Book Rec: The Mists of Avalon GO READ IT DON’T EVEN READ THIS POST JUST READ IT

GO BUY IT ON AMAZON HERE THIS WHOLE SENTENCE IS A LINK.

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Okay, maybe you want to know more. And that’s understandable. Please read on.

This book. Ermahgerd this book. Okay, so it’s a retelling of the Arthurian Legend from the point of view of the females. And it’s beautiful. It’s female empowerment meets legend and kickassery all at the same damn time. The book also discusses mythology and the conflicts between Christianity and Paganism/Druidism and I would recommend it to everyone. If you’re Pagan/earth-based, Christian, anything. It’s so, so interesting. I lean more toward the earth-based religion side of the spectrum myself, as did Marion Zimmer Bradley when she wrote it, but the book acknowledges the truths in both religions and that all divine beings are One, even if those who worship them are not.

And it is so, so long, but I promise it’s worth it. In almost 900 pages we follow the ENTIRE lives of a BUNCH of characters through the ups and downs (a lot of downs, this is not generally a happy go lucky book but again don’t let that stop you!), and it’s such an experience. Characters are well rounded and complex, and it’s so incredible. I read it slowly over the course of six months (lots of schoolwork. lots.) and never felt like if I went a month without reading, I forgot something. It was like I was just casually living a bunch of lives.
Personally, I’m an Arthurian legend nerd, and of course I enjoy Monty Python’s Quest for the Holy Grail (the Grail is mentioned in this book!), and I enjoy feminism and learning about early religions, so for me, this book was just everything.

And the best part is that if you want to read more, there are two other books in this trilogy, and then four more books co-written by Bradley and her friend, who continued her work after she died. I haven’t gotten to those yet, but you will, of course, be updated when I do.

Okay, now go click on that link.

Happy reading!!

Morgan

Currently Reading: Jane Eyre (My Experience in Memes)

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I haven’t even finished this book, I’m not even 3/4 of the way through, but I must shout from the internet rooftops how amazing this book is. IT’S AMAZING! (Did you hear me? You have to be out on your rooftops for this to work. Get out there.) I don’t know if you’ve read it, but if you’ve always assumed that it’s a stuffy English book (like me), IT IS NOT. BE ASSURED. Of course there’s some vocab that’s a little different, but the narration and prose is so beautiful. And Jane Eyre herself is one butt kicking lady for the seventeenth (?) century in England. So free thinking! So able to tell a man what she expects of him and not bend to his will! It’s very refreshing and has made me cheer from the start. Charlotte Bronte is  an incredible genius, especially considering the restrictions placed upon women during her lifetime. I say is, rather than was, (deep thought time) because she’s never really lost to us. Her spirit lives on in each of her books, and that’s one of the reasons literature is such a beautiful and magical thing. To write the way she did was so brave and I would tooootally have lunch with her if that were at all possible.

Somehow, this book speaks through 150 years clear as a bell (and spoiler alert, Janey, men haven’t changed at all during that time. Don’t hold yo breath.)

The other great thing is that IT’S FREE FOR KINDLE SO STOP MAKING EXCUSES AND GO GET IT. And read it. And then in a week or so we can all talk about it.

I’m not going too much into plot here because I haven’t finished, but I will leave you with some choice memes to express almost all the feels I’ve had before even finishing the book.

Perhaps this shall persuade you, dear reader.

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Yup. All of them.

And some fun Jane Eyre memes:

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EYREE DAYY BOIIIIII.

 

Another plus: My inner voice is British for the time being.

YES.

Have you read this or any other books that have seriously rocked your world? Tell me about it!

Morgan

 

To Read:

Hey y’all (I guess the warmer weather gives me a Southern drawl?)–fun fact for Friday, I love making lists. I’m kind of obsessive about it. It keeps me productive, and probably also maintains my level of “sanity”, as it were. I like to-do lists (well…usually), but I love to-read lists. I find having a string of books to look forward to keeps me reading. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think reading should be done in a mandatory to-do sense, because it should be fun and relaxing, but I also know that if I let myself, I’ll just stay on the internet all day and forget about books, and that, my friends, is tragic.

So, without further ado, I present the next five books on my reading list and the summary that Goodreads gives for them. I’m always taking suggestions!! I think my Goodreads ‘To Read” shelf has probably a hundred books altogether. Krazyyy.

 

1.

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Not only is the cover gorgeous, (I know, you’re not supposed to go by that, but c’mon LOOK AT IT), it sounds like a positively enchanting book.

High in the Transylvanian woods, at the castle Piscul Draculi, live five daughters and their doting father. It’s an idyllic life for Jena, the second eldest, who spends her time exploring the mysterious forest with her constant companion, a most unusual frog. But best by far is the castle’s hidden portal, known only to the sisters. Every Full Moon, they alone can pass through it into the enchanted world of the Other Kingdom. There they dance through the night with the fey creatures of this magical realm.

But their peace is shattered when Father falls ill and must go to the southern parts to recover, for that is when cousin Cezar arrives. Though he’s there to help the girls survive the brutal winter, Jena suspects he has darker motives in store. Meanwhile, Jena’s sister has fallen in love with a dangerous creature of the Other Kingdom–an impossible union it’s up to Jena to stop.

When Cezar’s grip of power begins to tighten, at stake is everything Jena loves: her home, her family, and the Other Kingdom she has come to cherish. To save her world, Jena will be tested in ways she can’t imagine–tests of trust, strength, and true love.

2. 

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I actually just borrowed this from a friend yesterday, and I cannot WAIT to get started. I’m already late reading it, because I guess literally everyone else has and Hollywood picked it up for a movie..?

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

3.

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It can’t be my to-read list if there isn’t at least one dystopian novel on it. I’m still just as obsessed as I was a year ago. Never gets old, amiright?

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, onlyone rule applies: trust no one.


Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

 

4.

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As far as I know, this is just available for Kindle, but I want it anyway. Mermaids! Love! Lust!

Mermaids have three rules to abide by: To breed, to protect the environment, and to keep their existence a secret, at any cost. Princess Ivyanne has been saving herself for an arranged marriage that’s never eventuated since she came of age, to best cultivate her unique bloodline. And when the time comes for her to choose a new mate, the mer and human worlds collide as the race for her hand begins.

5.

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I clearly live in a cave, which is why I haven’t read these yet. Since it’s spring now, I thought I should poke my head out and jump on the Tolkien train.

Frodo Baggins knew the Ringwraiths were searching for him – and the Ring of Power he bore that would enable Sauron to destroy all that was good in Middle-earth. Now it was up to Frodo and his faithful servant Sam to carry the Ring to where it could be detroyed – in the very center of Sauron’s dark kingdom.

 

Have you read any of these? What books are on your to read lists?

 

Happy Sunday ❤

Morgan

Books of a Feather

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Summer’s almost upon us, even if it doesn’t feel like it up here in New England, and that means it’s time to compile the annual Summer Reading List. Like a fine cheese and wine combo, some books are just meant to be enjoyed together. Here are a few pairings I highly recommend, along with their Amazon links, so you can fill up your beach bag with the best books ever (or just your Kindle. Livin’ in the future.)

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1. Journey to the Center of the Earth (free for Kindle!! Yaaaayyy old books!)  is a wonderfully thought out sci-fi adventure (no aliens, just really, really cool inner earth exploration and an Icelandic guy) by my homeboy Jules Verne. I found a copy in my basement that my grandmother had, and it had me from page one. It goes very well with another imaginative tale by H.G Wells (also free for Kindle!) about a mysterious Time Traveler taking his machine thousands and thousands of years into the future to the land of a race called the Eloi, and the dangerous underground Morlocks who terrorize them. It is appropriately titled The Time Machine.  Also riveting, and a quick read (a little over 100 pages I think?).  I think I loved both of these together because they provide great escapes from reality and both have that sort of old book diction that I love. Indefatigably.

 

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2. The Help, a heartwarming, and sometimes wrenching, story of an outcast white woman and two black women coming together to write a book about the lives of black maids in the South during the 1960s. This book made my laugh and smile and tear up as I followed the journeys of these seemingly different, but very much the same, women during the Civil Rights Movement. It goes very well with a serving of The Secret Life of Bees, set in the same time period and the same South. It deals with similar issues, but in more of a “coming of age” sort of way, and is also a wonderful summer read.

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3. The Secret Garden and A Little Princess probably go so well together because they’re by the same lady, but these stories are always two of my favorites. The first follows a little girl sent to live with her uncle after her parents die who finds a new outlook on life and family, and the second is about a formerly rich young girl reduced to a maid when her father dies. Her imagination and her friendship with another maid at her boarding school will make your heart smile. If you like early 20th century period literature, you should definitely go buy these. The Secret Garden is free for kindle.

What books do you love to read? Please let me know in the comments! (:

xoxo,

Morgan

 

On the Bookshelf

In honor of it being the weekend, one of the few days I have to spend five hours reading, I’d like to share a few of my favorites with you and invite you to do the same! Here it goes:

Awaken

Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky

I have never been so quickly pulled into a world and so attached to characters than in this book. It takes place in a world where everything from school to dating is done digitally, which is an incredibly possible future. When Maddie, whose father is the creator of Digital School, meets Justin (romance!), she’s whisked away into the outside world where people (le gasp!) actually want to live a face-to-face existence. At first, I thought this was the only book in the series, and I was left with a terrible hole in my soul, but it turns out it’s part of a TRILOGY with a PREQUEL. OMG. Very highly recommended if you, like me, enjoy dystopia and romance.

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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

1939. Nazi Germany. Narrated by Death himself. Liesel Meminger discovers she loves books, is taught to read by her foster father, and shares her books with her town and the Jewish man hidden in her basement during bomb raids. A brilliant read.

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Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Everything is so genetically modified in yet another dystopian novel that men only live to be 25, and women only 20. The world is in a state of panic and geneticists race to fix their mistakes as young girls are sold off as brides to wealthy men. Lots of suspense and romance ensues when the protagonist, Rhine, marries a man who falls in love with her and at the same time, so does one of his servants. Part of a trilogy I could NOT put down.

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Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Liz Gilbert is my idol and an incredible author. You will get lost in her travels as she discovers herself in Italy, India, and Indonesia. I never re-read books, and have read this one at least three times. Not once. Not twice. Thrice. It’s that good.

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Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Part of the four-part Inheritance Cycle, which I have yet to finish. Eragon is a great escapist read, and follows the life of a teenage boy (you guessed it) Eragon, as he discovers a mysterious rock in a mountain range known as The Spine in his land of Alagaesia. If you enjoy the Hobbit or Lord of the Rings books, you’ll like this. Dragons, elves, battle, evil, truth, lies, AHH.

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The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

A family mystery that flips back and forth in time. I couldn’t put this one down either, and although it’s a pretty thick book (560 pages), I finished it in two or three days. Maybe this isn’t impressive for you avid readers, but usually my attention span dwindles after 100 pages a session. Similar to another one of my favorites, The Secret Garden.

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Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne

Honestly, you have no excuse not to read this because it’s free for Kindle because it’s a CLASSIC. Admittedly, it does begin a little slowly, but once the German Professor and his nephew (along with their trusty Icelandic guide) are in the volcano headed down through the Earth, you’ll forget all of your troubles and instead wonder what you’ve been doing on the outer crust all these years. Giants, mushroom forests, sea monsters, peril. Read it. Jules Verne is the man.

Matched

Matched by Ally Condie

In a (yes, dystopian…) world where the Society controls everything from your food rations to who you’ll marry, Cassia has to decide whether to play along or take her grandfather’s advice and question everything she has ever known when two faces flash on her port screen when she is Matched. To make matters worse, she knows both of them. One is her best friend, and one is a quiet boy from her class with more to tell than meets the eye. Like the inside cover says, “it’s the difference between passion and perfection”. Also part of a trilogy. I’m on the second book now, and am still completely engaged.

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Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Part of the Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy, a surprisingly engrossing romance between a human and a werewolf. Now, BEFORE you knock this, it is nothing like Twilight. I, too was very hesitant to read this when it mentioned werewolves, but I don’t think you’ll regret it. I was SO invested in Sam and Grace’s relationship and I think I cried a few times along the way, which is impressive.

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A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

Another trilogy, like nothing I hae ever read. Victorian gothic, magic, love. I can’t really explain it, so here is what Amazon says about it:

Gemma, 16, has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother’s death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls’ academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique. Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions “for a bit of fun” and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left wi! th the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the “others” and rebuild the Order. A Great and Terrible Beauty is an impressive first book in what should prove to be a fascinating trilogy.

Can you really say no at this point?

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Like music, I’m always looking for new books to devour and I’d love to hear what some of your favorites are! Leave a link to your blog so I can come say hi!

😀
Morgan

Want it Wednesday: Book Nerds Unite

So it’s technically Thursday because I am a party animal, BUT since I missed last weeks WIW, I felt very compelled to deliver this week. This will be centered around a few of my favorite books and also my strong love for maps (like a hobbit! Except for I’m 5’11” so I don’t really count…) And Etsy. Aaaalways Etsy.

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This necklace is so charming! I have loved pooh Bear ever since I was about 2 and shall never stop.

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OH MY LORD THIS SKIRT.  It’s a map, on a skirt, of ALAGAESIA. Does no one else love Eragon? I don’t care. I want this. 

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If I had an iPhone, this is what it would be wearing. 

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Another skirt, but this time it’s…HOBBIT THEMED! YAYYY!

Thanks for letting me release my inner (but fashion conscious because map skirts are IN right now, just FYI) nerd. See you next Wednesday!

Second breakfasts and dragons,

Morgan

 

 

 

 

Books I Love: Mental Health Edition

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So, confession time: I am SO OBSESSED with ModCloth. They’re a cute little site best known for their mod/retro/indie clothing (which I’m sure is a long future post), but my favorite section to browse through (besides the dresses…) are the books. They have so many (!!), and they’re all quirky and super entertaining. Since I’m big on focusing on emotional and mental health right now, I’m here to share a few of my favorite well-being books from the site.

The one above is the Gaining Perspective Journal, a journal filled with blank pages and inspiring quotes and pictures to keep your imagination working. I don’t know about you, but I love journaling. I love the idea of being able to look back at all the seasons of your life and see how you’ve grown, changed, and even how you’ve stayed the same.  I wish I did it more. I’m one of those people that just wants to capture everything in a journal (which I know is ridiculous, but hey, I’m a slave to sentimentality).  Sadly, I definitely don’t journal as much as I want to. Usually, I journal when I have negative emotions to get out, and then get hung up on those which is so NOT the point of journaling. I think this book would definitely help me to keep myself more on the positive side.

2. It’s Gonna Be Okay Journal

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This is an adorable and colorful journal filled with quotes to inspire you. You just find a quote that speaks to you on whatever day you’re writing on, date the blank journal page next to it, and start writing! It’s supposed to help you find some ‘inner truth’, which I think is really cool. I’ve been having a lot of those overwhelming days lately, and this would be awesome to have on hand.

3. You Are Good At Things

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This book is a funny pick-me up and confidence booster. It’s a giant checklist of things you might just be a total wiz at. Some examples include: Sensing how many sheets of paper a stapler can handle, noticing new haircuts, knowing the official names for all the pasta shapes, and knowing whether flowing, all-white outfits indicate cult membership or a fashion preference. Check, check, check, and…um…

4. Collected Quotations

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Aside from having a gorgeous cover, this is a sweet book of inspiring quotes categorized into sections like movies, friends & family, literary quotes. There’s even a section for you to write your own favorites!

5. Personal Assistant Organizer

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The wonderfully cynical personal assistant. What’s better for mental health than organization? Once you open it up, it features a small accordion portfolio for you to put your, well, crap in. You can choose whether that crap is total crap or the same old crap and file accordingly. On the other side, there is a to-do list entitled “Endless Crap” with a small section at the bottom for “Even More Crap”. I love this! It’s perfect for my stressed out cynical self. They carry another (very cute bird themed) organizer that comes with to-do lists and sticky notes here, but I adore the crap themed one.

That’s it for today, but I have trillions more books to post about in the future.
🙂
Morgan