Dystopian literature is catching fire

The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins consists of The Hunger Games (2008), Catching Fire (2009), and Mockingjay (2010). The first two books in the series were both New York Times best sellers, and Mockingjay topped all U.S. bestseller lists upon its release.

The Hunger Games trilogy is a form of dystopian literature. (Credit: Lionsgate)

The Hunger Games trilogy is a form of dystopian literature. (Credit: Lionsgate)

The popularity of these young adult science fiction adventure novels has created a corresponding surge in interest in dystopian literature. Read more

Read free books online: Over 5,000 titles on Questia

If you want to read free books online, there are over 5,000 public domain, classic and rare titles in the Questia library that you can read online absolutely free! Questia is the perfect research tool for students, professors, and curious minds everywhere.

Huckleberry Finn is one of numerous free books available on Questia. (Credit: SciFi Mania)

Huckleberry Finn is one of numerous free books available on Questia. (Credit: SciFi Mania)

You probably know that Questia offers subscribers full access to the world’s largest online library of books and journal articles as well as magazine and newspaper articles, but did you know that even non-subscribers can read books for free on the website? Read more

How to power through your summer reading list

Summertime—a period when college students get to kick back and just relax. Who cares if you forget half of what you learned during the last semester, right? Not so fast, doing some summer reading will not only keep your brain sharp, but also give you a head start on classes in the fall.

You can still enjoy the great outdoors while you finish your summer reading list. (Credit: presta HertzaHaeon)

You can still enjoy the great outdoors while you finish your summer reading list. (Credit: presta HertzaHaeon)

No one is saying you have to read War and Peace, but the benefits of adding some of the written word into your diet of sun and fun from June through August may just outlast your tan. Here are some things to consider when creating or selecting your summer reading list. Read more

Children’s literature classic made into film adaptation

Once again, Hollywood has turned to a beloved icon of children’s literature for its latest film adaptation. The Paddington Bear movie, to be released on Christmas Day 2014 in the United States, will star Nicole Kidman as an evil taxidermist with her eye on the marmalade-loving creature, and Hugh Bonneville and Julie Walters as Paddington’s adopted parents, the Browns.

The children's literature book Paddington Bear is being turned into a film adaptation. (Credit: Shine a light)

The children’s literature book Paddington Bear is being turned into a film adaptation. (Credit: Shine a light)

But who will voice Paddington now that Colin Firth will not be playing the part? For your next literature or film studies research paper, learn about how children’s literature books compare to their film adaptations. Read more

“The Fault in Our Stars” is a must-see

Fans of novelist John Green, also known as “nerdfighters,” are predicted to flock to see the film, “The Fault in Our Stars.” Green, who is known for his young adult novels and his popular YouTube videos, will likely enlarge his loyal following with this story of young lovers fighting cancer.

"The Fault in Our Stars" hits movie screens on June 6, 2014. (Credit: Tumblr)

“The Fault in Our Stars” hits movie screens on June 6, 2014. (Credit: Tumblr)

What could easily be a soppy and sentimental story rings with truth and real feeling. Green’s connection with his readers comes from his commitment to authenticity. Moviegoers will see that same commitment on the screen. Read more

HBO’s “The Normal Heart” takes on AIDS epidemic

HBO films will release their production of The Normal Heart, based on the play by Larry Kramer. The adaptation by Ryan Murphy features such big name actors as Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo and centers around the 1980s AIDS epidemic and the ensuing rise of gay activism.

The Normal Heart will make its HBO debut on May 25. (Credit: Swide)

The Normal Heart will make its HBO debut on May 25. (Credit: Swide)

Many are excited about the film, while others are concerned that The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer casts the homosexual community in a bad light. Preserving the stories and the important figures of the gay rights movement is a vital area of ongoing research. So where does the HBO adaptation of Kramer’s play fit in? Read more

“The Real History of Science Fiction” as a research paper topic

Science fiction plays an important role in modern culture and aspirations for the future. Once considered just a genre for adolescent boys, sci-fi is true literary fiction, television and film that lets all of us ask “What if?” It reflects our societal worries and fears, it lets us dream of wonderful science and technology-filled futures and it creates cautionary tales of disaster if we don’t change our selfish ways. The cable channel BBC America is airing a four-part documentary series “The Real History of Science Fiction.” The show offers good research paper topics; follow along to learn about science fiction’s history, legacy, and cultural influences.

The cast of BBC America's "The Real History of Science Fiction." (Credit: Matthew Jackson)

The cast of BBC America’s “The Real History of Science Fiction.” (Credit: Matthew Jackson)

The show’s four episodes are dedicated to space, time travel, alien invasions, and robots and cyborgs. Read more

What we learned from author Gabriel García Márquez, Nobel Peace Prize winner

A Nobel Peace Prize winner and perhaps one of the most famous Latin American writers, Gabriel García Márquez died April 17, 2014, at the age of 87. The master of magic realism, the influential Colombian writer is best known for his novels One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera. Gabriel García Márquez and his work are ripe for research into his handling of magic realism and how he shaped not only Latin American literature, but also all literature at the end of the 20th century. If you have never read any of his works, now would be the perfect time to start.

One of the many essential quotes made by Gabriel García Márquez during his successful writing career. (Credit: Enrique Limón)

One of the many essential quotes made by Gabriel García Márquez during his successful writing career. (Credit: Enrique Limón)

Gabriel García Márquez’s influences

Born in 1927 in the Colombian coast town of Aracataca, author Gabriel García Márquez was raised by his grandparents, who not only shaped his life, but his writing as well. Read more

Muppets Most Wanted: Perfect film studies research topic

Scene from Muppets' latest film Muppets Most Wanted. (Credit: YouTube screen shot)

Scene from Muppets’ latest film Muppets Most Wanted. (Credit: YouTube screen shot)

The Muppets have been around since the 1950s, and they became household icons in 1976, when The Muppet Show hit the air. Follow that with feature films, Webby-award winning YouTube videos, and a return to feature films with 2011’s The Muppets, and you’ve got more than sixty years of Muppet history. On March 21, 2014, the latest entry into the Muppet canon hit theaters with Muppets Most Wanted, starring (alongside the Muppets) Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, and Tina Fey.

Like the many Muppet films before it, Muppets Most Wanted continues to rely on self-referential humor and breaking the fourth wall, engaging the audience as participants in the story rather than just watchers. Read more

Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods” and “Anansi Boys” as media and literature research paper topics

English writer Neil Gaiman. (Credit: pinguino k)

English writer Neil Gaiman. (Credit: pinguino k)

Neil Gaiman is no stranger to the screen. His novel “Neverwhere” began its life as a BBC mini-series. His novels, “Mirror Mask,” “Stardust,” and “Coraline,” have all been adapted as movies. Gaiman wrote an adaptation of Beowulf for the big screen and, more recently, penned two episodes of “Doctor Who.” So while it is unsurprising that his fiction is being adapted for television, the news that his novels, “American Gods” and “Anansi Boys,” are on their way toward production, by Freemantle Media and Red Productions respectively, is being cheered by Gaiman’s fans. If you are looking for a good research paper topic in media studies or for a speculative literature course, consider speculating on the elements in these novels that will translate well to the screen.

“American Gods”

In “Neil’s odysseys and oddities: Neil Gaiman’s new book is a history lesson for Americans,” Alison Jones of the Birmingham Post called “American Gods,” the novel, upon its release, “a surreal road trip that seems to be part Jack Kerouac, part ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.’” Read more