Banned Books Week.

Banned Books Week is coming to an end. Over the past few days, I’ve been thinking about why talking about books that have been banned, and talking about the reasons why they have been banned is so important to me. The aim of Banned Books Week is to celebrate the freedom to read, the freedom to express ideas and thoughts, and it is extremely important that we acknowledge how crucial it is that we are able to access information. 

If one looks back through different time periods, it is clear that banning and challenging books has always been an issue that the literary world has to contend with. In 2022, the banning and challenging of books, particularly in schools, is happening at a disappointingly high rate. 

I am conducting research currently while working on my MA thesis, and within the broad scope of reading that I am doing, I found a list of books that have been banned or challenged recently and this list details the reasons why. I’ve also been examining some of the books that I studied in detail while I was doing my BA because many of the books on that course have been banned at one point in time. This is a fact that baffles me because after studying some of these texts, I would argue in detail why each one of them needs a place on academic curriculums. 

It is very interesting when you read about why certain books have been banned or challenged. 

After reading several lists of books that have been challenged and the reasons why, I’ve quickly put together three categories that I’m affectionately calling “Banning Bingo” categories. 

In no particular order, it has become clear that a book will likely face banning and challenging issues if it contains any of the following:

  • Sex/Sexuality 

If a book contains any content regarding sex or a character’s sexuality, the questionisng of one’s sexuality, exploring, experimenting, intimacy etc. then the book is likely to face some challenges. 

In my opinion, when a book talks about sex/sexuality, the complaints about the book get divided into two sections. 

There are people who feel that teens in school should not be reading anything about sex or sexuality at all, because the information is not age appropriate, or they feel that the classroom is not an appropriate place to access this information and see it as a parent’s job to educate their own children about sex. This complaint seems to be about sex in general. 

There are other people who very specifically have a problem if a book explores what it is like to be a member of the LGBTQ+ community. So if a character is questioning their sexuality, wondering if they are gay or bi for example, if a character is thinking about their gender identity as well, or sadly even if a book focuses on a same sex couple or same sex parents then this book is unfortunately likely to face challenges. This complaint is due to some people believing that anything besides heteronormative is somehow “wrong” or “inappropriate”. 

It is 2022. Many children have same sex parents, and many people explore their sexuality and their identity and it is a shame that some people have the opinion that someone else’s family structure is “wrong” just because it is different to their family structure and I really hope that as a society, we get to a place where if someone challenges a book and their reason for challenging that book is because they have an issue with same sex relationships for example, then that complaint should be dismissed. Focusing on anyone who is not heteronormative is not a valid reason to ban or challenge a book. 

I would put forward the question: is there truly any reason to ban a book? 

This is an entirely different, and very complex conversation as many people will have many opinions on this, but I don’t believe in banning books or limiting somebody’s education or their ability to access different information about everything that goes on in this world. 

  • Flaws & Failings of Society: Critiquing social issues,  flaws, & failings. . 

If a book explores issues and failures in our society then this book will likely face challenges. 

Many books have been challenged or banned if they discuss racism. Books such as To Kill a Mockingbird, The Colour Purple, Roll of Thunder, Hear Me Cry have all been challenged or banned at one point in time, they are still challenged today. If books discuss how a system can be inherently and implicitly flawed, if they make readers look inwards and force readers to confront their own biases, if they open conversations about diversity and injustice in the classroom then these books will face challenges because some people just do not want to discuss those things. 

Another point is that some books contain very racist and hurtful language and stereotypes and people have challenged these books because of that derogatory language. 

Literature reflects society, the good, the bad, the things we wish never happened. 

History cannot be erased. Horrible things were said and done. Books written in a certain time period will reflect the language and attitudes that were prevalent at that time. You can’t read a Mark Twain book for example, and pretend that the racist language and racist attitudes illustrated in his works did not happen. You read Huckleberry Finn and the purpose of reading this book is to reflect upon the abysmal actions that happened in this book, and discuss how wrong those actions were. You read the book and should be appalled that certain attitudes were just the norm and the book teaches us that this kind of prejudice against other people is unacceptable, and as a society, we have to learn from history so that society changes, so that history does not repeat itself. 

Banning these kinds of books from the classroom is actively banning people’s history and that is wrong. Suffering occurred, suffering is still occurring, and to ban someone’s ability to speak about their suffering or the suffering of their ancestors is just wrong. It should not be allowed to happen. Some people should not be able to decide that they simply don’t want to hear about or know about another’s person’s experiences just because those experiences are difficult to hear about. 

Racism is just one topic that causes some people to want to challenge a book, other topics such as climate change, class differences, bodily autonomy and the right to make decisions about one’s own body, inequality in many forms, and consent are all topics that cause some people to want to challenge a book. 

The reasons for wanting to challenge these topics, again fall to the opinion of some that consent for example, is a topic that should be taught at home. 

This is a conversation that needs to be more nuanced, because there is a way to deliver information in an age appropriate way, and some kids handle things earlier than others, some kids mature later than others and so they may need more time before they learn about certain topics, but there is a huge difference between wanting to make sure your own child is ready to hear certain information vs feeling that kids in school just should not be taught about certain things. 

Some people want to have the right to teach their own kids about topics in their own homes, but then they do not have those crucial conversations and then we have eighteen year olds who are leaving secondary school and high school and they’re going off into the world without a proper understanding of consent and personal boundaries etc. 

There is also the point that education is meant to be broad. You are supposed to learn about different people, different places, different cultures, different ideas, different beliefs, and some of the things you learn about may be different to what you personally think, but that does not mean that education should be hindered. 

  • Violence 

Violence of any kind in books will usually be challenged. Violence in movies will be challenged. 

People will always question whether or not a book or film is too violent for kids to read/watch. 

If a book containing violence is to be taught in schools, people will question if the book is too violent for a classroom. 

This type of questioning happens in other mediums too. People question whether or not people should play violent games. People question if violence in the media glorifies and encourages violence etc. Violence will most likely always be challenged.

I think it is important to give readers, particularly younger readers more credit. People are not just passive viewers or passive readers, you can watch a movie or read a book that contains violence without automatically going and doing something violent yourself. If anything, many narratives promote the message that violence is wrong and it is shocking that this violence happens. To say that violent content automatically makes viewers and readers behave violently severely insults the viewer/reader because we are not mindlessly consuming content. We can still make our own decisions about our actions. Violence and how the violence shown is contextualised is very important, and I do believe that it is a subject that should be handled with care, tact, nuance, and respect but I don’t think violent content should be challenged automatically because it is violent. 

I also think that no matter what the topic is, if a book is about relationships, or racism, or inequality, or about coming of age, it does not matter what the topic is, the topic should always be handled with care, tact, nuance, proper research, and respect. 

So those are, in my opinion, the three main areas of topics that will lead to a book facing challenges. Sex/Sexuality, Flaws and Failings in Society, and Violence are headings that contain a very broad, very layered, very nuanced range of topics and ideas that tend to face challenges for the reasons I have discussed above, and many more. 

  • Other Areas. 

There are also two other areas that tend to cause issues as well, and those areas are magic and the idea that animals may be equal to humans. Alice in Wonderland was challenged because of the nonsense in the book, and because Carroll placed animals in the text as being equal to Alice.  Books that contain magic are challenged in so many ways, as like fairy tales, people question are they unrealistic? Do they promote unrealistic life expectations? Do they tell children magic is real and should they? Books that contain magic can also face criticism based upon religious objections and others question if the magic being done is promoting bad behaviour, encouraging pranks etc. 

So it is clear that there are many different reasons as to why someone might want to challenge or more extremely, ban a book, and as I’ve discussed, there are certain topics that tend to face these challenges very often. I think it is so important that we study why books get challenged because to take a book out of a classroom or a library, to not allow someone to read or watch something, it may seem like not a big deal to some, because people think that what a kid does not know won’t hurt them, but to block access in any way to a topic, is actively hindering somebody’s growth. If a topic is not allowed to be explored, education is being limited. If a person cannot learn wholly about the world, then their knowledge of the world and how to handle the world is being limited, their ability to grow emotionally is being limited, their ability to develop their own opinions, and their own critical thinking skills is being limited, and a message is being presented that if your experiences and thoughts and ideas don’t fit certain boxes then your ability to express yourself will be limited, censored, and silenced. So book banning is not a casual thing, and the fact that some people will discuss removing a book so flippantly is a problem. Banning, challenging, censoring, is a very serious thing and it has serious repercussions and so a much bigger conversation needs to be had. That is why Banned Books Week is so important, the right to access ideas and express ideas is so fundamental, and the right to access information should always be acknowledged as highly significant, and the right to express oneself and read about anything and everything should be celebrated. 

Cited Below are articles of interest that I have reread many times during this week. 

“Shhhh! These Kid’s Books Have Been Banned (or Challenged).” Evanston Public Library, 24 Sept. 2021, https://www.epl.org/booklist/shhhh-these-kids-books-have-been-banned-or-challenged/. 

Heidi. “Banned! – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: J. Willard Marriott Library Blog.” J. Willard Marriott Library Blog |, 11 Oct. 2018, https://blog.lib.utah.edu/banned-alices-adventures-wonderland/#:~:text=In%201931%2C%20the%20work%20was,beings%20on%20the%20same%20level.%E2%80%9D. 

Do you have a book that resonated with you? Has it been banned? Think about it. Look it up. It is important.

Kate xo.

Defending Damsels: Encouraging All Emotions in Modern Heroines.

I don’t think there is anything more nostalgic than sitting down with a book I enjoyed when I was little and reading it now with adult eyes. My studies have allowed me to dive into the world of children’s literature, and I’ve found that I have a new appreciation for all of the books that I read as a child. I’ve always been one to encourage reading in childhood as having a love for literature can open so many doors and benefit us in ways we may not even realise. 

Lately I’ve fallen down a bit of a fairy tale rabbit hole, as you will have noticed if you keep up with me on Instagram. If you haven’t already, you can follow me @katelovesliterature

Fairy tales always provoke very interesting conversations in my opinion, and I think that classic fairy tales are often treated unfairly in today’s media. Literature will always reflect the time that it was written in, that is in many ways the role of literature, to shine a light on all aspects of society, the good, the bad, and the things we wish didn’t happen. I will admit, many fairy tales are imperfect. There are aspects of some older fairy tales that would likely not be included if they were written today by a modern writer. I find it interesting that fairy tales are readapted and reimagined so often, because new adaptations tend to bring out critics who enjoy tearing the original to pieces. I’ve found that sometimes in an effort to correct some outdated ideas that an original story may present, the adaptations in question can sometimes swing too far the other way and present a different idea that is not exactly ideal either, however that is a much broader conversation and one that I will share another time in a different discussion. 

I will give a very brief example of what I mean, and I just want to be clear that in this example, I’m not referring to any story in particular, instead I’m speaking generally about an idea that I’ve seen in various different pieces. 

I’m an advocate for female empowerment and female agency in stories. 

I love seeing female characters who know their own mind, and speak confidently about their own desires and interests. I understand the idea behind wanting to show young children stories about women who are well-rounded, complex, dimensional characters. This is great. For a long time female characters were subjects of the male gaze and I think it is fantastic that there seems to be a shift and finally we are getting to see female characters exist and function beyond how they’re viewed by men. I always like to say that there is nothing wrong with being a love interest, but you shouldn’t only be a love interest. That should not be a female character’s only purpose, however I dislike the trend of calling the heroines in original fairy tales nothing more than “damsels in distress who do nothing but wait to be saved.” 

The heroines in older Disney movies face this kind of criticism as well, and I think it is very unfair. In my opinion it is too simplistic. That kind of critique completely ignores the fact that these stories were written in a very different time. It is the same with period pieces, people complain if female characters don’t act in a way that perhaps a modern woman would, but this critique again ignores the fact that many period pieces take place in times when women were at the mercy of the men in their lives. If you didn’t have access to any money, if you didn’t have anywhere to go, if you didn’t have any kind of education depending on one’s status, if you didn’t have any say in who you married, then it is almost impossible to just up and leave. I still think it is inappropriate to say that today in 2022, because the truth is that we cannot know everybody’s private circumstances and to say “just leave” is ignorant and dismissive. I will not scoff at original heroines. I will not call them passive, helpless, and I will not say that they did nothing but wait for a Prince. If you actually read the original fairy tales properly, you will see that many of the original heroines did their best despite being in dire circumstances that were beyond their control. I also don’t like the idea of promoting a narrative that says accepting any kind of help means you’re weak. I think there needs to be a balance. It is important to have complex, realistic, layered female characters who know they can speak their mind, assert boundaries, and take control of their lives the way a male protagonist would without question, but I think one must also acknowledge that it is okay to have friends, it is okay to accept help, it is okay to cry and be vulnerable sometimes, and it is okay to need people and have romantic desires.

I’ve noticed that female characters shutting out love because “they’re perfectly fine on their own” has become a bit of a trend. The idea behind this is wanting to show a character who doesn’t need a romantic relationship to be happy. That is great, but the idea is often undermined by the fact that she will almost always end up in a romantic relationship anyways, often with the man that she’s been shutting out for the entire story. I think this is a bit contradictory and reductive. Plenty of people are happily single and plenty of people genuinely don’t want a romantic partner and that is perfectly fine, but I’d rather see a character who is happily single throughout instead of seeing a woman actively shut down any romantic feelings or desires because she feels she has to, because she feels that allowing herself to be romantic somehow makes her weaker. Again, in my opinion, it is a question of balance. All independence should not be lost because you are in a relationship and these characters should still be able to function independently and chase their dreams and thrive at work even if they do admit that they really like someone else. Independence is very important. I think it is vital to be able to be alone and enjoy one’s own company, however I don’t think it is reasonable to expect anyone to be alone all of the time. These types of narratives tend to involve characters learning that it is okay to let people in, and it is okay to share feelings and be vulnerable, and it is okay to want someone or people in your life – these discoveries don’t always have to be romantic, they can come from relationships with friends, families, and mentors too, and all of that is great, but I’m a bit tired of that being the lesson. 

To sum up this point, the gist of what I’m saying is that of course I do want female characters to be well-rounded and dynamic and to be more than just a love interest, however I also don’t want to venture into a territory that says emotions or accepting help or being in love automatically equal a loss of strength and/or independence. 

This is a topic that I want to explore/write about in much broader detail with fleshed out examples so stay tuned for more discussions like this if this is a topic that interests you.

My book review of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows is coming soon.

Have you read this book? Let me know.

Kate xo.

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.