One of the best parts of older books, in my opinion, has always been the possibility of finding things wedged in between the pages: sometimes used as an impromptu bookmark, some stuffed there to hide, some shuffled in by accident. There’s just something a little bit magical about it. I was recently rearranging my bookshelves (alphabetically by author of course, which had fallen to disarray since our big move), when I happened across a call to arms from my best … Continued
It’s time for All Hallow’s Read again, that magical time of year when we give the gift of fright!
If you haven’t yet heard about it, All Hallow’s Read is a month-long celebration of the horror genre (for the adults) and spooky stories (for the kids). The idea is, whether it’s a beautifully-wrapped Stephen King novel to your spouse, a dog-eared copy of Frankenstein you abandon on a park bench with the inscription “Take Me!” on a Post-It Note, or anything in-between, that we all take the time to give each other scary books. (more…)
I, unlike many self-proclaimed nerdy kids my age, didn’t properly get to meet and make friends with Bilbo, Frodo, and the gang until I was in college. Sure, sure, I’d gone to midnight premiers for the Lord of the Rings movies with gaggles of friends, but I didn’t dress up like Gandalf and I sure as heck didn’t know a single phrase in the Elven tongue. I thought Silmarillion was the type of metal from which Bilbo’s chain-mail shirt was made.
That changed in college, though. I went to a small women’s liberal arts school, where the month-long winter term was usually a way to get some of our required credits out of the way in the most ridiculous manner possible. Loads of my friends were off traveling to Mexico, Tunisia, or London. I would have been bummed about not going abroad, but the week we were to sign up for our January Term courses, a friend told me about two classes that totally out-shadowed all those exotic adventures: a music history course centered on The Beatles and a political science course lovingly named The Politics of Middle-Earth. (more…)
March. Saint Patrick’s Day. Irish authors.
My introduction to Wilde didn’t come via high school English class, or even through one of his works. I fell into an immediate heart-eyed crush with Wilde through a movie that had very little to do with him personally– Velvet Goldmine. It’s a ridiculous, pretentious, early-00s indie-film about a 70s glam-rocker whose goal was to essentially be the Oscar Wilde of the Brit-pop scene. That is, a decadent, outrageous, flagrantly bisexual artist bent on challenging social taboos while creating something brilliant whose depth and true merit probably wouldn’t be appreciated until much later. It’s basically the cinematic equivalent to the entire Aesthetic movement, of which Wilde was the crown prince. (more…)
Our Roald Dahl collection started entirely by accident, but that’s often the case when collecting books, isn’t it?
When I married my husband, I had a son from a previous relationship. As is expected, the two hadn’t quite found the moment that clicked between them. My son was preschool age and generally regarded my husband as the tall, odd man that fed and bathed him. My husband was (is) a tall, odd man who wanted nothing more than to lavish his new stepson with all manner of love and be-spoil-ment. Then one night, purely by chance or else divine intervention, I got called into work to cover a late shift.
I got home right as bath-time was accomplished, pajamas administered, and my son was running down the hall to pick out a bedtime story. Normally I did story-time in his room, squatting awkwardly next to his tiny bed, but I was content to watch and see how my husband might do things differently.
When my son came pelting out of his room with no books in hand and swerved for the living room of our tiny apartment, I nearly stopped him. I’m glad I didn’t. (more…)