12 Books You Didn’t Know Were Based Off True Stories

12 Books You Didn’t Know Were Based Off True Stories

Here’s a list of books you might not have known were actually based on true stories and events! Ranging from heartwarming to downright bone chilling, these books are sure to give you a run for your money!


1.  A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

A memoir written by Ishmael Beah who was once a child soldier of Sierra Leone. At the ripe age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wondered a land unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he’d been picked up by the government army, and became a soldier.

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2.  American Sniper by Chris Kyle

From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in the United States military history. The pentagon officially confirmed more than 150 kills. After 9/11 he was thrust into the front lines of the War on Terror and found his calling as a world class sniper who performed best under fire.

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3. Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden

On October 3, 1993, about a hundred U.S. soldiers were dropped by helicopter into a teeming market in the heart of Mogadishu, Somalia, to abduct two top lieutenants of a Somali warlord. The action was supposed to take an hour. Instead, they spent a long and terrible night fighting thousands of armed Somalis. By morning, eighteen Americans were dead, and more than seventy badly injured.

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4. Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan

When twenty-four-year-old Susannah Cahalan woke up alone in a hospital room, strapped to her bed and unable to move or speak, she had no memory of how she’d gotten there. Days earlier, she had been on the threshold of a new, adult life: at the beginning of her first serious relationship and a promising career at a major New York newspaper. Now she was labeled violent, psychotic, a flight risk. What happened?

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5. Catching the Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort

In the go-go nineties Jordan Belfort proved to Wall Street that you didn’t need to be on Wall Street to make a fortune in the stock market. But his company, Stratton Oakmont, worked differently. When Jordan’s empire crashed, the man who had become legend was cornered into a five-year stint cooperating with the feds.

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6.  Felix the Railway Cat by Kate Moore

When Felix arrived at Huddersfield Railway Station as an eight-week-old kitten, no one knew just how important this little ball of fluff would become. Felix is much more than just an employee of TransPennine Express. For her colleagues and the station’s commuters, Felix has changed their lives in surprising ways.

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7. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

Shots rang out in Savannah’s grandest mansion in the misty, early morning hours of May 2, 1981. Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares. John Berendt’s sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction.

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8. Psycho by Martin Sixsmith

It was a dark and stormy night when Mary Crane glimpsed the unlit neon sign announcing the vacancy at the Bates motel. Exhausted, lost, and at the end of her rope, she was eager for a hot shower and a bed for the night. Her room was musty but clean and the plumbing worked. Norman Bates, the manager, seemed nice, if a little odd.

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9. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

Murderer  Henry H. Holmes, a young doctor who, in a malign parody of the White City, built his “World’s Fair Hotel” just west of the fairgrounds—a torture palace complete with dissection table, gas chamber, and 3,000-degree crematorium. What makes the story all the more chilling is that Holmes really lived, walking the grounds of that dream city by the lake.  Daniel Hudson Burnham the fair’s brilliant director of works had to overcome tremendous obstacles and tragedies.

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10. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town.

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11. The Lost Child of Philomena Lee by Martin Sixsmith

The heartbreaking true story of an Irishwoman and the secret she kept for 50 years. When she became pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena Lee was sent to a convent to be looked after as a “fallen woman.” Then the nuns took her baby from her and sold him, like thousands of others, to America for adoption. Fifty years later, Philomena decided to find him. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, Philomena’s son was trying to find her.

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12. Tokyo Vice by Jake Adelstein

At nineteen, Jake Adelstein went to Japan in search of peace and tranquility. What he got was a life of crime . . . crime reporting, that is, at the prestigious Yomiuri Shinbun. For twelve years of eighty-hour workweeks, he covered the seedy side of Japan, where extortion, murder, human trafficking, and corruption are as familiar as ramen noodles and sake. But when his final scoop brought him face to face with Japan’s most infamous yakuza boss—and the threat of death for him and his family—Adelstein decided to step down . . . momentarily. Then, he fought back.

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12 Amazing Ideas For a Hunger Games Book Night

12 Amazing Ideas for a Hunger Games Book Night

It’s time to grab your tracker jacker repellent and bow and arrows!  If you are looking for a Hunger Games themed book night, then look no further. We have the cornucopia of ideas for all your tribute needs! Even the capitol would be impressed! May the odds be ever in your favor.

1. Fruit Cornucopias


2. Printable Signs

Download Printable Signs Here


3. Resin Bottle Cap Pins

View Tutorial Here


4.  Tracker Jacker Nest

View It Here


5. Table Setting

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6. Deadly Nightlock Punch

View Recipe Here


7. Hunger Games Themed scavenger Hunt


8. Sponsor Parachutes

View It Here


9. DIY T-Shirts

Download Designs Here


10. Invitations

View It Here


11. Mocking Jay Cookie Piping

View Recipe Here


12. Reaping Jar

View It Here



Books Hitting the Big Screen in 2018

A lot of amazing books are hitting the big screen this year. Make sure to check out all these exciting new feature films and TV series heading your way this 2018! You can pick up a copy of these books from eCampus.com to alleviate your wait for these films!  

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Summary: After the disappearance of her scientist father, three peculiar beings send Meg, her brother, and her friend to space in order to find him.

Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Gugu Mbatha Raw

Release Date: March 9, 2018

More Movie Details | Buy the Book


Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Summary: a group of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, and our narrator, a biologist sign up for a dangerous, secret expedition where the laws of nature don’t apply.

Starring: Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Oscar Isaac

Release Date: February 23, 2018

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Boy Erased by Garrard Conley

Summary: The son of a baptist preacher is forced to participate in a church-supported gay conversion program.

Starring: Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Cherry Jones

Release Date: September 28, 2018

More Movie Details | Buy the Book


Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Summary: Three wealthy Chinese families prepare for the wedding of the year.

Starring: Constance Wu, Michelle Yeoh, Henry Golding, Chris Pang

Release Date: August 17, 2018

More Movie Details | Buy the Book


Dietland by Sarai Walker

Summary: A look at society’s obsession with weight loss and fashion as seen through the eyes of those who work in the beauty industry.

Starring: Genevieve Adams, Erin Darke, Ricardo Davila, Mark Tallman

Release Date: 2018 (TBA) on AMC

More TV Series Details | Buy the Book


Drama High (Rise) by Michael Sokolove

Summary: Based on a true story, a working class high school drama department and the students come alive under a passionate teacher and family man whose dedication to the program galvanizes the entire town.

Starring: Auli’i Cravalho, Ellie Desautels, Amy Forsyth

Release Date: March 13, 2018 on NBC

More TV Series Details | Buy the Book


First Man by James R. Hansen

Summary: A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong, and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969.

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jon Bernthal

Release Date: October 12, 2018

More Movie Details | Buy the Book


Forever My Girl by Heidi McLaughlin

Summary: After being gone for a decade a country star returns home to the love he left behind.

Starring: Alex Roe, Jessica Rothe, John Benjamin Hickey

Release Date: January 19, 2018

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Horse Soldiers (12 Strong) by Doug Stanton

Summary: 12 Strong tells the story of the first Special Forces team deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11; under the leadership of a new captain, the team must work with an Afghan warlord to take down for the Taliban.

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Pena, Trevante Rhodes

Release Date: January 19, 2018

More Movie Details | Buy the Book


Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Summary: When the creator of a virtual reality world called the OASIS dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all OASIS users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune. Wade Watts finds the first clue and starts a race for the Egg.

Starring: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Hannah John-Kamen

Release Date: March 30, 2018

More Movie Details | Buy the Book


Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews

Summary: Ballerina Dominika Egorova is recruited to ‘Sparrow School’ a Russian intelligence service where she is forced to use her body as a weapon. But her first mission, targeting a CIA agent, threatens to unravel the security of both nations

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerson, Jeremy Irons

Release Date: March 2, 2018

More Movie Details | Buy the Book


Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Summary: A reporter confronts the psychological demons from her past when she returns to her hometown to cover a violent murder.

Starring: Amy Adams, April Brinson, Violet Brinson

Release Date: June 2018 on HBO

More TV Series Details | Buy the Book


Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler

Summary: Following 22-year-old Tess who, shortly after arriving in New York City, lands a job at a celebrated downtown restaurant and learns to navigate the chaotically alluring, yet punishing life she has stumbled upon.

Starring: Daniyar, Eden Epstein, Caitlin FitzGerald

Release Date: May 6, 2018 on Starz

More TV Series Details | Buy the Book


The Alienist by Caleb Carr

Summary: Crime reporter, John Moore, meets with psychologist, Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, to investigate a serial killer in New York during the late 19th century.

Starring: Daniel Brühl, Dakota Fanning, Luke Evans

Release Date: January 22, 2018 on TNT

More TV Series Details | Buy the Book


The Dangerous Book for Boys by Hal Iggulden

Summary: The story of a middle-class family coping with the sudden passing of their beloved patriarch Patrick, a whimsical inventor who touched the lives of all who knew him. Devastated, his family finds hope in a guide book he created for his sons.

Starring: Gabriel Bateman, Drew Powell, Kyan Zielinski

Release Date: 2018 (TBA) on Amazon

More TV Series Details | Buy the Book


The Girl In the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz

Summary: Young computer hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist find themselves caught in a web of spies, cybercriminals and corrupt government officials.

Starring: Claire Foy, Cameron Britton, Sylvia Hoeks, Claes Bang, Sverrir Gudnason

Release Date: October 19, 2018

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Summary: A writer forms an unexpected bond with the residents of Guernsey Island in the aftermath of World War II when she decides to write a book about their experiences during the war.

Starring: Matthew Goode, Lily James, Jessica Brown Findlay

Release Date: April 19, 2018

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The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Summary: Four seekers arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House.

Starring: Logan Medina, Arianne Martin, Jeremy Ambler

Release Date: 2018 (TBA) on Netflix

More TV Series Details | Buy the Book


Maze Runner: The Death Cure by James Dashner

Summary: Young hero Thomas embarks on a mission to find a cure for a deadly disease known as the “Flare”.

Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Rosa Salazar, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Kaya Scodelario

Release Date: January 26, 2018

More Movie Details | Buy the Book


Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Summary: After her anxiety-ridden mother disappears, 15-year-old Bee does everything she can to track her down, discovering her troubled past in the process.

Starring: Cate Blanchett, Kristen Wiig, Judy Greer

Release Date: May 11, 2018

More Movie Details | Buy the Book


You by Caroline Kepnes

Summary: A clever bookstore manager relies on his savvy Internet know-how to make the woman of his dreams fall in love with him.

Starring: Penn Badgley, Kathryn Gallagher, Victoria Cartagena

Release Date: 2018 (TBA) on Lifetime

More TV Series Details | Buy the Book


Thanks, College.

Common real-world skills we learned at college, in or out of the classroom.

  1. Parallel parking: If you’re from the city this might not apply to you, or if you don’t have a car. For those of us from the suburbs or country with a car on campus, we learned to parallel park soon after arriving to college.  This skill comes in handy often when travelling home, to the city, or on vacation.  It also widens your parking possibilities in any situation.
  2. Tolerance for extreme temperatures: As the weather gets colder, we adapt to walking across campus in the cold, with the wind blowing through our layers of jackets and long-johns. We learn in our first semesters to bundle up and forget about being cute.
  3. Independence: Whether you were looking forward to this or not, you become more independent in college. You have to if you go to college more than about an hour away from home.  You (hopefully) learn how to do your laundry, budget your money, clean your room without being prompted, and study and do homework on your own free will.
  4. Time management: Sometimes, it takes people their whole college careers to get this down, but everyone learns throughout their college life how important time management is. Some people know the importance of it and still choose to manage their time badly.  You have to balance classes, studying, work, friends, sleep, eating, and mental health.  Usually this “balance” involves giving up one or more of these things, which one depends on your priorities.
  5. Multi-tasking: You may have been good at this before college, but you’ll be a master by the time you graduate. Multitasking can look like many things: eating while you work, study, or walk to class, taking homework to work, or considering meeting with a study group to be hanging out with friends.


We learn a lot in college that may have nothing to do with our degrees, but these skills or pieces of knowledge are just as important as the information we learn in class.  What are some skills you’ve learned in college that have become useful in real life?  What are you most thankful for?

Time Flies – How to Slow Down & Enjoy It

Is it just me or is time moving way too fast?! Yet another semester over and another begins. Gretchen Rubin famously wrote, “The days are long, but the years are short.” Every day has a monotonous undertone and this is due to the fact that I know my schedule like the back of my hand. I am unconsciously going about the week as it is a good schedule, but a familiar one. Maybe you can relate, but I am here to tell you there are ways to perceive time more slowly. We do not have to be time’s hostage in this life. We are human and we will use our humanity as a tool to deliberately manipulate time. Here are some easy tricks to assist you in your life if you feel time slipping by too briskly.

Appreciate the little things

It is no secret that as we grow older, we take things for granted. Our computers, phones, cars, home, and even friends and family. You cannot blame us either as it is due to hedonic adaptation: the phenomenon where humans have a tendency to quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events or life changes. When you receive a new phone, it feels like the most ingenious device ever invented by man. Then after a month or two goes by, you are back to your “it’s just a phone” mindset. Could you imagine your life without a phone? This piece of metal and glass that connects you with most anyone and has all of the information published thus far in history, but you still throw it around to fidget with.

The point is, to welcome novelty into your life. Remember when you were a child and everything was mind blowing to you? Induce a little childlike wonder into your day-to-day. Darwin said, “Attention, if sudden and close, graduates into surprise; and this into astonishment; and this into stupefied amazement.” Take just about anything into your hands and really focus on it. Think about how much work has gone into making this thing, what it can do for you, and if it did not exist. You will quickly learn to be thankful for this object and see it differently every time you see it again. A little bit of gratitude goes a long way.

Plan for things

Do you remember the month of December as a child? Did it not feel like an eternity until winter holidays? Anxiously awaiting your gifts as you see presents begin to slowly appear under a tree in your living room. We can use the same principle as a tool in our lives. Plan for a trip or some event way in the future. Make it something you really want to do to be enthusiastic for it. Have a countdown timer that you can always refer to to shorten your patience. It is similar to if I asked you to close your eyes and not say anything. Then, tell me when you believe three minutes have passed. Minutes would drag on as when you focus on time, it slows down.

Don’t plan for other things

Planning a fun trip is a great way to slow time and have an adventure by the end of it, but how can I slow time down even more every day? Being spontaneous is an enjoyable tactic that you can perform with the free time you possess. Instead of binge watching Netflix shows, go for a walk or a bike ride in your area. If one sat down and watched shows all day versus taking a leisurely stroll through town, who would you say had a longer and more enriching time? It is important to shake up the routine often to be a more well-rounded person. When you feel yourself apart of your own familiar agenda with free time, this should be a cue to do something different. Go visit a new coffee shop and read a book or take a drive and bring along a coin to decide which way you turn. An added plus is when you are more spontaneous, you are going to be a better time to be around. We all like the person that flips the script when you are with them.

Learn a new hobby

Last time I ask you to think back to your childhood. Remember learning an instrument or practicing a sport? How long did it take you to learn cursive? Learning is a process and while it should be fun, it is also taxing on your mind. We can use this for our benefit to elongate the fourth dimension. Pick up a new skill be it drawing, gardening, cooking, photography, coding, or dancing. As a personal preference, it is good to pick a hobby that has a tangible result so the progress you make is clearly shown. This will make your motivation to stick with it more difficult to diminish. There is also no need to be hard on yourself with learning a new hobby. Remember that you are doing this to make your life more interesting and vivid.

There is an overarching theme throughout these tricks and that is to be mindful of yourself and anything not yourself. Taking in the world with a fresh pair of eyes can be the difference between a life of banality or a life of excitement. Living life to the fullest while we can, is the only fulfilling option we hold. Be grateful for our friends and family for being people we can trust and knowing that they trust us. To beat eternity is to stretch every moment into an eternity.