34 amazing first lines of famous books.

Read more: http://imgur.com/gallery/VNrye More »

ever wonder how to get your book reviewed?

Ever wonder “How to get my book reviewed”?

So you’ve published your book. Its been edited and published, and now you’re trying to figure out how to get to your potential readers. While starting your marketing campaign usually happens well More »

‘People are hungry for real bookstores’: Judy Blume on why US indie booksellers are growing

At 78, the multimillion-selling author has begun a new career, opening her own bookshop and joining a business sector thats flourishing again in the US   She might be a beloved and More »

What To Get Him Based On How Long You’ve Been Dating Betches

With the holidays (help) around the corner, it’s kind of time you start thinking about wtf to get the dude in your life for Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa/Festivus. There are many possibilities, from flannel shirts to designer watches to apps that let you casually stalk him. All of these things, though, fall into categories of appropriateness (is that a word?) dependent upon how long you all have been boning or, like, dating. So here’s what to get him based on how long you’ve been dating.

0-3 Months

This is kind of more of a “fun” gift than a serious one; especially considering you all started dating right at the cusp of cuffing season. Considering you aren’t sure 100% on whether or not he’s a psycho yet, this isn’t the time to go above and beyond with hundred-dollar gifts. With great relationships come great responsibility, according to Spider-Man. Anyway, if you’ve passed the one month hurdle and are well into month two or three, you need to look at spending, like, $25-75, tops.

Carhartt Unisex Multi Tool

Carhartt Multi-Tool: It’s something he’ll use, it’s small, and you’ll only be out $10 when he ghosts you in two months. Praise be.
“Night-In” Box: One brilliant idea is curating a “night-in” box with Cool Haus ice cream (or Ben & Jerry’s, whatever), cozy slippers, and a nice (but cheap) bottle of wine (or non-Jose tequila if that’s more his speed). It’s like you’re doing the date planning for him, plus you won’t be dropping major cash on this.
Flannel Shirts from JCrew or Woolrich: Honestly, the guys I talked to wanted these any time anyway, and they’re not a “we’re super serious” gift. Flannel can be worn by just about any guy, regardless of style. Is he a hipster? Is he v ironic? Does he work construction? Does he like tying them around his waist when he feels like his ass looks fat? You probably haven’t even figured him out yet and this gift STILL works. See. Everyone could use a flannel. Plus, you can always steal it later.
Beer: Yes, really. If he’s into craft beer, get a nice sampler and slap a bow on it. Just try to pay attention to what he drinks when you’re blackout at the bar.

3-6 Months

The three to six month time period is usually the time a dude wants to know you “get” him, so thoughtfulness counts more than dropping dollaz.

Man Crates Exotic Meats Crate

Man Crates: We recommend fun sh*t like a Man Crate, filled with meat snacks, tools, and other “he-man” items. It’ll give him an excuse to pry open a literal wooden crate with the included crow bar (yes, rly) and then indulge in exotic meat snacks so he can brag to his idiot friends that he ate ostrich and alligator. Aside from jerky items, you can also get “project” crates, so he can learn how to carve his own wooden pipe and be an all new kind of asshole.
V Specific Gift Cards: If he’s hugely into outdoor sh*t from R.E.I., get a gift card. If he goes from six to midnight whenever he thinks about leather bound books, maybe a gift card to Barnes & Noble is in order. It isn’t a cop-out, it’s showing you know he digs certain things. This is allowing him to get whatever he wants from a place you know he enjoys. Don’t let the gift card be the ONLY thing you get, obviously, but make it enough that he can get something worthwhile.
Concert Tickets: In keeping with the whole you “get” him thing, get tickets to his favorite band (within reason) that won’t cost you an entire paycheck.

6-12 Months

Hooray, you made it more than six months and haven’t ghosted each other. If your relationship was the size of a in-utero child, it’d be an eggplant. That made me gag a little, how about you? Anyway, we’re getting into almost serious territory here, so you should be spending a decent amount of money on and putting thoughtfulness into his gift.

Amazon Echo Dot

Amazon Echo or Alexa or Google Thing: I refuse to acknowledge whatever the Google thing’s name is, but you catch my drift. Chances are your dude (and most dudes) need a robot woman to tell them if it’s raining or how many cups are in a quart or whether or not the NASDAQ is crashing. Robots are the future, so investing in one of these know-it-all glorified Bluetooth speakers is a nice gesture.
A Nice Watch: If you’re in the 6-12 month range, a nice watch (especially if he doesn’t have one) is a great gift. We’re not saying you need to go out and fetch a Rolex; there are tons of brands that are well-made and don’t carry an insane price tag. If your dude is outdoorsy, Luminox is a great option. If he’s into flannel and wood, grab a Filson. And if he has no discernible style, like, whatsoever, but enjoys nice things, Citizen is a great choice.
Couples Massages: Lay naked next to each other awkwardly while strangers touch you! Honestly, less guys than ladies tend to treat themselves to massages, so getting one with him may put him at ease about the whole thing. Plus, if he’s never ventured into daiye day spa territory, he’s in for a pleasant surprise.

More Than One Year

Y’all are practically married. If you’ve been dating more than one year and have never been “on a break” or “seeing other people,” you can go p serious on the gift front.

Holy Stone HS700 FPV Drone

Drone: Do you want to encourage his habit of disturbing wildlife or spying on neighbors? Get him a drone. He’ll definitely be entertained for at least a month.
MasterClass: These include cooking taught and screamed about by Gordon Ramsey, photography by Annie Leibovitz, and creative writing by Margaret Atwell. Give him the gift that keeps on giving: a literal life skill.
Weekend Getaway: Your guy not into learning? That’s cool. Book a weekend getaway somewhere he’d like. Look into the Baseball/Rock N Roll/Football/Country/IDFK Hall of Fame. Take him to a sports outing that you normally wouldn’t be caught dead attending. Go to a concert or get sushi at that place you hate. This is kind of about him, and you can definitely plan something nice-ish for under $500 if you think ahead of time.
That Thing He Won’t Buy For Himself: Does he have a set of satin pajamas you know he loves but won’t buy? A massage chair? A pedicure? Once you’re in for the long(ish) haul, you should know him well enough to get him the thing he would not go out and buy on his own. Maybe its boudoir pictures of yourself, or a year-long subscription to a dog-centered magazine. Whatever.

Images: Kira auf der Heide /Unsplash; Amazon (2); Man Crates; Carhartt

Read more: https://betches.com/?p=42216

Best gifts for Lord of the Rings fans that aren’t a gold ring

One gift to rule them all.
Image: New Line/Saul Zaentz/Wing Nut/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

What will you give your loved ones, precious?

Everyone knows at least one Lord of the Rings fan, nay, fiend. They’ve smashed through J. R. R. Tolkien’s books and appendices. They’ve sat through the extended editions of Peter Jackson’s original trilogy, turned up for The Hobbit trilogy, and are sitting on the edge of their Shadowfaxes for the upcoming Amazon TV series.

So, you want to get them a gift they’ll truly love. But what part of Middle Earth would they shop in? Ask them slyly first, then meet us back here for the perfect gift. And for brevity, these are just locations from the Lord of the Rings series. 

Note: None of these are a golden ring. That is pure folly and will lead us all to ruin. 

The Shire: A wizard-level pipe

Scrounge up some Shire weed.

Image: WETa shop

Smoke the finest weed in the Southfarthing with a nice little pipe, so you can frolic through the woods, the fields, the little rivers of Hobbiton, Bree, and the rest with a little buzz. You can buy a non-functional replica of Gandalf’s film pipe from the Weta Workshop in Wellington, New Zealand, but if you’re after something you can actually smoke from, there are makers on Etsy selling pipes inspired by the series. Pair it with a Prancing Pony magnet and you’ll have the Shire covered.

Price: $32 to $136

Rivendell: This adorable little Fellowship pin

Declare your love in theme.

Image: the grumpy unicorn co/etsy

Pledge allegiance to your loved one with a little pin emblazoned with Aragorn’s pledge to Frodo and the Fellowship. “You have my sword,” is scrolled across this piece from Etsy maker The Grumpy Unicorn Co. and it’s bold enough a statement to prompt the nearest blonde elven dreamboat to declare the same with his bow, and, similarly, a gruff bearded fellow with his axe.

Price: $12.96

Moria: Balrog t-shirt

Metaaaaaaal.

Image: weta shop

This t-shirt is as metal as Middle Earth gets outside of Mordor. Designed by Weta Workshop concept designer Rebekah Tisch, the tee depicts the formidable Balrog and your ol’ pal Gandalf battling on the Bridge of Khazad-dûm.

Price: $29.99

Rohan: This kickass shieldmaiden pendant

All kickass shieldmaidens of Rohan need their own pendant, and Utah-based Etsy maker Badali Jewelry has crafted a fitting ode to the biggest boss of them all, Eowyn. Sporting two of Rohan’s signature horses, this Shieldmaiden Medallion is inspired by the shield Eowyn carried into the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. On the back you’ll find an engraving of her strong words to the Witch-King, “No living man am I, You look upon a woman.” Yeah, badass.

Price: $55.59

Gondor: This not-so-ugly Christmas sweater

Pretty subtle.

Image: stationjack/etsy

What better way to spend time with your messed up family in Minas Tirith than wearing a Christmas sweater emblazoned with Gondor’s iconic White Tree? It’s not even that obvious, so you could wear it to a dinner in Rohan without having to address where Gondor was when the Westfold fell and their enemies closed in around them. Awks.

If you want something more brazenly on-brand, try this Horn of Gondor for your bike.

Price: $48.75

Isengard: A rather lovely print

Where are they taking the hobbits?

Image: Pixelnoise studio/etsy

Let’s forget all the terrible treachery, Enticide, and terrifying army-growing that occurred at Sauruman’s joint in Sindarin, and enjoy this nice print. Can’t do it? Get a Fangorn Forest one.

Price: $20.27

Lothlorien: Elven leaf brooch

Not idly do the leaves of Lothlorien fall.

Image: weta shop

Every member of the Fellowship needs one of these, and while you might not be able to hop over to the woods of Lothlorien to pick one up, the Weta Workshop makes their own. They’re not cheap, as they’re sterling silver, but they’re legit.

Price: $274.49

Mordor: The Eye of Sauron desk lamp

Always watching…

Image: thinkgeek

So, your friend has chosen to live their life on the dark plains of Mordor? That’s cool, there’s plenty to do here, probably. But just know everything they do will be watched by the Eye of Sauron, which you can equip them with for their very own bedroom — in lamp form. Artist David Tremont and his team scaled down Weta designer Richard Taylor’s nine-foot film model of Barad-dûr, the fortress of Sauron, and it makes one heck of a desk lamp.

Price: $299.99

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/best-gifts-lord-of-the-rings-fan/

Stan Lee’s Company Calls Out Bill Maher’s ‘Frankly Disgusting’ Comments

POW! Entertainment, the media production company founded by Stan Lee, has joined the backlash against comedian Bill Maher for questioning the late Marvel pioneer’s legacy.

Maher, host of HBO’s “Real Time,” faced widespread criticism Saturday for a blog post in which he mocked those mourning Lee who “pretended” that comic books are “sophisticated literature.”

Lee’s Nov. 12 death at age 95 inspired hundreds of heartfelt social media tributes, and caused a 1968 column he wrote denouncing racism to go viral again.

But Maher had a different take. “The guy who created Spider-Man and the Hulk has died, and America is in mourning,” he wrote. “Deep, deep mourning for a man who inspired millions to, I don’t know, watch a movie, I guess.”

POW! hit back Monday with an open letter, in which it called Maher’s opinion “frankly disgusting.”

Countless people can attest to how Stan inspired them to read, taught them that the world is not made up of absolutes, that heroes can have flaws and even villains can show humanity within their souls,” the company’s letter added.

It also repeated one of Lee’s most iconic lines — “With great power there must also come — great responsibility!” — to urge Maher to use his platform wisely. Maher hasn’t responded.

Here is the open letter in full:

Mr. Maher: Comic books, like all literature, are storytelling devices. When written well by great creators such as Stan Lee, they make us feel, make us think and teach us lessons that hopefully make us better human beings. One lesson Stan taught so many of us was tolerance and respect, and thanks to that message, we are grateful that we can say you have a right to your opinion that comics are childish and unsophisticated. Many said the same about Dickens, Steinbeck, Melville and even Shakespeare.

But to say that Stan merely inspired people to “watch a movie” is in our opinion frankly disgusting. Countless people can attest to how Stan inspired them to read, taught them that the world is not made up of absolutes, that heroes can have flaws and even villains can show humanity within their souls. He gave us the X-Men, Black Panther, Spider-Man and many other heroes and stories that offered hope to those who felt different and bullied while inspiring countless to be creative and dream of great things to come.

These are but a few of the things we the fans of Stan Lee also consider “adulting,” because life both as a child and grown-up can indeed be a struggle. Stan is the author of millions of happy childhood memories and the provider of so many of the positive tools of adulthood.

Our shock at your comments makes us want to say “’Nuff said, Bill,” but instead we will rely on another of Stan’s lessons to remind you that you have a powerful platform, so please remember: “With great power there must also come ― great responsibility!”

– Team Stan

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/stan-lee-company-bill-maher-disgusting-comments_us_5bf3d26ee4b0376c9e6860bd

‘When’s Happy Hour?’ Is Out Now, And We’re Celebrating With A Huge Giveaway Betches

The day you’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived: our third book, When’s Happy Hour?is out now! You read our general life advice on how to win at everything in Nice Is Just A Place In France, you followed our dating advice in I Had A Nice Time And Other Lies, so now it’s time to read our career advice in When’s Happy Hour? (I know, we decided not to go with the “nice” title this time around. What can we say, we’re growing up.)

Now that the book is here, we’re celebrating by giving you all three days of gifting. You’re welcome. Today’s gift is: MATTE GOLD BEATS HEADPHONES!!! You know you’ve been wanting them. Here’s how you can win: Buy our new book, screenshot your order and email it to whh@betches.com (with proof of purchase & today’s date to enter). That’s it. You’re entered. All winners will be announced Sunday. May the odds be ever in your favor.

So where can you buy When’s Happy Hour? Here’s all the info you need, so you can order and start reading ASAP:

Amazon

Target

Barnes & Noble

Books-A-Million

Now back to the book. For those of you doubters out there, wondering, “Why should I take career advice from self-proclaimed ‘betches’ who curse all the time?” Um, it’s because we’re really f*cking smart, that’s why. The Betches founders, Aleen Kuperman, Samantha Fishbein, and Jordana Abraham, took a viral blog and turned it into a full-fledged media company that pulls in over $5 million in revenue. And they’ve done it all without outside investors. So they know a thing or two about starting a business and how to be successful.

In When’s Happy Hour?  we cover everything from how not to format your resume to what to wear to the office to navigating workplace hookups (I’ll save you that section and say you should probably not do it unless you’re positive he’s the Jim Halpert to your Pam Beesly). And that’s not all we cover, obvi. If you’re in serious need of career advice, and your career center isn’t helping, we got you. Think of it like, all the career advice you could ever want to ask your friends, if your friends also happened to be successful entrepreneurs. Yeah, it’s going to be really f*cking good.

Official Contest Rules (If You Care):

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS SWEEPSTAKES. A PURCHASE OR PAYMENT DOES NOT INCREASE THE CHANCES OF WINNING.

Eligibility. This Betches 3 Day Giveaway (the “Sweepstakes”) is open to all legal U.S. residents who have reached the age of eighteen (18) by October 25, 2018.   This Sweepstakes is void where prohibited by law. This Sweepstakes is subject to all applicable federal, state, local rules and laws and regulations.

Agreement to Official Rules and Decisions. By participating in this Sweepstakes, the entrant (“You”) fully and unconditionally agree to be bound by and accept these Official Rules and the decisions of Betches Media LLC (“Betches”) (including, without limitation, decisions regarding eligibility of entries, the selection of entrants and the winners, and the awarding of prizes), which are final and binding in all respects. You also represent and warrant that You meet the eligibility requirements.

Timing. This Sweepstakes will run for 3 days, beginning October 25, 2018, at 1 pm EST through October 27, 2018, at 11:59 pm EST. There will be one (1) winner chosen each day (one on October 25, one on October 26, and one on October 27) on Instagram Story at the conclusion of the Sweepstakes.

How to Enter. The Betches Instagram Story will post a picture of the gift on each day. To enter this Sweepstakes, you must screenshot your book sales confirmation or any other social media post from your account regarding the launch of When’s Happy Hour: Work Hard So You Can Hardly Work. As explained above, the Sweepstakes will run for 3 days from October 25, 2018, at 1:00 pm EST through October 27, 2018, at 11:59 pm EST, and from and after 12:00 am EST on October 28, 2018, no further entries will be accepted.

Prize. One winner (“Winner”) will be chosen randomly each day as the Winner of this Sweepstakes. The Winner will receive one (1) gift, prize and value can vary depending on date of entry and date of win. The prize will be awarded to an individual who is eligible and meeting all prize conditions. If an initial awardee is deemed ineligible, a new drawing for that prize will occur and the prize will be awarded to the individual meeting all conditions. The prize is nontransferable. Any and all prize-related expenses, including without limitation any and all federal, state, and/or local taxes, shall be the sole responsibility of Winner. No substitution of prize or transfer/assignment of prize to others or request for the cash equivalent by Winner is permitted. Acceptance of prize constitutes permission for Betches to use Your Instagram handle for purposes of advertising, promotion, and other business purposes without further compensation, unless prohibited by law.

Odds of Winning; Drawing; Notification. The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. The Winner of the Sweepstakes will be selected by a random drawing within 24 hours of closing. Winner will be notified by use of Instagram Direct Messaging only, and asked for their U.S. address so that the prize can be mailed to Winner, postage pre-paid. Winner may be required to complete a publicity release first, prior to receiving the prize, unless prohibited by law. Any Winner notified by Instagram Direct Messaging that fails to acknowledge receipt, complete any required publicity release, or provide a U.S. mailing address within 48 hours of notification will be deemed ineligible and forfeit their prize. An alternate winner will be selected by random drawing. Betches will not be responsible for any failure of transmittal of winning notification, for any reason.

General Conditions. Betches reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes if, in Betches’ opinion, there is any suspected or actual evidence of electronic or non-electronic tampering with any portion of the Sweepstakes, or if viruses, bugs, unauthorized intervention, widespread automated entries, fraud, technical difficulties or failures or any other factor beyond Betches’ reasonable control corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes. Betches reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual it finds or believes to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Sweepstakes or to be acting in violation of these Official Rules or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, including through automated entries. Any attempt by any person to deliberately damage any website or undermine the legitimate operation of this Sweepstakes is a violation of criminal and civil laws, and, should such an attempt be made, Betches reserves the right to seek damages and other remedies from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. Betches’ failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision or any other provision of these Official Rules.

Release. By entering, You forever and irrevocably release and hold harmless Betches and its respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising and promotion agencies, partners, representatives, agents, successors, assigns, employees, officers, and directors, as well as Instagram, from any liability, illness, injury, death, loss, litigation, claim, or damages arising in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, whether caused by negligence or not, from Your participation in the Sweepstakes and/or Your acceptance, possession, use, or misuse of any prize or any portion thereof.

Limitation of Liability. Betches and Instagram are not responsible for: (i) late, lost, unintelligible, illegible, damaged, altered, or incomplete entries, or entries received through impermissible or illegitimate channels, all of which will be disqualified; (ii) technical failures of any kind, including but not limited to the malfunction of any computer, cable, network, hardware, or software, or other mechanical equipment; (iii) the unavailability or inaccessibility of any transmissions, telephone, or Internet service; (iv) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Sweepstakes; (v) electronic or human error in the administration of the Sweepstakes or the processing of entries. You hereby waive all rights to, and under no circumstances shall You be permitted to obtain awards for, punitive, incidental, or consequential damages, including reasonable attorney’s fees, other than Your actual out-of-pocket expenses (i.e. costs associated with entering this Sweepstakes). You further waive all rights to have damages multiplied or increased. SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE LIMITATION OR EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, SO THE ABOVE MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.

Disputes. This Sweepstakes IS GOVERNED BY THE LAWS OF NEW YORK. As a condition of participating in this Sweepstakes, You agree that any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Sweepstakes or any prizes awarded, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, solely and exclusively before a court located in New York, New York; You submit to sole and exclusive personal jurisdiction in said courts for any such dispute and irrevocably waive any and all rights to object to such jurisdiction.

Sponsor. The Sponsor of this Sweepstakes and the address at which Sponsor may be contacted is: Betches Media, 54 W 21st Street, Suite 401, New York, NY 10010.

This Sweepstakes is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram.

Winner’s List. To request a list of winners, send a self-addressed postage-stamped envelope to: Betches Media, 54 W 21st Street, Suite 401, New York, NY 10010.

Requests must be received by November 28, 2018.

Read more: https://betches.com/?p=40222

Illustrator Documents Her Daily Struggles And Life With Her Boyfriend In 25+ Adorable Comics

26-year-old Luxembourger Valérie Minelli, AKA Mrs. Frollein, has been making her sweet, simple-yet-funny comics for around 5 years, with the noble mission to cheer people up and make them smile.

“I think most of the time I just want to make people happy and leave them with a warm and fuzzy feeling, so I try to make my comics really wholesome from time to time,” Valérie told Bored Panda. “I‘m a pretty rough person in real life, I curse a lot. But I don’t like that kind of humor in comics.”

Describing her style as “rather simple and kinda inspired by the Japanese ‘Chibi‘ characters,” she explains that she’s not a fan of the big, expressive eyes and prefers the challenge of creating as much expression as she can with just two dots and a mouth. “I mostly use an IPad and Procreate to draw the comics and some Photoshop,” she told us. “When I began drawing them, I used some fineliners and paper, which worked too!”

“I am still a student, so I don’t do comics for a living (I study comics though, which is amazing!). I work as an illustrator for children’s books and try to manage to do all of it. For now, webcomics are just a hobby, but I have some amazing followers who buy my prints or buy me some ko-fi to support me, so I can at least make a little money by drawing comics. Hopefully I can someday make a living from just comics.”

Most of Valérie’s comics are inspired by everyday life, and her relationship with her boyfriend. “I always hated most of the couple comics out there, so I decided to draw some myself, she said. “Some of them are just my own thoughts, almost like a writing a diary. I mostly read webcomics, but I try to get more into German graphic novels.”

“I really enjoy comics by jakelikesonions, nathanwpyle, natemorebikes, lizclimo and War and Peas. (One half of War and Peas is my comic teacher so I‘ll get in trouble if I don‘t name them!)” Valérie told us with a laugh.

Scroll down to check out Valérie’s work for yourself, and let us know what you think in the comments!

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Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/funny-comics-mrs-frollein-valerie-minelli/

5 Self-Help Books That Aren’t Corny Betches

I know what you’re thinking, and no, self-help books that aren’t corny is not an oxymoron. They’re not all, like, “breathe in and harness the power of the universe and believe in yourself and everything you’ve ever wanted will be yours” or whatever B.S. The Secret espouses. There are actually a lot of books that can actually help you that also won’t bore you to death. I want to say here that my definition of “self-help” is pretty loose here. Is the book nonfiction? Does it teach some sort of lesson or aim to help people in some way? If yes, I’m calling it a self-help book. So here are some self-help books that aren’t corny.

‘The Spiritual Vixen’s Guide To An Unapologetic Life’ by Maureen Muldoon

I know the title is cheesey. I KNOW it sounds like something your mom might write when she’s a couple of glasses of wine in and feeling a little frisky. But stay with me here. There’s a reason this is on a list of self-help books that aren’t corny. This true story is about a woman whose husband leaves her for Miss Universe. Miss f*cking Universe. And I thought I had trust issues. Muldoon details her feelings of loss, anger, and denial in a funny and candid way, and her journey towards liberation is one you’ll be rooting for.

Spiritual

‘Making It In Manhattan’ by Caroline Vazzana

This is a quick must-read for anyone who’s trying to make it in fashion. Caroline Vazzana went from wannabe designer to intern to a fashion influencer, stylist, and editor. She’s legit been called the real-life Carrie Bradshaw. In her first book book, she’ll tell you how she did it, everything she wishes she did, plus how you too can reach your goals in the social media age.

Making

‘When’s Happy Hour?’: Work Hard So You Can Hardly Work by The Betches

F*cking duhhhh. You know we couldn’t leave our own HILARIOUS career advice book off the list. If you’ve ever wondered if you can wear a crop top to the office, or if it’s okay to hook up with that hot guy in another department, you need to read our book. We’ll help you format your resume, not completely f*ck up your interview, and then not get fired once you do get the job. We’re like, such good friends. You should pre-order it, betch.

When's

‘Everything’s Trash But It’s Okay’ by Phoebe Robinson

Um, wow, not cool that Phoebe literally stole my Hinge bio, but whatever. In all seriousness, Everything’s Trash is a series of essays on topics ranging from gender to dating to race and more. This dope queen tackles why feminism needs to be more intersectional and why dating in general is a dumpster fire (I paraphrase), but she also talks about personal sh*t like how she hid a ton of debt from her parents.

Everything's

‘Belong: Find Your People, Create Community, and Live a More Connected Life’ by Radha Agrawal

Ever heard of Daybreaker? It’s a huge morning party—no alcohol—that takes place in 25 cities and a dozen college campuses around the world. You’ve probably seen it on Instagram. Anyway, the founder of Daybreaker wrote a book that’s all about finding yourself. With prompts, charts, quizzes, and more, you’ll discover what values are important to you and how to find people who share those values. If you can get past the unnecessarily long title, you’ll learn a lot from this book. 

Images: Lucrezia Carnelos / Unsplash; Amazon (5)

Read more: https://betches.com/?p=39229

Jimmy Kimmel Drags Trump With His ‘Tell-All Book Of The Month’ Club

Books that dish the dirt on President Donald Trump’s administration are currently a dime a dozen.

So on Tuesday night, Jimmy Kimmel launched a spoof Trump-themed “Tell-All Book Of The Month” club to capitalize on the trend.

“Turn your library into a lie-brary,” promises the fake ad’s voiceover. 

Check out the books on offer in the clip above.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jimmy-kimmel-donald-trump-book-club_us_5bd02f6ce4b0a8f17ef22b6f

Read This If Theres Someone You Cant Forgive

http://tcat.tc/1dckiRA
Cataloged in Self-Improvement / Advice

Read This If There’s Someone You Can’t Forgive

I hate every cliché that exists about forgiveness.

I know every adage, every piece of advice, every regularly endorsed opinion on the topic because I’ve scoured my way through the literature. I’ve read every blog post about letting go of anger. I’ve written down Buddha quotes and stuck them on post-its to my wall. I know that no part of it is simple. I know the adages are tired. I know the gap between “Deciding to forgive” and actually feeling peace can seem entirely unbridgeable. I know.

Forgiveness is a vast, un-traversable land for those of us who crave justice. The very thought of letting someone walk away scot-free from what they’ve done makes us sick. We don’t want to simply wipe our hands clean. We want to transfer the blood onto to theirs. We want to see the scores evened and the playing field leveled. We want them to bear the weight of what they’ve done, not us.

Forgiveness seems like the ultimate betrayal of yourself. You don’t want to give up the fight for justice after what has happened to you. The anger is burning inside you and pumping toxicity throughout your system. You know that, but you can’t let it go. The anger is as inseparable a part of you as your heart or mind or lungs. I know the feeling. I know the second heartbeat that is fury.

But here’s the thing about anger: it’s an instrumental emotion. We stay angry because we want justice. Because we think it’s useful. Because we assume that the angrier we are, the more change we will be capable of incurring. Anger doesn’t realize that the past is over and the damage has been done. It tells you that vengeance will fix things. It’s on the pursuit of justice.

Except the justice we want isn’t always realistic. Staying angry is like continually picking the scab off a cut because you think that if you keep the wound open, you won’t get a scar. It’s thinking that someday, the person who wronged you can come give you stitches with such incredible precision that you’ll never know the cut was once there. The truth about anger is that it’s nothing more than the refusal to heal, because you’re scared to. Because you’re afraid of who you’ll be once your wounds close up and you have to go on living in your new, unfamiliar skin. You want your old skin back. And so anger tells you to keep that wound bleeding.

When you’re seething, forgiveness seems impossible. We want to be capable of it, because intellectually we know it’s the healthiest choice to make. We want the peace forgiveness offers. We want the release. We want the madness in our brains to quiet down, and yet we cannot find a way to get there.

Because here’s what they all fail to tell you about forgiveness: It’s not going to fix anything. It’s not an eraser that will wipe away the pain of what’s happened to you. It does not undo the pain that you’ve been living with and grant you immediate peace. Finding peace is a long, uphill battle. Forgiveness is just what you take to stay hydrated along the way.

Forgiveness means giving up hope for a different past. It means knowing that the past is over, the dust has settled and the destruction left in its wake can never be reconstructed to resemble what it was. It’s accepting that there’s no magic solution to the damage that’s been caused. It’s the realization that as unfair as the hurricane was, you still have to live in its city of ruins. And no amount of anger is going to reconstruct that city. You have to do it yourself.

Forgiveness means accepting responsibility – not for causing the destruction, but for cleaning it up. It’s the decision that restoring your own peace is finally a bigger priority than disrupting someone else’s.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to make amends with who hurt you. It doesn’t mean befriending them, sympathizing with them or validating what they have done to you. It just means accepting that they’ve left a mark on you. And that for better or for worse, that mark is now your burden to bear. It means you’re done waiting for the person who broke you to come put you back together. It’s the decision to heal your own wounds, regardless of which marks they’re going to leave on your skin. It’s the decision to move forward with scars.

Forgiveness isn’t about letting injustice reign. It’s about creating your own justice, your own karma and your own destiny. It’s about getting back onto your feet and deciding that the rest of your life isn’t going to be miserable because of what happened to you. It means walking bravely into the future, with every scar and callous you’ve incurred along the way. Forgiveness means saying that you’re not going to let what happened to you define you any longer.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you are giving up all of your power. Forgiveness means you’re finally ready to take it back.

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Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/heidi-priebe/2015/06/read-this-if-theres-someone-you-cant-forgive

Progressives Take On New Yorks Democratic Machine In Historic Primary

The Resistance is coming ― for New York’s Democrats.

The blue bastion, which nominates Democrats for state office on Thursday, has a liberal reputation. In practice, however, its state government is corrupt, undemocratic and beholden to a handful of rogue Democrats who have effectively blocked progressive priorities, including protections for undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers, increased support for abortion rights and the modernization of voting rules.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul and eight renegade Democratic state senators all face robust primary challenges Thursday. The left is backing Fordham law professor Zephyr Teachout in a vicious three-way battle for attorney general, and a new crop of local activists are vying for spots in the Democratic Party’s influential but little-known county committees. 

Polls close in New York at 9 p.m. Thursday. Here’s what’s at stake. 

J. Conrad Williams Jr./pool via REUTERS
Cynthia Nixon is credited with nudging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to the left, but few predict an upset win for her in the New York Democratic gubernatorial primary on Thursday.

Andrew Cuomo, Progressive Villain?

The highest-profile Democratic primary in New York ― the contest between Cuomo and actress Cynthia Nixon ― will be the toughest one for progressives to win.

There are few Democrats in American politics who elicit as much scorn from the activist left as Cuomo. To these critics, Cuomo uniquely personifies the sort of inauthentic and transactionalbig-money-driven politics that has helped sink the Democratic Party to its lowest point of national strength since the 1920s.

Cuomo has drawn the ire of many in the party base for enabling GOP control of the state Senate, first by approving its gerrymandering plan and then by reportedly blessing the formation of the Independent Democratic Conference, or IDC, a breakaway faction of Democrats that handed Republicans power. He is likewise loathed for cutting corporate taxes andeducation spendingcozying up to corporate donors, employing close aides who were convicted of corruptionneglecting the New York City subway system and reveling in political dirty tricks

Nixon’s showing that you actually can stand up to bullies and effect real policy change. Joe Dinkin, Working Families Party

In short, knocking out Cuomo would be by far the biggest progressive primary win in this election cycle and would set New York on a path to take its place among the most progressive state governments. Beating back his money advantage alone ― he raised $35.6 million to Nixon’s $2.5 million ― would spook establishment Democrats across the country. 

If the polls and pundits are to be believed, however, Nixon stands little chance of unseating Cuomo on Thursday. Nixon trails the governor by 41 percentage points in the latest public poll.

New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams, who is running for lieutenant governor as Nixon’s running mate, likely has a better shot of defeating Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, a moderate Democrat from upstate characterized by her loyalty to Cuomo. As The New York Times noted in its endorsement of Williams, he could bring a much-needed check on Cuomo’s power to what is ordinarily a symbolic role.

Voters interested in pressuring Cuomo to the left may still consider voting for Nixon.  

Cuomo, who is rumored to be considering a 2020 presidential run, will have his eye on the margin of victory. If Nixon outperforms Teachout, who shocked the state by picking up 34 percent of the vote against Cuomo in 2014, Cuomo may give additional progressive reforms serious thought.

Teachout’s primary challenge already nudged Cuomo in a considerably more progressive direction. In his second term, Cuomo banned fracking, raised the minimum wage to $15, passed paid family leave and created a paltry college scholarship program that nonetheless improved on the status quo.

And since Nixon’s entry into the race, Cuomo has restored voting rights for paroled felons, released a state study that reviewed marijuana legalization favorably and, perhaps most significantly, in April struck a deal to end the IDC (albeit after passage of the state budget in March). The Nixon campaign has dubbed the shift the “Cynthia effect.”

Regardless of the outcome, “Nixon’s showing that you actually can stand up to bullies and effect real policy change,” argued Joe Dinkin, head of campaigns at the Nixon-backing Working Families Party.

Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images
New York state Sen. Jeffrey Klein, former chairman of the Independent Democratic Conference, faces a fierce primary challenge from Alessandra Biaggi.

Democrats In Name Only

Progressive prospects are brighter for the challenges against eight former members of the Independent Democratic Conference, the group of rogue Democrats that ensured Republican control of the state Senate from 2013 to 2018 in exchange for higher pay and other perks. Together with Simcha Felder, another Democrat who caucuses with Republicans, the IDC prevented a raft of key progressive legislation passed in the Democratic-controlled Assembly from even coming up for a vote. GOP control of the state Senate has denied New York the opportunity to become a progressive leader on immigration, women’s rights, climate change, and single-payer health care.

Although the IDC alliance lingered in obscurity for many years, after Donald Trump’s presidential election in 2016, activists began waking up to the scandalous arrangement, and New York’s congressional delegation soon followed suit. State Sen. Michael Gianaris, now chairman of New York’s reunited Senate Democratic Conference, led the effort to recruit challengers for the IDC members (though he has remained neutral since April as part of the deal Cuomo brokered for IDC members to return to the fold).

Punishing the former members of the group is a priority for New Yorkers eager to establish the state as a bulwark against Trump’s agenda and ensure that no future Democratic lawmakers engage in any similar betrayal of their party.

“The states can’t be a laboratory for progressive ideals if you don’t control the state Senate,” said a New York Democratic strategist who requested anonymity in order to speak freely.

Traditionally the New York state legislature has a re-election rate slightly higher than the Soviet politburo. Democratic strategist

The strategist also noted that unified control of state government allows Democrats to at least threaten the prospect of retaliation for Republican gerrymandering elsewhere in the country, providing the party a better chance at taking control of the U.S. House.

The candidates challenging former IDC members are Alessandra Biaggi in the Bronx and Westchester (Senate District 34); Jessica Ramos in northwestern Queens (13); Zellnor Myrie in central Brooklyn (20); Robert Jackson in Upper Manhattan (31); John Liu in northeastern Queens (11); Julie Goldberg in Rockland County and part of Westchester (38); Rachel May in metropolitan Syracuse (53); and Jasmine Robinson in Staten Island (23).

All eight candidates are progressives who back the implementation of state-level single-payer health care and support stronger protections for tenants, ensuring that their election would dramatically change the character of the legislative chamber. Those stances and others have won them the support of the Working Families Party, the New York-based group also backing Nixon’s gubernatorial bid.

The IDC challengers face an easier task than does Nixon because they can make a simple partisan case against ex-IDC members in addition to an ideological one.

Biaggi, who is taking on ex-IDC leader Jeff Klein ― the man activists call the “head of the snake” and who has been accused of sexual misconduct by a former staffer ― illustrates this phenomenon. A former deputy operations manager for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, Biaggi subsequently worked as an attorney in Cuomo’s office, where reproductive rights legislation she was working on for Cuomo could not come up for a vote because Republican Senate leadership that Klein had empowered would not permit it. (Biaggi has not endorsed anyone in the governor’s race; of the anti-IDC candidates, only Ramos, Jackson and May are backing Nixon.)

Unlike Biaggi’s congresswoman-to-be, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has canvassed for her, Biaggi stops short of describing herself as a “socialist” (“Wouldn’t Jeff Klein love it if I did?”). She identifies as a “progressive” but is keenest to emphasize to voters on their doorsteps that she, unlike Klein, is a “real Democrat.”

Several of the IDC challengers, as they are known, have picked up key momentum in recent weeks, including an outpouring of volunteers, and endorsements from labor unions and prominent elected officials.

Many New York poll watchers expect three to four IDC challengers to prevail. The most commonly named are Biaggi, Ramos, Jackson and Myrie, all of whom won the blessing of the New York Times editorial board and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).

Even if all eight win, Felder needs to return to the fold or another Republican senator needs to lose for Democrats to retake the majority. (Felder is also being challenged by attorney Blake Morris, but he is a long shot in the race.) 

But the mere fact that the seats are competitive is enough to shake up New York politics and possibly keep the heat on Cuomo to usher in more reforms.

“Traditionally the New York state legislature has a re-election rate slightly higher than the Soviet politburo,” the Democratic strategist said.

Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Zephyr Teachout, candidate for state attorney general, speaks in front of Cynthia Nixon on Aug. 8, when the two endorsed each other.

New York’s Top Cop

The New York attorney general holds one of the most powerful offices in the country, though its occupant rarely puts that power to much use against the state’s business titans. With so much of the American corporate and financial world ― including the Trump Organization ― headquartered in New York, the attorney general has prosecutorial jurisdiction over everything from Wall Street to the president’s business books.

With Cuomo likely to survive his primary challenge, the open attorney general post is also the best hope for cleaning up the notorious corruption in New York politics. Teachout has won a national audience on the American left for her anti-corruption work and has earned the endorsement of The New York Times and the New York Daily News.

New York City Public Advocate Letitia James has the support of virtually the entire New York political establishment ― an embrace that has often been a liability in an election year dominated by outsider enthusiasm and status quo discontent.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), doesn’t have James’ endorsements but is supported by millions of dollars raised from real estate developers, Wall Street banks and corporate law firms through a novel campaign finance structure that may be illegal.

Polling has consistently shown a wide-open race: There are more undecided voters than there are supporters for any particular candidate.

Queens Party Bosses Exposed

When the Queens County Democratic Party filled the ranks of its county committee with the names of people who never agreed to run for the elected office and used enforcement of technicalities to disqualify newcomers, it was business as usual.

But when the disqualified candidates fought back with a lawsuit and exposed the scandal in The New York Times, it was a sign that even in New York’s most corrupt backwaters, change is afoot. 

The Queens County Democratic Party committee is a panel of more than 1,000 local Democrats meant to serve as a board of “block captains,” who represent the needs of local Democrats to the county party’s leadership and beyond.

In practice, it has become a patronage body that established players can use to ram through appointments to local judgeships ― and seats on the city elections board, which, of course, is the body that threw out the ballots of the newcomers.

The rejected petitioners were mainly comprised of members of the New Queens Democrats, a reform-minded political club that wants the county committee to meet more frequently and be more transparent about its makeup, goals and meetings. One of them, Jesse Rose, an attorney, sued on behalf of the petitioners, though the ballot rejections were ultimately upheld by the state elections board.

As someone always really invested in national politics, it’s opened my eyes to how important it is to get involved locally, and that matters no matter where you live. Deb Scher, New Queens Democrats petitioner

The lawsuit has nonetheless generated political attention for the petitioners who now have allies like New York City Councilman Costa Constantinides. The petitioners now stand a chance of being appointed to the committee by the Queens County Democratic Party, but they will not appear on the ballot. 

“As someone always really invested in national politics, it’s opened my eyes to how important it is to get involved locally, and that matters no matter where you live,” said Deb Scher, one of the petitioners from the New Queens Democrats.

It’s no surprise then that for progressive leaders Thursday’s elections are as much about democratizing an ossified, corrupt political system as they are about any one given policy.

“We’re looking at the potential toppling of the corporate-driven Democratic Party in New York, which is a machine that’s been in New York for decades upon decades going all the way back to Boss Tweed,” said Jonathan Westin, executive director of New York Communities for Change, a low-income advocacy group backing the various progressive primary candidates.

“New York is one of the biggest Democratic states in the nation,” Westin added. Progressive victories on Thursday “would have huge effects in terms of how Democrats are standing up to corporations and Wall Street and real estate interests, and really actually working on behalf of the people. That’s what’s at stake here.”

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/progressives-challenge-new-york-democratic-machine-cynthia-nixon-zephyr-teachout_us_5b987450e4b0cf7b00448b0a

Sounds like Jon Hamm would be interested in playing Batman

Jon Hamm, future Batman?
Image: Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)

There have been been rumours and speculation about Ben Affleck stepping down as Batman for a long time now — and with the recent reports that Henry Cavill may also be on his way out as Superman, they’ve been given a fresh lease of life.

The question is, who would replace him?

Well, there would probably be no shortage of actors lining up — and it sounds like Jon Hamm is keen to place himself towards the front of the queue.

“It depends on the script, what the story is,” Hamm recently told Graham Bensinger during an In Depth interview, per the Hollywood Reporter. “I am a huge comic book fan, always have been. I’ve read comic books since I was nine or younger. And I’m pretty knowledgeable about a lot of them. And I like the genre, and I like when they’re done well.”

“I’d probably fit the suit.”

Hamm went on to say that he’s heard rumours of fans calling for him to play Batman since the early days of Mad Men — but so far it’s not something he’s ever discussed with anyone.

“I have never been offered anything,” he said. “I think the internet wants what it wants. But, I mean, a lot of people have to sign off on that, obviously not just the internet.” 

So would Hamm be interested if someone were to approach him about the role?

“I’d probably fit the suit,” he said. “I’d have to work out a lot, which I don’t love. But, I am sure there’s an interesting version of that being out there. 

“And if they wanted to tap me on the shoulder and ask me to do it, why not?” 

Why not, indeed.

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/jon-hamm-batman/

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