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Category: blogSource: benzingaMar 18th, 2023

2 German volunteers went to Ukraine to fight the Russians. Confusion, chaos, and then COVID-19, defeated them instead.

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy called on foreign fighters to help defend against Russian attacks. Many weren't what the Ministry of Defense had in mind. Lukas and Tobias, two German volunteers, arrive in the western city of Lviv, just over a week after Russia's invasion of Ukraine began.Alan Chin for Insider To help defend against Russian attacks, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy called on foreign fighters.  Volunteers poured in, but many were perhaps not what the Ministry of Defense had in mind. On March 2, two German volunteers arrived in Lviv, ready to become war heroes. Chaos ensued. The two Germans burst into the hostel in Lviv, Ukraine, at 2 a.m., bumping into the door frame and shouting questions about where the beds were and how to find the bathroom. It was March 2, a week into Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and the hostel was mostly filled with shell-shocked women and children escaping war to the east. The Germans were starkly out of place. Marie and Etterem, the Ukrainian-Turkish couple who ran the place, had been sleeping on the kitchen floor down in the basement—now doubling as an air raid bunker—to leave more room for guests. They got up to prepare tea for the newcomers, giving the men a chance to explain themselves."We are volunteer soldiers for the International Legion of the Ukrainian military," Lukas, the younger of the two men, said. His companion, Tobias, twitched with excitement as he interrupted with, "We're here to fight the Russians."Marie and Etterem thanked the men for their bravery and headed back to bed. The Germans stepped out onto the balcony for a smoke, inviting me—a jet-lagged journalist who had been staying at the hostel since the war began—to join their late-night conversation. Sharply dressed in pristine blue-and-white tennis shoes, with a nose piercing and studded ears, Lukas, 33, had been living in Montenegro for the last six months while working at his father's IT company. He had come with a small backpack containing little that might come in handy for a soldier, and just enough money to pay for a few nights at a hostel.As he would tell me later, Lukas was bored with his tech job and was looking for something "real." Ukraine seemed as real as it could get. When he told his family and his girlfriend that he planned to join the International Legion, they tried to hide his passport. He slipped out in the middle of the night. "It was my decision and no one could stop me," Lukas said.Tobias—a decade older, at 44—was a luxury watchmaker by trade and spent weekends DJ-ing at techno clubs. Tall and lanky, with gauged earlobes and an uneven buzz cut, he carried only a small, overstuffed suitcase on two wheels, a well-worn black backpack, and a khaki shoulder bag that he seemed unwilling to part with. A simple black watch hung on his wrist. Tobias had been watching the news from his home in Fulda, outside Frankfurt, and was moved by a striking image of a Ukrainian girl carrying a Kaloshnikov in Kyiv. She looked to be around the same age as his daughter, Luna. "What if that were my Luna?" he remembers thinking. "How could I let her do this fight alone?"  Over the last year, Tobias had fallen out with his father and sister, lost ownership of the business he'd spent years building, and relapsed into binge drinking and drugs. He hadn't seen either of his two kids in more than six months. "My family is everything, and I don't have them anymore," he said. So, why not go to Ukraine, he figured."Were we supposed to just stand by and watch?" Tobias asked, digging into his pocket for his lighter. "We are from Germany," he said, halting his incessant fidgeting to emphasize his words and allude to his country's WWII history. "Not again."Neither man had any military experience or combat training, or even a connection to Ukraine. Lukas, smoking a joint, pulled his jacket more tightly around himself. He had brought rolling papers, but not a scarf or gloves. It was just 26 degrees that night in Lviv, and snowing.'Please come, we will give you weapons'On February 26—two days after the start of the Russian bombardment—Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy invited foreign nationals who considered themselves friends of Ukraine to join the fight, saying, "Please come. We will give you weapons."A day after that, Ukraine's Ministry of Defense provided more details: "Anyone who wants to join the defense of Ukraine, Europe, and the world can come and fight side by side with the Ukrainians against the Russian war criminals." Practically unprecedented in modern times, it brought to mind the call for anti-fascist volunteers to Spain in the 1930s, when over 60,000 volunteers from 50 countries (George Orwell among them) rushed to the Republicans' side in the Spanish civil war.These foreign fighters would be incorporated into the military under a voluntary contract with the same rights and responsibilities as the 100,000 or more Ukrainian militiamen already organized within 25 Territorial Defense Force brigades around the country.The International Legion added to Ukraine's 200,000-plus active-duty troops and 900,000 reservists—Europe's second largest military force, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. Only Russia oversees a bigger military in the region, dwarfing the forces of its neighbors, with over 900,000 active-duty soldiers and two million reservists.Formed at breakneck speed, many of the recruits were perhaps not who the Ministry of Defense had hoped to attract or was prepared to train. And, although legislation already existed to recruit foreigners, the military infrastructure that is needed to prepare inexperienced volunteers for war was still developing.On March 2, Ukraine updated its guidelines, and specified that recruits must sign up at the nearest Ukrainian embassy, complete a background check, and pass a health screening before presenting for service. (By March 7, Ukraine said 20,000 foreign recruits from 52 countries had applied to join the International Legion. Some estimates suggest the number has grown to 40,000.)But by that time, Tobias and Lukas were already in Ukraine—heading to training in their sneakers and jeans. The Georgian LegionTobias and Lukas had met at the train station in Przemysl, a small town on the Polish-Ukrainian border, during the long wait for the next train to Lviv—40 miles to the east. Tobias had overheard Lukas chatting with another man in German and, happy to hear his mother tongue, introduced himself. Lukas had been telling people that he was heading to Ukraine as a humanitarian volunteer. But when Tobias mentioned that he already had a military contact inside Ukraine, Lukas came clean. Tobias (left) and Lukas at the train station in Lviv.Alan Chin for InsiderA few days earlier, back in Germany, Tobias had reached out to the Ukrainian embassy in Frankfurt and learned that Ukraine's borders were open for volunteer fighters from anywhere in the world. No visa was required, so travel wouldn't be a problem. Tobias went on Facebook in search of a contact for the International Legion. He discovered instead the Georgian Legion—a battalion of volunteer soldiers mostly from the ex-Soviet country, many of whom carried anger towards Russia from when President Putin attacked their country in 2008. Tobias was given an email address and instructed to reach out once he crossed into Ukraine. While Tobias might have thought he had nothing to lose, his family saw things differently. "It was like a rollercoaster," Tobias' daughter, Luna, told me when I reached her by phone. "Always waiting for messages to know if he was okay."Lukas had done even less research, jumping on a train without any plans, instructions, or contacts. Once in Ukraine, he figured, it wouldn't be difficult to connect with a recruiter for the Legion. And then, he met Tobias, who seemed to have all the information Lukas needed. The Germans decided to continue the journey together. On that first frigid night in Lviv, they arrived too late to meet their Georgian contact. Instead, they were told they should find a place to sleep, and a car would come for them the next morning to take them to the training center.  The hostel was the only place their taxi driver could find with two open beds in the packed city, which had become a transit hub for hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the bombardments of Kyiv, Kharkiv, and other cities.  Lukas (left) helps Tobias repack his bags as they prepare to meet their Georgian Legion escort at the hostel in Lviv, Ukraine.Katie Livingstone for InsiderThe next morning, after just a few hours of sleep, the Germans showered and repacked their bags. Lukas finished first and watched as Tobias struggled to stuff all his things into his two bags. After a while, Lukas gamely plopped onto Tobias' suitcase so that his companion could more easily zip it up.Sure enough, later that morning a dark blue skoda with two armed soldiers pulled up in front of the hostel. The car was unmarked, but the soldiers wore the telltale yellow armband meant to differentiate Ukrainian troops from Russian soldiers. Making their way to the car, the Germans promised me they would stay in touch. (Over the next three weeks, I would hear from them almost daily, and meet them for several more interviews. They asked that Insider use only their first names.)  Tobias and Lukas climbed into the back seat and off they sped to some unknown location to begin their service to Ukraine. 'Katastrophe'In a hushed phone call that first night, Tobias explained that he and Lukas had been taken to the Georgian Legion's barracks, just outside Lviv. The place was barren and disorganized. They had expected to receive gear and start training right away. Instead, they spent most of that day and night drinking and smoking with their new brothers-in-arms while trying to communicate in whatever lingua-franca passed for the moment. (Most of the soldiers were Georgian, and about a third were from other places.) "Katastrophe," Tobias repeated over and over again. "There's no organization, no organized training. Everyone just wants to kill the Russians." Lukas and Tobias depart the Lviv hostel for training with the Georgian Legion.Katie Livingstone for InsiderThe next morning, Tobias and Lukas were told the Georgians were evacuating the base after getting a report that Russians were heading their way. They should take a train to Kyiv, they were told.But the details were foggy. Still without any military gear, they told me they were instructed to pose as Red Cross volunteers and prepare reports on any suspicious activity that they observed en route. "They want us to spy on the people on the train," Tobias said. Once in the capital, they would meet up with another squadron at a safe-house. After that, they'd go to the front, they were told.When asked why the Legion would make such a request of two foreigners with no experience in the country who couldn't speak the local languages, Lukas said simply: "They asked, so we are going." Out of Lukas' earshot, Tobias offered another explanation. "The Georgian officer asked Lukas to stop smoking in the room twice last night. And he didn't want to. He's not thinking. Then, the officer asked us to go to Kyiv, and Lukas agreed. Katastrophe," Tobias lamented. He had agreed to accompany Lukas because he didn't want the younger man to go alone, he said.Fissures in the brotherhood were already becoming apparent.Meanwhile, since the war began, no Russian troops have been reported in Lviv by any media outlets. Instead, across Lviv, paranoia about Russian saboteurs was palpable. At the hostel where Tobias and Lukas stayed, Marie and Etterem said they received almost nightly calls from an intelligence officer asking if any of their guests seemed dubious. One night, prior to the Germans' arrival, police had burst into the small lodge and interrogated all of the male foreigners staying there, and then left without another word. Hundreds of check-points have gone up around greater Lviv and residents are told to call a hotline to report anything suspicious."I remember two crazy Germans," Mamuka Mamulashvili, the commander of the Georgian Legion, told me when I reached him over Skype. I showed him a picture of Tobias and Lukas, just to be sure, and Mamulashvili burst out laughing, explaining that he tries to personally interview every recruit. "That's them.""My officers told me there were these two guys trying to party in the barracks, and they had to go. They were gone the next day," Mamulashvili said. Mamulashvili said the Georgian Legion is a Special Forces battalion made up of combat-ready fighters, and that it has been repeatedly confused with Ukraine's newly-organized International Legion, which has training capacity for less experienced soldiers."I don't know anything about the 'spy story,' though," he added with a smirk, after I summarized what the Germans had told me.'Ukraine must know its heroes'Unlike the packed trains carrying mostly women and children toward the Polish border, the trains heading east had plenty of seats. Tobias and Lukas' trip to Kyiv was uneventful, even as their excitement grew. "We have gone past some blown-up buildings, and I think I saw an unexploded missile in a field," Tobias texted from the train."This isn't what I signed up for," Lukas admitted in an audio message, adding, "But we are ready." Tobias and Lukas arrived at Kyiv's central train station that evening, still wearing their civilian clothes. As instructed, they called their Georgian commander back in Lviv. The phone rang and rang. No one answered. Now at the war's doorstep, they had no plan and no idea where they would spend the night.By this point in the war—ten days after Kyiv was first hit—Russian missile assaults had driven over a million people to the west and into neighboring countries. That day, Russian troops had occupied the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia, stirring up decades-old fears of nuclear war. Incessant bombing had started in Mariupol, southeast from Kyiv—the start of one of the worst civilian disasters in Ukraine since the war began.Tobias on the train from Lviv to Kyiv, where he and Lukas hoped to finally reach the front line.TobiasBut Ukrainian forces had stalled the 40-mile-long line of Russian troops heading into the capital from Belarus, repelling forces from the capital through a stunningly successful combination of air defense tactics and street combat. Zelenkskyy continued to speak to the Ukrainian people from Kyiv's iconic city squares, proving to the world that the capital was still in Ukrainian hands. Still, shelling was heard nightly and many residents of the capital took refuge in the city's subway stations, which had been built during the Cold War to withstand a nuclear attack. Without a better idea, Tobias and Lukas began approaching uniformed soldiers to ask if they could join their squads. They eventually found two friendly Ukrainian reservists in fatigues and, with the help of a translation app on their phones, introduced themselves. The reservists said their squadron had not yet been mobilized. They invited the Germans back to their makeshift barracks, in the back of a storefront, to sleep for the night. "Only civilians are protecting the train station! There's a ring of Russians around Kyiv! We don't know how to get out!" Tobias exclaimed on the phone that night. I checked the news and, in fact, trains were still leaving daily to the east. With their Georgian commander still not picking up their calls, the Germans passed the hours drinking the reservists' alcohol and smoking the last of the marijuana Lukas had brought—bonding over their united mission against Russia. Tobias (second from left) and Lukas (right) hang out with the Ukrainian reservists they met at the Kyiv train station. The Ukrainians invited them to stay at their makeshift barracks.TobiasThe next morning, the reservists drove Tobias and Lukas around Kyiv to search for a new group to join, the Germans told me. But no one would have them. "They told us to leave because the war is lost and it is too dangerous," Tobias said later. (In fact, the steadfast resolve of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians alike has been well documented. Insider was unable to speak to the reservists by phone to confirm details of the visit.)Their best bet was to return to Lviv and try to reconnect with the International Legion there, Tobias and Lukas decided.  Back at Kyiv's train station, they found, for the first time, they were heading in the same direction as throngs of other people. Children still in their pajamas from hasty escapes, elderly people with blank stares and almost no luggage. When a Lviv-bound train pulled up at the platform, the scene was chaotic, as hundreds of people tried to push their way onto the already crowded train. The Germans noticed a shell-shocked woman standing nearby, who seemed unable to jostle her things onto the train. They sprung into action, securing the woman a seat on the next train out and, as her escorts, finding just enough space to squeeze themselves into the train's corridor. The woman, named Yulia, was 38 and had fled the besieged northeastern city of Kharkiv. She carried just one small suitcase and said she wasn't sure if her apartment had been bombed. She said she thought it had.  On the long ride west, Tobias and Lukas hatched a plan to escort Yulia to Germany. "It's too dangerous for a woman to travel on her own," Tobias told me later that night, with conviction and satisfaction in his voice. But the next morning, after another night spent in the bunk-beds of the Lviv hostel, they changed their minds about leaving Ukraine so quickly. They accompanied Yulia to the bus station, and waved as she headed towards Poland, where she had family waiting for her."I am very grateful to these guys who literally dragged me onto the train to Lviv," she later posted on Facebook. (She also confirmed the details of Tobias and Lukas' story to Insider.) "I can't tell you how I felt at that moment, only tears of joy and gratitude. Ukraine must know its heroes—Sláva Ukrayíni! (Glory to Ukraine!)"Reinvigorated by their brief visit to Kyiv, Tobias and Lukas finally gave up on the Georgians and decided to focus on the International Legion. But it still wasn't clear how they would do that. So, once again, they began approaching men in uniform.Soon, a friendly man in fatigues was leading them to a small building that had just been repurposed into a military post for the International Legion. Inside, they were led past the long line of Ukrainian men presenting for service with the Territorial Defense Forces, to the much shorter line reserved for foreigners.Tobias and Lukas were asked a few questions and then heard the words they had been waiting for: The International Legion of the Ukrainian armed forces would welcome them at its training center. The Yavoriv training center was located at a former NATO base, 15 miles from the Polish border. Tobias and Lukas would spend the night at a way-station in Novoyavorivsk, not far from the base. Finally, it seemed, Tobias and Lukas were on the right course.'Drive as fast as the rockets!'The first day at the Yavoriv training center of the International Legion was a blur of activity. There were recruits from the US, Canada, Israel, and several other countries. Taking pictures at the base was forbidden and the recruits were told to switch their phones to airplane mode to avoid detection.As Tobias and Lukas would later tell me, Ukrainian soldiers took their passport details and had them sign documents, which they said they couldn't understand because they were written in Ukrainian. No copies were provided. Every recruit was given pants with a digital camouflage pattern (too thin for the winter, they said), several button-down shirts, some undershirts and underwear (several sizes too big, they said), boots, and a duffle bag. They were offered a Kalashnikov, but no ammunition since foreign recruits were not allowed to carry loaded weapons on the base.Days on the base started every day at 6 a.m. with breakfast in the mess hall, followed by marches in formation and combat exercises. They were taught about Russian weaponry and field tactics via PowerPoint presentations. Recruits sat shoulder to shoulder in packed rooms, often without enough chairs.Tobias in uniform during training at Yavoriv.LukasTo verify what the men were telling me, I went to one of the International Legion's offices in Lviv and interviewed Col. Anton Myronovych, a public affairs officer for the Ukrainian military.He told me the contracts he's seen are translated into English—it's the same contract as Ukrainian volunteers for the Territorial Defense Forces—and trainees receive copies of everything they sign. Foreign fighters are also entitled to the same pay and benefits as Ukrainians. "There's no difference between Ukrainians and foreigners in this situation," he said. Col. Myronovych said that troops in the International Legion are initially trained in separate groups according to their skill level, and later put into squadrons with skilled soldiers. When international battalions are sent to the front, he said, they are paired with Ukrainian battalions already on the battlefield to face the enemy as a united force. At Yavoriv, Lukas had grown tight-lipped. He said he couldn't talk while on the base. But Tobias was in high spirits. "They're crazy happy I have a license to drive trucks," Tobias said in a WhatsApp message after the first day of training. He imagined they might assign him to transport goods to the front since there were so few available drivers. "But this is also very dangerous," he said. "So I'll have to drive as fast as the rockets!"'Someone watching your back'One of the first people Tobias and Lukas met in Novoyavorivsk was Kevin, a sturdy, 58-year-old Irishman with bright white hair. Unlike most of the other recruits, Kevin had arrived in Ukraine with a bullet-proof vest and a helmet, and seemed well versed in modern weaponry and tactics. As a young man, he had served in the Irish special forces, and had later worked as a security contractor in some of the world's hotspots. (Kevin would later show me dog-eared pictures of from his military days, which he'd brought with him to Ukraine.) With high blood pressure and persistent pain from, he said, a crushed vertebra from a parachuting accident years ago, he was no longer in top form, but he thought he could still be useful in a fight.Like the Germans, Kevin had hoped to join a small squadron and get out to the front line as soon as possible. "When you see the suffering, the killing of women and children and the elderly, it's pretty hard to just sit back and watch it happen," Kevin told me later. Kevin displays two photographs from his younger days as a soldier.Katie Livingstone for InsiderWhen Kevin contacted the Ukrainian embassy in Ireland, they only insisted on recruits having some military experience, according to an email reviewed by Insider. After Kevin crossed the border, he found a military representative, who directed him to the training center at Yavoriv. In Tobias and Lukas, Kevin saw men with "good hearts." "We all agreed that we would help and look out for each other," Kevin told me when I first interviewed him. "In situations like this, it is essential to have someone watching your back and vice versa." Meanwhile, three other recruits had also joined the Germans' unofficial crew. There was William, a moody, 25-year-old Frenchman, who cited his hundreds of hours playing Call of Duty when asked about his military experience; Misha, 42 and Czech, who admitted he didn't know how to handle a gun but said he could survive off the land for months at a time if needed; and Erik, a 20-year-old medic from Germany, had brought along a well-stocked first aid kit and flak jacket from his time training (but not fighting) with the military back home.'I came to fight for Ukraine, not to die for Ukraine'Within about three days, doubt once again had set in. There wasn't any time for questions, or enough equipment for hands-on practice. Many of the recruits weren't taking the training seriously, and were smoking cigarettes during drills. Then, there was the constant clamor of air raid sirens—day and night—and the furious rush to take cover in case they signaled a true threat. And all over the base, the men noticed that fellow recruits were getting sick. On around the third day of training, Tobias started feeling unwell. A high fever kept him up at night. Kevin wouldn't admit it, but others noticed something wrong in him, too. William fainted twice during their morning exercises. The three men started skipping training to rest—which was fine, since no one required them to attend. There was no COVID-19 testing available on the base, but all three suspected they'd come down with the virus. With a hint of hyperbole, the men said that half of the recruits appeared to be sick, and some were giving up on training entirely and leaving the camp. (Col. Myronovych denied any large-scale Covid outbreak, or shortage of medical care.) "I am wondering if I made the right decision to come," Tobias wrote in a WhatsApp message.  "But it is too late to turn back now." At around the same time, Neumann, a German field medic who was helping to lead some of their drills, started showing signs of mounting stress, the men said. He had begun shouting during their lessons, they said, losing his patience more often with both the recruits and the Ukrainian officers. That afternoon, Neumann pulled Tobias, Kevin and a few others aside. He whispered urgently that he had overheard some of the Ukrainian officers talking. Behind their backs, officers were referring to recruits like them—those without combat training but with a will to fight—as "cannon fodder" and "mine meat." They'd be used to open up the battlefield and test their enemy's capabilities before risking more valuable, better-trained troops, he said. With tears streaming down his face, he urged the men to leave. Insider was unable to reach Neumann, and the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine did not respond to requests for comments on these accusations. When I asked Col. Myronovych about this, he said he didn't recognize the name Neumann, and denied that such an attitude existed.Foreign recruits have access to the same training resources and safety measures as Ukrainian members of the Territorial Defense Forces, Col. Myronovych said, adding that the Legion was doing the best they could to quickly and effectively train these rookie troops alongside veteran soldiers. "They cannot only fight and die in the first day. They have to survive. They have to stay safe. It's one of our goals—they have to come back alive." Back at Yavoriv, Neumann's warning terrified Tobias, Lukas, and the others. Erik's tactical first aid vest, which he brought with him from Germany.Used with permission"I came to fight for Ukraine, not to die for Ukraine," Erik told me later. "Being in these legions is like holding a loaded gun to your head and pulling the trigger." The six men decided it was time to leave, and went to their commanding officer to report their decision. After that, things moved quickly. They were immediately separated from the other troops, and forbidden from reentering the barracks or other communal areas unaccompanied. They were ushered back into the registration area to sign more forms and then into the storerooms to return their gear. Within a couple hours of their announcement, they were waiting for a taxi back to Novoyavorivsk, hoping to make it back to Lviv before the 10 p.m. curfew. Thanks to a last-minute cancellation on, they ended up lucking out and finding an apartment in downtown Lviv that could house all six of them for the next week. It only had 2 double beds, but seemed warm and safe. At around midnight, the six soldiers arrived at the apartment, and promptly fell asleep on couches, floors, and beds. Close callThe next morning, at about 5:50 am — as the six men slept in their rented apartment in Lviv — 30 high-precision missiles hit the Yavoriv training center.Initial estimates said that 35 people had been killed and another 134 were wounded, making it one of the most devastating attacks on a military facility since Russia's invasion of Ukraine began. A Russian spokesman later said that the strike had targeted "foreign mercenaries" and a large shipment of weapons from the west. The six men, safe in Lviv, only learned of the bombing when they awoke hours later. They had slept through the sirens that had blared across the region to announce the danger. Groggy and still incredulous from the many false alarms they had endured in the last week, they pulled up shaky videos of the base on social media. They saw smoke rising from courtyards they recognized, strewn with debris, and heard victims crying for help in the background. They tried calling a few of the fellow trainees, who's numbers they'd collected. For hours, no one picked up. It seemed that the horrible reality of war had finally started to sink in, and they didn't yet seem to have the words to describe the mix of relief and guilt they were feeling at having narrowly escaped the carnage."If I was there, I could have at least tied a tourniquet," Erik said later. The men spent the rest of the day arguing about what to do next. The three youngest – Lukas, William, and Erik – talked about going to the front to join the unofficial squadrons they'd heard about. But at this point, Tobias and Kevin had been paying everyone's way, and they announced they were tired of it. The next day, Kevin told Lukas, William, and Erik they had to go. "Wake up. This isn't a game and we're not your parents," Kevin told them as his parting words, handing them bus money and a spare iPhone since Erik's had disappeared at the base.  From left to right, Kevin, William, and Eric at the apartment in Lviv.Katie Livingstone for InsiderEleven days after arriving in Ukraine with Tobias, Lukas left without saying goodbye. He was out of the war zone by later that afternoon. "I am dead," Lukas told me later over WhatsApp.Back in Montenegro, Lukas vowed to return to Ukraine soon, better prepared, to finish his mission. Maybe he hadn't understood how easily it would be to die in a war that had already claimed thousands of Ukrainian and Russian lives. William ultimately stayed in Ukraine for a few more weeks to volunteer with the Cross of Malta, and has since returned to his IT job in France. Erik is gone too. Back home, he told me he was having nightmares about the people he didn't help. Misha was the next to left Ukraine. Only Tobias and Kevin remained.They had come to "kill some Russians," as they often said, and still weren't ready to give up on that. They went to the train station to volunteer, but were turned away because, they were told, each group already had enough help. Tobias thought about trying to link up with the reservists in Kyiv, who had been mobilized since their first meeting. In truth, Tobias was too sick to do much of anything. On top of the fever, headaches and racing hearts, Kevin had also run out of his blood pressure medicine, and Tobias was out of the pills he took to manage his anxiety.On Wednesday, March 16, both men tested positive for COVID-19.Tobias' positive COVID-19 test.Tobias On Friday, Tobias sat outside their apartment under the glare of a full moon, whispering because it was after curfew and he didn't want the neighbors to call the police. "I don't want my kids to grow up without a father," he said emotionally, finally realizing he didn't want to die in this war."I am too sick to fight. I am useless, I must go home," Tobias said. He left Ukraine on March 21.A week later, while trying out tricks on a bike he had bought for his son, Tobias fell—breaking his shoulder. He sent me a picture, displaying his wounded body. "Unbelievable," Tobias texted. "Back from Ukraine and totally injured in Germany." Kevin made the same concession and returned to Ireland—though he, like Lukas, plans to return to Ukraine soon. Less than three weeks after valiantly trekking across Europe to join a fight more visceral and complicated than any of them had imagined, Tobias, Lukas, and the others had returned home without ever meeting a Russian soldier. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 29th, 2022

21 spooky, page-turning mystery books that will keep you guessing until the very end

From a classic murder mystery tale to new thrillers, these are the best mystery books to read in 2021. From a classic murder mystery tale to new thrillers, these are the best mystery books to read in 2021. Amazon; Rachel Mendelson/Insider Mystery books allow readers to solve crimes alongside the characters. We rounded up books that are gripping, suspenseful, and leave readers guessing until the very end. Want more books? Check out the best Agatha Christie books and best thrillers. Though I love to sit in the sun with a steamy romance novel or listen to a fascinating memoir on my way to work, mystery books have always been engrossing reads where I race against the characters to solve the puzzle. Perfect for true crime fans or anyone who loves a suspenseful story, great mystery books offer gripping conundrums with a fascinating crime and a puzzling problem that demands to be solved. To gather these recommendations, I looked at readers' favorite mystery books on Goodreads, Amazon, and Bookshop. Whether you're looking for your next thrilling read or a cozy "whodunit" as the weather gets colder, you can find a great mystery novel on this list. A classic murder mystery Amazon "And Then There Were None" by Agatha Christie, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.99"And Then There Were None" is a classic Agatha Christie mystery novel about 10 strangers who are invited by an unknown millionaire as weekend guests to a mansion on a private island. When the guests are murdered one by one (as foretold in a nursery rhyme hung in every room of the home), they must quickly figure out who is behind the killings before none of them are left alive. A mystery set in 1960s Harlem Amazon "Harlem Shuffle" by Colson Whitehead, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.91This historical fiction mystery book is about Ray Carney, an honest neighborhood furniture salesman, who falls into a disastrous heist with his cousin in 1960s Harlem. Walking the line between upstanding citizen and criminal, Ray finds himself caught in a tangle of mortality in this new novel from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead. A cozy mystery perfect for foodies Amazon "Arsenic and Adobo" by Mia P. Manansala, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.40In this delicious new mystery book, Lila Macapagal is recovering from a devastating breakup when she's tasked to help save her Tita Rosie's struggling restaurant. When a food critic (who just happens to be Lila's ex) dies moments after a confrontation with Lila, she becomes the chief suspect and must begin her own investigation to prove her innocence in this witty mystery. A complex mystery with a twisted ending Amazon "The Silent Patient" by Alex Michaelides, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.99Alicia Berenson seems to live a perfect life as a well-known painter with her famous photographer husband — until one day when her husband returns home late and Alicia shoots him five times in the face and then never speaks again. Obsessed with Alicia's case and determined to find a motive, criminal psychotherapist Theo Faber sets out to uncover the truth in this gripping mystery with a fantastic final twist.  A suspenseful mystery set on an Indigenous reservation Amazon "Winter Counts" by David Heska Wanbli Weiden, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.49Virgil Wounded Horse serves as the community enforcer on his reservation in South Dakota, so when heroin begins to affect his community and a terrible incident hits close to home, Virgil is determined to stop the influx of drugs from hurting anyone else. Teaming up with his ex-girlfriend, Virgil follows a lead to Denver and finds himself in a complex situation — one that will test his identity, community, and loyalties. An entertaining mystery about four unlikely detectives Amazon "The Thursday Murder Club" by Richard Osman, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.39In a quiet retirement community, four elderly friends gather every Thursday night to talk about cold case murders, dubbing themselves "The Thursday Murder Club." When a local man is found dead with a strange photograph left next to his body, The Thursday Murder Club uses their sharp wit and skills from their former careers to defy all the stereotypes and solve the crime in this entertaining mystery loved for its rich and lively characters.  A murder mystery about a copycat serial killer Amazon "A Killer's Wife" by Victor Methos, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $6.99In this mystery known for keeping readers on the edge of their seats, Jessica Yardley is a prosecutor who has moved on with her life after her ex-husband went to prison for a series of violent murders 14 years ago. When a string of new copycat murders begin once again, the FBI recruits Jessica to help find the killer, meaning working with her ex-husband and reliving the darkest days of her life. A suspenseful courtroom mystery novel Amazon "Miracle Creek" by Angie Kim, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.63In this gripping courtroom mystery with multiple perspectives, a group of people in a small town in Virginia are brought together over a hyperbaric chamber that claims to cure anything from autism to infertility. When the chamber explodes and two people are killed, it's clear the explosion wasn't an accident, but it's not clear who is at fault. As the mystery unfolds, layers of secrets are revealed in this beautiful mystery about parenthood, healing, and the effects of our choices. A historical murder mystery Amazon "The Mimosa Tree Mystery" by Ovidia Yu, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.71"The Mimosa Tree Mystery" is a historical fiction mystery story set in 1930s Singapore. It follows Su Lin, whose uncle is detained by the Japanese as retaliation for the mysterious murder of his neighbor, a known collaborator and blackmailer. When a former spy named Hideki offers Sun Lin's uncle in exchange for her help in finding the real killer, Su Lin discovers there is far more resting on this investigation than just one life. A terrifying mystery about a young girl's dreams gone terribly wrong Amazon "Grown" by Tiffany D. Jackson, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.49When 17-year-old Enchanted Jones catches the eye of legendary R&B artist Korey Fields at an audition, she's offered the chance to make all her dreams come true and is ready for stardom, no matter the cost. One day, Enchanted wakes up with blood on her hands, Korey Fields' body next to her, and no memory of the previous night. In this emotional mystery, Enchanted must recount the horrifying details of the months prior in order to understand how something so terrible could have happened. A murder mystery with a paranormal twist Amazon "Opium and Absinthe" by Lydia Kang, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.49Set in 1899 New York City, Tille's sister is found dead — drained of blood and with two puncture wounds on her neck — and with the recent publication of "Dracula," Tille can't help but suspect a vampiric murderer. Tille is desperate to find out what happened to her sister, but as her obsession with the case intensifies, so does her addiction to opium. As each vice consumes her life, Tille struggles to know what's real in this Victorian-era murder mystery. An exhilirating mystery focused on Indigenous culture Amazon "Firekeeper's Daughter" by Angeline Boulley, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.23Daunis Fontaine is an 18-year-old, biracial, unenrolled tribal member who has put her schooling on hold to care for her ill mother. When Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, she begins her own investigation to track down the criminals and protect her community, all while learning what it truly means to be a strong Ojibwe woman. The first mystery featuring a famous detective duo Amazon "A Study in Scarlet" by Arthur Conan Doyle, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $5.99"A Study in Scarlet" was the first novel to feature the famous detective duo Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. First published in 1887, this story tells the origin of Holmes and Watson meeting as new roommates and solving their first murder together, which proves far more complex and intricate than either could have imagined. A gripping mystery about a missing woman Amazon "When You Look Like Us" by Pamela N. Harris, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.55When Jay Murphy's sister, goes missing, he knows the police won't go looking for her, seeing as they don't search for most Black kids that go missing from the projects. To make matters worse, the local news picks up the story of his sister's disappearance and twists it into a scandal. Despite the mountain of obstacles in his way, Jay is determined to find his sister in this gripping and authentic mystery about race and the dangerous power of stereotypes. An emotional and heartfelt mystery about redemption Amazon "Razorblade Tears" by S.A. Cosby, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $20.10In this emotional thriller, Isiah and Derek are married and when they're both found murdered, their fathers each get a knock on the door with the terrible news. Fathers Ike and Buddy are flawed ex-cons with little in common besides their love for their sons, determination to find out who killed them, and a thirst for revenge. An engrossing mystery that demands to be read in a single sitting Amazon "The Push" by Ashley Audrain, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $18.20In this tense tour-de-force mystery, Blythe Connor wants nothing more than to be the mother she never had, but struggles to make a connection with her young daughter, convinced that something is wrong with her. After Blythe's son is born, she feels all the maternal love and instincts she's always longed for, but when her family's life changes in an instant, Blythe is left struggling to find out what really happened, even if that means confirming her worst nightmares. An exciting mystery novel by an iconic horror writer Amazon "Billy Summers" by Stephen King, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.98Though Stephen King is certainly most well-known for his sensational horror novels, "Billy Summers" is a crime thriller/mystery novel about a man who is an assassin for hire, but only if the target is a bad person who deserves to die. Billy is ready to retire and preparing for one final job, but no matter what he does to prepare, it seems nothing is going how it should. A romantic and highly suspenseful mystery Amazon "Verity" by Colleen Hoover, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.99When bestselling author Verity Crawford is injured in a terrible accident, her husband hires a young and struggling writer, Lowen Ashleigh, to finish Verity's highly anticipated series. While sorting through notes in Verity's office, Lowen uncovers a hidden autobiography, full of terrible secrets — including the truth behind her daughter's death. Deciding to keep the devastating manuscript from Verity's husband, Lowen begins to search for the truth when it seems everyone has their own secrets. A bestselling mystery novel Amazon "Angels & Demons" by Dan Brown, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.94"Angels & Demons" is the first book of the "DaVinci Code" series, which begins when world-renowned symbologist, Robert Langdon, is called to help solve the murder of a physicist who was discovered with a strange symbol seared into his chest. As Robert begins to investigate, he uncovers an elaborate plot against the Catholic Church by the Illuminati. A classic gothic mystery book Amazon "Rebecca" by Daphne du Maurier, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.19First published in 1938, "Rebecca" is a classic mystery story where the unnamed narrator is swept off her feet by a wealthy and famous man named Maximilian de Winter, whose Cornwall mansion is even more famous than he is. When the narrator arrives at the mansion, she soon discovers that the ghostly presence of her husband's late wife is nearly impossible to escape — and slowly uncovers Rebecca's story in this mystery of layered revelations. A murder mystery featuring a vigilante antihero Amazon "Win" by Harlan Coben, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.50When a recluse is found murdered in his New York City apartment, the FBI discovers a clue that not only gives them a lead, but links the crime to two other cold cases including the robbery and kidnapping of an heiress 20 years ago. The clue leads the FBI to Windsor ("Win") Horne Lockwood III, who has no idea how his family's stolen painting could have ended up at a crime scene, but is determined to use his personal connections and limitless fortune to solve the dangerous case. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 11th, 2021

Ten Great Lessons From “Casablanca”

The foremost cinematic love story of all time, perhaps the greatest motion picture of all time, Warner Brothers’ “Casablanca” (1942), is now available in 4K Ultra-High Definition, as enthralling, immediate and gripping as ever: Eight decades have not diminished Casablanca’s ability to evoke head-shaking laughter, cheek-soaking tears, heart-pounding passion and unabashed patriotic pride in our […] The foremost cinematic love story of all time, perhaps the greatest motion picture of all time, Warner Brothers’ “Casablanca” (1942), is now available in 4K Ultra-High Definition, as enthralling, immediate and gripping as ever: Eight decades have not diminished Casablanca’s ability to evoke head-shaking laughter, cheek-soaking tears, heart-pounding passion and unabashed patriotic pride in our nation, once again an arsenal of democracy, bringing light and hope to a brutal, blood-soaked world. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q4 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more   From the many powerful lessons of Casablanca, here are an even ten: Spoiler alerts apply, if you need ‘em. 1) "The Cliches Are Having A Ball" - Umberto Eco Few American films feature so few Americans as “Casablanca.” Of the credited actors only Humphrey Bogart (Rick), Dooley Wilson (Sam) and Joy Page (Annina) were native-born US citizens. Instead “Casablanca” brims with authentic Europeans portraying the very refugees they, in fact, were. Seasoned players, major and minor figures of stage and screen in their home countries, put heart and soul into their performances: witness their unforgettable rendition of “La Marseillaise,” trumpeting freedom, liberty and democracy, dim rays of sunshine in the dark days of 1942, when “Casablanca” was filmed. Champions of liberty and democracy classically eschew stereotypes, but in “Casablanca” these well-worn national cliches---charming Frenchman, “mad” Russian, martial German, effete Englishman, and, finally, rugged can-do American---create the semblance of reality. One stereotype offends but a full palette suspends disbelief. Of course, as Americans we know Rick best. So when, in the course of less than two hours, this embittered isolationist turns impassioned freedom fighter, discarding a lover’s torch to uphold his dearest values, how we identify! And we cry, both for Rick’s lost love and his moral triumph. 2) Size Matters, But Not On The Screen Not since “King Kong” (1933) and its mechanical star has a lead player grown and shrunk to match set and ensemble as much as Humphrey Bogart in “Casablanca.” A giant on screen, Humphrey Bogart was actually a slight man. When astride petit Peter Lorre (Ugarte) or dapper Claude Rains (Captain Renault) his actual size is only slightly augmented: lifts, padding and hairpiece. But confronting Conrad Veidt (Major Strasser) and Paul Henreid (Victor Laszlo), both six foot-three, nose to nose in their face-off at Rick’s Café (in reality the two actors were friends, see below), Bogart’s shoes were fitted with massive blocks lest he be dwarfed onscreen by these towering men. And for the central relationship of “Casablanca,” Rick’s romance with Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman), tallest leading lady in all Hollywood, direction and set design work magic: When Bogart and Bergman are together usually one or both are seated. Upright together, Bogart stands on a step or a sloping road or they both are leaning. At the classic airport scene Bogart dons lifts and his trademark fedora. But the greatest sleight of size in “Casablanca” is a prop: the roaring plane that will carry “Mr. and Mrs. Victor Laszlo” to safety in Lisbon and thence to the freedom of the New World. As wartime regulations prohibited nighttime filming at Van Nuys airport---setting for Major Strasser’s arrival in Casablanca’s opening reel---the “airport” from which the Laszlos depart is a mere sound stage. The “airplane” is a miniature wooden mockup, masked by imaginary desert fog; the “ground crew,” some of Hollywood’s veteran little people in coveralls. 3) Unsung Heroes of “Casablanca” I: Conrad Veidt Conrad Veidt (Major Heinrich Strasser) was an international star of the silent screen, first in Germany, then in Hollywood. Trained in Weimar’s Berlin theatre he survived, as few silent film actors did, the transition to sound in 1929. Still Veidt’s English was not yet adequate for film and he returned to Germany to continue his career. But with the Machtergreifung of 1933 all motion picture actors were obliged to complete a disclosure of “race” as a condition of employment in the German film industry. A fervent anti-Nazi, though not Jewish himself, Veidt’s wife was, and Veidt bravely identified as Jewish, effectively stalling his career in German film. A major star, Veidt could easily have blown with Captain Renault’s “prevailing wind,” divorced his Jewish wife as Nazi law provided, and as many did, remained in Germany and flourished in the Nazified German film industry. But such was not his character. Now a marked man, Veidt fled with his wife to England, narrowly escaping an assassination squad. In revenge Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels ordered that Veidt never appear in German film again. It proved an empty gesture. For Veidt continued a storied career, appearing in a total of more than one hundred feature films. In Weimar Germany Veidt had portrayed Cesare, the murderous somnambulist, in the expressionist classic “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” (1920). Later he shone as the titular star of “The Man Who Laughs” (1928). His face, bearing a permanent grimace, would inspire Batman’s “Joker.” Upon arrival in England, Veidt sought and obtained British citizenship. As war broke out, he testified on behalf of his friend, fellow immigrant and soon-to-be “Casablanca” co-star, Paul Henreid, lest Henreid be deemed an “enemy alien” due to his Austrian birth and then, post-Anschluss, his ostensible German citizenship. The very apex of Veidt’s career was his powerful performance as the fiendish grand vizier and sorcerer, Jaffar, in the lavish Technicolor spectacular, “Thief of Baghdad (1940), begun in England but completed in Hollywood with the onset of war. Veidt’s Jaffar inspired the character of the same name in Disney’s popular “Aladdin” (1992). You can enjoy this delightful and underappreciated fantasy, complete at Before leaving England for his second run in Hollywood Veidt donated his life savings to the Children’s War Relief, one of many donations to the Allied war effort he made freely throughout his brief lifetime. For tragically, Veidt never lived to witness the success of his role in “Casablanca.” Like Bing Crosby he died on the golf course, pronounced by his physician, who had accompanied him that day: April 3, 1943. Of his role as Major Strasser, Veidt recalled: “I know this man well. He is a man who turned fanatic and betrayed his friends, his homeland, and himself in his lust to be somebody and get something for nothing.” 4) Unsung Heroes of ”Casablanca” II: Michael Curtiz In the pantheon of storied directors---Welles, Wyler, Bergman, Fellini, Fleming, Truffaut, Ford, Hitchcock, Wilder, Spielberg—the forgotten man is always Michael Curtiz, unsung director of “Casablanca” and a raft of classic and varied motion pictures: “Captain Blood” (1935) “Charge of the Light Brigade” (1936) “The Adventures of Robin Hood” (1938) “Angels With Dirty Faces” (1938) “Four Daughters” (1939) “The Sea Hawk” (1940) “The Sea Wolf” (1941) “Mildred Pierce” (1945) “White Christmas” (1954) Hungarian immigrant, plucked from Berlin by Jack Warner in the silent era, Curtiz (ne Kertesz) never learned English beyond the rudimentary. Born in Hungary, Curtiz spoke Magyar, a Uralic language, more similar to Finnish and Korean than any other European language, making a transition to English even more daunting. Especially so for this visual thinker, whose sound films are no less image-centered than his silents. When supported by a crackling script, a Michael Curtiz movie never feels dated. While Curtiz’s brilliance and professionalism were not questioned in Hollywood, he was widely disliked. Where Alfred Hitchcock famously called actors “cattle,” Curtiz treated them as such, displaying open contempt for cast and crew. Brutal and dominating on the set, he bullied even Bette Davis unto tears. His impotent rages are legendary: “Next time I send a dumb son of a bitch to get a Coke I go myself!” When he demanded a “pu-uddle” in the midst of rain-soaked street scene, an obedient grip brought a poodle for the fuming director, whose fractured English had sent the grip on a fool’s errand. Curtiz’ famous command: “Bring on the empty horses!”---meaning riderless horses—provoked helpless laughter on the set. The line later became famous as the title of David Niven’s autobiography. And when Curtiz finally won the Best Director Oscar for “Casablanca,” he recalled his many near-misses: “Always a bridesmaid, never a mother. Now I win, I have no speech.” But as they say in Brooklyn, what goes around comes around: actors took their revenge: Bogart and Henreid walked off the set of Casablanca to protest Curtiz’ behavior. Prankster Peter Lorre famously miked Mike Curtiz’ trailer: cast and crew tuned in to Curtiz’ afternoon dalliance with a hopeful ingénue. 5) “Play It Again, Ella” Hal B. Wallis, storied producer of “Casablanca,” considered some thirty black actors for the role of Sam: Rick’s friend, confidant, protector and profit-sharing pianist, singer and bandleader. Imagine, if you will, Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne or Hazel Scott in that singular role, as all were seriously considered. A casualty of the McCarthy era, Hazel Scott may be the least well-known of these accomplished jazz artists. Brilliant pianist and singer, with a storied career in Hollywood through the 1940s, Scott went on to host an early television variety show on the fledgling DuMont network in the early 1950s. Boldly and perhaps, innocently, Scott elected to appear voluntarily before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Never a Communist, not even a “fellow traveler,” nonetheless within a week her TV show was cancelled. She left for the Continent, as did so many ill-treated black jazz artists. Here she performs alongside Lena Horne in “I Dood It,” a Red—no political implications---Skelton comedy from 1943: Ultimately, as we all know, Wallace shied from the potential plot and socio-political pitfalls of casting a woman in the role of Sam. Dooley Wilson, a professional drummer who mimed his piano- playing for “Casablanca,” won the part---now iconic---along with his rendition of “Casablanca’s” love theme, “As Time Goes By.” Savor it here, complete: 6) The Power of Paradox With no basis in historical fact, the fabled and fabulous “Letters of Transit signed by General Weygand” (not DeGaulle, as many mishear; DeGaulle was persona non grata in Vichy) are the “MacGuffin” of “Casablanca,” providing free passage to the holder out of Vichy Morocco to the safe haven of Lisbon. “MacGuffin” is Alfred Hitchcock’s term for any device upon which a plot can turn: a “Maltese Falcon” statuette, microfilm (“North by Northwest”), even ruby slippers (“Wizard of Oz”). As every “Casablanca” fan knows, stranded Czech freedom fighter, Laszlo, and his paramour- secretly his wife - Ilsa, desperately need those Letters lest the couple languish and die in Casablanca. Bitter and angry over his abandonment by Ilsa, Rick will not surrender the Letters to his romantic rival, Laszlo, or even sell them, at any price. Rick tells Laszlo why: “Ask your wife…I said, ask your wife.” Laszlo is noble but, as “the leader of a great movement,” he is neither naïve nor weak. He has survived torture in a concentration camp and, near-impossibly, escaped. He understands human nature and the art of paradox or, as it is popularly known, “reverse psychology.” Laszlo tells Rick: “The first evening I came here in this café I knew there was something between you and Ilsa. Since no one is to blame I ask no explanation. I ask only one thing. You won’t give me the Letters of Transit. All right. But I want my wife to be safe. I ask you as a favor to use the Letters to take her away from Casablanca.” Rick has one question: “You love her that much?” Laszlo answers: “Apparently you think of me only as a leader of a cause. Well, I am also a human being. Yes, I love her that much.” Instantly gendarmes crash the door. (Curtiz never lets a love avowal linger in cinematic air.) Laszlo is under arrest. The scene leaves Rick paradoxed. Like a wise therapist, Laszlo has turned the tables. Where he cannot convince, he can persuade, by changing the stakes. Rick loves Ilsa so much that life is a living death without her. (“Go ahead and shoot. You’ll be doing me a favor.”) And Ilsa has agreed to return to Rick and never leave again if he will but grant the Letters to Laszlo. But now Laszlo has paradoxed Rick! Ilsa may love Rick more than Laszlo. But Laszlo has proven he loves Ilsa more than Rick does. For his love is unselfish: Laszlo would surrender Ilsa to Rick to save her, even as he remains behind to face death in Casablanca. Plainly, greater love hath no man. Rick cannot but rise to the challenge Laszlo has set for him. Laszlo’s paradox makes the right choice Rick’s only choice. At movie’s end he will make it. 7) East of Casablanca: “China” (1943) Success invites imitation. Mirroring the themes, if not the lasting fame of “Casablanca,” is Paramount Pictures’ “China,” starring Alan Ladd as David Llewellyn Jones, a tough-minded war profiteer indifferently selling oil to the Imperial Japanese Army in pre-Pearl Harbor wartime China. Like Rick Blaine, Jones is “carefully neutral,” financially astute and romantically detached. But Jones’ indifference to love is shattered when his heart is stolen by China-born American schoolteacher, Carolyn Grant, played by beautiful Loretta Young, and her endearing Chinese schoolgirls. And that same heart hardens against the merciless invaders, as Jones bravely halts the most hideous wartime atrocity ever depicted in classical Hollywood film and dispatches the perpetrators in a burst of machine gunfire. The scene beggars description; once viewed it can never, regrettably, be forgotten. Of interest now only to cineastes, “China” remains noteworthy for its brilliantly realistic tracking shots of air, sea and land battles and fearful bombing raids. And, most importantly, its oddly familiar portrayal of David Llewellyn Jones: his jaunty fedora, worn leather jacket, crumpled khakis, facial stubble, wise-ass attitude, ready fists and blazing guns. If this all sounds uncanny it should: Ladd’s Jones was the inspiration for George Lucas’ and Steven Spielberg’s “Indiana Jones” and his daredevil exploits, battling tyrants and their minions, wherever they arise. Indeed, Jones’ radicalization in the face of atrocity is echoed in “Star Wars” (1977), when Luke Skywalker surveys wordlessly the skeletal remains of his murdered aunt and uncle, their devastated home and farm, and joins the Rebel Alliance. 8) "Everybody Comes To Rick’s" - Original title of “Casablanca” It’s a question no one thinks to ask: “Why does everyone love Rick Blaine?” He’s not handsome, tall or rich. He drinks and smokes too much. He runs a crooked casino. He rarely smiles since his romantic debacle in Paris and never lets anyone get close. But Rick embodies nine key virtues, which, I have been taught, when sustained and compounded, yield love. For Rick is: Trustworthy: Even unctious Ugarte trusts Rick: “Just because you despise me you are the only one I trust.” Principled: “I don’t buy or sell human beings.” Courageous: Ran guns to Ethiopia and fought in Spain on the Loyalist side. Competent: Escaped occupied Paris for a strange land and built the storied “Café Americain.” Loyal: “Abdul, Carl and Sacha. They stay with the place or I don’t sell.” Kind: Gifts a small fortune to Annina and her husband to preserve the sanctity of their marriage and lead them to safety and freedom in America. Understanding: Rick “gets” Captain Renault: “Just like any other man, only more so.” Forgiving: To everyone but Ilsa, until he learns she has never betrayed him and still loves him. Unselfish: To everyone but Ilsa and Laszlo, until he learns they were man and wife when he knew Ilsa in Paris. So at the close of “Casablanca” Rick has embodied all nine virtues, presented Ilsa and Laszlo the precious Letters of Transit, and received their blessing. “Welcome back to the fight. This time I know our side will win.” - Paul Henreid as Victor Laszlo, in “Casablanca” In a final act of moral courage, Rick guns down Major Strasser to secure the Laszlos’ getaway. And incredibly, but understandably, blindsided Captain Renault deflects his gendarmes with the legendary command: “Round up the usual suspects.” - Claude Rains as Captain Louis Renault, in “Casablanca” And Louis walks his beloved Rick across the rain-soaked tarmac to begin their “beautiful friendship” as soldiers of the Free French Army. And we believe that Louis loves Rick enough to do it, even to die for him, for Rick has replaced Renault’s and Rick’s aimless and corrupt lives for lives of meaning. And Louis cannot but follow him into war, as soldiers follow great generals. You can view that brilliant climax here, in all its timeless power: 9) “Don’t Worry About Logic. I Go So Fast No One Notices”---Michael Curtiz, Director, “Casablanca” In the breathtaking whirlwind of “Casablanca,” the brilliant script, the beautiful cinematography, the great characterizations and performances, rousing orchestrations and period jazz, the love, the heartbreak, the passion, we have nary a moment to think that, though everything seems very real, much of “Casablanca” makes no logical sense. For example: Q: Why do people not duck, cover or flee when bullets fly? A: Interrupts the story. Q: Why doesn’t Rick grab Ugarte’s flailing pistol, as any seasoned soldier would? A: Distracts from the drama. Q: Why are freedom fighters immaculately tailored and coiffed? A: Audiences want their stars to twinkle. Q: Why does Major Strasser rush to the airport alone, without his troops? A: So he and Rick can go mano a mano. Q: Why is there rain and fog in the desert? A: This is film noir. Q: Why does no one but Ugarte perspire in Casablanca? A: Sweat is unattractive. Q: Why does Rick publicly pass a small fortune to Annina’s husband at the roulette wheel and not discreetly in his office? A: It’s a movie! Amazing such an imperfect thing can yet be perfect. But again that is true of all humanity. 10) Oedipus Rick’s “You’re neither right nor wrong because other people agree with you. You’re right because your facts are right and your reasoning is right---that’s the only thing that makes you right.---Warren E. Buffett The scientific and public reputation of Sigmund Freud has, of late, in the words of Eliza Doolittle, been “trod in the mud.” Freud’s ideas are exotic and untestable, born of musing, reflection and intuition, are bound to his culture and his time and cannot, perforce, include the scientific findings of the intervening century or address current issues surrounding sexuality and gender. But if you are searching for the operating system quietly humming inside “Casablanca,” what makes it so dear to the hearts of millions, despite the obvious sentimentality and passing decades, you need look no further than Freud’s theories of the Oedipus Complex and the unconscious mind. In classical psychoanalytic theory the Oedipus Complex refers to the love and desire of a child for the parent of the opposite sex and a concomitant jealousy and rivalry with the parent of the same sex. The Oedipus Complex is resolved when the child tempers that love, identifies with the parent of the same sex, and moves on to more appropriate love objects and life plans. The Oedipus Complex is named, of course, for the character of Greek legend who slew his father and married his mother. Oedipal themes abound in literature (“Hamlet”) and film (“Back to the Future,” “Star Wars”) but never so plainly as in “Casablanca.” Follow me closely, listen with your heart and not your head: Rick fell madly in love with Ilsa in Paris, City of Love. Told in flashback, it is a whirlwind romance with an adoring beauty, the stuff of dreams.   Ilsa is, as Captain Renault tells Rick, “very beautiful [who knew?], but you were never interested in any woman.” Rick replies that Ilsa is not just “any woman.” She is an ideal woman, the essence of womanhood: she is maternal. Thus the choice of Ingrid Bergman to portray Ilsa is casting genius. For unique among Hollywood beauties Bergman was never a “glamour girl.” She never posed for “cheesecake.” Her hair is natural. She wears little makeup. Her eyebrows are full. She exudes not sexuality but boundless love. Even at maximal stress Bergman’s Ilsa is and remains warm-hearted, kind, loving, caring, understanding and forgiving. She is all that. And, finally, she is, incredibly, in Rick’s unconscious and in ours, his mother. And like any mother, she has “betrayed” her son with his father, if only to bear him. Indeed Victor Laszlo is Rick’s spiritual father. For Rick, like Laszlo, is a born freedom fighter. It is in his blood. Like Laszlo Rick hates and fights injustice and tyranny. Unsurprisingly, Laszlo is the only man in the film who holds Rick’s complete respect: “We all try. You succeed.” So when Rick turns over the Letters and bids farewell to “Mr. and Mrs. Victor Laszlo” on their flight to safety and freedom he has so brilliantly engineered, Rick has at last resolved his Oedipus Complex. Even more, he has saved the lives of his parents and begun, albeit belatedly, his quest for purpose and manhood. He has abandoned his selfishness: running a crooked casino and seducing and coldly abandoning young women. And, in his gunfight with Major Strasser, who proudly envisioned conquest and domination “from Russia to the Sahara,” even unto London and Rick’s home in New York, Rick hath slain the tyrant who, like his childish self, desired Rick’s mother and would murder his father. Endings don’t get better than that......»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkFeb 7th, 2023

The 13 best RPGs on the Nintendo Switch, from Persona 5 Royal to Undertale

The Nintendo Switch is a go-to console for role-playing games (RPGs), with recent hits like Persona 5 Royal and classics like Xenoblade Chronicles. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Since its release in 2017, the Switch has attracted dozens of fantastic RPGs.Natalia Lobon/Shutterstock The Nintendo Switch is a go-to console for great role-playing games (RPGs), both new and old. The best RPGs on the Switch include recent hits like Persona 5 Royal and classics like Xenoblade Chronicles. Here are our 13 favorite RPGs on the Nintendo Switch, all of which are available right now. There are few video game genres with more history — and more classic games — than the role-playing game genre. And over the past few years, the Nintendo Switch has staked its claim on being one of the best systems around for great RPGs. If you're looking for a new favorite game that balances fun gameplay with an engaging story, we've put together a list of the 13 best RPGs on the Switch.Persona 5 RoyalAtlusSince its original release in 2016, Persona 5 has been called one of the greatest role-playing games ever. Persona 5 Royal, released in 2019, is a remastered version of the original game. It contains all the original content, but also adds multiple new storylines, a new playable character, new minigames and side quests, and more. It's the definitive version of what was already a monumental RPG.In Persona 5 Royal, you play as a teenager who transfers to a new school after being framed for assault. Once there, you and a classmate accidentally stumble into another world called the Metaverse, where all of humanity's subconscious desires are made real and demons lurk around every corner.Over the course of the game's typical 100-hour playtime, you'll explore the Metaverse to "steal the hearts" of criminals and make them reform their ways, all the while recruiting new teammates to join your squad of "Phantom Thieves." You'll also have to balance your crime-fighting career with the usual pitfalls of teenage life: School, romance, hobbies, you name it.Persona 5 received critical acclaim for its story, gameplay, artstyle, characters, and music — I still get chills whenever I hear "Rivers in the Desert." There's no better RPG on the Nintendo Switch right now.NieR: Automata - The End of YoRHa EditionPlatinumGames; Square EnixIf you're looking for something more dynamic, check out NieR: Automata. This surreal open-world RPG takes place in the distant future, after Earth has been conquered by an army of alien machines. The game puts you in control of the human-made combat androids 2B and 9S, who are sent to fight the alien threat.Like other games in the series, NieR: Automata blends frenetic action with experimental storytelling. As 2B, you'll cut through the machines with giant swords and lasers; as 9S, you'll hack into the machines and defeat them from the inside. And all the while, you'll be treated to a fantastic story and even better music.Many reviewers called the Switch version of Automata — titled The End of YoRHa Edition — a "miracle" because of how well it runs on the relatively weak console. Definitely consider picking it up.The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WildNintendoIf you're one of the few Nintendo Switch owners who hasn't played The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, do yourself a favor and go buy it right now. This Switch launch title completely overhauled the open world RPG genre, putting a much bigger focus on exploration than linear progression.In Breath of the Wild you play as Link, a warrior who wakes up 100 years after losing a battle with the evil Calamity Ganon that nearly ended the world. You're tasked with rescuing Princess Zelda, who's spent the last century trapped in her castle holding Ganon at bay.But the path you take to save Zelda and beat Ganon is entirely up to you. If you want, you can explore the kingdom of Hyrule first, slowly getting stronger and defeating Ganon's minions. Or you can sprint straight to Hyrule Castle and take on Ganon with whatever scraps you pick up along the way.Depending on how you play, a Breath of the Wild run can take 100 hours or 30 minutes. Whichever way you do it, you're sure to have an unforgettable journey. And playing it now will get you ready for its sequel, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, which releases in March 2023.Pokémon Legends: ArceusGame Freak; The Pokémon Company; NintendoIt's been nearly thirty years since Game Freak released the first Pokémon game, and most entries in the series are pretty similar. But Pokémon Legends: Arceus throws almost everything you know about Pokémon out the window.At the start of the game, your player character is thrown hundreds of years back in time, to an era before any of the other Pokémon games take place. Using the primitive technology available, you'll have to quest through the undeveloped wilderness and catch Pokémon before they can catch you.Unlike past games in the series, Pokémon Legends: Arceus features an open world. And Pokémon are just as dangerous as they look in this game — get one of them angry, and it'll come after you like a rabid animal.Pokémon Legends: Arceus totally reinvents the typical Pokémon formula, making it a must-play whether you're a fan of the series or notLIVE A LIVESquare Enix; NintendoIf you're an older gamer who loves classic NES- and SNES-era RPGs, check out LIVE A LIVE. This is a remake of the original cult classic, which was released exclusively in Japan in 1994.LIVE A LIVE is a turn-based RPG that follows eight separate protagonists throughout history as they fight a recurring enemy named Odio. You'll start your quest in prehistoric caveman tribes, and eventually fight your way through Edo Japan, the Wild West, the distant future, and more.The Nintendo Switch's LIVE A LIVE remake features a remastered soundtrack and stylish "HD-2D" graphics, which place traditional 2D sprites on a 3D background. It's an amazing throwback to the Golden Age of Japanese RPGs.Fire Emblem: Three HousesIntelligent Systems; Koei Tecmo; NintendoThere are few games with more replay value than the tactical RPG Fire Emblem: Three Houses. As you play through the game, you'll make multiple choices that completely change where the story leads. The game has four distinct endings, each of which has its own twists and turns.Fire Emblem: Three Houses gives you control of Byleth, a mercenary-turned-professor at the prestigious Garreg Mach Officers Academy. As soon as you begin, you'll choose one of three houses (get it?) to lead: The Black Eagles, the Blue Lions, or the Golden Deer. And once you've picked, you'll have to get to work training your lovable students into an army of brave knights, deadly snipers, and clever sorcerers. Every turn-based battle takes careful planning and brainpower to get through successfully. This means that each fight is a learning experience — but also a risk. If you're playing in Classic Mode, when one of your students is killed in battle, they're gone forever. No respawns.Fire Emblem: Three Houses is addicting and devastating at the same time. Consider playing in Casual Mode for your first playthrough; in this mode, your students will recover even after being defeated.Undertale8-4; Toby FoxEven if you've never played Undertale, chances are you've heard about it — or heard its music. This quirky RPG originally came out in 2015, and since then has become a worldwide viral sensation for its characters, soundtrack, and gameplay.In Undertale you play as a young child who accidentally falls into the "Underground." It's a magical realm beneath the Earth's surface that's filled with monsters, talking animals, and walking skeletons — like Sans, the game's most recognizable character.Although the game has a battle system that's inspired by "Bullet Hell" games like Touhou, you can make it through every fight by just talking with your enemies. Depending on which foes you kill and which ones you spare, the story branches off into all sorts of different directions.Accompanied by hilarious writing and a banger soundtrack — you'll have "Hopes and Dreams" stuck in your head for weeks — Undertale is easily one of the best indie RPGs of all time. And once you finish Undertale, check out its spiritual successor Deltarune, which features many of the same characters in a different universe and story.13 Sentinels: Aegis RimVanillaware; Atlus; SegaIf you're looking for a game that's unlike any RPG you've played before, consider 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim. This experimental title combines both visual novel and real-time-strategy elements into one fantastic package.The story starts in a fictionalized version of 1980s Japan, and follows a group of high school students who are forced to fight in a war against giant monsters, or Kaijus. As the game goes on, you'll jump between time periods, skipping back to World War II and far forward to the year 2105. This non-linear story can be confusing at first, but the in-game codex keeps constant track of every character you meet and plotline you start.About half of the game is side-scrolling exploration, while the other half is made up of RTS combat between the Kaijus and your mechs. All of this is accompanied by a relentless musical score and some of the best voice acting in any game.13 Sentinels is a modern cult classic, a love letter to the sci-fi genre, and one of the most underrated games on the Switch.The World Ends With You: Final RemixSquare Enix; JupiterOne of the best written RPGs ever, The World Ends With You follows an introverted teenager named Neku Sakuraba, who's forced to compete in an event called the Reaper's Game. Along with his teammate Shiki, he'll have to complete a new task every day — failing even one quest means death.The World Ends With You originally debuted on the Nintendo DS in 2007, and immediately made waves with its unique gameplay, thrilling story, and catchy soundtrack. You can play through this remastered port by yourself, or team up with a friend to battle monsters and Reapers.As you play, you'll gradually unlock new powers and partners, each of which has its own playstyle. You'll also get to experience the sights and sounds of Shibuya, one of Tokyo's trendiest real-life neighborhoods — and uncover a hidden plot to erase it from existence.And once you're done, check out its sequel NEO: The World Ends With You, which takes place 14 years later. It's available on the Nintendo Switch too.Disco Elysium: The Final CutZA/UMIf you're a Dungeons & Dragons fan who prefers RPGs with thick stories and lots of decisions to make, check out Disco Elysium. This title puts you in control of a detective suffering from amnesia, and tasks you with investigating and solving a complex murder mystery. Compared to other RPGs, Disco Elysium is pretty unique. Instead of leveling up stats like Strength or Speed, you'll improve your ability to tell lies and withstand drug addiction. And instead of fighting monsters, you'll be fighting against your reputation as an obnoxious psychopath. Every conversation has dozens of branching paths, all based on what you say and whether people trust you.Disco Elysium won a ton of awards when it first came out, including Best Narrative and Best RPG from the Game Awards. Combine an inventive story with distinctive oil-painted graphics, and you have one of the most memorable RPGs on the Switch.Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive EditionSquare EnixDragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age is the latest entry in the historic Dragon Quest series, and is pretty much the quintessential JRPG experience. In it you play as the Luminary, a hero chosen by destiny to save the land of Erdrea from evil. On your quest you'll partner up with magicians and warriors, all working together to save the world.If Dragon Quest is famous for anything, it's the characters designed by Akira Toriyama, the legendary mangaka who made Dragon Ball. You'll fight dragons of course, but also evil cucumbers, scheming devils, and living balls of slime. There are dozens of unique enemies and bosses, each one charmingly designed and animated.If you're looking for a classic no-frills RPG, check out Dragon Quest XI. The Switch version is a "Definitive" port of the 2017 original, featuring new music and an expanded plot. As a bonus in the Switch version, you can even choose whether to play the game with 3D or retro 2D graphics.Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive EditionMonolith Soft; NintendoXenoblade Chronicles originally came out on the Wii in 2010, and has since become the basis for one of the most popular RPG series ever. Between its memorable characters and breathtaking open world, it's not hard to understand how it got so popular.In Xenoblade Chronicles you play as Shulk, a scientist-turned-warrior who wields a legendary sword called the Monado. After being attacked by a race of robotic monsters called the Mechon, Shulk goes on a quest of revenge against one of their leaders, Metal Face. As you progress through the game, you'll gradually learn new abilities, and unlock new storylines by building connections with your teammates.Xenoblade is also famous for its "real-time" battle system, which combines complex combos with button mashing to power up your moves. By the time you end the game, every battle will be a storm of particle effects, damage counters, and anime characters screaming.Once you finish Xenoblade Chronicles, feel free to move onto its sequels, 2017's Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and 2022's Xenoblade Chronicles 3. You can play any of them by itself, but together they form a great trilogy.The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of TimeNintendoIt's the highest rated game of all time on Metacritic. Legendary gaming magazine Famitsu gave it the first perfect score in the publication's history. And any list of Nintendo RPGs would be incomplete without it.The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time came out in 1998 for the Nintendo 64, and was the first 3D Legend of Zelda game. In the years since, it's been hailed as a nigh-perfect combination of exciting gameplay and captivating story. In it you play as Link, a young "fairy boy" who's tasked with defeating the tyrant Ganondorf before he can conquer the world.The game is best known for its time travel mechanic, which lets you freely travel from the present to seven years in the future, where Ganondorf has already won and rules with an iron fist. You'll have to find allies, solve puzzles, and slay monsters in both time periods to save Hyrule.Ocarina of Time is an iconic game that any RPG fan needs to play at least once. It's currently available as part of the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack program, which costs $49.99 per year.Also available through the Expansion Pack is The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, a direct sequel to Ocarina of Time. It's probably the hardest (and most bizarre) 3D Zelda game, and definitely worth a look too.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 5th, 2022

How small-town Maine embraced a family that fled the Taliban

In fall 2021, an Afghan family was resettled in Maine. This is the story of how they rebuilt their lives, and the community that welcomed them. Omid, left, and Nasir walk on a path winding through farm fields near their homes in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.Jodi Hilton for InsiderIn the fall of 2021, a family from Afghanistan was resettled in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. This is the story of how they rebuilt their lives, the community that welcomed them, and a friendship that bridged two cultures.CAPE ELIZABETH, Maine — Last November, at about midnight, Omid was lying in bed in his new home in Cape Elizabeth, Maine — exhausted, but unable to sleep. He texted Nasir Shir, his old friend from Afghanistan who lived down the street. Was Nasir awake, and was he up for a walk?Nasir was awake; he often stays up late to talk to friends and relatives in Afghanistan, nine and a half hours ahead. On this night, and on many nights during Omid's first few months in Maine, Nasir was soon at his door. The two men set off. Under the night sky, they passed driveways with basketball hoops, porches with American flags, and the occasional boat parked in someone's yard.Omid and Nasir had met in 2004 on the site of an international development project in Kabul. At that point, Nasir had been living in the US for 20 years, but his work in geographic information systems took him all over the world, and sometimes back to Afghanistan, for international development contracts. Omid, 14 years younger, was an IT specialist.A deep friendship began, and the two stayed close. When Nasir's family would pass through Kabul, Omid would host them. "Anyone who travels to Afghanistan goes to his house," Nasir told me. "He's the ticket agent, the hotel, and the food place." Omid got to know Nasir's extended family — "cousins, uncles, aunts, everybody." The two men share a similar sense of humor and laughter comes easily when they're together.When the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan weeks before the planned US withdrawal, Omid fled with his wife and their four young children.Nasir urged them to come to Cape Elizabeth. "I warned him about the cold weather, and that there are not many Muslims there," Nasir said. He also talked up its virtues. "I said: 'If you want to make money, don't come to Maine. But if you want to raise your family, come to Maine.'"But it wasn't just Nasir who welcomed Omid. The whole town had. In the weeks before Omid's family arrived, an army of neighbors had rolled up their sleeves to help get the house ready, dropping by at odd hours to scrape up subfloors, install a new kitchen, mount cheerful decor, and plant flowers.Omid felt immense gratitude toward everyone who had helped his family. "I will never stop appreciating them," he told me. But the transition to his new life in Maine was still hard — even with all the goodwill in the world.  Omid's family arrived in Maine just before Halloween in 2021 and recently celebrated one year in Maine.Jodi Hilton for InsiderKabul The call came in the afternoon. It was August 27, 2021. Twelve days earlier, Kabul had fallen to the Taliban. Now, Omid was being told to gather his family and head to the airport immediately. For days, Omid had lived with a constant feeling of dread. He worried that the Taliban government would target him as a collaborator for his work on US and United Nations-backed development projects. In case he was killed in a blast and no loved ones could be called upon to carry out the Muslim funeral ritual of ghusl, in which the body of the dead is washed before it is laid to rest, he took care to wash himself every day. In 2018, Omid had applied for a Special Immigrant Visa, which was still in process. (Editor's Note: We are using a pseudonym for Omid and his family members.) Omid and his wife, Palwasha, hurriedly filled a suitcase with clothing for their four children. They grabbed diapers and a swaddle for the youngest, Safa, who was just a month old. From the roof of his apartment building, Omid could see Kabul's international airport, where thousands of people had been lining up but most were denied entry. Just the day before, a suicide bombing had killed nearly 200 people. Omid was still not sure that he would be leaving Afghanistan that day. Everyone wanted to leave, but not everyone was able to. "No one wants to leave their country," Omid would tell me later. "All your friends, your family members, your culture, your language. But the thing that you are missing is security. For the sake of your children, you know you should leave everything and get out of that hell."At the airport, Omid's family was ushered through a gate. Others tried to use the moment to scramble through, and a cloud of tear gas exploded around them. Inside, Omid was told he wouldn't be able to board the plane with a suitcase. "I left everything there in the airport," he told me. "But at the time, it was important for me to save my life, not my clothes."Wearing bracelets with barcodes wrapped around their wrists, the family was led onto an airplane bound for Doha, Qatar. As the plane took off, Safa, the baby, was still red in the face from the tear gas.In all, 124,000 Afghans were evacuated in the final two weeks before the US withdrawal, which was timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of 9/11, and more would follow. Of the 76,000 who were resettled in the US, most went to Texas, California, and Virginia — places with established Afghan American communities. But evacuees ended up in nearly every state.For Omid and his family, that final destination would be Maine — the whitest (91%), oldest (the median age is just shy of 45), and most rural (60% of Mainers live in rural areas) state in the US. How that happened is the story of a community that banded together to welcome a family of strangers, and a friendship that has bridged two cultures. The Portland Head Light is Maine's oldest lighthouse and an iconic tourist destination.Jodi Hilton for InsiderFriends in need Back in Cape Elizabeth during those tense days in August 2021, Nasir's phone was ringing off the hook as friends and former colleagues in Afghanistan desperately sought help getting out. He and Omid were speaking every day. On one call, Nasir could hear gunfire in the background and Omid, alone in his family's apartment, seemed to be in a state of shock.  Nasir also left Afghanistan as a refugee, during the Soviet-Afghan war, and had come to Portland, Maine, in 1984 when he was 13. Nasir's sister, Shukria, who's six years younger, recalled learning English by watching Bob Ross' painting shows and "Sesame Street."Both she and Nasir received full scholarships to attend Waynflete, a highly-regarded private school in Portland. While the school was mostly white, they had classmates from Cambodia and Laos. Nasir and others were encouraged to share stories about their immigrant experiences, and he said he developed pride in his background and an appreciation for the value of listening to one another. said the school encouraged him to take pride in his background. "Back then, the state was new with refugees," Nasir told me. "There were hardly any Muslims, never mind any Afghans." Halal meat wasn't widely available, and Nasir remembers going with his grandfather to local farms to help slaughter lambs, and then packing the meat into bags to store in the freezer.  There is a saying in Maine that people who are not born there or do not come from a long lineage of Mainers are from "away." In some communities in Maine, families have lived there for so many generations that roads and bodies of water are named after them. If you tell people the town you grew up in, and they are familiar with it, they might know your whole family, and all of your neighbors too. In the 1800s, Irish and French Canadian immigrants started arriving in Maine. In the early  1900s, House Island, off the coast of Portland, was used to process overflows of new arrivals to the United States and became known as "Ellis Island of the North." Immigrants and refugees from Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos came in the mid-to late 1970s and a Somali community began emerging in the early 2000s in Lewiston. According to the Portland Press Herald newspaper, around 250 Afghans were in Maine before the Taliban's takeover of the country.   Nasir considers himself a true Mainer because it's the place he keeps coming back to. "For most people, any place where they spend their childhood is home. I spent my childhood from 13 on, here, so it's home," he said. "I went to Dubai, Pakistan, traveled the world, but I still chose to come back." Nasir and his wife, Nazia, made their home in Cape Elizabeth, nearby Portland, in the late 1990s, and it's here where they're raising their five children, who range in age from 11 to 25. Once a farming and fishing village, the town of 9,500 people now has a reputation for excellent schools. A few miles away from the multimillion-dollar homes that hug the inlet of Casco Bay, Nasir's neighborhood is dense with suburban homes on relatively small lots. Shukria lives nearby. His two brothers live across the street.Cape Elizabeth is both rural and residential. Ocean House Farm is located near the town's center.Jodi Hilton for InsiderKettle Cove is one of several beaches popular with locals.Jodi Hilton for InsiderAfter the 9/11 attacks, as American troops began deploying to Afghanistan, Muslims in the area were sometimes harassed or intimidated. Nasir, then in his early 30s, was involved in a local mosque and active on local boards, and he started being asked to speak at churches and other community gatherings. People wanted to know about the Taliban, and they had questions about Islam. "It's human nature to fear what you don't know," Nasir told me. The outreach seemed to come naturally to Nasir, Shukria told me. He was patient and knowledgeable — and not one to easily take offense, even when he had every right to. Instead, on the occasions through the years when someone would make a comment that was either subtly or outright rude or derogatory, his responses would be gracious and respectful, and he'd often offer to have more conversations.Nasir's calm approach "takes an unbelievable amount of self-control," said Denney Morton, Nasir's former teacher who's now a friend. "It also," Morton continued, "takes a person who believes that the future is going to be worth putting up with that kind of stuff."Nasir's mission is "to make this country live up to what it says it's going to be," Morton said. "He does it all the time — and he does it with laughter, and joy, and inviting people over to his house."In 2016, after Donald Trump's election, Nasir's daughter Haleema remembers hearing, "Now that we have a new president, all the Muslims will be deported." Nasir's son, who was born in Maine, was told to "go back" to where he came from. Maine's governor at the time, Paul LePage, who coined himself "Trump before Trump," was regularly called out for racist statements. In 2016, he sent a letter to President Barack Obama saying that Maine would no longer participate in resettling refugees. (LePage, who left office because of term limits, challenged his successor, Gov. Janet Mills, in this year's election but lost by a wide margin.)Nasir's response, again, was outreach. He got involved in local politics and won a seat on the school board in 2017. And he and Nazia often invited dozens of locals from the Cape Elizabeth area to their home to break the Ramadan fast with a big meal. By opening their home and sharing their lives with their Cape Elizabeth neighbors, Nasir and Nazia, and his sister Shukria, created a model of community-building for others in town to emulate — "not at Nasir levels, but in some way," said Jim Sparks, a friend who's worked with Nasir on community projects. "He's brought a warmth and generosity and large-heartedness that's pretty contagious," Sparks said. As it happened, Nasir was about to lean on that community as he prepared to welcome Omid and his family to Cape Elizabeth. Unlike his own arrival to the US, Nasir wanted his old friend to "start from the top."'Would others help me, even if they didn't know me?'Two miles away from Nasir's home in Cape Elizabeth, Emily Mavodones was also watching the news from Afghanistan. A video showing desperate people clinging to an airplane as it took off from Kabul International Airport had left her shaken. "What would I do to protect my family, my children?" she asked herself. "Would others help me, even if they didn't know me?"Emily found Nasir's name and contact information in a local paper. They had met once at a kid's birthday party, and she later learned that they had other passing connections: Her father-in-law had gone to school with Nasir and her mother had worked with him. "Our words were in parallel," she told me.Even as she reached out, Emily wasn't exactly sure what helping out could mean. A mom of three kids, she had volunteered here and there at a soup kitchen and she'd donated blood to the Red Cross. But she had never been involved in a long-term humanitarian effort.Nasir replied, hastily, with links to the USCIS website for sponsoring Afghans. Between the $575 application fee and the pledge to support the person financially, at least initially, Emily quickly realized it was too big a commitment for her family. She let it drop.Several weeks later, Nasir had caught his breath. Omid's family was out of Afghanistan. Catholic Charities, the local refugee-resettlement organization in Maine, was working with Omid's family to help them resettle. Nasir expected his friend to arrive in the next few weeks. Nasir circled back to everyone who had reached out to him earlier. For one thing, Omid's family would need a place to live.Emily Mavodones, who was part of the team who helped prepare a home for Omid and his family, holds Safa, the youngest of Omid and Palwasha's four children.Jodi Hilton for InsiderAs an Afghan evacuee, Omid would be given some financial assistance to help pay for housing. A two-story structure, a few doors down from Nasir, seemed like a good choice. It was one of several properties that Nasir owned in the area. When he bought it, it had most recently been used as a dentist's office, which meant there was no kitchen, and there was a large sink in almost every room.Nasir often rented out his properties to refugees and asylum seekers, or families from the area who qualified for Section 8 or General Assistance housing. It was reliable income, and Nasir saw it as a way to help newcomers who often lack the up-front cash or the credit and employment history that many landlords required. He'd bought this house a year earlier, with the idea that a local Congolese family would move in. During the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, their son had given a speech that had moved Nasir, and he had gotten to know them a bit. But the home still needed a lot of work to function as a residential space. After a while, the family had gone someplace else.Now, with Omid heading to Maine, finishing the house was urgent.Emily offered to set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for renovations, and donations poured in — at final count, $12,890 from 142 people.Haleema, now in her early 20s, and Shukria set up a Google doc with a wish list of items. Packages started arriving at the house — mixing bowls, a pressure cooker, mortar and pestle, a bunk bed, a vacuum, clothing, diapers, toys, a crib."It was amazing how many people reached out to us," Shukria told me. "I think people were ready to help. You know, there were things being talked about." Specifically, she said, "We were talking about racism, we were talking about prejudice."What Shukria was referring to was how the residents of Cape Elizabeth had spent the past few years in a period of intense reflection. Trump-era policies, like the "Muslim ban," and then the Black Lives Matter movement had challenged them to talk openly about what kind of community they wanted to be, what their values were, and how to translate their values into action.Along with a handful of other volunteers, Nasir had helped form the Cape Diversity Coalition, which drew up a resolution saying Cape Elizabeth was welcoming to all. The school board passed it quickly. The town council took a bit longer — there was concern that the resolution was political and therefore not appropriate for the nonpartisan body — but, ultimately, it passed it too. A "global competency" goal was set for Cape Elizabeth students to be "personally responsible, aware, empathetic, and engaged local and global citizens."Perhaps this was why, when Nasir presented his neighbors with an urgent need, he had found a ready audience. Volunteers showed up to the house mostly in the early evening after work. They pulled up old flooring, installed new appliances, and painted walls. Some knew their way around a construction site, and others didn't.Nasir and Emily shared the code to enter the building so volunteers could come and go when it suited them. A to-do list was posted at the entrance, with items to be crossed off."He provided a vehicle for community members for stepping up and helping," Susana Measelle Hubbs, who served on the school board and the Cape Diversity Coalition, said of Nasir. "And I think everyone who did was so appreciative of that opportunity." "He walks the talk," she added. One Sunday afternoon, Barbara Leen stopped by. An immigration lawyer, she had been fielding calls all week about getting people out of Afghanistan. She found Nasir at the house and, when she asked what he needed, he pointed to one of the bedrooms and said with a shrug, "Well, it's a nasty job, but you can scrape up the subfloor."Friends Barbara Leen, an immigration lawyer (left) and Emily Mavodones, holding daughter Thea, are among those who helped get the house ready for Omid and his family.Jodi Hilton for InsiderFor the next few hours, Leen went to work scraping up a rubbery substance so a new floor could be laid down. Afterward, when Nasir learned about Leen's day job, he laughed. "I'm not sure scraping subfloors is exactly what I need you for," he said.As the house neared completion, Nasir gave me a tour: "This is where the reception was, this is where the laboratory was, this is where you got your teeth drilled." A drawing of the Cape Elizabeth lighthouse, the Portland Head Light — Maine's oldest — was hung on the wall, beside wooden letters that spelled out HOME. In the front yard, Emily had dug up some evergreen bushes that blocked light from entering the downstairs windows and replaced them with junipers, dogwoods, and irises. From a refugee camp in Virginia, Omid and his family awaited the paperwork to move, then a COVID-19 quarantine, and then a second quarantine after a measles case was identified in their camp.Omid still had no idea about the house, or what was awaiting them in Cape Elizabeth. Nasir had decided it would all be a surprise.Art on one of the walls in Omid's home.Jodi Hilton for InsiderWelcomeOmid arrived in Maine wearing a loose pair of sweatpants and a phone charger fashioned into a belt. The family had almost nothing of their own. They would spend their first night in a hotel, and Nasir promised to pick them up the next day and drive them to a welcome party at his sister's house.The next morning, they all pulled up in front of the old dentist's office.Some 20 members of Nasir's extended family were standing out front. Emily was there too, along with her family. Pink, blue, and yellow balloons bobbed around them, and, inside, streamers dangled from the kitchen ceiling.Nasir led them into the house and showed Omid his new bedroom. "This is your house," he said, as he handed Omid a ring of keys.After a pause, Omid placed his hand over his heart, several times. Omid hugged Nasir, burying his head in his friend's shoulder. Both of them were in tears. They stood there, holding each other for a long time.A sense of belongingWithin two days of their arrival, Omid's two older children, 7-year-old Aref and 6-year-old Farzan, were attending elementary school in Cape Elizabeth. They had been set up with a social worker, a teacher for English as a Second Language, and a translation app. The younger kids, Karimah, 3, and Safa, the baby, stayed home with their mom.Omid worried that his kids had been scarred by their experience at the camps. No one had much of anything, and everyone competed for the clothing and toys that were doled out. "For the first three weeks when we arrived, my kids were completely wild," Omid told me.Nasir, perhaps playing the role of the advocate he wished he'd had when he first arrived in Portland as a refugee kid, met with the school's staff to explain what the children had experienced in the refugee camps. "Please don't judge them — they are really good kids," Nasir said.Omid holds his house keys.Jodi Hilton for InsiderSoon, though, Omid said with relief, things started to feel normal again. Nasir, just a few doors down, was happy to explain playdates, sleepovers, and other ins and outs of raising kids in the US. Emily would occasionally drop by to see how they were settling in. Privately, though, Omid was struggling. He was looking for a job, but nothing had come through yet. In these early days, while he waited to get an American driver's license, he relied mostly on donated Uber rides, a gift from someone in the Cape Elizabeth community. He missed being able to hop in his own car and make spontaneous trips with his wife and kids.For Nasir, the Maine countryside reminded him of the village in the north of Afghanistan where he was born — lots of trees and farmland, and quiet, which he liked. But Omid's life in Afghanistan had been in Kabul, a city of 4.6 million people when he was last there — more than three times the population of Maine. The city required constant vigilance. Driving around town meant navigating the security barriers that had been laid down to deter suicide car bombings. But it was home.In Afghanistan, Omid and his friends believed in seizing the day. They would make plans to go out for billiards and kebabs on a moment's notice. He couldn't adjust to the highly scheduled culture in which he now found himself. When people would suggest doing something days or weeks in the future, Omid would sometimes think to himself: "Who knows that you'll be alive then? Enjoy yourself!"Beyond Nasir and his extended family, neither Omid nor his wife, Palwasha, had found friends they could really talk to. Omid was also losing touch with his community from back home; it felt almost too painful to reach out. Friends of his had ended up in Turkey, England, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan, and others were back in Afghanistan. "My friends say, 'Now you have reached America, and you forgot everything.'" In fact, he'd found that staying in touch had made him miss them too much. Better to focus on the present, Omid thought. "What I am doing, and I'm sure what Palwasha is doing, is all for our kids," Omid told me. "We say to each other, and ourselves, that we lived in Afghanistan, we lived enough. So now, whatever it is, it is for our kids."It was at about this time when Omid and Nasir began taking their midnight walks. On those chilly, quiet nights, Omid could confide in his old friend.One night, during that first autumn, rain was falling, and Omid suggested — absurdly — that they go for a drive to check on one of Nasir's rental properties. Nasir gamely went along with it, understanding that his friend needed the company and the distraction. "Nasir was kind to me," Omid said, recalling the moment. Sometimes, Nasir told me, he'd forget that Omid was "freshly from Afghanistan," and that some of the things he observed in Omid were only natural. "You're fearful of people, you don't trust people easily'... I'm trying to tell him, 'This is America, you have freedom. Don't be fearful.'" "It will take a while for him to feel a sense of belonging," Nasir told me. Safa balances on Omid's palm.Jodi Hilton for InsiderEmily Mavodones, right, visits with Omid, left and Nasir at Omid's home, formerly a dentist's office.Jodi Hilton for InsiderOmid serves tea, nuts and dried fruits to Nasir, who on weekends and special occasions likes to wear Afghan clothes.Jodi Hilton for InsiderNasir, left, plays basketball with one of Omid's sons.Jodi Hilton for InsiderOn a crisp sunny day that first fall, the yellow leaves resplendent against a clear blue sky, Nasir was again playing host, as he and Emily welcomed guests to Omid's front yard for an official welcome party. Nasir's extended family prepared baklava and other treats. A local radio station was there, as well as Anne Carney, a Maine state senator. Neighbors stood about, holding cups of apple cider and cans of seltzer.Nasir climbed to the top of a chair and beamed down at the crowd. Wearing a vest over a long white tunic and loose pants, he joked that he looked the part of a traditional Afghan, while Omid, dressed in a navy-blue fleece and jeans, easily passed for an American. Omid stood beside him, looking slightly uncomfortable, as Nasir told the story of Omid's journey."I don't have words for Nasir," Omid told me later. "Thank is a small word. I love him, simply," Nasir tells him that, if he is trying to repay him, Omid is "in the wrong friendship."The length of your blanketOn a Friday afternoon in late July of this year, Omid's two older kids — Aref and Farzan — were hurtling through the house and yard, switching happily from game to game. Aref was demonstrating his karate kick. Farzan had taken a blue marker to their whiteboard. "Look what I'm drawing, a ghost!" he said. Then he lined up the dry-erase markers, red, green, and black. "It's the flag of Afghanistan," he said.By now, the boys spoke nearly perfect English. Omid told me that Farzan, in particular, preferred English. Palwasha is teaching their kids how to read and write in Pashto. She's also teaching Nasir's kids; they were all born in the US, and it's their first time taking lessons.  Later, as the boys looped around on their bikes, a neighbor from across the street came over with three zucchini from his garden. "We had extra," he said. His family is from Ukraine, and the blue-and-yellow Ukrainian flag hangs in his doorway. While the kids were living very much in the moment, the adults were still finding that more difficult. They are the keepers of too many memories, and too much hinged on their decisions.The house in Cape Elizabeth.Jodi Hilton for InsiderIt's not as if you can just snap your fingers and transform your life, Omid told me. But the family's progress in Cape Elizabeth was evident.After the welcome party, a neighbor had connected Omid with an IT job in Portland. He started in December, once he'd received his Social Security number. It was a contract role, from afternoon to evening, but it allowed Omid to support the family. In early January, Omid got his driver's license and started leasing a black Highlander. "It gave me the power to get out of the house," he said. So far, the family had made two big trips — to Virginia, nine hours away, and to Boston. On both trips, they delighted in time spent with Afghan Americans. Palwasha struck up a conversation with a woman from Pakistan, and the two women have stayed in touch. "Here, you will not find any Afghans, to at least talk with and share your feelings," Omid told me.Still, the progress could feel halting, and Omid was still seeking a permanent legal status for his family. Omid had an unexpected surgery in the spring and took a leave from his IT job; he'd been doing food-delivery service for extra income while he planned his next steps. Eventually, Omid would like to save up for a house, and start a business. He'd like to find work that feels challenging. He was accustomed, previously, to a comfortable life. Now, he worries that he will not be able to keep up with the wealth he sees around him, and that his kids will feel bad about it. He quoted an Afghan proverb that says you should wear the blanket that is your size, not the size of others; otherwise your feet will hang out the end and get cold. "Stretch your feet to the length of your blanket," the proverb says.  Palwasha, meanwhile, had been studying to get her driver's license. "We're having a lot of problems with the driving stuff, so she can at least come out of the house," Omid explained. "In Afghanistan, ladies drive, but it is not common. People there, if they see a lady driving, they tease her. 'Hey, you don't have a husband? Do you want a husband?'" He looked over at his wife. "She is my power. She is my advisor," he said. "She seems quiet, but she is not."Their neighbors have been a gift, they said. One of them, they refer to as "uncle." At various times, neighbors have dropped by to help fix the kids' bikes, lent Omid protective gear for his ears and eyes when he was spotted using a weed wacker without them, and inviting them over to pizza dinner. Together, they play basketball in one another's driveways and celebrate birthdays. "It's nice to look out the windows and see kids out there, and hear laughter," one of their neighbors told me.On a recent evening, the power had gone out while Omid was out delivering food. The neighbors came by with flashlights and games and kept the kids company until Omid got home. In the dark, Palwasha brought out a big tray of fruit. It was a cold evening, and they all sat together, huddled under a quilt to stay warm.The family visited an apple orchard in nearby Falmouth.Jodi Hilton for Insider'We had a beautiful life'Omid took a seat next to Palwasha on the couch, as Safa wiggled between their laps. Omid held up his laptop and they flipped through photos, starting with their wedding.Theirs had been an arranged marriage. It was held in Kabul, where they're both from, and 1,000 guests were there to celebrate. The two grew animated as they pointed out relatives and friends and memories from their former life. In one photo, Omid wore a shiny gray suit. Palwasha had picked it out for him. "I had about 20 suits while I was living in Afghanistan," Omid said. "And I left it all behind." He paused. "I'm the guy who never went to the office with jeans."Omid clicked on a photo of their apartment in Kabul. It had high ceilings, and they had painted every room a different color — pink, maroon, light gray, and white. "If you get bored in one room, you go to the next room, and your mind will be changed," Omid said. "We loved these colors." After Omid's family escaped Kabul, members of his extended family came by to collect some of their more precious items, and gave other things away. The apartment is no longer theirs. Omid pointed to the living-room rug, with its bold flowers, and said he had paid about $3,000 for it. "I was fond of this stuff," he said. "We had a beautiful life." Then, a photo of Omid in his office, at his last job in Afghanistan. "It was a big project," he said. "I miss it."They paused over a family photo from the day they left. Omid stiffened on the coach and the room went still. The portal had closed, and the mood, broken.They'd taken the picture to send to the US Marines at the airport so that they would be recognized. No one was smiling; they all looked straight at the camera, except for Safa, who stared up at the sky.Transported back to the present, Omid stood up and stepped away from the couch.Carnival They'd had a late lunch — creamy shola rice — so no one was hungry. Omid and Palwasha suggested an outing.They climbed into the Highlander, and the voice of Ahmad Zahir, singing in Dari, came on from the speakers. Palwasha relaxed into her seat. Aref's voice came from behind her: "I love family time."Crossing the Casco Bay Bridge, Omid drives into Portland. One of his first priorities upon arriving in Maine was to get his U.S. driver’s license and acquire a car.Jodi Hilton for InsiderThey drove a bit, and then Omid pulled up to the Old Orchard Beach carnival. Spotting the lit-up Ferris wheel and roller coaster, the boys jumped up and down, as their mother carefully transferred Safa, already fast asleep, to a stroller.Once inside, they passed an arcade, which Omid said reminded him of the video-game arcade they liked in Kabul. He bought a bundle of tickets, and Palwasha and the boys headed over to the Matterhorn and then the Pirate's Ship, snapping selfies as the boys shrieked with delight. Karimah, too little for most of the rides, poked her head through a cutout of a lobster's body and a Southwestern-themed scene called "Tortilla sunrise."The family reunited at the carousel. "It smells like the ocean," Aref murmured as his horse glided up and down a gold pole.Before too long, Karimah had claimed Safa's stroller, and Palwasha was carrying the baby. Requests for ice cream were met with gentle reminders that they had ice cream at home.They climbed back into the Highlander, content and sleepy. Omid took out his phone. "Siri, take me home," he said. "Siri, take me home."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 18th, 2022

The 13 best horror movies to stream, from "Carrie" to "Halloween"

The Halloween season is the perfect time to cozy up on the couch to watch a scary movie. Here are some of our favorite horror flicks to stream. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Warner Bros. The Halloween season is the perfect time to put together your own horror movie marathon at home. There are tons of scary movies on streaming services like HBO Max, Hulu, Prime Video, and Netflix. You can stream some of our favorites right now, like "The Shining," "Carrie," and more. If you're in the mood for something scary to watch this Halloween, there are tons of horror films available to stream on many popular services, from HBO Max to Paramount Plus.Though there's no shortage of options, figuring out which spine-tingling films are worth your time can be tricky. With that in mind, we asked our reporters and editors to recommend some of their own personal favorites. Our picks run the gamut from slasher flicks to supernatural ghost stories, ensuring that there's something for every horror fan to enjoy.Below, you can find all of our picks for the best horror movies you can watch right now. We've noted which streaming service you'll need for each recommendation, so you'll have no trouble setting up your own horror movie marathon. 'The Shining' on HBO MaxWarner Bros.Few horror movies are as iconic as Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining." Though it deviates a fair amount from Stephen King's classic novel, the movie carves out its own equally terrifying identity.When a father (Jack Nicholson) takes his wife and young child to a secluded hotel, he's gradually driven mad by the evil spirits that reside there. Nicholson's unhinged performance is perfect, and the movie's haunting imagery will leave a lasting impact.A sequel, titled "Doctor Sleep," was released in 2019, nearly 40 years after the original movie. It's also streaming on HBO Max and is worth watching if you're in the mood for a spooky double feature. — Steven Cohen, Senior Streaming Editor"The Shining" holds an "85% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'Willy's Wonderland' on HuluScreen MediaWhen you need a break from the jump scares and creeps, "Willy's Wonderland" is a fun watch that still has elements of horror. It stars Nicolas Cage as a wordless protagonist trapped in a Chuck E. Cheese-like restaurant for a night. The catch? All of the animatronic animals are possessed by evil spirits.It's bloody, action-packed, and a great watch with friends, especially if you're a fan of the similar "Five Nights at Freddy's" video game series. — Sarah Saril, Tech Deals and Streaming Reporter"Willy's Wonderland" received a 60% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'Train to Busan' on PeacockWell Go USAI'm not the biggest fan of paranormal or supernatural horror movies, as I enjoy being able to sleep at night, but I do love an occasional zombie movie. "Train to Busan" is an emotional and jarring film about a zombie outbreak in South Korea.It follows the story of a dad (Yoo Gong) and his daughter (Su-an Kim) who are on the last train to Busan — the safe city of the outbreak. It will truly have you on the edge of your seat the entire time. — Anna Popp, Home and Kitchen Fellow"Train to Busan" received a "94% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'Halloween' on AMC PlusJohn Carpenter and Debra Hill cowrote "Halloween."Compass International PicturesIf you're looking for a horror movie to watch, you really can't go wrong with "Halloween." This quintessential slasher flick remains terrifying more than 40 years after it first hit screens, and it's helped spawn a franchise with a dozen installments. The original release from 1978 remains the best, with excellent direction from John Carpenter, a harrowing performance by Jamie Lee Curtis, and the debut of one of horror cinema's most iconic villains, Michael Myers. — Steven Cohen, Senior Streaming Editor"Halloween" received a "96% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'Carrie' on AMC PlusUnited ArtistsStephen King's "Carrie" from 1976 demonstrates what happens when you push a vulnerable teenager too far. Sissy Spacek plays the title character, a shy girl with telekinetic powers who is being bullied in high school.She wants nothing but acceptance but her classmates won't let up. This leads to a terrifying finale at her prom, which has gone on to become one of the most iconic climaxes in horror movie history.The film is critically acclaimed and widely recognized as one of King's best novel-to-film adaptations. "Carrie" has a "93% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. — Sarah Saril, Tech Deals and Streaming Reporter'Scream' on Paramount PlusDimension FilmsWes Craven's "Scream" is a '90s horror movie classic. The clever film has a playful sense of humor that examines the genre's many tropes and cliches, but it still manages to be a genuinely thrilling slasher.The movie's now iconic Ghostface killer has become a pop culture staple, and the first film's success has led to a whole franchise of sequels. Five "Scream" films are available to watch now, and a sixth is in development. The first is still the best of the bunch, but they're all worth a watch if you're in the mood for a slasher marathon. You can stream the first four "Scream Movies" on Paramount Plus, while the most recent sequel is on Showtime. — Steven Cohen, Senior Streaming Editor"Scream" (1996) has an "80% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. 'The Taking of Deborah Logan' on Amazon Prime VideoMillennium EntertainmentAt a glance, this film had the potential to be a very cheesy watch, but it ended up being very spooky! The premise involves a film crew following an elderly woman with Alzheimer's disease, but things take a supernatural turn.Some of the scenes are so haunting, with imagery that still sticks behind my eyelids. It's a found footage type of movie, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it didn't make me motion sick at all.  — Sarah Saril, Tech Deals and Streaming Reporter"The Taking of Deborah Logan" holds a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'Mandy' on Shudder and AMC PlusSundance InstituteI love scary movies, and 'Mandy' is one of the most underrated horror flicks ever made. The film takes place in the 1980s and stars Nicolas Cage as a man named Red. When a hippie cult kidnaps Red's wife Mandy (played by Andrea Riseborough), he seeks revenge while learning about the group's twisted pseudo-religious psychedelic practices.Composer Jóhann Jóhannsson's score is marvelous, and the cinematography keeps you transfixed. I loved the movie so much, I splurged on a novelty box of mac and cheese inspired by it. — James Brains, Home and Kitchen Reporter"Mandy" received a "90% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'X' on ShowtimeA24A24 is known for producing some unique and creepy horror movies, and "X" is one of the studio's latest hits. The slasher flick takes place in 1979 and follows a group of filmmakers who rent an old house in Texas to shoot an adult film.Once they get to the location, they meet the property's owners: an elderly couple that doesn't have any idea what the gang plans to do. When the couple discovers the shoot, things take a deadly turn, leading to some gruesome horror."X" is a good fit for fans of '70s style slasher flicks and it's now available to stream on Showtime. Director Ti West is also expanding the story with two additional entries to create a trilogy. A prequel, called "Pearl," is available on-demand, and a sequel, titled "MaXXXine," is in development.  — Steven Cohen, Senior Streaming Editor"X" has a "94% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'Psycho Goreman' on AMC PlusShudderA gore-filled horror comedy with nostalgic practical effects, "Psycho Goreman" follows two kids who unintentionally summon an ancient alien with a thirst for blood. Contrary to everything you might expect, the kids turn the tables by holding the alien hostage and treating him as a glorified, bulletproof servant. They even dress him up as a handsome cowboy. The plot is fun and wacky, but my personal favorite aspect of the movie is its use of over-the-top practical effects. It's like watching classic "Power Rangers," but from the perspective of the villains, in all of their cheesy extravagance. — Sarah Saril, Tech Deals and Streaming Reporter"Psycho Goreman" received a "92% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'Pulse' on Amazon Prime VideoHBOA cult-classic from Japan, "Pulse" uses two parallel storylines that eventually collide. The plot follows a supernatural and technological phenomenon sweeping the country, resulting in people disappearing. Atmospheric, spooky, and more than a little confusing, it's hard to explain the story without giving too much away. If you're a fan of films like "Parasite" or "Hereditary," I suggest you give "Pulse" a try. "Pulse" isn't a perfect movie, but it has some very haunting scenes and moments that are still imprinted behind my eyelids. Though it isn't filled with gore or jump scares, the film instead builds up an overwhelming sense of dread, that by the end, is inescapable. — Sarah Saril, Tech Deals and Streaming Reporter"Pulse" received a "75% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'It Follows' on NetflixAnimal KingdomI heard a lot of jokes about this movie before I ever watched it, and while its premise — a sexually-transmitted curse — is joke worthy, "It Follows" is easily one of the most haunting films I've seen to date. It does more than build up a sense of doom over the movie's duration; it also really makes you feel the horror of being a teenager trapped in suburbia. "It Follows" has its jump scares, but I think the scariest aspect is the environment the film creates to make you feel cornered, hopeless, and distrusting of strangers. After watching this one, I had a hard time walking through my own neighborhood in broad daylight without feeling tense. — Sarah Saril, Tech Deals and Streaming Reporter"It Follows" received a "96% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. 'Significant Other' on Paramount PlusParamountIf you're in the mood for a tense thriller in the woods that mixes up horror, sci-fi, and drama, then "Significant Other" is well worth checking out. The new Paramount Plus original follows a couple on a hiking trip in the Pacific Northwest.Though things start off normal, it soon becomes clear that there's something strange in the wilderness. Though you might begin to suspect the movie is going in one direction, the script has a clever twist that takes the final act down an unexpected path.  — Steven Cohen, Senior Streaming Editor"Significant Other" has a "72% Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 28th, 2022

Amgen (AMGN) is a Top-Ranked Value Stock: Should You Buy?

Whether you're a value, growth, or momentum investor, finding strong stocks becomes easier with the Zacks Style Scores, a top feature of the Zacks Premium research service. For new and old investors, taking full advantage of the stock market and investing with confidence are common goals. Zacks Premium provides lots of different ways to do both.Featuring daily updates of the Zacks Rank and Zacks Industry Rank, full access to the Zacks #1 Rank List, Equity Research reports, and Premium stock screens, the research service can help you become a smarter, more self-assured investor.Zacks Premium includes access to the Zacks Style Scores as well.What are the Zacks Style Scores?The Zacks Style Scores is a unique set of guidelines that rates stocks based on three popular investing types, and were developed as complementary indicators for the Zacks Rank. This combination helps investors choose securities with the highest chances of beating the market over the next 30 days.Each stock is given an alphabetic rating of A, B, C, D or F based on their value, growth, and momentum qualities. With this system, an A is better than a B, a B is better than a C, and so on, meaning the better the score, the better chance the stock will outperform.The Style Scores are broken down into four categories:Value ScoreValue investors love finding good stocks at good prices, especially before the broader market catches on to a stock's true value. Utilizing ratios like P/E, PEG, Price/Sales, Price/Cash Flow, and many other multiples, the Value Style Score identifies the most attractive and most discounted stocks.Growth ScoreGrowth investors are more concerned with a stock's future prospects, and the overall financial health and strength of a company. Thus, the Growth Style Score analyzes characteristics like projected and historic earnings, sales, and cash flow to find stocks that will see sustainable growth over time.Momentum ScoreMomentum traders and investors live by the saying "the trend is your friend." This investing style is all about taking advantage of upward or downward trends in a stock's price or earnings outlook. Employing factors like one-week price change and the monthly percentage change in earnings estimates, the Momentum Style Score can indicate favorable times to build a position in high-momentum stocks.VGM ScoreIf you like to use all three kinds of investing, then the VGM Score is for you. It's a combination of all Style Scores, and is an important indicator to use with the Zacks Rank. The VGM Score rates each stock on their shared weighted styles, narrowing down the companies with the most attractive value, best growth forecast, and most promising momentum.How Style Scores Work with the Zacks RankA proprietary stock-rating model, the Zacks Rank utilizes the power of earnings estimate revisions, or changes to a company's earnings outlook, to help investors create a successful portfolio.It's highly successful, with #1 (Strong Buy) stocks producing an unmatched +25.41% average annual return since 1988. That's more than double the S&P 500. But because of the large number of stocks we rate, there are over 200 companies with a Strong Buy rank, plus another 600 with a #2 (Buy) rank, on any given day.With more than 800 top-rated stocks to choose from, it can certainly feel overwhelming to pick the ones that are right for you and your investing journey.That's where the Style Scores come in.To have the best chance of big returns, you'll want to always consider stocks with a Zacks Rank #1 or #2 that also have Style Scores of A or B, which will give you the highest probability of success. If you're looking at stocks with a #3 (Hold) rank, it's important they have Scores of A or B as well to ensure as much upside potential as possible.The direction of a stock's earnings estimate revisions should always be a key factor when choosing which stocks to buy, since the Scores were created to work together with the Zacks Rank.For instance, a stock with a #4 (Sell) or #5 (Strong Sell) rating, even one that boasts Scores of A and B, still has a downward-trending earnings forecast, and a much greater likelihood its share price will decline as well.Thus, the more stocks you own with a #1 or #2 Rank and Scores of A or B, the better.Stock to Watch: Amgen (AMGN)Thousand Oaks, CA-based Amgen is one of the biggest biotech companies in the world, with a strong presence in the oncology/hematology, cardiovascular disease, neuroscience, inflammation, bone health and nephrology and neuroscience markets. The company used advances in cellular and molecular biology to develop two of the biotech industry’s earliest and most successful drugs, Epogen (anemia) and Neupogen (white blood cell stimulant). Amgen successfully launched two next-generation products, Aranesp and Neulasta.  Meanwhile, the acquisition of Immunex Corporation gave Amgen access to the multi-blockbuster drug, Enbrel. However, all these older drugs are facing declining sales due to biosimilar or branded competition, which is being somewhat offset by its newer blockbuster drugs like Prolia/Xgeva. Other products are Repatha, Blincyto, Parsabiv, Evenity, Aimovig, Lumakras/Lumykras, Kanjinti, Mvasi and Amgevita biosimilars.AMGN is a #3 (Hold) on the Zacks Rank, with a VGM Score of B.It also boasts a Value Style Score of B thanks to attractive valuation metrics like a forward P/E ratio of 14.41; value investors should take notice.Seven analysts revised their earnings estimate upwards in the last 60 days for fiscal 2022. The Zacks Consensus Estimate has increased $0.02 to $17.42 per share. AMGN boasts an average earnings surprise of 5.6%.With a solid Zacks Rank and top-tier Value and VGM Style Scores, AMGN should be on investors' short list. 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days Just released: Experts distill 7 elite stocks from the current list of 220 Zacks Rank #1 Strong Buys. They deem these tickers "Most Likely for Early Price Pops." Since 1988, the full list has beaten the market more than 2X over with an average gain of +24.8% per year. So be sure to give these hand-picked 7 your immediate attention. See them now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Amgen Inc. (AMGN): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksAug 17th, 2022

The 20 best books by Stephen King, according to Goodreads users

Stephen King's best books span genres from horror and thriller to historical fiction and memoir. Here are the top ones, based on Goodreads reviews. Stephen King's stories have been adapted into television series and films, and his books have sold over 350 million collective copies.Amazon; Samantha Lee/Insider Stephen King is an author famous for his suspenseful horror novels. Some of his books have been turned into movies like "The Shining" and "It." We used Goodreads to rank his most popular novels. While some readers gravitate toward heartwarming love stories or informative nonfiction, others love the wide-eyed suspense and fear of a great horror story or thrilling mystery novel. Stephen King has become a legendary writer since his first book was published in 1974 and has garnered worldwide fans, earned countless awards, and topped bestseller lists with his horror, thriller, science-fiction, and crime reads.  King has received nearly 17 million ratings from Goodreads reviewers across dozens of novels, so we turned to them to rank his best books. Goodreads is the world's largest platform for readers to rate, review, and recommend books so whether you love a great horror novel or crave a suspenseful book that keeps you up at night, here are the most popular Stephen King novels, as ranked by Goodreads reviewers.The 20 best Stephen King books, according to Goodreads:20. A supernatural, science fiction horror storyBookshop"The Institute," available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.79This 2019 Goodreads Choice Awards winner for Best Horror follows Luke Ellis as he wakes up in The Institute after his parents are murdered and he's taken from his home. At The Institute, Luke finds other kids with extranormal gifts like his own and a staff determined to extract them, with brutal punishment waiting for those who disobey. Number of 5-star reviews on Goodreads: 85,10919. The third novel in a thrilling seriesAmazon"The Waste Lands," available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.98In "The Dark Tower" series, readers follow Roland, the last in a knightly order, on his quest to reach the Dark Tower — the only hope for his world. This is the third book, where Roland experiences double memories as a result of saving a boy who had already died in a parallel universe. Roland and his new gang of fellow gunslingers must draw the boy into their world in order to reach the Dark Tower. This novel is full of important character development and genuine entertainment from the plot, one that solidifies readers' necessity to continue the series. Number of 5-star reviews on Goodreads: 91,59918. A thrilling fantasy tale of a mysterious storeAmazon"Needful Things" available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.19In his shop, Needful Things, Leland Gaunt knows that every customer will find the object of their heart's deepest desire. In exchange, Leland asks for a small prank to be carried out on his behalf, generating a novel of chaos in a small town. This story is fascinating as the characters are tempted and lured into complete obsession over possessions, blinded by greed and willing to do anything for the object they want — even murder. It's an intense novel, a thriller and fantasy that swirls with mayhem while still being the small-town horror that King writes so well.Number of 5-star reviews on Goodreads: 77,94017. An anticipated sequel to a modern classicAmazon"Doctor Sleep," available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.22In this sequel, readers reunite with Dan Torrance, once the young boy from "The Shining," but now a middle-aged man drifting through life. When Dan settles into a job at a nursing home in New Hampshire, he's coined "Doctor Sleep," using his paranormal abilities to help and comfort the dying. But there is a group of traveling, murderous paranormals who are deriving their energy from the "steam" given off by paranormal children as they're tortured and killed. When Dan meets 12-year-old Abra with the same gift he has, he knows he must try to save her. This is a psychological and gory sequel, hugely satisfying to readers who adored "The Shining." Number of 5-star reviews on Goodreads: 90,13816. A not-so-sweet story about a Saint BernardAmazon"Cujo," available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.97"Cujo" is a 1981 psychological horror read about a Saint Bernard named Cujo who gets bitten by a bat while chasing a rabbit and is quickly overcome by a sickness that has turned him uncontrollably towards murder. As Cujo creates a flurry of fear and madness, everyone in their small town fears for their safety in this gruesome and nail-biting read. Number of 5-star reviews on Goodreads: 71,24415. A new suspenseful and haunting horror novelAmazon"The Outsider," available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.16This bone-chilling Stephen King horror won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Mystery & Thriller in 2018 for its unsettling plot and page-turning investigation. When a young boy's body is found in a park, copious DNA evidence immediately points investigators towards Terry Maitland, a local Little League coach and teacher. Yet after a swift arrest, their investigation slowly brings new and horrifying answers to light.  Number of 5-star reviews on Goodreads: 78,65114. The second installment of a beloved seriesAmazon"The Drawing of the Three," available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.99This is the second book of "The Dark Tower" series, which follows Roland, The Last Gunslinger, on his quest to reach the Dark Tower, the nexus of all universes that his world desperately needs to survive. In this sequel, Roland navigates a world that is a nightmarish mirror of our own to encounter a beach with three doors. Each is a gateway to a person living in New York with whom Roland must collaborate to fight evil forces. This book is a plot-driven horror story mixed with magical realism, a page-turning novel that demonstrates some of the best of King's cross-genre writing. Number of 5-star reviews on Goodreads: 106,37013. A psychological sci-fi novelAmazon"Under the Dome," available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.42On an otherwise normal day, the residents in Chester's Mill, Maine find themselves trapped under an invisible dome, a forcefield separating them from the rest of the world. Told through multiple perspectives, a group of citizens comes together to fight their new enemies in this strange and unprecedented dystopia. There is a large cast of characters in this story, but King writes each one as a prominent individual so readers can easily follow each story. "Under the Dome" is definitely a violent science-fiction thriller, but also comes peppered with dark humor and strong characters, making it a rich read with profound messages about contemporary society. Number of 5-star reviews on Goodreads: 91,93312. A suspenseful true crime mystery thrillerAmazon"Mr. Mercedes," available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.29The opening of this book is emotional but quickly turns gruesome, as a man driving a Mercedes plows into a line of innocent people waiting at a job fair. After killing eight and injuring 15, the man gets away and retired detective Bill Hodges is left haunted by the crime. On the verge of suicide, Bill receives a message from the murderer, spurring a mission to catch the killer before he strikes again. The juxtaposition between the conniving and manipulative Mr. Mercedes and the tired but determined Hodges is what makes this King novel such an invigorating read. It continues on to create the "Bill Hodges" trilogy, a fast-paced supernatural series featuring this detective-turned-hero.Number of 5-star reviews on Goodreads: 93,37211. An autobiographical self-help book about writingAmazon"On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft," available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.99In a book that is part-memoir and part-advice, Stephen King uses his personal anecdotes to inspire budding and aspiring writers. While his guidance is not always sparkling with encouragement, it's always realistic: imploring that those who wish to be writers must be constantly learning, reading, and writing every day. King is honest about his own struggles and setbacks and offers insight into his methods and inspirations which culminate in a master class from one of the most successful writers of this generation. Number of 5-star reviews on Goodreads: 134,05810. A dramatic and emotional bookAmazon"The Green Mile," available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.29"The Green Mile" is a series that was released one volume at a time in 1996, with each installment landing on the "New York Times" Best-Seller List. Now compiled as a single work, it follows Paul Edgecombe, a prison guard at Cold Mountain Penitentiary where convicted killers wait to walk "the green mile" to the electric chair. Though Paul has seen nearly everything, his experiences with inmate John Coffey are like no other. John is a strange inmate, convicted of a depraved crime despite appearing to have the mind of a child. This is a thought-provoking and emotional novel, an iconic and believable story that mixes in shocking elements consistent with King's horror style. Number of 5-star reviews on Goodreads: 167,6299. A horrifying vampire storyAmazon"Salem's Lot," available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.36This was Stephen King's second published novel, the story of writer Ben Mears who returns to his childhood town of Jerusalem's Lot (nicknamed 'Salem's Lot) to confront the evil he once escaped. This unique vampire story is packed with more horror than most of King's other works and is inspired by classic vampire tales and films. King writes incredible small-town horrors and this one is no different, featuring a wonderful, quaint town with secrets of abuse, violence, and murder not far beneath the surface. This story is suspenseful and foreboding, a vampire horror for any reader who's ready to be scared. Number of 5-star reviews on Goodreads: 145,1578. A paranormal novel with building horrorAmazon"Pet Sematary," available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.99In rural Maine, a picturesque family has moved into a perfect home to live a simple and happy life, just to find the town is haunted by horrors that should have remained dead — all seeming to originate from an evil and ominous nearby pet cemetery. This is a slow-burn horror, one that offers less gore but rather builds and builds on disturbing elements and skin-crawling feelings to scare readers in a way only Stephen King can. The developments in this novel are shocking and nightmarish, with even King admitting that this story scared him more than his others. Number of 5-star reviews on Goodreads: 189,0587. A historical fiction, time travel thriller about JFKAmazon"11/22/63," available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $18.25This is a time travel adventure novel that tells the story of Jake Epping, a high school English teacher who is introduced to a portal to 1958 and sets out on a mission to stop the JFK assassination. Jake adopts a new identity, tests the rules of time travel, and discovers what may wait in the present if he's to succeed. With very little (if any) horror in this novel, King fans get to experience a thrilling historical fiction story, one where the fascinating "what ifs" of history are explored through time travel. Number of 5-star reviews on Goodreads: 244,7546. The first of a heroic fantasy seriesAmazon"The Gunslinger," available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.62This is the first installment of King's hugely popular series "The Dark Tower," of which there are eight books and a short story. Roland of Gilead is The Last Gunslinger — the final hero in a knightly order. With a mix of dark fantasy, horror, and Western themes, the story follows Roland as he sets off on his quest for the Dark Tower which holds all of existence together. On his journey, he pursues his arch-nemesis, develops a friendship, and meets a mysterious woman. An added excitement for regular King readers is the tie-ins to other novels: references and Easter eggs that expand and intertwine King's multiverse. Number of 5-star reviews on Goodreads: 213,4455. A supernatural horror story centered on bullyingAmazon"Carrie," available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.99Stephen King's first published novel focuses on Carrie White, a telekinetic teenager who's able to move objects with her mind. Abused and bullied all her life, one particularly traumatic day unleashes a streak of revenge that cumulates with a famously terrifying prom night scene. This modern horror classic is also a powerful anti-bullying testament, offering the frightening combination of real and supernatural elements that makes it an exceptionally fast read.Number of 5-star reviews on Goodreads: 210,8514. An intense psychological thriller about an obsessive fanAmazon"Misery," available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.69After celebrating the release of a new novel, Paul Sheldon gets in a car accident in the Rocky Mountains and is rescued by Anne Wilkes, his #1 fan. While nursing Paul back to health after he shattered both his legs, she compels him to write a new novel, furious that he killed off her favorite character. Fueled by obsession, Anne keeps Paul captive in a story of torture, psychological manipulation, and addiction. This is a gory and gruesome horror novel with a multi-dimensional villain, an intense and graphic tale of the struggle between prisoner and captor. Number of 5-star reviews on Goodreads: 267,2793. A post-apocalyptic fantasy thrillerAmazon"The Stand," available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.89This book begins the day after 99% of the Earth's population is killed from a man-made flu that was accidentally released. The few remaining survivors are plagued with strange dreams and struggle with a society torn between two prevailing allegiances. At over 1,100 pages, this masterpiece combines King's classic supernatural and fantasy elements and combines them with an apocalyptic dystopia that addresses huge topics of survival, religion, and the ultimate compass of morality. Number of 5-star reviews on Goodreads: 386,8962. An iconic creepy clown horror storyAmazon"It," available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.97In Derry, Maine, seven teenagers first discovered the horror that they deemed "It" — often taking the form of Pennywise the Clown. Now adults, each with their own successes, one of the self-proclaimed "Losers Club" asks the gang to return and end the evil creature's reign once and for all. Stephen King uses dual timelines from 1958 and 1985 and chilling descriptions to develop unique characters and explore deep themes that extend far beyond the traditional horror genre. Number of 5-star reviews on Goodreads: 490,9121. A modern horror classicAmazon"The Shining," available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.36It should hardly be a surprise that Stephen King's most popular book is also his first-ever bestseller: "The Shining," a classic 1977 horror novel, spurred a cult-favorite movie and a sequel. It's a deeply suspenseful paranormal story about Jack Torrance, who starts a new job as a caretaker at the Overlook Hotel, hoping to spend more time with his family and work on his writing. During the off-season, a chilling winter storm confines Jack to the hotel — and sinister forces begin to emerge. It's a classic haunted house story that has been scaring readers for nearly 50 years.Number of 5-star reviews on Goodreads: 652,896Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytAug 2nd, 2022

The 20 best books by John Grisham, the bestselling author of legal thrillers like "A Time to Kill" and "The Pelican Brief"

From the Jake Brigance books to "The Firm," these are John Grishman's best courtroom thrillers, according to Goodreads. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.From the Jake Brigance books to "The Firm," these are John Grishman's best courtroom thrillers, according to Goodreads.Amazon/Insider John Grisham is the master of the courtroom thriller. He's written 28 number-one bestselling novels. You'll find his 20 best books below, according to their Goodreads ratings. Read more: The best new beach reads for 2022 If you think of a heart-pumping legal thriller, you probably picture John Grisham, one of the most successful authors in modern history.Since his debut novel, "A Time to Kill," earned him mainstream popularity, Grisham has written dozens of courtroom thrillers  — including 28 consecutive number-one fiction bestsellers. "The Firm," Grisham's second book, once spent 47 weeks on The New York Times best-seller list. And, for the next two decades, he was the author of one of the 10 bestselling novels of the year. Below, you'll find Grisham's 20 most unmissable books, ranked by Goodreads readers. It's worth noting that this list is ranked by rating, so sequels may be out of chronological order. Beware of unwanted spoilers, and if you're looking for the most recent book, check out Grisham's 2022 novel, "Sparring Partners."The 20 best John Grisham books, ranked by their Goodreads ratings: Descriptions provided by Amazon and lightly edited for clarity and length.20. "The Reckoning"Amazon"The Reckoning," available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.29October 1946, Clanton, Mississippi.Pete Banning was Clanton, Mississippi's favorite son — a decorated World War II hero, the patriarch of a prominent family, a farmer, father, neighbor, and a faithful member of the Methodist church. Then one cool October morning he rose early, drove into town, and committed a shocking crime. Pete's only statement about it — to the sheriff, to his lawyers, to the judge, to the jury, and to his family — was: "I have nothing to say." He was not afraid of death and was willing to take his motive to the grave.John Grisham takes us on an incredible journey, from the Jim Crow South to the jungles of the Philippines during World War II; from an insane asylum filled with secrets to the Clanton courtroom where Pete's defense attorney tries desperately to save him. 19. "A Painted House"Amazon"A Painted House," available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.29Until that September of 1952, Luke Chandler had never kept a secret or told a single lie. But in the long, hot summer of his seventh year, two groups of migrant workers — and two very dangerous men — came through the Arkansas Delta to work the Chandler cotton farm. And suddenly mysteries are flooding Luke's world.A brutal murder leaves the town seething in gossip and suspicion. A beautiful young woman ignites forbidden passions. A fatherless baby is born... and someone has begun furtively painting the bare clapboards of the Chandler farmhouse, slowly, painstakingly, bathing the run-down structure in gleaming white. And as young Luke watches the world around him, he unravels secrets that could shatter lives — and change his family and his town forever....18. "The Brethren"Amazon"The Brethren," available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.29They call themselves the Brethren: three disgraced former judges doing time in a Florida federal prison. One was sent up for tax evasion. Another, for skimming bingo profits. The third for a career-ending drunken joyride.Meeting daily in the prison law library, taking exercise walks in their boxer shorts, these judges-turned-felons can reminisce about old court cases, dispense a little jailhouse justice, and contemplate where their lives went wrong. Or they can use their time in prison to get very rich — very fast.And so they sit, sprawled in the prison library, furiously writing letters, fine-tuning a wickedly brilliant extortion scam — while events outside their prison walls begin to erupt. A bizarre presidential election is holding the nation in its grips, and a powerful government figure is pulling some very hidden strings. For the Brethren, the timing couldn't be better. Because they've just found the perfect victim.17. "Rogue Lawyer"Amazon"Rogue Lawyer," available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.29On the right side of the law — sort of — Sebastian Rudd is not your typical street lawyer. His office is a customized bulletproof van, complete with Wi-Fi, a bar, a small fridge, and fine leather chairs. He has no firm, no partners, and only one employee: his heavily armed driver, who also so happens to be his bodyguard, law clerk, confidant, and golf caddie. Sebastian drinks small-batch bourbon and carries a gun. He defends people other lawyers won't go near: a drug-addled, tattooed kid rumored to be in a satanic cult; a vicious crime lord on death row; a homeowner arrested for shooting at a SWAT team that mistakenly invaded his house. Why these clients? Because Sebastian believes everyone is entitled to a fair trial — even if he has to bend the law to secure one.16. "Camino Island"Amazon"Camino Island," available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.29A gang of thieves stage a daring heist from a vault deep below Princeton University's Firestone Library. Their loot is priceless, impossible to resist.Bruce Cable owns a popular bookstore in the sleepy resort town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island in Florida. He makes his real money, though, as a prominent dealer in rare books. Very few people know that he occasionally dabbles in unsavory ventures.Mercer Mann is a young novelist with a severe case of writer's block who has recently been laid off from her teaching position. She is approached by an elegant, mysterious woman working for an even more mysterious company. A generous monetary offer convinces Mercer to go undercover and infiltrate Cable's circle of literary friends, to get close to the ringleader, to discover his secrets.But soon Mercer learns far too much, and there's trouble in paradise.15. "The Chamber"Amazon"The Chamber," available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.99In the corridors of Chicago's top law firm: 26-year-old Adam Hall stands on the brink of a brilliant legal career. Now he is risking it all for a death-row killer and an impossible case.Maximum Security Unit, Mississippi State Prison: Sam Cayhall is a former Klansman and unrepentant racist now facing the death penalty for a fatal bombing in 1967. He has run out of chances — except for one: the young, liberal Chicago lawyer who just happens to be his grandson.While the executioners prepare the gas chamber, while the protesters gather and the TV cameras wait, Adam has only days, hours, minutes to save his client. For between the two men is a chasm of shame, family lies, and secrets — including the one secret that could save Sam Cayhall's life... or cost Adam his.14. "The Racketeer"Amazon"The Racketeer," available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.29In the history of the United States, only four active federal judges have been murdered. Judge Raymond Fawcett has just become number five.His body is found in his remote lakeside cabin. There is no sign of forced entry or struggle. Just two dead bodies: Judge Fawcett and his young secretary. And one large, state-of-the-art, extremely secure safe — opened and emptied.Who is the Racketeer? And what does he have to do with the judge's untimely demise? His name, for the moment, is Malcolm Bannister. Job status? Former attorney. Current residence? The Federal Prison Camp near Frostburg, Maryland.On paper, Malcolm's situation isn't looking too good these days, but he's got an ace up his sleeve. He knows who killed Judge Fawcett, and he knows why. The FBI would love to know. And Malcolm Bannister would love to tell them. But everything has a price — especially information as explosive as the sequence of events that led to Judge Fawcett's death. And the Racketeer wasn't born yesterday.13. "The Street Lawyer"Amazon"The Street Lawyer," available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.29Michael Brock is billing the hours, making the money, rushing relentlessly to the top of Drake & Sweeney, a giant DC law firm. One step away from partnership, Michael has it all. Then, in an instant, it all comes undone.A homeless man takes nine lawyers hostage in the firm's plush offices. When it is all over, the man's blood is splattered on Michael's face — and suddenly Michael is willing to do the unthinkable. Rediscovering a conscience he lost long ago, Michael is leaving the big time for the streets where his attacker once lived — and where society's powerless need an advocate for justice.But there's one break Michael can't make: from a secret that has floated up from the depths of Drake & Sweeney, from a confidential file that is now in Michael's hands, and from a conspiracy that has already taken lives. Now Michael's former partners are about to become his bitter enemies. Because to them, Michael Brock is the most dangerous man on the streets.12. "The Confession"Amazon"The Confession," available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.29An innocent man is about to be executed. Only a guilty man can save him.In 1998, in the small East Texas city of Sloan, Travis Boyette abducted, raped, and strangled a popular high school cheerleader. He buried her body so that it would never be found, then watched in amazement as police and prosecutors arrested and convicted Donté Drumm, a local football star, and marched him off to death row.Now nine years have passed. Travis has just been paroled in Kansas for a different crime; Donté is four days away from his execution. Travis suffers from an inoperable brain tumor. For the first time in his miserable life, he decides to do what's right and confess. But how can a guilty man convince lawyers, judges, and politicians that they're about to execute an innocent man?11. "The Testament"Amazon"The Testament," available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.29In a plush Virginia office, a rich, angry old man is furiously rewriting his will. With his death just hours away, Troy Phelan wants to send a message to his children, his ex-wives, and his minions — a message that will touch off a vicious legal battle and transform dozens of lives.Because Troy Phelan's new will names a sole surprise heir to his 11-billion-dollar fortune: a mysterious woman named Rachel Lane, a missionary living deep in the jungles of Brazil.Enter the lawyers. Nate O'Riley is fresh out of rehab, a disgraced corporate attorney handpicked for his last job: to find Rachel Lane at any cost. As Phelan's family circles like vultures in D.C., Nate goes crashing through the Brazilian jungle, entering a world where money means nothing, where death is just one misstep away, and where a woman — pursued by enemies and friends alike — holds a stunning surprise of her own.10. "The Rainmaker"Amazon"The Rainmaker," available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $4 In a courtroom thriller, John Grisham tells the story of a young man barely out of law school who finds himself taking on one of the most powerful, corrupt, and ruthless companies in America — and exposing a complex, multibillion-dollar insurance scam. In his final semester of law school, Rudy Baylor is required to provide free legal advice to a group of senior citizens, and it is there that he meets his first "clients," Dot and Buddy Black.Their son, Donny Ray, is dying of leukemia, and their insurance company has flatly refused to pay for his medical treatments. While Rudy is at first skeptical, he soon realizes that the Blacks really have been shockingly mistreated by the huge company, and he just may have stumbled upon one of the largest insurance frauds anyone's ever seen — and one of the most lucrative and important cases in the history of civil litigation. The problem is, Rudy's flat broke, has no job, hasn't even passed the bar, and is about to go head-to-head with one of the best defense attorneys — and powerful industries — in America.9. "The Runaway Jury"Amazon"The Runaway Jury," available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.46They are at the center of a multimillion-dollar legal hurricane: 12 men and women who have been investigated, watched, manipulated, and harassed by high-priced lawyers and consultants who will stop at nothing to secure a verdict. Now the jury must make a decision in the most explosive civil trial of the century, a precedent-setting lawsuit against a giant tobacco company. But only a handful of people know the truth: that this jury has a leader, and the verdict belongs to him.He is known only as Juror #2. But he has a name, a past, and he has planned his every move with the help of a beautiful woman on the outside. Now, while a corporate empire hangs in the balance, while a grieving family waits, and while lawyers are plunged into a battle for their careers, the truth about Juror #2 is about to explode in a crossfire of greed and corruption — and with justice fighting for its life.8. "The Pelican Brief"Amazon"The Pelican Brief," available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.29To Darby Shaw, it was no more than a legal shot in the dark — a brilliant guess. To the Washington establishment, it was political dynamite. Suddenly Darby is witness to a murder — a murder intended for her. Going underground, she finds there is only one person she can trust — an ambitious reporter after a newsbreak hotter than Watergate — to help her piece together the deadly puzzle.Somewhere between the bayous of Louisiana and the White House's inner sanctums, a violent cover-up is being engineered. For someone has read Darby's brief. Someone who will stop at nothing to destroy the evidence of an unthinkable crime.7. "The Client"Amazon"The Client," available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.2911-year-old Mark Sway and his younger brother were sharing a forbidden cigarette when a chance encounter with a suicidal lawyer left Mark with knowledge of a bloody and explosive secret: the whereabouts of the most sought-after dead body in America.Now Mark is caught between a legal system gone mad and a mob killer desperate to cover up his crime. And his only ally is a woman named Reggie Love, who has been a lawyer for all of four years. Prosecutors are willing to break all the rules to make Mark talk. The mob will stop at nothing to keep him quiet. And Reggie will do anything to protect her client — even take a last, desperate gamble that could win Mark his freedom... or cost them both their lives.6. "Sycamore Row" (Jake Brigance, #2)Amazon"Sycamore Row," available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.29"A Time to Kill" is one of the most popular novels of our time. Now we return to that famous courthouse in Clanton as Jake Brigance once again finds himself embroiled in a fiercely controversial trial — a trial that will expose old racial tensions and force Ford County to confront its tortured history.Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten will. It is an act that drags his adult children, a Black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County's most notorious citizens, just three years earlier.The second will raises far more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly? And what does it all have to do with a piece of land once known as Sycamore Row?5. "A Time to Kill" (Jake Brigance, #1)Amazon"A Time to Kill," available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.29The life of a 10-year-old Black girl is shattered by two drunken and remorseless white men. The mostly white town of Clanton in Ford County, Mississippi, reacts with shock and horror at the inhuman crime — until the girl's father acquires an assault rifle and takes justice into his own hands.For 10 days, as burning crosses and the crack of sniper fire spread through the streets of Clanton, the nation sits spellbound as defense attorney Jake Brigance struggles to save his client's life — and then his own.4. "The Guardians"Amazon"The Guardians," available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.27In the small Florida town of Seabrook, a young lawyer named Keith Russo was shot dead at his desk as he worked late one night. The killer left no clues. There were no witnesses, no one with a motive. But the police soon came to suspect Quincy Miller, a young Black man who was once a client of Russo's. Quincy was tried, convicted, and sent to prison for life. For 22 years he languished in prison, maintaining his innocence. But no one was listening. He had no lawyer, no advocate on the outside. In desperation, he writes a letter to Guardian Ministries, a small nonprofit run by Cullen Post, a lawyer who is also an Episcopal minister.Guardian accepts only a few innocence cases at a time. Cullen Post travels the country fighting wrongful convictions and taking on clients forgotten by the system. With Quincy Miller, though, he gets far more than he bargained for. Powerful, ruthless people murdered Keith Russo, and they do not want Quincy Miller exonerated.3. "The Firm"Amazon "The Firm," available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.45When Mitch McDeere signed on with Bendini, Lambert & Locke of Memphis, he thought he and his beautiful wife, Abby, were on their way. The firm leased him a BMW, paid off his school loans, arranged a mortgage, and hired him a decorator. Mitch McDeere should have remembered what his brother Ray — doing 15 years in a Tennessee jail — already knew. You never get anything for nothing.Now the FBI has the lowdown on Mitch's firm and needs his help. Mitch is caught between a rock and a hard place, with no choice — if he wants to live.2. "The Judge's List" (The Whistler #2)Amazon "The Judge's List," available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.80In "The Whistler," Lacy Stoltz investigated a corrupt judge who was taking millions in bribes from a crime syndicate. She put the criminals away, but only after being attacked and nearly killed. Three years later, and approaching forty, she is tired of her work for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct and ready for a change.Then she meets a mysterious woman who is so frightened she uses a number of aliases. Jeri Crosby's father was murdered 20 years earlier in a case that remains unsolved and that has grown stone cold. But Jeri has a suspect whom she has become obsessed with and has stalked for two decades. Along the way, she has discovered other victims.Suspicions are easy enough, but proof seems impossible. The man is brilliant, patient, and always one step ahead of law enforcement. He is the most cunning of all serial killers. He knows forensics, police procedure, and most important: he knows the law.He is a judge, in Florida — under Lacy's jurisdiction.He has a list, with the names of his victims and targets, all unsuspecting people unlucky enough to have crossed his path and wronged him in some way. How can Lacy pursue him, without becoming the next name on his list?1. "A Time for Mercy" (Jake Brigance, #3)Amazon"A Time for Mercy," available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $9Clanton, Mississippi. 1990. Jake Brigance finds himself embroiled in a deeply divisive trial when the court appoints him as the attorney for Drew Gamble, a timid 16-year-old boy accused of murdering a local deputy. Many in Clanton want a swift trial and the death penalty, but Brigance digs in and discovers that there is more to the story than meets the eye. Jake's fierce commitment to saving Drew from the gas chamber puts his career, his financial security, and the safety of his family on the line.In what may be the most personal and accomplished legal thriller of John Grisham's storied career, we deepen our acquaintance with the iconic Southern town of Clanton and the vivid cast of characters that so many readers know and cherish. The result is a richly rewarding novel that is both timely and timeless, full of wit, drama, and — most of all — heart.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 27th, 2022

The 20 best books of 2022 so far, according to Amazon editors

From memoirs to mysteries, these are the best books of 2022 so far, according to Amazon's book editors. From memoirs to mysteries, these are the best books of 2022 so far, according to Amazon's book editors.Goodreads/GoodreadsWhen you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Halfway through the year, Amazon editors release their favorite books so far. All of their picks have been published in 2022 and include a range of genres. Here are their top 20 favorite new books of 2022, according to Amazon editors. At the end of every year, we look forward to the awards and "best of" lists that annually solidify our favorite books, movies, songs, and more, but waiting so long to find a great recommendation can feel like an eternity.Fortunately, Amazon has released its list of the top 20 books of the year so far, so you can find a great new read hand-picked by its editorial team.Amazon releases monthly book selections but in early summer, its editorial team votes for the best books published from January to June. While some are from its "best books of the month" lists, others are customer favorites, bestsellers, or little-known picks that pack a literary punch. Whether you're looking for a gripping nonfiction read or an emotional historical fiction journey, here are the best books of the year, according to Amazon.The best books of 2022 so far, according to Amazon editors:"Remarkably Bright Creatures" by Shelby Van PeltAmazon "Remarkably Bright Creatures," available at Amazon and Bookshop, $17.76Chosen as the best book of 2022 so far for its cast of lonely characters who form something unexpected together, "Remarkably Bright Creatures" follows Tova Sullivan who works the night shift at the aquarium, staying busy to keep her mind off her husband's death and her son's mysterious disappearance 30 years prior. As Tova forms an unlikely but remarkable friendship with a giant octopus named Marcellus, he soon uncovers what happened the night of her son's disappearance and must figure out how to communicate the truth to Tova."What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma" by Stephanie FooGoodreads"Remarkably Bright Creatures," available at Amazon and Bookshop, $23.99Stephanie Foo seemed perfectly successful on paper when she was diagnosed with complex PTSD after years of panic attacks, uncontrollable anxiety, and years of wondering what was "wrong" with her. This personal and researched read is part psychology book and part memoir as Foo investigates the effects of generational immigrant trauma while healing from her past."All My Rage" by Sabaa TahirCCLS"Remarkably Bright Creatures," available at Amazon and Bookshop, $9.05Salahudin and Noor were once closer than best friends, but a terrible fight has destroyed their bond and forced each of them to face some of the hardest times in their lives alone. Salahudin is left trying to save their family's motel in the wake of his mother's passing and his father's debilitating grief while Noor hides her college applications in an attempt to escape her brutal uncle. When it seems they can take no more, Noor and Salahudin must decide the value of their friendship in this breathtaking and heart-wrenching young adult novel."The Maid" by Nita ProsePopsugar"The Maid," available at Amazon and Bookshop, $16.90"The Maid" is a mystery read about Molly Gray, a hotel maid who struggles with social skills but excels in her work because of her obsessive love of cleaning. One day, Molly finds a hotel guest dead in his bed and her life is turned upside down when she becomes the lead suspect in his murder investigation — until her friends unite to search for clues, solve the murder, and prove Molly's innocence."River of the Gods: Genius, Courage, and Betrayal in the Search for the Source of the Nile" by Candice MillardGoodreads"River of the Gods: Genius, Courage, and Betrayal in the Search for the Source of the Nile," available at Amazon and Bookshop, $19.50 This new historical read outlines Britain's frenzied search for the sources of the Nile and the race to colonize and exploit the area in the 19th century. Millard's account follows the very public rivalry of Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke on their expeditions to and from Africa as well as the previously overlooked story of Sidi Mubarak Bombay, a formerly enslaved East African man whose resourceful exploits on each trip led to the Englishmen's self-proclaimed successes and may have even meant the difference between life and death."Lessons in Chemistry" by Bonnie GarmusGoodreads"River of the Gods: Genius, Courage, and Betrayal in the Search for the Source of the Nile," available at Amazon and Bookshop, $17.69 "Lessons in Chemistry" is a bright and witty historical fiction story about chemist Elizabeth Zott who faces inequality in the early 1960s at the research institute where she works. Years later, Elizabeth finds herself the star of a beloved cooking show. With an unusual approach to combining chemistry with traditional cooking, Elizabeth is unwittingly changing the status quo for women everywhere in this heartwarming, funny, and entertaining read."Memphis" by Tara M. StringfellowTarget"Memphis," available at Amazon and Bookshop, $14.59When Joan, her mother, and her sister flee their father's violence in favor of their mother's ancestral home in Memphis, Joan processes her rage and grief through art as she learns the complexity of her family's past while sketching portraits of the women around her. Inspired by the author's family history, "Memphis" is a multi-generational tale about justice, violence, freedom, and healing through time."Sea of Tranquility" by Emily St. John MandelAmazon"Sea of Tranquility," available at Amazon and Bookshop, $12.50"Sea of Tranquility" blends science fiction and historical fiction as readers follow a young man in the 1912 Canadian wilderness who hears a violin in an airship terminal, a famous moon colony writer on an Earthly book tour for her pandemic novel, and a detective hired to investigate a strange anomaly in the North American wilderness. Readers love this book because it is complex, expansive, reflective, and dazzlingly relevant."Half-Blown Rose" by Leesa Cross-SmithTarget"Half-Blown Rose," available at Amazon and Bookshop, $13.99After a shocking betrayal by her husband, Vincent is settling into her new life in Paris where she teaches at the art museum, spends time with new friends, and has even fallen into a passionate relationship with a young man named Loup. When Vincent agrees to see her estranged husband again at their son's wedding, she must look inward to find what she wants out of life and who she wants to become."Hello, Molly!" by Molly ShannonGoodreads"Hello, Molly!," available at Amazon and Bookshop, $18.18Comedian Molly Shannon is well-known for her years on "Saturday Night Live" and her role as Mary Katherine Gallagher in "Superstar." In this memoir, Shannon reflects on the tumultuous events in her young life that made her who she is today and the long and interesting road through show business that led to her iconic roles and resounding successes as a comedian and actress."The Kaiju Preservation Society" by John ScalziAmazon"The Kaiju Preservation Society," available at Amazon and Bookshop, $20.99During the COVID-19 pandemic, Jamie Gray is reunited with an old acquaintance who offers Jaime a job as a last-minute grunt for an upcoming field visit with his "animal rights organization," failing to mention that the "animals" are not from our Earth. In an alternate dimension, Kaiju are the world's largest and most dangerous panda and the Kaiju Preservation Society is not the only group that knows of their existence but must go to great lengths to ensure their protection in this science fiction novel perfect for those who loved "Jurassic Park.""Sleepwalk" by Dan ChaonGoodreads"Sleepwalk," available at Amazon and Bookshop, $22.52Loved for its fast-paced plot and intriguing main character, "Sleepwalk" is about Will Bear, an off-the-grid, good-natured henchman who runs dangerous errands for others while creating few ties of his own. When a young woman claiming to be his daughter calls him in need of help, Will is uncertain whether or not she's AI yet sets off on an increasingly complicated road trip as the line between friend and foe becomes less and less clear."The First Kennedys: The Humble Roots of an American Dynasty" by Neal ThompsonAmazon"The First Kennedys: The Humble Roots of an American Dynasty," Amazon and Bookshop, $24.49Though many of us think of the Kennedy family today as icons of wealth and power, former President Kennedy once connected with blue-collar voters through his family's working-class history. Now, with new genealogical information, this historical biography traces the history of the first Kennedys who arrived in America following the Great Famine and rose to success despite poverty and discrimination."Such Big Dreams" by Reema PatelGoodreads"Such Big Dreams," avaialble at Amazon and Bookshop, $22.42Rakhi is living in a Mumbai slum and working as an office assistant at Justice For All, a human rights law organization, when Alex, a graduate student from Canada, arrives for an internship and asks for Rakhi to show him the "real" India. When their seemingly harmless transaction brings challenging moral choices to the surface, Rakhi must fight for redemption and her right to live her life on her own terms."Young Mungo" by Douglas StuartGoodreads"Young Mungo," available at Amazon and Bookshop, $14.79From the author of "Shuggie Bain", "Young Mungo" is the story of first love between two young men, destined to be enemies as Mungo is born Protestant and James is born Catholic. Despite it all, the boys fall in love and when Mungo's mother sends him on a fishing trip with two strange men, he must dig deep into his inner strength to get to a safe place where he and James can finally be together."Unmasked: My Life Solving America's Cold Cases" by Paul HolesWalmart"Unmasked: My Life Solving America's Cold Cases," available at Amazon and Bookshop, $17.62Perfect for any true crime fan, this memoir is written by the detective who helped uncover the Golden State Killer and solve the murders of Laci and Conner Peterson and the kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard. Through a personal and insightful narrative, Paul Holes outlines his life of solving America's toughest cold cases and the sacrifices he had to make for his career."Nightcrawling" by Leila MottleyGoodreads"Nightcrawling," available at Amazon and Bookshop, $18.17Living in an East Oakland apartment without parents or a high school education, Kiara is struggling to make ends meet for her, her brother, and the young abandoned boy next door until she happens into a well-paying but unexpected job nightcrawling. When Kiara's name comes up in an investigation by the Oakland Police Department, she finds herself at the center of a major scandal and failure of the justice system."Black Cake" by Charmaine WilkersonGoodreads"Black Cake," available at Amazon and Bookshop, $13.99This pick is about two estranged siblings whose recently deceased mother left behind a strange inheritance of a black cake recipe with a deep history and a voice recording that recounts her story. In this historical fiction read about lineage, heritage, and relationships, siblings Byron and Benny take an extraordinary journey through their mother's past to fulfill her final request to share the black cake when the time is right."The Final Strife" by Saara El-ArifiGoodreads"The Final Strife," available at Amazon and Bookshop, $26.49Chosen for its masterful writing, beautiful yet painfully human cast, and deeply compelling fantasy landscape, "The Final Strife" is a debut fantasy novel rooted in African and Arabian mythology. In this sapphic high fantasy story, Sylah, Anoor, and Hassa, each with their own marked pasts, find each other and ignite a revolution to set a terribly divided Empire right in a world where red blood rules the kingdom, blue blood belongs to the laborers, and clear blood leaves many invisible."The Unsinkable Greta James" by Jennifer E. SmithGoodreads"The Unsinkable Greta James," available at Amazon and Bookshop, $17.86Months after her very public breakdown just before the launch of her sophomore album, Greta is still reeling from her mother's sudden death when she agrees to take an Alaskan cruise with her father, one originally planned for her parent's anniversary. In this story of healing, gracious recovery, and hope, Greta meets a historian facing an upheaval of his own, confronts her broken heart, and slowly learns how to find her voice once more.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJul 23rd, 2022

21 fascinating books being adapted to movies and shows this year that you should read first, from "The Summer I Turned Pretty" to the "Game of Thrones" prequel

Read the books before seeing actors such as Florence Pugh, Ana de Armas, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Robert De Niro bring the stories to life. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Read the books before catching their screen adaptations starring actors like Dakota Johnson, Florence Pugh, Ana de Armas, and more.Amazon; Rachel Mendelson/Insider Every year, beloved books and series get turned into movies and TV shows. Below are 21 popular books that will be released as a movie or TV series in 2022. Need more reading suggestions? Here are 19 new books to read in 2022, based on your favorite TV show Part of the joy of digging into a great new book is knowing that you'll be rewarded with hours of enjoyment. If it's one of the increasingly numerous books adapted for the big screen or a series (possibly with a stacked cast à la "Big Little Lies"), you can double the fun by reading them first.Below, you'll find 21 well-loved books slated to be released as a show or movie in 2022 (and some recent releseases), plus where to find them. Big premieres run the genre gamut, from new works in the "The Lord of the Rings" and "A Game of Thrones" universes to Sally Rooney's "Conversations with Friends."  While book adaptations can help launch lesser-known actors' careers, you might see some of your favorite big names this year: "Daisy Edgar-Jones in "Where The Crawdads Sing," Dakota and Elle Fanning in "The Nightingale," Florence Pugh in "The Wonder," Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe in "Blonde," and more. 21 books to read before they become movies or TV shows in 2022:Descriptions provided by Amazon and edited for length and clarity."Pachinko" by Min Jin LeeAmazonFormat: Series (Apple TV+), starring Lee Min-Ho, Jin Ha, Jung Eun-chae, Youn Yuh-jung, and moreRelease date: March 25, 2022"There could only be a few winners — and a lot of losers. And yet, we played on because we had hope that we might be the lucky ones."In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant — and that her lover is married — she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and reject her son's powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generationsRichly told and profoundly moving, "Pachinko" is a story of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty. From bustling street markets to the halls of Japan's finest universities to the pachinko parlors of the criminal underworld, Lee's complex and passionate characters — strong, stubborn women, devoted sisters and sons, fathers shaken by moral crisis — survive and thrive against the indifferent arc of history."Anatomy of a Scandal" by Sarah VaughanAmazonFormat: Series (Netflix), starring Sienna Miller, Rupert Friend, Michelle Dockery, and moreRelease date: April 15, 2022Some people's secrets are darker than others.Sophie Whitehouse has a lovely home, two adorable children, and a handsome, successful husband. In other words, she has the "perfect" life. But everything changes the night her husband James comes home and confesses an indiscretion. Suddenly, her neat, ordered world is turned upside down. Did she ever really know the man she married?And, as it turns out, James's revelation is just the tip of the iceberg. He stands accused of a terrible crime. But, the truth is even more shocking than anyone ever could have thought. Is James the guilty perpetrator or an innocent victim of a toxic agenda?"Heartstopper" by Alice OsemanAmazonFormat: Series (Netflix), starring Kit Connor, Joe Locke, Yasmin Finney, and moreRelease date: April 22, 2022Charlie and Nick are at the same school, but they've never met... until one day when they're made to sit together. They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn't think he has a chance.But, love works in surprising ways, and Nick is more interested in Charlie than either of them realized."The Shining Girls" by Lauren BeukesAmazonFormat: Series (Apple TV+), starring Elisabeth Moss, Wagner Moura, Phillipa Soo, Chris Chalk, and moreRelease date: April 29, 2022Harper Curtis is a killer who stepped out of the past. Kirby Mazrachi is the girl who was never meant to have a future. Kirby is the last shining girl, one of the bright young women, burning with potential, whose lives Harper is destined to snuff out after he stumbles on a House in Depression-era Chicago that opens onto other times.At the urging of the House, Harper inserts himself into the lives of these shining girls, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. He's the ultimate hunter, vanishing without a trace into another time after each murder — until one of his victims survives.Determined to bring her would-be killer to justice, Kirby joins the Chicago Sun-Times to work with the reporter, Dan Velasquez, who covered her case. Soon Kirby finds herself closing in on an impossible truth…"Conversations With Friends" by Sally RooneyAmazonFormat: Series (BBC, Hulu), starring Joe Alwyn, Jemima Kirke, Sasha Lane, Alison Oliver, and moreRelease date: May 15, 2022Frances is a cool-headed and darkly observant young woman vaguely pursuing a career in writing while studying in Dublin. Her best friend and comrade-in-arms is the beautiful and endlessly self-possessed Bobbi. At a local poetry performance one night, Frances and Bobbi catch the eye of Melissa, a well-known photographer, and as the girls are then gradually drawn into Melissa's world, Frances is reluctantly impressed by the older woman's sophisticated home and tall, handsome husband, Nick. However amusing and ironic Frances and Nick's flirtation seems at first, it gives way to a strange intimacy, and Frances' friendship with Bobbi begins to fracture. As Frances tries to keep her life in check, her relationships increasingly resist her control: with Nick, with her difficult and unhappy father, and finally, terribly, with Bobbi."The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey NiffeneggerAmazonFormat: Series (HBO), starring Rose Leslie, Theo James, Kate Siegel, and moreRelease date: May 15, 2022A most untraditional love story, this is the celebrated tale of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who inadvertently travels through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare's passionate affair endures across a sea of time and captures them in an impossibly romantic trap that tests the strength of fate."The Summer I Turned Pretty" by Jenny HanAmazonFormat: Series (Amazon), starring Lola Tung, Jackie Chung, Rachel Blanchard, Christopher Briney, and moreRelease date: June 17, 2022Some summers are just destined to be pretty.Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They're the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer— they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer — one wonderful and terrible summer — the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along."Where the Crawdads Sing" by Delia OwensAmazonFormat: Movie, starring Daisy Edgar-Jones, Taylor John Smith, Harris Dickinson, and moreRelease date: July 15, 2022For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life — until the unthinkable happens."Persuasion" by Jane AustenAmazonFormat: Movie (Netflix), starring Cosmo Jarvis, Dakota Johnson, Henry Golding, and moreRelease date: July 15, 2022Jane Austen's "Persuasion" concerns Anne Elliot, a young Englishwoman of 27 years, whose family moves to lower their expenses and reduce their debt by renting their home to an Admiral and his wife. The wife's brother, Navy Captain Frederick Wentworth, was engaged to Anne in 1806, but the engagement was broken when Anne was "persuaded" by her friends and family to end their relationship. Anne and Captain Wentworth, both single and unattached, meet again after a seven-year separation, setting the scene for many humorous encounters as well as a second, well-considered chance at love and marriage for Anne in her second "bloom.""Bullet Train" by Kotaro IsakaAmazonFormat: Movie, starring Brad Pitt, Joey King, Hiroyuki Sanada, and moreRelease date: August 5, 2022Satoshi — The Prince — looks like an innocent schoolboy but is really a stylish and devious assassin. Risk fuels him, as does a good philosophical debate, such as questioning: Is killing really wrong? Kimura's young son is in a coma thanks to The Prince, and Kimura has tracked him onto a bullet train heading from Tokyo to Morioka to exact his revenge. But Kimura soon discovers that they are not the only dangerous passengers on board.Nanao, also nicknamed Ladybug, the self-proclaimed "unluckiest assassin in the world," is put on the bullet train by his boss, a mysterious young woman called Maria, to steal a suitcase full of money and get off at the first stop. The lethal duo of Tangerine and Lemon are also traveling to Morioka, and the suitcase leads others to show their hands. Why are they all on the same train, and who will make it off alive?"Fire & Blood" by George R.R. MartinAmazonFormat: Series (HBO), starring Paddy Considine, Olivia Cooke, Emma D'Arcy, Matt Smith, and moreRelease date: August 21, 2022Centuries before the events of "A Game of Thrones," House Targaryen — the only family of dragonlords to survive the Doom of Valyria — took up residence on Dragonstone. "Fire & Blood" begins their tale with the legendary Aegon the Conqueror, creator of the Iron Throne, and goes on to recount the generations of Targaryens who fought to hold that iconic seat, all the way up to the civil war that nearly tore their dynasty apart."The Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. TolkienAmazonFormat: Series (Amazon), starring Robert Aramayo, Morfydd Clark, Markella Kavenagh, and moreRelease date: September 2, 2022"The Lord of the Rings," J.R.R. Tolkien's three-volume epic, is set in the imaginary world of Middle-earth — home to many strange beings, and most notably hobbits, peace-loving "little people," cheerful and shy. Since its original British publication in 1954-55, the saga has entranced readers of all ages. It is at once a classic myth and a modern fairytale."Salem's Lot" by Stephen KingAmazonFormat: Movie, starring Lewis Pullman, Makenzie Leigh, William Sadler, and more Release date: September 9, 2022Ben Mears has returned to Jerusalem's Lot in hopes that exploring the history of the Marsten House, an old mansion long the subject of rumor and speculation, will help him cast out his personal devils and provide inspiration for his new book. But when two young boys venture into the woods, and only one returns alive, Mears begins to realize that something sinister is at work.In fact, his hometown is under siege from forces of darkness far beyond his imagination. And only he, with a small group of allies, can hope to contain the evil that is growing within the borders of this small New England town."Blonde" by Joyce Carol OatesAmazonFormat: Movie (Netflix), starring Ana de Armas, Adrien Brody, Sara Paxton, and moreRelease date: September 23, 2022In one of her most ambitious works, Joyce Carol Oates boldly reimagines the inner, poetic, and spiritual life of Norma Jeane Baker — the child, the woman, the fated celebrity, and idolized blonde the world came to know as Marilyn Monroe. In a voice startlingly intimate and rich, Norma Jeane tells her own story of an emblematic American artist — intensely conflicted and driven — who had lost her way. A powerful portrait of Hollywood's myth and an extraordinary woman's heartbreaking reality, "Blonde" is a sweeping epic that pays tribute to the elusive magic and devastation behind the creation of the great 20th-century American star."The School for Good and Evil" by Soman ChainaniAmazonFormat: Movie (Netflix), starring Sophia Anne Caruso, Sofia Wylie, Jamie Flatters, and moreRelease date: September 2022With her glass slippers and devotion to good deeds, Sophie knows she'll earn top marks at the School for Good and join the ranks of past students like Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Snow White. Meanwhile, Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks and wicked black cat, seems a natural fit for the villains in the School for Evil.The two girls soon find their fortunes reversed — Sophie's dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School for Good, thrust among handsome princes and fair maidens for classes in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are?"She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement" by Jodi Kantor and Megan TwoheyAmazonFormat: Movie, starring Zoe Kazan, Carey Mulligan, Andre Braugher, and moreRelease date: November 18, 2022For many years, reporters had tried to get to the truth about Harvey Weinstein's treatment of women. Rumors of wrongdoing had long circulated. But in 2017, when Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey began their investigation into the prominent Hollywood producer for the New York Times, his name was still synonymous with power. During months of confidential interviews with top actresses, former Weinstein employees, and other sources, many disturbing and long-buried allegations were unearthed, and a web of onerous secret payouts and nondisclosure agreements was revealed. Nothing could have prepared Kantor and Twohey for what followed the publication of their initial Weinstein story on October 5, 2017. Within days, a veritable Pandora's box of sexual harassment and abuse was opened. Women all over the world came forward with their own traumatic stories. Over the next 12 months, hundreds of men from every walk of life and industry were outed following allegations of wrongdoing. But did too much change — or not enough?"Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI" by David GrannAmazonFormat: Movie (Apple TV+), starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Jesse Plemons, and moreRelease date: November 2022In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. Her relatives were shot and poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more members of the tribe began to die under mysterious circumstances.In this last remnant of the Wild West, many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll climbed to more than 24, the FBI took up the case. It was one of the organization's first major homicide investigations and the bureau badly bungled the case. In desperation, the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including one of the only American Indian agents in the bureau. Together with the Osage, they began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history. "The Nightingale" by Kristin HannahAmazonFormat: Movie, starring Dakota Fanning, Elle Fanning, and moreRelease date: December 23, 2022France, 1939 - In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn't believe that the Nazis will invade France… but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne's home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything.Vianne's sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious 18-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can… completely. But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life to save others."Daisy Jones & the Six" by Taylor Jenkins ReidAmazonFormat: Series (Amazon), starring Riley Keough, Sam Claflin, Suki Waterhouse, Camila Morrone, and moreRelease date: 2022Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity… until now.Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it's the rock 'n' roll she loves most. By the time she's twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she's pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend."The Wonder" by Emma DonoghueAmazonFormat: Movie (Netflix), starring Niamh Algar, Florence Pugh, Tom Burke, and moreRelease date: 2022In this masterpiece by Emma Donoghue, bestselling author of "Room," an English nurse is brought to a small Irish village to observe what appears to be a miracle — a girl said to have survived without food for a month — and soon finds herself fighting to save the child's life."The Wonder" works beautifully on many levels — a tale of two strangers who transform each other's lives, a powerful psychological thriller, and a story of love pitted against evil."The Power" by Naomi AldermanAmazonFormat: Series (Amazon), starring Auliʻi Cravalho, John Leguizamo, Toheeb Jimoh, and moreRelease date: 2022In "The Power," the world is a recognizable place: there's a rich Nigerian boy who lounges around the family pool; a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature; an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family.But then a vital new force takes root and flourishes, causing their lives to converge with devastating effects. Teenage girls now have immense physical power: they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world drastically resets.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 19th, 2022

15 essential LGBTQ documentaries to stream during Pride Month

To learn more about LGBTQ history, check out these documentaries that cover pivotal figures and key movements in the queer community. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.FX Networks To celebrate Pride Month, we rounded up the best documentaries focused on LGBTQ voices and history. Our picks include classics like "Paris is Burning" and docuseries like "Visible: Out on Television." A good documentary can teach you something new and provide deep insights into its subject matter. To celebrate Pride Month, we selected some of the best documentaries focused on LGBTQ topics, figures, and history. Our picks include films that chronicle the LGBTQ community's struggle for equal rights, as well as pivotal members of the movement, and the ways in which things have changed since the Stonewall riots. Our selection varies from classic documentaries like "The Times of Harvey Milk," to more recent titles such as "Welcome to Chechnya." To be included on our list, each documentary must have a fresh rating of 60% or higher on review-aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Check out the 15 best LGBTQ documentaries you can stream right now'Disclosure: Trans Lives of Screen' (2020)NetflixStream "Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen" on Netflix"Disclosure" gives viewers a history lesson on transgender representation in television and film, using clips from "Tootsie," "To Kill A Mockingbird," and more to highlight the damaging stereotypes often used when depicting trans people on screen. It also highlights trans talent currently working in Hollywood, including Laverne Cox, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, and Chaz Bono.'Changing the Game' (2019)HuluStream "Changing the Game" on Hulu"Changing the Game" follows three transgender high school athletes, including a wrestler, a skier, and a track runner. The documentary premiered as anti-trans bills were being passed nationwide to prevent transgender teens from competing in athletics based on their gender. The main subject of the documentary is Mack Beggs, a transgender boy who, because of Texas state laws, had to compete in girls' wrestling.'How to Survive a Plague' (2012)Sundance SelectsStream "How to Survive a Plague" on HBO Max"How to Survive a Plague" documents the early years of the AIDS crisis, including the founding and rise of the activism organization ACT UP. The film also chronicles the community's struggle to get the FDA to recognize the virus so experimental drugs could be approved to fight it.  'Paris is Burning' (1990)Off White Productions Inc.Stream "Paris is Burning" on HBO MaxWidely recognized as one of the most important documentaries about race, gender and sexuality, "Paris is Burning" was filmed in the late 1980s to chronicle the ball scene in New York City. At the intersection of Black, Latinx, gay, and transgender communities, ball culture is an underground scene that involves "houses," or chosen families, coming together to compete in categories like runway, walking, and vogueing.In addition to filming at the ball, the documentary explores the house members as they deal with issues like AIDS, racism, homophobia, transphobia, and poverty. 'Kiki' (2016)IFC FilmsStream "Kiki" on AMC PlusSeen as a spiritual sequel and follow up to "Paris is Burning," "Kiki" also focuses on gay and transgender people of color who participate in the drag and ball culture in New York City. Released over 25 years after "Paris is Burning," "Kiki" shows the impact that the AIDS crisis continues to have on the LGBTQ community and the ways these subcultures try to raise awareness.'The Life and Death of Marsha P. Johnson' (2017)NetflixStream "The Life and Death of Marsha P. Johnson" on NetflixIn his follow up to "How to Survive a Plague," director David France chronicles two of the most important figures in the early gay liberation and transgender rights movements, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. Though she wasn't present when the riots began, Johnson became one of the more prominent activists involved with the Stonewall riots in 1969.Mainly, the film focuses on contemporary activist Victoria Cruz and her investigation into Johnson's 1992 death, which police initially ruled a suicide, despite suspicious circumstances suggesting otherwise.'A Secret Love' (2020)NetflixStream "A Secret Love" on Netflix"A Secret Love" tells the story of Terry Donahue and Pat Henschel. Donahue, a former All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player, and Henschel ran an interior decorating service together, while also keeping a major secret from their families for over seven decades: they were in a relationship.Director Chris Bolan is their great-nephew, and decided to make the documentary after his great-aunts told him their story. The women married in 2015 and were together for a total of 72 years before Donahue's death in 2019.'Flee' (2021)NeonStream "Flee" on Hulu"Flee" is an animated documentary that focuses on the true story of one man's journey to escape Afghanistan during a civil war. The man, using the alias Amin Nawabi, only decides to tell his story because of his impending marriage to his longtime boyfriend, Kasper.Nawabi has secrets that could be damaging if found out, and because of that, he never told Kasper the full story of what it took to seek refuge in Denmark. The documentary also features touching scenes animated to Nawabi's narration that show him first exploring his sexuality as a teenager on the run.'Howard' (2018)PlaybillStream "Howard" on Disney PlusHoward Ashman was a songwriter who wrote the lyrics for some of Walt Disney Studios' most iconic songs: "Part of Your World," "A Whole New World," and "Be Our Guest," among others. He also co-wrote the 1986 musical "Little Shop of Horrors.""Howard" documents the life and work of Ashman, who was openly gay, until his 1991 death from AIDS complications. His frequent collaborator Alan Menken composed the score for the film, which he described as an opportunity to pay tribute to Ashman, who was also one of his closest friends.'The Times of Harvey Milk' (1984)Uncredited/APStream "The Times of Harvey Milk" on HBO MaxReleased just years after openly gay politician Harvey Milk was assassinated, "The Times of Harvey Milk" documents Milk's life and career. Using archival footage, previously unreleased documentary footage, news reports, and interviews, the documentary shows Milk's rise from neighborhood activism to serving on San Francisco's board of supervisors, in addition to his assassination and the trial that followed."The Times of Harvey Milk" is narrated by Harvey Fierstein and was selected for preservation in the Library of Congress' National Film Registry in 2012.'The Celluloid Closet' (1995)Channel Four Films/HBO PicturesStream "The Celluloid Closet" on Tubi or Amazon FreeveeInspired by Vito Russo's 1986 book of the same name, "The Celluloid Closet" takes viewers through the history of LGBTQ representation in cinema. Lily Tomlin narrates the documentary that includes clips of feature films from the 1920s through the early 1990s to show how queer characters were historically represented in film.This includes more explicit representation like "The Boys in the Band" and "Cruising," and more implied, queer-coding during the Hays Code era with films like "Ben-Hur" and "Rope."'P.S. Burn This Letter Please' (2020)Alex Bohs/courtesy of We Were There Inc.Stream "P.S. Burn This Letter Please" on Discovery PlusAfter a box of letters was found in a Los Angeles storage unit in 2014, directors Michael Seligman and Jennifer Tiexiera devoted themselves to finding out more about the men who wrote the letters — and who they were writing them to.The discovery leads to an interesting peek into the drag community of New York City during the 1950s and '60s.'Welcome to Chechyna' (2020)HBO MaxStream "Welcome to Chechnya" on HBO MaxShot in secret using cell phones, GoPro cameras, and other discreet technology, "Welcome to Chechnya" focuses on a network of activists who helped queer Chechen refugees escape during the country's anti-gay purges.The documentary uses advanced artificial intelligence to alter the subjects' faces and voices to protect their identities. 'Visible: Out on Television' (2020)Wilson Cruz speaks at the "Visible: Out on Television" panel during the Apple+ TCA 2020 Winter Press Tour at the Langham Huntington, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)Associated PressStream "Visible: Out on Television" on Apple TV Plus"Visible: Out on Television" takes a look at the history of television in the same way "The Celluloid Closet" does for film. The five-part miniseries traces the history of LGBTQ people on TV in a chronological fashion, with each episode revolving around a specific theme.Each episode is narrated by a different queer person in the industry, including Lena Waithe, Janet Mock, and Asia Kate Dillon.'Pride' (2020)FX NetworksStream "Pride" on HuluThis six-episode docuseries chronicles the fight for LGBTQ rights from the 1950s through the 2010s. Each episode takes on a different decade, and all are directed by LGBTQ filmmakers who use distinct styles to tell each story.Some use archival footage and scenes from groundbreaking films of the time, while others employ actors to recreate scenes from the era in period clothing. Together, the six episodes reveal how far LGBTQ rights have come and the heavy cost it took to get here.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 24th, 2022

24 memorable movies about dads to stream on Father"s Day, from "Field of Dreams" to "Big Fish"

From sci-fi flicks to dramas and horror movies, these films all shine a spotlight on the ups and downs of fatherhood. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Amazon; Disney Plus; The Criterion Channel Father's Day lands on June 19, and it's a great occasion to watch a movie with your dad. Below, we gathered 24 memorable films highlighting the ups and downs of fatherhood. You can stream our picks on services like Amazon, Netflix, Disney Plus, and more. A wide variety of films pay homage to the ups and downs of fatherhood, and Father's Day is a great time to put one on. If you're looking for a memorable movie to sit back and watch with your dad this year, we've got you covered.We've highlighted 24 of the best films about dads, from classics like "Father of the Bride" to new animated hits like "Onward." All of our picks feature fathers or grandfathers in key roles, and they each tell stories that examine the relationship between dads and their kids. Additionally, we've narrowed this list to only include films deemed "fresh" by the review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes — that means a 60% rating or higher. We've also included a variety of genres for you to choose from, in case your dad prefers horror, drama, comedy, or all of the above.'A Quiet Place'Jonny Cournoyer/Paramount PicturesWatch "A Quiet Place" on Paramount Plus. For the horror-loving dad, "A Quiet Place" depicts a bleak, post-apocalyptic world where one family fights to survive in complete silence. John Krasinski directed and stars in the film as Lee Abbott, a father of three children who works hard to protect his family. The movie holds a "96% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. 'Beginners'Focus FeaturesRent or buy "Beginners" on Amazon, Apple TV, or Vudu. Inspired by director Mike Mills' father, "Beginners" tells the story of Oliver (Ewan McGregor), a man searching for inspiration in his own love life through memories of his late dad. Christopher Plummer plays Hal, Oliver's father who came out as gay after the passing of his wife. Rated "85% Certified Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes, "Beginners" is a multi-generational romance with a fresh take on fatherhood.'Bicycle Thieves'The Criterion ChannelWatch "Bicycle Thieves" on HBO Max or The Criterion Channel. "Bicycle Thieves" is an Italian neorealist film following a father and his son in post-World War II Rome searching for their stolen bike. Without the bike, the father won't be able to work his job to provide for his family. The classic movie is directed by Vittorio De Sica and is frequently included on many all-time best film lists. It's rated "99% Certified Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes.'Big Fish'AmazonWatch "Big Fish" on Netflix. A fantastical drama directed by Tim Burton, "Big Fish" focuses on one man's attempts to reconnect with his dying father by recalling his larger-than-life stories. Billy Crudup plays Will Bloom, and Albert Finney plays his father, Edward. Ewan McGregor plays a young Edward in the movie's many fantasy flashback sequences. "Big Fish" received a "75% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. 'Boyz N the Hood'AmazonRent or buy "Boyz N the Hood" on Amazon, Apple TV, or Vudu.When Tre Styles (Cuba Gooding Jr.) is sent to live with his father, Furious Styles (Laurence Fishburne) in South Central Los Angeles, he is reunited with his childhood friends and immersed in organized crime. "Boyz N the Hood" follows Tre's rocky adolescence influenced by local gangs while his father tries to sway him from a life of violence. The film is written and directed by John Singleton; it holds a "96% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'Father of the Bride'AmazonRent or buy "Father of the Bride" on Amazon, Apple TV, or Vudu. A remake of a 1950s comedy, "Father of the Bride" stars Steve Martin as George Banks, a successful businessman who's thrown for a loop when his 22-year old daughter (Kimberly Williams) announces her engagement to a man she's known for three months. It's a timeless film that's relatable for all dads who have a hard time letting go. It currently has a "70% Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. A brand-new adaptation of the story also recently premiered on HBO Max, with Andy Garcia stepping into the main role.'Field of Dreams'UniversalWatch "Field of Dreams" on Amazon Prime Video.Directed by Phil Alden Robinson, "Field of Dreams'' is a sports drama based on the 1982 book, "Shoeless Joe." Kevin Costner stars as Ray Kinsella, an Iowa farmer haunted by his broken relationship with his late father. When he receives an inspirational vision from an unknown voice, he builds a baseball diamond on his farm. Before long, the ghosts of famous baseball players visit his field ready to play. The sentimental film holds an "87% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'Finding Nemo'Disney PlusWatch "Finding Nemo" on Disney Plus.A Pixar classic from 2003, "Finding Nemo" follows one clownfish's harrowing journey to find his son, who's been kidnapped. It's a film great for all ages and it illustrates the woes of an overprotective father and just how far he'll go for his child. The cast includes Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, and Willem Dafoe. "Finding Nemo" is rated "99% Certified Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes.'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2'MarvelWatch "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" on Disney Plus.This sequel to the Marvel hit "Guardians of the Galaxy" follows the team on their next adventure, this time to meet Star-Lord's previously-unknown father. The film is action-packed, funny, and set to a nostalgic soundtrack, perfect for watching with dad this Father's Day. It also explores the idea of a found family, and the importance of those you care about regardless of blood relation. "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" holds an "85% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'Hearts Beat Loud'Gunpowder & SkyRent or buy "Hearts Beat Loud" on Amazon, Apple TV, or Vudu. Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons star as Frank and Sam Fisher, a father-daughter duo who  become an unlikely songwriting team in Sam's last summer before heading off to college. "Hearts Beat Loud" is a feel-good movie highlighting the love between a father and daughter, and just how hard it is to let go. The movie holds a "92% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade'Paramount PicturesWatch "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" on Paramount Plus. The third installment in the "Indiana Jones" franchise follows Indy on an adventure to save his kidnapped father (Sean Connery) and find the fabled Holy Grail. It's one of the more light-hearted and comedic entries in the series, full of the typical Indiana Jones action that many dads love. The classic film is rated "88% Certified Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes.'Interstellar'Interstellar Movie/FacebookWatch "Interstellar" on Paramount Plus. "Interstellar" stars Matthew McConaughey as a father and former NASA pilot living in a dystopian future where humans must look to space for survival. He is forced to choose between spending his life aiding all of mankind or remaining earthbound and living out his days with his young children. This sci-fi epic is perfect for dads who love space and all of its unknowns. It holds a "72% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'Late Spring'Janus FilmsWatch "Late Spring" on HBO Max or The Criterion Channel."Late Spring" is a 1949 Japanese drama based on the novel "Father and Daughter." It follows Noriko (Setsuko Hara), a single young woman contentedly living with her widowed father. However, things change when she is pressured to get married, leading to a bittersweet and touching story about family. "Late Spring" is directed by legendary filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu and is rated "100% Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes.'National Lampoon's Vacation'AmazonWatch "National Lampoon's Vacation" on HBO Max. A 1983 comedy classic, "National Lampoon's Vacation" stars Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold, a father and husband who decides to take his family on a cross-country road trip to a southern California amusement park. The Griswolds set out in high spirits, not knowing of the hijinks that will ensue. The wildly-popular film kicked off a whole franchise, with five sequels to follow; "Vacation" holds a "93% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'Onward'PixarWatch "Onward" on Disney Plus. "Onward" follows brothers Ian (Tom Holland) and Barley (Chris Pratt) as they embark on a journey to spend a day with their late dad, accompanied only by his magically-animated lower body. It's an animated journey filled with bumps and heartwarming moments that will make for a lighthearted watch this Father's Day. It currently holds an "88% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'Selena'Warner Bros/IMDBWatch "Selena" on HBO Max. A biographical drama following the life and career of Selena Quintanilla Perez, "Selena" also makes a good Father's Day flick because of what an active, if overbearing, role her father takes in her life. Jennifer Lopez stars as Selena and Edward James Olmos as her father, Abraham Quintanilla Jr. "Selena" is rated "67% Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes.'The Birdcage'AmazonWatch "The Birdcage" on HBO Max. Armand and Albert, the openly-gay owners of a drag club called The Birdcage, are thrown for a loop when Armand's son Val asks them to meet his girlfriend's extremely conservative parents. The story continues as the two conceal their lifestyles, for Val's sake. It's a hilarious debacle starring Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman, and Dianne West. "The Birdcage" is rated "82% Certified Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes.'Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back'Disney PlusWatch "The Empire Strikes Back" on Disney Plus. After the events of the four earlier entries in the "Star Wars" saga, "The Empire Strikes Back" follows Luke, Han, and Leia as they continue to battle the Empire. It's the source of the iconic scene in which Luke learns the harsh truth about his father while dueling with Darth Vader. Directed by Irvin Kershner, this film holds a "94% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'The Godfather'AmazonWatch "The Godfather" on Paramount Plus. An award-winning, critically acclaimed masterpiece, "The Godfather" has a reputation that precedes it. Marlon Brando plays Don Corleone, the patriarch of his family. Based on the Mario Puzo novel of the same name, "The Godfather" focuses on the Corleone family life and the dark crimes they engage in behind the scenes. The film also stars Al Pacino, James Caan, Richard Castellano, Robert Duvall, Sterling Hayden, John Marley, Richard Conte, and Diane Keaton; it holds a "97% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'The Paper Tigers'Well Go USA EntertainmentWatch "The Paper Tigers" on Netflix.A comedy packed with stunts and martial arts, "The Paper Tigers" follows three has-been kung-fu prodigies who reunite decades later to avenge their master. Leading the trio is Danny "Eight Hands," who has long forgotten the kung fu life and is now a divorced father. The film is written by Bao Tran and stars Alain Uy, Ron Yuan, and Mykel Shannon Jenkins. It is rated "98% Certified Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes.'The Pursuit of Happyness'PeacockWatch "The Pursuit of Happyness" on Peacock. "The Pursuit of Happyness" is based on the real life of Chris Gardner, a man struggling to keep he and his son from falling into poverty while striving for a better life. Real-life father and son Will and Jaden Smith play the Gardners in this film directed by Gabriele Muccino. It's a heartwarming drama with powerful performances from its actors; "The Pursuit of Happyness" holds a "67% Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'The Royal Tenenbaums'Gene Hackman in "The Royal Tenenbaums."Buena Vista PicturesRent or Buy "The Royal Tenenbaums" on Amazon, Apple TV, or Vudu. Directed by Wes Anderson and co-written by Owen Wilson, "The Royal Tenenbaums" stars Gene Hackman as Royal Tenenbaum, the father of three formerly-brilliant children who now live mediocre lives. He gathers them back together, decades older, in an attempt to reconnect before he dies. The cast also includes Luke Wilson, Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow, Anjelica Huston, and Danny Glover. The film is rated "81% Certified Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes.'The Shining'Warner Bros.Watch "The Shining" on HBO Max. Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, "The Shining" details the decline of Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), an aspiring writer who takes his wife and son with him on a job as an off-season hotel caretaker. The hotel has a dark past though, and his son becomes plagued with psychic visions. Perfect for the horror-loving father in your life, "The Shining" is a psychological horror classic to watch this Father's Day. It holds an "84% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'To Kill a Mockingbird'UniversalRent or buy "To Kill a Mockingbird" on Amazon, Apple TV, or Vudu.Based on the award-winning novel by Harper Lee, "To Kill a Mockingbird" paints a picture of prejudice and racial discrimination in 1930s Alabama. Gregory Peck plays Atticus Finch, a defense lawyer with two children who steps up to represent a Black man accused of rape. The story is told through the eyes of his young daughter, Scout (mary Badham), as she watches him fight for what's right. "To Kill a Mockingbird" holds a "93% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJun 17th, 2022

The 5 most anticipated movies premiering in June, including the new "Jurassic World" and Pixar"s "Lightyear"

Data shows that audiences are also looking forward to Netflix's "Spiderhead," from the director of "Top Gun: Maverick," and Warner Bros.' "Elvis." "Jurassic World: Dominion."Universal Every month, the app TV Time provides Insider with a list of the most anticipated new movies being released. The list is based on the movies its US users have indicated they intend to watch. "Jurassic World: Dominion" and Pixar's "Lightyear" both hit theaters in June. 5. "Spiderhead" — on Netflix June 17Chris Hemsworth in "Spiderhead."NetflixDescription: "A prisoner in a state-of-the-art penitentiary begins to question the purpose of the emotion-controlling drugs he's testing for a pharmaceutical genius."4. "Elvis" — in theaters June 24Austin Butler in "Elvis."Warner Bros.Description: "A thoroughly cinematic drama, Elvis's (Austin Butler) story is seen through the prism of his complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks). As told by Parker, the film delves into the complex dynamic between the two spanning over 20 years, from Presley's rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America. Central to that journey is one of the significant and influential people in Elvis's life, Priscilla Presley (Olivia DeJonge)."3. "The Black Phone" — in theaters June 24Ethan Hawke in "The Black Phone."UniversalDescription: "Director Scott Derrickson returns to his terror roots and partners again with the foremost brand in the genre, Blumhouse, with a new horror thriller. Finney Shaw, a shy but clever 13-year-old boy, is abducted by a sadistic killer and trapped in a soundproof basement where screaming is of little use. When a disconnected phone on the wall begins to ring, Finney discovers that he can hear the voices of the killer's previous victims. And they are dead set on making sure that what happened to them doesn't happen to Finney."2. "Lightyear" — in theaters June 17Chris Evans voices Buzz in "Lightyear."PixarDescription: "The definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear, the hero who inspired the toy, 'Lightyear' follows the legendary Space Ranger after he's marooned on a hostile planet 4.2 million light-years from Earth alongside his commander and their crew. As Buzz tries to find a way back home through space and time, he's joined by a group of ambitious recruits and his charming robot companion cat, Sox. Complicating matters and threatening the mission is the arrival of Zurg, an imposing presence with an army of ruthless robots and a mysterious agenda."1. "Jurassic World: Dominion" — in theaters June 10Chris Pratt in "Jurassic World: Dominion."UniversalDescription: "From 'Jurassic World' architect and director Colin Trevorrow, Dominion takes place four years after Isla Nublar has been destroyed. Dinosaurs now live — and hunt — alongside humans all over the world. This fragile balance will reshape the future and determine, once and for all, whether human beings are to remain the apex predators on a planet they now share with history's most fearsome creatures."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 31st, 2022

The 46 best fantasy books to escape into this summer, from the classics to new highly anticipated sequels

Whether you like fantasy books with a dash of drama, historical fiction, romance, or science fiction, these novels are sure to become favorites. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Whether you like fantasy books with a dash of drama, historical fiction, romance, or science fiction, these novels are sure to become favorites.Amazon; Alyssa Powell/Insider Fantasy books are delightfully filled with magic, creatures, and new worlds. This list ranges from classic fantasy novels to exciting new releases. We looked at bestsellers, award-winners, and reader recommendations to find the best fantasy books. Fantasy books are a blissful escape from reality into worlds of magical creatures, mythological heroes, and folklore come to life. They are where we can discover new worlds where heroes and heroines face brutal beasts, travel across distant lands, and unearth forgotten kingdoms. From epic high fantasy to magical realism, the fantasy genre is expansive. Fantasy can include countless different types of magic, characters, and adventurous pursuits and many of these novels intertwine with other genres, especially science fiction and romance. To compile this list of best fantasy books, we looked at all-time fantasy bestsellers, award-winners, and new releases about which readers are raving. So whether you're looking to find a magical first fantasy read or delve deeper into a sub-genre you already love, here are some of the best fantasy novels to read this summer. The 46 best classic and new fantasy books to read in 2022:A historical fantasy retelling of an ancient Indian epicAmazon"Kaikeyi" by Vaishnavi Patel, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.54For fans of "Circe," "Kaikeyi" is the historical fantasy tale of a young woman who discovers her magic while looking for deeper answers in the texts she once read with her mother. When Kaikeyi transforms into a warrior and a favored, feminist queen, darkness from her past resurfaces and the world she has built clashes with the destiny the gods once chose for her family, forcing Kaikeyi to face the consequences of resistance and the legacy she may leave behind. A new exciting fantasy sequelAmazon"Fevered Star" by Rebecca Roanhorse, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $23.49"Fevered Star" is the highly anticipated sequel to "Black Sun," and continues as sea captain Xiala finds new allies with the war in the heavens affecting the Earth. Meanwhile, avatars Serapio and Naranpa must continue to fight for free will despite the wave of destiny and prophecy they face in this fantasy novel loved for its unique cast of characters and incredible world-building. The first epic fantasy novel in an upcoming trilogyAmazon"The Woven Kingdom" by Tahereh Mafi, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.99"This Woven Kingdom" intertwines fantastical Persian mythology and rich romance in the first novel of an upcoming fantasy trilogy about Alizeh, the long-lost heir to the kingdom for which she works as a servant. Kamran, the crown prince, has heard the prophecies his kingdom is destined to face but couldn't imagine the strange servant girl would be the one to uproot everything he's ever known. The most classic fantasy you can getAmazon"The Hobbit" by J. R. R. Tolkien, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.37An introduction to the mystical world of "The Lord of the Rings," "The Hobbit" is one of the most charming adventure fantasies in history. It's the timeless story of Bilbo Baggins meeting Gandalf as they set out to raid the treasure guarded by a dragon — indisputably a classic fantasy novel, and a must-read for any fantasy lover. A fantastical retelling of Chinese mythologyAmazon"Daughter of the Moon Goddess" by Sue Lynn Tan, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.19Inspired by the legend of Chang'e, the Chinese moon goddess, "Daughter of the Moon Goodess" follows Xingyin as her existence is discovered by the feared Celestial emperor and she must flee her home and leave her mother behind. In this mythological retelling, Xingyin must learn archery and magic in the very empire that once exiled her mother and challenge the Celestial Emperor with her life, loves, and the fate of the entire realm at stake. A steamy fantasy retelling of "Beauty and the Beast"Amazon"A Court of Thorns and Roses" by Sarah J. Maas, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.49In this wildly popular series, Feyre is brought to a magical kingdom on the crime of killing a faerie where both she and the secrets of her captor are closely guarded. This series is known for its careful pacing, beautiful romance, and nightmarish fantasy creatures. The final book was just released, so now you can binge-read straight to the end. A historical fantasy that you won’t soon forgetAmazon"The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue" by V.E. Schwab, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.19In 1714, Addie LaRue accidentally prays to the gods that answer after dark and curses herself to a life in which she cannot be remembered. This book spans 300 years as Addie lives without a trace until one day, she meets a boy who remembers her name. Contrary to the premise, Addie's story is one that stays with you long after you finish this book. This was my favorite book of 2020 and remains in my top five of all time. A fantasy book that begins with "It was a dark and stormy night"Amazon"A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $5.35This is one of the few books from my childhood that has stood the test of time and remained on my bookshelf to this day. Meg Murry — along with her mother and brother — rushes downstairs in the middle of the night to find a strange visitor in the kitchen, launching an adventure through space and time to save Meg's father and the world. I was whisked away by the magic in this story, along with so many other readers. A fantasy story that will take you to a new worldAmazon"The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" by C.S. Lewis, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.64Though chronologically second, this was the first "Chronicles of Narnia" book to be published and therefore should be read first. It tells the story of three siblings who step through the door of a wardrobe and find themselves in the magical land of Narnia, enchanted by the evil White Witch. They team up with a lion and join the battle to save Narnia. C.S. Lewis wrote: "Some day, you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again," and that resonates with so many readers who pick this book up and hold it close to their hearts forever.A fantasy series that's quickly become a modern classicAmazon"A Game of Thrones" series by George R. R. Martin, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $26.93The "Game of Thrones" series is hailed as an undeniable classic even though it was just published in 2005. The entire series is iconic. It's about families caught in a never-ending war over who rules over the seven kingdoms. In these books, the good guys don't always win and the heroes don't always live. There are highly complicated characters, tons of subplots, and every kind of conflict imaginable. A powerful and diverse fantasy with contemporary issuesAmaozon"Legendborn" by Tracy Deonn, available at Amazon and Bookshop, $16.29"Legendborn" has quickly become a favorite amongst fantasy readers since it was published in September 2020. It weaves issues of grief, racism, and oppression with Arthurian-inspired magic. Bree enrolls in a college program for gifted high schoolers after an accident that left her mother dead. When an attempt to wipe Bree's memory after she witnesses a magical attack fails, her own magic and memories begin to return to her and leave her wondering if her mother's death was truly an accident. An enchanting, magical fantasy adventureBookshop"The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea" by Axie Oh, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.99Mina's homeland has been devastated by storms for generations so every year, a maiden is sacrificed to the sea in the hopes the Sea God will take a true bride and end the villages' suffering. When Shim Cheong, her brother's beloved, is chosen for the next sacrifice, Mina throws herself into the sea in her place and is swept into the Spirit Realm where she seeks to wake the Sea God, confront him — and save her homeland before her time in the realm runs out. A feminist fairy tale classicAmazon"Ella Enchanted" by Gail Carson Levine, available at Amazon and Bookshop, $7.35Whether or not you've seen the hilarious Anne Hathaway movie, this is one to pick up. It's the story of Ella, enchanted as an infant with the "gift" of obedience. It quickly turns into a curse as Ella can't help but do what she's told no matter who orders her or how silly (or dangerous) the order may be. When Ella finds she might be in danger, she sets out to undo the curse and ends up on an adventure with ogres, elves, even the classic pumpkin carriage. I thought this book was just as amusing as the movie and I probably read it a dozen times as a teen. A deadly fantasy tale of three royal sistersAmazon"Three Dark Crowns" series by Kendare Blake, available at Amazon and Bookshop from $14.99In every royal generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born. They are each equal heirs to the throne and possess one of three magics: control of the elements, affinity to nature and animals, or immunity to poison. When the girls turn sixteen, the fight for the crown begins and will only end once only one queen remains. In this dark series about strong women, the tension and twists build with each novel until the action-packed and intensely satisfying ending. The magic in these books is easy to understand and really entertaining to read. I loved seeing this sisterhood grow and change over the four books.A bloody fantasy epic of warrior womenAmazon"The Gilded Ones" by Namina Forna, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.39Deka is already different from the rest of her village, but when she bleeds gold — the mark of a demon girl — during a ceremony, she faces consequences worse than death. She is soon offered a choice: to stay and face her fate or leave and fight in an army of girls like her. This story moves swiftly with a mix of dystopian fantasy, horror, and a touch of romance. It can be quite violent at times, as demon girls suffer death after gruesome death. If you've ever been hesitant about picking up YA fantasy, this is one that won't disappoint. A dark fantasy that's perfect for a rainy dayAmazon"Neverwhere" by Neil Gaiman, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.29While you are probably more familiar with "Coraline," "Neverwhere" is a Neil Gaiman book that just can't be passed over. On the streets of London, Richard Mayhew stops to help a bleeding girl and ends up in Neverwhere — a dark version of London where monsters lurk in the shadows. After finishing this, you'll ask yourself why you haven't read more of his novels. Gaiman also has a series on MasterClass that deconstructs his storytelling yet somehow adds more magic to every book. A classic fantasy novel full of magicAmazon"A Wizard of Earthsea" by Ursula K. Le Guin, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $6.79When Ged was young, he was the reckless Sparrowhawk. Now he's grown into the most powerful sorcerer in Earthsea, but he must face the consequences of the power-hungry actions of his younger self. This book (and the entire six-book series) continues to enchant fantasy readers 50 years after its first publication. Through graceful writing and impeccable character development, Le Guin challenges us to know and embrace our true selves.A high seas pirate adventure storyAmazon"Fable" by Adrienne Young, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.69Fable is a trader, a fighter, and a survivor. Four years ago, she watched her mother drown in a ruthless storm and her father abandon her on an island of thieves. Relying on the skills her mother taught her, Fable enlists West to help her confront her father and demand a place on his crew. When she finally makes it off the island, Fable learns how much more dangerous her father's work has become and finds that the island may have been the safest place for her after all. This is a gritty story with a strong feminist lead and (thankfully) a sequel that was just released.A fantasy series where light and dark magic exist in parallel worldsAmazon"A Darker Shade of Magic" by V.E. Schwab, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.99Kell is a smuggler and one of the last magicians able to travel between parallel Londons: red, white, grey, and (long ago) black. After being robbed and then saved by Delilah Bard, the two set out on an adventure to save themselves and the worlds through which they travel. Schwab is a masterful world-builder and you will absolutely travel right along with this pair. Because of this series, I have become a sucker for a parallel universe trope. The fantasy story of a forced marriage between a witch and a witch hunterAmazon"Serpent & Dove" by Shelby Mahurin, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.59In Belterra, witches are feared and burned at the stake by ruthless witch hunters. For two years, Louise hid her magic to stay alive until one mistake set in motion a story of impossible choices, an enemies-to-lover romance, and a tangled battle between right and wrong. With how compelling the writing is, you'd never guess it is a debut novel. I bought this one just for the gorgeous cover and had no idea how extraordinary it would be.A criminal account of a steampunk band of anti-heroesAmazon"Six of Crows" by Leigh Bardugo, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.99Kaz is a professional criminal, offered an alluring heist that he can't pass up, but he can't pull off alone. This story is completely brilliant, gritty, and a little messy. With six main characters, "Six of Crows" is a fast-paced heist, a story that leaves you constantly surprised as you'll never fully know any one character's intentions due to its third-person point of view.The fantastical tale of a magical unicornAmazon"The Last Unicorn" by Peter S. Beagle, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.99This is a beautiful fairy tale with poems and songs set throughout the pages. In this book, a unicorn who lives alone in a forest protected from death decides to find what happened to the others. Helped by a magician and a spinster, the unicorn sets out on a journey of love and destiny, faced with an evil king who aims to rid the world of the final unicorn. The life lessons woven throughout this book are bittersweet, but also real and honest. A cherished chronicle of magical children and guarded secretsAmazon"The House in the Cerulean Sea" by T.J Klune, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.29This is one of the few books I refer to as "beautiful." Linus Baker is a quiet caseworker for the Department of Magical Youth — and has just been charged with investigating a highly secretive case that requires him to travel to an island where six dangerous magical orphans (including the actual son of Satan) live under the care of Arthur Parnassus. This book is all about family, filled with comforting magic as you come to care for fictional characters. Plus, reading about a child who is trying to be a good kid while also being the literal Anti-Christ is absolutely hysterical and was the highlight of this book for me.A dark, horror-fantasy book about occult magicAmazon"Ninth House" by Leigh Bardugo, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.55Alex Stern is recovering in the hospital after surviving an unsolved homicide when she's mysteriously offered a full ride at Yale University. The only catch: she has to monitor the activities of the school's secret societies that practice dark magic. Alex, a high school dropout from LA, has no idea why she's been chosen but by the time she finds out, she'll be in too deep. This book won the Goodreads Choice Awards "Best Fantasy" category in 2019 and it absolutely lives up to the hype. It's intense, bloody, and powerful as dangerous magic weaves itself into an everyday school setting. A truly fun Greek mythology storyAmazon"The Lightning Thief" by Rick Riordan, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $5.98Deeply loved, the Percy Jackson books are just as regarded as "The Hunger Games" or "Divergent." Percy has no idea that he is a demigod, son of Poseidon, but he's having trouble in school, unable to focus or control his temper. Percy is sure that his teacher tried to kill him and when his mom finds out, she knows she needs to tell him the truth about where he came from. He goes to a summer camp for demigods and teams up with two friends to reach the Underworld in order to prevent a war between the gods. Percy makes a great hero and it's so easy to root for him as he pushes through his journey, the pages filled with Grade-A characters, action scenes, and monsters. A West-African inspired fantasy world of danger and magicAmazon"Children of Blood and Bone" by Tomi Adeyemi, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.99After a ruthless king left the world without magic and her mother dead, Zélie finds she has only one chance to save her people. On a dangerous journey to restore magic to the land before it is lost forever, Zélie's greatest danger may be herself. Readers agree that the best parts of this book are the characters, who all go on a transformative journey as they fight for peace. This is in TIME's Top 100 Fantasy Books of All Time, which is a huge deal. A captivating vampire fantasy novelAmazon"Crave" by Tracy Wolff, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.51It's easy to draw a comparison between "Crave" and "Twilight," especially since the moment "brooding vampires" is mentioned, everyone's first thought is Edward Cullen. Plus, the cover looks like it's part of Stephanie Meyer's famous saga. But the "Crave" series is more sophisticated and literary while embracing the inherent cringe that now seems to accompany any vampire story. This is an engaging read because it blends nostalgia with something fresh and new. Open this book when you're ready to have fun with reading — the cheesy moody vampire moments are absolutely present amongst turf wars, a gothic academy, and dragons. A dark urban fantasy where people hunt the godsAmazon"Lore" by Alexandra Bracken, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.99Greek mythology meets "The Hunger Games" in this world where every seven years, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by those eager to steal divine power and immortality for themselves. Lore wants to leave this brutality behind when her help is sought out by two opposing participants: a childhood friend she thought long dead and a gravely wounded Athena. The world created in this standalone is thorough and complex. But if you love crazy twists and that "just one more chapter" feeling, you should give this a shot.An iconic fantasy book that checks every boxAmazon"The Princess Bride" by William Goldman, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.11"The Princess Bride" is a modern classic that has something for everyone: action, beasts, true love, and a whole lot of fighting. A beautiful girl, Buttercup, and her farm boy, Westley, have fallen madly in love. Westley sets off to claim his fortune so he can marry her before he's ambushed by pirates. Thinking he's dead, Buttercup marries an evil prince as Westley plans to return to her. It's riddled with narration from the author that really adds to the passion and humor of this book.A 200-years-later fantasy sequel to "Cinderella"Amazon"Cinderella is Dead" by Kalynn Bayron, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.63200 years after Cinderella found her prince, girls are required to appear at the annual ball where men select their wives. If a girl is not selected, she is never heard from again. Sophia would much rather marry her love, Erin, so she flees the ball where she runs into Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella. Together, they decide to bring down the king once and for all. This book gathered attention for its Black and queer lead characters that have no intention of waiting for a night in shining armor to save them. It's a story of bravery, anger, and fighting for love.A fantasy that's all about booksAmazon"Inkheart" by Cornelia Funke, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.29Meggie's father is reading to her from a book called "Inkheart" one night when an evil stranger from her father's past knocks on their door. When Meggie's dad is kidnapped, she has to learn to control the magic to change the story that's taken over her life, creating a world that she's only read about in books. It's a story about magic, for sure, but also about the unwavering bond between Meggie and her father — a truly heartwarming love that you'll feel as a reader.  A darker collection of fairy talesAmazon"The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales" by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $4.95The German brothers who wrote this book aimed to collect stories exactly how they were told. This led to a collection of fairy tales that we all know and love, minus the obligatory "happily ever afters." It has all the classics like "Cinderella" and "Rapunzel" that haven't been softened or brightly colored for younger audiences. This is great for anyone who loves the feeling of discovering all the secrets behind the stories or movies we loved when we were young.A fantasy re-telling of "Romeo and Juliet," set in 1920s ShanghaiAmazon"These Violent Delights" by Chloe Gong, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.99In 1926, a blood feud has left the city starkly divided, Juliette the heir to the Scarlet Gang and Roma the heir to the White Flowers. They were each other's first love, separated by their families and long ago (but not forgotten) betrayal. Now, as a mysterious illness is causing the people to claw their own throats out, Roma and Juliette must put aside their differences to save their city. This one features a river monster, a serious amount of blood and gore, and nods to the original "Romeo and Juliet" throughout. A fantastical tapestry of legends and rivalriesAmazon"The Priory of the Orange Tree" by Samantha Shannon, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.24Told from four points of view, Queen Sabran IX must conceive a daughter, for the legends say that as long as a queen rules, the monster beneath the sea will sleep. But as the assassins close in, the eastern and western kingdoms of Virtudom refuse to unite, even against an ancient and monumental threat that could kill them all. This is 800 pages of high fantasy, charged by dragons, queer representation, and a large cast of characters — but don't worry, you can find a glossary and character list in the back to help you keep it all straight. It's been hailed as "A feminist successor to 'The Lord of the Rings'" and decidedly embraces that praise.A fantasy novel hailed for its romanceAmazon"From Blood and Ash" by Jennifer L. Armentrout, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.67While this absolutely falls into the fantasy genre, it actually won the Goodreads Choice Awards for "Best Romance" in 2020. Poppy is the Maiden, chosen to fulfill a destiny that has never been fully explained to her, living the life of a recluse and awaiting to ascend to prove she is worthy to the gods and can protect her land from the curse. When she can't stand it anymore, she sneaks away from the kingdom and meets Hawke, spurring a desperate secret romance. The beginning of the first book is slow, but the momentum builds quickly. It ends on a huge cliffhanger but the second one has already been released and the third is out on April 20, 2021. A classic Arthurian taleAmazon"The Sword in the Stone" by T. H. White, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.50Before the famous King Arthur, there was a boy named Wart, a wizard named Merlin, and a sword stuck in a stone. In this story, Merlin helps Wart learn valuable coming-of-age lessons as he grows up. It feels both medieval and modern, with an emotional ending as Wart finally faces the sword. If you loved the Disney movie, you should still read this, since they're very different. The witchy prequel to “Practical Magic”Amazon"The Rules of Magic" by Alice Hoffman, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.30Franny, Bridget, and Vincent are growing up in the 1950s, aware that they are different but held under strict parental rules to keep them safe and away from magic. When they visit their Aunt Isabelle in Massachusetts where their family name holds great history, the Owens siblings learn to embrace their magical sides. You don't need to have read "Practical Magic" to love this story of sibling love and finding your identity. The book is simply delightful and the whole thing feels like a cool autumn in Salem. A fantasy series that you'll hold close long after the final bookAmazon"Throne of Glass" series by Sarah J. Maas, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $6.59This entire eight-book series has insanely high reviews, with a ton of fantasy readers picking up anything Sarah J. Maas writes. It follows Celaena Sardothien, an assassin who is offered a chance to serve as the King's Champion and earn her freedom after serving in a camp for her crimes. Celaena is drawn into a series of battles and a deeply woven conspiracy, discovering secrets about the kingdom and herself. This is an epic, powerful, and brilliant journey that might just become your new favorite series.The first in a new "Shadowhunter" seriesAmazon"Chain of Gold" by Cassandra Clare, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.49Cordelia is a Shadowhunter, a warrior who has trained all her life to battle demons. On a mission to prove her father's innocence, she travels to London where she meets James, a childhood friend. She's whisked into his secret and dazzling life when a series of demon attacks hit London. These new monsters seem impossible to kill as they hide in plain sight and close off the city. The characters are what drives this book and if you've read other "Shadowhunter" novels by Cassandra Clare, you'll love getting to know family members you've heard about before. A portal fantasy that all begins with a girl finding magic in a bookAmazon"The Ten Thousand Doors of January" by Alix E Harrow, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.99While serving as the ward to a wealthy man, January finds a strange book that tells a story of secret doors, adventure, and danger. As she reads, January is taken on an imaginative journey of discovery as a book she thought was fiction elaborately bends her reality. It's a portal story of love and enchanting adventure, a book about a book that will mercilessly break your heart but gracefully put it back together. A wintery fairytale story, loosely based on “Rumpelstiltskin”Amazon"Spinning Silver" by Naomi Novik, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.99Miryem quickly earns a reputation for being able to spin silver to gold after setting out to save her family from poverty, capturing the attention of the Ice King. This is a woven story of three women, three mothers, and three marriages. Naomi Novik does an incredible job of helping you follow each story, creating some amazingly strong female protagonists. This is not your typical fairytale, but it's still full of whimsical writing, familial bonds, and tons of charm.  A deep-sea fantasy journey with seven kinds of magicAmazon"All The Stars and Teeth" by Adalyn Grace, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.89In a kingdom where you can choose your magic, Amora knows that to be queen, she must master the dangerous but fickle soul magic. When her demonstration fails, Amora flees and strikes a deal with a pirate: she will help him reclaim his magic if he can help her prove that she's fit to rule. "All the Stars and Teeth" is an epic adventure-driven fantasy featuring mermaids, sea monsters, and a kingdom in danger. A fantasy book that will pull you in from the first lineAmazon"A Curse So Dark and Lonely" by Brigid Kemmerer, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.89Set in the parallel land of Emberfall, a cursed Prince Rhen has become a destructive, murderous monster. Harper, a regular girl with cerebral palsy, was mistakenly kidnapped and is now the prince's only hope. Yes, this is the second "Beauty and the Beast" retelling in this roundup but they are both so different and so loved. Readers come for the complexity of Rhen and Harper and stay for the snarky, hysterical bickering between the two.A fantasy story of a darkly magical school where you graduate or dieAmazon"A Deadly Education" by Naomi Novik, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.41At Scholomance, magically gifted students must survive to graduate — and failure means death. There are no teachers, no breaks, and only two rules: don't walk the halls alone, and beware of the monsters that lurk everywhere. El has no allies, just incredibly strong dark magic that could save her — but might kill all the other students. El's evolution and hilarity during this story plus Novik's thoughtful world-building and extremely diverse cast of characters are what make this a favorite. A fae-centered high fantasyAmazon"The Cruel Prince" by Holly Black, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.9910 years ago, Jude and her sisters were kidnapped after their parents' murder and taken to the land of Faerie, where they are mortal humans amongst fantastical but cruel creatures. In order to belong, Jude must win a place in the high court which will require her to defy the youngest prince. Holly Black (crowned the supreme Faerie-world writer) creates a world so real, you'll forget its magic. A new fantasy duology of a world of enchanted injusticeAmazon"Spellbreaker" by Charlie N. Holmberg, available at Amazon and Bookshop, $8.49There are two kinds of wizards in the world: those who pay for the power to cast spells and those born with the ability to break them. Elise was born a spellbreaker but her gift is a crime. While on a mission to break the enchantments of aristocrats, Elise is discovered and must strike a bargain with an elite wizard to protect herself. It's a fun fantasy mystery with plenty of twists and danger that are sure to keep you intrigued.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 23rd, 2022

The 6 most anticipated movies premiering in April, from "Morbius" to "Sonic the Hedgehog 2"

Sony's latest Marvel movie, "Morbius," hits theaters this weekend, but critics have not been kind to the film. Jared Leto as Michael Morbius in "Morbius."Courtesy of Sony Pictures Every month, the app TV Time provides Insider a list of the most anticipated new movies being released. The list is based on the movies its US users have indicated they intend to watch. Sony's latest Marvel movie, "Morbius," hits theaters this weekend amid poor reviews from critics. Paramount's "Sonic the Hedgehog" sequel could be a strong indicator of whether families are ready to return to theaters. The top movies this month are all exclusive theatrical releases, as Hollywood moves away from hybrid streaming models it adopted during the pandemic — for now. 6. "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent" (Lionsgate) — in theaters April 22Pedro Pascal and Nicolas Cage in "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent."Katalin Vermes/LionsgateDescription: "Nicolas Cage stars as... Nick Cage in the action-comedy The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. Creatively unfulfilled and facing financial ruin, the fictionalized version of Cage must accept a $1 million offer to attend the birthday of a dangerous superfan (Pedro Pascal). Things take a wildly unexpected turn when Cage is recruited by a CIA operative (Tiffany Haddish) and forced to live up to his own legend, channeling his most iconic and beloved on-screen characters in order to save himself and his loved ones. With a career built for this very moment, the seminal award-winning actor must take on the role of a lifetime: Nick Cage."Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 100%What critics said: "The filmmakers pull from every corner of Cage's filmography to craft something transcendent." — RogerEbert.com5. "The Northman" (Focus Features) — in theaters April 22Alexander Skarsgård in "The Northman."Aidan Monaghan / © 2022 Focus Features, LLCDescription: "From visionary director Robert Eggers comes The Northman, an action-filled epic that follows a young Viking prince on his quest to avenge his father's murder. With an all-star cast that includes Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Claes Bang, Anya Taylor-Joy, Ethan Hawke, Björk, and Willem Dafoe." 4. "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" (Paramount) — in theaters April 8ParamountDescription: "After settling in Green Hills, Sonic is eager to prove he has what it takes to be a true hero. His test comes when Dr. Robotnik returns, this time with a new partner, Knuckles, in search for an emerald that has the power to destroy civilizations. Sonic teams up with his own sidekick, Tails, and together they embark on a globe-trotting journey to find the emerald before it falls into the wrong hands."3. "Ambulance" (Universal) — in theaters April 8Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in "Ambulance."Universal PicturesDescription: "In this breakneck thriller from director-producer Michael Bay, decorated veteran Will Sharp (Emmy winner Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), desperate for money to cover his wife's medical bills, asks for help from the one person he knows he shouldn't—his adoptive brother Danny (Oscar nominee Jake Gyllenhaal). A charismatic career criminal, Danny instead offers him a score: the biggest bank heist in Los Angeles history: $32 million. With his wife's survival on the line, Will can't say no. But when their getaway goes spectacularly wrong, the desperate brothers hijack an ambulance with a wounded cop clinging to life and ace EMT Cam Thompson (Eiza González) onboard. In a high-speed pursuit that never stops, Will and Danny must evade a massive, city-wide law enforcement response, keep their hostages alive, and somehow try not to kill each other, all while executing the most insane escape L.A. has ever seen."2. "Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore" (Warner Bros.) — in theaters April 15Eddie Redmayne in "Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore."Warner Bros.Description: "Professor Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) knows the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) is moving to seize control of the wizarding world. Unable to stop him alone, he entrusts Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to lead an intrepid team of wizards, witches and one brave Muggle baker on a dangerous mission, where they encounter old and new beasts and clash with Grindelwald's growing legion of followers. But with the stakes so high, how long can Dumbledore remain on the sidelines?"1. "Morbius" (Sony) — in theaters April 1Jared Leto as Michael Morbius in "Morbius."Courtesy of Sony PicturesDescription: "One of the most compelling and conflicted characters in Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters comes to the big screen as Oscar winner Jared Leto transforms into the enigmatic antihero Michael Morbius. Dangerously ill with a rare blood disorder and determined to save others suffering his same fate, Dr. Morbius attempts a desperate gamble. While at first it seems to be a radical success, a darkness inside him is unleashed. Will good override evil — or will Morbius succumb to his mysterious new urges?"Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 16%What critics said: "Mostly, the film occupies a strange no-mans-land of the sprawling Spider-Verse, not charming like the Spider-Man films, not funny like the Venom films, and certainly not technically impressive like the animated 'Into the Spider-Verse.'" — IndiewireRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytApr 1st, 2022

31 magical "Harry Potter" gifts every Potterhead will love

These magical gift ideas for your favorite wizards and muggles will impress even the most die-hard "Harry Potter" fan you know. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Le Creuset's new Harry Potter collection. Williams Sonoma If you're looking to gift a "Harry Potter" fan, don't trust anything that wasn't written by one. We put together a list of gift ideas to suit every witch, wizard, and half-blood out there - from baking supplies to Patronus lamps. Need more gift ideas? Check out all of our gift guides here. It's hard to imagine someone not being a "Harry Potter" fan, save for You-Know-Who himself. But for that one slightly obsessed friend who has a Deathly Hallows tattoo, is a total wiz at "Harry Potter" trivia, and has re-read the books multiple times, the term "fan" probably doesn't even begin to cover it. If they have yet to receive their Hogwarts letter, the next best thing they could get might just be one of these gifts. We rounded up something fun for every type of muggle and wizard, from the ones who just love the movies (aka the muggles) to the die-hards who can tell you the answer to what you'd get if you added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood (the wizards). 31 of the best "Harry Potter" gift ideas: A casserole dish for the "You-Know-Who" in your life Williams Sonoma Le Creuset x Harry Potter Lord Voldemort Casserole Dish, available at Williams Sonoma, $140 Not every "Harry Potter" fan is rooting for the protagonist. For those with a soft spot for ol' Voldy, this all-black casserole dish features the Dark Mark and the Elder Wand. Use its dark power to transform uncooked casseroles into piping hot dinners, just like magic.  A cozy Forbidden Forest robe Vera Bradley Harry Potter Cozy Life Robe, available at Vera Bradley, $75Cozy up for Harry Potter movie marathons with this plush Vera Bradley robe. This limited-edition robe feels as dreamy as it looks with its charming Forbidden Forest imagery. A set of the Golden Snitch ice molds Williams Sonoma Harry Potter Snitch Ice Balls set, available at Williams Sonoma, $21.95If your drinks aren't staying cold for long enough, these spellbinding Golden Snitch ice balls do the trick. These oversized ice molds melt slowly so you can enjoy your drink for longer, unlike other muggle ice trays.   A refined Deathly Hallows patterned tie Nordstrom Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Silk Tie, available at Nordstrom, $40.60This sophisticated Deathly Hallows silk tie is subtle enough to wear for any businessman who's a secret Potterhead at heart.  A monogrammed velvet travel case Pottery Barn Teen Harry Potter Velvet Train Case, available at Pottery Barn Teen, $79 Stash your travel necessities in this plush train case that makes each trip a magical experience. Even if the destination isn't Hogwarts, this travel case shows off your Hogwarts house with pride and you can stylize it with your name.  A wizard wand makeup brushes set to make their makeup glam more bewitching Amazon Harry Potter Wizard Wand Makeup Brushes Set, available at Amazon, $16.99If they're looking to add a bit of magic to their beauty routine, this wizard wand shaped makeup brush set will create the most exquisite glam. This 10 piece set is used for eyeshadow, eyebrows, eyeliner, lips, concealer, contouring, highlighter and blending.  This Expecto Patronum pillow cover that will give you magical dreams Pottery Barn Teen Harry Potter Expecto Patronum Pillow Cover, available at Pottery Barn Teen, $39.50Keep your bedroom safe from Dementors with this Expecto Patronum pillow cover. Your happy memories will send you off to sweet dreams of Hogwarts and charms class. And if you want to keep muggles unaware of your magical inclinations, the pillow cover reverses to solid blue. A set of socks any house elf would love to receive Amazon Harry Potter Ankle Socks Pack, available at Amazon, $12.90I hope you'll be buying these for every house elf you know. S.P.E.W. thanks you for your generosity. An illustrated collection of the "Harry Potter" books to make reading them again feel like a new experience J.K. Rowling Harry Potter The Illustrated Collection (Books 1-3), available at Amazon, $85.52Perfect for Potterhead parents, this collection of illustrated books is a child's perfect introduction to the series. Parents can read aloud while children marvel at the gorgeous illustrations as they too fall in love with images of Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, Buckbeak, and Dobby. But this boxed set isn't just for kids. It's the perfect gift for someone who would love to see their beloved universe interpreted in a new way in full color. A Hedwig jar for your Honeyduke's sweets Harry Potter Harry Potter Hedwig Cookie Jar, available at Williams Sonoma, $69.95Pay homage to this true hero of the Second Wizarding War by giving her a prominent place in the home in the form of this cookie jar. It's the least we can do to honor her great sacrifice. And it's a great place to store the cookies they made with their new Harry Potter cookie cutters. A Wizard Chess set that won't destroy itself every time you play The Noble Collection Harry Potter Wizard Chess Set, available at Amazon, $49This might be one instance where I prefer the muggle version to the wizard version. This Wizard Chess set doesn't come with the danger of bodily harm when bishop takes knight. It's also convenient for those of use who love to play chess, but just don't have the space in our cursed dungeon to keep the life-sized set. A set of cookie cutters for your favorite house elf who loves to bake Harry Potter Harry Potter Cookie Cutter Set, available at Williams Sonoma, $29.95These cookie cutters (or biscuit cutters if you're Professor McGonagall) let them bake up some of their favorite Potter icons like Hedwig, a Nimbus 3000, a Golden Snitch, and more. They'll want to treat their friends to some festive treats during their next "Harry Potter" marathon. As McGonagall says, "Have a biscuit, Potter!"Check out all of Williams Sonoma's "Harry Potter" items here.  A Hogwarts PopSocket grip for muggle communication devices Pop Sockets Harry Potter Hogwarts PopSockets, available at PopSockets, from $15Our smartphones might be the closest things we muggles have to magic wands. Think about it: We use them to communicate, have all the knowledge in the world at our fingertips, and even control other devices from afar. Treat their phone like the true magical tool it is by adding some Hogwarts flair with this PopSockets grip. A welcome mat that shows off your wizard pride Harry Potter Harry Potter Wizards Welcome Door Mat, available at BoxLunch, $29.90Unfortunately science hasn't figured out a way to allow muggles to apparate yet, so we have to settle for walking, which means dirty shoes are always a danger. Keep that "No-Maj" dirt off their clean floors with this doormat that clearly states their preferred company. A Golden Snitch clock that's not hard to find Harry Potter Harry Potter Golden Snitch Clock, available at Pottery Barn, $49There's a "Snitch in time" joke somewhere in here... A house scarf to keep you warm when you venture out to Hogsmeade Amazon Harry Potter Scarf, available at Amazon, $34.95This scarf is a classic. It's almost an exact replica of the ones the characters wear in the films, and it's one of the basic pieces of Harry Potter memorabilia every fan should own. They can represent their house or remain neutral with a Hogwarts crest version if they just can't come to terms with the fact that they're a Hufflepuff when they've always insisted they were a Slytherin. A build-it-yourself Hogwarts LEGO set that muggles will have to do by hand LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Great Hall LEGO Set, available at Walmart, $149.99Kids will love this Lego set that lets them build Hogwarts and recreate iconic scenes from the books and films. Plus it features the whole gang from Harry, Ron, and Hermione all the way to Nearly Headless Nick, Professor Quirrell, and the Basilisk. It's rated for ages 9 to 14, which is just the right age for them to be reading the books for the first time. This is a great pairing for someone just discovering the world of Harry Potter. A Time Turner clock that actually spins Harry Potter Harry Potter Time-Turner Clock, available at Pottery Barn, $69It may not be able to take them back in time or help them be in two places at once, but this time-turner clock will help them stay on top of their appointments. Its functional hourglass on the back can even time study breaks. Don't be late for divination class! "Harry Potter"-themed jewelry too dainty to ever become Horcruxes Alex and Ani Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Adjustable Bracelet, available at Alex and Ani, $69If they prefer their fandom to take a subtler form, this Deathly Hallows bracelet is a great choice. It's essentially a more delicate and elegant version of the necklace Xenophilius Lovegood wears to Bill and Fleur's wedding. It comes in both silver and gold and it's adjustable so they can perfectly position it as they see fit. Might we suggest wearing it to the next Yule Ball?Check out all of Alex and Ani's other "Harry Potter"-themed jewelry here. A sentimental lamp that projects Snape's Patronus Amazon Harry Potter Snape's Patronus Lamp, available at Amazon, $20.99Always. Just a single word has become one of the most famous lines in the entire Harry Potter series. It's an encapsulation of Severus Snape's entire story arc and a profession of unconditional and everlasting love that rocked readers everywhere. What better way to provide a reminder of that love than in the form of light? A notebook with a moving image that looks like a cutout from the Daily Prophet Amazon Harry Potter Lenticular Movement Notebook, available at Amazon, $6.60This notebook with Harry's wanted poster on the cover is a great place to keep a journal that's not possessed by the soul of the Dark Lord. Horcrux free, guaranteed! Plus, the lenticular photo moves when the notebook is shifted back and forth, giving it an extra magical air. A jewelry holder they won't need to go under water to open Pottery Barn Teen Harry Potter Quidditch Hoops Jewelry Holder, available from Pottery Barn Teen, $99They can keep their jewelry tangle-free and hidden from any nargles who might try to swipe them with this Quidditch inspired jewelry holder. A cookbook that imagines recipes for everything from Pumpkin Juice to Acid Pops Dinah Bucholz Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, available at Amazon, $9.99Forget the magic, I was always envious of the food in the Harry Potter universe! This cookbook lets them recreate some of the gang's favorite meals, drinks, and sweet treats. It's got all the classics like butterbeer and pumpkin pasties, classic British desserts like treacle tarts, and some deep cuts from the HP universe like lemon drops, the password to Dumbledore's office in "The Chamber of Secrets," and Kreacher's french onion soup from "The Deathly Hallows," the best Harry's ever had. Plus it tells you exactly where in the books to find the references to each food. A jar of Bertie Bott's Beans that... don't all taste good. Williams Sonoma Harry Potter Bertie Bott's Beans, available at Williams Sonoma, $9.99Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans are perhaps the most famous sweet to come out of the Harry Potter universe, and the flavor roulette is half the fun. Will they get tutti frutti or vomit? They won't know until they try. Plus, the glass jar that remains after they've eaten all the beans is the perfect place to store their powdered root of asphodel for potions class. A blanket to curl up with when your day's mischief has finally been managed Warner Brothers Harry Potter Marauder's Map Tapestry Throw Blanket, available at Amazon, $23.53Once their mischief has been managed, they'll love getting cozy with this Marauder's Map throw blanket to rest up for their next adventure. It's perfect for just lounging around or for movie marathons on the couch. Accio, popcorn! A disappearing Marauder's Map pillow case that magically appears with the right light Pottery Barn Harry Potter Marauder's Map Pillow Cover, available at PB Teen, from $49.50Turn on your black light to reveal the Marauder's Map, printed on the front and back of this decorative pillow cover. Just don't carry it around your house or dorm — muggles might get suspicious.  A spinning toy that any seeker will want to fidget with MAYBO Sports Golden Snitch Fidget Spinner, available at Amazon, $11.99Every Harry Potter fan gets the chance to finally catch the Golden Snitch with this identical fidget spinner. The iridescent toy keeps them occupied and entertained with each spin. A magical mug that reveals the Marauder's Map with hot liquid Morphing Mugs Harry Potter Morphing Mugs, available at Amazon, $20.99To a muggle, this is just a black coffee mug. But witches and wizards know that once it's full of hot frothy butterbeer, it comes to life to reveal the Marauder's Map. If butterbeer's not their thing, any hot beverage will do — like coffee. Coffee's magic, right? And once they finish their drink, the mug will transform back to black. Mischief Managed.If you want something more classic, you can opt for these mugs that heat change from black to the original covers of the "Harry Potter" books. An invisibility cloak Amazon Harry Potter Invisibility Cloak, available at Amazon, $69.96Every kid who's ever known of Harry's Invisibility Cloak has wanted one of their own. Now they can pair this movie-accurate cloak with an app that actually makes you disappear. Channel your inner Weasley and record your mischief as you float around undetected. Just watch out for Mr. Filch. Snacks for the train ride to Hogwarts Williams Sonoma Harry Potter Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, available at Williams Sonoma, $24.95Give the gift of these Harry Potter Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, since a certain student has the tendency to buy up the entire contents of the Honeydukes Trolley on the Hogwarts Express. This way, they won't be without a snack on their magical journey. Plus they can share with friends, no matter what house they've been sorted into. A swaddle set for the Potter-loving parent Aiden + Anais Aden + Anais Harry Potter 47" Classic Swaddle Set, available at Bed Bath & Beyond, $59.99Start their love of the magical world of witchcraft and wizardry young with this set of four swaddle blankets with Harry Potter motifs. These cozy and comforting cloths keep your young witch or wizard safely asleep with gentle patterns won't get in the way of their slumber.  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 2nd, 2021

21 haunting books to read this Halloween, from ghostly thrillers to paranormal romances

From chilling thrillers and haunted house horror novels to paranormal love stories, here are the best ghost books to read for Halloween this year. From chilling thrillers and haunted house horror novels to paranormal love stories, here are the best ghost books. Amazon; Bookshop; Alyssa Powell/Insider When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Ghost books are often horror stories or paranormal thrillers, but can also be romantic. Here are 21 of the best ghost books to curl up with this Halloween. Want more books? Check out the best Halloween books and horror books. I try to read a little bit of everything, from lovey romances to timeless classics, but I'm hopelessly obsessed with a good scare. When autumn comes around and Halloween is right around the corner, I can't resist pulling out the books filled with haunted houses, creepy twists, and - best of all - ghosts. When you think of ghost stories, you may think of a classic haunted tale, but ghosts are in all kinds of literary genres, from paranormal romances to creepy true crime tales. To make this list of perfect ghost books for Halloween, I looked at bestseller lists on Amazon and Audible, plus readers' favorites from Goodreads. So whether you're looking for a good scare or a fun read with a ghostly twist, here are some of the best ghost stories to read this Halloween. The 21 best ghost stories to read this Halloween: A paranormal horror classic Amazon "The Shining" by Stephen King, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.27In what is considered by many to be Stephen King's best work, Jack Torrance is looking for a fresh start when he takes a job as an off-season caretaker at the Overlook Hotel, hoping to focus on reconnecting with his son and work on his writing. When a winter storm traps Jack and his family inside the building, it becomes clear that something sinister is happening — and only his son, Danny, can see the secrets of the hotel's dark past. An iconic ghost story Amazon "The Haunting of Hill House" by Shirley Jackson, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.27First published in 1959 and considered one of the best ghost stories of the 20th century, "The Haunting of Hill House" is a haunted house classic from Shirley Jackson, who also famously wrote "The Lottery." "The Haunting of Hill House" is about four people who volunteer to participate in a paranormal study by staying in a haunted mansion that's more powerful than they ever could have imagined.  The tale of a young boy growing up in a ghostly graveyard Amazon "The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.27"The Graveyard Book" is the young adult story of Nobody "Bod" Owens, who is a completely normal kid — except for growing up in a graveyard and being raised by ghosts. Bod's only rule is he must not leave the graveyard, as the dangers that lurk beyond the gates include the man who killed his family (and is waiting to finish the job).  The story of a legendary ghost Amazon "The Girl From the Well" by Rin Chupeco, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.99The girl from the well is dead, hunting child murderers like the man who killed her 300 years ago. When a strange boy moves into the neighborhood bringing something eerie with him, the two set off on a terrifying and wicked journey that takes them to Aomori, Japan in this young adult paranormal horror story.   A ghostly historical horror story Amazon "The Deep" by Alma Katsu available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.99"The Deep" is a historical fiction horror story set on the Titanic where the passengers believe something sinister is going on from the moment they set sail. Years after the Titanic sinks, Annie Hebbley survived the disaster and is now working as a nurse on the hospital ship Britannic when she comes across an unconscious soldier who she recognizes — but knows did not survive the sinking of the Titanic. A powerful new ghostly thriller Amazon "Mapping the Interior" by Stephen Graham Jones, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.99When a young boy is wandering his house at night, he sees a strange figure who resembles his father who died mysteriously before his family left the reservation. When he follows the figure through the doorway, he discovers the secrets of their house and their family and finds he must risk everything to save his brother in this powerful and emotional paranormal thriller. A newly released YA ghost story Amazon "White Smoke" by Tiffany D. Jackson, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.19In this new young adult thriller, Marigold is running from the metaphorical haunts of her old life when she moves to a Midwestern city with her new, blended family. Though their new house seems picture-perfect, strange things start happening, and when Marigold's younger sister can't stop talking about a friend who wants her gone, Marigold knows she must find out what's really happening in their home.  The tale of a young girl whose best friend is a ghost Amazon "City of Ghosts" by V.E. Schwab, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $6.78After Cassidy Blake nearly drowned as a young girl, she was rescued by a ghost named Jacob and left with the ability to see the spirits around her. When her ghost-hunting parents take her to Scotland for their TV show, Cassidy meets Lara, another girl who can see the dead and believes they have an obligation to send ghosts beyond the Veil — permanently. A creepy mystery about a haunted hotel Amazon "The Sun Down Motel" by Simone St. James, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.40In 1982, Carly's Aunt Viv was working as a night clerk at the Sun Down Motel when she mysteriously went missing and was never found. Now, Carly has taken the same job her aunt once had, determined to uncover the secrets around her aunt's disappearance before whatever frightening thing that haunts the motel can take her too.   A spine-tingling ghost story set in Japan Amazon "Nothing But Blackened Teeth" by Cassandra Khaw, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.86When a group of five friends reunite in Japan for a destination wedding and rent a Heian-era mansion, they discover the bones of a long-dead bride. The group soon learns that when the bride's fiance died on the way to the wedding, she had herself buried alive beneath the house, waiting for his ghost to come home. Each year after, another girl was buried in the walls to keep her company. In this horrifying thriller, the five ghost-hunting friends are thrilled by the adventure of uncovering this haunted history — until their fun night quickly devolves into a nightmare. A ghostly nonfiction read Amazon "Chasing Ghosts: A Tour of Our Fascination with Spirits and the Supernatural" by Marc Hartzman, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $20.49"Chasing Ghosts" is a nonfiction tour of the paranormal history of America, from notorious haunted sites to the public's obsession with famous supernatural figures. Covering a variety of ghost-related topics, this is a fascinating read for anyone who loves unique history or unsolved mysteries.  A lighthearted tale about a newly dead ghost Amazon "Under the Whispering Door" by T.J. Klune, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.82Wallace Prince finally knows he's dead when a reaper collects him from his own funeral and takes him to a tea shop in a small, peculiar village. When Wallace meets the tea shop's owner, Hugo, he begins to realize how much he missed in life and sets off on a quest to live a lifetime in the seven days before he must cross over into the afterlife. A terrifying horror read about a vengeful ghost Amazon Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.66In this terrifying and nail-biting horror story, Judas Coyne is a rockstar obsessed with disturbing and morbid things. So when a ghost comes up for sale on an online auction site, Judas immediately purchases it. When Judas receives his haunted box, he discovers the suit inside belongs to the revenge-obsessed spirit of a man whose stepdaughter killed herself after being used by Judas. Merciless and out for blood, the spirit will stop at nothing to kill Judas — and anyone who tries to stop him.  A young adult horror story about a teen who can see ghosts Amazon "The Taking of Jake Livingston" by Ryan Douglass, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.99Jake Livingston can see ghosts around him all the time. Most are harmless and leave people alone, but when Jake meets a troubled and vengeful teen ghost named Sawyer, he must challenge everything he thought he knew about ghosts to stop Sawyer from carrying out his terrible plan in this queer, paranormal horror and romance read. A mind-blowing paranormal thriller Amazon "Layla" by Colleen Hoover, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.99Known for her gripping psychological and domestic thrillers, Colleen Hoover's "Layla" is a fast-paced and mind-blowing paranormal romance about Leeds and his beloved Layla, who survives an attack but is left with terrible emotional and mental scarring after weeks in the hospital. When Leeds decides to reignite their romance with a trip to the bed and breakfast where they first met, a series of unexplainable events occur as Layla's behavior takes an even stranger turn. A queer ghost horror story filled with devastating secrets Amazon "Summer Sons" by Lee Mandelo, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $18.99Andrew and Eddie were deeply bonded best friends until Eddie left for his graduate program at Vanderbilt, leaving Andrew behind. When Eddie dies of an apparent suicide six months later, Andrew is left to search through the secrets and rubble of his friend's life to find the truth as something paranormal lurks nearby.  A terrifying ghost book Amazon "I Remember You" by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, available at Amazon and Bookshop from $14.99"I Remember You" is a chilling horror story about three friends who discover a presence as they renovate a rundown house. In a nearby town, a young doctor investigates the suicide of an elderly woman who was obsessed with the doctor's missing son. The two stories collide into one terrifying tale in this ghost story perfect for anyone in search of a good scare. The tale of one family's stay in a haunted house Amazon "The Amityville Horror" by Jay Anson, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.36"The Amityville Horror" uses a journalistic style of writing to tell the Lutz's family story of 28 terrifying days living in an evil haunted house. In December 1975, the Lutz family moved into what seemed like their dream home, despite the gruesome murders that took place inside only one year prior. This book details their horrifying experiences and is great for any horror or true crime fan. A queer ghost romance novel Amazon "Cemetery Boys" by Aiden Thomas, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.30When Yadriels sets out to find and free the ghost of his murdered cousin in order to prove himself to his family, he accidentally summons the wrong ghost and is left with the spirit of Julian Diaz, a recently deceased boy from his school. Determined to find out what happened that could have led to his death, Julian asks for Yadriel's help in tying up his loose ends. A YA horror book about a ghost hunting boy Amazon "Anna Dressed in Blood" by Kendare Blake, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.99Cas Lowood learned how to hunt ghosts from his father, who was murdered by the very ghost he was hunting. Now, Cas is following in his father's footsteps, hunting for a ghost the locals call "Anna Dressed in Blood" when he encounters a curse and vengeful ghost more powerful than he's ever faced before. A collection of classic ghost stories Amazon "Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories" by Roald Dahl, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.89First published in 1983, this book is a collection of 14 of Roald Dahl's favorite ghost stories. Though Roald Dahl is best-known for his magical and beloved children's tales, he personally loved the "spookiness" of a good ghost story and read nearly 800 tales before selecting the stories in this collection. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 22nd, 2021

"Halloween Kills" hits Peacock and theaters on October 15, but you need a premium plan to stream the slasher movie

Jamie Lee Curtis reprises her role from "Halloween" in the franchise's latest sequel. "Halloween Kills" debuts on Peacock and in theaters October 15. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Michael Myers is back in "Halloween Kills." Universal You can watch "Halloween Kills" in theaters and on Peacock Premium starting October 15. Michael Myers returns in the new slasher flick, and he's on the hunt for more victims. Ad-supported Peacock Premium costs $5 a month, and ad-free Peacock Premium Plus costs $10 a month. Premium (Monthly Plan) (small)Premium Plus (small)On October 15, "Halloween Kills" will premiere in theaters and on Peacock. In order to stream "Halloween Kills" at home, you need to be a paid subscriber to Peacock Premium ($5/month) or Peacock Premium Plus ($10/month).In "Halloween Kills," Jamie Lee Curtis reprises her role as Laurie Strode from the original "Halloween" movie. Michael Myers, the franchise's iconic slasher villain, is still alive and searching for new victims with his foreboding white mask and blood-soaked knife in hand. Working with survivors of Michael's past attacks, Laurie takes on the killer in a thrilling attempt to stop the carnage.The first "Halloween" movie was released in 1978, and "Halloween Kills" is the twelfth installment in the horror franchise known for violent deaths. Another installment, titled "Halloween Ends," is already set for release in 2022.Where to watch 'Halloween Kills'"Halloween Kills" premieres October 15 in theaters and on Peacock. Although Peacock offers a free plan, you need a paid subscription to Peacock Premium or Premium Plus to watch "Halloween Kills."The last movie that was released in theaters and on Peacock at the same time was "The Boss Baby: Family Business." That title remained on Peacock for 60 days. We expect a similar limited-time streaming release for "Halloween Kills."An ad-supported subscription to Peacock Premium costs $5 a month, and an ad-free subscription to Peacock Premium Plus costs $10 a month. Both memberships give you full access to the service's catalog of NBCUniversal movies and shows.Premium (Monthly Plan) (small)Premium Plus (small)If you're willing to pay for 12 months up front, you can save up to $20 a year by choosing an annual subscription to Peacock Premium ($50) or Peacock Premium Plus ($100) versus a monthly plan.Premium (Annual Plan) (small)Premium Plus (Annual Plan) (small)You can watch "Halloween Kills" on Peacock with a web browser or through the dedicated Peacock app. The Peacock app is available on most streaming devices, tablets, smartphones, Xbox consoles, PlayStation consoles, and smart TVs like LG, Samsung, and Vizio. For a full list of compatible streaming options, visit the Peacock website.Where can I watch other movies from the 'Halloween' franchise?AMC Plus is one of the best streaming services for watching other movies from the "Halloween" franchise. Pricing ranges from $7 to $9 a month depending on how you subscribe. You can learn more about the service in our AMC Plus guide.You can stream these "Halloween" movies on AMC Plus:"Halloween" (1978)"Halloween II" (1981)"Halloween III: Season of the Witch" (1982)"Halloween H20" (1998)"Halloween: Resurrection" (2002)"Halloween II" (2009)(Amazon Prime Video Channels) (small)Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 14th, 2021

Photo Essay: As we celebrate the first malaria vaccine, remembering the epidemic"s staggering toll

Malaria kills 400,000 people a year. Photographer Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi documented the epidemic's toll during one of the worst outbreaks. Arek Nuoi, 32 and a mother of four, arrives unconscious at the health center in Panthou village, carried in by her three brother-in-laws. The family lifted Arek onto a chair that they had tied on top of a bicycle, and pushed from their home village of Maper to the health care, a journey that took one and a half hours. Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi The first malaria vaccine has been approved. Malaria kills 400,000 people a year, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. Photographer Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi documented the epidemic's toll during one of the most lethal outbreaks in South Sudan. The little girl appeared to be sleeping in her uncle's arms when the guard rushed them through the crowded waiting area, and into the consultation room. A health care worker stepped away from the patient he had been attending to and checked the child's vital signs. "She's already dead," he said quietly.Four-year-old Atony had been sick for days but it wasn't until the previous night that she developed a fever and stomach aches. She lived in a remote village in the northwest corner of South Sudan with her grandmother. Her parents worked in Aweil, the state's capital. So, Atony's grandmother had arranged a motorcycle taxi to take them to the health care center that she had heard was open and might be providing free treatment and medication. By the time they got there, it was too late for Atony.This might sound like a heartbreaking story from one of the places hardest-hit by the Covid19 pandemic, but it isn't. This is a story about malaria, an infectious disease that kills about 500,000 people each year; more than half are children under the age of five.Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) approved the first-ever malaria vaccine for widespread use.Known as RTS,S, or Mosquirix, and developed by the UK pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline, the vaccine works against Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest of the five known malaria variants, and the most prevalent in Africa. Additionally, it's the first vaccine to target a parasitic disease, potentially spearheading the development of a whole new class of vaccines. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO's director-general, dubbed it "a breakthrough for science, child health and malaria control."While this is promising news, questions about production, funding and distribution will need to be addressed, and other preventative measures will still be needed. As Ghebreyesus said: "Using this vaccine in addition to other tools to prevent malaria could save tens of thousands of children's lives each year." The malaria vaccine did not generate nearly as much fanfare as the advent of the Covid19 vaccine earlier this year. And yet, in sub-Saharan Africa, where 94% of malaria cases occur, the vaccine could change the fabric of society.***In 2015, malaria hit South Sudan hardest. That year, 2.28 million cases of malaria were reported in South Sudan, and according to Doctors Without Borders, malaria killed more people than bullets, a startling statement given the country is host to one of the deadliest conflicts in the world.That October, I traveled with Doctors Without Borders to Northern Bahr el Ghazal, the poorest state in the remote northwest corner of the country, to document the epidemic. A nurse verifies blood-type compatibility before administering a blood transfusion to Adut Chuor Kujal, 8, who is receiving treatment for cerebral malaria at the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aweil city. Adut's family lives in a remote rural village so she had been sick for several days before her father made the journey to Aweil. He first took her to a local private clinic, but they had no malaria drugs in stock. Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi Swamps surround the village of Panthou, where the only health center in the county providing free diagnosis and treatment of malaria was located. A typical part of the geography of most of South Sudan, swamps provided perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi Abuk Akuoc, 18, semi-conscious and letting out cries of pain, receives an intravenous treatment of quinine as her family holds her still, at the health center in Panthou. She had also been to the health center a week prior, and was diagnosed with malaria and prescribed the oral medication ACT at the time. However, it was not in stock at the health center or the local pharmacy, so her condition severely deteriorated. Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi A mother carries her sick daughter back to her hospital bed after bathing her. The young girl is receiving treatment for severe cerebral malaria at the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aweil city. Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi A nurse uses a wet compress to provide relief from fever as Abuk Akuoc, 18, receives an intravenous treatment of quinine for malaria. Abuk's family comforts her. Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi Two years after gaining independence in 2011, South Sudan had descended into civil war due to a fallout between President Salva Kiir and Vice President Riek Machar. The war pitted Kiir's ethnic Dinka group against Machar's ethnic Nuer. By the time a fragile peace agreement was reached in 2018, an estimated 400,000 people were killed and 4 million - a third of the country's population - were displaced, resulting in the biggest refugee crisis in Africa since the Rwandan genocide of 1994. I had just been in Bentiu, a camp for people displaced by the war with a population so large that it qualified as the second biggest city in South Sudan, where survivors recounted massacres, gang rapes, torture, and countless horrifying atrocities. And yet, when I arrived to Aweil, the quiet capital of Northern Bahr el Ghazar state, I was equally shocked by what I witnessed. Here there was no war, but everywhere I turned, I encountered suffering and death. The killer was a silent one - malaria.Unsurprisingly, the disease was spreading across a territory dotted with swamps, the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes; malaria infects a person when he or she is bitten by a mosquito that is carrying the Plasmodium parasite. Also of concern was that the entire state, home to 1.2 million people, had only one full-service hospital, a facility in Aweil run by Doctors Without Borders in conjunction with South Sudan's Ministry of Health.Malaria cases had filled all of the hospital beds, so the hallways were now lined with patients on mattresses placed on the floor. Once outside of the capital, nearly every other person I spotted on the side of the road was carrying a relative - often a child - who had fallen ill, and was rushing to get them medical attention.Most government-run health care centers were closed for lack of staff qualified to administer treatment for malaria or for lack of medicines, and private clinics were prohibitively expensive for the average local. Often, by the time an infected person was delivered to proper medical care, it was too late. The malaria surge, coupled with drug shortages, the lack of adequate and accessible health care, and lack of prevention were painfully apparent.At a government-run health care center in the town of Aquem, patients lay on mattresses or sheets outside on the ground, with IVs hanging from trees. There weren't enough beds in the wards, and with temperatures into the high 90s and even 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, it was stiflingly hot inside the building.Back at the health care center where Atony had been brought, I again came upon her grandmother. She was sitting on a bench in the health care center waiting area, looking down at the lifeless little girl across her lap in disbelief, clasping her tiny leg from time to time, as if to check if warmth had somehow returned. A woman runs up when her name is called in the waiting area at the health care center at Panthou village, the only place in the county where patients might receive free treatment and medicine for malaria. The two medical assistants there - the only staff qualified to diagnose and treat patients - received approximately 150 malaria patients per day. The center had no rapid detection tests, so diagnosis could only be done clinically based on symptoms observed. Medicine was limited and sometimes out of stock entirely. Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi Abdifatah Mohamed, a Doctors Without Borders nurse, administers a Rapid Detection Test (RDT) for diagnosing malaria to four-year-old Agok Yel. Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi Atiel Akech, 3, lies sick in her mother's lap at the government-run health center in Aquem town. Patients here lie on mattresses outside, with IVs hanging from trees, because the wards are too hot and have very few beds. The center was supposed to give rapid detection tests and medication for free, but Atiel's mother said she was asked to pay for both. She did not have the money, so Atiel was diagnosed with malaria based on her symptoms - vomiting and fever - and given an IV of glucose. Unsurprisingly, her condition was deteriorating. Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi A relative holds up Abuk Akuoc, 18, who is semi-conscious and clenches her body in feverish pain, as John Mayen, medical assistant and director of the health center at Panthou, prescribes her urgent treatment for acute, severe malaria. Abuk's family paid 30 SSP (2 USD) for a motorcycle to make the 15 minute journey from their village of Malithbuol. For a family in rural South Sudan, this was a high cost, but they had no choice - it would have taken one hour on foot, and they would have had to carry Abuk. Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi Patients wait to receive medicine at the health care center in Panthou village. The center had just received a supply of oral medication for malaria, which would likely last one or two weeks, and had been out of stock for 2 months. The intravenous medication, quinine, was running out quickly, so it was reserved for serious cases only. Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi A mother fans her feverish child as they wait for him to be admitted into the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aweil city. An overflow of malaria patients lay on mattresses on the floors of the hallways, as all the beds in the wards were already occupied. Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi Abuk Akuoc, 18, receives an intravenous treatment of quinine for severe malaria at the health center in Panthou. Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi Akuot Yel carries her ailing son, Agok, 4, from their village of Maluil to a private clinic in a neighboring town. Yesterday, Akuot had taken her son to the government-run health care unit nearby but they found it closed. The private clinic charged 15 SSP (1 USD) for the Rapid Detection Test, and 80 SSP (5.30 USD) for the medicine needed. She had two other children sick at home, but could not afford to pay for medication for all three at the same time. Since Agok was in the worst condition, she decided to prioritize his treatment first. Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytOct 10th, 2021