Literature Lovers Gift Guide.

Hello everyone. Happy Friday. 

Today’s #fridayschoice is a little bit different. 

I am putting together a “Literature Lovers Gift Guide.”

Lately I have celebrated some personal milestones as well as completing the first year of my masters degree which is why I was absent for a little while here on Katelovesliterature.com. 

The end of a semester is a very busy time. There’s assignments and final essays, dissertation and thesis discussions alongside research and research proposals and so even though I love talking about movies, books, plays, poetry, etc, I had to take a break and focus on deadlines. 

After I met those deadlines, I was exhausted. I love what I do, but I needed a proper break so instead of jumping straight back to publishing discussions here on Katelovesliterature.com,  I took an extended break and now I am ready to start doing what I love again. 

I would like to stress how important breaks are even if you love what you do. Breaks are good, they are needed, they allow you to breathe and become inspired again, and it is so important to rest and enjoy downtime because otherwise burnout occurs and it is so much harder to rebuild from being burned out then it is to stop, relax, and then get into a rhythm again. 

The end of February was a super busy time, and on top of all the other milestones I was celebrating, it was also my birthday, which meant that I was ridiculously spoiled by my family and friends. 

They all made me feel so special, and they support me in everything I do and they always support me by checking out the website, you all know who you are, so thank you. 

All of the above brings me to my Friday’s Choice discussion and it is a gift guide for those of you who have movie lovers or book lovers or theatre lovers in your life. 

My friends and family know me so well, and I have received some beautiful gifts recently, I’ve also treated myself to a few things as well and I don’t think it’s ever too early to get ready for Christmas. 

So let’s dive into my Literature Lover Gift Guide. 

  1. Sheet Music. 

I love music and I love musicals. I studied music all through school, I was a member of every choir, I did musicals, I love to sing, and music theory was one of my favourite parts of drama class so my friends know that I love sheet music. I have three scores now, all from shows that I love, and I think that this is such a good gift idea for a music lover. The scores are beautifully presented and they have lots of information inside about the composers and about the songs and I love reading about how a song was written and composed. I love reading about any insight into a show’s score, because when it comes to musicals especially, the music is so integral to the story, the show would not be the same without it. Even if you don’t read sheet music, I think that if you love music then this is a cool present to receive, and it’s not all about getting presents, if you know someone who loves music then a score could be a brilliant gift to give them. 

  1. Special Editions of Books. 

I have a beautiful edition of A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings by Charles Dickens. The cover is white with beautiful navy snowflakes. My best friend got it for me the Christmas after I wrote a Dickens dissertation. It was so important to me at the time, and it still is now, but at the time I was reading Dickens all the time and getting my thoughts together for this dissertation and it was so important to me, and then after being so delighted with the grade I got, this present was so meaningful. It was so thoughtful of her, and this book will always sit on my classics shelf and make me smile. 

Last Christmas my boyfriend gave me the most beautiful editions of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. They are laminate collector’s editions with Victorian inspired dust-jackets. They are absolutely gorgeous, and they are very important to me at the moment because they also tie into different things that I am currently studying. 

Literature is very important to me, it’s the thing that I am most passionate about, and I think it is so lovely that my friends and family get me things that represent something I love so much. These special editions are sentimental because I’ll remember a specific thing and time when I look at them. 

Of course you don’t have to be studying literature to get a special edition of a book. If you know what someone’s favourite book is and you see a beautiful edition of it, then I think that is such a good gift idea. It shows how well you know them, you’re getting them something that you know they love, the presentation of a special edition is always stunning, it is a collector’s item and a display piece, and it is something that the person will always have. 

  1. Bookmarks. 

I have been given some beautiful bookmarks over the years. I have one with my name on it, I have a beautiful resin one, and I have ornate little Alice in Wonderland page markers that are so stunning because they are John Tenniel’s illustrations in bookmark form so they look amazing in my classic books on my classics shelf. I think bookmarks are a cute gift to give a reader because you know they will be used, you can never have too many when you read so much, and there are some really gorgeous ones that you can get now so if you’re already thinking of getting someone a book then a bookmark is such a good little add on to get as well. Bookmarks also make a brilliant stocking stuffer. 

  1. Literature inspired artwork/cards.  

I bought a Scream themed Valentine’s Day card this year and it was brilliantly received. I think that getting someone a card or a piece of art inspired by something that they love is a great idea because again, it shows you know them, it shows you listen and care about their interests, a card inspired by their interests is really sweet and very personal. Art inspired by their interests is really cool because again, it could be a collector’s item, it could be a display piece. I have some framed pieces inspired by movies I love that I absolutely love, and they were not ridiculously expensive. There are so many sites now that buying art does not have to be super expensive, so if you know someone who would appreciate something like this then this could be a great idea. 

  1. A Notebook/Notebook Cover. 

Last Christmas my best friend gave me a beautiful leather bound notebook. It is perfect. I use it. She knows how much I love writing, so once again, she got me something that she knew I would love. I can take the notebook out of the cover when I’ve used it all and then I can put a new notebook into the cover, so it is something that I will always have and always use. 

If someone is a student or a writer or if they like to journal, then a notebook/notebook cover is a great gift idea because it is something that will definitely get used. 

  1. Novelty Items. 

One of my best friends gave me a book of movie inspired cocktail recipes for my birthday. 

I love cocktails. I love learning how to make them. I love movies, so this really was a brilliant gift. There is a Legally Blonde inspired cocktail, there is a Some Like It Hot inspired cocktail. There is a Breakfast at Tiffany’s inspired cocktail. There is a Batman inspired cocktail. I could go on because there are so many incredible movies featured in this book and I am so excited to test out some of these iconic cocktail recipes. This kind of gift is great because it goes on beyond one specific interest, mine being movies and literature, and it incorporates other interests of mine. This is a gift that I will be able to use, it is a gift that will help me develop a skill. I am planning on learning how to make cocktails properly and the fact that I could whip up a drink based on a friend’s favourite movie will be really cool and it’ll make for a really fun night. 

I hope that you enjoyed reading through my gift guide. These are ideas that I would use myself, I have given these kinds of gifts to people before and I will again in the future, and these are the kinds of gifts that I usually receive and I am always delighted. 

I hope you’ve gotten some great gift ideas. Even if you’re shopping for someone who is not a lover of literature or movies, I still think this is a helpful guide as the best gift giving advice I can give is to give a gift that shows you know the person really well. That may seem really obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people tell me that they struggle to pick out gifts for people. 

This has been Friday’s Choice. I hope you all have a lovely weekend. Keep an eye on my Instagram page @katelovesliterature because I will most definitely be sharing snaps of the movie inspired cocktails that I create. 

If you were ordering a cocktail inspired by a movie, what drink would it be and what movie would it be from? Let me know!

Kate xo.

Pam & Tommy.

Hello everyone. Welcome back to #fridayschoice. If you follow me on Instagram (@katelovesliterature), then you’ll know that I started watching Pam & Tommy a few weeks ago on Disney plus.

I said on my Instagram stories that I had mixed feelings about the show. On the one hand, I think it is very good and I have enjoyed watching it. I feel that the actors, particularly Lily James, have done an incredible job of capturing their characters. I think that the hair and makeup team deserve a lot of recognition, because without them, the actors could not transform into their characters the way they have.

It’s explicit. That goes without saying. The first two episodes were particularly explicit, and I do think that the writers did this to have an element of shock factor, because after the first two episodes, I felt that the level of sexual content and explicit scenes became less frequent as the story became more about how the tape is spreading and the impact that this is having on Pam and Tommy, but more so Pam.

I really like that this series is focusing on how much this tape being leaked did hurt Pamela Anderson. Regardless of what people thought of them and their relationship and how they got married, they were a married couple who had their private property stolen from them. That tape being put out into the public sphere was a huge invasion of privacy and this series is highlighting how Pamela especially suffered because of this invasion of privacy.

It is a sad fact that women are always judged much more harshly than men in situations like this. It is Pamela who was made fun of on talk shows, it is Pamela who was slut shamed, it is Pamela who was doubly judged because she had posed for Playboy and worked on Baywatch and sadly, people struggled, and still do struggle to understand that there is a huge difference between work that you have consented to vs. private, intimate property that was never intended to be seen.

This is where my mixed feelings arise, because I do think that the show is highlighting very important issues around consent and privacy, however it is hard to separate the important themes from the fact that the real Pamela Anderson was not happy that a show was being made.

It’s a difficult situation, because it was one of the biggest Hollywood stories, what happened was not okay. I like that the show is highlighting how badly Pamela was treated by lawyers and talk show hosts, and I would hope that a new generation is learning about consent and privacy and seeing how doing something like this to someone is wrong and not in any way justified, but knowing that Pamela Anderson was not happy about it being made, and thinking about how hard it must be to see the show talked about so often must be very difficult.

It may seem contradictory to say that I have mixed feelings about the show because of the fact that it could be hard on the real life people whom it is about and then continue to talk about it, but the reason I have chosen to talk about it is because it is a difficult one, and good pieces often are difficult. There is a grey area with this show. I am going to watch the last episode and when I do, I’ll have a more solid opinion on whether or not I think it should have been made, but the show did highlight some very important themes about topics that are still considered somewhat taboo.

The show highlights consent, privacy, the invasion of one’s privacy, the hypocrisy of the media, the unfair treatment of women compared to men and it does so very well, so for that reason, because of the show’s handling of these very important themes, I decided that I would talk about it, despite having some mixed feelings about it.

This has been Friday’s Choice.

Kate xo.

Quoting Shakespeare.

Hello everyone. Happy Friday. I hope you all have had a good week. 

Seeing as it is Valentine’s week, I have decided to close the week with a Shakespeare extract that I really do love. 

This week’s #fridayschoice is a beautiful Shakespeare quote. 

The following quote is from Hamlet, Prince of Denmark which is a play that I really enjoy and a piece that I will discuss in much more detail at another time. 

The following quote is from Act II.

Doubt thou the stars are fire,

Doubt that the sun doth move,

Doubt truth to be a liar,

But never doubt I love.

An extract from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Act II.

I’ve always loved this little snippet. I just think that it is a beautiful line. I love reading Shakespeare’s verses and every time I read his work I find something else that I want to share because I love it so much.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Kate xo.

Sunday’s Choice: Twin Peaks.

Hello everyone. I’m calling today’s post Sunday’s Choice because Friday was unbelievably busy and sadly I didn’t get a chance to make sure I was happy with this discussion before publishing it, but I will never publish a discussion on Katelovesliterature.com unless I am 100% happy with it. 

I hope you all are having a lovely weekend. It is a rainy Sunday here in Dublin so I’m enjoying some coffee while I clean my room and my desk with some lovely jazz in the background. Later I’m going to sit down and continue enjoying my day off with a show so keep an eye on my Instagram stories as I may share some #watchtvwithme snaps. 

As we approach Valentine’s Day, you can expect some romantic comedy themed Movie Monday’s coming up but lately I’ve been watching a variety of different things, one of those things is Twin Peaks which is what I am going to be talking about today. 

The original Twin Peaks aired in 1990 and the show has gained a cult following and an iconic status as the show is referenced so much in many different forms of media. It is one of those shows that I’ve always known of, a lecturer of mine really enjoyed the show and he would mention it often in his lectures, and it’s a show that I’d always sort of known had this reputation for being really good but a little weird etc., but even though it’s always been in the background, I’d never actually watched it – until last week. 

Last week I watched Twin Peaks for the very first time. I watched the pilot and I watched the first episode so I can’t say too much at the moment about the plot or it’s themes other than I’m intrigued and very excited to see what happens next. 

I’ve spoken about this before, but I really love the concept of a stranger entering a small town where everyone knows everyone and said stranger has to adapt to their new environment whilst also trying to win over the people in said small town. Twin Peaks has this exact dynamic as Special Agent Dale Cooper arrives in the fictional town of Twin Peaks to help the local sheriff investigate the murder of highschool student Laura Palmer. 

So far I really like the show. I’ve said before that crime dramas are probably my favourite genre of television shows so I knew going into the show that I would like the premise as I always tend to enjoy plots that focus on an investigation, especially when they’re done well and so far, I really like the setup of this storyline. I like the small town atmosphere, everyone knows everyone, and more importantly, everyone knew Laura so the devastation her death brought to the town felt particularly poignant. 

I think my favourite scene so far had to be the scene where the highschool principal has to announce the news of Laura’s death over the intercom to her teachers and classmates. It’s a devastating scene. The teachers are devastated, her classmates are horrified, her best friend is breaking down in sobs and the principal himself is struggling to remain composed while talking to the students. When the intercom clicks off, he too breaks down crying, and there is an incredibly eerie shot of the terrible news ringing out in an empty school hallway. It is in that moment that you can feel the impact this news has brought. This town, those teachers, and especially Laura’s family and friends will never be the same again. This nightmare isn’t going to end, it’s only going to continue as Dale has to investigate. The reality sets in that this is real, this happened, Laura is gone, and as the investigation digs into everyone’s secrets, it becomes clear that there’s more to everyone than Dale realised. 

Despite the plot being serious and some of the scenes being extremely emotional and sad, another one I have to mention is when the sheriff tells Laura’s father about her death. Her father is on the phone to her mother when the sheriff arrives and we can hear her sobbing through the phone as she hears the news, but despite the sad and serious themes, there are some very funny moments in the show because there is an undercurrent of humour throughout. Lucy and her ramblings are very funny, Dale is always speaking into his recorder telling someone called Dianne all about his thoughts, discoveries, and observations, some of which are highly comical, so I like that the tone of the show is a little off kilter. It isn’t a comedy, but it isn’t all doom and gloom, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens as I know there are some soap opera and horror tropes to come. 

At the moment I am rewatching the 2014 BBC adaptation of The Three Musketeers, which is entitled The Musketeers. I have spoken about it briefly before as I mentioned it was a great action series however I think after this rewatch I will discuss it in more detail because I think some of the character arcs are really impressive. I’m also watching The Simpsons for the first time because that was another show that I didn’t properly watch when I was younger. I went to see the movie in the cinema and I saw an episode here and there, but it’s been highly recommended to me so I am watching it all from the start and I will probably talk about it at some stage as I’m really enjoying it so far. As always I’m watching The Golden Girls because it is my comfort show that just never gets old, and I’m also making my way through a list of movies so there is lots to come here on Katelovesliterature.com. Speaking of there being lots to come, my February #bookofthemonth pick will be revealed during the week. Stay tuned. 

This has been Sunday’s Choice. Are you a fan of Twin Peaks? Let me know!

Kate xo.

A Quote About Dreams.

Hello everyone. Happy Friday. I’ve chosen a lovely quote as my #fridayschoice pick tonight.

Dare to dream, then decide to do.

Annette White.

I decided to share this lovely quote because I stumbled across it and I just really liked it.

It’s simple, it’s to the point, I think it’s really sweet. I think that having dreams, passions, and goals are so important and I’d always encourage people to find something that they love. 

This has been Friday’s Choice. Have a lovely weekend. 

Kate xo. 

A Hopeful Quote.

Hello everyone. Welcome to another #fridayschoice. Today is a very good day. If you are Irish, then you will know that the majority of restrictions that have been in place in Ireland for the last two years are being lifted at last, and although there may still be some twists and turns ahead, today is a happy, hopeful day.

It has been a long two years. So many people have missed out on so much, our lives were on hold, many of us lost loved ones, many of us dealt with health scares, and overall I think it goes without saying that is has been a really tough time.

I would like to take a moment to talk about the impact of literature and and the arts because I think that in times of darkness, the arts have always been a place where light can be found.

I’ve been very lucky over the past two years, yes I missed out on things, and yes I have missed friends, and I completed a degree alone in my room, but I am very lucky to be able to say that I had a passion that kept me going, I had goals that I was working towards and now I am working towards new ones. The thing that I am the most thankful for is the fact that I am able to say that all of my loved ones are happy and they have remained healthy so I really am truly grateful for all that I do have and while I will always be thankful and appreciative of those who work in our healthcare sectors because they have been heroes over the last two years, I have to acknowledge how much English Literature has positively impacted my life.

Over the last two years, we have turned to streaming services and Netflix and Disney plus and when I look back over the last two years, particularly when I look back at those times when we were in lockdown, I’d have been lost without my books and my shows, and I am so happy that now, finally, the arts can live again. We can sing again. We can be joyful again. We can create and inspire each other again and that is a brilliant thing. The arts are so important and they can touch so many lives, and I will always talk about the importance of the arts in our society.

Today, as my Friday’s Choice, I am going to share a Victor Hugo quote because I feel that it is extremely fitting at this time.

Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.

Victor Hugo.

Stay safe everyone. I wish you all a very happy and healthy weekend. Here’s to hope.

Kate xo.

Smother.

Hello everyone. Happy Friday. 

Today’s #fridayschoice is another tv recommendation. 

I’ve been sharing a lot of #watchtvwithme snaps on my stories but it’s been a while since I’ve properly recommended something. 

Lately I’ve been watching Smother and I’ve really been enjoying it. 

This series is set in Ireland and it follows the character Val Ahern and her family as they have to come together after her husband’s death. As Val examines her life, it soon becomes clear that perhaps her husband wasn’t such a nice person after all because his controlling ways have impacted each and every member of the family. 

Family secrets will be revealed and there’s many twists and turns along the way. 

It’s been a really enjoyable watch and I’ve gotten more invested with each episode so I’d highly recommend it. 

This has been Friday’s Choice. Have a lovely weekend. 

Kate xo. 

A Quote I’d Like To Share.

Hello everyone. Welcome to another #fridayschoice. 

This evening I’m simply sharing a quote that I love and I hope that you all like it too. 

“The earth has music for those who listen.” – William Shakespeare. 

This is just a very simple quote that I really love because I think it just beautifully highlights the wonder that creativity brings. 

If you like art, if you like music, if you like reading, if you are in any way a creative person then you will understand how moving a piece of art can be. 

Not everyone appreciates the arts. Not everyone appreciates literature or music, and that’s okay. We don’t all have to have the same interests, but for those of us who do enjoy music, art, dancing, the theatre, etc, there will always be something to spark our imagination because “the earth has music for those who listen.” 

This has been Friday’s Choice. 

I hope you all have a lovely weekend. 

Kate xo. 

A Quote For The New Year.

Hello everyone. Welcome to another #fridayschoice. Happy New Year’s Eve.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, and if you do not celebrate Christmas then I hope you are keeping safe and well. It’s New Year’s Eve and we are about to enter a new year, and I think that New Year’s Eve can be a bittersweet night almost because we are looking forward to a new year but we are also reflecting on the year that is ending and it has been a hard year for so many people.

I was thinking about what I would choose today as my Friday’s Choice and I have been reading a lot of Dickens lately. December’s Book of the Month is A Christmas Carol and I will be publishing that discussion this evening as well. I have mentioned many times now that I am a fan of Charles Dickens. I just love his writing, and I feel like so many of his texts just leave such an impact on readers because of the way he uses words so beautifully.

I came upon a Dickens’ quote and I have decided that this single quote is what I am going to discuss as my Friday’s Choice because I think it sums up how I feel about going into 2022 perfectly.

There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.

Charles Dickens.

I really love this quote and it stayed with me for a long time after I read it. I think that it can be really easy to get bogged down thinking about everything that is going on in the world. Things are changing all the time and we have to adapt. We miss people and we miss doing things and sometimes bad news can seem endless, but when I was thinking back on 2021, there were some lovely moments despite the weird times we are all living in.

I’m so lucky to have my family and my friends, my dog, my loved ones, work, college, this website, even though I don’t leave my house much anymore and I don’t see my friends as often as I used to, I’ve felt very lucky because in 2021 I have been able to achieve goals and create new ones and those are my lights in the dark.

When times are uncertain, I want to remember to appreciate those lighter moments and I think that in the times that we are in, those little moments of light mean so much more.

So this has been Friday’s Choice.

Do you have any New Year resolutions? Do you have a quote that you are going to take with you into the new year? If so, let me know.

Kate xo.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.

Hello everyone. Merry Christmas Eve. I hope you’re all having a lovely day and that you are ready for Santa.

Today I am talking about a childhood classic, a Christmas staple, I am talking about the poem entitled A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore. The poem is most often referred to as ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ because this is the first line, and many poems are referred to by their first line instead of their official title.

I could not let Christmas Eve pass by without mentioning this poem because it is, in my opinion, one of the sweetest poems about Christmas. The poem is set on Christmas Eve and it is about the excitement about Santa Clause coming and the magic of Christmas. It captures the merry feeling when the house is all decorated and no one can sleep because they are so excited.

I have known this poem forever. My Mam always read it to me at Christmas time, I have a beautiful edition of this book, we have given this book to people as presents and they have always loved it. It is just a really sweet, really merry poem and I think it is a great poem to share with children because it is easy and straightforward, and it may introduce a love of poetry to them.

The poem makes me feel nostalgic and I think that this poem has reached the status of being a Christmas tradition in my house as I have read it every year on Christmas Eve since I was a toddler.

It’s one of those things that I want to pass on one day if I have kids of my own, I would get them an edition of this poem for their first Christmas and make sure to keep reading it every year.

I think it sets the tone for Christmas Eve, and it is a lovely, magical poem that is full of descriptive language. If you have not read it, I highly recommend it.

This has been Friday’s Choice. I hope you enjoyed it. Have you read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas? Is it a classic for you? Let me know.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas. Stay safe and enjoy the day.

Kate xo.