Bookish DIY: Scrabble Tile Pendants

Hey everyone! I'm back at it with the bookish DIYs! Summer means a lot more time to read, but also just a lot more time to do things I wouldn't be able to do in the school year. So crafting has been super fun and of COURSE I had to make everything book related. 

I've seen scrabble tile pendants everywhere- but I first got the inspiration for these when I saw Celeste's daily pendant posts (her blog here) which were basically book covers on pendants. So I decided to make them myself, and after watching a few videos, got started!

26 CLASSICS: The Great Gatsby #11

Title: The Great Gatsby
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Genre: Classics
Year Published: 1925

Blurb: Young, handsome and fabulously rich, Jay Gatsby is the bright star of the Jazz Age, but as writer Nick Carraway is drawn into the decadent orbit of his Long Island mansion, where the party never seems to end, he finds himself faced by the mystery of Gatsby's origins and desires. Beneath the shimmering surface of his life, Gatsby is hiding a secret: a silent longing that can never be fulfilled. And soon, this destructive obsession will force his world to unravel.

In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald brilliantly captures both the disillusionment of post-war America and the moral failure of a society obsessed with wealth and status. But he does more than render the essence of a particular time and place, for in chronicling Gatsby's tragic pursuit of his dream, Fitzgerald re-creates the universal conflict between illusion and reality.

Me: A reread that was completely worth it. I hadn't quite grasped the true magnitude of what Fitzgerald had put into words.

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender Review

Title: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
Author: Leslye Walton
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: Magical Realism, Fantasy

Blurb: Magical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga.

Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird.

First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.

Me: Incredible. I've been meaning to read this for a very long time now, and I'm so so glad I got around to doing it. 

Books and #PRIDE: Combatting Homophobia

Two days ago, the world (and especially the United States) woke up to absolutely terrifying and devastating news. The largest mass shooting in U.S. history had occurred at a gay bar in Orlando, Florida, killing 50 people. I'm sure that you've heard about the atrocity. I have never been hit so hard by any piece of news. 

I suddenly was so ashamed to be American. If this is what our country allows, and if change has not happened for so long, when? When? I still cannot fathom what happened. Although there are multiple issues being debated in light of this shooting, including gun control and islamophobia, I would like to focus on homophobia for today, and what literature can do to combat it. 

Spain: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Title: The Shadow of the Wind
Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Publisher: Penguin Books
Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction

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.

Me: My favorite book that I have read in 2016 so far, and one of my favorites of all time. All lovers of literature should read. 

Lebanon: One Thousand and One Nights Review

Title: One Thousand and One Nights
Author: *retelling* Hanan Al-Shaykh
Genre: Classics, Retelling
Country: Lebanon

Blurb: Witty, poetic, erotic and brutal, One Thousand and One Nights are the never-ending stories told by the young Shahrazad under sentence of death to King Shahrayar. Maddened by the discovery of his wife's orgies, King Shahrayar believes all women are unfaithful and vows to marry a virgin every night and kill her in the morning. To survive, his newest wife Shahrazad spins a web of tales night after night, leaving the King in suspense when morning comes, thus prolonging her life for another day. Written in Arabic from tales gathered in India, Persia and across the great Arab empire, these mesmerising stories tell of the real and the supernatural, love and marriage, power and punishment, wealth and poverty, and the endless trials and uncertainties of fate. Now adapted by Hanan al-Shaykh the One Thousand and One Nights are revealed in an intoxicating new voice. 

26 CLASSICS: Emma #10

Title: Emma
Author: Jane Austen
Genre: Classics

Blurb: 'I never have been in love; it is not my way, or my nature; and I do not think I ever shall.'

Beautiful, clever, rich - and single - Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr. Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protegee Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected. With its imperfect but charming heroine and its witty and subtle exploration of relationships, Emma is often seen as Jane Austen's most flawless work.