told that there’s too much waffle in your writing
  2. FreeMind: a brainstorming tool
  3. English Stack Exchange. A very nerdy linguistics resource
  4. Evernote: A cloud application that makes for a good tool for storing and sharing research and notes across multiple devices
  5. Onomatopoeia dictionary Ta-dah! needs no explanation
  6. Oxford Dictionaries British-American English Comparison. Want to know your pavement from your sidewalk or your aubergine from your eggplant? And what is a courgette anyway?
  7. Synonym Finder (and antonyms) for all of your word finding needs
  8. VisuWords is a clever dictionary/thesaurus/wordfinder/word association tool that uses a graphical interface
  9. Wordnik: An encyclopaedia of words. Antonyms, synonyms, etymology, demonstrated use. Create lists of your favourites
  10. Write or Die: Creative writing sadism with punishment for not keeping up

Writing prompts

  1. Creative Writing Prompts. Some simple ideas to get you started
  2. With Painted Words: Picture prompt. Earn money too!


Edited by Zoe

600 free books for kindle iphone ipadfree-books2


  1. Book Crossing: Give a book away but first put a label on containing a unique code from this website. Then watch it travel the world.
  2. Rare Book Room: HQ digital photographs of some of the rarest books on the planet. Examine them without having to visit the national library in another country and more importantly, without damaging them
  3. Read It Swap It: Have lots of books in storage that you don’t want to give away, can’t sell and will never likely read again? How about swapping it for another book? Simple premise and it works. I’ve acquired three books through this site already.
  4. Librivox: Download free audiobooks voiced by volunteers. Or perhaps you might want to volunteer yourself

20 book sites audio books download free

Check his blog at:

Sweat, Tears and Digital Ink

600 free eBooks for Kindle, iphone/ ipad

Download 600 free eBooks to your Kindle, iPad/iPhone, computer, smart phone or ereader. Collection includes great works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, including works by Asimov, Jane Austen, Philip K. Dick, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Neil Gaiman, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Shakespeare, Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf & James Joyce. Also please see our collection of Free Audio Books, where you can download more great books to your computer or mp3 player.

Read More…

Book hangover

I simultaneously love and hate the feeling when I finish a good read.


Image courtesy:

Image courtesy:

Image courtesy:

And in the end:

BOOKWORMS will rule the world – as soon as we finish one more chapter.


Need another magic world?

Find a book you’ll love:


FREE books (2): 20 sites to download free AUDIOBOOKS


Librophile provides completely legal free audiobooks for both mobile and PC. You can browse the latest book by keywords, genre or language. Listen to chapters online, or play a sample before downloading it. Librophile offers many free audiobooks and ebooks of different genres from Sun Tzu’s “Art of War” to “Romeo and Juliet”.


Read More…

Quote of the day: promising?

“The road of life is strewn with the bodies of promising people. People who show promise, yet lack the confidence to act. People who make promises they are unable to keep. People who promise to do tomorrow what they could do today. Promising young stars, athletes, entrepreneurs who wait for promises to come true. Promise without a goal and a plan is like a barren cow. You know what she could do if she could do it, but she can’t. Turn your promise into a plan. Make no promise for tomorrow if you are able to keep it today. And if someone calls you promising, know that you are not doing enough today.”
Iyanla Vanzant, Acts of Faith: Daily Meditations for People of Color

%d bloggers like this: