Tag: holidays

What to Buy a Bookworm

Image via The Visual Reader


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Featured image via The Los Angeles Times

Seasons Greetings from Our Favorite Harry Potter Witches and Wizards!

Our holidays just became a whole lot more magical with the cast of Harry Potter wishing us a Merry Christmas!

Image via Pop Sugar

The ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ movie came out over eighteen years ago, while the book was published in 1997. And there was no faster way to warm our hearts during this cold season than seeing our favorite characters reunite and share their existing friendships on social media! 

The flawless Emma Watson was the first, with a black and white version of the ensemble of the cast — leave it up to Hermione Granger to waste no time! 

View this post on Instagram

Merry Christmas from us ☺️

A post shared by Emma Watson (@emmawatson) on

And the charming and cheeky Tom Felton shared a colored version of the picture, maintaining the rivalry between the houses by using the hashtag “#gryffindorVSslytherin” in his post.

But no one made us more sentimental than the adorable Neville Longbottom aka Matthew Lewis, who captioned his post as, “Roses between two thorns…”, referring to the pretty witches stacked in the middle of him and Tom Felton.

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Roses between two thorns…

A post shared by Matthew Lewis (@mattdavelewis) on

Bonnie Wright, the only represented Weasley in the photo, shared it on her Instagram as, “time turning”, which prompted Evanna Lynch to join the bandwagon  and say, “AS IF I’m not going to repost this ?❤️??.”

Although nothing would have made us happier than seeing our favorite duo of Harry Potter and Ron Weasley join the rest of the clan, but maybe that would break the internet and we potterheads aren’t yet ready for that! 

Image Via Antena3.com





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Barnes & Noble holiday book drive logo

Barnes & Noble Customers Donate Over a Million Books to Needy Children

From November 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018, Barnes & Noble collected books, toys, and games for their annual Holiday Book Drive. In 2018, bookworms seriously came through—in total, Barnes and Noble customers from all around the country donated 1.2 million books to Barnes & Noble’s assortment of charities.


Since all Barnes & Noble locations participated in the Holiday Book Drive, you can consider this your good deed for the year—that is if you donated! (Since this was the 2018 book drive, you will need to do another good deed for 2019.)


A B&N bookseller stands proudly by display

Image Via Bookharvestnc.org


Barnes & Noble donates these books and toys to charities such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, the YMCA, Salvation Army, First Book, Ronald McDonald House, Head Start, and United Way. Depending on the area, many books go to local school districts, children’s hospitals, and libraries. Barnes & Nobles’ management feels the significance of the Holiday Book Drive can’t be understated. Tracy Vidakovich, Vice President of Business Development at Barnes & Noble, congratulated customers on their accomplishment:


The annual Holiday Book Drive is something that our booksellers and customers look forward to every year because it has such a positive impact on the lives of children in need in their local communities. Our customers recognize the importance of reading in the lives of children and their enormous generosity gives kids of every background the chance to read, discover and learn.



Barnes & Noble holiday book drive logo

Image Via Motherhood.com


If you missed the chance to donate, don’t let that be your excuse. Your local library will accept your donations year-round, and let’s get real—you’re not going to make more than a dollar or two selling your used books anyway. If you feel your books could be more meaningful elsewhere, check out Bookstr’s list of worthwhile book charities. Many libraries, especially those in prisons and underfunded school districts, are lacking in new, quality copies of books. But you can always help to change that story.



Featured Image Via Eastridgecenter.com

An image of a statue tableau of the goddess Durga.

5 Amazing Books to Read to Celebrate Navratri!

Today marks the first day of Navratri! Navratri is a Hindu festival that runs its course over nine nights and ten days, and is a celebration of the divine feminine. The festival centers around the goddess Durga, a fierce figure who rides atop a tiger and is known for defeating Mahishasura, a buffalo demon, in battle. The legend that corresponds to the holiday is that of Durga defeating Mahishasura and restoring order to the world.


As with all holidays, Navratri is rooted in a deep literary tradition, and so in honor of this day, here are a few works of literature that correspond to the festival’s celebration of Durga and feminine power:


Goddess Durga and Sacred Female Power by Laura Amazzone


Cover of 'Goddess Durga and Sacred Female Power'

Image via Amazon


Goddess Durga and Sacred Female Power is an exploration of the many faces of the Goddess Durga in ancient and contemporary culture. This book takes us on a pilgrimage to goddess temples and natural shrines, to visit shamans and living goddesses in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal, and to India for the annual ten-day Durga Festival. The mythology, rituals, philosophy, and spiritual practices of this distinctly female-centered and millennia-old tradition of Durga offer an alternative model of female potential and empowerment, focusing on peace, healing, spiritual liberation, and realization of inherent divinity.


Amma Tell Me About Durga Puja! by Bhakti Mathur


Cover of 'Amma Tell me About Durga Puja!'

Image via Amazon


The city is abuzz with fanfare and fervour, 
Giant idols under wraps, ready to be unfurled, 
Colourful pandaals receive finishing touches 
To host the biggest outdoor festival in the world! 


“The real motivation for writing the ‘Amma Tell Me’ series was to share with my sons the fascinating stories from Indian mythology that I had grown up with,” says Bhakti. “But, I found that there were no resources that were simple to understand and that captured the rich imagery of mythological India that is such an integral part of these stories for me. So I went ahead and started writing the stories in a style that I think kids find fun and non-preachy and collaborated on the illustrations to bring out the imagery that I want my stories to convey.”


Shakti Rising: Embracing Shadow and Light on the Goddess Path to Wholeness by Kavitha M. Chinnaiyan, MD


Cover of 'Shakti Rising'



The wisdom of the Mahavidyas, the ten wisdom goddesses who represent the interconnected darkness and light within all of us, has been steeped in esoteric and mystical descriptions that made them seem irrelevant to ordinary life. But with this book, written by a respected cardiologist who found herself on a spiritual search for the highest truth, you’re invited to explore this ancient knowledge and learn how it can be applied to daily struggles and triumphs—and how it can help you find unreserved self-love and acceptance.


The pursuit of contentment is an innate part of the human experience, arising from a fundamental sense of lack or inadequacy—all the things we believe to be wrong with us when we compare or judge ourselves. In our search for peace and happiness, we may find ourselves fighting the shadows within us, trying to repress or disown certain qualities, especially our anger, violence, discomfort, craving, and disappointment. But in order to stop this fight, we must expand our understanding beyond the dualities of good versus bad, right versus wrong, and beautiful versus ugly, and accept the parts of ourselves we’ve tried to deny.


Too Much and Not the Mood: Essays by Durga Chew-Bose


Cover of 'Too Much and Not the Mood: Essays'



Too Much and Not the Mood is a beautiful and surprising exploration of what it means to be a first-generation, creative young woman working today. On April 11, 1931, Virginia Woolf ended her entry in A Writer’s Diary with the words “too much and not the mood” to describe her frustration with placating her readers, what she described as the “cramming in and the cutting out.” She wondered if she had anything at all that was truly worth saying.


The attitude of that sentiment inspired Durga Chew-Bose to gather own writing in this lyrical collection of poetic essays that examine personhood and artistic growth. Drawing inspiration from a diverse group of incisive and inquiring female authors, Chew-Bose captures the inner restlessness that keeps her always on the brink of creative expression.


The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy


Cover of 'The Ministry of Utmost Happiness'

Image via Amazon


The Ministry of Utmost Happiness takes us on an intimate journey of many years across the Indian subcontinent—from the cramped neighborhoods of Old Delhi and the roads of the new city to the mountains and valleys of Kashmir and beyond, where war is peace and peace is war.


It is an aching love story and a decisive remonstration, a story told in a whisper, in a shout, through unsentimental tears and sometimes with a bitter laugh. Each of its characters is indelibly, tenderly rendered. Its heroes are people who have been broken by the world they live in and then rescued, patched together by acts of love—and by hope.


The tale begins with Anjum—who used to be Aftab—unrolling a threadbare Persian carpet in a city graveyard she calls home. We encounter the odd, unforgettable Tilo and the men who loved her—including Musa, sweetheart and ex-sweetheart, lover and ex-lover; their fates are as entwined as their arms used to be and always will be. We meet Tilo’s landlord, a former suitor, now an intelligence officer posted to Kabul. And then we meet the two Miss Jebeens: the first a child born in Srinagar and buried in its overcrowded Martyrs’ Graveyard; the second found at midnight, abandoned on a concrete sidewalk in the heart of New Delhi.



Featured Image Via Adage India. Synopses via Amazon

Elf Wanted poster

5 Things That Surprised Us About ‘Elf on the Shelf’

If you’re like me, you heard about Elf on the Shelf two weeks ago from your co-worker who was very enthusiastic about the game. If you’re not like me, you are very happy. Elf on the Shelf seems to be everywhere this holiday season, and, honestly, I just. I don’t know.


For those who don’t know, the idea is that parents hide an elf doll and the kids have to find it. There’s apparently a whole mythology behind these so-called scout elves, which are really no-good tattletales. Every night, when everybody goes to bed, the elves go back to the North Pole and snitch on the little kids to Santa Claus. It’s messed up, and, honestly, some very smart adults are concerned with what this is doing to little kids’ psychology. Elf on the shelf? More like paranoia and high anxiety. In any case, here are some things you might not have known about this alleged tradition.


1. It’s based on a children’s book called Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition from 2005.


Elf on the Shelf

2005. Kind of a weak tradition. | Image Via Amazon


2. The elf loses his magic if he’s touched.


What if he’s asphyxiated? | via GIPHY


3. It allegedly normalizes the surveillance state.




4. There’s a Jewish alternative called ‘Mensch on a Bench.’


Mensch on a Bench

Huh. | Image Via Simplemost


5.There was a 30-minute animated special that aired on CBS.


An Elf's Story

Seriously? | Image Via IMDb


Feature Image Via Target