I am a very impatient person, and though it’s not exactly what Tolstoy had in mind, I do have to repeat this to myself like some kind of hippie mantra at times.
When my brother send me a picture of this pumpkin based on the one ring in Lord of The Rings, he started something of an obsession…. my heart melted a bit. All I knew was that I loved it, I wanted it, I neeeds it…. my precioussss pumpkin…
I realised I needed to seek more bookish pumpkin fun and came across this brilliant post from A Book Lover’s Diary of 20 Pumpkin Carvings Inspired By Books. These have been made by grandmasters. They are not for the likes of me to try carving at home. I’ll have to cheat something like these cute (but under carved) pumpkins inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven from Country Living and Etsy
What are the best literary pumpkins you’ve come across?
An inspirational quote to kick the working week off, but I’m never entirely sure whether I actually believe it. Regardless of whether you believe in free will or determinism (or compatiblism, I’ve done my reading) I don’t think anyone can truly believe that their destiny is entirely theirs to decide.
Still, it’s a nice thought and sounds good on a Monday.
Happy new year, readers! Instead of telling you my New Years Resolutions, I’m interested to hear what you would like to see from me.
I am hoping to bring you some exciting book related posts in 2013, but am really interested to know what you would like to see on The Book and Biscuit in 2013. If you have any ideas for blog posts in 2013, please submit them via the form below.
Recently, instead of catching up on the news while I wait for the bus, I’ve been reminding myself how much I love reading classic fairy tales by reading the stories of Hans Christian Andersen and The Brothers Grimm as eBooks on my phone. The stories are still great, but the lack the magic of settling down by the fire with a beautifully illustrated book. In honour of Christmas Magic, I thought I would share my top fairytale inspired Christmas presents. I hope you find them helpful when shopping for gifts for fairytale lovers.
No list of gifts for lovers of fairy stories would be complete without the Folio Society Fairy Books. Colourful, luxurious and beautifully illustrated with introductions from key names in folklore studies, I think they would make the perfect Christmas present. I’m tempted to start a collection as well, but where to start? They’re all so beautiful. The Folio Fairy Books are quite expensive but have real heirloom potential.
This Once Upon A Time storybook necklace, is made from solid silver, and can be customized with a personal message especially for your fairytale fan. It also comes in a really cute little gift box, which is a bonus if you’re no good at wrapping presents. I have this necklace and people always ask about it, especially children who want to open it and read the story inside (it doesn’t open sadly).
I used to have a copy of The Frog Price that was decorated with the most amazing papercut illustrations, I think it might actually still be at my father’s house so I’ll need to dig it out when I’m next back. These papercut illustrations of Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood remind me of that book, and I love the splash of red in Little Red Riding Hood’s coat along with the important life advice, it seems a more Brothers Grimm phrase than the slightly saccharine one that accompanies Cinderella…
I love Heather Alstead’s Fairy Tale range at Not On The Highstreet, there are so many beautifully designed products, but these storytelling bookends, happily ever after bookmark and dragon slaying mug have to be my favourites.
Passed from foster home to foster home her entire life, eighteen year old Victoria finds it difficult to connect with people. As a coping mechanism, she uses the Victorian language of flowers to tell people how she really feels about them while keeping them at a distance. But one day she meets a young man who speaks her secret language, forcing her to confront a past she is keen to forget.
As Victoria makes bouquets that fix her clients lives and gain her a cult following, she struggles with feelings of inadequacy, a legacy of the repeated rejection she experienced as a small child. In Victoria, Diffenbaugh has created a heroine who is vulnerable without being Dickensian, so though the novel highlights the plight of children growing up in care and young adults leaving the system, it never feels excessively like a sermon. Many of the minor characters are similarly engaging and well outlined, though at times, customers in the shop and other cast members felt a little like devices for advancing the plot.
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh reads like a hybrid of White Oleander and Like Water for Chocolate- A young woman shaped by her life in the system, and a young woman who has grown up without expresses her feelings by making things which physically or mentally affect others. This isn’t to say that this is derivative, I don’t think it is, but if you liked either of these, you may well enjoy reading this title.
This is a nice gentle read, and the story is pretty engaging. It also comes with a handy dictionary of flower meanings at the back of the book, so if you want to fill your house or garden with secret messages, it’s a handy starting point.
You might be interested to know that Vanessa Diffenbaugh has founded The Camellia Network to support young people aging out of foster care. The meaning of camellia in the language of flowers? My destiny is in your hands.
I haven’t posted in a while and unfortunately, I’m doing it because I’ve got really sad news. This evening we had to have my best friend, Lettice the Rabbit, more commonly known as Rabbity put down as she had caught myxomatosis.
I know this isn’t my usual book or food related topic, but I thought that this was important news to share, as I had no idea that there is a massive outbreak of myxomatosis in the UK this summer, or that rabbits who aren’t in contact with wild animals can catch this. The vet tells me that this can be spread by insects such as fleas or mosquitoes. Even indoor rabbits aren’t safe. Rabbits can be vaccinated, and the vaccine should last a year, but they’ve had to euthanize animals who’ve had the booster as recently as six months ago, so if you have a rabbit please get it checked and vaccinated by your vet as soon as possible. I’m devastated to have lost my little friend, and I am hoping that by telling people I will be able to help keep their pets safe.
Please pass this message on to anyone you know who has a rabbit. Once they catch it there is nothing the vet can do to save them.
Rabbity Rabbit, you will be sorely missed. Who else will take as much interest in what I plant in the garden, cuddle me as I sunbathe and bite my ankles to let me know I’ve been reading too long and that it’s time to play?
Cash strapped? I know I am at the moment, even more so since I started trying to scrabble together each and every spare penny for a deposit for a house. Inspired by this I decided to put together some handy hints on ways to get the books you want to read at a price you can afford. On the bright side all of these tips are environmentally friendly, because you are reusing rather than demanding the print of extra books.
Making use of your public library or school library is probably the easiest way to get hold of the best sellers for free. Sign up for a library card and you can rent a selection of books for weeks at a time, just make sure that you renew or return by the due date to avoid fines. Libraries have the added advantage of having a great sense of community spirit, and if you make friends with your librarian they will get to know your tastes in literature and be able to tell you when they have some great books in that you are likely to enjoy. I’ve been introduced to some great books and authors this way, including the fabulous Gatty’s Tale by Kevin Crossley-Holland.
2) Set Up a Swap Table
At work we have a swap table in the lobby where you can take your books when you’ve finished reading them and pick up a new book in exchange. This doesn’t even need to be limited to books. Our table is fairly book dominated because of the nature of the publishing industry, but I’ve also seen CDs, DVDs, cake and in the summer a glut of allotment fruit and vegetables. All the benefits of swapping with a friend of family member but with much greater variety.
3) Charity Shops
As well as clothes that I’ve realised just don’t suit me, I take books that I’ve read to my local charity shop. I have regular clear outs, and not only do I get the exercise benefits of lugging along some pretty weighty tomes on the way there, but I invariably end up finding something I haven’t read but want to. On my last charity shop book buying spree I ended up carting home eleven books for six pounds. Now that is amazing value.
4) Green Metropolis
If you prefer to be able to select the book you want rather than have fate choose the book for you, greenmetropolis.com is a great site to allow you to boost your financial wellbeing at the same time as your eco credentials. There is a flat fee of £3.75 for each book, and 5p from each sale is donated to the Woodland Trust. Not only does the site sell cheap books with great green clout, but you can sell the books back when you’re done and receive a fee for £3 per book. You’ll have to pay for postage out of this, but can still turn a profit when recycling packaging and sending via second class post.
5) Book Mooch
Or if anonymous swapping is more your thing (I don’t know who left the Mills and Boon and Jackie Collins books on the swap table, I’d die if anyone thought it was me…) then swap online via bookmooch.co.uk . Though you do have to be patient while you wait for the book you want to appear, there is an immense sense of satisfaction in hunting down that little gem. Especially good for classics such as The Great Gatsby or set study texts.
What are your money saving reading tips?
I won’t be very active on the blog for a few days because I’m in the USA for work- my first time here and I’m loving it. I had plenty of time to read on the flight out, especially as I didn’t manage to sleep and arrived on the verge of a migraine and ready to have a real temper tantrum!
I was sat in between two people on the flight out, a very friendly guy and a woman who avoided eye contact for ten hours and ten minutes. This seemed a little unfair at first, but after I started reading may have been justified. I picked up a copy of Sarah Winman’s When God Was a Rabbit and spent the early part of the book laughing, and the latter part- you’ve guessed it- sobbing and rubbing my face into my sleeve. Oh and occasionally doing both at the same time.
I will post my review when arrive home, then you can read the book and let me know whether my emotional outbursts were perfectly understandable or the work of a mad woman!