Summery: Facing waning book sales, fickle fans, and mounting debts, Charles Dickens was feeling anything but merry. His publishers believe that a new book for Christmas will turn the tide but the holiday is only a few weeks away and Dickens is feeling downright Scrooge-ish and has a bad case of writers block to boot. It will take a very special muse to help Dickens make piece with the ghosts of his past and write a classic book that will endure for many Christmases yet to be.
My Thoughts: A fun, light-hearted read for the holidays, Mr. Dickens and His Carol is a highly fictionalized version of how Dickens’ A Christmas Carol came to be written. Perfect for enjoying with a cup of cocoa by a cozy fire, this festive holiday book is a great addition to your Christmas reading list.
Christmas is coming and things are getting very merry indeed with these two festive holiday outfits inspired by Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. First up, we have a casual Christmas outfit that is sure to fill you with Christmas cheer as you go throughout your day! With a Christmas Carol Ring from the C. S. Literary Jewelry Etsy shop and cheery accessories in classic red tartan, this fun and festive outfit is perfect for trimming the tree, wrapping holiday gifts, or curling up with a good book by the fire. (Psst. Don’t miss out on my Christmas Giveaway and the chance to win a Christmas Carol ring of your own. Click here for more details.)
With elegant Christmas jewelry inspired by A Christmas Carol and a gorgeous Christmas Carol book purse by Novel Creations, this beautiful holiday party outfit combines the vintage style of Christmas past with the modern sophistication of Christmas present and is sure to be a treasured part of your holiday traditions for many Christmases yet to be.
Hello again, book lovers. I may have mentioned it once or twice, but Little Women and the rest of Louisa May Alcott’s books were a huge part of my childhood and have meant a lot to me and to generations of women in my family. Not only that, but Louisa was also one of my heroes when I was growing up and has been a big influence on my life. It’s her birthday today and so in celebration of this wonderful author, I decided to share my book review of The Little Women Letters and a Little Women – inspired outfit for the holidays. Enjoy!
Summery: Lulu Atwater is a bit of a loss. While her vibrant younger sister is living a charmed life as an aspiring actress and her solid, dependable older sister is about to get married, Lulu has no idea what she wants to do, where she fits in, or if she will ever find love. Then she discovers a trove of letters written by her great-great-great-grandmother, Jo March. As Lulu works her way through the letters, she discovers more about the lives of the “Little Women” from whom she is descended and gains insight and understanding into life, love, and sisterhood.
My Thoughts: I’ve read Little Women, Little Men, and Jo’s Boys more times that I can count so I cautiously excited when I discovered The Little Women Letters. Through these three books, I followed the lives of the “Little Women,” (Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy), from their girlhood to marriage, motherhood, and beyond – reading with interest as their children and Jo’s “boys” from her school at Plumfield grew up and started lives of their own. So the thought of visiting with the March family once again was something I couldn’t resist.
When I opened the book and read the first letter from Jo to Amy, I was shocked at how well the author, Gabrielle Donnelly, captured Louisa May Alcott’s voice and tone. I mean, it was seamless and I really felt like I was reading a lost chapter of a Louisa May Alcott book – at least at the beginning. But as the book progressed, I began to have the sneaking feeling that Donnelly may not know that Louisa May Alcott wrote two sequels to Little Women, and that there were a whole host of characters and much more of the March family history to draw on so she just began making stuff up as she went along. Instead of Lulu and her family being descended from either of Jo’s sons, Donnelly gave her a daughter. When Jo and her husband start their school for Little Men, instead of using any of the Plumfield boys from the books, Donnelly created some generic character and plugged him into the letters. She also liberties with the plot of Little Women too. She creates a ill-fated love affair for Jo and has Meg turning into an obnoxious match-maker but completely ignores Laurie and his proposal. In fact, Laurie is only mentioned once or twice until he comes home married to Amy. And while, Beth’s death features large in the letters, Lulu only discovers letters from Meg, Jo, and Amy.
As an Alcott super-fan, these changes, omissions, and weird additions prevented me from loving this book as much as I wanted to. That’s not to say that there weren’t things to enjoy about the book. It’s just that it was a bit of a mixed bag for me and to be honest, a more casual fan, especially one who read Little Women years ago and hasn’t come back to it as often as I do, would probably enjoy it more than I did.
When I think of the holidays, I think of time spent at home with family and few books evoke that feeling quite as well as Little Women. With this in mind, I designed this warm holiday outfit with a Little Women Novel Tea Necklace from the C. S. Literary Jewelry Etsy shop and a Little Women book purse by Novel Creations. There’s so much to love about this outfit but the best parts, (for me anyway), is how it reminds me of my own family and how many of us have grown up with the March sisters. My Little Women tea necklace was inspired by my own memories of drinking tea and talking about this book with my grandmother and the book purse has the same cover as the much-loved copy of Little Women I have on my own bookshelf. All together this beautiful outfit captures everything that is warm and cozy and bright about the holidays.
Hi book lovers! I’m back with another holiday gift guide for bookworms and bibliophiles. This week’s list is full of bookish gifts for your inner child inspired by classic children’s and YA books. Since tomorrow is Small Business Saturday, each of the 15 gifts on this list come from an awesome small business that I discovered on Etsy. Please take some time this weekend to show them a little love! Many of the shops featured here, including my shop, C. S. Literary Jewelry, are having Black Friday sales and you won’t want to miss out on your chance to get great literary gifts for everyone on your holiday shopping list! Enjoy!
This time of year is always a little bit crazy for me. With the holidays fast approaching, there’s always too much to do and I have to forcibly remind myself to take a little time to rest and recharge. I don’t know about you but my idea of self-care is to carve some time out of my busy schedule to relax with a good book and a cup of tea. And so for this week’s bibliophile style guide, I decided to create a cozy autumn outfit perfect for reading the day away.
WARNING: Do not read Dear Fahrenheit 451 unless you are prepared for your to-read pile to swell and grow exponentially.
(Don’t say I didn’t warn you!)
Dear Dear Fahrenheit 451:
I knew the moment I read your title that we were destined to spend some time together. I mean, what’s not to love about love letters and break-up notes to books!? Still, I am not sure what I enjoyed more, geeking out with you about the books we both love, discovering new books to check out in your pages, or knowing that I’ve dodged some bullets in my frequent quests through my public library. I loved all the little insights into the librarian life and the reading lists at the end of the book were a delightful surprise.
Thanks for the memories and for all the book recommendations!
See you around the library,
Halloween is just days away and I am still scrambling to put together my costume. If you’re like me and looking for a last-minute Halloween costume with a bookish twist, here are some ideas you may want to consider.
This Halloween outfit was inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Casual and comfortable, all you need for this Frankenstein costume is some Halloween makeup, a green top, and this Frankenstein Leather Bracelet. Put it all together and you have the perfect costume for scaring up some Halloween fun or a relaxed evening at home, munching Halloween candy and reading.
What do you think, book lovers? Which of my bookish Halloween costumes do you like the best? Let me know in the comments below!
In The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, author, Theodora Goss, combines and re-imagines several classic horror stories, (including The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Island of Dr. Moreau, and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, etc.), to create a literary mash-up with lots of humor and more than a touch of girl power. The best way I can think to explain it is to imagine a feminist version of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, where the “daughters” of famous mad scientists band together to solve a series of grisly murders. With an assist from Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, the ladies use their unusual talents and abilities to confront their monstrous pasts and to track down the mysterious Société des Alchimistes.
While the narration, as told by Catherine Moreau with lots of commentary and interjections from the other ladies, could be a little distracting for some readers, I found it amusing and thought it gave the reader a sense of all the different personalities that were coming together to form the team. The author did a great job of giving enough backstory for each of her characters so the reader doesn’t feel lost if they haven’t read all of the original books but for those who have, the little literary shout-outs and references were a lot of fun. My only complaint was, considering the mad scientist theme of the story, if I was going to include an Arthur Conan Doyle character in the book, I would have gone for someone from The Lost World as opposed to Sherlock Holmes. Still, since the Alchemist’s Daughter is obviously the first in a series, there is still time for the ladies to encounter many more literary figures on their adventures.
All in all, The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter is a fun romp through classic horror / adventure stories and makes a great Halloween read for a reader who wants something suitably spooky for the season but not especially scary or gory.