Month: August 2016

Circles of Influence

Because I’m a bit of a nerd and love to trace “family trees” of influential people to learn who influenced them and who they in turn influenced.

I found this great infograph about this the other day  and just had to share it. I love how diverse it is, including literature, science, music, and even film.




Top Ten Tuesday: “Travelin’ tae bonnie Scootlund”

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a new theme and you can participate whenever you want. This week’s theme is: Top ten books with X setting.

I, of course, chose the beautiful Scotland. While I studied at University of St. Andrews I was able to take a fantastic course on Scottish Literature, which allowed me to read a number of books that all are set in Scotland. Some were great others….not so much (I’m looking at you Waverly). 

Since then, I’ve had the pleasure to read more Scottish books, and enjoy the unique beauty and richness of the Scot’s literary tradition.



Top Cats (And Introducing Oliver!)

My family got a cat! Since I was a young girl I have tried to convince my dad to get us a cat (we had three while I was growing up but they had died when I was still fairly young). So when this absolutely adorable little one showed up just two weeks ago, I begged and begged once more. And he (finally) relented.


Little Oliver ❤ 

So, in honor of the long-awaited cat – his name is Oliver by the way – I’ve decided to do a post of my favorite cats in books!

  1. I will of course start with the Cheshire Cat, probably one of the most famous on this list. He has always been my favorite character from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Witty and vague he is just the sort of talking cat that you’d want to run into as you wander through Wonderland.
  2. Maurice in The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents is a who is good at “doing what cats do, that is, steering people.” He’s a hilarious figure that made this book a delightful read.
  3. Mogget  from Sabriel is the very epitome of a selfish, fickle cat. And he is hilarious for it. With great quotes and maddening logic, he is both a fun character and a great addition to the literary cat.
  4. Buttercup from Hunger Games is another great literary cat. Though this is the first on the list who can’t talk, he (or is it she?) is still a fantastic character, full of the very best cat pretense and cockroach like abilities to survive anything. Of course, the most touching moment  involving Buttercup – and what makes every reader sob – comes at the end of Mockingjay…. but I won’t spoil that.

There are many more book cat’s that I love, but these are just a few of my absolute favorites. The changeable nature and strange affection that cats give make them the most frustratingly sweet pets.

What are some of your favorite literary cats?



Playlist | To A God Unknown by John Steinbeck

Ancient pagan beliefs, the great Greek epics, and the Bible all inform this extraordinary novel by Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck, which occupied him for more than five difficult years. While fulfilling his dead father’s dream of creating a prosperous farm in California, Joseph Wayne comes to believe that a magnificent tree on the farm embodies his father’s spirit. His brothers and their families share in Joseph’s prosperity, and the farm flourishes—until one brother, frightened by Joseph’s pagan belief, kills the tree, allowing disease and famine to descend on the farm. Set in familiar Steinbeck country, To a God Unknown is a mystical tale, exploring one man’s attempt to control the forces of nature and, ultimately, to understand the ways of God and the forces of the unconscious within.


Train – Nick Hans (Jackie & Ryan Soundtrack)steinbeck

Nothing But the Water (I) – Grace Potter & The Nocturnals

I’ve Rationed Well – July Talk

Ritual Fire Dance – Manuel de Falla

Lose Your Soul – Dead Man’s Bones

Will There Be Enough Water – The Dead Weather

Bleeding Muddy Water – Mark Lanegan

Worship – Ane Brun

Song Of Time – Abel Korzeniowski


Playlist | The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman

Quentin Coldwater has lost everything. He has been cast out of Fillory, the secret magical land of his childhood dreams that he once ruled. Everything he had fought so hard for, not to mention his closest friends, is sealed away in a land Quentin may never again visit. With nothing left to lose he returns to where his story began, the Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic. But he can’t hide from his past, and it’s not long before it comes looking for him. Meanwhile, the magical barriers that keep Fillory safe are failing, and barbarians from the north have invaded. Eliot and Janet, the rulers of Fillory, embark on a final quest to save their beloved world, only to discover a situation far more complex—and far more dire—than anyone had envisioned.

Along with Plum, a brilliant young magician with a dark secret of her own, Quentin sets out on a crooked path through a magical demimonde of gray magic and desperate characters. His new life takes him back to old haunts, like Antarctica and the Neitherlands, and old friends he thought were lost forever. He uncovers buried secrets and hidden evils and ultimately the key to a sorcerous masterwork, a spell that could create a magical utopia. But all roads lead back to Fillory, where Quentin must face his fears and put things right or die trying.


Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books You’d Buy Right This Second If Someone Handed You A Fully Loaded Gift Card

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature by the amazing The Broke and the Bookish. Each week has a new theme and you can participate as often as you’d like.

Since I was a child I’ve gone to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware every year for a beach vacation. Over the years my family has developed a number of traditions, from eating chocolate croissants from Lingo’s to playing shuffleboard in the park. My favorite has been the yearly trip to the lovely independent bookstore – Browseabout Books. Here I was allowed to choose one book (or two depending on how much begging I did…one year I convinced my grandmother to buy 5 books for me!) to read while on the beach – though it’s not like I hadn’t brought at least 4 others. It was always special to choose a new book from this quaint little bookstore.

So, I thought, since I am currently at the beach, that this would be a fantastic week to do Top Ten Tuesday.

Without farther ado….


Retellings of all Kinds

I love retellings, I think they are fascinating and can add so much to a classic fairy tale, myth, or even wonderful novels from the past centuries! So when I came across this wonderful flowchart I just had to share! Epic Reads did a great job with it and I highly suggest checking out their website for a more detailed view of flowchart (plus it’ll be updated this December and I can’t wait to see the new version!)

What are some of your favorite retellings?