Choo Ming Jing

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Top 10 Literary Cities

If your idea of vacation includes checking out local bookshops and exploring writer hangouts, this list is for you.<p><i>From the September 2011 issue of</i> National Geographic Traveler <i>magazine</i><p><b>Edinburgh, Scotland</b><br>It’s practically mandatory that visitors to Edinburgh travel by the book. The atmospheric …

Top 10 Underappreciated Parks

From vast wilderness to varied history, from swamp to desert, these places should be more famous.<p>From the National Geographic book <i>The 10 Best of Everything—National Parks</i><p>Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon deserve the appreciation they receive, but the National Park System includes nearly 400 units, …

National Parks

The 20 books you’ll be reading – and talking about – for the rest of the year

<b>Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee, July 14</b><p>How does a writer follow up one of the most beloved books of all time? Released in 1960, To Kill A Mockingbird is a deeply felt and beautifully told story of childhood, family, race, and friendship. Most everyone figured Harper Lee would never publish another …

Why Porn’s ‘Interracial’ Label Is Racist

The porn industry is very segregated by race, with sites treating black-on-white sex especially as taboo. Here’s why it’s time to break down the …

Forget EL James, let’s have some real dirty fiction

I have always enjoyed a really dirty book. As a child, I loved the sensual thrill you could get from reading – before I was old enough for books with sex in them, I would read food scenes again and again. At school, people practised kissing and looked at each other’s knickers. I wondered why no one …

Books

This graffiti artist's 'experiment' with the authorities escalated hilariously

LONDON — A British graffiti artist's year-long battle with a local council – and how that squabble transformed an otherwise unremarkable brick …

Streetwear

13 Places From Your Favorite Books That You Can Actually Visit

Whether we’re catching a London train to the magic wizarding world, experiencing the running of the bulls in Pamplona, or dining across from an enchanting vampire in Washington, our literary adventures feel very real. Books have the uncanny ability to transport us to the places we’ve never been, …

Scientists discovered the easiest way to boost your mood

At least that's the finding of a new study published Monday, June 29, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.<p>In the study, a group of 38 Northern Californians (18 women and 20 men) were split up into two groups — one who took a 90-minute walk in nature and another that did the same …

El Tepozteco

High atop a Mexican rainforest mountain, this ancient pyramid once drew pilgrims countries away.<p>High up in the mountains of Morelos, a two-hour bus …

Mexico

Kimbal Musk takes the tech entrepreneur ethos and applies it to food

The younger brother of Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, shares his same entrepreneurial spirit, but with a family of restaurants and a nonprofit to bring ‘learning gardens’ to schools around the country<p>It can be tricky for anyone being the younger sibling, but imagine what it must be like …

Mac and Cheese

5 Incredible Nature Walks In Singapore That Bring You Into The Woods

As we return from our travels, we are truly reminded of home the moment we leave Changi Airport. From the beautifully manicured plants, to the neatly …

Letters Live at the Hay Festival: 'Letter-writing is not, after all, a dying art'

Jude Law, Stephen Fry and Sandi Toksvig headed a stellar cast as intimate letters were read out to a crowd of thousands<p>The organisers behind Letters Live, a beguiling series of events with a growing glamour factor, have taken an idea that should have been obvious and turned it into an inspired …

6 Writing Techniques I Learned at Storymasters

Today’s guest is David Bruns, the creator of the sci-fi series <i>The Dream Guild Chronicles</i> and one half of the Two Navy Guys and a Novel blog series …

5 Must-Read Books From Around the World

A few years ago, I made a shock discovery: Although I thought of myself as a fairly cosmopolitan, cultured person, my bookshelves told a rather different story about me. Pretty much everything on them was by British and North American writers and there was almost nothing in translation.<p>Baffled …

Home

Art Photography

News Corp boss has read Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird sequel - here's his verdict

Go Set a Watchman will be released on July 14, but Robert Thomson has already read it<p>The chief executive of News Corp has read the forthcoming sequel to <b>Harper Lee</b>'s global bestseller To Kill a Mockingbird, and believes it will have a "profound impact" on readers.<p><b>Go Set a Watchman</b>, which Ms Lee …

David Nicholls: 'My heart snaps every time I read a one-star review'

As the David Nicholls' adaptation of Far from the Madding Crowd is released, the author talks about rejection, acting and Carey Mulligan<p>David Nicholls was a terrible actor. Servants and soldiers were his lot in the years spent treading the boards at the National - unless he got a shot at …

The 100 best novels: No 85 – The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (1966)

Sylvia Plath’s painfully graphic roman à clef, in which a woman struggles with her identity in the face of social pressure, is a key text of Anglo-American feminism<p>Sylvia Plath’s only novel was originally published in January 1963 under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas, and became tangled up almost …

Literature

How Good Is Murakami?

Haruki Murakami is practically a literary deity in Japan, but American critics are still unsure about him. Rob Verger looks at his reputation in the …

Suspects in Afghanistan mob killing go on trial

The trial of 49 suspects, including 19 police officers, on charges relating to the brutal mob killing of an Afghan woman has adjourned in Kabul.<p>All suspects in the trial - in its second day on Sunday - face charges related to the March 19 killing of a 27-year-old woman named Farkhunda.<p>One of them …

Afghanistan

Tesla Powerwall – A battery for the home of the future

Elon Musk and Tesla want to change how the world uses energy, and have unveiled a new product line called Tesla Energy. One of its first products is …

Tesla

Does Post-Apocalyptic Literature Have A (Non-Dystopian) Future?

The end of the world sure is taking a long time. Ever since the breakout success of Cormac McCarthy's 2006 novel <i>The Road</i>, America has been degraded, devastated, and decimated time and time again — at least, on the page. Granted, McCarthy didn't invent post-apocalyptic fiction. But he helped spark a …

Books

How to Write a Story a Week: A Day-by-Day Guide

As a fiction writer eager to improve my craft, I’ve long wanted to try out the story-a-week approach recommended to aspiring writers by Ray Bradbury. …

Creative Writing

How a then-24-year-old filmmaker exposed the Taser industry in a bombshell new documentary

Berardini got word of an in-custody death by the Moberly Police Department and was one of the first reporters on the scene.<p>Witnesses told him 23-year-old Stanley Harlan had been pulled over by the Moberly police in front of his house. Harlan got out of his car, had a conversation with the officer …

uBeam’s Ultrasound Wireless Charging Is Real, And About To Be Really Funded

What if wireless power at a distance actually worked? It does. uBeam invented a way to wirelessly send energy up to 15 feet away with ultrasound.<p>What if you could slap a wireless charging case on your phone and charge it while you move around or use it? uBeam invented that too. While early uBeam …

TC Boyle: 'I’m distressed by this absurd world, so the only way I can think straight is to make up stories'

The award-winning author of World's End and The Tortilla Curtain reveals his writing inspirations, ranging from Brazilian jazz to a loaded revolver<p>TC Boyle, 66, is an American novelist and short-story writer. Born in New York state, he completed a PhD and MFA at the University of Iowa before …

15 cities you can reach by train in under six hours from London

Rotterdam<p>Bruges<p>Antwerp<p>Ghent<p>Bordeaux<p>Lyon<p>Strasbourg<p>Reims<p>Rouen<p>Nantes<p>Cologne<p>Aachen

European Travel

This Chinese feminist wants to be the country’s first openly lesbian lawyer, and police harassment won’t stop her

BEIJING — Buoyed by the support she has received both inside the country and from abroad, one of China’s leading feminists has vowed to continue advocating for women’s rights after her release from detention last week, despite police harassment.<p>Li Tingting, 25, a lesbian campaigner on women’s …

China

At least 1,000 protest after death of black man in police custody

The Justice Department said Tuesday it has opened a civil rights investigation into the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who suffered a fatal spinal-cord injury under mysterious circumstances after he was handcuffed and put in the back of a police van.<p>After the probe was announced, at least 1,000 …