Lost Horizon by James Hilton: The Origins of Shangri-La

40 Best Lost horizon images | Lost horizon, Lost, Ronald colman

It was 2013 and I was browsing old paperbacks in a local bookshop that sadly no longer exists. I remember the shop well, it was one of those cozy narrow stores that was crammed full of leaning stacks and overflowing shelves. I liked it because they had low prices on classics, and bought used books for store credit. So I shopped there a lot, always looking to add something to my collection that I didn’t already have. I had never seen or heard of this book before, but when I saw it and had to have it.

I honestly couldn’t place what drew me to Lost Horizon. Perhaps the stunning vintage paperback art style and the striking sprayed pages? Maybe it was the smell of old book that greeted me every time I flipped a page? Or simply that the short tale captured my imagination and took me on an adventure. At the time I was really into hiking and maybe I was drawn to the mountainous cover art, or maybe my wandering soul craved the isolated utopia I found within the book. I guess it was all of it, the experience as a whole.

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Lost Horizon is best remembered as the origin of Shangri-La, a fictional utopian lamasery located high in the mountains of Tibet. Though I had heard of Shangri-La before, I never really thought about what it symbolized or where it came from. Until I found Lost Horizion.

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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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Book Covers as Tarot Cards

Tarot cards have been used throughout the ages for gaming and fortune-telling, but their symbolism suggests their deeper purpose may be to gain insight into the human mind and enhance personal development. Some read fortunes to gain insight into the future, but I believe tarot provides much more insight into the reader. The cards provide us with excellent advice at any juncture and, if taken to heart, can help us to understand ourselves better and plan how to live better in the future.Image result for scattered tarot cards banner

“Tarot cards … can serve as an advisor and help in widening the users’ vision. Tarot cards are deemed as a map of life, or a signpost, to tell you how to lead a good and correct life.”    Royal Thai Tarot, Sungkom Horharin

I thought it would be fun to compare tarot cards to book covers, and I found some really great similarities! I tried to find titles that match in content and cover, and for some cards I found multiple books that would work. Leave a comment with the books you would choose for these cards!

0 – The Fool 

Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

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The Fool represents a youth setting out on a path of discovery. Like the Fool, Alice strides towards a precipice and skips into the unknown. Alice begins her adventures when she follows the frantically delayed White Rabbit down a hole into the magical world of Wonderland, where she meets a variety of wonderful creatures. Throughout her fantastic journeys, Alice retains her reason, humor, and sense of justice. She has become one of the great characters of imaginative literature, but the story and the card offer some advice: look before you leap.

I – The Magician 

Harry Potter (series) by J. K. Rowling

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I mean, obviously.  Traditionally, The Magician is one who can demonstrate hands-on magic — as in healing, transformative rituals, alchemical transmutations, bringing the magical to every aspect of life. A modern Magician is any person who completes the circuit between heaven and Earth; one who seeks to reveal hidden knowledge and bring forth the divine light within themselves. With all of the drama that happens in the course of seven novels, The Harry Potter Saga is a perfect representation of the Magician’s confidence, action, and ability to change.

II – The High Priestess

Emma by Jane Austen

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The High Priestess is a card of insight, wisdom, and integrity, all of the characteristics which Emma strives to embody. The open book in her lap is a symbol of learning while the pillars surrounding her stand for duality. The Empress herself is a wise counselor, much like Emma who seeks to guide with her matchmaking: people flock to her for guidance in making major decisions.

III – The Empress 

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

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Marmee (or Margaret March) is the core of her family, managing the household by herself while her husband is away, helping war efforts, and teaching her daughters — by example — how to grow into smart, strong, and kind women. Even though Little Women rejects traditional feminine roles, Marmee is a perfect representation of The Empress, the maternal card of domestic comfort and security.

IV – The Emperor 

A Game Of Thrones (series) by George R. R. Martin

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The epic Game of Thrones books bring together adventure and fantasy as we follow the fight to be the King of the Seven Kingdoms. The Kingdoms need a strong, logical ruler like the Emperor card depicts. But this story is like getting a reversed reading of this card, and instead of strong leadership we see complete chaos. The show suggests that by the end we will see a strong leader in Bran, but until Winds of Winter, who knows!

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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 Great American Read

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The Great American Read is an eight-part series that explores and celebrates the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels (*as chosen in a national survey).  It investigates how and why writers create their fictional worlds, how we as readers are affected by these stories, and what these 100 different books have to say about our diverse nation and our shared human experience. The series is the centerpiece of an ambitious multi-platform digital, educational and community outreach campaign, designed to get the country reading and passionately talking about books. Continue reading

Orange Is The New Black, Season 5 Episode 7: Poussey’s Library

 

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Orange Is The New Black routinely pays homage to its form, by referencing books throughout the entire Netflix original series. After the first season, the show heavily diverges from the truth of the memoir it was based on, though the show still makes an effort to honor books by including them in the characters lives. Not only do inmates rely on story to get through their incarceration, but their incarceration becomes a story (ie. Orange Is The New Black: A Memoir by Piper Kerman).

OITNB may weave a tall tale, but a tale that is rooted in truth. Although the lives of Chapman and the other inmates depicted on the show are fictitious, they are based on real people in true situations. The show brings to light real issues that exist within the prison system, and educates us while entertaining us.

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Books Referenced in OITNB

If you love Orange Is The New Black, you are no doubt familiar with the bookish-ness of the show. Not only is the show based on the published memoir of Piper Kerman, but the characters consistently reference and are shown reading modern books from the real world. Often the books hold significance, either to the plot line or to the development of the characters – either way, the books are significant.

With the release of the 5th season of OITNB (June 9th), we revisited the first four seasons and compiled a list of the books mentioned throughout the show.

Find our commentary comparing the memoir Orange Is The New Black to the Netflix Original series here.  Visit the Books of Orange is the New Black tumblr account, or BookRiot, for more on the books read and referenced in the show. Continue reading