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.

Honourable Mentions: Home Alone & Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.

ello everyone and welcome back to another #fridayschoice. 

Today I am talking about Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. 

This is sort of like an honourable mention movie discussion because even though they are classic movies, and I know that some people watch them year in and year out at Christmas time, these movies did not make it on to my #moviemonday list of movies for December. 

There were a few other Halloween movies that did not make it on to my movie list in October so I have made a note of them for next year and there will be some Christmas movies that I will be saving for next year too so Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York will likely get discussed in more detail at some point in the future on Katelovesliterature.com but they will not feature on a #moviemonday this December even though they are movies that I enjoy. 

I am going to talk about them today though because I could not let December pass by without mentioning them at all, and since there is a new movie out this year in Disney plus called Home Sweet Home Alone, I feel like I am hearing about these movies constantly lately. 

I did watch Home Sweet Home Alone on Disney plus, and I have heard mixed opinions on it. I did not love it, but I thought it had some funny moments, but in my opinion, the first two movies can’t be beaten. They are the best. 

I’ve been thinking about this, and I think that I prefer Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. I think it is my favourite of all the movies. I know the original is a classic, it has so many quotable, and meme-worthy moments, but I remember falling in love with New York when I watched the sequel. I think it is almost like a love letter to New York because the city just looks so magical. I still want to stay in the Plaza Hotel someday. 

I think that sequels can be hit and miss, but there are a few sequels that I love, and there are one or two sequels that I would say I actually like better than the original movie but I will save those picks for future #moviemonday discussions. I may even do a #sequelseries where I talk about sequels that I really liked, along with others that I feel were unnecessary. 

Is Home Alone on your must watch list? Which movie do you prefer?  Home Alone or Home Alone 2: Lost in New York?  Let me know. 

This has been Friday’s Choice. I hope you enjoyed it. We are getting closer and closer to Christmas and I cannot wait. I hope you all have a great weekend. 

Kate xo. 

Merry Happy Whatever.

Hello everyone and welcome to another #fridayschoice.

Today I am going to be talking about a festive tv show that I like to watch during the build up to Christmas as I thought it would be interesting to suggest something for those who maybe want to watch something festive but they don’t want to watch a whole movie.

I will be watching this series on Netflix again this December so be sure to follow me on my Instagram (@katelovesliterature) because you can #watchtvwithme on my stories.

Merry Happy Whatever is a series that came out in 2019. It is about Emmy Quinn, the youngest of the Quinn household. The series follows her as she brings her boyfriend home for Christmas to meet her family, her overbearing father in particular is someone that her boyfriend will have to strive to impress, especially if he wants to propose to her on Christmas Day.

It is a lighthearted and funny show, with a great ensemble cast. At times it is cheesy but if you can’t be a little cheesy at Christmas then when can you?

I’d highly recommend it.

This has been Friday’s Choice. I hope you all have a great weekend.

Kate xo.

When in Norway – A Look at A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen.

Hello everyone. Welcome back to another #fridayschoice. 

This Friday is a very special Friday because I am talking about a play that I love, A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, but not only am I talking about a play that I love by a Norwegian playwright, I am in Norway. 

I shared my November news earlier in the week which is that I am in Oslo this weekend. I couldn’t be happier. Oslo is such a beautiful city and there are so many wonderful connections to literature so make sure to follow me on Instagram (@katelovesliterature), because I will be posting the highlights of this weekend on to my stories and on to my grid. 

It’s been the best day, I have thoroughly enjoyed strolling around the city. I had the pleasure of stopping by the Ibsen Museum which has been one of the highlights of my trip. I saw the National Theatre, the Opera House, and I’ve even had drinks in a pub called Dr. Jekyll’s which is of course a reference to the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. 

I talked about the musical Jekyll & Hyde in another Friday’s Choice a few weeks ago as part of my spooky season here on Katelovesliterature.com. I absolutely love the story so you can imagine my excitement when I got to visit this pub. It was so cool. The best part of my day was walking through a bookcase. I have added a new goal to my bucket list and it is that one day I would like to have a bookcase that is secretly a door to another room in my house. It is an out-there goal but one can dream. 

A Doll’s House was originally published in 1879. 

It is a three-act play and it is a very significant play because of the reaction it caused when it first premiered. Ibsen was determined to write a feminist play and A Doll’s House highlighted the issues that women faced in a male dominated society. 

The play’s main protagonist is Nora. She is married to the very controlling Helmer. The play is about her plight because she borrowed money behind her husband’s back, and in order to keep her marriage intact he must never find out. Nora’s actions are that of a scared woman who had no other option. Her husband was sick, he would not accept help, her father was sick, she had no real life skills because she was raised to be extremely sheltered and naive. Nora spent her entire youth dependent on her father and then when she married she was entirely dependent on her husband, and he liked it that way. When her husband was sick and would not accept help, Nora was afraid of what would happen if she were to lose him because of his pride. So she goes behind his back, she borrows the money they need to help him recover. Nora had nothing but good intentions even though she may have gone about things the wrong way, and now all of her past actions are coming to haunt her in the present. Her secrets will be exposed and Nora is terrified of her life crumbling before her eyes. In all of this, Nora comes to learn about herself. She reflects upon her sheltered upbringing, she reflects upon the fact that she has never shared her opinions, or argued with her father or her husband, she has never acted for herself because she has never been allowed to, and as time goes on she realises that her secret being revealed may not be as terrible as she thinks. 

I will not ruin the play, and there are characters and plot points that I have purposely left out of this discussion. I think that A Doll’s House is a play that everyone should read and it is a play that I would love to see in a theatre someday. I studied this play for the first time when I was doing my Leaving Certificate, the second time was when I was doing a Leinster School of Music and Drama exam, and then I studied this play again in college when I was working towards getting my BA in English Literature, so it is safe to say that it is a work that I am very familiar with. It is a work that I really enjoy. It is a work that I find something different in every time I read it. It is a work that I think everyone should read at least once. 

The story is layered and compelling. The themes are so important. Nora is one of the most nuanced and complicated characters that I have studied. I absolutely love her character. I think she is a difficult one to play because she can so easily be misunderstood. I think she is a very poignant figure and a very powerful one. 

I actually really enjoy reading scripts because I like the way that I can envision the show taking place on a stage. When a piece is written for the stage it is very different to a piece that is just meant to be read as it is, and I really enjoy thinking about how the written word will translate onstage. 

This has been Friday’s Choice. I hope you enjoyed it. Have you seen or read A Doll’s House

Have you read any of Ibsen’s works, and if so, I’d love to know which one is your favourite. 

I hope you all have a lovely weekend. 

Kate xo. 

Short Stories: The Yellow Wallpaper.

Hello everyone. Happy Friday. Here’s to the weekend, welcome to another #fridayschoice. 

Today I am talking about a short story entitled The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. This short story was published in 1892. 

I really like short stories because I like reading narratives that are contained within a short space of time. The interesting thing about short stories is that very often, they give us a snippet of time or we can get a contained story that doesn’t have too much of a wider context, but it could. I think a sign of a good short story is when the tale leaves us wanting more, we get the impression that there is more happening, but we’ve just been given a snippet. 

I also think that short stories are great if you want to read something short and sweet. I think that reading is very relaxing but sometimes after a long day if I don’t feel like opening a longer novel, a short story is a really great alternative. 

I have studied this short story in great detail in college. It is a text that I really enjoyed, and it is a text that is regarded as very significant because of the way it portrays attitudes towards mental health. I think that mental health is being talked about much more openly in 2021, which is fantastic, and I think that this text is a really good teaching tool when discussing attitudes of the past. 

The story is narrated in the first person, and it is also an example of epistolary form as the story is written down in journal entries. The plot follows a woman who is writing about her time spent in a house that her husband rented. Her husband is a doctor, and he doesn’t want her to work or write or do anything as she is recovering from “hysterical tendencies.” 

I think that this is a really powerful, very poignant story and I think it is a piece that everyone should read at least once. 

This has been Friday’s Choice. I hope you all have a lovely weekend. 

Kate xo. 

Movies vs TV Shows.

Hello everyone and welcome to another #fridayschoice. I hope you all had a good week. 

Today I’ve decided to talk about why I love movies and tv, even though the two mediums are very different. 

Lately I’ve been watching a lot of tv, and so I decided to think about why I love tv vs why I love movies. Overall I would have to say that I prefer movies, but I love when the right series comes along and I get invested. 

The idea that I would put forward is that the main difference between a movie and a tv series is time. When we watch a movie, we know that the narrative is going to be contained within two hours. The plot has to go through a beginning, middle, and end in the space of those two hours. There will always be exceptions, an example would be if a movie ends on a cliffhanger or asks more questions than it answers because there is going to be a sequel, but usually, a movie’s message and the main character’s arc is contained within a certain time frame. 

When we are watching a tv series, if there are several series of one show, it means that the characters have more time to grow and develop and change. I think that tv shows have great potential to explore many different aspects of a character or a theme, because tv shows have the opportunity to be more episodic, meaning that each episode will have it’s own contained story and usually when this happens it means that you could watch the episodes out of order as there isn’t an overarching theme, but tv shows could also decide that each season will have a focused plot, and there will be an overarching theme or storyline that spans over several episodes. When this is the case, the episodes really should be watched in order so that plot points are not missed, but even with an overarching storyline, the characters still have more time to deviate and do other things, whereas in a movie it’s hard to keep the balance between the main plot and the subplot, because if there are too many things going on in a movie, it can feel sloppy and it can leave audiences feeling like too many things started that weren’t finished in a satisfying way. 

I love sitting down to watch a movie. I find it relaxing. I love the art of film, I really enjoy seeing how someone chooses to tell a story through film, and so when I watch a movie, I pay close attention to the style, the shots, the score, and I do like seeing how a character’s arc is achieved within a timeframe. I think that’s very interesting. Storytelling with a time limit means that some things may have to be left out, and I also think that just like there are things in books that don’t always translate well onscreen, there are things that movies can do that tv series can’t and vice verse. 

When it comes to a tv series, I do like the fact that we have more time with characters, and over the series, a character can grow and change and do many things. It keeps things interesting because the show can take on different directions whereas a movie can’t really do that. With that being said, I also think it’s important to make sure that certain storylines don’t drag on for too long because then they run the risk of becoming repetitive. I also think that some series can go on for too long, and then when the quality of the show starts decreasing, one wonders if perhaps the series should have quit while it was ahead. I can think of a few examples of shows where I think that there were a few more seasons than there needed to be, but I also know that if a show is popular and getting good ratings, then show runners will want to keep that show on the air. 

I think that ultimately I prefer movies over tv shows because I like the bigger story that can be presented. Yes the narrative has to be contained within two hours or so, but I like the fact that so much can be done within two hours whereas sometimes a show can have twenty episodes in a season and unless I’m extremely invested in the story, I’m just not going to be too excited about watching it. Personally I think that movies grab my attention much more quickly than a tv show does. When a tv series does catch my attention, it is the best because I become invested, I want to watch the next episode, I really enjoy watching it, and when that happens, it is fantastic because it means that I thoroughly enjoy a series, but I’ve noticed that only a few shows do this, whereas I find myself captivated by movies much more quickly and much more often. 

Both mediums are wonderful forms of expression, and I do think that different stories lend themselves to different mediums. There are some stories that will lend themselves to tv, while others lend themselves to movies, and I think this is because, as I’ve said above, movies and tv shows have different strengths and they can do different things, so depending on what the story needs, one medium will likely work better than the other. I think that would be an interesting topic to discuss in the future. Perhaps at some point I will pick a move and discuss why I think it wouldn’t have worked as a tv show, or I will pick a tv show and discuss why I think it would or wouldn’t translate well on the big screen. 

Keep an eye out on my Instagram stories (@katelovesliterature), because I am currently watching the sixth series of Shetland, and I am also watching Angela Black, and I will be posting my #tvthoughts to my stories, just like I did when I watching Only Murders In The Building.

This has been Friday’s Choice. I hope you enjoyed it. Tell me do you prefer tv or movies? I’d love to know. I hope you all have a lovely weekend. 

Kate xo.