Top 5 Wednesday – Favorite Villains!

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Top 5 Wednesday time! This week’s topic: Favorite Villains! We’ve been asked not to use Harry Potter characters for this one!

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Nils Bjurman from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: He is the legal guardian of Salander (the main character) and he is awful. The. Worst. I specifically waited to watch the U.S. version of the movie until it was released on DVD so I could fast forward past his main scene. Reading it was hard enough.

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Kevin from We Need to Talk About Kevin: Without going into too much detail, he is responsible for a massacre at his high school. The book itself is actually pretty interesting, especially Kevin’s mother.

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Humbert Humbert from Lolita: For obvious reasons.

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Aaron from Titus Andronicus: I read this in college and it’s considered to be Shakespeare’s first tragedy. It is insanely violent and has plenty of characters that I would consider villainous but Aaron stands out the most to me. Hands down the most violent Shakespeare play I’ve ever read.

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And because women can be villains too – Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. She is one cold hearted woman.

Who are some of your favorite villains? Leave a link to your T5W in the comments below!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Holiday Gift Guide!

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‘Tis the season to buy stuff so this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is very appropriate – Holiday Gift Guide Freebie! Here are some fun literary-themed gifts I think are pretty great!

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Literary Tattoos by Litographs – They have everything from Pride & Prejudice to Moby Dick and only cost $5 for a set of 2!

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I always welcome an Amazon Gift Card. Always.

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There are a lot of Harry Potter Ornaments out there. This one from B&N is pretty adorable.

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Whosits and Whatsits has a ton of cute stuff! If you like your literary clothing a little more subtle, try this Peter Pan crew neck.

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I love a good book subscription and when it comes to Young Adult books I think Owl Crate is the best!

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If tattoos aren’t your thing, Litographs also has fun scarfs! This one has 30,000 words from Anne of Green Gables printed on it! You can even pick from a variety of colors.

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If you like the idea of a book box but don’t want to commit to a subscription, Out of Print has a book box! Just wait for a theme you like and you’re good to go!

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Beyond the Pages19 has super fun magnetic bookmarks, including these Gone with the Wind ones. For less than $5 you have a great gift! There are also some Gilmore Girls options!

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The New York Public Library sells these fun memo pads! The NYP Library sells a lot of great literary items so I recommend browsing their site!

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The library nerd in me loves Dewey-related gifts. This necklace is a good example!

I can’t wait to see what everyone else posts for this one! Feel free to share your list in the comments below!

Top 5 Wednesday – Books I Want to Re-Read!

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It’s time for Top 5 Wednesday! This week’s topic: Books I Want to Re-Read!

These are five books I absolutely loved! I finished these and immediately told friends and family members to read them. I’d like to re-read these one day to see if I’d have the same reaction the second time around.

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Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon: I count this as one of the best books I’ve ever read. I had a emotional reaction to this book that I rarely have. Blurb:

Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets–an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.

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The Heartbreaking Work of a Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers: This book is amazing! I loved every second of reading it! Premise:

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is the moving memoir of a college senior who, in the space of five weeks, loses both of his parents to cancer and inherits his eight-year-old brother. Here is an exhilarating debut that manages to be simultaneously hilarious and wildly inventive as well as a deeply heartfelt story of the love that holds a family together.

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Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt: This book made me want to visit Savannah. I immediately recommended this book to my mom and she didn’t like it nearly as much. I thought it was fantastic.

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Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris: I’ve read most of Sedaris’ books and this is my favorite. I’ve also heard a him read a few stories on NPR and watched him read live. I think he’s hilarious.

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Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer: I managed to get a signed copy of this when I was working at Borders. I couldn’t get into the first time around but picked it up maybe a year or so later and loved everything about it. Description:

With only a yellowing photograph in hand, a young man — also named Jonathan Safran Foer — sets out to find the woman who may or may not have saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Accompanied by an old man haunted by memories of the war; an amorous dog named Sammy Davis, Junior, Junior; and the unforgettable Alex, a young Ukrainian translator who speaks in a sublimely butchered English, Jonathan is led on a quixotic journey over a devastated landscape and into an unexpected past.

I have so many books on my to-read list that I rarely re-read books but I know I’ll eventually get around to the 5 listed above.

What books do you want to re-read?

Top Ten Tuesday – Movie Freebie!

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is not book related, but should still be fun – Movie Freebie! With the weather getting colder and December only a few weeks away (yikes), I’m going with Top Ten Movies I Watch Each Winter.

Now, some of these wouldn’t necessarily make a film critic’s greatest-of-all-time list but I still love them!

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Harry Potter – Because the year just doesn’t feel complete with out a HP marathon!

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Little Women – I love this one! Now if I can just convince my husband to watch it with me.

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Die Hard – It’s technically a Christmas movie, right?

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Star Wars – A Star Wars marathon is great on a snow day.

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The Holiday – This is total fluff and I love it.

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Anne of Green Gables – I must watch this every winter. No matter what.

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A Christmas Story – Tradition.

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Elf – I love Elf! It cracks me up. My neighbors have a huge Buddy cutout they put up every year that is awesome. They also have a HUGE blowup Stay Puft marshmallow man they put out during Halloween. Basically, they have amazing taste in holiday decor.

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Home Alone – A classic.

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Love, Actually – I have a very serious love of this movie. My favorite story line is probably the Colin Firth one but they are all great.

Do you re-watch movies during the winter months? What are some of your favorites?

Songs Inspired by Literature

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Friend: “There are a lot of songs about Nineteen Eighty-Four.”
Me: “Huh?”
Friend: “The book. George Orwell.”
Me: “Okay…”

Thus began a Google search, which turned into a ridiculous amount of time spent on You Tube listing to songs inspired by books. There are, in fact, a lot of songs inspired by Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four; several by David Bowie (1984 and Big Brother, for example.)

Here is a small list of other songs inspired by literature:

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If I Die Young by The Band Perry was inspired by The Lady of Shallot by Lord Tennyson – You’ve probably heard this song on the radio. The band’s lead singer, Kimberly Perry, said in an interview that she read this poem multiple times before writing the tune. I only know this poem because of Anne of Green Gables, I’m not gonna lie.

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Sigh No More by Mumford and Sons includes lines from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing including “Serve God, love me, and mend,” “For man is a giddy thing,” and, of course, “Sigh no more.”

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Off to the Races by Lana Del Ray references Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov including the line “Light of your life, fire of your loins.”

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Jamaica Inn by Tori Amos is clearly inspired by the Daphne du Maurier novel of the same name. A good book, by the way, if you like du Maurier’s other stories like Rebecca and The Birds!

There are so many other songs inspired by literature as well. What are some of your favorite songs inspired by a novel, play, poem, etc.?