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#Bookstagrammer of the Week: @bookpairings

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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:

As well as some more contemporary books like:

 

 

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:

@ouija.doodle.reads 

@theliteraryheroine

@fictionmatters

@booknerdnative

@worldswithinpages

@michellereadsbooks

@thebookishfiiasco

@jennareadsbooks

@booklanguage

@booksonherbrain

@somekindoflibrary

@absorbedinpages

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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10 Fictional Schools Even Worse Than Ones We Went To

The back to school season is always difficult for those of us still enrolled in the education system, however we really don’t have it all that bad. And there’s nothing quite like books to make our lives feel just a little less sucky in comparison.

Here are ten fictional schools that we would never want attend, in order from least bad to the absolute baddest.

 

 

10. Wayside School (Wayside school Series)

Wayside School is Falling DownImage via Scholastic

 

There is no way in hell that Wayside School is up to OSHA code. It’s literally falling down.

Plus, none of the kids in this school learn anything. Sure it’s fun to muck around in class every once and a while, but these kids are learning math without numbers and being turned into apples by evil witch teachers.

Call me old fashioned but that environment doesn’t seem very conducive to learning.

 

9. Rosewood High (Pretty Little LIars)

Rosewood HighImage via Pretty Little Liars Wiki

 

Rosewood High has all the average high school stressors. There’s sexuality to figure out, eating disorders to cling to, and teachers to be assaulted by.

But what really puts Rosewood on the map? The blackmail and murder. A lot of it. So, so much.

 

8. Thomas Ewen Consolidated High School (Carrie)

Carrie at promImage via imdb

 

This particular school is a bit different. It’s not Carrie’s school that’s awful, it’s her fellow students. Carrie’s peers relentlessly cruel, and the teachers don’t really seem to give a damn.

If you were to attend this school you might get a couple tampons chucked your way, which is pretty mean, but not deadly.

Definitely stay in on prom night though…

 

7. Pencey Prep School (Catcher in the Rye)

Catcher in the RyeImage via Amazon

 

If you’ve ever toured at a boarding school or college, you might be familiar with schools like Pencey Prep. The website is sleek, the brochures are long and convincing, and the images all show students having the time of their lives sitting in class or enjoying their extracurriculars.

Then you get there and it’s raining, the classrooms still have those televisions on rolling carts, and there’s no clubs to speak of.

How phony is that…

 

6. Lowood Institution (Jane Eyre)

An interpretation of LowoodImage via WatchingJane

 

Jane Eyre is sent to Lowood Institution as a punishment from her cruel aunt, Sarah Reed.

If the starvation, cruel discipline, and threadbare clothes weren’t punishment enough, holding on to your best friend desperately as she dies of consumption probably fits the bill.

Students attending this school today are definitely gonna want to get vaccinated before the school year starts.

 

 

5. Prufrock Preparatory School (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

Prufrock PrepImage via Lemony Snicket Wiki

 

Prufrock Prep isn’t exactly… welcoming.

Among Prufrock Prep’s many dazzling features are the Orphan Shack where all orphans are forced to live, a punishment where being late to class means you are forced to eat your meals like a dog with your hands tied behind your back, and your grade in gym class is worth 51% of your overall grade meaning most members of Bookstr‘s audience would probably flunk out.

Ha ha, gotcha. Nerds.

 

4. Crunchem Hall Primary School (Matilda)

Crunchem HallImage via Sony Pictures Entertainment

 

While Crunchem Hall didn’t last forever, it certainly left an impression on every child who read Matilda. I don’t even like to wear my hair in pigtails because I’m so irrationally afraid someone will grab me by the braid and fling me into the air.

They also just don’t look that good on me. I have a big forehead.

Also this school is literally shorthand ‘Crunch Them’ Hall. Who did that.

 

3. Hogwarts (Harry Potter Series)

HogwartsImage via Penguin Teen

 

I know everyone wants to be a wizard or witch, and everyone wants to hang with Harry and his crew, but Hogwarts is dangerous.

Even prior to Voldemort’s presence on campus there was a giant lizard monster in the basement, murderous mermaids in the water, and a backyard so deadly they had to name it the Forbidden Forest to keep students from going in and getting killed.

Some people might think I should’ve put Durmstrang on this list instead of Hogwarts, but honestly Hogwarts seems way more perilous.

Hogwarts became a literally battlefield at the apex of a wizarding world war, Durmstrang is just emo.

 

 

2. Shiroiwa Junior High (Battle Royale)

Shiroiwa Junior High class photoImage via What’s on TV

 

Realistically, you wouldn’t want to be an eighth grader at any school in this universe. You probably also don’t want to be a eighth grader in any universe, to be fair.

However being an eighth grader in Battle Royale means you could be randomly selected by the government to participate in a Hunger Games style fight to the death that lasts over the course of three days.

Now I didn’t love my middle school classmates, but I don’t want to murder them, and I definitely don’t want to be murdered by them.

 

1. The Rachel and Leah Re-Education Center (Handmaid’s Tale)

Image via Abbey Research

 

This school is where handmaids learn how to be handmaids. The women attending have their hands chopped off, their eyes gouged, and their tongues cut out as punishments for misbehaving.

Definitely makes detention seem like a walk in the park.

 

 

 

 

Featured image via American Cinematographers

Margaret Atwood Lands Booker Prize Longlist

Margaret Atwood received a nomination for the 2019 Booker Prize for 'Handmaid's Tale' sequel 'The Testaments,' out September 10.

Read more

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So, There’s a Sexy ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Costume…

Since the Hulu production of Margret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale was released, the red of the handmaids’ costume has dyed every watcher and reader’s mind. The story of The Handmaid’s Tale unfolds in a dystopian society where the birth rate has been fiercely dropped for unknown reasons and, because of that, the social structure changed violently: the patriarchal power has there reached its peak, under which those women who are still capable of giving birth are forced to become reproductive slaves. The handmaids (that’s what they call those fertile women) are only treated as tools for sex-their sexual pleasure, enjoyment, and authority has been suspended and discarded by a male-dominated world. The handmaids are very recognizable since they wear uniformed red cloaks with white bonnets.

 

 

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Image via Carbon Costume

 

 

With the vivid description of the handmaids in red by Atwood and the depiction of the costume in the Hulu series, these clothes have become symbols of patriarchal oppression. Recently, in the streets, you may have seen those red silhouettes swaying in social protests, especially those aiming for gender equality and women rights.

 

 

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Image via LifeNews.com

 

 

Okay, so that’s the context. What I’m concerned with now is that Yandy.com, an American online retailer and fashion design company focusing on lingerie, swimwear, Halloween costumes, and women’s apparel, recently released a piece of The Handmaid’s Tale-inspired Halloween costumes for fun. The sexualization and light-heartedness of this costume has has trigged a tsunami of social debates.

 

 

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Image via twitter

 

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Image via Twitter

 

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Image via Twitter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


After hours the product had been released, the Yandy company made a statement of apology and pulled the product away, according to HuffPost:

 

Yandy always has stood, and will continue to stand, at the forefront of encouraging our customers to “Own Your Sexy.” We support our customers being comfortable in their skin, regardless of who they are or what they choose to wear. Our corporate ideology is rooted in female empowerment, and gender empowerment overall,” 

 

Over the last few hours, it has become obvious that our “Yandy Brave Red Maiden Costume” is being seen as a symbol of women’s oppression, rather than an expression of women’s empowerment. This is unfortunate, as it was not our intention on any level. Our initial inspiration to create the piece was through witnessing its use in recent months as a powerful protest image.

 

Given the sincere, heartfelt response, supported by numerous personal stories we’ve received, we are removing the costume from our site.

 

 

So, that’s the context and the text. Bookstrs, what do you think about this controversial event caused by a piece of costumes? Do you think the Yandy costume re-oppressed female authority? Or do you think by camping the symbols of oppression out is a form of performative tactics against the oppression? Or do you think this is just Halloween?

 

 

 

Featured Image via the-pool










creepy af wine

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Wine Is Weird And You Know It

The Handmaid’s Tale has made me want a drink on more than one occasion and my dream of doing this ended just as swiftly as it began yesterday. Women may not be able to buy happiness, especially once the Gilead government revokes all rights of women, but at least I can buy a $40 bottle of wine inspired by their oppression, pain, and suffering!  

 

Via Giphy

 

Limited edition wine distributer Lot18 announced Tuesday morning that they’d be releasing a  trio of wines inspired by the characters of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel of the same name. Not only were they inspired by the “bold characters” of Atwood’s novel and corresponding Hulu adaptation, but they were also inspired by the violently oppressed and traumatic experiences they’ve all been through, apparently. 

 

Lot18 described the Offred-inspired wine as “rich and complex” with the wine being so smooth and appealing, “you may as well give in.” References to state-sanctioned abuse have never seemed so appealing! Ofglen’s wine is even more enticing with a description of “pleasure and enjoyment may be forbidden…but it can certainly be found in this memorable wine.” With the FGM, and her experiences at a labor camp, it sounds like Ofglen could use a glass of her own wine. The final wine in the set was inspired by Serena Joy which was described as “sophisticated, traditional and austere,” just like her expressionless face during the show’s ritualized assault scenes.

 

The wine set is certainly not the first time that The Handmaid’s Tale merchandise has created controversy. Just earlier this year, an elite women’s co-working space, The Wing, posted an image with a matchbox with the words “I am free” on its side. Alongside it, a hot pink notebook with a line from an Atwood poem: “A word after a word after a word is power.” 

 

 

The irony in the pink-washed partnership between The Wing and Hulu to promote The Handmaid’s Tale lies in the total disconnect between the show’s promotion and the deeper meaning of the show. The Wing promotes an elite Girl Boss aesthetic along with its aesthetic accompaniments. From their Instagram, The Wing exemplifies the alpha Girl Boss mindset with images of launch parties, hot pink pens, and signature cocktails. The exclusive and prestigious cloud that The Wing lives in disguises Atwood’s message. Women’s independence is fragile, despite what a matchbook may boast.

 

The point of the matter is that no matter how many ways the iconic red capes and crisp bonnets are redesigned and slapped onto various products, including wine, they’ll never be cool. As the world seems to edge closer and closer to Gilead every day, these products make that arrival feel less serious. 

 

Featured Image Via Eater.