Books

Storytelling with Classical Music throughout History

Long before this blog was born, telling specific stories through music was a common idea. Many composers, especially in the 19thcentury, wrote what has been called “program music,” or music that expresses an image or story. You’ve probably already heard of some of these: “Clair de Lune” (“Moonlight”) by Debussy, “Night on Bald Mountain” by Mussorgsky, and “Pines of Rome” by Respighi. Hector Berlioz even wrote a piece called Symphonie Fantastique in which a man overdoses on opium, dreams he is beheaded, and then sees his true love in hell where he discovers that she’s a witch (he based it on his real-life obsession with an actress…yikes!). Continue reading “Storytelling with Classical Music throughout History”

Books

Who Would Be the Worst Babysitter: Friar Lawrence or the Grinch?

I wouldn’t trust either of them within thirty-nine and a half feet of my child! But who would actually be the worst?

The Friar

Image result for friar lawrenceFriar Lawrence literally looked two teens in the eye and said, why yes, I’ll help you get married. Then he proceeded to give the EXTREMELY IMPORTANT letter detailing how Juliet isn’t actually dead to someone who has no idea what the stakes are. Shouldn’t he have said something like, “Hey man, if you don’t deliver this letter it’s going to be really, really, really, really, really bad?” Or maybe he did and the other friar just thought to himself, “Ha, another one of Larry’s jokes. What a guy!” Continue reading “Who Would Be the Worst Babysitter: Friar Lawrence or the Grinch?”

Books

Red Robin Hood: A Collection of Alternative Fairy Tales

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Fairy tales have been passed down throughout the ages, where different cultures have recorded unique variations of the same fundamental stories. The SurLaLune series, for example, has entire books of all the different versions of Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, etc.

But there are some versions that have been passed down much less reliably over time, and after working with a team of highly skilled researchers from only the best institutions from around the world, we are excited to premiere here a preliminary list of their titles, alongside brief summaries. We can only hope that as research continues the details of these stories will similarly be brought to light, to delight children’ ears just as they did in ancient times. Continue reading “Red Robin Hood: A Collection of Alternative Fairy Tales”

Books

Your Next Creative Hobby: The Make-Your-Own Lego Movie Books

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The day I stumbled upon these books was a good, good day.

I always love looking at Klutz books when I go to a craft or toy store, even though I’m technically an adult now. The childhood memories are fun by themselves, and honestly some of the books still look pretty cool! Case in point? This Lego make-your-own-movie book. Continue reading “Your Next Creative Hobby: The Make-Your-Own Lego Movie Books”

Books, Music

New Year’s Resolutions: Seeking Book and Music Recommendations

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Wow, how is it almost 2019 already?! With a new year comes new resolutions, new opportunities, new struggles, and new experiences. It’s also a time for reflecting on the past year. I’ve generally tended focused on the first half of this with posts like Top 5 Inspiring Book Characters for the New Year and Top 4 Independent and Inspirational Book Characters, but this year I’m combining the two by looking to the future by reflecting on the past — using some of the past year’s posts to (hopefully) provide some inspiration for the new year! But I don’t just want to share my own ideas, so please do comment below to help me and others who read this post to find even more inspiration for the new year! Continue reading “New Year’s Resolutions: Seeking Book and Music Recommendations”

Books

Ho Ho Holmes: The Perfect Bookish Gifts for Literary Characters

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It’s that time of year! The time of year, that is, when you feel the guilt of asking how can I know him/her so well and yet can’t think of a single thing to give them as a gift???

While I can’t really help you there, I do know that books tend to be great gifts for all kinds of people — literary people included. Here are some books that you might give back to your favorite literary characters, then, to thank them for the gift of their existence! Continue reading “Ho Ho Holmes: The Perfect Bookish Gifts for Literary Characters”

Books

Top 10 Books I’m Thankful For

All too often we’ll get to the end of a book and think “eh.” That was enjoyable enough I suppose, but another story would have passed the time equally well.

But sometimes we read a story that stays with us, that changes us in some way. These are the ones that keep us coming back to reading over and over again.

Now today is Saturday, the day after Thanksgiving, and while the holiday may be over I’m still thankful for a number of books that have really impacted my life. In celebration, then, here is a list of the most impactful, in no particular order:

1) The Catcher in the Rye

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For its gift of catharsis Continue reading “Top 10 Books I’m Thankful For”