Art, Feminism, and the 1950s: A Mona Lisa Smile-Inspired Reading List

Mona Lisa Smile

Hello chums! Yesterday evening I finished watching Mona Lisa Smile (2003), which is a film I had never heard of before I stumbled across it on Netflix. Set in the 1950s, Mona Lisa Smile follows Katherine Ann Watson (Julia Roberts), who is considered a rather bohemian and modern woman, as she accepts a position teaching art history at Wellesley College, an ultra-conservative, all-girls institution in Massachusetts. Most of the girls at Wellesley are just there to bide their time until they are married, an idea which Katherine Watson disagrees with completely. The plot of the movie focuses around how Katherine Watson teaches her students to not only to expand their horizons when it comes to thinking about art, but she also teaches them that they can aspire to be more than just wives and mothers.

I thought this movie was completely wonderful – the 1950s New England setting was gorgeous, the cast was incredible (including not only Julia Roberts but other well-known names such as Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Ginnifer Goodwin), the writing was clever, and the feminist undertones were, in my opinion, very well-done. This move encompassed so many of my own interests – art history, feminism, academia, and America during the 1950s – that I thought it might be fun to put together a reading list inspired by the film. You can still enjoy all of these books even if you haven’t seen the film, but I hope that if you have this list might serve as a place where you can continue to explore some of the themes of the movie. Without further ado, let’s get into the list. 🙂 Continue reading “Art, Feminism, and the 1950s: A Mona Lisa Smile-Inspired Reading List”

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Sunday Morning Book Chats Part 12 – Morgan from @literaryloveaffair_

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This interview was originally conducted back in July of 2016, however due to my busy university schedule it is only being posted now. I apologize for the delay!

Hello lovely readers! As I’m sure some of you already know, last week I relaunched my Sunday Morning Book Chats series with an interview from the incredibly lovely Steph and this week, as promised, I’ve got another bookstagrammer for you. This week’s interviewee is Morgan from @literaryloveaffair_, who I can genuinely say is one of my favorite people in the entire boosktagram community. Morgan and I first started talking because we wanted to a buddy read a classic together (which we still have yet to do, shame on us!) and we instantly clicked. She is one of the kindest souls I have ever had the pleasure of encountering, and I truly treasure every conversation we have together. I’m sure you’ll love her and her boosktagram account as much as I do, so, without further ado, let’s hear from Morgan!

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Review: American Gods by Neil Gaiman

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american gods book coverTitle: American Gods

Author: Neil Gaiman

Publisher: William Morrow

Length: 529 pages

Summary (from back cover): Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life. But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and a rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself. Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined – it is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own.

American Gods is one of those books that I can’t stop talking about but can’t seem to bring myself to review. I’ve been done with this book for almost a week now, and I’ve set it on my desk with the sole intention of sitting down and reviewing it, yet I can’t seem to bring myself to actually write about it. This isn’t because it’s a bad book – make no mistake, I completely and utterly loved this book.  Maybe it is because I loved it so entirely that I’m not sure how to put my feelings about it into words. I suppose I’ll try anyways; after all, is that not the purpose of this blog? Continue reading “Review: American Gods by Neil Gaiman”

Sunday Morning Book Chats Part 11 – Steph from @bookishsteph1

sunday-morningbook-chats-11This interview was originally conducted back in July of 2016, however due to my busy university schedule it is only being posted now. I apologize for the delay!

Hello, hello, hello! As I’m sure many of you will remember, a while ago I started a weekly series where each Sunday I would sit down and chat with one of my favorite bookstagrammers and talk about life, literature, and any advice they might have for getting started with bookstagram. I really loved putting together this series, and I heard loads of lovely things from people who enjoyed reading these interviews, however I unfortunately got very busy with university work and just generally stopped blogging. As many of you know, though, I’m now on summer vacation, which means I have plenty of time to relaunch the Sunday Morning Book Chats series! This will, of course, include publishing all of the previous interviews I never got around to posting, as well as hopefully adding to the lineup and conducting some new interviews. For an up-to-date schedule of when these interviews will be going up, click here or check the Sunday Morning Book Chats tab at the top of the page.

Enough rambling – on to the interview! This Sunday’s featured bookstagrammer is the incredibly lovely Steph from @bookishsteph1. As well as running a completely stunning bookstagram account (with 12.5 thousand followers, might I add), Steph is a mum from Wales, a founder of the Maidens of Murder book club, and rep for the adorable Etsy shop JanesTinyThings. Without further ado, let’s hear from Steph. 🙂

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Musings on Writing, Anxiety, and My Blogging Hiatus

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My, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? Hello old friends, I hope you’re all doing marvelously. About three weeks ago I finished my freshman year of college (woo!) and, as I tend to do when anything major comes to an end, I’ve been feeling very introspective lately. Part of this has been related to my schoolwork, obviously, as in thinking about what I liked and what I didn’t, what I did well at and areas where I think I should improve. Another major part of this, however, has been thinking about the things I do for fun, particularly book blogging, because during the last couple of months I became completely consumed by school work, neglecting those activities like reading and writing that I love so dearly. And while school is important, the things we enjoy are also important, and finding a balance between work and play is something I need work on. Not just a little bit of work, a huge amount of work. Basically, I’m hopeless at it. Continue reading “Musings on Writing, Anxiety, and My Blogging Hiatus”

December and Christmas Book Haul

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Hello lovely readers! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful holiday season – I know I certainly have. While December hasn’t really been a successful reading month for me, what with finals and the holidays, it has most definitely been a wonderful month for acquiring new books. I thought I would take sometime today to show you the the new books that have come into my life lately, both books I’ve bought myself and books I’ve received as gifts for Christmas. These are all books that I’ve been wanting for ages, and I can’t wait to read them in 2017. Continue reading “December and Christmas Book Haul”

Farewell Autumn: A Tribute to My Favorite Season

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The days are shorter, the trees are bare, and far too much turkey has been consumed. This can only mean one thing: it’s almost December!

December is a bittersweet month for me. It brings the joys of Christmas, of course, which is my favorite holiday, but it also means the end of another one of my favorite things – autumn. I love everything about autumn – the weather, the changing of the leaves, the food (anyone for pumpkin pie?) – and while I am incredibly excited for Christmas, I am also rather sad to be leaving fall behind.

Therefore, with winter looming ever closer, I thought I would put together a bit of a quote and photo diary as a tribute to my favorite season. All of the photos you’ll see below were taken by me this fall at Greenfield Village, which is a massive outdoor history museum located in Dearborn, Michigan. It is home to a variety of famous historical buildings, such as Abraham Lincoln’s courthouse, Thomas Edison’s lab, Robert Frost’s home, and the farmhouse in which Noah Webster wrote the dictionary. Continue reading “Farewell Autumn: A Tribute to My Favorite Season”