Fairy tales are an intrinsic part of our lives: in childhood, we are entertained and educated by the lessons imparted in their stories, and later in life, they continue to inspire and be adapted into popular culture, spawning new books, movies, television and video games.

While some of our oldest fairy tales can be traced to the 6th century storyteller Aesop, there is some contention that he based his stories on older fables. 19th century author Wilhelm Grimm said that he believed that the tales that he and his brother Jacob authored were thousands of years old, but this idea was dismissed by others shortly afterward. However, a new study shows that the origins of fables that have been retold over the centuries may have roots in our deep past.
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I am at the old house in the Texas Hill Country west of Austin where so many of the experiences I related in the Secret School took place. It is as sweet a night as Texas has to offer, softly touched by moonlight, graced by a cool south breeze. Half an hour ago, there were three familiar cries out in the dark, and I think that, after all these years, the visitors might be near me again.

Once, I would have been afraid. No longer. Not that I don’t think that they can be dangerous, but rather that I am surrendered to the unknown. I have never known what they are. Aliens, perhaps. Equally possible, it seems to me, that they are us dancing with itself in some way that we can barely even begin to understand.
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Science has great news for bibliophiles who can’t quite get the same buzz from downloading an e-book onto their Kindle as they do from the purchase of a good old-fashioned paper novel.

Aside from the fact that Kindle removes the sensory experience of book-ownership – you can’t touch, flick through, even smell a Kindle book – a recent study has suggested that readers who attempt to absorb information from an e-book are less likely to remember facts that those who read the same information from the printed page.
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You may think you’ve read everything that Whitley Strieber has written, but you HAVEN’T, because his beautiful novel The Secret of Orenda, a thriller about a lost Indian tribe that remembers the secrets of the past, has just been published for your summer reading pleasure. In it Whitley explores the question of what has been lost by creating a hidden Indian tribe called Orenda, who still preserve those secrets. Known only to a few initiates, the people of Orenda continue the ancient ways. But even the wildest places are under threat, and this ancient people, who know nothing of the modern world, are discovered—and become a sensation.read more