Emma (2020)

Emma. (2020) Movie Posters | Emma movie, Anya taylor joy ...Have you seen the new Emma movie yet? I didn’t get a chance to see it before the theaters closed (thanks, Coronavirus), so I got to enjoy it from the comfort of my own couch—but I’m not complaining! LOL I actually prefer seeing movies from home, it is way more comfortable to lounge around under your own blankets, and you can pause/rewind the show if you ever need to take a snack-break! So shelter-at-home premieres don’t bother me, so much. Plus, all the time at home got me inspired to make some bookmarks! You can check them out on my newly launched etsy shop, WandererLitJournal Bookish Bookmarks. IMG_2427

“Ah! There is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort.”Jane Austen, Emma

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Fat Girl Finishing School

Fat Girl Finishing School is the first full-length collection of poems from Rachel Wiley, the Queer-Biracial-Feminist poet, performer and body-positive activist whose work spans from body image, to love and loss, and feminism. Fat Girl Finishing School is a love letter to the body. When confronted with fatphobia, sexism, misogyny, and shame each poem chooses self-love, despite society’s expectations. This is a book steeped in experience, every story is striking, powerful, and unmistakably palpable.

Fat Girl Finishing School - Button Poetry

I can very much relate to this book. Unfortunately, eating disorders and anxiety are very real issues that are really hard to talk about and tackle, but this book did a great job of it. As a woman who deals with many of these issues every day, many of these verses resonated with me deeply.

Wiley’s poems create a striking and very real commentary on important issues in our society. But this collection of poems covers much more than just eating disorders―gender, race, and faith are just a few of the various themes these poems touch on. These are more than just poems; they are special stories of the struggle for personal growth, self acceptance, and understanding the human experience. More than just a book about one single identity, Fat Girl Finishing School makes intersectionality multi-dimensional. 

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Little Women

Little Women movie review an engaging adaptation Assignment X

I finally read (and watched) Little Women! The movie made me do it. So actually, I claimed a free trial of Masterpiece PBS through my Amazon account, which came with unlimited period dramas and was the BEST way to pass the shelter-in-place restrictions. I binged on Jane Austen (they had Sanditon & Northanger Abbey) and Wilkie Collins’ The Woman In White … AND THEN the 2018 Little Women series!! I loved it, and ran out to get the new movie from Redbox. And then I had to read the book. I devoured it, I can’t believe it has taken me so long to read! The characters are so genuinely good-hearted, and there are so many simple lessons that can be gleaned from the stories-within-the-story. This is definitely a new favorite for me, one I can see myself re-reading for years to come.

Little Women and Good Wives (Vintage Classics): Alcott, Louisa May ...

Little Women (TV Mini-Series 2017) - IMDb

The 2018 Little Women miniseries was the first one I watched, and honestly I am glad I did. Of course the book is always better than the movie, and I prefer to read the book before watching, but in this case I think it was great to know the story before reading the book. Little Women is a big read and a lot happens, so having a visual in my mind was helpful for keeping the story straight in my head. Also, it was fun to compare-and-contrast what happens in the movie to what happens in the book!

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How Witchcraft and Comics Inspired The Chilling Tales of Sabrina

I loved Sabrina The Teenage Witch and watched it for years! But I also love the new interpretation of the show, even though it is so completely different from the light-hearted original I once loved. The old show was very much a sitcom while the modern version is more of a drama, which is great for the spooky October vibes. But what I appreciate most about this remake is the attention to detail in regards to witchcraft. This show not only makes the occult approachable, but does it in an educational-yet-fun way. There are a ton of important topics Sabrina touches on—including gender issues, religion, and identity—but here I am going to talk about witchcraft.

Image result for sabrina comics vs graphic novelsImage result for sabrina comics vs graphic novelsThere are actually two separate Sabrina comics that have inspired two very different shows: the 90’s sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch was based on the Archie comics from the 1960’s, while the newer Netflix show is based on the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina graphic novels, which were first published in 2014 under the Archie Horror imprint. Continue reading

Game Of Thrones

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For years I have been out-of-the-loop. I never watched a single episode of Game of Thrones, nor picked up even one single copy of the books. I didn’t understand the obsession with The Known World of Westeros, didn’t join in the gossip, and definitely didn’t ‘get’ the memes. I was an outsider. I know, I am late to the party. But better late than never, right?

Before Christmas, a friend brought it up, and (again) recommended I watch the series. Later that week, I was gifted the password to the family HBO account. And thus my obsession began. I binged the series in three or four days, and went back again to re-watch everything more carefully. I loved the costumes, the mythology and house history, and of course, the plot twists. And once I was sucked in, I couldn’t pull away. Next, I had to read the books. And once I started reading them, I could not put them down! I couldn’t believe what I had been missing out on. Continue reading

Pride & Prejudice: A Film Guide

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen is the best romance writer of all time. Don’t @ me.

Image result for pride and prejudice jane austen first editionPride & Prejudice, Jane Austen’s now classic romance novel, has been beloved by readers for the last 200 years. The story charts the emotional development of Elizabeth Bennet, who learns the error of making hasty judgments and comes to appreciate the difference between the superficial and the essential. The comedy of the writing lies in the depiction of manners, education, marriage, and Image result for jane austenmoney during the British Regency period.

“Till this moment I never knew myself.”
― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Pride & Prejudice is one of the most loved and widely adapted of Austen’s works. Since it was first published in 1813, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice has sold over 20 million copies, and is now one of the most recognizable names in British literature. Though it was written over 200 years ago, it remains relevant. Not only is it a beautifully written love story with a happy ending, but it contains timeless insights about human nature that reminds readers that first impressions can often be wrong. Continue reading

The Handmaid’s Tale: Comparing The Novel To The Series

Image result for the handmaids tale book huluI read The Handmaid’s Tale in high school, and I didn’t ‘get’ it, TBH. I understood it, of course, but it didn’t resonate with me in the way my teacher had hoped it would. It wasn’t until watching the new Hulu adaptation that I was really interested in the story. But I couldn’t understand why my memories of the book were so far from what the show was saying, so I dug out my old copy, still covered in post-its and margin scribbles, and forced myself to give it a second chance. Image result for the handmaids tale hulu

With my first reading, for whatever reason, I had a very obscure picture of the world Atwood was writing about. I wasn’t able to imagine what it would be like. But, after watching the series, I was able to really picture the world of Gilead, and it made me want to understand it better. So I decided to revisit the book, and I re-read it while watching the show. It completely changed my opinion of the novel, and now I love a book that I once hated.

Although I loved both the book and the series, I can’t ignore their differences. Though both are important and relevant, they have different missions and different lessons. The ideal would be for audiences to read and watch both; they inform each other, each provides what the other lacks.  Continue reading

The Rules Of Magic by Alice Hoffman

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Alice Hoffman returns, 22 years later, to tell the first part of the story. The Rules Of Magic follows Franny, Jet, and Vincent Owens as they uncover the mystery of their witchy heritage, and try to break the curse that haunts their fate. This prequel to the 1995 best-seller Practical Magic is an essential prelude to the first book, providing a fundamental understanding of the family and the secrets that follow them.

In The Rules Of Magic, we are introduced to Maria Owens, the Salem witch Hoffman uses to root the family tree in witchcraft and magik. The plot opens with Franny, Jet, and their younger brother Vincent, and explains to readers why they are the way that they are. Witch-y.

“What mattered was the blood that ran through him, the same blood that flowed through Maria Owens.” (53).

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Lotería

Lotería was the 2013 debut novel of Mario Alberto Zambrano.

With her older sister Estrella in the ICU and her father in jail, eleven-year-old Luz Castillo has been taken into the custody of the state. Alone in her room, she retreats behind a wall of silence, writing in her journal and shuffling through a deck of lotería cards. Each of the cards’ colorful images—mermaids, bottles, spiders, death, and stars—sparks a random memory.

Pieced together, these snapshots bring into focus the joy and pain of the young girl’s life, and the events that led to her present situation. But just as the story becomes clear, a breathtaking twist changes everything.

This book was stippled with Spanish aphorisms and phrases, and included an impressive amount of vocabulary in-context, to help teach Spanish to non-speakers. A full deck of Lotería cards is presented back-to-front, to mark the chapters, as if the reader is flipping a card when turning the page, reminiscent of Isabelle Allende and Salvador Plascencia’s magical realism. Image result for loteria el nopal

“I didn’t feel like remembering today so I laid out the cards close to each other so that they were touching like tiles, like El Nopal.” (175).

Luz associates her memories with the Lotería cards, using them to prompt her, to spark her memories. Than she writes about it in her journal. As we read her diary — addressed to “You”, always capitalized, in reference to the reader, or in reference to a higher power — we understand the trauma she is trying to run from. Continue reading