Holiday Guide

Indeed, it’s the most wonderful time of year. And for two solid reasons: Christmas presents in the shape of books and cold and cozy days meant for cuddling up with your favorite read. So if you have a bibliophile in need of some holiday magic, here are my picks for the best gifts, Big Little Lit style:

Book-themed candle

Old books

Etsy is full of creative and thoughtful gifts, and its Book Club MVP section is no joke. It clearly knows that there’s nothing like the smell of books to get a book lover’s imagination running wild. Choose between a classic bookstore with Earthy tones, Divination classroom or Christmas in the Great Hall for the HP fanatics, or even old books to set the perfect reading mood.

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The Importance Of Being A Library

Libraries are the ultimate encyclopedia. They contain all the information there is to learn. They provide us with literature to bolster our creativity and resources and services to make our everyday lives just a little bit easier. They were the world wide web before it became cool.

On Nov. 7, my home of New Jersey had the chance to further support its libraries. The 2017 election contained a ballot initiative for the state to issue $125 million in general obligation bonds. Revenue from this issuance would be used exclusively for libraries to help expand and modernize libraries. Thankfully, the initiative passed. This can only help our communities because the benefits of a library are endless. The limit simply does not exist.

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My Jersey City library branch

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Ranked: Harry Potter

Harry is more than just my homeboy. In fact, he changed my life. The series taught me about creativity and having imagination, the importance of reading, and how fun and emotional it can be. It showed me what having a passion meant because Lord knows I’m passionate about Harry Potter. And I’m not going to say I choose friends based on their HP opinions. But if you don’t like Harry Potter, then GTFO.

Quite frankly I’m surprised it’s taken me this long to write a post dedicated to The Chosen One. So let’s not waste any time. My dearest, Harry James Potter, and my girl, J.K. Rowling, you got ranked.

Quidditch

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Ode to Book Club

If reading books is my favorite hobby, then talking about them is my second favorite. It’s no secret that I could discuss literature (including the best parts of a book, the most dreadful, its cultural influences, its influences on culture, every literary device under the sun, etc., etc.) just about every day.

But not everyone appreciates the enthusiasm or can relate to that love. So when my good friend, Hilary, told me a book club was starting up exactly two years ago, I jumped at the chance to join. A group of women with similar yet different perspectives discussing at length the inner workings of the world’s finest writing?? WHERE DO I SIGN UP?!

Addicted to books

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When A Book Blogger Doesn’t Make The Cut

You’d think a book blogger would have read all of the classics, but au contraire. As someone whose wish list grows exponentially each day, it’s impossible to have read the most beloved in the world. When new masterpieces come out each year, it’s easy to forget about the classics and forge ahead with the current bestsellers.

But when a friend sent me Amazon’s “100 Books to Read in a Lifetime” list, via PureWow, I was surprised that I’d only read 10 of the top hundo. (I’ve sort of read two others on the list, one of which I promise to pick back up eventually.) Was I really such a literary novice?

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Critique: The Memoir is Having an Oprah Moment, But I’m Not on Board

You get a memoir! You get a memoir! Everybody gets a memoir!

If there’s been one theme that has defined literature in the past decade, it has to be the tell-all memoir. You’ve seen them from everyone, including B-list celebs, Wall Street gurus, the most obscure mayoral candidate, Hillary Clinton … multiple times (she’ll be up to four in September), and authors who should keep their words fictionalized. As I write this, James Comey announced he would write one. And not that I’m discouraging everyday Joe Schmoes from writing, but they’re getting memoirs published too. People seem to love these books, so it makes sense that so many individuals would write them. I know I might lose friends for saying this, but:

I don’t like memoirs.

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Ranked: Emily Giffin

Emily Giffin is a major source of ebullience for me. She loves college football and the British royals, has a killer Instagram, and plays mom to one of the cutest Golden Retrievers to ever exist (who also, it’s worth noting, has her own killer Instagram).

Emily and I have been together since I was 16 years old. I don’t exactly know why I randomly picked up her first novel, Something Borrowed, at Barnes and Noble one day before volleyball practice, but I’m sure glad I did. Her books have brought me more laughter than most people in my life (and I know some funny people), and she’s the only author to make me cry. Her characters feel like friends, in both relatable and unfamiliar ways, and she paints a badass female lead like nobody else. Her books are topics of conversation among my closest book babes, and I truly idolize her work. Therefore, Emily Giffin, you got ranked.

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