Now that Memorial Day weekend is finally here, book lovers everywhere are looking for their next summer read and I recommend Jacqueline Carey’s Miranda and Caliban. An interesting read for Shakespeare fans, Jacqueline Carey’s Miranda and Caliban, tells the back-story behind William Shakespeare’s Tempest. While Carey’s re-telling of the tale gives the ending a much more bittersweet, conflicted resolution, I really enjoyed her attempts to flesh out Miranda and Caliban, taking them from Prospero’s pawn and slave to independent characters with feelings and motivations of their own. All in all, Miranda and Caliban is a great summer read for theatre lovers looking for a good beach book.
Have you read Miranda and Caliban? I’d love to hear what you thought of the book. Let’s chat in the comments below!
For more Shakespeare – inspired summer fun, check out this summer outfit inspired by Miranda from The Tempest. Featuring a handmade Tempest pendant from the C. S. Literary Jewelry Etsy shopand crochet barefoot sandals, this outfit is perfect for dreaming on the beach or soaking up some sun while re-reading your favorite Shakespeare plays.
With the Memorial Day weekend just days away, I am looking forward to a three-day weekend of fun, sun, and lots of extra reading time. I am also celebrating the unofficial start of summer with a sale on my bookish pendants. These handmade pendants are a great way to combine your summer style with your summer reading list and to show off your love of books and literature while on vacation, heading to the beach, or enjoying the summer sunshine. Don’t believe me? Check out these fun summer outfits featuring handmade pendants inspired by The Great Gatsby and Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
Dear book lovers, I have to admit that I’ve been stressed lately, and with the state of the world as it is, I have been indulging in more than a little literary escapism. It’s not unusual to hear book lovers talk about books as a safe place they go to whenever they are upset or in trouble but the main character of Dear Mr. Knightley, Samantha, takes this concept to an extreme. After a traumatizing past and years in the foster care system, Samantha has trouble relating to people and has distanced herself from her own emotions. She copes with this by emotionally retreating behind the characters of the books she loves and often using their words instead of her own to express herself. But all that gets challenged when Sam gets a grant to go to grad school. There are two conditions of the grant. The first is that she study journalism instead of English lit, forcing Samantha out of her comfort zone and out into the real world. The second is that she write letters to “Mr. Knightley,” the anonymous benefactor who is funding the grant, telling him about her experiences at school. The name, taken from the hero of Jane Austen’s Emma, has comforting associations to Sam and she decides to take the letters, which are never returned or answered, as an outlet for all the thoughts and feelings she has trouble expressing anywhere else as she struggles to break through the walls she has built around herself and begin to live as the main character in her own story.
Of all the books I’ve been reading lately, I had the most fun reading Dear Mr. Knightley. While the idea of a tough-shelled former foster kid talking almost exclusively in adapted Jane Austen quotes took me a little while to adapt to, Sam’s story was an interesting look at the strengths (and limitations) of living inside your favorite books. But to be honest my favorite part of Dear Mr. Knightley, was how much I got into the story. I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I’ve yelled out-loud at a book but that’s how invested I got in this one. If you are looking for a touch of literary escapism with lots of heart, I definitely recommend Dear Mr. Knightley.
Happy Mother’s Day, book lovers! I’m off spending the day with my mom and the rest of my family but I wanted to stop in a moment and wish all you mothers, grandmothers, godmothers, and mother figures of all kinds a very happy Mother’s Day. As someone who has been incredibly blessed by the women in my life, especially my mom, my grandmother, and aunts, I just want to say thank you for all you do.
In honor of the day, I put together this lovely Mother’s Day outfit featuring a handmade Velveteen Rabbit Necklace from the C. S. Literary Jewelry Etsy shop. The Velveteen Rabbit has always struck me as a great story for mothers. Not only is a classic children’s book – perfect for bedtime stories or rainy afternoons spent reading with your little one – but that famous quote about a child’s love making you real reminds me of what motherhood is all about. I’ve never had children but all the mommies I know have had their moments where taking care of their children have made them feel worn out and exhausted but even at their most frustrated or stressed, the love they feel for their children and their children’s love for them is simply magical and transforms them into something very real indeed. With this in mind, I couldn’t imagine a better book to feature in my Mother’s Day outfit!
Featuring a beautiful blue sundress and accented with cheery yellow sandals and purse, this lovely outfit is perfect for Mother’s Day brunch, story time with your little ones, or a book-themed baby shower. What do you think, book lovers? What books remind you of your mom? Let me know in the comments.
I am not the most devoted of Harry Potter fans. Don’t get me wrong. I loved the books and I have been known to embark on passionate rants about (among other things) the sheer awesomeness of Neville Longbottom and how he is the true hero of the story. But, Niffler-like, I’ve been known to get distracted by something shiny – in my case, other books and series – and miss out on the later additions to the Harry Potter universe. This is why, sadly, I am coming late to the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them party. And it is truly sad because Fantastic Beasts was simply the most fun I have had in the Harry Potter world. I am sure I am not alone in this but I want a Niffler and a Bowtruckle as pets, (Despite the fact that a Niffler in my jewelry studio would surely be a disaster in the making!)
I also think the 1920’s style and flavor blended beautifully with the Harry Potter universe – A Diagon Alley-esque speakeasy? Brilliant!!) If nothing else, Harry Potter cosplay just got a million times more fabulous! All in all, I really loved Fantastic Beasts and I will be first in line to check out the further adventures of Newt Scamander and his suitcase of fantastic beasts!
Happy National Teacher’s Day to all you teachers and educations!!! Thank you for all you do to teach and inspire your students!!!
(Hey parents! Looking for a great end-of-the-year gifts for your child’s teacher? How about a piece of handmade jewelry inspired by classic books and literature, including, The Great Gatsby, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, or Jane Eyre. Each of the pieces shown here are $25 or less and are on sale this week!!! (Use the coupon code CSLJ15 to save 15% on your order!) Visit my Etsy shop to see more handmade jewelry and unique teacher gifts for teachers.
Question of the Day: Did you have an amazing teacher who made a difference in your life? Leave a comment telling us about them and let’s chat about our favorite teachers!!
Hello again book lovers! Sorry it’s been so quiet here lately. I’ve been dealing with some health issues and had to spend some time in the hospital recently. I am home now and recovering but updates are probably going to be sporadic as I rest and recover. I also have to have an operation in a few weeks time so it will be a little while before things completely get back to normal around here. (Sorry about that). But with Black History Month coming to an end and since the film version of the book is up for a couple of Academy Awards this weekend, I wanted to pop on and share my book review of Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures. Enjoy!
A few weeks back, my family and I went to see Hidden Figures. The film – the story of three African American women, Katherine Goble Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn, and Mary Jackson, and their contributions to the space race – was excellent and I highly recommend it. It was so good, in fact, that I wanted to know more about Katherine, Dorothy, and Mary’s story so – despite being an almost exclusive reader of fiction – I decided to pick up the book that the movie was based on, Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterley. If my goal was to know more about this topic, this book more than delivered. The book is a much broader and deeper look at the hidden figures of the space program. Rather than a feel-good story about just three remarkable women, the author gives a detailed and in-depth account of several generations of African American women who worked as computers, engineers, and mathematicians in the Space and Aeronautics program at Langley Research Center. The book also covers a much longer period of time than the movie did, celebrating the contributions the women made to Langley from World War II to the space race and beyond – rather than just focusing on the 1960’s – and placing those contributions in the social and technological context of the times. I am not very mathematically orientated so – I have to admit – I glazed over a little when the writer delved into the technical aspects of the women’s work, but otherwise I enjoyed getting to know more about the (until now) hidden figures of the space program and their contributions to history.