5 Tips For Going Back To School After The Holidays

Looking for tips on going back to school after the holidays? Check out these 5 awesome tips for making the most of your time off, and making the transition back into your schedule as stress-free as possible.

Not only is the holiday season plenty of fun where we get to visit with family and friends, but, for students, Christmas break offers a much-needed reprieve for the school year’s hectic schedule.

So when January rolls around, it’s sometimes difficult to get yourself back into your school schedule.

green and brown pinecone Christmas wreath on wooden drawers

After all, you’ve just spent several weeks having fun, and most likely, not even thinking about homework.

Fortunately, we have a few simple tips in mind for helping you get back into the groove, without it feeling like you’re pulling your hair out!

Rest Up

While the holidays can be hectic with having to visit family and friends, attending or hosting dinner parties, etc., it’s also important to make the most of your time away from school by getting some much-needed rest that your mind and body crave throughout the school year.

pug covered with blanket on bedspread

In fact, studies have shown that a lack of sleep affects the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls your memory. In turn, lack of sleep has been shown to reduce your ability to learn new things by up to 40%

I know you may be tempted to stay up late on those nights when you don’t have class the next day, but it might be better to hit the hay anyway.

Refresh Your Memory

Now, I’m not saying that you need to spend your holiday break studying each and every day.

But, it’s not a bad idea to keep your memory sharp by reading through your old notes before your jump back into your school routine, at least a few times while you’re on your Christmas break.

person holding unfold book - back to school

Studies have shown that students are able to increase their memory by up to 70% after reading old notes within 24 hours.

So, I know that you’ll be tempted to completely forget about school until you go back.

But you’ll thank yourself when the first day of class rolls around and you’re already more prepared to learn than the majority of your peers.

Don’t Over-Indulge On Junk

Around Christmas time, it’s not uncommon for people to indulge in all sorts of baked goods, ranging from Christmas log cakes, pies, and just about everything else in grandma’s kitchen.

table with glass cups and place mats - back to school

while there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself, it’s important to remember that a proper, healthy diet contributes to proper brain function.

In fact, when you consider the fact that the brain requires approximately 20% of all your caloric needs, it’s easy to see how your diet is such a vital component of your mood, memory, and focus.

So, if you like the idea of jumping into your next semester with a fresh, clear head ready to ace every test before the end of the year, make sure to stick to a healthy, well-balanced diet.

Full of whole grains, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and only a small slice of pie after Christmas dinner.

Don’t Wait Until The Last Minute

While I’m sure that you’ll have plenty going on over the holiday, it’s crucial that you not wait until the last minute to get yourself ready for class.

This means taking the time to buy those textbooks you’ve had on your shopping list. Or, any other supplies that you might need for the upcoming semester.

And don’t forget to take care of any other chores or errands that you’ve had on your to-do list. But have been putting off for weeks. Like making sure your tuition payments are up to date!

coloring pencils on brown wooden table

Once school starts, there’s not all that much time to take care of those little things.

Between attending classes and studying, maybe holding down a part or full-time job, you’ll barely have time to eat, let alone run around doing errands.

In other words, the transition back to your school routine is probably going to feel slightly hectic.

Which is why it’s best to make most of your time off. Run those errands now, while you’ve got the time!

Then, when your first day rolls around, you’ll be able to focus on your studies, without having a million other things to do.

Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later!

Make Some Memories!

While it’s important not to forget that your next semester is just around the corner, it’s equally important to enjoy your time off.

After all, the holidays are a time to spend time with your loved ones, enjoying each other’s company. Making memories that will last a lifetime.

coloring pencils on brown wooden table

So, make sure not to forget about your upcoming semester.

But also make sure to spend time visiting your friends and family, going out and doing stuff together, and simply having a good time!

Getting Back To School Post Holidays

When you’re having fun and relaxing, not worrying about your classes, it can be hard to transition back into your school routine, especially when you’re tired, and still bogged down from that over-indulgent Christmas dinner last week.

But by making the most of your time off, getting ready in advance, and keeping your memory sharp, you’ll be starting the new year on the right foot.

Then, you’ll be able to enjoy the rest of the school year, just as much as you’ve just enjoyed the Holidays!

7 Best Christmas-Themed Novels To Read This Month

Looking for the best Christmas-themed novels to read this month? Check out the following list of Christmas reads that are sure to get you in the mood for the Holiday season!

After all, there’s no better way to get into the holiday spirit than to put on some flannel, curl up with a hot cup of cocoa, and dive into a Christmas-themed novel. 

Below, you’ll find our list of the 7 Best Christmas-themed novels to check out this holiday season. 

A Christmas Carol By Charles Dickens

There just wouldn’t be a Christmas-themed novel list without A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. 

Visited late on Christmas Eve by ghosts and supernatural figures from throughout his lifetime, Ebenezer Scrooge is in for a rough night.

A Christmas Carol - Citadel Theatre

Taken on a journey of self-discovery, Scrooge eventually transforms from a miserly old man to a joyful old soul, full of Christmas spirit. 

You certainly won’t be saying ‘bah humbug!’ after reading this Christmas classic!

The Twelve Birds Of Christmas By Stephen Moss

Beloved by birdwatchers and book enthusiasts alike, The Twelve Birds of Christmas will turn your own backyard into a winter wonderland. 

In The Twelve Birds of Christmas, Steven Moss uses a carol-like structure to identify 12 different British birds.

A festive bonus: The Twelve Birds of Christmas - Bridport Literary Festival

Throughout this book, Moss uses history, landscape, bird behaviours, folklore, and culture to create a compelling Christmas-themed narrative. 

This is a great book to share with your children or to enjoy on your own. 

The Nutcracker By E.T.A. Hoffmann

Written in 1816, The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffmann is yet another excellent Christmas classic to add to your reading list this month!

A young girl named Marie is given a nutcracker from her uncle for Christmas.

How 1950s America Shaped 'The Nutcracker' | Smart News | Smithsonian  Magazine

That night, the nutcracker comes alive, and whisks Marie off into a magical world filled with living dolls, adventure, and even an evil mouse king. 

Will Marie make it back home to her family? You’ll have to read this Christmas-themed novel to find out!

Death Comes At Christmas By Gladys Mitchell

If you prefer a murder mystery, Death Comes at Christmas by Gladys Mitchell is certainly worth the read. 

On Christmas Eve the body of a local solicitor is found by the river in Oxfordshire. While local authorities believe he died of natural causes, Mrs. Bradley isn’t so sure.

Death Comes at Christmas - christmas-themed novels

A series of clues make her suspect that he’s been murdered, and she’s convinced that the murderer will strike again… 

Compared to other mystery greats like Agatha Christie, Mitchell doesn’t disappoint with this thrilling Christmas-themed novel. 

An Almost Perfect Christmas By Nina Stibbe

If you’re looking for a laugh-out-loud, honest view of Christmas, pick up An Almost Perfect Christmas by Nina Stibbe.

This Christmas-themed book is chock full of essays on holiday-themed traditions and memories.

An Almost Perfect Christmas Audiobook by Nina Stibbe - christmas-themed novels

Some of these essay topics include a tragically decorated Christmas tree and the annual quest to roast the perfect turkey. 

Equal parts maddening and magical, An Almost Perfect Christmas manages to capture all the best parts of the Christmas season in a way that’s fun and engaging to read!

The Snow Queen By Hans Christian Anderson

Full of wonder and magic, this Christmas-themed story will transport you to a world of ice and snow.

The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson is a fairy tale, initially published in December of 1844. It follows two children, Kai and Gerda, who would do anything for each other. 

christmas-themed novels

One day Gerda notices that Kai is acting strange and cruel. Then, he disappears. Determined to find her friend, Gerda sets off on an epic adventure to find him. 

A beautiful take of friendship, bravery, and love, The Snow Queen is a delightful winter read.  

A Christmas Story By Jean Shepherd

If this Christmas-themed novel sounds familiar, you might’ve seen the movie adaptation. It’s a classic!

A Christmas Story, by Jean Shepherd, paints a realistic picture of a Christmas celebrated by an American family living in a small town in Depression-era Indiana. 

A Christmas Story: The Book That Inspired the Hilarious Classic Film:  Amazon.ca: Shepherd, Jean: Books

Equal parts funny and relatable, you’ll feel right at home with Ralphie and his all-consuming desire for Santa (or somebody) to deliver what he wants more than anything in the world; a Red Ryder, carbon action 200-shot range model air rifle. 

He doesn’t even care that he might just shoot his eye out… 

If you loved A Miracle on 34th Street or It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story is definitely worth your time. 

Read Your Way Into The Holiday Spirit!

Well, there you have it! A list of 7 of the best Christmas-themed novels to check out this year. 

opened book on person's lap with gray socks - christmas-themed novels

Whether you love a good mystery, fairy tale, drama, or comedy, there’s a little something for everyone. 

So pick up one (or all) of these great reads. There’s truly no better way to get in the spirit for this year’s holiday season. 

6 Best Habits Of A Successful Student

Wondering how to be the most successful student you can be? Check out the following list of 6 awesome habits that you need in your life!

From weekly homework and monthly assignments to studying for that big final exam (all while trying to eat right!), it’s no wonder many students feel overwhelmed throughout the year. 

The good news is that it’s completely possible to get ahead of this frustation by developing good habits.

After all, good habits help students succeed. 

So if you want to get ahead in the classroom, we’ve outlined the following list of 6 habits of successful students. 

person writing on brown wooden table near white ceramic mug

Take Notes (And Lots Of ‘Em!)

It’s important to take notes while your instructor teaches a lesson. Taking good notes helps you to stay engaged during class.

But the best part is that good notes also make great review and study materials. 

Handwritten Notes

Successful students take notes by hand.

Studies show that taking notes by hand is associated with more meaningful learning compared to students who use a laptop. Taking notes by hand also gives students the advantage when noting graphs, illustrations, and charts. 

As a result, a student who reviews handwritten notes has an advantage over a student who reviews notes written on a laptop.  

woman wearing blue denim jacket holding book

Listen for Verbal Cues

Taking good notes doesn’t mean you need to record every word your teacher says during class. 

In fact, it’s better to listen for verbal cues, and only jot down the most important keywords that will cue your memory later on.

In other words, when a teacher says, “this is really important”, or “this is critical”, that information is likely going to be something you need to write down. Leave the rest out.

Stay Organized

Student life requires you to take many different courses at the same time.

For example, you might be studying General Arts, which will require you to take a variety of math English, and science courses all at the same time.

This is why staying organized is one of the best habits of successful students. 

person using MacBook Pro

Separate Your Time By Subject

When it’s time to study or complete a project, don’t waste time trying to locate the right material.

Successful students file or separate each subject into different binders, folders, or notebooks. 

That way, when it comes time to study, you’ll already know where all your study materials are, and you won’t waste time digging through unorganized notes.

Organize Your Work Space

Completing homework or assignments in an organized space is also a great habit of successful students. Using a designated, quiet space helps the mind recognize that it’s time to focus.  

black marker on notebook - successful student

Get An Agenda

Use an agenda to write down all your assignments, extracurricular activities, and anything else that affects your day to day schedule. 

Then, make sure to refer to your agenda as often as possible to make the most of your time.

This will help you to plan study sessions and get homework done on time, every time!

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Eat Regular Meals

Successful students don’t just take good notes and stay organized. They also know the importance of eating regular, healthy meals. 

Avoid Junk Food

Junk food doesn’t provide any of the nutrients you need to excel in school.

According to the Washington Post, eating junk food for just a few days is enough to slow down your metabolism. After eating junk food, your blood sugar can drop, which can make you feel cranky and tired. 

Neither helps you to focus on learning.

bowl of vegetable salads - successful student

Eat A Well-Balanced Diet

Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet increases your ability to focus and learn. In fact, just one healthy meal a day is enough to reduce inflammation and mental stress.

A healthy student is a successful student.  

Remember to Breathe

When you take shorter breaths, your body reacts by triggering a fight or flight response, which leads to an increase in mental stress and anxiety. 

And as you already know, stress and anxiety don’t make it easy to achieve success. 

Breathing Breaks

Take the time to breathe deeply when studying, sitting in class, or even during breaks. Breathing breaks keep you focused and will increase feelings of calm and well-being.  

woman sitting on hill - successful student

When you feel calm and well, you can focus on your studies. This is why successful students develop this habit. 

Make Time to Study

It might seem obvious, but the most successful students study every day. This helps to break up their material into considerably more manageable chunks. 

Be Consistent!

Always plan when you’re going to study, and do your best to stick to that plan. Whether in the morning, afternoon, or evening, keep this study time part of your daily routine.

A consistent study routine will help you to develop this habit. 

Find a Study Group

While making time to study every day is important, finding a study group can also increase your chances of success.

three people sitting in front of table laughing together

Teach To Learn

Study groups allow you to teach others and answer questions. 

There’s no better way to figure out whether or not you know or understand the material than when you have to explain it to someone else. 

At the same time, you’ll also be able to pick up new ideas and perspectives from those that you’re studying with!

woman wearing academic cap and dress selective focus photography - successful student

Positive Habits Make Successful Students

The important thing to remember is to use these habits of successful students to aim high. 

After all, there’s no doubt that students who develop good habits, tend to see greater success throughout their education and beyond.  

So what are you waiting for? Try out these tested habits of successful students and see for yourself how well they work. 

Proven Mid-Term Study Tips That Work

Got a few exam or assignment deadlines coming up soon? Check out the following list of proven mid-term study tips to help you make the most of your study time this fall.

Preparing for mid-terms or exams is always a difficult time for students. And you can usually see this just by looking at them.

You know, that college look of stress, panic, and edge, all tied into that typically frazzled dress and appearance.

woman biting pencil while sitting on chair in front of computer during daytime

But with exams and mid-terms contributing to so much of their grades, it’s no wonder why students feel this way.

So in light of that, below are some tips that I’ve put together that won’t only help you with studying for your upcoming exams. But that will also help relieve that emotional turmoil of surviving the school year.

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Ask Questions

The first thing to remember is that most of your teachers are there to see you succeed in their class.

As such, they’re going to be offering a helping hand. The catch, though, is that you need to approach them and ask the right questions.

While some may have already been answered in the weeks leading to the exam, it’s still worth asking these questions. Doing this is pretty much guaranteed to help better prepare for the rest of your upcoming coursework, and your mid-terms as well.

In the end, the more prepared you are, the better off you’ll be.

woman writing on notebook

Create A Study Schedule

Because you’re going to be juggling several classes, you need to organize your time for studying.

And one of the best ways to organize your time is to set up a study schedule, and I can’t stress this enough: to follow it!

By having a schedule, you’ll effectively reduce the amount of time you’re studying on every subject.

So instead of trying to cram all of your coursework knowledge into a single study sesh, you can use each pre-scheduled study period to focus on a single subject, spacing it all out on a schedule that works best for you!

woman using computer sitting on black chair

Consult Your Notes And Past Tests

A good start for any study session is to go back through your own notes.

Broadly speaking, your notes should cover the most important points of discussion. And they may even include other important details that you’ve noted but have forgotten.

Additionally, it never hurts to review any previous tests you may have had so far this semester.

In most situations, your mid-terms are going to cover everything you learned from the start of the term up to this point.

Therefore, the tests or quizzes you’ve had will give you a rough indication of your upcoming mid-terms will be about.

woman flipping book page

Find Or Create A Study Group

Whether you’re good at studying or not, it’s always smart to partner up with a few classmates for a study session every couple of weeks.

Study groups can help you study more efficiently since you’ll be able to cover more topics. Plus, you might even be able to learn a thing or two by listening to other people’s perspectives.

Furthermore, being in a group can allow you to educate others around you, which will help you feel even better about studying.

Switch Up Your Scenery

Whether you’re studying or taking a well-deserved break from studying, it’s important to switch up your environment from time to time.

The fact is that our environments can heavily influence our behavior and directly impact our mood and focus.

woman reading book while sitting on chair

Many people have their go-to study spot, but I’d encourage you to mix it up. Go to a coffee shop, a public library, or the school’s library and see how you feel there.

In the end, switching things can give you that boost of energy you need to prepare for your next exam!

Don’t Skimp On The Sleep

Sleep is just as important as studying, and you shouldn’t ever sacrifice it.

While many students think it’s worth it to pull an all-nighter, it’s not going to be doing much for you in terms of helping you pass.

Sleep allows you to process information and to organize it in your mind.

Therefore, by getting less sleep, you’re not going to be able to retain as much information as you’d like to.

woman sleeping on bed under blankets

So instead of pulling an all-nighter, prioritize your life to include a stable sleep schedule throughout the school year.

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Pace Yourself

The final midterm study tip I have for you is to take it one test at a time.

One of the biggest challenges with mid-terms is that you’re bombarded with many tests or assignments spread out over the same few weeks.

It can be hectic during that time, but to help you keep a level head, here are a few more tips to help your prep:

  • Remember the dates your midterms are scheduled for, and use them to create a proper study schedule for these times.
  • Note how much time you have in between each mid-term. This can give you a good window of opportunity for how to prepare for each midterm study-wise.
woman writing on book

How To Beat Midterm Madness

Although college and university are often one of the most exciting parts of a young person’s life, studying is not the most exciting or glamorous part of being a student.

But through these specific methods, I believe you’ll have a better grasp at studying efficiently, which will help prepare for anything your mid-terms might throw your way!

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Best Autumn-Themed Novels To Check Out This Month

Need a few new books to add to your reading list this fall? Check out our list of the top 4 best autumn-themed novels to check out this month!

Fall has officially arrived!

And with shorter days and cooler weather now upon us, what else is there to do but get warm and cozy? 

For book-lovers, I think it’s pretty safe to say that there’s no better way to get comfortable around this time of year than to curl up with a great autumn-themed book. 

forest heat by sunbeam

So if you’re seeking a few great fall read, we’ve got you covered! Below, you’ll find this month’s list of the best autumn-themed books to check out this month. 

Let The Right One In – John Ajvide Lindqvist

Searching for something creepy to read this Halloween? Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist might be exactly what you’re looking for! 

A dead body has been found in a quiet suburb of Stockholm. Drained of blood, officials just can’t figure out the motive behind the crime. 

A young boy named Oskar is hopeful that the murder will stop his local schoolyard bullies from picking on him. But that’s not all that’s on his mind…

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

A new girl has also just moved in next door. Oskar finds this girl strange, and her ever-peculiar behavior strikes him as odd and uneven… Almost unnatural. 

Fondly called “Sweden’s Steven King,” John Ajvide Lindqvist is the author of many horror novels and short stories. Let the Right One In was Lindqvist’s debut novel, one that has since been adapted for film in Sweden (2008) and the United States (Let Me In, 2010). 

My October – Claire Holden Rothman

If you’re looking for an autumn-themed novel based on true events, try My October by Claire Holden Rothman. 

My October weaves together the stories of a father, mother, and son living in Montreal, Canada. This modern family unit is deeply affected by the weight of their past, and the shocking consequences of words left unsaid.

Set in the early 2000s, this novel offers flashbacks to Canada’s October Crisis, that happened in Quebec during fall 1971. 

My October by Claire Holden Rothman

The October Crisis is an event where the separatist, often referred to as terrorist organization, Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) kidnapped British diplomat, James Cross, and the province’s Deputy Premier, Pierre Laporte. 

According to Publisher’s Weekly, “This novel about power, language and acceptance should resonate with those who have felt torn between languages and cultures, as well as those who have felt like outsiders in their own city or country.” 

Canadian author Claire Holden Rothman has published several novels and short stories. Her fiction has won many awards, including the 2019 Vine Award for Jewish Canadian Fiction. She currently lives in Montreal, Canada with her husband. 

Lovecraft Country – Matt Ruff

New York Times Bestseller, Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff, will take you on a journey of hope, freedom, power, and magic that touches the members of two black families. 

Set against the USA’s backdrop in the 1950s, this autumn-themed book twists Lovecraftian tropes to shine a light on the horrors of racism in the country at the time.

Matt Ruff's Lovecraft Country: On Horror and Racism | Horror Movie | Horror  Homeroom

According to the Seattle Times: “Lovecraft Country is bound to appeal to any reader who wants to delve into the strangeness of our land’s racial legacy.”

American science fiction, and thriller author, Matt Ruff has written seven novels. Nominated for the World Fantasy Award in 2017, HBO has recently adapted Lovecraft Country into a television series. 

The Thirteenth Tale – Diane Setterfield 

Next up, The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Settefield offers up the perfect combination of a thriller novel that meets family drama. 

In fact, this novel’s gothic atmosphere and tone are bound to have you curling up on the couch for hours these coming fall months. 

In the book, Vida Winters hires a young biographer, Margaret Lea, to tell her own story’s complete truth. Having made a career telling beautiful but fictionalized tales of her own life, she reveals a story full of ghosts and a devastating fire. 

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Vida’s tale, however, makes Margaret suspicious as the story unfolds. 

To confront their past, these two women must face what haunts them. And only then can the truth transform them both for the better.  

Diane Setterfield is a British author who studied French Literature at the University of Bristol. 

She continued to study and then teach literature until 1990, when she began to pursue writing full time. Published in 38 countries with over 3 million copies sold, The Thirteenth Tale was Setterfield’s debut novel.

4 Best Fall Reads November 2020

Whether you’re fond of the autumn months or not, this time of year is a great reminder of how beautiful change really can be.

After all, the leaves are changing colors and falling, the weather is getting colder, and we’re all spending a bit more time inside. 

Therefore, why not make the most of your time this month by checking out one of our top picks for the best autumn-themed books for November 2020. 

4 Horror-Filled Halloween Novels To Read This Month

Looking for the best Halloween novels to read this October? Check out these 4 surprisingly spooky stories!

With the fall months fast-approaching, the weather is getting cooler, and the leaves are starting to change colors. And for many, there’s a certain excitement in the air for the months to come.

For the Halloween fans out there, this also means the scary season will soon be upon us, filled with stories of ghosts, witches, and demons.

jack o'lantern

In fact, it’s the one time of year when embracing all things scary is not suggested, but actually it’s encouraged. 

So if you’re looking for an amazing novel, designed to increase your heartbeat, and have you hiding under the covers when things go bump in the night, consider adding these 4 books to your reading list this month!

Best Vampire Story – Salem’s Lot By Stephen King

At Halloween, there’s nothing better than a scary vampire, especially when it’s terrorizing an entire town.

Salem’s Lot takes us back to a time when vampires were blood-sucking demons to be feared in the night, and who better to tell such a tale than Stephen King?

Ben Mears is an author who returns to the town of Jerusalem’s Lot in Maine; a place he called home for four years as a child.

He’s committed to working on his book about the creepy Marston House, a home where murder and suicide occurred. What Ben soon realizes is that the house’s new owner, Kurt Barlow is more than meets the eye.

After the murder of a little boy in town, people start disappearing in the town.

Except, they haven’t really disappeared at all – it seems they’ve become something different. Something demonic. And they’re hungry for blood…

Best Haunted House Story – Hell House By Richard Matheson

A haunted house is always a hallmark part of Halloween. But Hell House by Richard Matheson takes things to another level.

But when the haunted house comes after us in ways we never imagined, you know it’s going to be a terrifying ride. And that’s exactly what Richard Matheson does in his novel, aptly titled Hell House.

For the book’s main character, Rolf Deutsch, it wasn’t a question of if he was going to die, it was a matter of whether or not there was an afterlife.

That’s why he hired two mediums and a physicist to attempt to confirm these facts for him.

Hell House LLC III: Lake of Fire' Review: Hell's Final Days Are Its Least  Interesting

The assembled team then travels to the Belasco House in Maine, where it has sat abandoned after a decade of its owners’ alcoholism, drug addiction, and debauchery.

Committed to their goal, the team spends one night in the Belasco House when the house suddenly seems to come alive at night.

When the house starts using their own fears and weaknesses against them, they slowly begin losing a grip on reality, slipping into madness.

For Deutsch’s team of investigators, they quickly discover why the rest of the town calls it Hell House, and it’s going to bring you into pure terror as it unfolds…

Best Demon Story – The Exorcist By William Peter Blatty

When you’re looking for a good scare, a demon is exactly the type of monster you’d never want to run into on Halloween night.

That’s why The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty has become a cult classic; it grabs you, holds you, and stays with you long after you’ve put the book down. This makes it the perfect combination of a scary read and a long-lasting impact.

This story takes us on a journey of a young girl, named Regan MacNeil, who lives with her famous mother.

The Exorcist, Phoenix Theatre, London, review: This show is less scary than  the film but more profoundly disturbing | The Independent

Regan becomes inexplicably ill shortly after her mother finishes filming a movie. This begins causing a series of disturbances within their home.

As the story unfolds, Regan’s downward spiral into seriously disturbing physical changes are met with even more intense psychological changes.

During this story, you’ll be dragged through her journey to hell and back, literally.

Best New Horror Book (2020 Release) – Mexican Gothic By Silvia Moreno-Garcia

When a frantic letter from her cousin sends Noemi Taboada to High Place, she’s not sure what’s in store. In the story of Mexican Gothic, nothing is as it seems, and Noemi becomes mesmerized by the terrifying world of High Place.

The longer she’s there, the more she feels the presence of the home; it begins to invade her dreams, filling them with blood and doom.

Mexican Gothic review: Silvia Moreno-Garcia's new book is deliciously  creepy - Vox

With her only ally being a small boy, the family’s youngest son, Noemi quickly realizes he may be the key to the dark secrets that lay beyond the walls. He may be the secret of the violence and madness that has captured her attention and desire.

But as she uncovers the terrifying truth behind High Place, she starts to question whether she’ll ever be able to leave the house behind.

Best Horror Reads 2020

As Halloween quickly approaches, it’s time to embrace the horror. From vampires to haunted houses, demons to ghosts, these books are designed to raise the hair on the back of your neck.

Enjoy a timeless classic or the newest read today and bring out the scary in your Halloween season… if you dare. 

Take Control of Your Life With These 3 Best Apps For Students

Ever wonder about the best apps for students? Learn about the 3 top apps for students that will help you better organize your time, money, and professional connections.

University and college years are about growth, knowledge, and understanding.

You’re finally getting that degree for your dream job and you’re on the path to success, one step at a time.

Unfortunately, that path isn’t always the easiest road to navigate; with assignments to complete, tests to study for. group work, a part or full-time job, plus friends, significant others, and a family life… it’s really no wonder students often forget to eat.

You did eat today, right?

Instead of trying to navigate the long post-secondary road alone, why not set yourself up for success with a few helpful apps along the way?

woman wearing blue denim jacket holding book

iStudentPro – Best Time Management App For Students

This app is the perfect hybrid of a scheduling tool and a to-do list, making it the perfect online planner for any post-secondary student.

Essentially, this is a virtual assistant for students. You’ll be able to enter in your on-going tasks, categorizing them by date, class, and/or priority.

This app is also functional on all platforms including iOS, Android, PC, and macOS. So whatever you’re carrying to and from class is going to help you stay on track in real-time.

black marker on notebook

Once you’ve entered your class information, each subject becomes segregated into its own color block. You’ll easily be able to see what’s coming up in each class, in order of priority.

On top of that, recording and tracking your GPA is simplified. All you’ll need to do is enter your grade for each assignment, and watch as the app automatically calculates your grade point average!

Never miss a deadline or due date again!

From tracking your grades to assignment, you’re going to love the real-time functionality and prioritization offered by iStudentPro app.

Find cheap, affordable text books at TextBookNova.com

Mint.com – Best Money Management App For Students

There’s nothing worse than wanting to grab a bite to eat, only to discover that your card has been maxed out.

And when you’re busy running around, trying to get to classes on time, it’s easy to get side-tracked, especially when it comes to budgeting.

But that doesn’t have to be the case.

spilled coins from the jar Best Apps For Students

Thanks to the Mint.com, you can have a financial guru in your pocket, helping you budget and stay on top of your monthly expenses.

This app is designed to bring in all of your finances in an easy-to-find central location. So you’ll see all your account balances, monthly bills, credit scores, and more, without needing to switch between apps.

Mint can even help you create a sustainable budget, based on your real-time spending habits. This means you’ll never face a declined burrito ever again!

And if remembering bill payments is difficult, automated reminders will send you an alert before it’s due. So you’ll never fall behind on your payments.

After all, you have enough to remember between assignments and projects.

LinkedIn – Best Professional Connection App For Students

Although almost everyone is on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. But as a student, LinkedIn is just as, if not more important.

With over 500 million total users, LinkedIn is the ultimate platform for professionals that are looking to network and connect with others in the same industry.

But connecting with other like-minded professionals is just the tip of the iceberg that LinkedIn has to offer.

two person handshaking Best Apps For Students

With hundreds of recruiters and human resource professionals browsing the platform regularly, you’ll stay in front of potential employers actively looking for the best talent online.

You’ll also get to send and receive endorsements, which is the digital version of a reference letter. These endorsements help other professionals see your areas of expertise, which is particularly helpful in finding meaningful employment.

Not only can you market yourself on the platform, but you’ll also establish important business connections. Whether it’s past coworkers or potential Fortune 500 companies looking to hire, invitations happen all the time.

So by not being present on the platform, you could even be missing out on an invitation to apply for the job of your dreams!

Students, professionals, and employers all benefit from the online platform, even if it’s in completely different ways.

Having a professional profile established before you’re finished your course helps give you a leg up on the competition and stay current on industry news.

woman carrying white and green textbook Best Apps For Students

Best Apps For Students 2020

Establishing routines and schedules is always an easier task to accomplish before you get overwhelmed. This is exactly why now is the time to get started (before you start missing deadlines and due dates).

By staying on top of your to-do list, you’ll always know what’s coming up next. Whether it’s a big project to complete or your cell phone bill that’s due in a few days.

These online apps help keep you focused and on-task, so you can spend your time working on the important things.

5 Tips For Students During COVID-19

Need tips for students during COVID-19? Check out this month’s handy college and university survival guide to learn how to face the school year during a pandemic.

As 2020 has roared on, college students are now preparing to go back for the fall semester. It will no doubt be the most unique fall semester to take place on college campuses in a long time.

The ongoing global pandemic has changed all of our lives and forced everyone to adapt. Returning college and university students must do the same if they are to get the most out of their education.

College is often said to be the most fun part of a young person’s life. You don’t want to miss out on some of the best times of your life as a result of COVID-19. You also don’t want to miss out on some truly positive experiences because you were worried about COVID-19 either.

man in white and black crew neck t-shirt

If you take the proper precautions and adopt a beneficial mindset, however, you can still make this coming semester an enjoyable and productive time.

Below we take a look at 5 tips that will help you not only survive the semester but to make the absolute most of it you can.

Hand Sanitizer & Masks As School Supplies

The supplies you pack for class in the COVID-19 era are going to be a bit different from the supplies you packed previously. Hand sanitizer is now just as important to college students as their notepads and pens.

Bring it with you wherever you go and use it after touching surfaces or sharing items with other students.

blue and white boat on brown wooden dock

Wear a mask inside whenever you are unable to socially distance. For college students this coming semester, that means wearing your mask to class and keeping it on.

There will be those that find this inconvenient and even difficult to do.

But the more you wear a mask, the more natural it feels. And it is one of, if not the most important thing you can do to help stop the spread.

Remember, wearing a mask and using hand sanitizer isn’t just about protecting you. It’s about protecting those around you and slowing the spread of the virus.

Keep Informed

It has never been more important to stay up to date with what health experts are saying.

We are only about 5 months deep into this pandemic, and the information that we’re being told changes frequently. Therefore, keeping as up-to-date as possible is going to help keep you stay safe.

black and silver laptop computer tips for students during COVID-19

Remember that health experts have the knowledge that you do not. And this is the case no matter how much “Googling” you’ve been doing on the subject.

Knowledge your local health experts may have that you don’t include incidents of community transmission, where the virus has been spreading in your area, and what behaviors are considered risky or unnecessary in your location.

Always make sure the person you are listening to is a credentialed health expert and that other experts agree with what they are saying.

When in doubt, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions has produced this handout to help determine reliable sources.

Find cheap, affordable books and more at TextBookNova.com

Avoid Parties and Large Gatherings

Part of the fun of college has always been the big parties, socializing and meeting of new people.

Unfortunately, this is going to be much harder, and less safe, in the COVID-19 era, where social distancing is still going to be just as important as ever.

Keep in mind that, in general, a person is too close to you if you would touch fingers if you both stretched out your arms. You are going to have to make new friends while always maintaining that distance around new people.

Try to stop the spread of false information tips for students during COVID-19

With Zoom, Snapchat, and all the different ways we have to communicate with each other nowadays, the new connections you form with people are going to have to be online, at least for now.

There will be a time in the future when we don’t have to socially distance anymore. But in the meantime, we must continue to do our part to prevent the spread of this potentially deadly virus.

Lead A Healthy and Active Lifestyle

The healthier you are, the less you have to worry personally about COVID-19.

If you feel as though you aren’t as healthy and active as you could be, now is a great time to change that.

While it will likely be years still before all the facts are known, it does appear obesity and vitamin D deficiency are linked to poorer outcomes with the virus.

Fortunately, both of these conditions are reversible. In fact, Vitamin D deficiency is linked with obesity, so solving one will likely help in solving the other.

man running near sea during daytime tips for students during COVID-19

Getting outside and enjoying nature will help with a Vitamin D deficiency, and being active while outdoors will help reduce obesity. An active and healthy lifestyle will help you feel better and put you at less risk of developing complications if you do catch the virus.

Relax and Enjoy

This is likely far easier said than done but the best thing you can do is try and relax and just enjoy the semester.

Life will always throw challenges your way and while they might not always be as extreme as a global pandemic, you will eventually need to learn to be happy while dealing with obstacles.

Students heading back to campus right now are likely feeling as though they have been robbed of some fun times.

flat lay photography of blue backpack beside book and silver MacBook

This is only true if you think of it that way, however. This is a difficult time for everyone but thinking about the pandemic in the right way can help.

Try thinking of this time as an opportunity for you to show the world your best self. Be as selfless as you can, help others who aren’t doing well, get yourself in great shape, and truly be the best version of yourself you can.

No large college party feels as good as high self-esteem does.

COVID-19 Student Survival Guide

By following the tips we’ve outlined above, there is no reason for you to find this semester stressful or scary. Do what you can, worry only about what is in your control, and adopt the best mindset you can to make the most out of a truly unique semester.

5 Best Self-Development Books To Read This Month

Need some help finding motivation, ambition, or a more positive outlook on life? Check out our list of the 5 best self-development books to add to your reading list this year.

I think it’s safe to say that we all get down on ourselves from time to time.

Whether it’s due to the weather getting colder; troubles in our family lives; or simply because things just don’t seem to be going right in any way shape or form, we could all use a boost of confidence and inspiration from time to time.

With that said, I’d thought it might be a great idea to create this month’s book round-up on the best self-help, motivational, or inspirational authors and books.

Dream Big text

While none of these books are going to do any of the work involved in your own self-improvement, their authors are world-famous for knowing how to inspire people, how to communicate properly, and simply how to live happier, more wholesome lives, with better relationships.

Dale Carnegie – How To Win Friends And Influence People

I’ve personally read this book multiple times, so I might be biased in saying it, but How To Win Friends And Influence People is an absolute must-read for anyone looking to improve their intrapersonal relations and learn to be a more effective speaker.

How to Win Friends and Influence People: Carnegie, Dale ...

This book has been around for well-on 100 years and today, it continues to inspire and improve the lives of millions of people around the world.

In the book, Carnegie discusses the many common communication flaws found in the way that most of us communicate with one another. He then addresses them by imposing powerful, yet extremely simple, principles that we can implement into our lives.

Paulo Coelho – The Alchemist

As an eccentric wanderer for most of his life, Paulo Coelho didn’t sit down to write his first book, The Alchemist until he was nearly 40 years old.

In fact, it took him years of not knowing what he was meant to do with his life to find the courage to author his novel. But eventually, a pilgrimage in Spain led him to the realization that he’d always wanted to write a book. And that’s exactly what he set out to do.

After its initially released, the book completely flopped.

But, determined to market and sell it himself, Coelho went door to door, trying to persuade people to read his story.

The Alchemist' Overview

Eventually, he stumbled upon a publisher who was really to take a chance on him, and today’s Paulo Coelho’s first book, The Alchemist is known as one of the most fundamental books there is about finding yourself and your true purpose in life.

Although it’s a completely fictional story, the book follows its main character, Santiago, as he leads his way through his own journey to find his Personal Legend.

The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

To date, the Power of Positive Thinking has helped countless people achieve happiness by fostering a positive mindset.

This bestseller by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale is filled with practical advice and techniques aimed at helping the reader lead a life of fulfillment. Since its publication in 1952, it has helped show a person needs only the right mindset to achieve both success and happiness.

The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent... - Depop

Throughout its pages, Peale expresses an unequivocal belief in the human spirit’s ability to overcome adversity.

The lessons in this book help one to control their “inner voice” that plays an important role in determining our moods and overall disposition. The more one is able to control their “inner voice” the more they are able to bring about the results they want and the life they desire.

You will learn how to be energized, how to follow-through on your ambitions, and most importantly, how to believe in yourself.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People caused a big stir upon its publication in 1989. It helped people see they are actually in far more control of their lives than it seems.

Even better, author Stephen R. Covey was able to show simple and effective techniques that anyone can use to put their lives back on the right track.

Covey’s lessons are based on timeless and universal principles that stay static even as the world around us changes.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Best self-development Books

The book presents seven habits and fundamental principles adhered to by the world’s most successful and entrepreneurial people. When put into practice, these habits help foster happiness and a more balanced life.

This book won’t automatically transport you to a life of wealth and success but it will teach lessons on communication and personal development that can take you there.

The lessons learned here must be practiced every day, however, or else success will not be achieved. Happiness, success, and well-being are all habits we must form after all and failure is the habit we must break.

Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins is a master at helping people reach their peak performance.

His work has helped countless individuals learn the importance of self-mastery and taking control of their own lives. When Awaken the Giant Within was published in 1991, it was so successful that it launched its author to superstardom.

In fact, many consider Tony Robbins to be the most well-known and revered life coach on the planet. He has been sought out by celebrities, world leaders, and the world’s most successful people for his teachings.

Book notes: Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins – Best self-development Books

The lessons in Awaken the Giant Within can help anyone learn to take pleasure from actions that will benefit them and pain from those that will not.

This conditioning then provides the foundation needed to go out and achieve the life you want by doing the things you need to in order to foster it.

They apply to finance, physical health, and emotional well-being. Your ideal life is there for you to have and this book provides the step-by-step techniques necessary to achieve it.

Best Self-Development Books To Read 2020

Whether you’ve simply been feeling a bit low lately, or you’ve felt stuck in a rut for some time, there’s no doubt in my mind that the words in these books can help set you straight.

The one thing all of these books have in common is that they’re specifically designed to help you improve your own personal well-being, which in turn, will help improve your interpersonal relations, as well as your overal outlook on life.

So what are you waiting for?

Pick up one of these awesome inspirational books from your local book store or check out www.textbooknova.com to browse cheap, affordable books today.

5 Best Story Writers From Throughout History

Have you ever wondered who the best story writers of all time truly are? Below, we’ll go over 5 of the most well-known, influential writers of all starting.

Since the dawn of time, men and women have been passing stories on to each other. At first, this was only done orally, passing stories from one generation to another while sitting around camp fires.

However, in 1440 along came the invention of the printing press. With it, authors were now able to create stories, have them printed, and then distributed with ease.

But there is a prevalence of news and social media in today’s modern culture. Therefore, people aren’t often as interested in a good story as they once were.

So with that in mind, I would be a good idea to review some of the best, most prolific story writers from all throughout history.

Below, we’ll dive into our top 5 best story writers of all time, starting with Aesop. Who was writing as far back as about 600 years before Jesus Christ.

framed eyeglasses on top open book best story writers

Aesop

There is, unfortunately, much uncertainty surrounding Aesop. But most believe he was a born in Greece sometime between 560 B.C. and 620 B.C.

However, even today, Aesop’s collection of stories and fables are known as true works of literary art.

Aesop is best known for fables his such as “The Tortoise and the Hare”, and “The Goose Who Laid the Golden Eggs”. These stories use powerful imaginary and ordinary animals placed in bizarre situations.

Which, in the end, always reveals an invaluable truth or moral lesson.

The Lion and The Statue - Fables of Aesop best story writers

Although Aesop’s fables are mainly targeted at children, they are no doubt an excellent addition to any book lover’s reading list.

Check out The Classic Treasury Of Aesop Fables

The Brother’s Grimm

Also known as Children’s And Household Tales, Grimm’s Fairy Tales was first published in December 1812.

Written by brothers Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm, Grimm’s Fairy Tales was originally a collection of about 86 short fairy tale stories.

However, by the time the 7th edition of the collection was published, Grimm’s Fairy Tales contained a total of 210 uniquely written fairy tales.

narrow pathway near tress best story writers

You’ve most certainly heard some of the Grimm brothers’ tales, such as Hansel And Gretel or Rapunzel. But with several hundred unique stories in the collection, there are sure to be many more stories, which will easily captivate your attention.

So, for the best look at the brothers Grimm’s stories, make sure to check out the full collection of stories in Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

Edgar Allan Poe

Known for his macabre short stories, Edgar Allan Poe is often noted as one of the most influential, evocative writers in American history.

He’s mainly known for his dark, twisted stories.

However, Poe was a truly prolific writer, critic, poet, and editor. And he has written dozens of well-known short stories in many different genres of literature.

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Poe has a unique writing style that’s somewhat elaborate and hard to read for younger readers.

However, his use of the English language combined with his own personal flair is what truly make reading his short stories worth all the work.

For one of the best looks into Poe’s diverse writing styles and genres, make sure to check out the complete collection of Poe stories and poems.

Find author cheap and affordable text books and novels at Text Book Nova.

James Joyce

As of the more modern short story author on today’s list, James Joyce’s works were published at the onset of the 20th century.

However, his collection of short stories, known as Dubliners is the masterpiece that really skyrocketed his career into stardom.

First published over a hundred years ago in 1914, Dubliners is a collection of short stories. Each story is aimed at depicting the life of Middle class Irish citizens living in Dublin at the beginning of the century.

Most of the stories in the collection focus on their main characters having a epiphany. Joyce described this as a life-changing realization or illumination about one’s self.

The first few stories are narrated by younger protagonists. But as the stories continue, they progressively deal with the lives of gradually older characters.

First editions of James Joyce's 'Dubliners' now classed as antiques

Among his other masterpieces, Joyce is also known for the epic novel titled Ulysses. What’s unique about Ulysses is that it mirrors the happenings and story line of Homer’s The Odyssey.

Stephen King

Who doesn’t love a good horror story?

Back in 1973, Stephen King sold his first novel, Carrie. This first book became so successful King has become one of the most famous and prolific of the 20th century.

In fact, Carrie, as well as dozens of other King stories, such as Pet Semetary, It, have been made into Hollywood films. Which have achieved the same level of success, if not more, than the novels.

More recently, however, King has recently a new collections of stories, titled If It Bleeds. Which is a must-have collection for any true Stephen King or horror fans.

Stephen King's New Book If It Bleeds to Debut a Week Early | Tor.com

If It Bleeds is a collection of 4 short stories, which are all guaranteed to have your heart beating out of your chest by the time you’re done reading them.

5 Best Story Writers From Throughout History

Some of the story collections we’ve discussed today are fairy tales or fables mainly targeted at children. However, their authors are no doubt extremely influential writers, whose masterpieces have endured through of years.

That’s why, if you’ve truly a book lover, word nerd, reader, writer, short story enthusiast, or poet, you’ve come to right place. And absolutely must add these 5 authors and collections to your reading list this summer.