holidays

Book Adventures Weekly, Issue 43

Happy Monday, y’all. We’re back again with our weekly round-up of bookish news. Grab a coffee and get settled in, this week we’re focused on lists of books to read.

Canada’s CBC lists the biggest book news stories of 2015.

The Aeronaut’s Windlass is on my to-read list. Not sure? Read reviews of it by Fantasy Faction bloggers.

Book Riot on finding comfort in books.

Looking for books with Christmas cheer? Book Riot gives you five recommendations. Looking for books with Hanukkah cheer? Goodreads has plenty. How about a book about winter?

If you’re trying to escape winter, you might like to read about hot and dusty Australia. Tor.com has you covered.

For another perspective, try one of these books by what Book Riot calls “5 Essential Japanese Writers.”

 

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Christmas Special: Bookish Decorations

Hello! Our Christmas Special returns – this time with ideas for bookish decorations. There’s still a bit of time left to decorate, so we hope these images and posts will inspire you!

 

1. Bookish Ornament from What have I done now? Looks like a fun and easy way to add some bookish fun to your Christmas tree.

2. Christmas Wrapping. Not really a decoration, but these wrapping ideas from Book Riot would look beautiful under the tree. Added bonus -repurpose those copies of books you loathed.

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3. Sparkly Snowflakes. These snowflakes might be a little ambitious for me, but for the really crafty folks, these snowflakes from House Revivals would be a lovely addition around the house.

4. Book Garland. On a budget? Have lots of old books? Ornaments, garlands, and more from Alisa Burke. Here’s another garland from Natalie Bradley. Do the whole house in a bookish style.

5. Snowflake Picture Frame. Love this idea for a nice winter scene from A place 2 call home. Scroll a bit for the instructions.

 

 

And that wraps up this Christmas Special! Try out one or more if you’re feeling crafty. Comment below with your success stories and tips.

Christmas Special: Bookish Gifts for the Book Lover

This Christmas, we will be re-posting some of our Christmas specials from last year. For the first three Sundays in December, we’ll share a popular post from our 12 Days of Christmas series. This week:

Five bookish gifts for the book lover in your life

1. Simplifying the holidays? Celebrating sustainably? How about creating a redeemable coupon for a trip together to a bookstore, library, or secondhand bookstore? Check your local listings on Google, Yelp … well, you know what to do. If you have little readers at home and yet have trouble finding time to read together, give them redeemable coupons for some reading-aloud-together time.

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Book Adventures Weekly, Issue 34

Today is Columbus Day in the United States (an unfortunate holiday, but I’m happy not to go to work!), and this weekend is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. Happy holidays! Happy eating, happy resting, happy excursioning, and especially happy reading!

Some blog news first: We have a twitter account! We’re @bookadventurers – this is where we’ll be sharing our stories, posts, and links from now on.

We also have a Goodreads account, where we’ll be sharing our reviews and connecting with you all.


And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming:

On the subject of today’s United States holiday, The Atlantic poses the question: why should schools re-think their Columbus Day teachings?

In #sciencefictionnotfiction, The New Yorker explores Life on Mars.

The New York Times Sunday Book Review comments on Margaret Lazarus Dean’s pessimistic book on the end of American spaceflight.

In a bit of dystopian non-fiction, The Atlantic explores Moldovian black market connections to ISIS.

In time for Halloween, Book Riot lists 13 creepy bookish trivia.


Liked this post? You may also enjoy 

Jaclyn’s review of The Martian

Stacey’s review of the creepy Nightlife

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Book Adventures Weekly, Issue 21

Happy Fourth of July, American readers! Happy Canada Day, Canadian readers!

We hope you had an excellent weekend, filled with sun, family, and barbecued food… and also books, of course.

Barack Obama will elect the first new Librarian of Congress since 1987. It’s actually more controversial than you might think. Who’s next? How about an actual librarian?

The Bodleian, as part of their #geniusoftheweek campaign, made John Smith’s map of Virginia browsable to celebrate the Fourth of July.

In literary (as opposed to patriotic) celebrations, today is Alice Day: the day when the English-speaking world celebrates the publication of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. In recognition, CBC recently aired a few radio stories on the book’s appeal.

According to Book Riot, female characters are often way more interesting (and powerful) in their books than in their movie/screen adaptations. They list five female characters who are way more awesome in books. Oddly, Bella Swan from Twilight makes the cut.

The different kinds of curses in speculative fiction.

It’s long, but here’s an interesting piece from the Guardian on how Dune changed the world.

A comic strip about geek girls, dating, and love. One contributor? Margaret Atwood. I can’t wait to get my hands on this.

 

From the Department of Random, Fashion Team:

Fashion and feminism in 18th century England, from Ephemeral Elegance. The focus is on riding habits. The blog has a lot of images of beautiful historical clothing. The amount of fabric women used to wear…

Book Adventures (Almost) Weekly: Issue 18

Today’s Memorial Day issue focuses on history and its records.

However, it’s also Towel Day.

The Sentinel in Pennsylvania tells the story of Moravian records in the Caribbean that provide unusually detailed insight into the lives of slaves in the 18th and 19th centuries. The pages are falling to bits due to bad conditions and vermin, but some interesting tidbits are still legible.

On this Memorial Day, listen to the story of the original Fly Girls – women who served as pilots in World War II. On NPR.

In defense of libraries: The head of the British Library says libraries could outlast the internet. I don’t know about you, but I thought the internet would be here forever… It’s a stirring defense.

Memorial day as the Opening Day of Grilling Season? Seems about right. The Smithsonian Gardens have a blog post on the history of barbequing and outdoor grilling – which goes back to the West Coast in the 1930s. Want to see more? There’s a traveling exhibit called Patios, Pools, and the Invention of the American Backyard.

Preservationists at the National Archives in St. Louis share their story of discovering the “blood chit” of a soldier who crashed in China during World War II. Blood chits (and similar documents) were created to help soldiers who found themselves stranded in friendly but foreign-language-speaking territory.

Did you know the origins of Memorial Day go back to the Civil War?

This spring, read a book that arguably began the environmental movements in the 20th century: Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson (1962). Read more about it in Environment and Society Portal’s blog post on both the author and her book.

From the Department of Random, Conservation Division:

Ways you can contribute to the efforts to clean up the Refugio oil spill.

Wolves in Washington need your help.

On the seventh day of Christmas – I share seven of my favorite holiday movies!

lifeIn no particular order, some of the holiday movies I make an effort to watch every year.

1. It’s a Wonderful Life

Just about the best feel-good movie ever, with great scenes and acting and wonderfully quotable lines, this has been my favorite holiday movie since I first saw it. Every year, it reaffirms my determination to be the best person, to find meaning in the little things. Jimmy Stewart struggles with responsibility and duty that keep taking him away from what he really wants to do – have adventures. And discovers that what he has is worth more than he thinks.

Remember, George: No man is a failure who has friends.

2. Love Actually

Such a happy endings movie – there’s not just one, but at least half a dozen! Colin Firth and Hugh Grant play cute, awkward characters, there’s a hilarious bit about an aging pop star recording a Christmas single, and Emma Thompson steals the show with her strong performance. Watch out for the portrayal of Americans. And along that vein, here’s a different (and interesting) take on the movie. She’s spot-on about the airport.

Love actually is, all around.

3. The Holiday

Even better than Love Actually, this one, with Kate Winslet (amazing), Jude Law, Jack Black (fantastic), and Cameron Diaz (ignore her, focus on Jude Law), is a great one for nervous travelers about to get away/visit family for the holidays. Winslet, trying to get over a (insert strong language equivalent of “jerk” here), and Diaz, taking a step back from romance (or so she thinks) swap their houses in Surrey and LA. Hijinks and laughter and love follow.

A woman should be the heroine of her own life!

4. White Christmas

Hello, classic musical! Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby are showmen and WWII veterans who do meet two traveling and singing sisters (one of whom is Rosemary Clooney!). Sparks fly as they set up a holiday show for their old commander, who is down in the dumps.

We came up here for the snow. Where’re you keepin’ it?

5. Home Alone

Honestly, I haven’t seen this one in ages. But I loved it as a kid, and I’m going to watch it again to see if I still love it. The title says it all, if you haven’t seen it already – Macauley Culkin plays a young boy left at home for the holidays. To make it interesting, thieves try to rob the house.

This is my house, I have to defend it.

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On the fifth day of Christmas, we give you five ideal reading spots!

armchairIt’s the holiday season, which means lots of social events, parties, and family gatherings. If you’re just too tuckered (or peopled) out, when there are too many people at home, or at the party, or wherever you are, where do you go to get away and read? I don’t know about you, but the holidays have descended upon me like an avalanche down a mountain. Suddenly, finding a time to read has become incredibly challenging. But places? Well, keep reading for some of my favorites.

1. Your bedroom – As mundane as this suggestion is, it really benefits from the facts that a) it’s designated your territory, b) you can close the door to keep out unwanted intruders, and c) others might figure you’re taking a nap, and leave you alone (you could even use that as an excuse!). Your bedroom is quite the easiest place to get away from the hustle, bustle, sounds, and smells with a good book.

2. A book-friendly nook – I’m not talking about a couch, or the armchair that sits next to the couch, because in a family or living room, those are both highly trafficked areas, and besides, isn’t that where your TV slash fireplace is? But there might be a cozy reading chair in an upstairs hallway, or in a guest bedroom, a study, or even a home library, if you’re lucky. If it’s got a comfy chair (NB: can you drag a comfy chair there without too much effort slash noise slash scratched floors? Do it!) and is out of the way of the the main gathering spots, you’re golden! (more…)

On the third day of Christmas, we suggest ten gifts for booklovers!

Okay, I know that in order to correctly reference this song, I should post only three gifts for booklovers. But then, that wouldn’t really be much fun, would it? The more, the merrier, I rarely say. But in this case, it’s true. So read on for some perfect gift ideas for that booklover in your life!

Ten bookish gifts for the booklover in your life

1. Simplifying the holidays? Celebrating sustainably? How about creating a redeemable coupon for a trip together to a bookstore, library, or secondhand bookstore? Check your local listings on Google, Yelp … well, you know what to do. If you have little readers at home and yet have trouble finding time to read together, give them redeemable coupons for some reading-aloud-together time.

(more…)

On the second day of Christmas…we find 10 bookish decorating ideas

In honour of our 12 Days of Christmas, I’ve decided to post 10 fun and bookish ideas to decorate your house. So if you’re ready to make your house wonderfully bookish for the holiday season take a look at some great suggestions from around the web.

1. Bookish Ornament from What have I done now? Looks like a fun and easy way to add some bookish fun to your Christmas Tree.

2. Fan of Snowflakes? Nerd Approved has a free pattern downloads for Game of Thrones House snowflakes. One of my coworkers has already tried it out and they work beautifully.

game of thrones snowflakes

3. Christmas Wrapping. Not really a decoration, but I think these wrapping ideas from Alisa Burke would look lovely under the tree. Added bonus – I can reuse some of my old books. Guess I know what I’m going to do with my much loathed copy of Jane Eyre.

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4. Sparkly Snowflakes. These snowflakes might be a little ambitious for me, but for the really crafty folks, these snowflakes from House Revivals would be a lovely addition around the house.

5. Antique Book Wreath. Every year my library has a workshop to make these and it couldn’t be more popular. Here’s a great example from Robeson Design that comes complete with a handy video tutorial.

6. Book Garland. On a budget? Have lot’s of old book? This garland from Jane of All Crafts looks pretty simple. On the right tree, I think this could look lovely.

7. Vintage Book Ornament. Another simple ornament to make from An Oregon Cottage. Love the idea of reusing some fancy buttons lying around.

Fanned bk pg. ornament

8. Gift Tags. Came across this on Flickr and I love this simple way of creating personalized gift tags. Love the red ties as well.

9. Snowflake Picture Frame. Love this idea for a nice winter scene from A place 2 call home, and my sister has done  something similar with scrapbook paper.

10. More Book Ornaments. I saw these over at Etsy and I think this is an awesomely nerdy idea. While I don’t think I could make one of these, this would be rather cool hanging on the Christmas tree.

Miniature Book Charms - Hunger Games - 3 books

And that wraps up my 10 bookish Christmas decorations. Try one or more out if you’re a crafty one. Stay tuned for Day 3 and get some fun gift ideas for the book lover on your Christmas list.