HOW-TO: Making Literary Fortune Sticks (with Game of Thrones quotes)

When I was younger, I had a novelty tin of fortune sticks. The idea was that I could pull a fortune out of the jar when I needed one. They were a fun idea, and it gave me the inspiration I needed to customize a set for myself. Soon, I had a set of book quote themed sticks, supportive quotes, Spanish/English vocabulary, jokes, Reasons Why I Love You, and started making them as gifts for friends, too! They are super easy to make, and are a cute handmade gift for friends and family over the holidays, or for yourself!

What You’ll Need:

Mason Jar, or container of choice

Crafting Sticks, or popsicle sticks

A really great pen,

And a supply of quotes, sayings, jokes, lyrics, reminders, vocabulary words, etc. — this project is great for anything! Continue reading

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My Top Picks For The Great American Read

Image result for the great american readThe 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). All of the books that made the list are truly great, but only one can be named The Great American Read.

Read our last post to see which 40 Books are leading the race, and find a list of my favorites listed below. If you don’t see your book, there is still time to change that. You can vote for your favorites each day until Thursday, October 18, 2018 at midnight PT, when voting closes. Click here to vote now.

The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood

The 1984 book explores the issues of womens rights, religion, and individual liberties. Atwood conceived the novel as ‘speculative fiction,’ (similar to Louis Lowry’s The Giver), works that imagine a future that could conceivably happen without any advances in technology from the present. In other words, she said, “Science fiction has monsters and spaceships; speculative fiction could really happen.” Every aspect of the book was inspired by social and political events of the early 1980s, but remains poignant because we can imagine this happening today.

 

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby is a classic choice for The Great American Read because it is an archetypal representation of The American Dream: if you work hard enough, you can succeed. The story primarily concerns the young and mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and his passionate obsession with a married Daisy Buchanan. Considered to be Fitzgerald’s magnum opus, The Great Gatsby explores themes of decadence, idealism, resistance to change, social upheaval, and excess, creating a portrait of the Roaring Twenties that has been described as a cautionary tale regarding the American Dream.

 

The Help, Kathryn Stockett

People should read The Help because it is real. Though it is a work of fiction, it is based on true events. The story is about African Americans working in white households in Jackson, Mississippi, during the early 1960s. Kathryn was born in 1969 in Jackson and grew up in a household with a black housekeeper.  The story was based on her experiences growing up and it was just adjusted to occur in the 1960s in the midst of the civil rights movement.  A beautifully written but painful story steeped in American history.  It tells the story of black household workers in the South in the early 1960s—domestic helpers who take great risks by sharing stories about what it’s like to walk a mile in their shoes. Their tales not only reveal the great sense of empowerment that comes from sharing and having your voice heard, but also remind us of the greatness of the real women who do this work today under sometimes terrible conditions. It is a novel about empowered, heroic women taking a stand for human rights during the civil rights era. It was also adapted into a movie in 2011.

Continue reading

What Should I Read?

If you love to read, and read a lot, it can be hard to find well-written books that meet the standards of a bibliophile. Even harder when the bibliophile is looking for something specific.

We all have specific tastes; we know what we like, and what we don’t like. With the advent of online book selling, I can’t tell you how many times I have ordered a book based on the description, only to find upon arrival that it wasn’t quite what I was looking to read.

Below, we have compiled a list of websites that can help you find exactly what you are looking to read! Continue reading

Support Local San Diego Bookshops

UntitledBibliophiles fear the day when brick-and-mortar stores are phased out and e-books rule the market. Those of us addicted to collecting paper books and maintaining our bookshelves know that the age of the book is not dying; rather, books are fast moving to the digital sphere. And we don’t like it. Regardless of the benefits offered by technology, our nostalgic hearts yearn for the smell of worn pages and the sensation of flipping through a thick volume – neither of which can be fulfilled by e-readers.

I am not alone in that I still prefer a printed, paper book to the now popular e-book devices (Kindles, iPads, or Amazon Readers). Though the industry is quickly shifting from paper to electronically based products and transactions, the book is not dying. Continue reading

Little Free Library Project

Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world.

Through Little Free Libraries, millions of books are exchanged each year, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds.

Each ‘library’ is free and open to the public. Each offers a selection of books for passersby to take, and will have space for the community to participate by leaving or exchanging books of their own at each little free library.

Little Free Libraries play an essential role by providing 24/7 access to books (and encouraging a love of reading!) in areas where books are scarce.

Every Little Free Library is uniquely crafted and filled with an exclusive array of books, different every time. Read about the history behind the LittleFreeLibrary here, and enjoy our selection of some of the most recently shared LittleFreeLibraries on Instagram below:

Continue reading

Orange is the New Black – Book v. Netflix

The popular Netflix Original Series Orange Is The New Black, based on the memoir by Piper Kerman, returns this June for a highly anticipated 5th Season.

Image result for piper kerman vs piper chapman

The memoir Orange Is The New Black: My Year In A Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman follows her seven-year long experience with the federal correctional system, chronicling her own experience while simultaneously exposing some of the greatest flaws and oversights of the system.  Continue reading

Litsy: an app for bibliophiles

litsy-logo

Todd Lawton and Jeff LeBlanc, the cofounders of Out of Print, have launched an app that brings together books and social media.

Out of Print, an established literary themed apparel company, brings consumers wearable works of literature, offering men, women and childrens clothing as well as accessories and gifts. Purchases made to Out of Print help to “promote literacy in underserved communities: each purchase helps to fund literacy programs and book donations to communities in need. It also supports the authors, publishers and artists who made these iconic works an integral part of our lives.”

“We see Litsy as an extension of Out of Print’s mission to get people talking about books and starting conversations,” Lawton said. Litsy exists as a sort of amalgam of the current giants of social media, combining elements of Instaram, Twitter and Goodreads into a one-stop-shop for everything book-ish. “What we wanted to do was take the best, the most fun aspects of other social media platforms and back it with an amazing book database.” Continue reading

The Star-Touched Queen

star-touched-queenRoshani Chokshi’s debut novel The Star-Touched Queen is an adventure, taking the reader through far-away otherworldly lands on a journey of self-reflection and self-discovery. Driven to enchanted bazaars and palaces of another time, racing on horseback across barren fields and wild jungles, the story engulfs the reader, allowing readers to become one with the character Mayavati as she bites into fairy fruits of sapphires and pearls and wears a crown of stars in her hair.

Told in horoscopes and embedded in myth, this story captivates and entrances the reader, lulling them with dreamlike images of golden honeycomb archives and gem-laden palace hallways, inviting readers into a world of fantasy, fairytale, lore and beauty. Spoken in riddles, the novel itself encourages deep thinking. Reminding us that “everything is a matter of interpretation” (112) the book promotes thoughtful decision making. Urging readers to practice “a different way of seeing” (143). But reader beware: The Star-Touched Queen bears virtue and valor, but also loses herself to impulsivity and falls victim to rumor. Like any other mortal, Maya must overcome her past in order to triumph in her future. Following her trials the reader learns from her mistakes, understanding as she does the importance of logic, reasoning, and fairness. Her lover Amar helps her in (re)discovering herself, gently encouraging her strengths and challenging her weaknesses, while simultaneously doing his best to protect her from her those who might try and ruin her.

Continue reading

Bitter and Sweet – Milk and Honey

unnamed1-750x400Milk and Honey is a collection of poetry that takes the reader through a time of pain and personal growth. The book is separated into four chapters, or categories: the hurting, the loving, the breaking, the healing. In this order, respectively, Rupi Kaur releases her experiences with violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. Continue reading