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5 Poems About The Comforts of Home

In this difficult time, many of us have been urged to stay at home. This can be difficult for many, as this is not only a change in routine, but it is also a change to how we once interacted with the world around us. That isn’t easy. Regardless of if you are an introvert or an extrovert, a sudden change in routine is jarring.

When I find myself struggling with what is going on around me, I have a tendency to turn towards the stories and poems that I feel are comforting. While I can’t say that everyone does the same, or that my way even works, this is my way of processing the difficult emotions that I come up against.

So, with that in mind, here are five poems about the comforts of home.

 

1. “home” by Edgar Albert Guest

image via wikimedia commons
It takes a heap o’ livin’ in a house t’ make it home,
A heap o’ sun an’ shadder, an’ ye sometimes have t’ roam
Afore ye really ’preciate the things ye lef’ behind,
An’ hunger fer ’em somehow, with ’em allus on yer mind.
It don’t make any differunce how rich ye get t’ be,
How much yer chairs an’ tables cost, how great yer luxury;
It ain’t home t’ ye, though it be the palace of a king,
Until somehow yer soul is sort o’ wrapped round everything. (read more)

2. “A home” by sarah c. woolsey

image via stocksy united
What is a home? A guarded space,
   Wherein a few, unfairly blest,
Shall sit together, face to face,
   And bask and purr and be at rest?
Where cushioned walls rise up between
   Its inmates and the common air,
The common pain, and pad and screen
   From blows of fate or winds of care?
Where Art may blossom strong and free,
   And Pleasure furl her silken wing,
And every laden moment be
   A precious and peculiar thing? (read more)

3. “in praise of my bed” by meredith holmes

image via videohive
At last I can be with you!
The grinding hours
since I left your side!
The labor of being fully human,
working my opposable thumb,
talking, and walking upright. (read more)

4. “dog in bed” by joyce sidman

image via dogtime
Nose tucked under tail,
you are a warm, furred planet
centered in my bed.
All night I orbit, tangle-limbed,
in the slim space
allotted to me.
If I accidentally
bump you from sleep,
you shift, groan,
drape your chin on my hip. (read more)

5. “From a rooftop” by timothy steele

image via smartcity press
At dawn, down in the streets, from pavement grills,
Steam rises like the spent breath of the night.
At open windows, curtains stir on sills;
There’s caging drawn across a market’s face;
An empty crane, at its construction site,
Suspends a cable into chasmed space.
The roof shows other rooftops, their plateaus
Marked with antennas from which lines are tied
And strung with water beads or hung with clothes.
And here and there a pigeon comes to peck
At opaque puddles, its stiff walk supplied
By herky-jerky motions of its neck. (read more)
Featured image via Apartment Therapy

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5 Fun Cookbooks to Try Out

If you’re looking to try out some new recipes this quarantine or want to step up your cooking game, then check out these five fun cookbooks!

 

 

1. Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat

If you’re looking to step up your cooking game during this quarantine, then try Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. Revolutionary chef, Samin Nosrat distills expert cooking down to four elements: salt, fat, acid, and heat. This cookbook will teach you how to master salt to enhance flavor, fat to generate texture, acid to balance, and heat to overall complete a dish. This cookbook will have you cooking like a pro in no time! And after when you’re enjoying your delicious meal, check out Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat on Netflix based on Nosrat’s cookbook!

 

image via amazon

 

2. Tasty Every Day: All of the Flavor, None of the Fuss: A Cookbook by Tasty

If you find yourself constantly stuck in a loop of watching Tasty videos on Facebook, then this is the cookbook for you! Tasty Every Day: All of the Flavor, None of the Fuss has tons of easy and delicious recipes for your everyday meals. Whether you only have five ingredients or you’re short on time in the kitchen, Tasty Every Day has a recipe for everyone. Now every meal can be tasty! 

 

image via amazon

 

3. One-Pot Pasta: From Pot to Plate in Under 30 Minutes by Sabrina Fauda-Rôle

Calling all pasta fanatics! If you’re looking to step up your staple pasta dish in thirty minutes or less, then try One-Pot Pasta: From Pot to Plate in Under 30 Minutes. Sabrina Fauda-Rôle shares all her favorite ways to cook pasta from a simple spaghetti and meatballs dish to pasta with curried carrots and sesame seeds. Best of all, each recipe only requires one pot! If you’re looking for quick, easy, and delicious pasta recipes with minimal cleanup, then One-Pot Pasta: From Pot to Plate in Under 30 Minutes is the cookbook for you!

 

image via amazon

 

 

4. The Burn Cookbook: An Unofficial Unauthorized Cookbook for Mean Girls Fans by Jonathon Bennett and Nikki Martin

If you’re looking for a recipe that’s “so fetch”, then look no further than The Burn Cookbook: An Unofficial Unauthorized Cookbook for Mean Girls Fans. Created by Aaron Samuels himself, The Burn Cookbook features lots of tasty treats and behind the scenes stories from the iconic movie! Bennett also features some of his favorite childhood recipes, making this the perfect cookbook for anyone that’s still trying to make “fetch” happen! 

 

image via amazon

 

5. The Art of Mixology: Classic Cocktails and Curious Concoctions by Parragon Books

No meal is complete without a delicious cocktail! If you’re looking to take the edge of this quarantine or step up your mixology game, then pick up The Art of Mixology: Classic Cocktails and Curious Concoctions. With over 200 recipes, The Art of Mixology has everything from classic cocktails to contemporary creations. The book is divided into different sections such as Gin and Vodka, Bubbles, and Mocktails with something for everyone! So treat yourself and finish off your delicious meals with a delightful cocktail!

image via amazon

 

Featured Image via Well+Good

 

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Celebrate April Fool’s Day With 3 Literary Fools

In books, court fools are often looked down upon, usually winding up as the butt of a joke. But their prominence in literature is no coincidence; literary fools are often more important than they first appear, acting as wise or sometimes even prophetic characters. While the Shakespearean fool is the most common type of literary fool, many other works have continued a similar tradition. Whether you’d like to hear some jesters’ jokes this April Fool’s day, or just want to do some good-old literary analysis, these fools are sure to humor you.

1. Fool (King Lear)

via Royal Shakespeare Company

This play follows King Lear, an old king who wants nothing more than to be praised and worshiped by his people. After disowning one daughter, and splitting his kingdom between the other two, King Lear is quick to realize his two daughters were only after his power, and he slowly descends into madness. Throughout the play, Fool, the king’s jester, is one of few to speak frankly to the king, even when that means mocking him. While he often sings playful songs, his wise advice is invaluable. 

In a play focused on the divide between outward appearance and true character, Fool’s blunt honesty and wisdom fit right in. 

2. The Fool (The Farseer Trilogy)

via Amazon

The Fool in the Farseer Trilogy is first introduced in The Assassin’s Apprentice, but appears in Robin Hobb’s later works as well. The court jester for King Shrewd, The Fool is a playful character who is acrobatic and likes to play jokes on others. However, he is also a prophetic character whose abilities aid the main character, Fitz—an illegitimate royal—throughout the series. This duality of character is common in literary fools; beneath their “foolish” facades, they hold a certain amount of wisdom that other characters lack. Beyond that, The Fool also maintains a layer of mystery as characters struggle to fully pin down his gender. 

With his air of mystery and hidden abilities, this fool isn’t to be underestimated. 

 

3. Jest (Heartless)

via amazon

An imagining of the prequel to Alice in Wonderland, Heartless follows Catherine, a baker who dreams of one day opening her own bakery, despite her parents’ hope she might someday become queen. Unlike most literary fools, Jest appears in the book as a romantic figure who Catherine finds herself attracted to, despite being courted by the king. As the king’s joker, Jest is witty and entertaining. But he is also heroic and often tries to protect Catherine, whether that be by stalling Catherine’s engagement or insisting she doesn’t have to perform at Hatta’s tea party. 

Despite standing out from other literary fools, Jest’s mysterious motives and unknown past make him more than a simple court jester.

featured image via channel 411 news

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7 April-Born Authors to Read This Month

April is the month of warmer weather, budding flowers, and April showers. More importantly, it’s also the birth month of numerous influential authors. As readers, we tend to stick to the genres we feel most comfortable reading. But now that many of us are social-distancing at home, we have an abundance of time on our hands, which is all the more reason to check out some of these works–even if you wouldn’t normally pick them off a shelf. Ranging from rich fantasy to 18th century settings, these books will transport you to a different time–and maybe even a different world. 

1. Hans Christen Andersen – April 2, 1805

via fine art america

A Danish writer, Hans Christen Andersen is best known for his 19th century fairy tales, many of which have been adapted to Disney movies modern day. Despite the popularity of his children’s stories today–some of which include “The Little Mermaid,” “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” and “The Ugly Duckling”–many literary critics disapproved of his fairy tales when they were first published in the 19th century, and discouraged him from pursuing the genre. Andersen also published several novels.

Major works to check out: Hans Christensen Andersen’s Complete Fairy Tales

Not into children’s books? Watch these movies based on his works: Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Thumbelina, Fantasia 2000 (inspired by “The Steadfast Tin Soldier”)

 

2. Washington Irving – April 3, 1783

via interesting literature

Washington Irving is most well-known for his short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” but he also published numerous historical works and biographies about figures like George Washington and Christopher Columbus. Irving is accredited with defining the American short story, as well as encouraging other authors, especially as he became one of the first American authors to gain literary success in Europe. 

Major works to check out: “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” “Rip Van Winkle”

Not interested in the short story? (We’re silently judging you. Just kidding–Maybe.) Check out Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow.

3. Maya Angelou – April 4, 1928

via the new york times

A woman of many talents, Maya Angelou is known for her work as a writer, singer, and civil rights activist. Her most influential work is I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, an autobiography about Angelou’s childhood and early teenage years, in which she discusses racism, rape, and what it’s like growing up as a female in a male-centric world. The book has won numerous awards since its release, though was banned from some schools due to its discussions of rape. Since then, it has become a literary classic studied on a multitude of college campuses.

Angelou passed away in 2014, but leaves behind a legacy of influential works and activism.

Major works to check out: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, “On the Pulse of Morning”

 

4. Leigh Bardugo – April 6, 1975

via leigh bardugo

Since her debut in 2012, Leigh Bardugo has become a household name in the YA industry. Her success is mostly attributed to the Grishaverse, which consists of three series and a book of short stories, all set in the same universe. Anyone looking to dip their feet in the genre will appreciate Bardugo’s strong characters, complex world-building, and creative use of YA tropes. Netflix has recently picked up the series in Shadow and Bone, so now is the perfect time to get reading before the release of the show!

But Bardugo’s work isn’t limited to just Young Adult; her most recent publication is Ninth House, an adult novel following a student at Yale University. If you loved any of her previous works, you’ll love this dark fantasy.

Major works to check out: Shadow and Bone, Six of Crows, King of Scars, Ninth House

5. William Wordsworth – April 7, 1770

via the new yorker

William Wordsworth, in collaboration with his colleague Samuel Coleridge, is best known for defining the Romantic Age with Lyrical Ballads. This literary age moved away from neoclassicism, which emphasized reason, and focused instead on human emotion and connection with nature. Wordsworth has published numerous poems, including autobiographical The Prelude, a retrospective poem that delves into his personal life and explores human nature. 

Major works to check out: The Prelude, Lyrical Ballads, “Lines Composed a Few Miles from Tintern Abbey,” “We are Seven”

6. Henry James – April 15, 1843

via the new yorker

A major transatlantic figure, Henry James held both American and British citizenship after leaving the US to settle in London. James is most known for his literary modernism and is often hailed as one of the best novelists of the English language. Many of his novels feature American protagonists transitioning into, or exploring, British life, delving into the ways identity is often tied to nationality. Despite his major success, James was often criticized by Theodore Roosevelt for moving to Europe and, in Roosevelt’s eyes at least, his lack of masculinity. 

Major works to check out: The Portrait of a Lady, What Maisie Knew, Daisy Miller

 

7. William Shakespeare – April 1564 (baptized April 26)

via biography.com

While we don’t know Shakespeare’s exact birthday, we do know that he was baptized April 26, 1564, meaning he was born sometime around then. One of the most well-known playwrights (if you haven’t heard of him, I think I can safely say you must live under a rock), Shakespeare is attributed with writing numerous poems and plays. If his name gives you flashbacks of acting out Macbeth in front of your sophomore class–don’t fret! Shakespeare’s plays may seem daunting to read at first, but the drama, humor, and deft use of iambic pentameter will entice more than just English majors.

Major works to check out: Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard III

If reading Shakespeare is really not your thing, check out these movies: Shakespeare in Love (based on his life), West Side Story (based on Romeo and Juliet), 10 Things I Hate About You (based on The Taming of the Shrew)

featured image via the la times

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Get Excited For These Spring Releases

If you are currently stuck inside, feeling like you’ve run out of books to read, then these books will keep you satisfied. Released this Spring, these books are guaranteed to keep you entertained during this tough time.

Where Dreams Descend

Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles is a magical new series that is perfect for fans of Caraval and The Night Circus. Kallia has always known that she has had magic and with the powerful magician Jack she has been able to harness her magic, making it into something powerful. The only problem with this arrangement is that she is forever stuck at Jack’s estate, rather than on her own in the world. After finding a flyer for a magician competition Kallia knows that this is her ticket away from Jack and to make a star out of herself. After her escape, Kallia learns that as a female magician she will have to work twice as hard as the rest. Once other competing magicians begin to mysteriously vanish from the competition, Kallia releases that leaving her old life behind isn’t as easy as she thought it’d be. With the help of handsome magician DeMarco, Kallia fights to win the Magical competition and figure out the mystery of what is going. This new series is the perfect escape for readers that want to go on a magical adventure. You can read Where Dreams Descend when it comes out June 2!

Image Via Goodreads

 

 

Ruthless Gods

Ruthless Gods is the highly-anticipated sequel to the book Wicked Saints by Emily A Duncan. In the aftermath of the events of the cathedral in Wicked Saints, Serefin, Nadya, and Malachiaz all search for answers to what it is that they are to do next. Serefin is trying to understand what is happening to him. Nadya does really know who or what she is anymore. Malachiaz is finding it hard to grapple with who he has become.  This book was truly electrifying, one that I most certainly could not put down! If you liked Wicked Saints than you are guaranteed to love Ruthless Gods. Somehow Emily A. Duncan sucks readers right back in to a sequel that is even better than the first book, leaving readers impatiently wanting more! For fans of dark fantasy, adventure, and romance this series is the perfect one to dive into. You can read Ruthless Gods when it comes out on April 7!

Image Via Popsugar.com

Of Silver and Shadow

Of Silver and Shadow by Jennifer Gruenke was WONDERFUL! Once I started to read I just could not stop until I eventually finished it. If you are looking for a book that is full of action, romance, fantasy, and surprisingly comedy then this is the book for you! This story is about a silver named Ren who wields power and what makes her even more special, is the fact that she is one of the last silvers, despite the King and his family. The great thing is that this book is not just about Ren, but rather connects us to three other different characters point of views. We have Darek, who is the handsome and fierce leader of the rebellion, Kellan, the humorous Prince that is different from his family, and Adley who is a child of the king just trying to make her way in the life she was dealt. All four of these characters collide to orchestrate a beautiful story. I loved this book and I think that if you love fantasy and a little bit of romance then you will love it as well! You can read this book when it comes out May 26!

Image Via rorotbd.wordpress.com

 Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me

This book is like nothing I have read before. It takes you through the life of JL as she writes an open letter to her used-to-be best friend Aubrey. I think the thing that I liked the most about this book is that it is very real and raw. It explores mental illness, which is something that a lot of authors struggle to write about, but I believe that Polisner approaches it flawlessly. Another aspect of the book that I think Polisner tackled well is friendship, the strength that they once had and how broken they can become over time. If you are looking for a book that tackles real world problems, with a flawed, but relatable character like JL, then this is the book for you. I enjoyed it and thought that it was a good read! You can read Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me when it comes out April 7!

Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me: A Novel by [Polisner, Gae]

Image Via Amazon

These books have been some of my favorite reads for this spring! I hope you enjoy them as much as I have and that they keep you entertained during this tough time!

IMAGE VIA PINTeREST

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