Tag: holidays

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

Moby Dick

10 Literary Christmas Trees That Will Spark Your Holiday Spirit

The holidays are finally upon us which means last minute holiday shopping, trying desperately to figure out what so-and-so wants (you ask them just to be met with “it doesn’t matter” even though you both know that’s not true), family reunions (let’s be honest, half of the time they end in tears and I don’t mean the happy ones), and the need to decorate your house in a way which both pleases you and impresses your family and friends. 


On a lighter note, the holidays mean the perfect time to dust off your glue gun, try to find those tiny scissors that somehow keep disappearing, and get ready for some arts and crafts. If you’re naturally a creative and crafty person, then this is pretty much the best time of the year. If you’re not a natural artist, you may just find yourself dabbling in the arts after you hear Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” the third time on your way to work. 


If you’re searching for a new crafty project, then look no further. Here are ten literary christmas trees that you can emulate in your home! 




Image Via The Hallmark Channel


Check out this easy DIY here.




Image Via Interiorish/Pinterest




Image Via ThoughtsfromAlice/Pinterest




Image Via BookBub/Pinterest



book tree

Image Via BookBub/Pinterest




Image Via Royal Roaster/Tumblr




Image Via Autumn Leaves/Tumblr





Image Via Karen Krut/Tumblr




Image Via King Collector/Tumblr





Image Via Cuatroveintiuno/Tumblr


Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments! 




Featured image courtesy of ‘The Hallmark Channel’

Zooey reading

Find out Your Favorite Celebrities’ Favorite Books

Overwhelmed by choice and unable to decide what books to ask Santa for this year? Let this strange assortment of famous people influence your decision. Derived from lists assembled by the likes of Ranker and Glamour, this ultimate celebrity book recommendation list is all you need this holiday season. Note, as I have, the amusing differences between the gushing comments of the likes of J. K. Rowling, and the concise statements of those like Kit Harington. 


Daniel Radcliffe:The Master and Margarita is now my favorite novel—it’s just the greatest explosion of imagination, craziness, satire, humor, and heart.” That sounds genuinely great. I hear it also features an excellent personified cat character. Definitely on my TBR pile.


Via Giphy

Via Giphy


Anna Kendrick:All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque; Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut; and The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien. They’re classics because they’re fucking great.” You tell ’em, Anna.


Via Giphy

Via Giphy


Zooey Deschanel:A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments, a book of essays by David Foster Wallace. One is about a cruise that turns out to be terrible. It’s delightfully astute.” Oh God, not a terrible cruise. SAY IT AIN’T SO, ZOOEY.


Via Giphy

Via Giphy


Bill Murray: “Well, my favorite author is Mark Twain. He’s smart, and funny. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, especially the chapter all the purists hate, in which Tom Sawyer stages an elaborate rescue of Jim, is a writer having as much fun as possible. But my favorite book is a two-parter by Laurens Van Der Post, A Story Like the Wind and A Far-Off Place. My favorite book used to be The Plague by Albert Camus.” A characteristically left-of-center list from Bill.


Via Giphy

Via Giphy


Rachel McAdams: “It’s not often that a writer makes me laugh out loud, but [David] Sedaris does. He brings me to tears. It’s to the point where I can’t read his writing in public because people think I’m having some kind of meltdown. In this collection of essays, When You Are Engulfed in Flames he has a way of finding humour in the strangest and most painful moments, like a week with a creepy baby-sitter, or the death of his mother.” This sounds great, I hear good things about David though I’ve never read him. Also a fan of his sister Amy. A good family, it seems. 


Via Giphy

Via Giphy

Kerry Washington: “Shonda [Rhimes] is a rock star and a superhero, and if you have not read her book, it should be your New Year’s resolution. You should read Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person. It is one of my most favorite books I have ever read—and I like books. It’s so good.” You heard her, folks. She likes books, and I like the title of this one as well. 


Via Giphy

Via Giphy


Keira Knightley: “I’ve pretty much read every one of Somerset Maugham’s books. And I love everything by Jeanette Winterson—The Passion is my favorite.” Jeanette Winterson is great in fairness. 


Via Giphy

Via Giphy

Lady Gaga: “I read Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet every day.” Nice.


Via Tenor

Via Tenor

J.K. Rowling: “The Woman Who Walked into Doors is the most remarkable book. Roddy Doyle gets inside the head of his character so utterly, so completely. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered such a believable, fully rounded female character from any other heterosexual male writer in any age. I should emphasize that I would feel the same way about the book if it had been written by a woman; I would still think it was the most remarkable achievement. But when I sit back and think, ‘A man wrote this?’—phenomenal. He has created a woman who, you imagine, will go to the bathroom and defecate. He also leaves her with her dignity, even though what she’s going through is a horrific thing. And he does it all in such a subtle way. I do think he’s a genius. His dialogue is irreproachable. And your heart…you’re totally drawn into his books. I’m very passionate about Roddy Doyle, and I’ve never met him, which is a frustration to me.” High praise indeed!


Via Tenor

Via Tenor


Kit Harington: “My favorite book is 1984 by George Orwell.” Cool! 


Jon snow


Featured Image Via Gossip Bucket