A Reading List for Indigenous People's Day

The city where I live, Los Angeles, has officially replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous People’s Day, and I couldn’t be happier. Granted, that doesn’t do an awful lot to make up for the fact that the entire basin once belonged to and was inhabited by the Tongva people, amongst others.

But in a small, small, infinitesimal way to commemorate Indigenous voices, I asked my Twitter followers for book suggestions so that we could compile a list of Indigenous authors and writers to read each year.

Here are several Indigenous writers to read each year on Indigenous People’s Day:

Emily Edwards
Great Author Quotes About Labor Day
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Happy Labor Day!

The most American of holidays, today we celebrate the tireless American worker.

To celebrate both the industrious American spirit— and also the traditional last day of summer— here are some great quotes about the workers of the world.

A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is visible labor and there is invisible labor.
— Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.
— Martin Luther King Jr.
If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.
— Dorothy Parker
The trouble was, I hated the idea of serving men in any way. I wanted to dictate my own thrilling letters.
— Sylvia Plath
Emily Edwards
Great Movies Based on Myths

We all love mythology around here, considering just how many Greek myth episodes we have in our first season!

But myths are adapted to screen so often, a few mythological movies may have slipped by you!

Here are some great movies based on myths from around the world!

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Song of the Sea

Song of the Sea is a beautifully animated film revolving around selkie (seal) myths from Ireland. This film is a little light on plot, as it’s for kids, but overall, the animation style is beautiful enough to arrest the attention of adults for its entire runtime. Not to mention, the music is BEAUTIFUL!

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Trollhunter

TROLLHUNTER is one of my Halloween favorites that may have slipped by you! This 2010 film is a mockumentary of sorts, about a camera crew that takes to the Nordic wilderness to follow the last, well, surviving hunter of trolls. It’s surprising and fun, and you learn a lot about the lore of trolls!

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O Brother, Where Art Thou?

I’m sure there’s not a soul alive who doesn’t know that this movie is based on THE ODYSSEY, but honestly? I still think it’s one of the very best myth-to-movie adaptations.

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Pom Poko

Pom Poko is an older Studio Ghibli film that takes its story from the myths of Japan. It revolves around the story of tanuki, or the very real and existing racoon dogs, that have the mythological ability to shapeshift. How freaking awesome is that?

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Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

I don’t consider the actual story of Frankenstein to be a myth– frankly, it’s too modern. But I often forget that the subtitle of the book is Or The Modern Prometheus. Shelley definitely based her original science fiction novel on the story of the Greek Prometheus, a god who sacrifices his own body for the education of man.

What’s your favorite movie based on myths?

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Emily EdwardsComment
Tips For Handling Tons Of Reading

The school year has started once again and that means one thing:

Tons of assigned reading!

But as you’re staring down thousands of pages in assignments, what can you actually do?

Tips To Handle Reading Assignments

Because a lot of our Twitter followers are current or past Lit majors, I asked them for advice:

Here are our best tips for handling tons of reading assignments!

It’s true! The worst part about only reading for school is that you begin to resent it. Remind yourself as often as you can that you loved it, once.

“Just watch the movie!” is not great advice, but some people do it better than others. BBC Miniseries are usually pretty accurate to the text.

You have a bit more downtime than you think in college, so this is great advice. Even if you’re sitting in the DH with breakfast, that’s time to read.

NOT BEFORE BED!!! You won’t remember it if you’re half asleep.

This is especially helpful if you’re reading something that’s not in modern English!

Things that were not available when I was in college! USE THE TECH, KIDS.

Want more tips on how to keep up with college and high school reading?

Be sure to check out the replies to this tweet!

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It's Okay To Fuck Men, Just Not Fuckbois

Our June 12th episode asked an interesting question:

Can you think of a book series with a hetero (or at least, cis male with cis female) love story where someone isn’t a total fuckboi?

I proposed that to our usual guests (Jessica Ellis, Alisha Grauso, and Amanda Timpson) and these were some of the books they suggested:

Images are linked to my local independent bookstore and are not affiliate links of any kind.

PERSUASION, by Jane Austen

 
 

Suggested by Jessica, PERSUASION is the story of a couple who get engaged at age 19, then call off the wedding. They reunite in their late 20s and go through the long, hard slog of figuring out how to be a functional couple.

DIVERGENT, Veronica Roth

 
 

Though the series went a lot off the rails, Four in the DIVERGENT series was suggested by Amanda as a pretty reasonable, non-fuckboi love interest for Tris.

THE GRISHA TRILOGY, Leigh Bardugo

 
 

Alisha suggested the Grisha-verse trilogy and duology by Leigh Bardugo, which I would buy for the covers alone. The young king works alongside his female general work together and through their attraction to keep the kingdom together.

OUTLANDER, Diana Gabaldon

 
 

Sure, there are plenty of fuckbois in OUTLANDER, but Jessica points out that the main couple of Jamie and Claire are pretty damn healthy. They subvert a lot of tropes (smart and experienced husband, helpless female love interest) to provide what may not be an ideal marriage, but at least one built on mutual respect.

SUNSHINE, Robin McKinley

 
 

This suggestion from Jessica got us the most excited. Sure, there’s sexual tension with a vampire, but what if everyone involved knew it was a bad idea? Written in reaction to TWILIGHT, Robin McKinley tackles paranormal romance like a goddamn adult.

SHADES OF MILK AND HONEY, Mary Robinette Kowal

 
 

Amanda suggested this Regency-era series, too. Jane Austen meets fantasy where all the trappings of traditional romance– husband-hunting, traditional femme beauty, and manners– are turned on their heads for a fantasy twist.

Emily EdwardsComment
5 Actually Happy Classics

Is there anything worse than reading a depressing book?

I contend that there isn’t.

Even thought I was a literature major, I really resented being told to read books that told me the height of human existence was suffering. Just think about it: Othello. The Grapes of Wrath. The Scarlett Letter. Jane Eyre. They’re books about suffering and pain and struggle. If I want to read about that, I’ll read the news, and hopefully do something to alleiviate it.

I wanted to know: Where are the happy classics?

 
 

It turns out I don’t own an awful lot of classic literature, so here are a few books I plucked off my shelves.

Mostly Harmless, Douglas Adams

So, give me hopeful sci-fi any day. Douglas Adams, best known for Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, always writes humorous, hopeful science fiction. I think his books are modern classics, but everyone should give them a try.

A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens

So, Christmas has turned into an absolute stupid fucking thing in recent years, but give this novella a try. It’s a short, quick read with a story you already know. It’s brilliant and joyous and makes you feel like a better person when you finish it. There are few stories I can think of from that era that is as uplifting.

Contact, Carl Sagan

The universe is endless, and with books like Contact give me hope that one day, we will see the other as a source of inspiration and joy. Don’t be afraid of the unknown.

The Complete Dorothy Parker, Dorothy Parker

If you ever want to laugh through tears about someone who deeply, deeply understands what it’s like to be an other, pick up Dorothy Parker. She’s my literary hero.

Jeeves & Wooster, P.D. Wodehouse

A comedy of manners like no other. If you’re familiar with Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, you know these characters. Classic literature of the jet-set crowd that makes you feel better than The Great Gatsby ever could.

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Emily's 5 Favorite Books
 
 

As your host of Fuckbois of Literature, I feel it’s imperative to tell you that I do actually like books, and have favorites, that aren’t necessarily filled with fuckbois. Here are the host of Fuckbois of Literature’s favorite books:

And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie

The genre book that introduced me to my favorite genre. Agatha Christie’s AND THEN THERE WERE NONE was the first adult mystery novel I read. I love the fact that it’s not a Poirot or Marple, it’s a stand-alone story that has a fantastic twist ending. While I’m usually not a fan of mysteries that hinge on “hidden knowledge” (i.e., a clue that only the sleuth has that they never share until the big reveal), this one is just too wonderful. There’s a BBC adaptation on Amazon Prime that’s truly fantastic, with my og crush Sam Neill, and my new crush Aidan Turner. Who does… this:

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Lafayette In The Somewhat United States, Sarah Vowell

Back to less-frisky reasons, Sarah Vowell’s LAFAYETTE IN THE SOMEWHAT UNITED STATES is also on my list of favorite books. I love the structure of the book— it’s not broken into chapters, it’s just one long narrative— and I love the illustrations. She’s got such an amazing sense of humor, too, and as always, the book is phenomenally researched.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare

Absolutely my favorite Shakespearean play. I love how wild and raucously funny it is, it’s ribald and silly and the more outrageously it’s played, the more I love it. I have a show about it coming up with Brett Wright, author of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT #NOFILTER. It’s a play of very funny fuckbois. I love it.

A Wrinkle In Time, Madeleine L’Engle

I don’t think this is too shocking of a revelation for most people, that a classic book of girl power is on my list. But I love A WRINKLE IN TIME, and have for nearly 20 years now! I love Meg’s struggle with self-confidence, I love how purely Calvin and Charles Wallace support her, I love how the subtext of the book is that Mrs. Murry is so much fucking smarter than her husband. Fabulous book. I’m naming my next dog Fortinbras.

Mother Night, Kurt Vonnegut

I guess this is out of left field. “You are what you pretend to be, so you must be careful about what you pretend to be.” Turns you, you can’t just “pretend” to be a Nazi, folks. You either are one or you aren’t, and if you aren’t, you fight against them. This is an astoundingly meaningful book to re-read today. Give it as a gift. Send it to everyone you know.

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