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Young, Drunk, & Literary

A book blog for drinker and readers.

“There is no surer foundation for a beautiful friendship than a mutual taste in literature.” ― P.G. Wodehouse

Hygge, or the Cozy Reason to Read More

What I’m drinking: a hot toddy. Or spiked hot chocolate. Yum.

The New York Times taught me about Hygge, “a Danish term defined as ‘a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.'”

 

I love this idea because of its versatility, and I’m fascinated by the feverish way Americans have adopted this trend. There are loads of books being written about hygge, from “how-to” to philosophical musings. The idea, at least my interpretation of it, is to pretend it’s snowing outside (a hard feat for this Atlanta-dweller), find the fuzziest and most delightful blanket and/or the fuzziest and most delightful animal, and curl up with a scented candle and relaaaaaax. How do I relax, you ask? With podcasts. And with books.

 

Having shared with you all my embarrassing reading slump, I am working on making reading as appealing as possible. Any suggestions from y’all on how to make the perfect reading ambiance? One particular problem I have is how to sit when reading. Nothing is quite comfortable long term…

 

Anyway, y’all get cozy and feel sophisticated and Danish. But not made like that one Danish prince. You know the one. Something is rotten and all that.

 

Cheers and xo,

Jen

On Celebrities Writing Books

What I’m drinking: Haterade. It’s true. At least I’m self-aware.

 

Famous people are writing books! This is nothing new, but just this week Cara Delevingne, Jamie Lee Curtis, Chelsea Clinton, and The Black Eyed Peas all announced book deals.

How do we, the book community, feel about this? I’m of two minds myself.

 

On the one hand, good for them, right? More books might mean more people supporting bookstores, reading, expanding their minds. These are creative people expressing themselves and we should support them.

 

However, I can’t help but be a little cynical. Book publishers notoriously have small budgets for author advances, especially outside of the Big 5, and these writers are getting staggering numbers. What does this mean, that the next literary hit that needs a shot might not be financially viable for a press because they know they’ll turn a profit with a star who wants to dabble in writing? Am I in the wrong, or maybe being snobby, by wanting little-known literary fiction geniuses to make it over someone who might just be grabbing for money, enhancing their public image, and not even generating quality content?

 

Tell me what you think.

XOXO,

Jen

“That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald

6 Works of Irish Literature Worth Reading

Happy Beer Day, y’all! I mean, St. Patrick’s Day? Yes. The day when Americans wear green and stereotype Irish culture with both ignorance and abandon. I’m just here for the Guinness, myself.

Here are 6 works of Irish literature that you’ve probably already heard of, maybe meant to get around to. Perhaps my enthusiastic opinions will help push you in a direction. Slainte.

  1. Ulysses by James Joyce

Yes, this one’s a doozy. The only way I got through it was by being forced to read it in a class with an Irish professor who specializes in Irish lit. But, it gets so much hype for a reason. Open it to a random page (you aren’t going to be able to easily follow the plot anyway, which is kind of the point?) and just go with it.

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  1. The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats

If you like poetry, fairies, mythology, ghosts, supernatural things in general, children being kidnapped in a cool but creepy way, gorgeous verses on nature, and generally good things, read this.

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  1. In the Woods by Tana French

Oooooooooooooh SUCH a good mystery. French’s character development is exquisite.

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  1. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

My number one favorite play of all time hands down the end just read it.

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  1. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

Yes, you probably know about the little people tying Gulliver up, but unless you had to read this in school, you’re missing out on the cool horse people. Deep metaphors, man. Dig it.

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  1. Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy

This is not only a delightful drama about a small town Irish woman trying to find love and escape feeling trapped, but once you finish it it’s a movie with Minnie Driver, but most important, Alan Cumming. !!!!!!

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Grab the nearest pint glass and a blanket, and curl up with any of these reads for some goodness!

“Multiple exclamation marks are a sure sign of a diseased mind.” -Terry Pratchett

5 Things that Make a Book Compulsively Readable

Wine pairing: something indulgent and sugary, like bubbly pink Moscato. Don’t let anyone judge your sweet pink bubbles.

It’s cold outside here in the States (then hot, then cold again, then warm, then hot). Nothing like weird weather to make you want to stay in and devour a good book, right? WRONG. Turns out, like I mentioned in a previous post, working 9 to 5 Dolly Parton style can wear a girl out. Full disclosure, I had to stop writing this post to jam out to that song. Classic.

Anyway, I finally powered through a book, The English Patient, and more on that later, and got my groove back, y’all! What’s up? So, I’ve been ruminating on what makes a book compulsively readable. I know this is the definition of subjective, but this is my blog and I can write what I wanna.

  1. A relatable/revolting character –

    remember those high school classes about heroes/anti-heroes? I firmly believe if you don’t find at least one of the characters, ideally the protagonist or antagonist, fascinating or relatable in some way, it’ll be more of a drag getting through it all

  2. Some sexy prose –

    have you ever been reading along, trying to engage the text, and stumbled across a quote that some part of your brain told you had to be immediately jotted down onto a post-it note so you could cherish the wisdom and ultimately easily enrich your daily life??? no? just me? well. My wall is covered in ’em.

  3. Knowledge that there’s a movie version you can try to enjoy but ultimately judge after finishing –

    it’s true. sue me.

  4. Knowing someone who has read it too! –

    If I can text a friend and say “omggggggggggg chapter three makes me want to kill everyone I’ve ever met” and they can say “just wait until chapter four,” it just helps you keep trucking.

  5. Making your reading area top notch –

    real talk: can someone help me find the perfect long-term reading position? I would read so much more if I could find a way of sitting that doesn’t cramp my neck/hand/legs/elbows/life. Also blankets and candles are good.

More tips? Send them my way. Happy reading.

xo,

Jen

Unpopular Opinion: Why Mr. Darcy Sucks

“You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

-Mr. Darcy, prompting eyerolls for eternity

What I’m drinking: Miller Lite, which would be scorned by certain pompous men.

So, in my reading slump, I’ve been trying to get back to basics and revisit some classics. This does not mean that I reread any Austen; I watched the movie. I know, I know. But the Keira Knightley version does a generally good job with the adaptation. Anyway, I have opinions. And I’m going to share them now: Mr. Darcy is AWFUL WHY DO SO MANY PEOPLE LIKE HIM?

Okay, I get it. He’s proud and she’s prejudiced. Their societal strictures and personal natures try but ultimately fail to keep them apart. Why do we like Mr. Darcy so much, though? Does he actually accomplish evolution from an arrogant prick to a quirky and troubled and dashing and sexy hero?

I have a theory this attraction we as readers/watchers have is in large part due to Colin Firth. People, Colin Firth will always be flawless; Mr. Darcy will always be the worst! Let’s separate them.

I want to posit that Darcy is not a true Byronic hero, those sexy and brooding bad boys of literature and screen that old Byron himself cooked up. That sexy, sexy rascal. (Remind me to post about my thing for Byron someday). No. Fitzwilliam Darcy lacks the reason to brood. He has no excuse for his rude condescension, has no great trauma he has to process or bottle up that might make us readers empathize with him at all.

I also am aware that lots of people find his awful demeanor ultimately charming, as he “redeems” himself by professing his love to our heroine. These are the people who argue that Darcy is quirky, self-conscious, relatable, and not gag-inducing (???). To those people, I say nay nay. Perhaps it is just a matter of taste, but I tend to be attracted to people who actually like me and don’t hide behind being an actual ass. But that’s just me.

There are so many dreamy and crush-worthy characters out there. I’m just saying let’s go appreciate them instead of this guy.

Don’t kill me,

Jen. xoxo

“Do I love you? My god, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches.” —William Goldman, The Princess Bride

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