Tag Archives Literature

Cutest Accessories for Book Lovers

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Are you a die-hard book lover? Do you or someone you know absolutely love curling up with a good book? With winter now in full swing and the cold weather upon us, there has never been a better time to grab a book and cozy up for a few hours (or days!) to enjoy some quality alone time. For all my fellow literature fans, here are some cute accessories for book lovers.cute accessories for book lovers

Floating Shelves

For anyone wanting something a little different from that classic bookshelf look, try these floating shelves! These shelves come as a set of three and are a perfect addition to the home of any book lover. They are not only incredibly cool and unique, they also save a ton of floor space where an ordinary bookshelf would go. Give them a try!

Nessie Bookmark

This is quite possible the cutest bookmark around (and I’ve seen my faircute accessories for book lovers share of cute bookmarks). At only $10 from Amazon, this is the perfect accessory for anyone who loves reading. These are ideal gifts for friends, family, and even yourself! Treat yourself to something that will brighten your day every time you look at it.

Literary Postcards

These literary postcards show 100 depictions/graphics of some of the most famous literary quotes ever. From Jane Austen to Edgar Allan Poe, these postcards are a super cool token that can be used for way more than just their intended purpose as a postcard; they can be used as bookmarks, décor, or even wall art.

Library Socks

Not only are these socks completely adorable and ridiculously comfy, they also support a great cause. For every pair that is purchased, some of the profit goes to funding literacy programs and book donations around the world. These socks will feel fantastic, and you’ll feel great knowing you’ve helped spread the love of reading.

Once Upon A Time Necklace

This necklace is a great accessory for anyone who loves books and wants the world to know it. This dainty little charm is adorable and inexpensive (at only $10 on Amazon), making it an ideal gift for the reader in your life (or yourself). Check it out now!

cute accessories for book lovers

Go Away I’m Reading Pillow

Combining both comfort and humor, this pillow is a bookworm’s dream. It is the perfect addition to your book nook! At only $10 from Amazon, there’s no excuse not to have this cute and comfy pillow for your home.

We hope you got some inspiration and ideas for your home with these cute accessories for book lovers.

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Images provided by Creative CommonsFlickrUnsplashPexels & Pixabay

 

Why You Should Add Octavia E. Butler’s Science Fiction Novels to Your Summer Reading List

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If you’re in the process of creating that summer reading list, then you’d better pay attention. You probably saw that Google doodle of Octavia E. Butler on June 22nd, without even realizing who she was or why. How many of us actually take the time to stop and click on Google’s featured doodles? Octavia E. Butler, a science fiction writer, would have celebrated her 71st birthday on Friday, June 22nd. Google chose to honor this pioneering lady on her would-be birthday— and rightfully so. Butler was born in the city of Pasadena, California in the year 1947. She battled dyslexia, but she didn’t let that stop her from achieving her dream of becoming a writer. Why should you add some of Octavia E. Butler’s science fiction novels to your summer reading list? Because she was a game-changer!

Why Octavia E. Butler’s Science Fiction Novels Deserve Your Attention This Summer

Octavia E. Butler wasn’t a published novelist until 1976, with her work Patternmaster. This novel was the first of four in the Patternist series. Goodreads details the series as “a secret history continuing from the Ancient Egyptian period to the far future that involves telepathic mind control and an extraterrestrial plague.” However, Butler didn’t really gain the recognition that she deserved until she published her novel Kindred in 1979. The African American female protagonist is able to time travel back and forth between 1970s Los Angeles and a 19th-century Maryland plantation. Not only did Butler contribute to the genre of science fiction, but she personally pushed the boundaries of societal norms and offered a broader expanse of character perspectives. During Butler’s time, the genre of science fiction was dominated by white males. Luckily, Butler was able to extend the audience of science fiction by including African Americans, feminists, and general fans of science fiction. She’s just as important now as her contributions were then. Plus, you’ll love her dystopian themes.  Even though some years have passed, her literary works are still as relevant as they were when they were published.

Read the full article at Newsweek.

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Why You Should Add Octavia E. Butler to Your Summer Reading List: Featured Photo Credit: The Washington Library.

Out of Print Clothing

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So it goes necklaceFor the bookworms of the world who want to display their affection for literature in more ways than just reading in public places and quoting Hemingway in regular conversation, this is for you. Out of Print Clothing offers a wide range of merchandise for the literary geeks in all of us by spotlighting the best of the best: the classics. Got a thing for Edgar Allan Poe? Stock up on The Raven themed t-shirts and Poe-themed phone cases and tote bags to impress even your high school English teacher. Can’t get enough of Sylvia Plath? Grab the Bell Jar tee and matching “I am” gold-plated necklace, each for $30 or less. Browse the shop for clothing for men, women, children, and yes, even babies! (The Very Hungry Caterpillar, anyone?)
There are also dozens of necklaces, coasters, pouches, notebooks, and matchbooks to choose from. Our particular favorites include this Great Gatsby short-sleeve tee and Slaughterhouse-Five “So it goes” necklace that would make F. Scott Fitzgerald and Kurt Vonnegut proud.
What’s the best part of all this? For each product sold, Out of Print donates one book to a community in need. In fact, Out of Print has helped donate 800,000 books to communities in need through their partnership with Books For Africa. Now you can spurge on graphic tees and matching totes guilt-free. After all: it’s for a cause.
BY MEGAN PORTORREAL
Photographs courtesy of Out of Print Clothing

Lit Lovers Paradise

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Once upon a ti9780385737951_custom-bc4950410127829105beca80a18b38977882d9ef-s6-c30me, I read a little book called Divergent. It’s only sold millions of copies to date and been on countless best-seller lists, but perhaps you’ve heard of it. I was immediately engrossed by the complex characters and the fascinating, albeit a little frightening, world that Veronica Roth so expertly created. In the days that followed, I ignored my body’s need for sleep and zipped through the remaining two books in the series, Insurgent and Allegiant. Though left emotionally and physically drained, the books were nothing if not imaginative and captivating. This became my very favorite series—particularly because I love books that fall into the dystopian genre. When I first discovered that my beloved story was coming to the big screen, I pretty much freaked out. But I know I’m not the only one. You see, we lit lovers have an unhealthy obsession with the fantasy worlds that we read about—which pretty much guarantees we will go see the flick, regardless of who’s in it or who’s directing it.
Hollywood has quickly learned that they can make mega bucks off of us book worms. Look at blockbusters like The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Twilight—and, if we’re being honest, Twilight’s movie adaptation wasn’t even that good! Even The Hunger Games franchise hasn’t quite been living up to the incredible novels that they’re based off of. It doesn’t seem to matter. If our favorite books become movies, we nerds will be there for the midnight release. There’s just something incredibly mind-blowing about experiencinfault-our-stars-movie-posterg your story in a more visual format, even if it isn’t spectacular.
Thankfully, Divergent was awesome; one of the better book-turned-movies so far. Still, there’s a lot more for book-ies to look forward to. Not only are there two more installments in the Divergent series to cover, but there’s also plenty more book-turned-films in the works! Case in point, I’m currently reading the Matched trilogy by Ally Condie. Lo and behold, my dear friend Google informed me that there are rumors of the movie rights already being purchased by Disney (insert girly fit of giggles here). A few of the other highly anticipated titles include, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James, The Giver by Lois Lowry, The Maze Runner by James Dashner and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. That’s a whole lot of lit! Book freaks, are you ready for the upcoming lit lovers paradise?
 

The Rise of The Descent

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Looking for a good read? Get ready to hear about a time-transcending page turner. Two years ago, having just finished The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice and The Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer, I was still hungry for more of the supernatural. My only hesitation was that I wanted something a little more plausible than blood-sucking vampires. As fate would have it, I stumbled upon The Taker by Alma Katsu. Dutifully, I checked reviews before purchasing the book. How I hadn’t heard of it prior to then is beyond me, as the book was insanely well-received and only growing in popularity. I took the novel home and was blown away by the captivating story of an impressionable young woman, the “Adonis” who she falls in love with and the “monster” who falls in love with her. Lanore, Jonathan and Adair had me spellbound like no other characters have. The Taker satiated my need for the supernatural, but was unique in it’s portrayal of everlasting love and unrelenting obsession, both of which know no boundaries for these characters. The second installment, The Reckoning, was equally fascinating—the never-ending love chase propelling the jump between several different time periods and beautiful locations all over the world. Finally, the end of this twisted tale will come to an end with Katsu’s final installment, The Descent. In light of the book’s upcoming release on January 7th, 2013, we spoke with the insanely talented author to learn a little bit more about her. Alma also talks about the motivation behind the trilogy and what to expect as this incredible journey (sadly) comes to a close.

Cliché: The Taker Trilogy takes place over the course of many different time periods, which is something that would look incredible on the big screen. Can fans expect movie versions any time soon?

alma-new-color-pressAlma Katsu: A girl can hope! It’s something that’s been brought up a lot when people talk about the books, the combination of moving around in time and—especially in the middle book—moving around the world, from Paris to St. Petersburg to the Hindu Kush. There had been a tantalizing amount of interest when the first book, The Taker, came out. It’s been quiet recently, but I’ve been told that once the series in finished, we might see interest pick up again. Wish me luck and if there’s anyone with HBO reading this, please feel free to contact my agent.

Where did the idea for the storyline come from? Are any of the characters based on real people?

I wanted to write the story of a woman whose love is so strong that it would literally transcend time, but who ends up making a terrible mistake and paying for it for eternity. I’d say there are a lot of inspirations for the story: great tragic love stories, such as Tess of the D’Urbervilles (I’m a big Thomas Hardy fan); Gothics such as Dracula. Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire was a big inspiration for The Taker, but mostly for the structure: a character who has lived a long time and under unusual circumstances looks back on her tragic life.

As far as real people go, a few real people pop up in the books—the heroine, Lanny, gets to meet Lord Byron, for instance. The only fictional character who is based on a real person is Jude, the charismatic preacher who ends up being a minion of the villain. He’s based on a traveling preacher who lived in the Maine territory in the early 1800s who was guilty of preaching “spiritual wifery”—basically getting women to sleep with him without the benefit of marriage. You often uncover the most interesting things while doing research.

One of the amazing aspects of the trilogy is how believable you make the supernatural elements feel. Do you, personally, believe that things like immortality can exist?

The reason the magic in the story feels real, I think, is because unlike a conventional fantasy where you enter a world that’s already fully formed—for instance, in a vampire novel, you more or less know what the “rules” are—in The Taker Trilogy the secret behind the magic isn’t revealed until the very end of the story. The reader is presented with these mysteries and has to make sense of them, just as you would in real life. As a child, I was fascinated by the idea of magic. Children often feel helpless to change their lives and magic can be very appealing in that respect. It certainly was for me! I often wished magic would just happen—poof—and make things better; I learned eventually to make things better for myself.

We essentially get to know the immortal characters their whole lives. Still, the “villain” Adair is easily the most captivating and complex of them all. We’ve seen him be murderous, loving, merciless and sympathetic; it’s hard to know whether or not we should consider him the token bad guy. Is he?

He undergoes a complete transformation over the course of the trilogy, all brought about by the power of love. The story of Beauty and the Beast runs through the entire story though faintly, not overtly. I think it’s very romantic for a man to be willing to change for the woman he loves. Of course, there are certain things we’re drawn to in our man that we don’t want to change, and in Adair’s case there’s a savage charm that some women find irresistible. But as fearsome as he is, he is willing to be vulnerable for love. What woman can resist that?

Alchemy is at the heart of the “magic” that occurs throughout the centuries in the storyline. It was once considered a “science”. Do you think it is more of one or the other?

I don’t think alchemy can be defined as either science or magic as its practice was quite diverse. Alchemy was practiced and studied for centuries over many continents. It was only very recently that man stopped seeing everything through the filter of religion. Man looked for the influence of god in everything he did, and so it was only natural that this should happen in alchemy, too. Many alchemists were interested in “occult philosophy” which, they believed, would enable them to tap into the supernatural world, meaning the world beyond the one they could see. That sounds like magic to me. Of course, one of science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke’s laws is that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

Did you know how you would end the series before you began writing it?

Not at all! As a matter of fact, The Taker was originally written as a standalone novel. I blame Adair for the next two books. He ran away with the first book, the way Lestat ran away with Interview With the Vampire (one book blogger has called him “a 21st century Lestat”) and I started to wonder how his story would end. Considering he’s truly immortal, providing an “ending” for him would seem a bit of a conundrum.

What can we expect in the third and final installment of The Taker series, The Descent? Are we getting a happy ending?

The reviews for The Descent are starting to come in and they’re exactly what I hoped for. So far, reviewers have said that the ending takes the reader completely by surprise and yet feels exactly the way it should be; the mysteries are explained; and yes, there is a happy ending.

Do you have any plans for a future trilogy?

Not at the moment, but after The Taker Trilogy I’ve learned never to say never. I’m currently working on a standalone  book in the same vein as The Taker books, with lots of jumping around in history and unexplained supernatural comings and goings, and an intense love story. After that I hope to write a straight historical with no supernatural element. We’ll see if I can manage to play it completely straight!

You can preorder your copy of The Descent here.

Feature image courtesy of Alma Katsu.

Photo courtesy of AlmaKatsu.com, credit Tim Coburn.