Tag: fall

Non-horror Reads to Embrace Halloweeny Vibes

Every reader’s experience of autumn is different, so while the books I have included below resonate with the mood I personally embrace when fiery leaves are everywhere, they are more of a loose map of where to begin searching when you’re up to your elbows in your best friends’ Stephen King content.

Read more

#Bookstagrammer Of The Week: @The_Bookish_Astronaut

Hello again! Today’s bookstagrammer is Lucy/@the_bookish_astronaunt. Her content is cozy, soft, and perfect for the start of fall.

Why did you start your Bookstagram:

About 2 years ago, I was transitioning from being a full-time high school science teacher to being a stay-at-home mom, and I wanted to have a creative outlet of sorts. So one day I decided to create an Instagram account where I would share reviews of my favorite books. I didn’t even know that bookstagram existed as a sub-community on Instagram so it was a very pleasant surprise when a few lovely Bookstagrammers welcomed me and made me feel right at home.

Where are you from:

I was born in Ukraine. I immigrated to the US when I was 15 and lived in Brooklyn, NY. Recently we made a long-awaited move to New Jersey and being closer to nature has been amazing! I’m definitely more of a small-town person rather than a city girl.

What do you want your Instagram to bring to the world:

I want my bookstagram to be a place where everyone feels welcomed, warm, and cozy. I want to inspire people to read more Science Fiction and Fantasy. And I want people to feel relaxed and cozy while looking at my photos.

Fun Fact about you:

I watch The Office pretty much every day. Even if it’s just one episode. It is my ultimate feel-good show and never fails to make me relax! I even like having it on in the background when I’m alone. It makes me feel like I’m surrounded by friends.

image via @the_bookish_astronaut

Favorite Bookstagrammers:

There are so many that inspire me on a daily basis and in different ways. I talk to @starborn_reader on a daily basis, she’s my howler sister and has become a great friend! @Canxdancexreads is another friend I talk to all the time, she has a unique mermaid theme! Some of the other beautiful accounts that inspire me are @abookishknight, @for.fuctions.sake @thedarklingone, @lifeinlit, @myfriendsarefiction, and @_chelseareads…but honestly I could go on all day! Bookstagram is filled with amazing, talented, creative people!

Favorite Books and Authors:

The Red Rising series by Pierce Brown is my absolute favorite. I can talk about it for hours, just ask my family, friends, and followers. It is such a perfect blend of sci-fi and fantasy, with amazing world-building, character development, and plot. I cannot say enough good things about it. My other favorite is the Silo Saga by Hugh Howey. Anything by this author, really. I love his lyrical writing style and his ability to create amazing characters.

Fictional Crush:

Darrow of Lykos from Red Rising. This is a character that just speaks to me. There’s nothing better than a tortured soul struggling to make things right for those he loves.

image via @the_bookish_astronaut

TBR List:

Ah, the dreaded tbr list, I swear it keeps getting longer no matter how much I read. But the next few reads I am super excited to get to are Vicious by V.E. Schwab, Scythe by Neil Schusterman, and Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff.

What’s Your Special Approach to Content:

I try to post books that I love as well as books that are just beautiful to look at. I try to showcase each particular book and make sure it is not upstaged by anything else in the shot. Recently, I have also simplified my captions. This way they are much more relatable and give my friends a snippet of my daily life.

Aesthetic / Instagram page theme:

It took a bit of time to get to where I am now and to finally be happy with the content I’m putting out, but what I always wanted my photos to bring across is that cozy feeling of reading by a window on an overcast fall day. So my shots always have all the prerequisites for doing just that, a cozy blanket, some candles, a cup of cocoa/coffee, fairy lights, and, of course, a rain-splattered window.

image via @the_bookish_astronaut

How often do you post:

I try to post every single day. Of course, sometimes that isn’t possible, but I try my best to make sure I stop by at least once a day and share what I’ve been up to and check in on my bookstabuddies with a question of the day!

What does your Bookstagram mean to you:

My bookstagram is my safe space. It is a place where I can unplug from the hectic everyday life and chat with amazing people from all around the world about our mutual love of the fictional worlds. It is also my creative outlet and a place I get to share my passion for reading, photography, and being cozy!

Favorite Bookstore:

Most of the time I buy books online. My favorite is Book Depository, since I tend to find the UK editions of books to be so different and so pretty! But a trip to Barnes and Noble is always a great idea too!

image via @the_bookish_astronaut

Who would you have supply you with a lifetime of books:

Book Depository, for sure! Give me all the UK and special editions!!

Author to take a selfie with:

Pierce Brown for sure! Since that means I get to meet Howler One in person! (Awroooo)

Favorite book cover:

Vicious and Vengeful by V.E. Schwab. I just got the UK editions for my birthday and I cannot stop staring at them. They make my brain happy! Come to think of it, all of Schwab’s books are extremely aesthetically pleasing.

image via @the_bookish_astronaut

Book you have claimed to have read that you didn’t:

I have never claimed to have read a book I didn’t read. (Well maybe something for a college class! ) Other than that, I just don’t see the point, since if someone is asking if you’ve read a book they probably want to discuss it with you, and the lie would immediately come out!

When did you know you had made it as a Bookstagrammer:

I think to me that was in the first few months. By then I got comfortable and learned “the ways” of the community. I met some amazing people who shared my love for books, people obsessed with the same fandoms I was. To me, that was making it, since that was the reason I made the account in the first place!

Favorite fandoms:

Red Rising, of course. The Hunger Games is the OG obsession that got me into the dystopian genre. And I cannot forget Illuminae Files!

image via @the_bookish_astronaut

Advice for aspiring Bookstagrammers:

Be yourself. Share your love of books. Create meaningful connections with people who understand you. Don’t be too hard on yourself. There is no “right way” to bookstagram. We’re all here for the same reason, and that’s to laugh, cry, review, recommend, and connect. No matter how far apart we are, we have books to bring us together.

Additional bookishness:

Shortly after starting my bookstagram, I opened a small Etsy shop, Dream in a Bottle, where I sell handmade bookish keepsakes, bookmarks, and other bookish goodies! 

feature image via @the_bookish_astronaut
Coffee and Reading Aesthetic

5 Storytelling Songs for Fall Listening

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.’

'Hunger' via @florence

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

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