Margaret Atwood, one of Canada's leading living authors, turns 81 today!
Besides poutine and impressive hockey skills (among much more), the Great White North also gave us these five famous authors.
This Week’s Featured creator: @bookpairings
Each week Bookstr is going to be highlighting your favorite Bookstagrammers. A Bookstagrammer is someone who shares all of their literary interests, ranging from book reviews and aesthetically pleasing book pictures to outfit pictures featuring their current reads. Anything that evokes bibliophile feels is on their Instagram pages. Make sure to give these Bookstagrammers the love they deserve! This week we are getting to know a Bookstagrammer with a passion for books and indie bookshops: Laci, or as you would know her on Instagram, @bookpairings.
Here is her story:
image via @bookpairings
Chapter 1: The Birth of a Bookstagram Account
Laci started Bookstagram as a fun project to cope with a difficult period in her life, and her account took off from there.
I started posting “Bookstagram” posts on my personal account during the summer of 2015 when I was recovering from my second brain surgery in 6 months. I have always loved reading and when I found a community of book lovers at my fingertips I decided I wanted to join the conversation.
Because I’m the type of person who needs a project, even when I should be resting, I decided I would create my own Bookstagram account and see how it goes. That was in August of 2015 and it’s crazy to think I have posted almost everyday since then and 41K+ people care about my opinions of books and enjoy my very eclectic reading recommendations.
Laci usually reads over 100 books a year, but her favorite books include classic reads such as:
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- We Have Always Lived in The Castle by Shirley Jackson
As well as some more contemporary books like:
- Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
- A Tale for The Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
- The Need by Helen Phillips
- Bunny by Mona Awad
- The Merewife by Maria Dahvana Headley
- Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
- The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
If given the choice, Laci would take a selfie with Margaret Atwood, her favorite author.
image via @bookpairings
Laci is a part of the Harry Potter, The Night Circus, Game of Thrones, and Good Omens fandoms.
Besides being book-obsessed, she also loves wine tasting.
I almost went through the training and testing to become a sommelier. I am a total oenophile and it’s another thing I love sharing with people.
Chapter 2: To The Bookstagramming
Laci’s photography style definitely gives off a very memorable vibe, but how would she define this aesthetic?
When it comes to the photography aspect of my content, I always strive for cozy feeling photos with warm tones. I like to find interesting textures and angles so I am constantly experimenting.
I love to play with woodgrain and books for texture and I love using shadow for moodier photos.
She also has some photography advice for new Bookstagrammers.
In terms of photography, play around and you’ll improve post by post. You’ll find your aesthetic faster if you experiment and reflect on why you love certain photos.
Laci sticks to a specific posting schedule, so you’ll always know when to look for her newest bookish photos.
I generally post every morning between 7am-8am PST during the week and on the weekends I either post around 12pm or 5pm. I’ve done a lot of experimenting to find the optimal time for engagement, but it also depends a little bit on my schedule. I want to be able to respond to every single comment on my posts, so I try to post when I know I will be able to check-in periodically to reply.
image via @bookpairings
So what are Laci’s personal favorite Bookstagram accounts?
It’s too hard to choose just a few! Here are some of my favorites:
I could go on and on.
Chapter 3: What does bookstagram mean to you?
It’s clear that Laci is very involved in the Bookstagram community, so what does her Bookstagram mean to her personally?
I am still stunned that my account has garnered as many followers as it has. I know that I work hard on each post behind the scenes, but I continue to be humbled by the Bookstagram community. To me my page is a place where I can share my love of books with other amazing, supportive book lovers. I feel like I have grown a lot personally since I started and I am lucky to have made some amazing friends within the community as well.
I strive for authenticity when creating my content above all else. I want to share the books I am genuinely interested in reading and the books I love even if they aren’t the most hyped. I still get sucked into the new releases hype from time to time, but I’d like to think I also get less well-known or well-marketed books on the radar of my followers.
I hope that my Bookstagram inspires people to read outside of their comfort zones.
image via @bookpairings
Her final word to fellow Bookstagrammers and book lovers?
Support your local libraries and indie bookstores when you can. They provide so many services to their communities and it’s becoming harder and harder for them to survive with big business looming.
Featured image via @bookpairings
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There’s no doubt that the representation of women in literature is changing, and we owe most of that to female writers who have created female characters that us readers can use as role models. From Jane Austen to J.K. Rowling, these female authors know just what it’s like to be a woman in a man’s world, and they won’t let the female struggle go unnoticed in books. Here are eleven powerful quotes by female writers to repeat to yourself throughout the day whenever you need a reminder of just what it means to be a woman.
image via biography.com
1. “I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.”
– Jane Austen, Persuasion
image via poetry foundation
2. “I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified, because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We’ve been taught that silence would save us, but it won’t.”
– Audre Lorde
image via literary hub
3. “Just like any woman… we weave our stories out of our bodies. Some of us through our children, or our art; some do it just by living. It’s all the same.”
– Francesca Lia Block, Necklace of Kisses
image via thought co
4. “I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.”
– Maya Angelou
image via the telegraph
5. “We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already. we have the power to imagine better.”
– J.K. Rowling
image via the guardian
6. “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
– Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
image via mental floss
7. “Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.”
– Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
image via culture trip
8. “No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself.”
– Virginia Woolf, A Room Of One’s Own
image via los angeles times – quote via quote fancy
9. “Does ‘feminist’ mean a large unpleasant person who’ll shout at you or someone who believes women are human beings? To me, it’s the latter, so i sign up.”
– Margaret Atwood
image via south china morning post – quote via alive media
10. “Every girl, no matter where she lives, deserves the opportunity to develop the promise inside of her.”
– Michelle Obama
image via hollywood reporter
11. “Extremists have shown what frightens them most: a girl with a book.”
– Malala Yousafzai
Feature image via Pinterest and History.com
Previous winners of the prestigious Booker Prize, Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie, join four other exciting authors on the Booker Prize shortlist this year.
Images via Amazon
Atwood won the prize in 2000 for The Blind Assassin, and she’s back in contention for her much-anticipated sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale. Her latest book, The Testaments, is set to release next week, and it’s already turning quite a few heads. Peter Florence, chair of this year’s judges and one of the few people to have read The Testaments, described the book as “a savage and beautiful novel that speaks to us today with conviction and power.” Speaking about the list more generally, Florence said, like all great literature, these books teem with life, with a profound and celebratory humanity.”
Another of those books teeming with life is Salman Rushdie’s Quichotte! Rushdie won the Booker Prize with Midnight Children in 1981, which was also deemed “Booker of Bookers” in 1993 and “Best of the Booker” in 2008. Rushdie’s latest work takes inspiration from Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote, telling the story of an aging traveling salesman’s journey across America.
Florence has also sung the praises of Quichotte, saying it “pushes the boundaries of fiction and satire.”
Image via BBC
Joining Atwood and Rushdie on the short list is Lucy Ellman’s Ducks, Newburyport. Ellman is the only U.S. author on this year’s list, and her mammoth 998-page novel is a stream-of-consciousness monologue largely consisting of one continuous sentence. If it wins, Ellman’s novel will be the longest novel to ever win the Booker Prize.
image via BBc
Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other also made this prestigious list. The Anglo-Nigerian author’s eighth novel follows the lives of 12 characters, most of whom are black, British women. Evaristo said her writing aims to “explore the hidden narratives of the African diaspora” and “subvert expectations and assumptions”.
Image via bbc
Chigozie Obioma, born in Nigeria in 1986, is the youngest author on the shortlist this year. Now based in the U.S., both of Obioma’s novels have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. An Orchestra of Minorities tells the story of a young Nigerian chicken farmer whose love for a woman drives him to become an African migrant in Europe. Afua Hirsch, one of the competition’s judges, describe the tale as “a book that wrenches the heart.”
Image via BBc
Elif Shafak’s 17th book, 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World, consists of the recollections of a sex worker who has been left for dead in a rubbish bin. Liz Calder, another of the competition’s judges, called the book “a work of fearless imagination.” Shafak writes in both English and Turkish, and she’s the most widely read female author in Turkey.
Featured image via The Daily Star