With today being the first official day of autumn, it’s time to break out the pumpkin spice candles, fuzzy knit sweaters, and Halloween reads.
With September upon us, the wonder of golden leaves, apple picking, and pumpkin carving are teasingly close. As such, you may find that the upbeat summer dance vibes that’ have been on repeat for the past few months no longer match the cooling days. The essence of crisp autumn air and warm apple cider is more likely to lend itself to soothing instrumentals and soft, atmospheric sounds. These are songs that, instead of prompting you to bump along with the beat, make you want to curl up with a blanket and listen to the story they tell. I’ve included five below from women who use their incredible voices to deliver some equally incredible words. So, get your cup of tea, a fuzzy sweater, and welcome the sounds of autumn.
‘Hunger‘ – Florence + The Machine
If I ever had to choose a human being as the embodiment of autumn, it would be Florence Welch. Whether it’s Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr, you’ll likely come across a post from Welch’s fans likening her to a mystical woodland fairy with the power to heal a forest. Frankly, I can’t say that they’re wrong. The opening notes of ‘Hunger’ feature Welch’s echoing and ethereal ‘oohs’ before she breaks into the first lines: ‘At seventeen, I started to starve myself / I thought that love was a kind of emptiness.’ This song marked the first time Welch had ever opened up about her eating disorder. While the song embraces the struggle of being young and hurt in your search for love, Welch told Story of Song that ‘Hunger’ is also ‘a celebration of how much I see young people changing things…I was really lost when I was a teenager, I was really confused and sad, so I feel really inspired by the young women I see today.’
the story behind ‘hunger’ | via @florence on instagram
‘breathe again‘ – Joy Oladokun
This soft ballad comes to life through Oladokun’s melodic vocals, a beautiful collection of strings, and a simple tune on the piano. Lyrics like ‘If my intentions are good, why can’t I come clean?’ and ‘When the world’s so heavy I can’t stand / I close my eyes and start again’ speak to the difficulty of living under crushing expectations. It can become so heavy that you forget to breathe. In an interview with American Songwriter, Oladokun told Kira Grunberg that ‘breathe again’ ‘is about letting go of perfectionism and embracing the warm flickering thing between light and dark that is our humanity…This song is important to me because it is a reminder in those moments to let go, return to the present moment, and start again.’ It offers the same reminder for us all.
‘fallingwater‘ – maggie rogers
The smooth, swirling sound of Rogers’ voice is like water babbling down a creek on a cool October morning. At the same time, the song itself, with its changes in volume and emotion and underlying beat, mirrors the ebb and flow of spilling water. This flow couldn’t better represent the give and take that’s inherent and often unpredictable with love. Rogers said ‘Fallingwater’ is a song ‘that celebrates rapid change and how simultaneously scary and electric it can feel. It’s about giving everything and not knowing if it’s enough.’ As the lines ‘I never loved you fully in the way I could / I fought the current running just the way you would’ hit you in the chorus, you’re brought back to all those moments that put you in your own creek.
Maggie rogers on set for the ‘fallingwater’ music video | via @maggierogers on twitter
‘betty‘ – taylor swift
My personal favorite track off of the quarantine-inspired and woodland-centric folklore, ‘betty’ is the final installment of the teenage love triangle Swift created for her new album. She named the characters (Betty, James, and Inez) after her friends’ kids. In ‘cardigan,’ we’re introduced to Betty’s perspective as she sifts through the pain of her love, James, cheating on her and wanting to win her back. ‘august’ offers the viewpoint of the woman James cheated with, and ‘betty’ brings the triangle to a close with James. In an interview with Vulture, Swift said ‘James has lost the love of his life basically and doesn’t understand how to get it back. I think we all have these situations in our lives where we learn to really, really give a heartfelt apology for the first time.’ With lyrics like ‘I’m only seventeen, I don’t know anything / But I know I miss you,’ Swift reminds us of what’s like to be young and naïvely believe we’re invincible. She reminds us of the first time we might’ve hurt someone, or gotten hurt ourselves, and how disorienting it is to confront something that goes beyond the year of seventeen.
‘joanne (where do you think you’re goin’‘ – lady gaga
When I think of Lady Gaga, I think of a woman who’ll stop at nothing to bring love and kindness into the world. She does so through her platform, in addition to the stories she shares through her music. ‘Joanne’ is the title track for Gaga’s 2016 album, but she released ‘Joanne (Where Do You Think You’re Goin’)’ two years later. The video opens with a black screen containing these words: ‘Joanne was my father’s sister who died at the age of 19 from the auto-immune disease Lupus.’ Those words fade into the next sentence: ‘My father was only 15 when she passed away.’ This beautifully stripped back version features only Gaga’s vocals accompanied by the piano, which allows every raw ounce of emotion to shine through as she belts lines like ‘if you could I know that you’d stay / We both know things don’t work that way.’ It sends chills down your spine and puts an ache in your heart. Gaga’s voice delivers both the pain her family has endured with this horrific loss and the love they still cherish for Joanne.
Feature image via We heart it
This Week’s Featured creator: @the.cozy.bee
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! Each page has theme colors or an aesthetic, and this Bookstagrammer’s cozy autumnal theme is perfect for October. This week we are getting to know Brittany, or as you would know her on Instagram, @the.cozy.bee.
Here is her story:
Chapter 1: The Birth of a Bookstagram Account
Brittany started Bookstagram with a cozy theme in mind and as a bookish way to express her creativity.
I originally began posting cozy photos of the books I was reading, a way to get creative and document my reads. I then discovered that there was a whole community of people that have dedicated their pages to all things bookish and so I joined the magical world of Bookstagram, found it unintentionally but it was meant to be.
Brittany’s favorite authors and books span across a wide range of genres, including The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, Leigh Bardugo, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, and Atticus Poetry.
I could just go on forever—every book speaks to me in some way and I treasure every read for different reasons.
The Cozy Bee is a member of the Harry Potter, Grishaverse, Narnia Nation, and the SPNFamily fandoms.
A fun fact about @the.cozy.bee is that she’s ambidextrous, which is perfect for all of her reading and journaling.
I can use both my left and my right hands for just about everything.
Chapter 2: To The Bookstagramming
As a Bookstagrammer, it’s important to judge books by their covers so you can choose the best aesthetics for your photos. In the world of readers and introverts, more and more book covers are attempting to capture that cozy aesthetic. Brittany’s current favorite is the whimsical cover of The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert.
So when should you look out for Brittany’s newest photos if you’re in the mood to feel warm and cozy with a good book?
I post everyday, sometimes twice a day. I just enjoy taking pictures and sharing them with Bookstagram and for the timing of my posts… whatever my Instagram insights suggests is best.
But how did Brittany know that she’d made it as a Bookstagrammer? And what advice would she give to future Bookstagrammers?
When I made my first friend. Bookstagram is a community where we share our love of books. I ‘made it’ when I joined the community.
The best advice I could give is to just start. A great way to begin is by participating in Bookstagram photo challenges and by engaging with other Bookstagrammers. The most important thing however is that you are having fun.
Chapter 3: TBR
Every avid reader has a To Be Read list that they add to in the hopes of acquiring more favorites, and Brittany’s TBR list for this month includes plenty of spooky books to fit her autumn aesthetic. They are:
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- You series by Caroline Kepnes
- Tales of the Peculiar (and the rest of the Miss Peregrine series) by Ransom Riggs
- Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
We also asked Brittany if she could pick a publisher to supply her with a lifetime of books and she chose one with a magical theme.
Oh wow. I think Bloomsbury Publishing. I think all the magical books come from there.
Brittany has so many Bookstagrammers that she loves and connects with, and she has positive opinions to share about all of them.
- @sheisconfetti: she has become one of my closest friends and I just love reading her diary entry styled posts each day
- @geminorum: I have loved her darling account for as long as I’ve been on Bookstagram
- @bookaline: another long time favourite
- @mousethatreads: someone I’ve looked up to since starting Bookstagram
- @gardenofgoldenleaves: another account I have forever adored
- @wldflowerbooks: a more recent favourite who never fails to make me smile
This list could honestly just go on and on, I have met wonderful people on this platform and I am constantly discovering more and more like minded souls with beautiful accounts.
Well, what did you think of @the.cozy.bee? Do you have a favorite Bookstagrammer in mind? Contact us through any of our social media platforms and maybe you will see them on here next week!
Featured image via @the.cozy.bee
Its the first day of fall! The leaves are beginning to change color and fall from the trees, as the cool breeze of winter’s beginning overtakes the hot weather of summer. As you begin to settle in for the chillier season and enjoy the crunching of leaves beneath your feet, its time to get cozy with some new reading material. And what better way to welcome fall than reading some fall themed books? Here are some top 5 choices to celebrate the end of summer!
5. ‘Leaf Man’ by Lois Ehlert
Image via Amazon
Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert is a relaxing and immersive read. With illustrations made from actual fall read and gorgeous landscape vistas, this is a playful and imaginative read that calls to the imaginations of young children. Read it out loud to some of your kids and appreciate the wonderful, detailed drawings inside that evoke the natural world at its best.
4. ‘The Cider House Rules’ by John Irving
Image via Amazon
The Cider House Rules by John Irving is a literary classic that’s perfect for a cozy fall read. Its title calling to the best drink for the fall, this tale tells a story about orphans in rural Maine at the start of the 20th century. Full of humor, warmth, and a little terror, this is a great read to curl up by the fire toward.
3. ‘We have Always lived in the Castle’ by Shirley Jackson
Image via AMazon
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson is a perfect spooky fall read. Merricat lives in a giant estate, with her sister Constance and her Uncle Julian. There used to be more to the Blackwood family. But somehow, a fatal dose of arsenic wound up in their sugar bowl. Constance was acquitted for the murders, but the people in town have never looked at them the same. And, their troubles might just be beginning. The perfectly creepy book to set the tone for the season, We Have Always Lived in the Castle is the perfect short read.
2. ‘Anya’s ghost’ by Vera Brosgol
image via Amazon
Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol is a funny and hilarious read, again perfect for the spooky fall season. Anya is a lovely, lonely girl who could really use a friend. But instead of a normal friend, she gets a ghost pal instead, which is to say NOT what she expected. Together, she and the ghost bond, helping each other through life (and death). Its really quite sweet.
1. ‘The OCean at the end of the lane’ by Neil Gaiman
image via Amazon
The Ocean At the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman is a bewitching fairy tale that serves up another spooky and maybe even scary read for the fall season. Neil Gaiman crafts a scary piece of work that is full of chills, thrills, and commentary on the power of stories themselves. Grab it and try not to get scared as the season sets in.
Featured Image Via Wikipedia
Adaptations galore is coming this fall season! What are the ones that you should look forward to most? Well, stay tuned!
It Chapter 2
Image Via Vanity Fair
A sequel to the horrifying film It, the ‘Loser’s Club’ is back twenty-seven years later (or two years later). The group returns to Derry, Maine, where the Losers must finish what they started: destroy Pennywise.
Who from our lovely ‘Loser’s Club’ will be lost in the ensuing bloodbath? How will these losers defeat Pennywise? Well, it’s based on a Stephen King novel that was released back in 1986, so the answers are out there and, um, it’s pretty wild. Remember to sing your praises to Maturin this September 6th!
Image Via Variety
An original standalone origin story for a character who infamously doesn’t have a definitive origin, this movie starring Joaquin Phoenix has clearly taken cues from Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke by making Arthur Fleck, a mentally ill man disregarded by society, into an up-and-coming comedian. In the iconic comic book, the unnamed man’s career in comedy ends in a chemical bath, but Arthur Fleck’s story might end on a different note entirely.
Is that scene, where Arthur Fleck, in full-fledged Joker makeup, goes on stage with Robert Di Niro a callback to The Dark Knight Returns scene when the Joker poisons the audience and the talk show host alike in a scene of ‘hilarious’ death?
We’ll find out this October 4th.
Having been around since 1930, Nancy Drew has been around longer than your parents (not judging) and she’s spent her time well: solving mysteries even when people told her she couldn’t.
This series has been around forever and if you haven’t read it, you’ve definitely heard of it. Well, we’re getting an adaptation of this series that’s set to debut on October 9, 2019 on the CW.
Looking for Alaska
The Fault in Our Stars broke our hearts, and now John Green is at it again. Or has he already broken our hearts beyond repair? The Fault in Our Stars was Green’s sixth novel and Looking for Alaska was his first novel, but for all of you who haven’t read the book, you’re in for something special.
Miles Halter is our man and through his eyes we are introduced to Alaska Young. A new student meets a timid young girl? Sounds like a love story made in heaven, until Miles soon learns that her life isn’t as perfect as he originally thought.
We’ll get a chance for our spirits to rise and our hearts to grow and break and grow again this October 14th.
For those of you who need to be brought up to speed, an alien invasion took place which ended the Cold War, but it was all a fake-out. Rorschach, before his untimely demise, sent his journal to the press where he laid a bread crumb trail to the truth.
What is known about this HBO series is that it takes place thirty-four years after the original comic left off. Taking place in an alternative reality in 2019 where this is no internet or smartphones, we are introduced to a United States where Robert Redford is now the longest-serving president, having been elected in 1992, a feat accomplished thanks to President Nixon abolishing the two-term limit back before the original comic book. Things are in disarray. A white supremacist group calling itself “The Seventh Cavalry,” with members who all wear homemade Rorschach masks, commits simultaneous attacks on the houses of police officers. Because of this, the police start wearing masks themselves.
What is this leading up to? Where are the original characters? Tune in to HBO October 20th find out.
Another Stephen King adaptation, this one is an adaptation of Doctor Sleep, a sequel to The Shining. While the movie won’t be based on the Stanley Kubrick version, since the movie departs too much from the source material, this standalone is clearly drawing on the imagery set forth by Kubrick. Will it be any good? What’s going to happen?
The film arrives in theaters this November 8th.
The Good Liar
Catherine McKenzie brought us The Good Liar, and Warner Bros is bringing us the film adaptation. Ian McKellen is going to grace the screens as seasoned conman Roy Courtnay.
After he meets Betty McLeish online, he decides to steal a glorious amount of cash from her. But Betty McLeish, played by Helen Mirren, is too much for the conman and he finds herself falling for him. How will this sinister love affair turn out? See it in threaten this November 15th.
First, T.S. Eliot brought us Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats in 1939. From there we got a play, and now we’re getting a movie. The plot is hard to describe, but it basically follows a tribe of cats known as the ‘Jellicles’ who gather together to make the ‘Jellicle choice.’ Those who get the ‘Jellicle choice’ mean they can now be killed so they can go to heaven and come back because, you know, cats have nine lives.
Don’t get it? Doesn’t matter! There’s singing and there’s dancing and there’s this purr-fect trailer! It comes out December 20th.
His Dark Materials
Image via Amazon
This series has never been adapted before (we don’t talk about that other thing) and so THIS will be the first adaptation of Phil Pullman’s epic book series, His Dark Materials, in our books. The first season will draw upon the first book in the trilogy, following the life of a young Lyra (Dafne Keen) who is an orphan living with the tutors at Jordan College, Oxford. It’s not the Oxford you and I know, however, it’s an Oxford in an alternative world where all humans have animal companions called dæmons, which are the manifestations of their souls.
Lyra’s search for her missing friend will lead to uncovering a massive conspiracy linked to a mysterious substance called Dust and secrets from these two mysterious people, Lord Asriel (James McAvoy) and Marisa Coulter (Ruth Wilson).
If the first season is good (please let it be good), then we’ll be getting at least two more seasons! BBC One and HBO are teaming up, so hopefully they won’t disappoint us… In the meantime, however, I just want them to give a release date that’s more specific than “autumn.”
The Witcher is known as a great video game series, but did you know it started out a book series? In fact the saga is based on a series written by Andrzej Sapkowski that started in 1992 with Sword of Destiny. The last book in the series, Season of Storms came out in 2013.
The stories follow Geralt of Rivia, played by Henry Cavil, a solitary monster hunter who struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts. What will become of Geralt?
Check out the series on Netflix this sometime “late 2019”.
Featured Image Via HITC